Wonderland is now out! Listen to the entire album at romanrising.com
Roman Rising’s Debut Album on Kickstarter
I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for my debut album! Check out the video, and please support the project by making a pledge. All pledges must be in by January 7, 2012. Donate today!
R.I.P. Captain Beefheart
Sad news today: Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, passed away today after 69 revolutions around the Sun. An experimental music pioneer, Beefheart left a glorious legacy of avant-garde recordings, ranging from the tame to the far-flung.
The first time I heard Beefheart was likely Trout Mask Replica, and my reaction was not initially favorable. However, I had purchased the CD, and thus forced myself to listen to it. As the days passed into months, my appreciation for it grew and grew, eventually leading me to check out his other material. One of my favorite recordings of his is Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot, a CD that combines the contents of two vinyl albums. Therein, Beefheart explores his Delta blues influences, wielding his gritty, dusky voice like a liquor bottle starving to get off the shelf and into the mouth of a drowning alcoholic. I have since lost my copy of this recording, but I am now convinced that I must make it a mission in the coming days to find it, and with it wear another musical groove into my brain.
Don Van Vliet, you will be missed my many, and misunderstood by more.
The NPR Monitormix blog had a fun challenge for musicians last weekend – to record a song and submit it by their deadline on Sunday night. I felt inspired, and although I had a terrible cold, I managed to finish my song and submit it in time. However, their mailbox was over its limit, and my emails kept bouncing back. Nevertheless, I managed to submit it the following morning, after they realized what had happened.
Here is my submission:
They will post 30 submissions per day in alphabetical order (by first name). I’ll update this post when mine gets posted on their blog.
UPDATE: The song is now featured on the NPR Monitormix blog as part of a collection of songs that got submitted. Check it out here:
UPDATE 2: The version of this song featured on this site now has updated vocals. The only way to hear the original version in its unedited glory is to listen to it on the NPR Blog, using the link above.
The Rapunzel All-Stars…
…is a rotating improvisational ensemble hosted by me on sporatic Wednesdays at Milwaukee’s Jazz Estate. The music is extremely unpredicable as there are no charts, songs, or rehearsals. It’s been an interesting adventure, for sure.
I’ve scheduled shows for February 4, 11, and 18, 2009.
February 4th will feature the following musicians: Roman Edirisinghe (guitars/percussion), Andy Aeros Kaiser (bass), Steve Nelson-Raney (piano/sax), and John Sparrow (drums/percussion).
$3 cover fee.
2423 N Murray Ave
Milwaukee WI 53211
???? – November 24, 2008
Singi was with us more than 15 human years.
Smoke Eyed at La Carbonería
I’ve finally posted some videos that I took at a flamenco bar called La Carbonería, in Sevilla, over six months ago. This event took place after all the official performances had finished: a guy walked into the bar carrying a guitar; I’m guessing he was a gypsy, even though he lacked the stereotypical long hair. The musicians left over from earlier performances all joined him in a smaller alcove, and the resulting late-night session is what I managed to catch on my camera. What is undocumented is that after many of the other musicians left, he (the dark complexioned guy on the right with the brown jacket and short hair) looked at me and insistently demanded me to sing a song. I replied that I didn’t know flamenco, that I was a foreigner, but he didn’t buy it. Eventually I relented, asked him for his guitar and proceeded to sing and play a song. It wasn’t flamenco by any stretch (it was an East Indian tune called Ghoom Charakhana), but my delivery made him eat his foot. I wasn’t sure what he was after in challenging an amateur (at flamenco) to perform, but I hope he learned the error of his ways. In the end I didn’t return to the establishment for some time, hoping to avoid a similar scenario. Subsequent to this event was when I started my official flamenco lessons.
R.I.P. Richard Wright
Sometimes I forget how much Pink Floyd influenced my musical development. I would spend hours listening to Richard’s keyboard skills on Echoes, Cirrus Minor, Sisyphus, and countless other (more recognizable) tunes. Stylistically, he wasn’t a flashy player, and he was certainly the master of understatement. I’m certain he will be missed by many.
An online memorial is available for people to leave their condolences.
Dr. Green & The Machine
My friend and band mate Doc plays in a funk-rock band with his son Matan. They appeared on local television recently, along with the other band mates, all of whom are still in high school.
I think these guys are going to go very, very far.
Melinda y su Amigos
Here is another video of a friend from Sevilla dancing flamenco.
Date: March 12, 2008
Location: Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo
Dance: Melinda Hedgecorth
Vocals: Javier Rivera/ David “El Gamba”
Guitar: Jordi Flores