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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