general fuzz

Musing from a obsessive computer music composer with hippie-ish tendencies.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Cafe du Nord

Roy McNeill, a friend of a friend, is a real friendly guy who does live electronica type stuff. He put together a show for Cafe Du Nord called "Filter Sweep and Brush Strokes", and invited me to play it. Playing such a great venue on a Saturday night along side some seriously talented electronica acts was a rather appealing notion.

I struggle a lot with live shows. I've already ranted plenty about seeing laptop performers. I enjoy playing with a band, but I feel weird about having my laptop be most of my band. I don't compose music with the intention of performing it live. That said, I've now played a fair number of shows, and have gained some confidence and some insight into making a better show. I had a couple fun tricks up my sleeve, and a couple of excellent musicians to help propel the music to far greater heights.

Sound check was my first chance to really check out the other acts, and after seeing everyone go through the motions, I knew it was going to be a sick show. The mini buffet for the performers was super tasty. I can now heartily recommend the food @ Cafe Du Nord.

As the night pushed forward, friends started trickling in, which was a most excellent distraction from my slightly frayed nerves. It was a great excuse for folks to connect after the new year break, and I was both impressed and honored by the gathering that took place. Many long time friends, musical collaborators, peeps from the jam scene, MySpace friends, ex-coworkers, and even a guy from the electronic music meetup made it out. It really meant the world to me. I got pretty excited, and before I knew it, it was time to take the stage.

After clumsily marching through the first tune, I got my bearings, and an old forgotten feeling started sweeping over me. That intense joy I used to get when playing a slamming show with a band. This is the first time thats happened when I was playing MY music. I looked out on the dance floor, and there were a lot of people there, grooving and smiling. A reciprocal smile planted itself on my face, and didn't leave during the entire set. I really got into it.

I brought out JP Cutler and Adam Blomberg for two tunes. As always, they knocked it out of the park. It was so fun, yet so familiar, having them play with me.

I then brought out Noah Reid from The New Up to shred on my last two tunes. Things got pretty bumpin on the dance floor.

I had the time of my life.

The show was stellar. JDub warmed things up nicely with some great atmosperic ambient soundscapes. Roy McNeill sure knows how to throw down on the guitar and melodica. The beats were uplifting and rocking. He's such a nice guy to boot. Mochipet was sick, with the triple threat laptop, dj, and live drummer laying down the tastiest grooves. There was some fantastic art up on the walls. I loved Crystal's work - right up my alley. The DJ's kept things grooving nicely between sets and after the Mochipet. I talked and caught up with a lot of folks, and met a whole bunch of new ones. All in all, a night I'll never forget.

Many things could have gone wrong. The INTENSE storm that swept through the Bay Area was mostly abated by Saturday night. During sound check, my computer kept glitching and dropping audio while I was playing a tune. Thankfully a restart fixed this issue, but I didn't know that until I started playing my set. My body held up, despite several subtle indicators that it might not.

Things I could have done better - well, it would have been good to say: "I'm General Fuzz" and "My music can be downloaded for free of the internet". I'm not so good with the mic.

200 people came to du Nord that night. I hope they want some more.

Many thanks to Tony B for the sweet pics.

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Blogger PVision said...

Nice! Bummed I missed it.

5:59 PM  
Blogger ELK said...

sounds like a jam-blastic good time. sorry to miss out, we were just rolling (swimming?) back in from the east glad it went so slammingly!

8:08 PM  

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