Friday, August 29, 2014

Carbon Handshake On "Live From Studio 5!"

Celebrating the Carbon Unit

By Dewglass
It amazes me to find a band that has been working the craft for ten years and they are in their 20s.
I am sooooo jealous and astonished at the songwriting, versatility and harmonies of Carbon Handshake.
As a human being with 99% of the mass of the human body made up of just six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, we are carbon units who definitely had our hands shook.
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Due to the versatility of the musicians, there were a lot of instrument changes going on, which made for a very unique sound.  I found myself greedily anticipating the next song.

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Carbon Handshake is: Joe McNeill, Mack Scott, Andy Dean, Eric Cafferty, Andy Hanna and Clancy Brady

14877636769_367cbe58f2_zThese folks have landed upon a form that fuses Indy rock with folk, jazz and probably more that was too subtle for me to grasp.
The instrumentation consisted of Keyboards, Guitars, both electric and acoustic, glockenspiel, and pocket a piano.
Their versatility brings a full rich sound to their performance.
Being as young as they are, I only see an expansion of their form.

As they pass the artistry around the group to evolve their sound, look for them to forge a path to new and unexpected places.  The bottom line is did you enjoy the music, the story, the feeling?  For me, the answer was an emphatic yes.
To start your journey to the Carbonsphere go to:
Check out the Flickr pix of the show featuring Carbon Handshake which was originally broadcast on August 27, 2014. This show was hosted by Cher Dial and Casey Moo:
The video of the performance will be posted here:
If you missed the live show, don’t worry, you can hear it anytime from anywhere in the world on our FOREVER archives here:
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I saw the Moody Blues last Tuesday night.  As usual I got higher than a giraffe’s ass and had an incredible time.  After seeing them for 37 times, each new time I wonder if they are gonna still have it or just go thru the motions.  Well, that night they were still incredible.
  We at least had the foresight to leave early for the show because when we got the U it was PACKED! Six different events and students coming back for fall classes.  As slow as I am, I could have walked faster than the car.  When we got to Northrop, the ramp was full so my wonderful concert friends let me off there and I sat out on the plaza and had plenty of time to “prepare” myself for the show and think about all the times I've seen them and met them.
Me and my good friend John Lodge.

Me and my good friend Justin Hayward

Me and my good friend Graeme Edge.

Me and my good friend Patrick Moraz.

Me and my good friend Ray Thomas.

The Original Moody Blues

It was as good as a concert can get.  Each year, like everyone else, the Moodies age a little bit more and one by one they drop out.  No more Ray Thomas, the flautist with the deep basso profundo voice.  They had a female flautist who was every bit as good as Ray but without the voice.  Her name is Norda and she is a very talented flautist. So although she won't sing and is not a substitute for Ray, she enables them to continue playing their songs as they did when Ray was there instead of replacing it with organ sound. So, in a way, it's kind of keeping Ray as a part of their sound, as a part of their stage presence. And I think that's nice.   And no more Mike Pinder, who I always thought of as the heart and soul of the Moodies.  He used to carry every album with his mellotron.  In fact, some call it the Pindertron.  Last night they had a great keyboardist but he only put out the actual mellotron sound on one song, all the others were electronic keyboard sounds with the same melody but a different flavor.  I thought it was quite good.  They also had two drummers.  Graham Edge pretty much kept time for the whole evening except for one great drum solo.  He also sang the two numbers he’s most known for, Higher and Higher and Late Lament.  And he did a short stand-up comedy routine which I didn’t understand one word of.  Others might have since there was a lot of laughter.  But what I did understand was when at the end, he said the Moodies were celebrating an anniversary this year.  FIFTY FREAKING YEARS!  OH MY GAWD!  Can it really be??   
Not only that but the Moodies are touring MACHINES.  This year they are doing 24 concerts in 30 days this fall and this spring they performed 26 concerts in a 36 day stretch.  In 2013, they did 54 concerts, in 2012 it was 55 concerts.  They have consistently toured that way for 48 of the 50 years.  They slowed down a bit in 1995-96 playing successive dates in casinos except for a three day run in South Africa at the Super Bowl and one at the Hollywood Bowl.  They didn’t do any concerts in 1982 and 1985 but other than that they have been going strong since 1964. TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN concerts, but who’s counting?
As I was saying, the second drummer carried the heavy load for the show.  Incidentally the three Moodies were brightly lit but the second drummer and others were pretty much in the dark.  I could see the drummer, who stood for a lot of the numbers doing an adagio dance gracefully striking the cymbals. 
I stood in the side aisle for most of the show since I can’t do my twerking sitting down.  During the intermission I thought I’d go down in front just to check out the perspective up close and there I saw a woman sitting in the front row right in the center so I had to axt her how she got that seat.  She told me she was a big fan and bought a package with those seats as well as a back stage pass and an assortment of merchandise for $300 dollars.  Three hundred dollars?!  Back in the day, I woulda done that in a minute.  So I thought I’d try to impress her and say I was a fan too and had seen them about 37 times. Then I axted her, "How many times have YOU seen them?" and she instantly rattled off, “This is my 371st concert but I’ve only been going since 1991.”  Good grief, that really put me in my place! 
The second half as one bash after another and for the encore I just had to rush the stage.  For the last three songs, I was right up against the stage, drinking it all in, up close and personal.  I always feel a little sad when they play the last song of the evening, it’s always the same, Ride My Seesaw, and I think, DAMN it’s almost over for another year.  But it always leaves me singing for about 24 hours!
The Moody Blues!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orchyd Returns to Live From Studio 5!

By Dewglass

Orchyd brought in their full arsenal of musical delights with the clear haunting vocals of Shanna Carl, backed up by Tom Zempel on guitar, Charlie Milkey playing the SEVEN STRING bass and Geoff Carl on drums.
Count 'em , folks, seven strings.
Mostly Kansas transplants, Orchyd showed us we were not in Kansas anymore.  Charley Milkey amazed us with his 7 string base with an amazing mellow range.  Their genre: Abstract Post Downtempo Drone Rock Quartet, good a label as any, I just call 'em Orchyd.
I enjoy the fact that this band takes you on a sensory journey.  These are innovators worth following.  Who knows what musical meld they will weave together for our next encounter?  I am no musicologist, but I know what sounds good, and this sound is great!  For the more nitty gritty, on these guys, follow them on Facebook here:

There is a nice press piece in the City Pages here:
Check out the Flickr pix of the show featuring the return engagement of Orchyd which was originally broadcast on August 20, 2014. This show was hosted by Cher Dial and Max Nelson:
The video of the performance is posted here:
If you missed the live show, don’t worry, you can hear it anytime from anywhere in the world on our FOREVER archives here:
The video from their first appearance on "Live From Studio 5!" on July 10, 2013 can be seen here: 
This is the video where Tom played his guitar with a drumstick.  Amazing! 
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

On a Recruitment Mission for The Show

Not the usual “Live From Studio 5!” blog but I was “on assignment” with Georgia Cady to recruit The Oddfathers for our show.  I’ll relate in chronological order starting with a perfect evening.  Headed out at 10:30, top down, 77 degrees, no traffic.  Pulled in to a parking spot right across the street from The Cabooze.  I entered during the last half of the performance by Platypus, really rockin’ it out, they sounded great!  My first observation was, “I must be getting really old, these guys don’t look even old enough to play in a bar.”  When I mentioned that to a bartender he said they were THIRTEEN YEARS OLD.     They were playing like seasoned professionals, some originals, some covers, I was very impressed.  Then they got out the acoustic guitars and continued to amaze me.  They played ‘em HARD like they would electric guitars.  The music was unbelievable!  I saw a couple of friends there, yakked with Wain McFarlane and got a hug from Stella Blue.
OK, break time, time to go out to my car for some cannabis therapy.  I have told all of my doctors about that and all but one agrees totally with me.  For the last couple of years the depression has been relentless.  Tried three different anti-depressants and nothing worked so I gave up on that approach.  I told the doctor I’ve never been depressed a day in my life until recently, just get me well and I’ll be happy as a lark again.  So now, maybe once a week I take five or so tiny hits off my pipe just before an event and that keeps me buzzing for four hours.  The next day I’m happy and cheerful all day.  When I was younger, it was a routine daily thing.
I had never heard The Oddfathers or even knew their style of music but if Georgia said they were great, that was good enough for me!  I Googled them and it said their music was “new classic rock”.  They write all their music to sound like the greatest classic rock.   

The back of the stage was lined with classic floor model radios from the 40’s and 50’s which disguised modern speakers.  The entire show was not just a band playing their music, but a PERFORMANCE that you’d expect from any arena show.  Random rock music starts playing as the lights went down low and continued for some minutes.  Then the music became static-y and fuzzy so a stage hand came out and adjusted the dial on one of the big radios to “tune it in better”.  Then it played just fine for one more tune, I can’t remember if it was Elvis or Jerry Lee but some big classic two and a half minute hit and then The Oddfathers took the stage to quite an elaborate whiz-bang intro and from there it was non-stop for the rest of the evening.

The lead singer, Brynn Arens, who looked like one of the Three Stooges came across in kind of a Mick Jagger style, all over the stage, strutting, vamping, interacting with the other players non-stop.   

The lead guitarist, Casey Gooby gave the greatest performance I had ever seen, and believe me I have seen them ALL starting with The Doors.  When I go to a concert, I’m up against the stage the whole night, moving from musician to musician so I get the intense effect of a command performance.   From three feet away Casey’s fingers were a blur.  Take the fastest plucker you have ever heard and double or even triple the speed of the fingerwork and that was Casey.  

 The bass player, Krys Barrato, was also solid.   

Tom Cook rounded out the foursome on the most basic drum set imaginable but it’s all he needed.  The performance was a non-stop blast and I will say, for the record this was the greatest bar performance of a band I have ever experienced.  I think these guys are on to something!
During the show Arens was well aware of my presence and played to it.  At one point he pointed his finger directly at me and walked right up to me and unzipped his fly!

 A FANTASTIC night was had by all!
My date for the night, Georgia "Sonic Pleasure" Cady

Here’s the final chapter of this blog:  I’m heading home feeling on top of the world.  I don’t like driving under those circumstances but all I have to do is CONCENTRATE on one thing: driving.  Normally I’m kind of a lousy driver anyway but in these circumstances I’m like an airline pilot with total concentration and control.  Set the cruise control and maintain all else.  Last night with the top down it was a tiny bit chilly so I reached for my hoodie and slipped it on backwards just to cover my arms.  I knew enough not to struggle with putting it on completely while driving.  BUT in just doing that I must have drifted slightly over the lane once on one side and then the other.  Certainly not crazy weaving but on a Sunday morning at 2am with cops on high alert I just happened to do it in front of a cop.  As soon as the dreaded light show went off, I freaked out.  Talk about a rude awakening!  I immediately put on my right signal to tell the cop I was complying but I took my damn sweet time to pull over and come to a complete stop.  Mind racing I came to the conclusion that I had no choice but to dig deep and find the OFF switch to end my trip.  I took a deep breath RELAX and by the time he walked up to me I said “What’s the problem, officer?”
“Did you know you were weaving?”
“Oh, I guess I was trying to put on my sweater.”
“Have you been drinking tonight?”
“No sir, not a drop, I don’t drink.”
“What is that in your cup holder.”
“Just a coke, from the bar.”
“I’m gonna ask you to get out of your car and check some things out.”
(YIKES!  This can’t end well.)
He explained to me about balancing on one foot and then walking a straight line heel to toe, heel to toe and I told him straight out, “Officer I can’t do this due to my condition” which was true, I have major balance problems which I don’t completely understand myself so rather than try to explain what I don’t understand I just said “I have early onset of Parkinsons disease.”  It was a spontaneous Hail Mary pass, I don’t even know if there is such a thing but it worked!  I said, "look, just get out your meter and I'll blow ya a triple zero."  Sure enough, ZERO percent blood alcohol.  WHEW! He sent me on my way with a warning ticket.   Final parting words, “Here ya go, Doug drive carefully, do you have any questions for me?”  “Yes, what’s the capitol of South Dakota?”  It’s my response anytime anyone axts me that question.
He got it right!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Farewell Tenney Says "Hello" On Live From Studio 5!

Everyone likes a good story as our most recent episode of Live From Studio 5! was a case in point. Farewell Tenney brought a story, harmonized amazing vocals and playing to the mix.  When asked about the name, the story began.

The small Minnesota town of Tenney, made up of three people (the butcher mayor, the baker city clerk, and the candlestick maker city clerk’s sister), voted to dissolve their town and merge it with nearby Campbell Township.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the vote was 2-1 in favor of dissolving the town, with City Clerk Oscar, Gunther‘s sister, voting against it. Gunther said he tried attracting more people to the city because “people love the notion of a little town. It’s a quaint idea.” However, he soon realized the whole concept was too idealistic and “impractical.”
“Maintaining the city’s buildings and property takes money and time. It’s like having someone near death and you try to prolong life to no avail or just to say farewell.”
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Americana lends itself to this easily, although sad, the dissolution of Tenney made way for a new way forward, and a band.
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Americana, as defined by the Americana Music Association (AMA), is "contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres.
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In a way "Live From Studio 5!" was transported to the now mythical Tenney and introduced to great harmonies, entertaining stories and an all-around enjoyable time.
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Farewell Tenney is:
Dan Tanz -vocals/guitar/harmonica
Erik Swenson -vocals/keyboard
Charlotte Matis -vocals/fiddle/mandolin
Ben Shaw -vocals/cajon/banjo
No time should be wasted in liking and following these four.  They should be booked right away, before they get busy and have to say no.
I look forward to sharing their latest recording, when they get that far.  As for Farewell Tenney, I can only say, until we meet again.
Check out the Flickr pix the show featuring Farewell Tenney which was originally broadcast on August 13, 2014.

The video of the latest performance will soon be posted here:
If you missed the live show, don’t worry, you can hear it anytime from anywhere in the world on our FOREVER archives here:
Please contribute to keep KFAI it on the air by clicking here: