sick of smart classrooms with no nerds

THIS WEEK: triumph of the saxophone part 1 & the frustrations of teaching: the rap version

Friday’s HEAPS show was a big success–thanks to everyone who knew us and came out and also to everyone who didn’t know us and stayed around when the first crackling bass note wriggled through the air.  The standout in my mind did not turn out to be our drum machine version of “William Baldwin: a lament” (as predicted last week) because my voice had started to go–though the part where the audience claps along to calcified adlibs about James Baldwin and Shannon Doherty went great with everyone’s help–but the real triumph was the live debut of our saxophone-infused new arrangement of the old Bros K. song “Motorcycle Rider.” My brother tells me that we’ve got footage that can be chopped up and put on youtube, but to hold you over until then, here’s the version of the song from our first practice with Franz in preparation for the show:

(download)

If you were wondering, I’m channeling The B52s at the beginning.  The FB page for Thee Oh Sees decries comparisons to that band, but I like The B52s pretty well–if you  judge them only by “Rock Lobster” which the Heaps have covered.

It was also great to just be an audience member for the rest of the D&D show, too–The Dutchess and The Duke played a quality set with Greg Ashley stomping on a tambourine for them while occasionally hitting a drum with mallets.  I wish they’d played “Strangers” but oh well, it was a good mix of the highlights from the new album with some gems from the first album, too.  Greg Ashley’s solo set was pretty cool too–I’d expected more flangers, frankly, but it was still mesmerizing in its minimalism.  He also read from a pretty awful letter his parents sent him before his first (?) album came out threatening to cut him off financially if he didn’t disassociate his name from swear words on the Internet–I forgot to ask him how they reacted when he reproduced the letter and included it with every copy of the album.

WHAT’s GOOD: I’d forgotten how good the band GoGoGo Airheart was–I went and saw what was possibly their last L.A. show a few years back on the day before my birthday and on my “birth minute” the lead singer and bassist were spazzing out among us in the audience at The Echo–it was a pretty good birthday present (also, I think The Joggers were the opening act and they’re one of my favorite bands).  GGGA were basically making the sort of music that I’d like to.  Also, I know I don’t have to tell you, but Owen Pallet of the band Final Fantasy is a ridiculously talented performer–just think, he’s 3 years better at this now!

BONUS: By request, here’s a hiphop song that the Beat Conflicts did about the frustrations of teaching called “Sickofit”:

(download)

[Prax: rap; me: all instruments, sampling]  Coincidentally enough, the beat is actually a slowed down version of the one from the Bros K. version of Motorcycle Rider, but you can get a bonus point if you can identify the movie that provides the bookend samples.

Grading student papers also showed up in our previously posted song “Forty Bees Remain” at around 1:07 (“the sharpie I keep in my pocket is red / so it looks like I bled / all over the wall, the paper, and the carpet when I mark it.” etc.).

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