Archive for the ‘Musical Interludes’ Category.

Found Art

I thought I had things sealed up pretty well, but summer’s leaking away through fissures I never knew existed. I’m spending another precious week of it in Milwaukee, where I’m watching helplessly as the days noticeably shorten.

Last week in Seattle, we got out into the ‘hood for some quintessential summer walks. One night, we walked down to Greenlake and, on our way back, turned a corner and found a Night Out Against Crime block party in progress. Now, we’d had our own Night Out the week before, when the rest of the country had theirs. We asked a woman how they managed to stage their event a week or so later, and she said, “bad planning”.

Well, it might have been late, but it seemed to have been impeccably planned. There was, to our delight, a band, Six of One, playing some vintage rock on a parking strip, while kids rode trikes and skateboards and harassed each other with light sabers.

I had the S3 IS along, which takes pretty good video with stereo pickup. Here’s a rendition of the Allman Brothers’ tune One Way Out, with a bunch of cute kid-action shots:

This one is Del Shannon’s My Little Runaway.  At the beginning, you can hear me and Mrs. Perils guessing cluelessly at both the artist and the song.  Mrs. Perils, however, could probably get a degree in 60s musicology.  She partially saves her reputation by nailing the song title before the first word is sung, but we both strike out on the artist - we’re sure it’s The Ventures.  Some nice vocal cameos from Mrs. Perils here:

And this last number is CSN&Y’s Long Time Gone, with some delicious guitar work and, again, (possibly reluctant) vocal cameos from Mrs. Perils.  I think they’re darling:

We’re glad we discovered this little gathering, and we’ll look for the band whenever they’re giggin’.

Out To Lunch

I was working downtown on Tuesday and had a couple of hours between meetings.  It was a lovely day, and I took the opportunity to stroll around at lunchtime.  Harbor Steps is a sweeping staircase leading from the Seattle Art Museum down to the waterfront, and is a very “happening” place on a summer afternoon.

I arrived at Harbor Steps just in time to catch the last number in a lunchtime concert by Seattle R&B group Choklate.  We’d seen the band at the Bumbershoot festival several years ago.  My interest was also piqued as I recognized the keyboard player, Darius Willrich, from several other bands and jamfests that we’ve been around in the last decade.

As an added bonus, we were treated to some…eccentric…white-lady booty-shaking.  You get a glimpse of her as this video opens, and then at the end, I get a more robust lens-full.  I had the A720 and not the S3 IS, so the sound pickup is mono instead of stereo:

Happy VD 2008

A special greeting to all you lovers (not implying that you’re all my lovers). I may have time to do something special later today. Until then, here’s a reprise of my valentine podcast from last year:

Update: A day late, here’s a new set of sweet songs for the sweet:

Musical Interlude

On Wednesday, we stepped out after dinner to hear a jazz performance at the Good Shepherd Center a couple blocks from the house. I’d been tipped off about the performance because I’m on an email list from a bass player that has been one of our favorite musicians over the past decade. His name is Paul Kemmish, but most often he goes by “PK”. He plays both upright string bass and electric bass guitar.

We had never heard of the trio he was performing with Wednesday and didn’t know what to expect, but no matter what incarnation we’ve heard him in, we’ve seldom been disappointed.

The Good Shepherd Center and the adjacent property is a former nunnery and home for “wayward girls” that the Catholic Church sold to the city back in the 70s. It’s a huge hulk of a building that now houses a senior center, a private elementary school and various headquarters for non-profit organizations. As often as I’ve been in and around the building, I’ve never been to the upper floors.

This performance, then introduced me to a chapel space that I’d never known about, located on the fourth floor of the building. It’s not that often that we’re seated concert-style for a PK performance - it’s most often in a bar or a nightclub-style music venue.

The music this trio played was mostly improvisational, although it seemed “tight” in the sense that they knew where they were headed and were very attentive to each other. It was interesting to see PK playing outside his more familiar funk and groove riffs. The pickup on the video below is not the best, but you can see how hard the guy works and pick up a few of his riffs:

We latched onto PK back in 1998 0r 99 when he was part of a groove jazz trio called Rockin’ Teenage Combo. I had just returned from a business trip and we were hosting a young co-worker who wanted to visit Seattle for the weekend, and Mrs. Perils had read an interesting review of RTC. So up to Pike Street we went. By the time they had played 5 bars, I was hanging over the rail in rapt attention. They were a trio of PK on bass, a woman named Dara Quinn on keys and several different drummers. They played a driving, yet intricate acid-funk-jazz that you could either stand and drink in or boogie down to. Dara was a gifted keyboard player who was just as comfortable with a baby grand as she was with a Roland and a synth.

We stalked them (and a couple of other bands) around town after that, and they sort of became our house band. We hired them to play for both of our 50th birthday parties. Mrs. Perils’ was really cool, held in a loft in a warehouse south of downtown. RTC’s drummer that night was Jason McGerr, now the drummer for Seattle band Death Cab for Cutie.

Here’s a podcast of a few selections that I really like. The first is sort of breezy and poppy, and you can feel PK providing the solid foundation. In the second number, PK is playing bass guitar and Dara is playing her Roland electric keys. The other numbers are there if you like it and want a soundtrack for awhile.

RTC broke up a few years ago. I think you might still be able to purchase their cd’s here.  I’m still going to make a podcast some day of bands that we’ve killed with our attention.