the Stone May 29, 2007

It cooled off a few degrees here in New York today, not a bad thing at all. I had gone to the Stone on Sunday night to see some music and it was quite hot inside, though not nearly approaching the old 3030 on a summer’s day. When playing with Dragons last night at Union Hall I realized halfway through the set the pleasant air conditioning that was keeping things comfortable. Though, you never can really measure the effect of a hot room on the players and the audience – sometimes it forces the music into a different space entirely. Steini and I got to the Stone at about 5:30 after having a nice Indian food lunch at Milon on 1st Ave. Jordan got there soon after, having flown into LaGuardia and taking a cab to Manhattan. Once Matt walked in from the park he was hanging out in we got around to doing the final rehearsal for the music for the later set of the night. I could tell from the practice that the four of us were a good fit.

The first set of the night was Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel. Though it was our first date in a while, we had been practicing together regularly this past spring, developing our methods so that when we play our sound is there. We played a full hour long set with one break in between. Our second piece was a building piece, I felt really good about that one – it felt quite focused. In general I felt that this set was one of the best we’ve ever played live.

The second set was the quartet of me, Steini, Matt Bauder and Jordan Glenn. I rearranged the music I had written a few years ago for Flockterkit for this group. It made sense to me in a way as the parts I had written for the cello and bass were many times originally conceived for guitar. I also added a new piece and did some additional processing on the sound of the group for the beginning and ending. We played the set well – I really think that this group will have to play more and definitely record the music. The range of dynamics and energy during the set was one of the strong points, Jordan and Steini both played great, and Matt fit in perfectly. The set was somewhat short, but as I think we knew everyone there, and most stayed from the first set, I don’t think anyone was demanding we finish our contractual agreement with an additional 10 minutes of music. Unfortunately we didn’t have a way to record the show, or rather I forgot to arrange a way to get it recorded. Too bad.

So, a good night at the Stone. The room felt very comfortable and very right. They’ve done a good job of treating the room so that it is dry enough while not being dead. The size of the room is intimate and it has a clean look. Definitely a proper venue for the music. Thanks to Fred for booking us!