Gory details, RE: live action.
The show at the Loop with Tara happens on May 22, and it looks like it’s going to be a free show. I’m not sure what time the music starts. I would guess around 10:00 pm. Also, at the moment we’re being billed as “Tara Watts & the Vamps”.
Observe the following poster, made by Dan Bombardier.
Should be interesting. I haven’t been inside of the Loop in a very long time. I used to be a regular there every Friday night, almost without fail, for a good year-and-a-half or so. Then some drama drove me away and I became a ghost. Long story. Sad story. We won’t tell that story, because I don’t want to see you cry.
Then there’s the Field Assembly CD release show on June 5th. I’m playing three different sets in one day, which seems like an awful lot of activity for someone with as much of an aversion to live performance as I have at this point. That might be spreading myself a bit thin. Am I peanut butter? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
First there’s the stripped-down three-piece all-ages CD release show at Phog. That happens at 5:00 pm.
Then Max Marshall and my hairy self will be opening the 10:00 pm not-all-ages show at the FM Lounge. I’m not sure if we’ll end up assembling some kind of band for our set or not. For now, it’s just the two of us.
Then there’s the full-band Field Assembly set, during which what I have to do changes a whole lot from the earlier show, because it’s more about capturing as much of the vibe of the album as possible, brought to life by a seven-piece band. That’s right. Seven. The magic number, as we all know.
My set with Max will be heading in the other direction. Anyone who comes to hear us and expects to hear songs performed the way they sound on my albums will probably leave pretty disappointed. There’s going to be a lot of improvising and general jazzy-ness. But if you like jazzy and unfamiliar things, maybe you’ll enjoy it. Either way, it’s probably the only time you’ll catch me playing live in anything other than a background role this year, because I don’t plan to make a habit of doing that sort of thing.
I think I’m starting to form an idea of where I want to go with the next album. Then again, there are more than a few potential album ideas vying for attention right now, so it’s anyone’s guess which one will end up seducing me first. But an interesting little accidental song has been forming over the past few days, and I like where it’s going.
It started innocuously enough on Monday night when I accidentally threw off the tempo of a delay effect on an effects processor and got an unexpected dub-like sound out of it. Later that night I thought I’d try messing around with drum loops for fun. Before I could even make a loop, I ended up recording about five minutes of real-time synth drums that sounded weirdly organic, filtered through those new accidental delay properties. Then I recorded some squelchy synth bass.
Today I messed around with some piano and a bit of electric guitar, all fed through the same delay effect. I think it still needs some more sonic wallpaper and maybe a bit of singing, but so far it’s sounding like some odd union between dub and jazz, with maybe a little bit of subdued funk in there too.
In other words, it isn’t much like anything that’s shown up on the last few albums. I dig it. It’s pretty much built around one vamp that doesn’t really stray from the key of D flat. It’s fun working out ways to create harmonic movement within the confines of an unchanging bass line.
I can’t say if it’s a harbinger of things to come or just a strange little fluke. Either way, it sure is nice to have a real piano. Even when I skew it with effects, it still has so much more depth to it than a digital emulation, it ain’t even funny. And even after eight months or so of getting to know the beast I’m still surprised by it all the time. All praise is due to Yamaha, makers of the U1 upright piano. And also to Neumann and Great River, without whom said piano might not sound as sexy as it does in recorded form.