Mama Buzz Cafe 11-16-2005

My first time playing in Oakland away from Mills College since moving out here in August. I’ve been pretty content working on music without playing out in the world, I think it’s important to not play shows some times. I got asked to play a duet with Zachary Watkins by Noah Phillips, a guitarist I know from Mills. Noah’s doing a bunch of dates with Harris Eisenstadt, who I met before in Chicago when he came to play shows there maybe two winters ago.
So it was an early night thing at the Mama Buzz Cafe. I’ve played with Zach a handful of times while we were working on some music set to a film by Derek Jarman (we were also working with Noah, Ava Mendoza and Travis Johns). He’s an interesting fellow, from Seattle, makes music with lots of little devices (circuit bent) and instruments like guitars and keyboards. We did an improvised set – I brought only my computer, no acoustic instruments. Nice thing about that was that I could walk to the Cafe from my place in Lake Merritt. It was a nice 30 minute walk along Grand Ave, and in the nice temperate Oakland climate. We played for about 40 minutes, going here & there, a couple of times some demo songs came crashing out of one of Zach’s vaious electronic devices – the second time I sampled some of it with my high quality powerbook microphone and spit it back out his way – we were joined for a bit by Zach’s friend Isaac, who is also from Seattle. I don’t know if it’s a Seattle thing, or because they’re good friends (probably the latter) but they both have the same laugh – i can’t explain it to you here, but if you ever meet the two of them you’ll hear what I mean.
It was good to play – I’d been to Mama Buzz before and was a bit dissappointed, but this time I had some good coffee, and it was dark out, so it felt much more like a little spot than just a storefront on wide telegraph ave. Walked back home along Grand ave, by the park and the lake – a nice stroll.