Interview + Exclusive EP Preview | Night Windows

 

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left to right Ryan Buzby- bass VI, percussion & group vocals, Ben Hughes- guitars, vocals, synthesizer, & korg mini pops5, Tad Lecuyer- drums, percussion & group vocals

I was one of those kids who grew up singing into her hairbrush. I guess in adulthood the equivalent is dancing in the kitchen singing into wooden spoons. When Ben Hughes from Night Windows shared his latest EP Home with me I couldn’t wait to take a listen. It’s the first release in a long time that has me dancing and singing in the kitchen again like a kid and I like that.

Instead of just writing up a review I wanted to know more about the themes in their EP Home and more about Night Windows themselves. I set out this past week to ask some questions and take some photographs of the Jersey/Philly trio. We did this at the American Sardine Bar  and it was a lot of fun. And, lucky all of you SD readers you get to stream Home here before it’s released! Take a listen while you read on

 

Ady: So, I’m excited about this release. How long did it take you to complete Home?

Ryan: The songs recorded on “Home” were added to the set list and took shape in early 2016. We recorded them in our garage studio at Ben’s house in February, they were sent back and forth to Fred (Thomas) for his input over the course of spring/summer 2016. The masters were finalized earlier this year, and now we’ve got some pretty nice looking little cassettes for the analog kids to enjoy.

Ady: Cassettes, love it!  Who’s idea was it to embrace the good ole’ days of analog?

Ben: It was my idea. It just seemed like something fun to do. We actually listened to one of the tapes the other night in Ryan’s car, and it sounded really good!

Ady: Tell me about Night Windows! How do you all know each other? How long have you been making music together? And what does the writing/recording process look like among you all?

Ryan: Ben and I met as Freshman in high school. We bonded over Weezer “Blue” and have been playing in bands together ever since. In our travels, we came across Tad while he was playing with a great South Jersey/Philly band called “Big Fat Marker”. They eventually disbanded. Then, in Winter of 2013/2014, we recruited him to play drums for Night Windows. In the music creation process, typically new songs come in mostly-completed demo form which Ben records by himself. Then, Tad and I help to refine the structure and the parts for our instruments.

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Ady: Alone (punk rock tees) really resonated with me. I’m 100% guilty of weaving my rock tees into my professional attire at any chance I get. Is this something you do too? I love the line in the song …”I still wear punk rock tees…- as I fool myself into believing I still dream”. Is this how you keep your youthful side alive? And do you have any advice for us on how to keep going even when the years pass (and we work these day jobs) and watch some of our dreams pass us by? (or am I over identifying!)

Ben: When I wrote Alone, I was working between 50 & 60 hours a week as a mail carrier. I had to put everything, including being on time for dinner & spending time with my wife, on hold for something that I didn’t give two shits about. It felt strange and stupid and the only thing that made me feel better was blasting all the old punk records I used to listen to growing up. I had this little portable speaker in my mail truck that I’d listen on. Most of those days, I was wearing band shirts under my uniform. Advice for keeping it going: I really don’t know, but I think it has to do with the idea that you have time for what you make time for. Also, a supportive significant other and group of family & friends helps.

Ady: I like that— the idea that you have time for what you make time for. So true and I’m glad you have made the time! I’ve really enjoyed Home (the whole EP) I’ve had an earworm all week! Which song off the EP is your favorite right now and why?

Tad: Miss You and the Weekend. I love every part from start to finish. Really fun to play as well.

Ady: Safe to assume this one will be included in the set for March 28? (Am I  trying to get a set list spoiler??)

Ben: You got it! We have a little surprise planned to go along with it, too.

DSC03726Ady: The song Alone (punk rock tees) is of course about much more than the attire we wear. You talk about loneliness in this song and also about being ashamed of admitting this. So, is it fair to say this song is about getting older, wanting more, resenting the grind?

Ben: I’d say this song was more about growing up than getting old. I remember feeling really down for an extended period of time. Then it hit me. I was spending all day alone, working really hard for something that I didn’t care about — I guess that would be resenting the grind… So many negative feelings are suppressed throughout life. It’s taboo to bring it up. It would be better to talk about it, but who wants to hear it & who wants to admit to feeling it? It’s tough. I know that those feelings and moods are there for a reason, so I try my best to accept them. It’s still really hard to talk about it. Nobody wants to feel vulnerable or to be viewed as weak.

Ady: It sounds like such a double-edged sword, some of the things that can bring you down also create the space for your creative/writing process. How many years have you been writing and playing music? Was it always an expressive outlet for the down times in life?

Ben: I started writing songs when I was 13. I’m almost 30 now. It’s hard to explain, but yes, songwriting has always been an expressive outlet for the down times in my life. It’s been so much more than that, though. It feels like a whole different dimension sometimes. There’s a certain energy and serenity, where everything makes sense and I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, where I’m supposed to be doing it. It could just be the simple fact that I’m distracting myself or the fact that I’m fully present in the moment — who knows… Whatever it is, I’m addicted to it and I’m grateful for every moment I get to spend in that little world.

Ady: The creative flow! Yes, it’s the space most human beings long to be- where you can lose time and be immersed. Lucky are those who can find this outlet in their lives! So when you’re in this space of writing and creating your flow, is it a solitary experience or a collaborative experience?

Ben: Solitary all the way. I love collaborating and fleshing out the songs after the fact, but I’ve got to be alone during the initial phases of songwriting.

Ady: I love Home, the first track. It honestly got me bouncing around my kitchen when I first heard it. It’s so catchy. I can’t wait to see it live (hope you play it). Got me thinking about your song creation. When you write a song do you write the melody first and lyrics after? Or do the words come and you write the melody to match? The songwriting process is always so fascinating to me.

Ben: Funny you mention the kitchen… I actually wrote Home in my kitchen. The chords came first, then the melody and lyrics for the first verse came shortly after. Eventually, the whole song came together. Back when I wrote these songs, a lot of times I’d write the melody and the lyrics as I was walking (mail routes) and then I’d get home and figure out the chord progression. It’s nice writing the melody first, so the song isn’t held captive by my muscle memory on guitar. Historically though, I don’t have a set formula or method for songwriting. I go through phases and follow what excites me.

Ady: That’s awesome, so maybe having a job that keeps you on foot is a good thing. You can have that quiet head space to create even while on the clock. Sort of like footsteps as a metronome.

Ben: Exactly! I don’t work as a mail carrier anymore, but I do get an hour lunch break that I use to walk a nearby nature trail everyday. Also, my wife and I have an awesome dog now (featured on the album art of the EP in a jean jacket). She’s super energetic, so we take her hiking and on walks around the neighborhood all the time.

Ady: What does spring/summer tour look like now that you are releasing the EP?

Ben: We’re all really excited for the release show at Boot & Saddle on Tuesday March 28 with Fred Thomas, HLEP & Max Stern. After that, we’re planning to get out for some long weekend tours over the summer months.

Ady: I’m excited to see the show also, and  I will definitely keep an eye on the tour calendar! Here’s a fun question for you all. If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?

DSC03782Ben: Hands down, I’d say John Vanderslice. Ever since I first heard his record Emerald City, I was in love. The records he produces are almost always done to tape with minimal takes and they sound amazing. We don’t currently record to tape, but we try to apply the same mentality when recording. It would be awesome to get out to his studio, Tiny Telephone, someday and make a record with him.


Ady:
I know you and I have some mutual musical favorites. What’s currently on repeat on your playlist? I love hearing what musicians actually listen to when not working on their own projects.

Ben: New records from Bonny Doon, Conor Oberst, Big Thief, Shannen Moser, The Afterglows, Wilco, Fred Thomas, John K Samson, Pilkington, Sun Organ & Beach House. Also, a lot of old Dylan & Cohen records.

Ryan: Over the last year: Conor Oberst, John K Samson, Regina Spektor, Kacey Musgraves

Tad: Mac DeMarco, Real Estate, Tennis, Deerhunter, and 80’s remixes of Justin Beiber

Ady: See this is why I get along with you all! Great musical taste- and more importantly you make great music. Thank you for letting me be a part of your EP release! I really enjoyed talking with you three, rearranging the furnishing at the American Sardine Bar and taking photos, and having some laughs. Good luck this Spring and Summer.

NW: Thanks – let’s do it again sometime!

Their EP officially releases March 31, 2017 on Black Rd Records.

Release show with Fred Thomas, HLEP & Maxwell Stern 03/28 at Boot & Saddle in Philly

In addition to their release show, you can also check out their Daytrotter Session and Rubber Tracks Session.

~Ady

Interview + New Music Alert | Maesmynis

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Maesmynis

By Shan
All photos by Maesmynis

Eight years ago I stumbled upon on a song. It was one of those kinds that, for whatever reason, just hit me right in the gut . . . the kind of song that evokes that unnamed magical feeling when the music becomes bigger than itself and resonates within every cell in your body. As a fellow music addict, I am pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

The song was “Garden Song” and I found it during one of my frequent visits to the Strummerville (now the Joe Strummer Foundation) website, perusing their DIY section–an early innovation that appeared during the dawn of sites like Soundcloud. Strummerville DIY was their version and allowed visitors to hear a song by some of the selected talent (the stipulation being that the band was unsigned and had no record contract, therefore allowing bands some well-deserved exposure). The band in question in this instance was The Cuban Heels, and it prompted an immediate frantic search for more by them.

The first thing I discovered was there were a couple other bands with the same name, so, taking on the challenge I sampled music of various other origins (nope not that one, no I don’t think they’re from Scotland) and I started to wonder if the search would end there. But then the clouds parted, the sun blared in my eyes and I found a thread of information that lead me to the right place, the Cuban Heels, the ones from Bristol England, and oh shit!, a band that existed until about 3 years prior. It was a posting that then-Heels guitarist Chris Venables had made about the disbandment of the band, and offered to anyone who found his post that was interested, a disc containing all of the music they had recorded, for free. I was bummed to learn that they were no longer an entity, but, what!? I was thrilled to suddenly have hit the lottery with a treasure box of their songs potentially on the horizon.

The short of it is this. Chris did indeed send me a cd, kindly ignoring the fact that the parcel had to be sent overseas to get to me, and The Cuban Heels quickly became one of my favorite bands ever that no longer existed, and I wore–and continue to wear–a hole in that cd from repeat listening (Now that the cd has been converted for my iPhone, I have to stop to ask . . .can you wear a hole in digital music? I think the answer could be yes).

Flash forward to last year when a posting on the Cuban Heels Facebook  page announced a new page to follow. Hmmm? What could this be? Alas! Hark! Yessss! and all those other extreme swearwords of excitement. It was the announcement about the reforming of a new band from the ashes of the Heels . . . Maesymnis had been born! I bought the album as soon as it came out and devoured it, making them one of my all-time favorite bands that are not no longer existing.

To celebrate the music, I got in touch with Chris to work out doing a transcontinental interview, which follows below. Before we get to it, you can check out some of their songs via YouTube, follow them on Facebook (tell them Sis Diss sent you!), and grab some of their music here.

You can check out  The Cuban Heels on Soundcloud, including the now infamous-in-my-book Garden Song.”  I also discovered during the course of writing this article that their SoundCloud is even more evidence of their uncanny ability to ceaselessly and prolifically create beautiful music together. Searching for Garden Song yielded even more magic, as I discovered The Soundcloud now contains even more songs, many, many I have not heard yet myself, that were not part of the cd. I think I’m going to be pretty busy absorbing all these great tunes for the next few months. I suggest you do the same!

Special thanks to Aron, Marcus and Chris for taking time to make this interview possible!

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AA – Aron Attwood
MA – Marcus Attwood
CV – Chris Venables
SD – Shan / SisDiss

SD – You were the Cuban Heels and then you weren’t for a while, and then you became Maesmynis. What where you in between?

AA – Most of us embraced normal life. Being in a band can be a very overwhelming experience. It makes you sort of selfish when you set your mind to a single almost impossible task. Things fall by the wayside, so it was nice to get back to a simple life and interact with friends and family on a more personal level rather than being constantly distracted with other things that seem more important.

I personally had to get as far away as possible for my own sanity so decided to move to Australia for a short while. Unfortunately while I was there I got caught up with EMI Australia through a solo album of mine and I was landed right back to square one. I did a short UK tour when I got back to England with a shit punk rock band called ‪Towers of London. Fun and shit at the same time. It was like going on holiday with complete strangers then finding out you have nothing in common with them.

I ran my own studio for a while, played in a few local bands, one Birmingham band called Liner (with old friend Alex Callaghan) got a songwriting diploma, moved to stroud and am playing in a couple of really fun bands now. I don’t take it all that seriously anymore. I just try to enjoy the moments as they happen. It’s still very difficult to avoid the cycle of excitement and disappointment though. That’s still my biggest work in progress.

MA – So the Cuban heels came to the end of their run but the music continued.  Aron joined Alex in his band ‘Liner’ and started producing other bands as well as developing his own songwriting.  Russ joined Marcus in ‘Transit Cop’ (quickly being promoted from van driver to second guitar) and then later teamed up with Chris to form ‘The Ripleys’.  After ‘ Liner’, Aron and Alex would later form ‘Mule’ with Joel.  Steve and Joel subsequently hooked up with a third party Will to form the power trio ‘ ‪Biff Bang Pow’.

CV – Steve also played in a couple of punk bands ‘Waiting for Taylor’ and ‘Dead Kids’. Working full time to support ourselves whilst being in a full time band on top became overwhelming.  We remained friends and we’ve always loved making music and so that never went away.  What went away was the practicing 3 days a week and gigging 3 times a week that took quite a toll.

SD – How has the lineup changed since the Cuban Heels, and what brought you all back together (perhaps you picked up my mental messages imploring you to)?

AA – I have been working on my psychic abilities and definitely picked up on some encouragement from over the Atlantic. Unfortunately I have also been picking up the shipping forecast and the local police radios.

Seriously though we always jam together whenever we can, and have played together in various line ups. This is the first line up that includes all the former Heels though. Chris and Russ had a band called The Ripleys which I contributed to. Me Joel and Alex had an on off project called Mule. Dan had his one man show The Nine Lives of Henry the Cat on Ice, where he would play prog versions of the damned and sex pistols while being pulled on a sleigh.

Russ getting married brought us all back together though. Rather than a traditional stag do, we decided to get together and have a songwriting weekend instead. All the heels with the addition of my brother Marcus, our school friend Steve and Alex from Liner and Mule. This proved so productive and fun that we did it a few more times. We eventually decided we should properly record some of the mountain of songs we had written and the obvious next step after that was to gig it too.

CV – We’re the same, Joel (Stevens), Russ (Mulligan), Aron, Dan (Wells) and me (Chris) but now have also Al (Callaghan), Marcus, and Steve (Payne).  When it came to one of the ex-heels getting married for a “stag do” we decided to arrange a songwriting weekend for musical friends which included all original heels plus 3 others.  Russ and I were inspired by Karl Coryat and Nicholas Dobson’s The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook, in which you are forced to individually write songs for 12 hours straight!  We played around with the format quite a lot to make it more collaborative.

SD – I’ve seen the mini documentary floating around online and your recording space looks idyllic. What was the experience like and what part did it play in influencing your record? How did you find your space?

AA – The first place we got together as the full group was Russ’s stag do. At a house in Wales in a hamlet called Maesmynis. A beautiful, remote country hide-away. We returned back there a second time, but unfortunately the owners sold the property. We convened at Chris’s house in Oxfordshire for another session, then recorded at Steve Winwoods studio near Cheltenham. We have been very lucky to have managed to find very idyllic inspiring spaces to work in. That makes a huge difference.

CV – The video shows two different places.  The place with the beautiful rolling countryside is in a hamlet in central Wales called “Maesmynis”.  It was a cottage we hired for the writing weekend – we chose central Wales primarily because it’s cheap to hire a house in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours (in order that lots of noise can be made) but I also had a slight hankering to pay homage to Led Zep who also retreated to a cottage in Wales to write Led Zep III.

SD – It looks to me like everyone is multi-talented and plays and sings in different configurations. How was it decided for each song who played what? Did everyone have a hand in writing or do you have a principal writer?

AA – Everyone writes, and usually the person who comes up with the vocal idea sings. The songwriting process is an organised game. Generally in the morning everyone finds a quiet spot on their own and writes solo for about an hour. Then we come back and pick a name out of a hat and partner up in pairs. You play what you have to each other. Either a riff, some lyrics, a melody or a complete song, it doesn’t matter. The idea is to just flow and be creative with the prospect of other people adding parts to what you have. There are two very good lead singers in the band who would sometimes be used if we felt the song needed a more solid lead vocal but quite often the person who wrote the vocal would have their own inimitable way of putting the vocal across. Generally I would end up on the drums, and lead guitar would be either Marcus or Chris. Dan is our ‪Garth Hudson and would cover all the keyboards and Steve rolled blunts and made us all laugh. On the whole though anyone could be asked to do pretty much anything so we have probably played in just about every conceivable variation eight people could play in.

CV – The answer to this is hand in hand with the original idea for the songwriting stag do.  30 minutes individually to generate ideas.  Pairs formed by names being drawn out of a hat and another 30 mins to come up with music!  The songs all then generally had a genesis from either one or two people within the group and then were worked to completion by anywhere from one to eight of the members.  To foster the sense of camaraderie and collaboration we decided that songs be credited to all members even though in reality it was usually one or two per song who would be the writers.  There was no principal writer.  All members had a hand in writing at least one of the tunes on the album.  There are 6 different lead vocalists on the record.  Most of the group are competent on a number of different instruments.  Generally when it came to recording everyone played parts in line with what was played during the writing process.  However there were exceptions such as that although 3 or 4 of us are decent on the drums we have a world class drummer in Aron so it didn’t make sense for any of the rest of us to play drums on the recording.

SD – Who are some of your influences (long term growing up type) and who are you listening to these days?

AA – Me and Chris were at primary school together and were into retro music, 60s, 70s etc.  It wasn’t something you talked about openly. I distinctly remember getting some Motown acetate records on a cereal box and dancing around to them at Chris’s and thinking we should be in a band and do this kind of stuff. We went to a few formative gigs together growing up. Reef, ‪Supergrass and a few others. Later on people like ‪the Flaming Lips and Beck.

I have gone through all the major phases since then. A Beatles phase, a bob Marley phase, a Dylan phase. My most recent obsession has been ‪Tom Waits. I have so much admiration for his conviction and craftsmanship. His catalogue is so rich it never fails to inspire me.

CV – Amongst the 8 of us I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t appreciate the 60s and 70s greats; Beatles, Stones, Credence, Bowie.  Outside of that there is quite an eclectic taste within the group taking in punk, soul, DnB, jazz.  For me, when music started becoming important my first heroes were ‪Pearl Jam, Lemonheads, Nirvana, RHCP, Pumpkins, ‪Weezer, REM, ‪Radiohead.  Later Jellyfish, ‪Flaming Lips, ‪Tom Waits, ‪PJ Harvey, ‪Pixies, ‪Fleet Foxes. Most recently been listening to some old jazz blues records; Billie Holliday, ‪Nina Simone, ‪Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli.

SD – If there was one single word to describe what Maesmynis brings to the world, what would it be?

AA – Friendship

CV – Trouble

Shan – Besides the Cuban Heels and Maesmynis, is there any other music out there from any of you that is available online for our readers to seek out?

‘Magic 8 Ball’ – Aron Attwood – available on Spotify/itunes etc.

‪https://open.spotify.com/artist/6FLnXFoCy3bF9l5sHecL8e

‘Nothing like before’ – The Ripleys  (Russ & Chris) – available on Spotify/itunes etc.

‪https://open.spotify.com/artist/3vIi0v6TsyIt7nWzCCN7br

‪https://m.soundcloud.com/steve-payne

All bands mentioned above have have various levels of presence out there on the infoweb.

SD – I know that you ha[d] a gig coming up very soon in Bristol. Barring me finding a teleportation device, will it be recorded so you can share with the rest of the world? And are there any future plans for more music?

CV – With all focus on the logistics of making it right on the night alas the gig wasn’t recorded as such.  However there are some great photos and a couple of short (surprisingly reasonable quality) phone clips to at least give a flavour of the night on the facebook page.

AA – It is very difficult to organise eight busy people to get together for a beer let alone rehearsals and a gig so the prospect of another gig is unlikely but not out of the question. We treated the last gig like a one off but if something seems doable in the future then we would all love to do it.

[SD – dig around for clips of their live show, and also definitely check out their cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage from that night!]

SD – If you were each a condiment, topping or spice…what are you in terms of what you bring to the band?

AA – (all the below)

Alex, definitely chilli. He adds heat and spice. His energy is so irrepressible it’s infectious.

Marcus, salt or pepper. You probably want at least a little bit on everything.

Chris, cheesehe’s the topping that everyone loves. Comfort food you couldn’t live without that binds everything together. Until he plays a guitar solo then he’s jalapeño!

Steve, weed browniesvery sweet and makes everyone laugh like children.

Dan, hundreds and thousandshe’s the magic on top of everything. Sprinkling his fairy dust on top.

Russ, mayonnaisecos he’s white and likes chips.

Joel, horseradishcos he likes to go with something beefy.

CV – Aron, poppy seeds–nutty, magic powers, illegal in several countries.

PS
SD – Maesmynis (pronounced ‘Maze-menace’ if you’re in the band, or if you’re Welsh ‘Mice-minnis’) is available on iTunes and Amazon– treat yo’self and go get it!

 

Joseph Arthur City Winery NYC 1-1-17

ja2Happy New Year friends, can you believe it? 2017! I say this with a big sigh. I’m not sure if this is a sigh of relief or a sigh of trepidation. I guess only time will tell. Sometimes when I feel like this I take certain precautions like self-care steps, and these precautions that keep/restore my sanity always lie in music, art, and adventure. I got all three yesterday 1-1-17.(Hey, that’s the first time I wrote the date and it looks weird and makes me feel old.)

My New Year’s Day adventure sent me to the City Winery in NYC to see Joseph Arthur—  yes again! To see the full photo set from the show click here. I’ve been fortunate enough since November ’16 to catch him three times live. This is my remedy, you know for my sanity like I said: art, music and adventure. As my break quickly wraps up and the real world is catching up to me I can say I ended it with some lightness, some fun, creativity and photography.

So, Sunday’s show was sort of like a wedding with something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. I went online and found the set list, it’s floating out there, but I’ll save you the trouble and you can just link here. You can see which fall into the categories, old, new, borrowed, and blue (which was the color of his shirt) .

The borrowed portion of the show was a cover of George Michael’s Freedom take a listen here  (just now creating this hyperlink for George made me sad again. RIP George Michael). The track was laid down on his phone but he didn’t say which app he uses  (getting hip like the kids nonetheless). I had a very visceral reaction to the Freedom cover, I’m sure others did too. I was a child product of the 80’s and I loved Wham and GM but I don’t think at my age  back then when Freedom was released that I actually grasped its poignancy. When Joseph sang it last night I listened, every lyric and to every bit of the intention in his delivery just absorbing it. Not to mention I think this cover officially gave him the #badass.  I think in its original form as a pop song (and my age) I missed the depth, and to hear it like this I finally got it. It hit me. And I’m being careful not to talk too much about the new president-elect, but I worry about things as simple as the title of the song, the things that should be simple for us all like Freedom.  Fair to say last night was strangely emotional for me kinda like a hybrid of feelings that come up the way church used to be when I was young or how my yoga mat is for me now as an adult. Just a deep feeling of contemplation and emotional space you can get once in a while.  And it wasn’t just this moment during the show but there were others too.ja3

I’ve mentioned it before, but me and the other half of Sis Diss, my sister Shan are Northeast Ohio byproducts and listening to Joe play songs from The Family feel so much like home, so much like the rust belt we grew up in, all the good and the bad all rolled up in a ball of yarn you can’t quite find the beginning or end to. It feels all so familiar and sitting with these songs as he plays them from the piano on stage just after holiday brought me even deeper into the head space I was in.

I think my conclusion from last night was that it’s not about resolutions, it’s not about getting better or being better it’s just about being. It’s enough. I think jokingly he even mentioned on stage the quote about something being the journey and not the destination. That may have been about his  Leonard Cohen cover of Everybody Knows.

One of my dear friends said to me the other day, “it’s not about knowing what’s next it’s just about asking the question of what is next”. I think the New Year’s Day show for me was about revelations and not resolutions and just thinking about what is next for me in many ways.

Not every show I step into will make me feel this way. I think for me it is when a show is done in the moment, and JA does this well with the feel of being free of ego, or as free of ego as you can get. He’s pretty much an open book up there, this is the part of his showmanship that the audience can connect with. I have some mad respect for a man who can just be in the Flow which takes skills to do. (For those interested in what the Flow is there’s actually some scientific evidence for the idea of the “Flow” you can read about here on your own. (I won’t get into it here in this post since it’s too similar to my work-work, but it is fascinating). My best example of this was midway through painting on his canvas with bubble gum pink paints, Joe just stops glances down and decides in that moment to paint a perfect pink heart on his tee-shirt. It was like this uninterrupted flow of feeling, thought, idea and action that just all came out at once. There wasn’t this process of “hey I want to paint a heart, should I paint a heart?, would a heart be cool?, will the heart be a good idea?, does the audience want to see me paint a heart?…”… That’s flow folks. And modern research says in order to be our happiest we need this trait and I admire him for having it, it’s what keeps me coming back and buying my tickets.

So for 2017 can we all just paint some metaphorical pink hearts. Don’t stop and think too much, get into the flow of the good things life has to offer us. We’ve got some negative forces opposing us for the time being. I’m not quite sure 2017 will make America great again, but I do believe in the power of jaollove, art, music and kindness. I think that is where I will put my focus this year.

Happy 2017 Joe. Thank you for sharing pieces of your musical and creative world with us.

Peace and pink hearts

~Ady