Gig Archives: 2015


(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
with MoeTar:
First MoeTar gig of the new year! We hit Doc's Lab in SF (where Purple Onion used to be). Totally cool little downstairs jazz club. Ended up being a pretty rad Saturday night show in SF. We filled the place. Brian Kenney Fresno opened the whole evening with his wonderfulness. Great to see a lot of people who didn't know him have their brains blown. The Matthew Charles Heulitt trio played the middle slot (Matt, Dave, and Jon) with several guest singers nailing various tunes. So the crowd was amped by the time we started and we got to easily knock it out of the park. Good times.
Friday, February 6th, 2015
with MoeTar:
Last minute got added as an opener at the DNA Lounge in SF, playing first before Felix Martin (him and his trio) and his touring support band Barish. It was a rough gig on many levels, including we were in the midst of a crazy windy rain storm. But somehow we arrived in between the heavy downpours and Jenya snagged a rock star parking space right across the street on 11th. About 10 minutes into the gig the soundguy flashed me the "10 minutes left" sign. I had a brief discussion with him - he realized later he was working with an old schedule and apologized. After the gig Tarik lost the bass guitar he had forever during the loadout chaos. So sad.
Friday, February 27th, 2015
with MoeTar:
Back at good ol' 19 Broadway in Fairfax. This time on a Friday night, opening up for Ronkat & Katdelic. This gig had one of my lifetime highest ratios of set up time to sound quality. I literally pulled up at 8pm and we were done soundchecking at 8:20pm and it sounded fine (sharing backline and similar channels already dialed in for the headliners helped). So it was easy. John couldn't make the gig, though, so we were down to the original five piece.
Saturday, May 2nd, 2015
Drove myself down to LA for the weekend to play a big show. Another epic and amazing John Zorn marathon event all day at LACMA then culminated in a "triple threat" of bands playing at ULCA's Royce Hall. Those beings being Abraxas, Secret Chiefs 3, and Bladerunner. Abraxas was on tour for a month leading up to this gig so they just slayed it. We did our usual stuff from Masada Book II as well as a new one from Masada Book III. I took some okay solos. Then Bladerunner (Zorn, Laswell, Lombardo) destroyed. And most people stuck around for Zorn to play a solo improv on the Hall's amazing Skinner organ. What a night.
Saturday, May 9th, 2015
with The Fuxedos and MoeTar:
A double whammy (yet again) for me, this time pairing up MoeTar with the Fuxedos, with Brian Kenney Fresno opening up the evening. Great turnout, fun hang in between sets, and despite being terribly exhausted it all went over pretty good. Nothing new in the MoeTar set, but the Fuxedos had the Oakland debut of 25 minute epic "Sign of the Mole" which we somehow pasted together in two very short rehearsals within 24 hours of showtime. We're such pros.
Saturday, June 13th, 2015
with MoeTar:
We played at Zodiac's in Petaluma, which was pretty cool - big club, friendly staff, good food, and they gave me top notch bourbon in exchange for a drink ticket. This gig was a Petaluma Music Festival showcase also featuring Gigantis and The Vespertine Orchestra. We were in the middle slot, and we did he whole album beginning to end for the first time, including the live debut of "Raze the Maze" (which we had yet to pull off in front of people but now we did).
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Secret Chiefs 3 was back at the Stone in NYC for a stretch of SC3-themed shows, lots of them featuring new music. I played 8 of the 12 sets. It was seven days of epic rehearsals, 6 nights of music (well, 5 for me), incredible amounts of schlepping gear between Brooklyn and the LES, and sweating through all of my shirts.

Anyway, l’OEillère and Cleric played the first two sets on the first night (July 14), thus allowing us to rehearse an extra day before doing anything too crazy. Then the first night for us was also on the easy side. For the 8pm show we did a straight up UR set, robes and everything. Trey, me, Toby, Jason, and Ches. Due to all the chaos of gear transport not all the pieces of the keyboard mainframe got brought to the club - luckily because the material required little CPU my laptop was up to the task tonight.


Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
The 10pm set was the "Ishraqiyun Tasbih Ensemble" playing some Tesselations game pieces. This was a large group: Me, Trey, Shanir, Kenny, Ches, Toby, and both Matt and Larry from Cleric. We battled through two long pieces, running out of steam at the end of the second one. Realizing that was still a short set, we gave the second piece a much better go of it.
Thursday, July 16th, 2015
The Jason Shimmel Trio did the opening set which I missed because that was the only time all week to squeeze in a nice birthday dinner with my sister Lisa. But the 10pm set was the big debut of our latest set of selections from John Zorn's Masada Book III - The Book Beriah. It was a really packed house for this event. When my sister arrived Zorn himself, who was working the door, said "Oh your Matt's sister?" and went out of his way to find her a seat. We worked our asses off on these tunes, and it was still very much in the danger zone. I kept hitting wrong patches in wrong octaves because we didn't have time to properly set up and learn all the mappings. Everybody was having their own battles. This is hard music! But the quality of the compositions and musicianship of the group transcended any such problems. The group being: Trey, me, Eyvind, Shanir, Ches, Kenny, and Jason. One highlight is Ches, on vibes and percussion, dealing with one tune where he was asked to play three chords on Trey's keyboard during each head - so he had to cross the crowded stage area several times during the song to get between the keyboard and his percussion station.
Friday, July 17th, 2015
The 8pm set was another mofo - FORMS: Salon/Fantasia. Lots of straight up new material, or at least new to the band. And a really large form of the band: Trey, me, Eyvind, Jessika, Toby, Ches, Kenny, Jason, and Ryan. We incorporated the Stone piano (finally) which me and Toby and Jason switched off playing it (and squeezing by the crowd to get to it). I think we had to restart one of the bits from "Scorched Earth Saturnalia" once due to some miscue. Fine.
Friday, July 17th, 2015
For the 10pm set was the good ol' Masada/Xaphan set with Trey, me, Eyvind, Jason, Toby, and Ches - just like the last LA show, basically. It was nice to stretch out and relax with familiar material after those last two sets.
Saturday, July 18th, 2015
The first set of the night was a reboot of the Ishraqiyun material, with some new pieces, and a larger group: Trey, me, Eyvind, Jessika, Shanir (on oud), Toby, Ryan, and Kenny. My dad and brother-in-law Tom were up from PA for the show, which was lovely. I got to pull a rare successful power trip when somebody was trying to claim the chair they were saving for Lisa (who was running late). Saving seats is a no-no at the Stone, but still.. I walked over and simply said, "that's my sister's seat." The guy knew who I was and then politely vacated it. Anyway, another set of just-barely-hanging on to new tunes and some lovely moments all around. I missed the 10pm set (NT Fan) as, once again due my ridiculously tight schedule, I only had this hour to run and get dinner with the family.
Sunday, July 19th, 2015
The 8pm set was FORMS: Mausolée Mécanique — Funerary Rites. Basically, half reworked material, and half of it new stuff, including this one upbeat organ-centric march which I just barely learned before show time. Same group as the other FORMS set. On top of learning all this material I also was pretty much engineering and managing the keyboards for everybody and for this set I had to set up and configure my two ranks, and single keyboards for Toby, Trey, Jason, and the extra mini patch-change keyboard. Oy.
Sunday, July 19th, 2015
And, finally at 10pm, the last set of the run. We did the Beriah material again, and now that we were in the home stretch of this whole endeavor and more familiar with this crazy material we had a much better go of it than the debut a few days earlier. During one song I was all like "fuck it" and took a rather salsa-heavy piano solo during one of the tunes. One last epic schlep of gear back to our various places-to-stay-in-Brooklyn, and that was that.
Friday, July 31st, 2015
with MoeTar:
Once again played at Doc's Lab in SF. Lovely venue, nice folks, and a decent turnout. The MCH Trio (i.e. half of MoeTar - Matthew leading a trio with Jon, and Dave) stretched it out to open things up, and we played a long energetic set. Tried out my smaller road rig for the short tour next week. Seems to work. Fingers always crossed when untrusted music gear is involved.
Friday, August 7th, 2015
with MoeTar:
On tour! Sort of.. We headed up to the Pacific Northwest for a couple shows. Dave couldn't make these gigs, so we got Wes to sit in on drums. He heroically learned a whole set of our crazy tunes and joined us as we shlepped up to Portland, OR to play the Porch Couch. It's been a loooong time since I played a show-in-a-basement-in-a-house-full-of-twenty-year-olds, and it was extra awesome as we were flanked by two awesome local bands Entendre Entendre and Mercury Tree. Lots of people came out. It was a real party on this lovely summer night in one of my favorite towns. One guy there actually also just saw a few of the SC3 shows at the Stone last month. Small world.
Saturday, August 8th, 2015
with MoeTar:
And just like miRthkon did a couple years ago, MoeTar went up to Seattle to play this year's annual SeaProg Festival. It was funny to just swing right back to that neighborhood and load in onto that same stage and even stand in the exact same spot I did before but play a whole different bunch of songs. Very appreciative audience full of familiar friendly faces. Lots of hanging out in the street and in the Thai place across the way after the show. And that was the end of this very short tour.
Sunday, September 20th, 2015
Such a joy going back to the Rock in Opposition Festival in Carmaux, France, this time with Secret Chiefs 3! A lot of the same wonderful and friendly people performing and attending, and a lot of the same tasty food and wine. Huge shout out to the sound tech people who hooked us up with a rich backline, fixed all kinds of gear issues, and enabled us to rehearse for a couple days before the gig. The show itself went well - though I did have a key break on one of the backline keyboards (and had to gaff tape it up to keep it from ringing). Lots of other great bands at this festival and we were there from start to finish - like Mats/Morgan, Present, Art Zoyd... Also had the unexpected surprise of briefly seeing my peeps from a.P.A.t.T. as they were passing through during their current tour and picking up Timba. We flew to France for this one show - I literally took off from, and returned to, SFO during the span of exactly 120 hours (5 days). No time to really get jet lagged.
Saturday, September 26th, 2015
with MoeTar:
Probably our last public show of the year before going into next-album mode. We got the coveted middle slot between opener shredder Nili Brosh and her band, and shredders and label-mates Points North. The was a "Bass Player Presents" gig so I signed a mailing list at the venue and got free bass strings. Sweet! Anyway, we played a rocker set including some older tunes we hadn't played in years. Some people traveled a long way to see this gig. Humbling.
Saturday, December 5th, 2015
Similar to that recent-ish UCLA gig, and as part of the Bestia Festival in Mexico City, there was a John Zorn marathon featuring us (this time performing newish material from Masada Book Three - The Book Beriah), Klezmerson, Abraxas, and Bladerunner. Ches couldn't make it, so Willie sat in on vibes/percussion - playing with SC3 for the first time ever! Great audience - in fact, during the set somebody in the crowd shouted out, "Bring miRthkon!" The evening closed with an extra impromptu encore of Bladerunner plus Trey and Kenny. That was epic.

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