Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Music is life, and life music

This is the first chance I've had to blog about the Palais Ideal event in Chico this past weekend. As Phillip G pointed out, it was kind of like a retreat for the SF Bay Area new music community. There were quite a few of us there and it was just far away enough to feel like we were out of town. I love changes of scenery.

Phillip & I had an uneventful drive up on Saturday but a bit of a struggle with web-based directions once we hit town. Once there everything went smoothly from my perspective. There were people in attendance at every set I saw. I got to hear Marielle Jakobsen's solo work for the first time, which was a treat. It's very tasteful, and thoughtful, and a lot more complicated than perhaps it looks. Phillip's solo performance proved to me that even when he is exhausted, he is still himself, and still owns the venue. Danny Cohen's singer/songwriter set was a lot of fun too, when evening came. It was very dark and evocative, with song titles like "Rigor Mortis on the Ridge".

Austin Space made the trip up from the Bay Area, armed with a weekend pass and collecting CDs from many musicians for the KFJC library. He also came armed with an impressive recording rig and recorded a lucky few of us -- myself and Lucio included, I'm proud to say.

Lucio didn't arrive until Saturday evening, since he had a gig at the looping festival in Santa Cruz that afternoon. He came blazing up the highway and arrived ready to rock.

It was funny -- I must have been giving off a very "Where's Lucio?" vibe because folks kept coming up to me and letting me know whether or not they had seen him. (Austin picked up on this and asked me, "What does Lucio look like?" so he could get in on the Lucio watch.) When he ultimately did arrive, three different people ran up to me to inform me excitedly, "Lucio's here!" I got excited too and ran off to find him.

Our set went pretty well with a really on-the-ball sound engineer named Steve making sure the words could be heard above the instrumentalism.

There was just a lot of positive energy in the event. Organizer Jason Cassidy, who had every right to be stressed out, was nothing but mellow and positive every time I spoke to him, even though he was dealing with headliner cancellations and all kinds of stuff I don't envy. There were lots of volunteers around and audience members who were not all members of the bands. I'm hoping the Palais will become an annual event. I'd do it again in a second.

Next up for me is the San Francisco night of the Duck & Cover tomorrow, and then the Flip Quartet meeting/rehearsal on Saturday and then the Flip itself, on November 2nd. More collaborating with Lucio, which is always good.

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