Gig Archives: 2017
(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)
Friday, August 11th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Given life and day job demands and timing and broken hands I haven't
played a gig in over a year. So how's this for getting the ball rolling
again: kicking off a Secret Chiefs 3 tour opening for Dead Cross?!
After some rehearsals in LA (as the band this time around includes Jason
and Pej from way back, and new guy Joe from Intronaut) we hit the
road for Las Vegas to play at the Brooklyn Bowl.
The show was in fact a giant venue/bowling alley. And there
I was, right back in the rock and roll saddle. On the way out a loader
kid dropped one of my keyboards right in front of me and didn't apologize.
Immediately after the show we went to see Free Salamander Exhibit who were
playing elsewhere in town that night. Caught their last few tunes.
Then I got dropped off at Las Vegas airport to fly
back home because I already had a gig booked with MoeTar before this tour
Saturday, August 12th, 2017After a brief nap the MoeTar gang showed up at my house to rehearse real
quick, and then we headed to Cornerstone - Craft Beer & Live Music in Berkeley.
What a show this was: Jack O' the Clock, MoeTar, and Free Salamander
Exhibit! Fun hang with many local friends old and new. We debuted "Gingerbread
Man" and also one of the Nina Simone tunes we're performing next week (just to
shake it out and see if it works live). End of the tour for FSE
but I'm really just getting started on mine with SC3 - who were driving all
the way to Texas without me for two days straight. On the second day I stayed in
Oakland just to have time with Jenya and not miss this week's Game of Thrones.
Monday, August 14th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017We played in Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill. But first I had
to fly there. My flight was from SFO was early - I got up at 5:30am to catch
the BART to the airport. But the plane was delayed at the gate for three hours
due to mechanical issues, during which other passengers fled and I texted the
bandmates (still driving towards Dallas) that I may be late. Luckily they did
fix the problem, and I arrived with plenty of time. Took a Lyft to the gig and
beat the band van by a half hour. Turns out that half hour exactly coincided
with a weekly work meeting at the Breakthough Listen lab, so I called to check
in while waiting in the hot, sweaty parking lot. The band arrived, and then I
learned it's an outdoor gig. It's like 100 degrees outside. It was very damp.
But we powered through, and the band is coming together on the tunes nicely.
Packed show. Each show seems to be building due to word of mouth, perhaps.
While packing up by myself in the dark back lot a stranger approached asking,
"Matt?" When he was close enough I saw his face. Holy shit, it's Marco from
my (very very) old band Flywheel. Turns out he just moved here from SF
weeks ago. We caught up as I dripped sweat into all my keyboards while packing
them away and gaff taping their cardboard boxes. Really lovely to see him.
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Easy drive to Houston to play at Warehouse Live. Got delicious all you can eat
BBQ buffet at Sam's en route. But the Dead Cross guys were running late. Eventually
got the story they were pulled over by police en route. Details emerged after
they arrived. It's a fucked up story. But the upshot is we still had to wait
for their soundcheck and thus had zero time to do ours. Luckily we had our
secret weapon - Ricky on the front of house. He's been filling in for Steve on
these first few shows before Steve could wrap up his current Flaming Lips
tour. Still, I had no monitor and couldn't hear myself on stage, but I know it
sounded good out there in the house. Meanwhile, I caught up with Erik, my old
pal and bandmate from Mumble & Peg - it's been ridiculous I haven't ever
seen him in Houston since he moved here ages ago, but here we are. We got a
beer together and caught up while a noisy hermit crab race was taking place
right next to us for a moment. Little did me or Erik or the crab racers knew
this city was going to be underwater next week. Erik and other Houston friends
ended up okay, but in varying degrees lost houses, had to swim with their pets
to escape the floods, etc. This was a very intense night at the time, and even
more so in retrospect.
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Another easy drive through Texas. Finally getting to play at Emo's in Austin,
but it's a different venue/location now. Much bigger. Huge fuckin' show, really.
Great sound, lovely air conditioning (it's been like over 100 degrees the whole
time in TX thus far). The tour is really hitting its stride now. After the show
some guy set himself on fire in the back lot (as a regular stunt). Weird.
The next day went to get Stubb's BBQ with some of the Dead Cross gang before
hitting the airport. I almost ate Lombardo's brisket platter, thinking it was
mine when the waiter served it up.
Friday, August 18th, 2017Once again flying home in the middle of a tour to play a very special show
(booked long before the tour): Undercover Presents: the music of Nina Simone!
And what a line-up: Jazz Mafia's Realistic Orchestra,
OSA Vocal Rush, MoeTar,, and Zakiya Harris + Sólás Burke-Lalgee of Elephantine. Goddamn!
So refreshing during a rock tour where I have to set up my laptop connected
to a trio of midi controllers and fight with monitors
to suddenly have a gig where I just show up and play on a beautiful grand
piano and everything just sounds awesome automatically in that room that I
barely even needed a monitor. We rocked the set, led by Moorea totally killing it (of course).
Saturday, August 19th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Back on the road. Flew down to San Diego early enough to avoid any mishaps.
And since there were zero mishaps I sweatily walked around town for like 4 hours
before the gig. The others, schlepping all the way from Texas, were an hour late,
but I had everything sorted before they arrived and we got the tour rolling again.
The heat and days off were a momentum killer, but we had a fun time
at The Observatory North Park and then headed to LA that night to avoid the traffic
the next day.
Monday, August 21st, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Day off in LA, and then the big show at the El Rey Theatre. Somewhat sad I missed
the total eclipse, but Jenya was up in Oregon seeing it for the both of us. Our
opening set ruled, and it was great to catch up with many LA friends, including
my old high school/college pal Dave. However Dead Cross was taking forever to start
their set when suddenly the curtain opened with Lombardo and Crain standing there
announcing Patton got into an accident - it's not grave, but the show is cancelled.
Fuck. There was a lot of drama and unknowns surrounding the rest of the evening
and the following day, but long story short while we were bracing for a complete,
sudden end to the tour, it continued as planned (with Dead Cross doing a make up
show the very next night without us). Fair enough!
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Hometown show! Plus since I got home from LA super late last night I got to enjoy
catching up on this week's Game of Thrones with Jenya before load in. I was stoked
to finally be seeing, and playing, the UC Theatre in Berkeley. I haven't been there
at all since it became a music venue, which is especially lame as former bandmate
Smitty from Research & Development is the general manager.
Lots of local friends and props to Danny
from Breakthrough Listen who was the only one from our project to attend this show.
check and downbeat I had a lot of time to help Jenya find a parking spot somewhere
in Berkeley. She was circling for like 20-30 minutes before then.
Then SC3 had a great set, and Dead Cross capped their evening with Jello coming
out and doing a version of "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" with them.
Friday, August 25th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017After a day long shlep to Seattle, we then hauled up to Vancouver to play at the Vogue
Theatre. It was refreshing to get out of the country and away from the Big Orange Fuckhead
if only for a few hours. Alright set. I was a bit slowed perhaps as I shoveled down an
entire serving of lamb/beef shawarma salad just before hitting the stage. After the gig
went right back down to Seattle. A much faster border crossing on the way back.
Saturday, August 26th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017So we had a day to sleep in and relax before the gig tonight. This included me taking
a solo hike around the usual touristy downtown region where I somehow have been so many
times before. Probably more times than I've ever hung out at Fisherman's Wharf in SF.
Anyway we played at the Showbox. One of the best shows of the tour. Great crowd. Maybe
I got some good show karma as beforehand I found a wallet with cash and handed it over
to the club to hopefully somehow get to the rightful owner.
Sunday, August 27th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017And then down to Portland to play at the Wonder Ballroom. Another wonderful show,
perfectly set up by a pulled pork Bunk sandwich (served up in a bar adjacent to the
venue). Previous SC3 keyboardist Adam was there, as was Travis from miRthkon, so I
had a lot of hanging with my peeps before and after the show. Of course had a
casual Portland brunch the next morning.
Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Last show of this leg of the tour, playing at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento.
Enjoyed the air conditioning of this venue, and its proximity to the Warehouse
Artist Lofts where I got a much-needed smoothie before soundcheck, and a yummy
to-go dinner after. Andrew from Breakthrough Listen attended the show so I had
a chance to catch up on everything I missed at work the last few weeks,
including some fast radio bursts that will be announced tomorrow. Great show,
and we headed home to Oakland afterward. Tour half over!
Friday, September 8th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017After a short rest we were back on the road again opening for Dead Cross.
Flew into Baltimore (including a 30 minute layover in Chicago where I almost missed the connection).
We all met at the hotel and headed to the Baltimore Soundstage for the first gig of this leg.
We were expecting to be a little rusty but ended up having quite a bit of vim and vigor.
A good sign, considering this was but the first show of eight days in a row.
As always when in the region my old college housemate/bandmate Joe was in attendance and we spent
a lot of time before/after the set catching up. This tour was good for meeting up with old friends.
Saturday, September 9th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017The first headlining show of the tour. Just us at Monty Hall in Jersey City.
So we finally got to stretch out and perform a bunch of music we hadn't touched
since rehearsing in LA a month ago. This almost didn't happen as a fire alarm was
set off accidentally (not my fault) minutes before starting, but ultimately we
were allowed to stick around and play.
Sunday, September 10th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Except for the fact I was having tummy issues from eating all kinds of random tour food
(and thus skipped dinner) this was a great showi, playing at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia.
My brother Ben and sister Ruth and brother-in-law Tom all came out, which was lovely. Another
rockin' show. Other people I knew were in attendance - Daniel, Matt, Naaemah (she and Ben were
both sporting the exact same MoeTar t-shirts, which was cute). First time I caught the whole damn
Dead Cross set from start to finish - me and Ruth standing together watching while
mentally teleporting back to the early 90's.
Monday, September 11th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Shlepped to Boston to play at the Royale. Great venue, good crowd. A bit of a low energy
show for me. Maybe I was subconsciously saving it for NYC. After loading out the first wave
of gear Pej rescued me and dragged me to a late night eatery in Chinatown. I needed the escape
and extra random meal of dumplings and skewers. Finished the load, and I did the drive out of
town post-gig to stay in Connecticut. On the way out of town I missed a non-obvious left turn
and had to go all the way around the park to get back on track. Hilariously this was the same
park I had to circumnavigate like five times long ago when lost trying to figure out how to negioate
around the fucking stupid ass maze of one-way streets before playing my first ever gig in Boston
(with Mumble & Peg back in 1998).
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Back in NYC! Sold out show for SC3/Dead Cross at the Gramercy Theatre. All the
people were in attendance. Lots of the usual NYC friends and peers. Quick hello to Zorn,
lots of time hanging out with Eli, and a brief hang with Ches up on the sidewalk (he came
too late to get in). This would have been a great show but the guitar DI sound was totally
fucked up (the emulator was having issues) and Trey/I fought with it half the set. Oh well!
We arrived later at the hotel in Brooklyn and discovered they had no parking so we had to
park our van in the street, which was unnerving but ultimately okay.
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017After a chill morning hanging with Randall and afternoon wandering around Williamsburg alone,
we played at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Much better show than last night. It's a Polish community
center including an old Polish lady serving up kielbasa and perogi dinners. I had one before
the meal and it made everything alright. In fact, I ordered a second one right after our set.
And then had a NYC slice of pizza after the loading with finished. More old friends in
attendance. Good night, except I was feeling sickness coming on, which was a bummer as I was
on the hook to do the driving tonight into Pennsylvania (getting some hours behind us as we
have Toronto tomorrow). We didn't leave until well after 1am and I was feeling poopy. Making
it worse was the GPS fucking up and making me take a couple wrong exits out of Brooklyn. And
the side view mirror was wobbly, so I reached out while driving to see what's up and the
mirror fell off. I held it (still affixed to some wires) while simultaneously trying to get
us safely off the highway. Steve popped it back in. I was wrecked with a low grade cold and
Joe valiantly took over the remainder of the drive.
Thursday, September 14th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Headed to Toronto for another headlining gig at the Longboat Hall. Once again driving right
past Binghamton and not stopping (the streak continues). Easy border crossing, so we didn't
arrive too late. Nice long soundcheck solidifying the sound and extra tunes. I still felt
pretty crappy but I got a nice spicy roti across the way while hanging out with local friends
Dora and Courtney. Then had a couple red bull sips which always helps one power through such
ordeals. Before the gig in my half sick, underslept, dyslexic stupor I went to restroom but
the door said "W" so I went to the other restroom and it also said "W." Oh right they call
them washrooms around here. After I exited somebody in the audience laughed and pointed out
I just went into the ladies room. Oops. How embarrassing.
Friday, September 15th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Back into the US. Another easy border crossing. Well, the agent asking us the basic questions
was nice, but then a second agent came by and being real obnxious. But after he split the
first agent said, "don't worry about that guy - we don't like him either." Made it to Detroit
with enough time to soundcheck and then get real Greek food for dinner (Greek town was right
down the street from the venue - St. Andrew's Hall). High energy show, perhaps in celebration
of surviving this 8 day run and having a pretty chill couple of days to catch up on sleep.
Sunday, September 17th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Made it to Milwuakee the next day, so we had the day off to sleep in and whatnot. I wandered
up and down the river in the afternoon. Then the gig with Dead Cross at Turner Hall Ballroom.
Usually we get buyouts for dinner, but this show was fully catered with some really awesome
wholesome food. We were stoked. And this made for a lively set.
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Another day off during which we hung out with the Flaming Lips crew in the morning as they
were also in town playing at the Rave that night. Steve's been touring with them a lot hence
the connection. Watched them start to set up the ridiculous show, then checked out the historic
haunted pool at this venue, and the green room which was decorated by Prince way back when and
just left that way. Then we drove to Minneapolis and spent the night at the house of Kai
(from Bubblemath). The place was full of cats to pet, synths to mess with, and surfaces
for all of us to sleep on. And in the morning he made sausages and a large dutch baby pancake
for all to eat. Kai and fiancee Annette were such amazing hosts! Then back to work, playing
at First Avenue - where lots of Purple Rain was filmed. Another good show, and lots of local
friends in attendance. Also in attendance was Rich Doucette, a former SC3 guy
who lives in this part of the country and came all the way out to the show to sit in playing
sarangi on a couple tunes. Adding that sonic element was a breath of fresh air.
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017We sacrificed a little sleep and hauled ass just so we could eat at Joe's Barbecue in Kansas City.
Holy shit that totally worth it. And as luck would have it Wednesdays they serve "burnt ends" of
the brisket. So good. Then into Lawrence to play at Liberty Hall. Fun time in this hipster part
of town. After our opening set I followed Joe to the venue down the way as his old friend was
playing with Thunderkat and so we got in for free to check it out. I enjoyed a few tunes
before heading back to the venue to deal with the load out and whatnot.
Friday, September 22nd, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Then over to Denver during the day off, crashing at Steve's place for three nights. After the
first night we then headed to Ft. Collins to play at Downtown Artery. I navigated the public
transpo to get there myself well in advance to go hang with my old friend Casey all afternoon.
Fun headlining show, with industrial duo Echo Beds opening up. Shout out to David Cooper
who just happened to be in town and attended the show. Since the had nice rooms
for us to sleep in some of us actually just stayed behind to crash out right after the show.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Sadly the last show opening up for Dead Cross, but it was a good one. Filled up the Ogden
Theatre in Denver. Huge crowd despite the rain. Felt great, sounded great. Then a big long
hang in the green room afterward with the Dead Cross crew, even though we had to get up in a
few hours to head all the way to Omaha the next day.
Sunday, September 24th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Rounding out the tour by slowly heading back to the east coast (where we'll return the van)
and doing headlining gigs along the way. First stop, Omaha. Played at the Reverb Lounge. We
arrived super late but still managed to load, set up, soundcheck, and still have time to get
yummy hipster ramen from across the street. Local solo act Dereck Higgins kicked things
off with a fun set. We rocked our set. Honestly we've been having good shows for most of this
tour. I did have a midi panic issue during my Brazen solo, but we all survived.
Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Then headed to Chicago to play at the Beat Kitchen. Oh yeah this is where Faun Fables played
that gig opening for Cheer-Accident back in 2006. We were gut bombed by eating burgers at
Kuma's Corner down the street, but still played an energetic set to a large crowd. Everybody was
happy. Lots of local friends, old and new, were there and stoked. Also a couple of the Dead Cross
crew guys were hanging out (they were in town dropping off their rental van).
Thursday, September 28th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017These headlining shows on this tour were all kinda booked last minute, so you take what you can get.
Including this one venue: Bar le Cha Cha in Ste Therese (a suburb well outside of Montreal). Kind of
a small random bar with a "stage" on the floor. Luckily we were able to fit on the stage space but
more so the local opening band (the five piece Unbeing)
not only played ball and were happy/willing to set up on the floor next to the stage, but they also
helped promote the show and get a lot of people out here. Ended up being surprisingly packed in there.
Before the gig I asked the bartender lady for the wifi password. She wouldn't give it to me - she had
to type it in herself. And she typed it in wrong. I asked her to do it again. Once again fucked up.
Joe handed her his phone and she got his on the network. So I asked once more and she snapped in her
French accent, "I don't have time for this!" Thanks a lot.
Anyway, good show. Had poutine before the gig. Not sure why.
Friday, September 29th, 2017
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Summer/Fall 2017Final show of the tour - at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn!
This was announced last minute (as to not impede with attendance at the earlier NYC gigs with Dead Cross.
But despite that it was a packed house. We clearly made new fans while opening for Dead Cross. Sweet.
Starting the night was a fun and impressive band with a great name: You Bred Raptors?
We played a good long set, high energy and crazy solos to close out the tour. Also given Vitus has a bunch
of random amps laying around, me and Trey finally got to deliver the metal using a Marshall head/cabinet
(instead of the gross emulator/monitors we've been using all tour). And that was that. Last time peeling
off the sweaty robes for now. I left to fly back home within hours of loading out.
Friday, October 20th, 2017For kicks we played a show at Airship Laboratories - a "live in the studio" kind of deal. We used the
opportunity to put on an intimate show for friends and fans, formally play the Nina Simone tribute set
for those who missed the SF Jazz show, perform all our new material (including four tunes as yet unheard
live by anybody outside of the band) and debut our new backing vocalist, Natalie. A success on all fronts!
Quite a monumental effort considering the otherwise low-key nature of a DIY show.