Day 4 of 28 on tour with Valerie Kuehne & the Wasps Nests!

Hi from Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests tour day 4 of 28. I’m sitting in the beautiful house of the curator of this evening’s show in Kansas City, on my first day ever in this city. Our tour from New York to Tijuana and back has gotten off to a great start – check out the full itinerary at right and read on for more.

Wasps Nests tour flierFirst off, if you live in Wichita, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, San Diego, Tijuana, LA, Oakland, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Denver, Omaha, Des Moines, Chicago, Toledo, Pittsburgh, or Brooklyn, we are headed your way, so please check details on the shows page!

Second, some things on the tour I’m particularly excited about: I’m stoked that we’ll be playing a show every day we’re on the road! I’m looking forward to smashing a Trump piñata tomorrow on Inauguration Day at our show in Wichita. I’m looking forward to playing for the second year in a row on the 10-hour Oh My Ears music marathon in Phoenix. It’s my first time playing in Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, El Paso, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Denver, Omaha, or Des Moines, or for that matter anywhere in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa, so that’s cool. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends! And finally, I booked the majority of these shows myself, so I’m excited about meeting all the people I’ve been talking to for months but haven’t met yet!

That’s all for now, it’s time to sleep! Big day in Wichita tomorrow. Keep an eye out down the line for another show with Bill Steely at Rockwood Music Hall in New York and a new project with thingNY at Harvestworks – more on that soon.

Turtle sex,

This week: new solo music at Guerilla Science, thingNY at CUNY Grad Center, Goldenchild at Brooklyn Bazaar…and a big tour on the horizon

Hope you’re all hanging in there and standing up for what you believe in. If you have time, I have a few shows this week I hope you’ll check out! Today (Monday) thingNY is performing an excerpt from our opera This Takes Place Close By, on Wednesday I’m playing at Brooklyn Bazaar with Goldenchild, and Friday and Saturday, I’m playing my own music for solo violin and laptop at a Guerilla Science event, including a new piece I wrote for the occasion! Later in December, I have more gigs in New York, then in January and February a huge tour with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests. Read on for more.

Playing with The World/Inferno Friendship Society at Hallowmas last month at the Warsaw. Photo by Ben Rodri.

Tonight at 6:30pm at The Segal Center, the six members of thingNY will perform “At Our Best,” the opening 10-minute segment of our opera This Takes Place Close By. We’ll play right at the start of the program, launching a panel discussion on contemporary opera with Ashley Tata, who directed the premiere run of This Takes Place Close By last year, Jecca Barry (General Manager, Beth Morrison Projects), Lisa Bielawa (Composer/Executive Producer), M. Lamar (Composer/Performer), Aaron Siegel (Composer/Producer, Experiments in Opera), and Kristin Marting (Co-producer, PROTOTYPE and Artistic Director, HERE Arts Center). They’ll be presenting their works and discussing the radically changing landscape of the field. It’s free and should offer cool insights into a dynamic art form, so check it out!

On Wednesday, I’ll join indie country band Goldenchild to play the new location of Brooklyn Bazaar in the heart of Greenpoint. We’ll play at 9pm, in between Phil Pickens at 8pm and The Hollows at 10pm. Our music will be fun and light, come listen!

Friday and Saturday, I’m very excited to be presenting a brand new piece I’ve created for solo violin and live electronics, as well as my older piece Jeffrey Young’s Magical Kingdom of Dust and some improvisations. I’ll be performing throughout the 8-9pm cocktail hour at Decadent Decay, an experimental banquet hosted by Guerilla Science at Bat Haus in Bushwick. After the cocktail hour comes a 5-course meal and drinks prepared by Guerilla Science’s culinary partner, Methods and Madness, as well as talks by three scientists each night. Every element of the event, including my music, will draw from the overarching theme of decay, and all food and drink is included in the ticket price. It should be a fascinating evening, and it’s not often that I create new solo work, so please come out!

Later in December, I’m playing a cantorial recital at Hebrew Union College and an orchestra concert/church service at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Come if the faith calls – or just for some nice music. I’ll also be playing my first show in a while with pop singer Minnie Dee and her band at The Bitter End on December 15. Should be a fun and fabulous time.

Then in mid-January, I embark with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests (Valerie on cello and vocals, me on violin, and Alex Cohen on drums) on a massive tour from New York to Tijuana and back, with shows planned daily for four weeks. Some of the shows are still coming together, but the majority have been confirmed. Check them out on the shows page, and I’ll update you closer to our departure date.

Finally, looking for a unique present this holiday season? Why not get a limited edition vinyl copy of thingNY’s new album, which comes with gorgeously engraved scores of 10 compositions on the album. Or get it as a CD or digital download…

Think outside the box – build half a house,

World/Inferno’s Hallowmas! Plus Tredici Bacci, comedy with Kyra Sims, Shanghai Mermaid, and more

Lots happening this week! The big show is The World/Inferno Friendship Society‘s annual Hallowmas performance on Halloween, but I also had a sold-out performance last night with Tredici Bacci and a cameo in a comedy show by Kyra Sims tonight, plus I’m playing at a huge costume party by Shanghai Mermaid and You Are So Lucky on Saturday. Read on!

thingNY at HERE

thingNY‘s album release show last month at HERE. Photo by Michael Yu.

Last night, I played my first show with Tredici Bacci, a group that plays Morricone-style soundtrack music and pop songs of an older generation with a David Lynchian twist. It was at in a secret location on the Lower East Side, in a concert organized by Sofar, a website/network that organizes intimate shows in surprising places – and it was sold out! I had a real nice time.

Next, my old friend Kyra Sims, who I’ve played with in Food Will Win the War and This Ambitious Orchestra, has gotten deep into the comedy world in the past few years, organizing her own shows and performing as a member of the New York Neo-Futurists. This very evening, she’s pulled me in for a spooky sketch in a comedy show she’s presenting at Experiment Comedy Theatre. It’ll be a fun evening, come out!

Saturday, I’ll be performing in a 72-room manor house in an undisclosed location slightly north of the city on the Hudson river for a big 1920s-themed party organized by Shanghai Mermaid and You Are So Lucky. I’ll be appearing with members of a theatrical dance company in a roving vignette throughout the night. In addition to music and performance, there will be food, drink, dancing, and a special room for séances…it will be a dark, elegant, and wild party!

Finally this week, I hope to see many of you in the mosh pit on Monday at Hallowmas, the huge annual Halloween show of The World/Inferno Friendship Society. Like last year, this year’s Hallowmas will be in the fabulous, ornate hall at Warsaw at the Polish National Home in Greenpoint. It’s always a fun, high-energy blast of cabaret-inflected punk, and this year, I’ve pulled in my friend Daniel Fay and his cohorts at Standard ToyKraft for some thrilling surprises…I dare not say more.

Down the line, I have shows coming up with Bill Steely and some new music for violin & laptop I’ll be performing at a decadent dinner organized by Guerilla Science, plus a huge cross-country tour in the works for January and February with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests. And if you haven’t checked out thingNY‘s new album minis/Trajectories yet, please do so – we’re starting to send out vinyl copies to people who ordered them this week!

Soy Yo,

thingNY and Scott Stein album releases, Coffee Music Project competition, Coffee Festival and more!

Hi! I had a great tour a couple months ago with The World/Inferno Friendship Society from Boston to Chicago and Seattle down the West Coast, and an equally great time chilling at home in August after seven months of being away more often than not. If you didn’t follow the tour, I recommend skimming the tour diaries our sax man Aaron published en route at Now things are ramping up again with a music competition, two album release shows, and a performance at The New York Coffee Festival – all in the next five days. Read on!

In just a few hours, at 11:15am, I’m playing a 20-minute set at The New York Coffee Festival at the 69th Regiment Armory with singer/songwriter Bill Steely and guitarist Justin Gild. Look for us if you’re there! We were invited to play Bill’s songs after getting through the preliminary round of the Coffee Music Project competition this week. On Tuesday, we’ll compete in the finals of the competition at The Studio at Webster Hall to win $1000 and a trip to London to record at Metropolis Studios. We’d love it if you’d come cheer for us! All proceeds from the competition, including your ticket price, support Project Waterfall, a charity helping bring clean water to coffee-growing communities around the world. Doors open Tuesday at 7pm, and we go on at 8pm sharp, be there!

In addition to the competition on Tuesday, I’m very excited to perform that evening at the HERE Arts Center as a paper-throwing maniac in Paul Pinto‘s mini_007, at thingNY‘s release show of our second full-length album, minis/Trajectories, featuring pieces by Paul and by Erin Rogers! Alongside our performance, special guest artists will perform remixes and reimaginings of the tracks on the album, including visionary composer and toy pianist Jerome Kitzke, Latin synth-star Helado Negro, theatrical-electro-percussion duo Radical 2, and cast members from the Broadway-bound musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. The new album is available for preorder as a digital download, CD, and limited edition 12″ vinyl LP. Your purchase of the album in one of these forms here is your ticket to Tuesday’s event! Doors open at 7:30. For much of the evening we’ll just be hanging out and celebrating, with the live music portion just 30-45 minutes starting around 8:30.

I end this week’s sprint Wednesday night playing at Rockwood Music Hall for the album release of my old friend Scott Stein (ex-Food Will Win the War). His new songs take cues from Paul Simon and the Heartbreakers, and I’m bringing their sweet solo violin lines to the live show. Come check it out!

A little further ahead, I’m back at Rockwood on Friday, October 7 for my second outing with local country rockers Goldenchild. The show I played with them at the Living Room (R.I.P.) last year was a lot of fun! I’m also playing at Rockwood at the end of November with Bill Steely and co., so save that date. Finally, in between, I’ll once again join The World/Inferno Friendship Society for their biggest show of the year, Hallowmas, on October 31 at Warsaw in Greenpoint. If I remember correctly, last year’s show was attended by about 900 people, so get your tickets early and come witness an amazing event!

In case you missed it, there was a milestone in world peace last month: no more war in the Western Hemisphere! Something to be thankful for…other than music, of course.

US tour with The World/Inferno Friendship Society in the Northeast, Midwest, West Coast, and Southwest starts tomorrow!

It was so cool to perform my own music in Switzerland last month! The performances by stringsaTTached of Dada kam vor Voltaire were warmly received by Swiss audiences, and we hope to present the project again in the near future. Tomorrow I switch gears and head off on tour with The World/Inferno Friendship Society across the US, from Boston to Chicago and then Seattle down the West Coast to Southern California and Arizona! Read on for details.

Posing under black light at Art Basel

Posing under black light in front of work by Jacqueline Humphries at Art Basel

If you haven’t checked out a live show by The World/Inferno Friendship Society yet, you’re missing out. This 20-year-old, eclectic cabaret-punk band puts on a great show – I enjoy watching the band almost as much as being on stage – and I’m very pleased to have been playing with them since 2014.

This month, we’re teaming up with ska-punk pioneers Culture Shock for an epic cross-country US tour! Over the course of two and a half weeks, from July 6-24, our septet (or octet, at the New York and Philly shows) from Brooklyn and their quartet from Bath, UK will bring our infectious, anarchic energy to 18 cities from Boston to Chicago and from Seattle down the West Coast. This is the first ever US tour for Culture Shock, which was active from 1986-89 and only reformed in 2013, and it’s our first US tour in nearly two years. Check out of the full list of shows on the shows page!

Culture Shock is touring in support of Attention Span, their first full-length album in 27 years, released July 1 on Jello Biafra’s Bay Area-based Alternative Tentacles label, the same label that released World/Inferno’s most recent full-length, This Packed Funeral (2014, just before I joined the band). Each band will also be releasing a new exclusive song on August 20 on’s Banned from the P.C.mixtape, currently available on preorder here. But you can hear us play those songs at the shows first!

Next, a whole bunch of news about thingNY: We were very excited last month to receive New Music USA’s brand new Impact Fund grant, along with a cohort of other new music organizations from New York! And…a new short video teaser is out for the production Paul Pinto and I workshopped with Orange Theatre in Phoenix in January – hopefully we’ll have another chance to develop this project soon! And…for those in Brooklyn in mid-July, check out this new program of work thingNY is presenting at JACK on July 17! I’ll be playing in Oakland that day, but I’ll jump back in for the next phase of this project. And…coming in September, our second full-length album will be released on Gold Bolus Recordings, with music by Paul and by Erin Rogers!

Finally, in early August, I’ll be playing an album release show with Westchester folk rocker Bill Steely at Rockwood Music Hall in New York. I’m all over this full-length album, playing on every track – keep an eye out for the release! And in early September, I’m playing again with singer/songwriter Jennifer Harper, this time in Stamford, CT, so I hope to see some Connecticut friends there!

Thank you NASA,

Playing my music in Switzerland for two weeks! Plus shows in New York…and a big US tour

I’ve just followed a wonderful month in Germany and Norway with two weeks of warm New York weather, and now I’m returning to Switzerland on Monday! It was great to improvise with cool cats in Leipzig, Berlin, and Oslo and to work with an awesome team in Stamsund, Norway to bring puppets to life – look out for our show, Point Pleasant, on both sides of the Atlantic in the future! Now I’m going to Zürich and Zug to play my own music in a show about cabaret predecessors to Dadaism. I’m also playing a few shows in New York this month, and in July, I head out for another big US tour with the World/Inferno Friendship Society! Read on for details.

    Point Pleasant Company7 puppeteers, 2 musicians, director, 2 technicians, and theater administrator on the set of Point Pleasant at Figurteatret i Nordland in Stamsund, Norway

For the past few weeks, I’ve been hard at work creating new music for violin and piano to accompany Der Schleier der Pierrette, a pantomime by Arthur Schnitzler from 1910 that has been shortened and adapted for the new show Dada kam vor Voltaire. The idea of the show as a whole is that Dadaism, which this year is celebrating the centennial of its founding in Zürich at Cabaret Voltaire, didn’t emerge from a vacuum, but has immediate predecessors in the literary cabaret tradition of the late 19th and early 20th century. The show includes pieces from that time period such as pantomimes, poems, and short scenes, which will be performed in German by Swiss-based theater company stringsaTTached and directed by fellow New York native Sarah Bellin. The violin and piano music I’m writing is strongly inspired by silent film music and by Viennese waltzes – sometimes more Johann Strauss, but often more Arnold Schoenberg. I’ll also be adding solo interludes on violin and electronics, and additional touches throughout the show. The first performance is in the town of Zug on June 11 at Gewürzmühle, a spice mill turned theater. The main event, though, is a run of performances on June 17, 18, & 19 at Miller’s in Zürich as part of Festspiele Zürich, an annual four-week arts festival. If you live in Zürich or know anyone there, please let them know about our show!

I mentioned shows in New York: this very evening, June 2 from 9-10pm, I have a show with Westchester folk rocker Bill Steely at Otto’s Shrunken Head on East 14th St. It should be a good time. We’ll be playing a lot of tunes from our upcoming album, which will be available soon! Later in the month, I’m playing an album release show at the historic Old Stone House in Park Slope for Amelia Robinson‘s first solo album of “adult music” (she’s also an accomplished creator of music for children). You can already stream the album, which I played on, here; but please drop by and celebrate with us on June 23rd at 7:30pm! I’m also again playing with singer/songwriter Johnny Kira at the Bitter End at 8pm on June 26 – this time, we’re playing a half hour set.

Then in July, I’m hitting the road again across the US with the World/Inferno Friendship Society! The first leg of our tour is from Boston to Chicago, including a hometown show at the Bowery Ballroom on July 7 – mark your calendars! Then a second leg takes us from Seattle to southern California and Phoenix. I’ll make some more noise about this closer to the tour, but for now, check out the tour schedule on the shows page.

Heads up about some shows I’m not playing in but which you should check out: since July, I’ve worked for LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI, based in Switzerland, and this weekend is the organization’s first international series of concerts, which are in New York at the Met Museum as part of the NY Phil Biennial. You can find info and tickets here. I also organized an afterparty for ALUMNI and their friends 7-10pm this Sunday in downtown Manhattan – if you’re interested in stopping by, let me know and I’ll send you the info!

To records being broken by yonic structures and to Switzerland,

Concerts in Berlin, Leipzig, and Oslo + a puppet show in northern Norway

Hi from Leipzig, Germany! Since I last wrote in January, I had a fantastic monthlong tour with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests – watch a full set from that tour here – and a great trip to Switzerland to play The Rite of Spring and Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra in a Memorial Concert for Pierre Boulez with an orchestra of LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI – listen to that concert here. I just arrived in Leipzig a few days ago and will be hanging out mostly in this city for a couple weeks. I’ll also play two concerts: one in Berlin tomorrow, April 21st, and one in Leipzig on Saturday. Then I’ll fly to Oslo, where I’ll play a show on the 30th before heading to Stamsund in northern Norway: I’ll be in residence there from May 1-15 at Figurteatret i Nordland, workshopping music by Andrew Livingston as part of a piece by puppet theatre group The Unitards, helmed by Daniel Fay of Standard ToyKraft. Read on for details of my trip!

Performing with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests at Barking Legs Theater in Chattanooga, TN in February. Photo by Tim Hinck.

Performing with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests at Barking Legs Theater in Chattanooga, TN in February. Photo by Tim Hinck.

Tomorrow, I’m traveling from Leipzig to Berlin to play an improv concert with Penelope Gkika, violin, Rieko Okuda, viola, and Adam Goodwin, bass. We’re playing at a secret venue on Okerstrasse that I’m told is well known within Berlin’s improvised music community. I met Adam at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY where we discovered that we were some of the few musicians in the orchestra regularly playing improvised music. We’ll be performing as a duo in the concert in Leipzig on Saturday at Atelier M89, a cool underground art space on the east side of the city that just reopened under the care of French saxophonist Sébastien Branche, who may play with us as well. Let me know if you’re in the area and would like to drop by, and I’ll let you know the addresses.

The show in Oslo next Saturday, April 30th, is organized by pianist Kjetil Jerve and will feature a large swath of the local experimental scene, some of whom I’ll improvise with in addition to playing solo. The event is called Klubb Jervaas after Kjetil’s genre-crossing duo Jervaas, who will perform at the event with singer Seshen from Japan. Also on the bill: Kristoffer Alberts, sax, Andreas Hoem Røysum, guitar & clarinet, Joel Ring from Sweden, bass & cello, Andreas Wildhagen, drums, Karoline Ruderaas Albrigtsen, voice, the band Bølgebad including DJ Bendik Baksaas on sound and Sakarias Jønsson & Daniel Mahal on visuals, as well as Christian Meaas Svendsen, double bass, Sindre Bergsvik Øvstegård, double bass, and Håkon Aase, violin. I’m really excited to hear all these musicians – if you know anyone in Oslo, tell them to check out this cool event!

Then I head up to Stamsund, Norway for two weeks north of the Arctic Circle working on music for the puppet show Point Pleasant – The Legend of the Mothman. I played in an earlier workshop version of this piece in the 2013 edition of puppet lab Labapalooza at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn (some cool photos from that production here), but since then the piece has expanded from about 20 to 70 minutes, and the musicians reduced from three players to just me on violin and Andrew Livingston, fellow thingNY member and composer for this project, on cello and electronics. The show is about the Mothman sightings that occurred in Point Pleasant, West Virginia between November 1966 and December 1967. It uses a really cool combination of live feed miniature, shadow, and Bunraku puppetry. It’ll come to New York in the not too distant future, so keep an eye out! By the way, after the residency, I’ll hang out in the nearby city of Bodø for a few days, from April 16-18 – give me a shout if you happen to be around!

Further ahead, I have a show with Westchester folk rocker Bill Steely at Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC on June 2. Should be a fun and laid-back time. And then I have a very exciting show announcement for later in June, but I’ll leave that for next month’s newsletter…stay tuned!

Opossum massage,

Month-long tour with Valerie Kuehne & the Wasps Nests, plus World/Inferno tomorrow at Starland Ballroom in NJ

I’m back in New York for a few days after a fantastic trip to Tijuana, Ensenada, San Diego, LA, and Phoenix with Paul Pinto! There were a lot of great performances, especially of our experimental opera …Patriots…, but the most inspiring part of the trip was our six-day collaboration with Orange Theatre in Phoenix. We had a great open rehearsal where we showed the 25 minutes of work we developed; you can read an article about it in the Downtown Devil here and listen to a radio piece about it on KJZZ here. I hope we get to continue our work together in the future! But for now it’s time to move on to the next tour – a month on the road with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests starting this Sunday! And tomorrow I’m playing a big show with The World/Inferno Friendship Society at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. Read on for more.


Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, performing at Art Share L.A. on January 16, photo by Nicky Young

Tomorrow’s show with World/Inferno opening for Catch 22 and With The Punches is rescheduled from January 23 due to the snowstorm, and a good thing too, because I was performing in Phoenix on that date and was going to miss it. We’re playing at Starland Ballroom on a monster bill starting at 4pm – check out the Facebook event here. If you’re in Jersey, this is one not to be missed!

The next big adventure starts Sunday, my month-long tour to Austin and back with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests, featuring Valerie on cello and voice, me on violin, and Alex on drums. We’ll be performing a new set of songs about cults, porn, food and transcendence to celebrate the November 2015 release of our album The Apocalypse as Witnessed by a Slice of American Cheese on the Gold Bolus Recordings label. If you haven’t yet heard the album, you can stream it in full here. We start close to home in Montclair before heading down the coast to Arlington, Durham, Roanoke, and Atlanta, then curving west to Birmingham, New Orleans, Houston, and Austin, then back northeast to Dallas, Fayetteville, Nashville, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Chapel Hill, Staunton, Morgantown, and Pittsburgh, returning home for a stop in Brooklyn, and finally spending three days hanging out at experimental music festival XFest in western Massachusetts. We may add a few more performances as well! Our music is a loving mix of grindcore, cabaret, performance art, punk, and neo-classical art song, with a dash of free improvisation for good measure. Of special note on the tour are our two nights playing in Chattanooga, where in addition to our own set we’ll perform in a brand new performance piece by composer/cellist/performance artist Tim Hinck. If you know anyone on our route, please let me know, I’d love to meet new friends in these cities and share music with them!

Looking ahead, Westchester County folks can save the date for a show I’m playing with folk rocker Bill Steely on March 5, and for those above the Arctic Circle, I’m gonna be in northern Norway for the first time in the first half of May! I’ll also be hanging out in Leipzig in the second half of April, so Germans – bis bald! I might even play some shows while I’m there.

Marcel the Shell,

Mexico, California, and Arizona with Paul Pinto, starting tomorrow!

Tomorrow I journey to sunny Mexico to begin a two-week adventure touring the states of Baja California, California, and Arizona with Paul Pinto! We’ll play shows in Tijuana, Ensenada, UCSD, downtown San Diego, and LA, before spending a week in Phoenix developing new work with Orange Theatre and performing on the 3rd Annual Oh My Ears Marathon Concert. If you know folks in these areas please let them know about the shows! At the end of the month I’ll be back in Brooklyn to play a tour kickoff show with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests before we set off for a full month touring the South. Read on for details!

thingnyswpatriotstour_finalOur first two shows are in Mexico, where we’re subbing out our usual English-heavy pieces for improvisations for voice, violin, and live processing using Ableton Live. Neither of us have played in Mexico before, so we’re really excited to check out the scene in Tijuana and Ensenada!

Next is our lengthiest program of the tour: we’ll play a concert at the University of California, San Diego that includes improvisation, the selections Hack It! and Radio Edit from Paul’s opera in progress Thomas Paine in Violence, and our half-hour two-person comedic, political experimental opera Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, Run for Office on a Platform of Swift and Righteous Immigration Reform, Lots of Jobs, and a Healthy Environment: an Opera by Paul Pinto and Jeffrey Young.

This last piece is our sole offering for the next two performances, in downtown San Diego and LA, as well as our last performance of the tour on the epic, ten-hour Oh My Ears Marathon Concert in Phoenix. In between is the raison d’être for our trip: a six day residency with Orange Theatre at their space in Phoenix, where we’ll create new work together with the support of a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET).

This tour wouldn’t have happened without Orange Theatre and NET, but it also wouldn’t have happened without T.J. Borden, Bonnie LanderOdeya Nini, and Elizabeth Kennedy Baker, who did tons of work helping us put together the shows as well as playing on the bills themselves. Check out their work, they’re all really cool artists.

In case your life occurs almost entirely on Facebook, you can find the Facebook events for all the shows linked from this master Facebook event I made for the whole tour here.

For you New Yorkers: please mark Thursday, January 28 and Thursday, February 25 in your calendars. Those are the kickoff and homecoming shows for my monthlong tour with Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests! Both shows are part of Valerie’s Trauma Salon series at Panoply Performance Laboratory. As for the rest of the stops on this tour, for the most up-to-date listing, please keep checking the shows page!

Finally, RIP Pierre Boulez who I met that one time – or, well, several times – thanks for all the music and for founding the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY!

P.S. Nope, I wasn’t the one who wrote that Boulez article. But I share the sentiment.

Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests, Jennifer Harper, World/Inferno Friendship Society

As the year winds down, I’m gearing up with a project that’s been dormant for two years, Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests, a trio with Valerie singing her intense songs and playing cello, Alex Cohen on drums, and me on violin. Our preparations for a monthlong tour of the South in February started on December 3rd with a release show at JACK of the album we recorded two years ago! Later in the month we have shows upstate and at the Silent Barn. Last night, I played a very different album release show with singer/songwriter Jennifer Harper at Rockwood Music Hall’s Stage 2, and in the days after Christmas, I’m playing some big shows with The World/Inferno Friendship Society in Jersey and Long Island. All details below!

On tour in Boston last month with Food Will Win the War at Magnolia Loft

On tour in Boston last month with Food Will Win the War at Magnolia Loft

So – that release show at JACK I mentioned was for our freewheeling yet dark experimental album The Apocalypse as Witnessed by a Slice of American Cheese, out on Gold Bolus Recordings. You can hear the whole thing here, please check it out! Also on the release show bill were Ron Anderson/Chris Cochrane/Brian Chase/Michael Evans, Shawn Escarciga, and an APOCALYPSE CHOIR. Freaky stuff.

Jennifer Harper’s release show at Rockwood last night was for a very different kind of album I played on as part of a large string section, along the lines of Carole King, Carly Simon, and Sheryl Crowe. At the release show, I was the whole string section! Check out the album on iTunes here.

I’m looking forward to exploring the scene in New Paltz, which has ever more cross-pollination with NYC. Lots of interesting weirdos sharing the bill with us: Kid Millions & Jim Sauter duo, Matt Luczak & Lucas Brode duo, Mike Ryan, plus Colin Fisher from Toronto. The Silent Barn is more familiar ground, but boasts an even bigger lineup of interesting weirdos: Peter Mills Weiss, Chris Carlone, Boom Bat Gesture, Dale Buchheister, Scott Johnson, and Popra, Keito & Matteo. The every gracious CATFOX (Catrin Lloyd-Ballard) hosts. Check it.

Finally this month, The World/Inferno Friendship Society will snap you out of that post-Christmas capitalist haze with shows at the venerable Stone Pony in Asbury Park with punk rock band The Bouncing Souls, and one at Revolution Music Hall in Amityville. Bridge and tunnel folk home for the holidays – don’t miss it! And bring your relatives who need to be shaken up a bit!

Looking ahead, Paul Pinto and I set off for exciting adventures in California, Arizona, and Baja California in January; then there’s that big tour with Valerie and Alex of the South in February. If you live in those areas, let me know, I’d love to see you while I’m there!

Oh, and apparently I’m sometimes a music journalist these days. You can read my recent article about the new music scene in LA where I interview LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI here! Yeah, most of the article is just me quoting other people, but I think I captured the scene pretty well. Please let me know what you think of it!

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