The Methodist Bells And Colin Phils – Highlights Of Sub Rosa Session #32 At Subcat Studios, 21 August 2016

Posting for historical purposes, given the great recording and video that came from the session.

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The Methodist Bells (bandcamp facebook) had the pleasure of performing a 3/4 set on Sunday, August 21st at (my first drum teacher, Ron Keck’s) Subcat Studios for Sub Rosa Session #32. Closing for the Bells (well, I think it’s funny) was recently-US-returned-and-immediately-thereafter-Binghamton-bound Colin Phils (bandcamp facebook), who put on a fantastic trio show (and, with one of the wooden USBs in tow, I can say that their previous two albums are excellent as well).

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“The band. The band. THE BAND!” Adam, me, Leah, Clem, Jeremy, et Maurice.

Alice In The Sky, featuring an Allis On The Ground

With thanks to Amanda Rogers for organizing, Subcat, The Rebel 105.9 (we don’t get it in Rochester, though), The Syracuse New Times, D.I.T. Records, and my current contributing writer hosters at syracuse.com for making the session and recording possible, a video work-up of “Alice In The Sky” is provided below for your viewing and listening pleasure (courtesy youtube.com).

On day two of an 11-hour jet lag, hadn’t played in a month, stuck behind a poorly-left-ified kit, and still sound good.

The Colin Phils tune “Don Cabs” is included below. I was (admittedly) ready to sneak out early, but ended up staying for the whole set (that’s musician-speak for “great show”).

BONUS MATERIAL

Our fearless leader Clem Coleman (twitter facebook) was featured in a recent Daily Orange article, in which I make my third (known) appearance in the DO ever since starting at SU in 1994.

Link: dailyorange.com/…/otro-cinco-chef-creates-vintage-inspired-music…

PDF (local, for posterity): 2016sept7_methodistbells_dailyorange.pdf

Gig Announcement: Juneteenth Jazz at the Hotel Utica, Saturday, June 14th

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The Matthew Rockwell Group (like on the facebook) will be making the trip out to Utica this coming Saturday, June 14th as part of the entertainment for the For The Good, Inc.’s Juneteenth Jazz Night event, sharing the stage with some notable Utica heavy hitters.

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The band at Sparkytown, 23 May 2014. Photo by Jack M. Hardendorf.

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Play Softly And Carry A Thin Pair Of Sticks, Or A Drummer’s Guide To CNY Venues, Part 1: The Buzz Cafe, Syracuse

This (what I hope will be a) series of posts stems from a gig that changed the way I approached all the songs I played that evening (specifically, this gig). Changed in the kind of way that I wish the band had had proper notice of the situation we (well, I) were walking into in terms of the room, the acoustics, and the management. On the plus side, Syracuse is undergoing what I think is a slow expansion of mom+pop places that open their doors to live music. This is just fine for most styles of music and small groups. On the down side, these tend to be small places. This is just fine for most styles of music and small groups.

This can be a problem for a set drummer, which can then be a problem for the rest of the band. You rehearse and rehearse with a group at one volume, playing at a level at which you are comfortable playing all the complicated fills and patterns you like. Everyone gets used to hearing certain things and you get use to executing those things. Then you find yourself at a venue with your full kit and an owner who doesn’t seem to like loud noises. And by loud noises, I mean sounds generated by the lightest sticks you own using little more than your fingers to propel them several inches. And I understand the hesitancy an owner might have when confronted by a drummer they’ve never heard, as I’ve certainly sat near my share of drummers who didn’t adjust their playing volume to the room. But with this new adjustment, you’re not playing the same song you (and the band) have grown accustomed to. Now, the whole band may find itself reacting to this new dynamic from the drummer, while all the others in the band had to do was turn their volume knobs down a bit.

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The Excelsior Cornet Band At Canastota Public Library, 4 October 2009

“I know only two tunes.  One is Old Hundredth, the other one isn’t.” – Abraham Lincoln

Nearly six score days ago, the Excelsior Cornet Band performed in Canastota, NY as part of the Art & Music series at the Canastota Public Library.  As reported in the Fall 2009 edition of  “Check It Out!” (the library’s newsletter, of which a copy of the Fall 2009 PDF is saved locally at 2010january_excelsior_checkitout.pdf)…

On October 4, a concert is planned with “The Excelsior Cornet Band”.  “The Excelsior Cornet Band” is New York State’s only authentic Civil War brass band.  Founded in 2001, the band consists of a group of upstate New York musicians who are dedicated to the performance of original Civil War music on actual antique brass band instruments of the 1860’s period.  They will be performing their Abraham Lincoln Program on Sun., Oct 4 at 2 pm on the second floor of the Library.

Is this thing on? – Jeff Stockham


The Excelsior Cornet Band. Tintype photo by John A. Coffer.

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Grove Havener At Coleman’s Irish Pub, 6 March 2009

Top o’ the afternoon to ya, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  A fortuitous occurrence above the western skies (relative to my apartment) of Syracuse in the direction of Tipperary Hill (where, for those interested in local trivia, the traffic light has the green on top thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Irish youths in the 1920’s) brings to mind three questions about the most recent (and my first sub’ing) Grove Havener (who’s name, for those interested in local trivia, is taken from an Earth Science teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt) gig at Coleman’s Irish Pub on 6 March 2009:

(1) Will it go ’round in circles?

(2) Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

(3) Did we play that Billy Preston cover?

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Memorial Weekend 2008 Tune-age, Funktion Key 3 And The Excelsior Cornet Band

A post 150 years in the making (plus a few weeks to get everything else done), with that same 150 year gap in styles and instrumentation bridged in just under 2 days.

May 24, 2008 – Memorial Day Music (and Head Spinning) Festival

Quite possibly a first for the usually sedate town of Manlius NY, guitarist William Nicholson hosted a day-long Memorial Day Music (and Head Spinning) Festival in his own living room and back yard. 30 to 40 in attendance, mostly performers, which was just about the right size to work out the bugs for a 2nd Annual event next year. A few notable notes…

Know Nothing – I’d seen this duo once already at the Metropolis Underground as the opener for The Future Has A Silver Lining, the first band I ever walked out on (in the words of THE Tony Williams, “there’s a big difference between volume and intensity.” This headliner’s guitar player hadn’t quite figured that out as of that gig. Which is bad for experimental jazz, because they tend to sit rather close to their pick-ups and on that smallest string, if you get my meaning). Nice experimental jazz/rock duo. Can’t argue with a band with lead drums.

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Bartles And Dame’s or Free Jazz And Cadence As Interdisciplinary Excursion

“Musicians are in no way responsible for anything.”
“True Art is Always Free!”
– John Bartles

Related to the usual contents of this blog only inasmuch as I pay the maintenance fees regardless, a brief historical post firmly rooted in the “There’s a fine line between ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘You’re not going to believe this” category of entries. Sunday, March 4 2007 marked the most nontraditional collaboration of my musical career (it takes me that long to get information together. People who request anything from me by email probably already know this) with the recording of “John Bartless Presents Topless and Bottomless,” a title sure to artificially increase my Technorati rank.


The kit. Click for a larger version.

Bartles sighting. Click for a larger version.

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Sumthing Wicked Your Way Comes

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Yes, nepotism is alive and well on the internet.

Ska-happy Razbari Sumthing (that’s Greg in the middle) and I (bottom middle) take a moment to celebrate their two Sammys for People’s Choice and Best Alternative Rock. Prior to their “The Simple Life“-meets-“This Is Spinal Tap” U.S. tour, the boys in the band treated the June 2nd Taste Of Syracuse audience under the SubCat Records tent to 45 minutes of pure energy. If you see the RAZSUM New York license plate in your town, check the razsum site to see where that van’ll stop a’rockin’. The Allis clan also appeared in full form to support the youngest. Mothers, fathers, and yia yia’s from all around approved.

www.razsum.com
www.syracuseareamusic.com
www.tasteofsyracuse.com
www.myspace.com/razbarisumthing