24 October 2011

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Flashback #2- duo tour with Paal Nilssen-Love, pt. 1- After a beautiful and much needed vacation in Antwerp with Ellen (where I finally experienced the chemistry between matched wine and food- thank you Invincible!), it was time to face the reality of hitting the road with Mr. Nilssen-Love, one of the hardest driving musicians on the planet. I got to Vienna a couple of days early and got some practicing in (was a bit terrified my chops would have turned to rubber with the days off), and returned to MuMOK to see the “Museum Of Desires” exhibition (in my memory from the 1st visit, I saw the large Giacometti striding toward me as I entered the show, but in reality it was a woman standing in place- from the front beautiful, from the side decimated like and Egyptian mummy; memory of existentialist indifference/reality of existentialist despair). The tour with Paal started at the Blue Tomato, house packed, music super-charged and ferocious- the tour with Lean Left had busted open our last series of ideas together, all ideas seemed possible whether developed or unresolved. From Vienna we traveled to Krakow to play at Alchemia, my first concert there since I recorded my new solo album, “Mark In The Water,” last December. Things had changed at the club, we missed Ania and Marta, but the audience was spectacular (standing room only) and meeting up with Marek Winiarski again was fantastic; Paal and I responded by playing to the point of collapse, my mouth felt like a tire shredding of a truck on the autobahn… The members of Starlicker made a surprise visit- Rob Mazurek, John Herndon, and Jason Adasiewicz were in town a day early to play a show- really nice to hang out with them and hear that their tour was going so well. On the 26th and 27th Paal and I played two concerts at the Dragon Klub in Poznan, recording both performances. The turnout was smaller than hoped for, we probably split the audience by playing twice, both of us have been playing there all autumn, and Starlicker would be in town a couple of days following us, as well as Akira Sakata’s trio… a lot of music hitting Poland at the same time! The 1st show had interesting elements, but the 2nd concert was extreme and superb, something special in the air, and both Paal and I were happy that the music was recorded- we caught something strong. From there it was Warsaw on the 28th to play at Powiekszenie. Unfortunately, the post concert celebrations in Krakow and Poznan had caught up with me and I felt horrendous up to the point we hit stage; I was furious at myself, too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing. The 1st set suffered because of this, but by the 2nd set my head had cleared and Paal and I got into a relentless series of musical changes, a real catharsis. Lesson learned and for the 1st time visiting Warsaw at Powiekszenie it was an early night. Just as well, because the next morning the duo would travel to Russia. Russian preview: