Jam Factory Induction Into The Syracuse Area Music Awards (“The SAMMYS”) Hall Of Fame, 3-4 March 2016

SAMMYS 2016 - Jam Factory plus members of the Hoffman family

Before the year passes completely… I had the distinct pleasure of subbing for Joe English earlier this year thanks to a kind offer from local CNY great Mark Hoffmann and his funky-as-hell son Gustavioso. The equally formidable Syracuse band Jam Factory was inducted into the 2016 SAMMYS (Syracuse Area Music Awards) Hall of Fame, joining the likes of 805, Bill Knowlton, Calvin Custer, and Benny Mardones (now that’s eclectic).

A snippet from Walt Shepperd’s Syracuse New Times article:

The mythology of the time had band manager, the late Joe Leonard, signing the contract while relaxing in a bathtub after Jam Factory had opened to a standing ovation when they appeared with Hot Tuna at the Fillmore East. Word was Columbia saw Jam Factory as a threat to the genre Sly and the Family Stone was establishing, and wanted to stash them away on the vinyl shelf.

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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

Afrika Bambaataa Via DJ Shadow And Cut Chemist, Westcott Theater, 10 November 2014 – Photo Gallery On LiveHighFive.com And Flickr

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A bit of a diversion from the usual posting faire, I had the privilege of catching the Syracuse stop of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist’s Renegades of Rhythm tour from the other side of the security gate (for the first 10 minutes, anyway, then a bunch from the back). 80% performance and 20% history lesson, the set featured selections from Afrika Bambaataa’s own vinyl collection (current in the process of digitization at Cornell Library, where hip hop’s Amen Ra currently graces the campus as a Visiting Scholar).

The extra-special access provided through arrangement between the performers and Gregory Allis of, among other things, Live High Five. From Greg’s post of the event at livehighfive.com:

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist brought their touring ethnomusicology lesson to a respectable and excited crowd on a cold Tuesday in Syracuse, NY a few weeks back. After catching the show in Austin during the tour’s first leg, it was pretty much mandatory to follow up with a second helping of tunes cultivated from Afrika Bambaataa’s personal stash. It isn’t often that the longtime friends pair up and bring their skills on the road, but it’s always a spectacle when they do!

A few things need to be said: 1) Hip Hop = DJ’s, MC’s, Breakdancing, and Graffiti, 2) DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist incorporated all those elements into the performance and tour, 3) Afrika Bambaataa deserves every ounce of recognition he has coming to him, and 4) the beginning of Boogie Down Production’s “South Bronx” is one of the hardest things on Earth.

For the full set, off to flickr -> flickr.com/photos/somewhereville/sets/72157649174784268/

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.

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

Sand, Pebbles, And Fill – RR/LL, RRR/LLL, and RRRR/LLLL Sticking Combinations From The Original “Stone Boulder” Series

You could spend your life on the first six pages of “Stick Control” and still not cover all the possibilities. Dynamics, accents, foot-hand, foot-foot, fast/slow, hands on top of foot patterns, feet on top of hand patterns, regroupings and accenting in 5-7-4 (regrouping of the 16 strokes per pattern), 7-5-4 (re-regrouping of the 16 strokes), yadda yadda. If you see the first six pages of Stick Control as just exercises, you miss the fantastic complexity YOU can introduce to constantly humble yourself while hovering over a practice pad.

George L. Stone's Stick Control

You should have a copy regardless (amazon.com direct link).

The original post related to the PDFs below (link) provided two downloads. The first was all 65,536 R/L combinations for 16th note groupings (so full measures of 16th notes in 4/4 time). The second contained all 4,096 8th note triplet groupings (so full measures of 8th notes in 12/8 time, or 4/4 “jazz” triplets).

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Zenero (sp?) Bell/Cymbal/Chime Question – Now It’ll Appear Twice! – And The Vimeo Spizzichino Mini-Documentary To Boot

It seems a near-impossibility that you can buy something in a store today that has (as of this post) ZERO google footprint, but I found it. On a recent trip to Buke at the Music Center on James St., I picked up the cymbal/chime/bell/thing below. The only identifiers on this 6″ core of a heavy ride cymbal are the cursive TM’ed text that looks like “Zenero” and a pure tone that can be easily discerned from background noise for a minute or more (and you can feel the air buzzing just around it as it rings).

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The “Stone Boulders” – All 12-Group (4,096) and 16-Group (65,536) L/R Sticking Combinations In PDF Format

George L. Stone's Stick Control

You should have a copy regardless (amazon.com direct link).

[Drafted as an article for somewhere, stuck here instead…]

You could spend your life on the first six pages of “Stick Control” and still not cover all the possibilities. Dynamics, accents, foot-hand, foot-foot, fast/slow, hands on top of foot patterns, feet on top of hand patterns, regroupings and accenting in 5-7-4 (regrouping of the 16 strokes per pattern), 7-5-4 (re-regrouping of the 16 strokes), yadda yadda. If you see the first six pages of Stick Control as just exercises, you miss the fantastic complexity YOU can introduce to constantly humble yourself while hovering over a practice pad.

Continue reading “The “Stone Boulders” – All 12-Group (4,096) and 16-Group (65,536) L/R Sticking Combinations In PDF Format”

chown/chmod Your Way To A Backup Free Of The MemeodHelper Error in OSX 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) & A Seagate Vs. Western Digital Experience

UPDATE – 29 September 2010: In my usual policy of *nix-based deference to anything Perry Metzger has to say (other areas, too, but specifically here), I note that my procedure has the potential to mangle whatever is using Memeo (although I’ve not had anything go bump in the night yet). For those less than interested in the surgery below, your most safest bet is to crack open a Terminal window and sudo cp -R /Users/[you] /Volumes/[Your Backup Drive] (assuming you’ve activated the root password in OS X, of course). That is all.

There isn’t too much of this online so I thought I’d provide my fix. As background, I like the idea of having constant capsules of my MacBook Pro (MBP) sitting on a Time Capsule drive, but I am constantly up-and-running with my MBP and am rarely sitting in front of a machine long enough to let full writes be written to some backup drive (and, as any quantum chemist worth their salt is generating scores of files on an hourly basis, my laptop is constantly undergoing changes). Long story short – I want to spend one hour at my choosing to turn off wireless, close all my open programs, copy my User directory, and paste it onto an external drive. That’s it.

Finally upgrading to 10.6.4 (by way of a new 13.3″), my first attempt to backup the first clean copy of the complete migration from my old 15″ went all of 20 minutes before the following error popped up on my screen:

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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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