Hello! Needless to say, is it a very incredible(!!!????) time to be a human being on planet earth? I really do hope that all of you are staying healthy and balanced during this situation. I have been overwhelmed at times, so I’m right here with you. I am not going to spend any time here pontificating about the current issues. I think everyone is affected and we have no concrete answers. All we can really do is rely on each other and help out in any way we can.
My last gig was on March 13th. I’ve been at home since then except for the occasional foray out for food, gardening supplies or to help my Dad. He’s fine, incidentally, thanks for asking. His building is on lockdown and while they have had Coronavirus cases there, he has not been exposed! PHEW. I basically took 2-3 weeks off from music which is the first time that has occurred since 2002? I am sure I needed that break. I have continued teaching online lessons both privately and thru A. Kopp Music and I have been video recording Plymouth Congregational church services with Laura Caviani and Dave Schmalenberger and a small crew (all observing proper safety measures). SO there is a little bit of activity, however, the creative itches eventually need scratching and so for the last couple of weeks now I’ve been chipping away at some things and I’d like to share those with you now.
I’m going to be releasing a series of live recordings from my archives and posting them on Bandcamp. These will be budget-priced bootlegs that I think represent a great mixture of music I’m involved in. I hope you’ll check it out and keep your eyes peeled for a monthly release from my archives on Bandcamp! I’m excited to have the first one arrive today.
Acoustic Concussion Holden’s House Party features the talents of Brad Holden and Joe Mayo on saxophones, JT Bates on drums, Bryan Nichols on piano, and yours truly on bass. It was recorded in November of 2020 at Brad’s house for a small invite-only audience. Acoustic Concussion plays the music of Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, and Ornette Coleman. The music is super swinging and I think you’ll dig it!
The other big news in the Bandcamp department is that I’m excited to FINALLY release the music I recorded with Anthony Cox, Dave King, and JT Bates! This project is called GREASE GUN and will be available starting today as well. It was recorded in one day back in April 2012 during the same sessions for the New Hope album by Red 5. It is a very experimental and stream of consciousness collection of music. At 2 hours and 2 minutes in length, it is definitely a deep dive into creative jamming and unique sound worlds. Anthony and I literally cover all the basses and Dave and JT provide the appropriate amounts of chicanery and drum mojo.
The reason these are coming out tomorrow is that BANDCAMP is waiving its normal fees for 24 hours (again) to help out their artists. I want to thank all the people who have bought records from me in the last 6 weeks! It has truly helped me out financially and I truly appreciate it! Since I haven’t released anything new under my own name since 2016 I felt it was time for some new stuff to appear! I hope you’ll check it out and consider picking up something from my catalog!
Three other things are happening in the near future.
I have not done any online concerts or live streams but that will change next Friday, May 8th at 7 pm. Tune in to a special Zoom concert with Zacc Harris, Bryan Nichols, JT Bates, and CB. We are all playing solo sets from our homes, hanging out on Zoom together, and listening to the music! I hope you’ll join in for his Zoom concert. I’m sure we’ll have a chance to say hello! Instead of a free concert with donations, we’re asking for a ticket fee upfront and hoping that people who want to tune in for the whole night will see it as a worthwhile opportunity. So, follow this Facebook link for all the info and put a reminder in your calendar for Friday, May 8th. If you know you want to go for it you can go right to Bandcamp and buy a ticket from Shifting Paradigm.
Second of all on the ‘near future agenda’; please head over to the Red 5 Youtube channel and check out Maliapolis and the Higgs Bosonova from our concert last October at Studio Z. We were slated to play at Studio Z again on May 9th so I’m trying to get all of that organized and post the whole concert on the Youtube page for next Saturday. Make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss the release of that show.
Lastly, I want to tell you about a new organization I’m involved with called MN Musicians Against Hunger (MN MAH). Did you know that your canned good donation to any food shelf is very helpful but that if you gave the equivalent amount directly to them in cash it is 9X more valuable? Most food shelves have incredible buying power and so every $1 they are given allows them to purchase $9 worth of food! MN MAH’s mission is to bring attention and raise funds to fight hunger and increase food security awareness in the midwest. Our current project called Bands For Cans is a compilation album that will benefit Second Harvest Heartland and its statewide programs designed to help food shelves across MN and WI. Bandcamp has agreed to waive their fees for these releases and so we will be able to give 100% of the money from these albums directly to Second Harvest. We are also looking for corporate sponsorship so that we can offer our submitting artists a stipend and pay our audio and media volunteers as well. If you are a person with connections in your company or have the power to help us please reach out to me. We are very excited about this project and have spent the last month contacting musicians from all over MN and collecting UNRELEASED tracks from them. We already have enough music for two albums! Who’s on it? Well, let’s see. Davina and the Vagabonds, Adam Levy, PaviElle, The New Standards, Haley, Mark Mallman, Andra Suchy, Cory Wong, The Peterson Brothers, Linda Peterson, Yohannes Tona, MMYYKK, Keith Secola, David Huckfelt, Alpha Consumer and the list keeps growing.
So, in the future, I’ll be keeping you posted on my new bootleg series, a Red 5 video concert, and the upcoming Bands for Cans album. Please check out Bandcamp tomorrow for the Acoustic Concussion and Grease Gun releases and support local artists and creatives across all disciplines when you can. Please be safe and take extra precautions in your adventures. This virus is no joke and I have a feeling we are going to be weathering this storm for quite some time. So, the Bates Update will continue but it won’t be as frequent or as full of opportunities to see live music. It will contain more humor and hopefully new music for you to hear at home. I truly and humbly thank you for continuing to read and support my music.