Our show at Lonnie Walker’s Underground Wonder Bar over the weekend was electric, and exhilarating. A classic Jazz Lounge, a great place for music. Two levels, three stages. We played in the basement; a friendly and cozy room. A handful of friends came out to see us, but there was also a roomful of strangers. And the folks that came out were serious about having a good time, and serious about listening to live music.

It was a special show, we had Douglas Johnson of the Gunnelpumpers sitting in with us on Clevinger Bass. Doug is a virtuoso on the instrument, and in two rehearsals he really found a sweet spot in the sonic spectrum of the band. Doug plays the Clevinger with a bow and sometimes it sounds like a cello. He also has an array of effects pedals and I was reminded of some of John Cale’s sonic experiments; haunting drones and wild excursions with reverb, delay, and wah wah.

If  you know me, you know that energy is the thing. And the band is all about the group energy. Playing live, you bring that energy to a room, fill it with people, and suddenly you are creating this expanding vortex of creative vibration. When all the elements are there, it can be transcendent, and incandescent. It’s what we all feed on. It drives us and inspires us. Yes, and the music focuses and concentrates the energy, and it can light up everyone in the room.

We played two sets. We really had an opportunity to stretch out, and the band just smoked. Everyone really brought it. I am so proud of our little band. Of course, every band has a loose cannon, a wild card, a weak link. I think in our case, that would be me. I always have something going on: dropped pick, broken string, out of tune guitar, shorted-out guitar, loose cable, kicked cable… the list continues to expand. This time my little tube amp blew out. It just fizzled out after a few paltry notes on my electric guitar. But you know what? The band didn’t hesitate, they just seized the moment and vamped away on some moody little jam until I got it together on my acoustic guitar. Nothing could stop us, nothing could kill the vibe of the show. And that’s a very, very cool thing. – Jammer

photo by Karen O’brien

I just don’t have the rock and roll lifestyle thing worked out. We played a show last night at a classic Chicago neighborhood bar. It was another thrilling performance for our band whitewolfsonicprincess. It’s funny we thought we were a tight, committed band, but the last shows have shown that there are levels to tightness and commitment. We have entered a new phase, where the tightness, the connectedness have opened to a new looseness and confidence. Exhilarating and satisfying. And the hardcore drinkers at the bar stopped, listened, applauded, bended our ears to tell us how much the enjoyed the show and bought CDs too… definitely some kind of endorsement.

But anyway, up late and up early too. If I was totally rock and roll I’d sleep to noon for sure. But it seems no matter how late I stay up, I’m up early, brewing my coffee, checking out the internet, (this Hula Cam from Burning Man 2012 is amazing)… and listening to music too.

This morning I’m listening to Lou Reed and John Cale’s tribute to Andy Warhol, “Songs For Drella.” It was released in 1987.  I have no clue why it took me so long to finally buy it and listen to it. Maybe I read a bad review or something. New resolution – never fucking listen to a reviewer! The disc is just so beautiful, touching, amazing. I picked it up yesterday at the used CD store, and I’m so glad I grabbed it. I’m listening to it now, second time through this morning… it’s just such great, thrilling work. Love it. Sad too. Funny too. A great, great set of music… and oh yeah, I’m such an admirer of Andy Warhol… one of the greatest artists ever… so inspiring… I miss him too Lou! “All that matters is work.” – Andy Warhol – Jammer