It's turning into quite the spring for music here in my little corner of Southern California, with choice Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates shows, as well as steady progress on the upcoming R. Stevie Moore/Gary Wilson collaborative album.
The elusive Gary Wilson and his Blind Dates recently played at Non Plus Ultra in L.A. I will be soon be posting several photos here documenting a wonderful, weird night.
This month, the band will be crossing the Atlantic to join the Drive Like Jehu-curated installment of All Tomorrow's Parties in Manchester. I've recently written about this once-in-a-lifetime adventure here.
In addition to live performances, there is also excitement building on the recording front as the R. Stevie Moore/Gary Wilson album evolves in beautiful and unexpected ways. With a few songs already complete, the project is taking wonderful, weird shape. In addition to the contributions from the two legendary home recording pioneers, the project features contributions from a truly amazing cast of characters, including the one and only Jad Fair. I will be posting regular updates as new tracks are finished with this inspiring group of kindred, creative souls. Aided by Dean Reis and the other half of the Oak Park Dream Team, Ryan Sinnott, I'm happy to say that this unprecedented joint effort should reach ears by the end of the year.
Things continue to grow locally as well. Recently I put on an evening of acoustic music at the Black Cat Bar in City Heights. The evening featured David A. Moore (all the way from London), Celeste Byers (who, in addition to her exceptional murals, is also a talented musical artist), Jessie Gulati's skilled sitar playing, and Gary Hankins. This inaugural happening was a success and pleasure, and it's looking like it will become a recurring event at the University Avenue venue.
I also had the privilege of joining Gary Hankins again onstage this month with his fine ensemble Gary Hankins and the Summer Knowledge at the Casbah. Additionally, I appeared on stage later with Max Daily as part of his delightful performance, which included everything from a solo washboard performance to a levitation act, tightrope-walking, and (of course) a boxing match featuring a man-sized banana.
As usual, I treasure each time I get to take the drum throne behind San Diego's number one blues diva, Lady Dottie, and I'm thrilled to have several Erika Davies and the Men gigs on the books. Also, the 105ers (Mick Rossler and Matt Parker, proprietors of the Tower Bar/Til Two Club and the Black Cat Bar, respectively) just initiated our first batch of recordings, so these are busy days in America's Finest City.
I'll be documenting and posting in the coming weeks and months as these artistic collaborations move forward with new music, photos, and videos. As always, thanks for tuning in!