Gig Report: Luggage Store & Skronkathon

Luggage Store Gallery

First up was a very nifty band called Bolivar Zoar with Ava Mendoza, MaryClare Brzytwa, and Theresa Wong. They are like experimental + country with a punk rock aesthetic. So much fun! High points involved MayClare screaming like a musical horror movie actress and Theresa standing up and growling at her like the horror movie monster, putting the screaming in perspective and adding a comic element. It’s very rare and wonderful when a group can so successfully meld the performance aspect and the musical aspect. All the humor, screaming, outlandishness and punk rockiness is completely musical. I hope they put out a CD.

All of them are recent Mills alums (indeed, the band was founded as a project for Maggi Payne’s advanced recording techniques class). In fact, a very large percentage of the audience was Mills alums and women vastly outnumbered men. Alas, the audience was very small and a couple of people left during the longish intermission + burrito break. When I went on, there was a certain air of show and tell. I played:

  1. UPIC Impressions of Paris
  2. Bourdon Bleu
  3. Music for Panic Attacks
  4. Requiem for my Paris Refrigerator
  5. Organic Forms
  6. Meditations pour les Femmes
  7. A short improvisation with Ellen Fullman on autoharp

Reaction was generally positive. I am never playing Music for Panic Attacks again, zoloft or no zoloft. I may never even record it. People like it, but it makes me incredibly tense. Requiem is possibly not finished. I wrote it the morning of the show and I think I need to spend more time with it before I can call it done. I did not play any recordings of my refrigerator. Truth be told, they didn’t come out at all. It’s weird melodies will live on in my memory.


I was in an quartet dubbed the Just in Time Quartet by the announcer. (Not all of us arrived early.) It’s always funny doing these improvs where you introduce yourself to a couple of people you’ve never met or seen before and then start improvising. I don’t know what we’d talk about at a party, but now we’re on a stage just playing stuff.
It had a good energy. We only played for like 20 minutes. Mitch missed us entirely.
I stayed around for a few other acts, but then ducked out to get a sandwich down the street (yeah, the skronkathon was a BBQ, but my friends ate all my tofu dogs). The sandwich launched an assault on my still troubled stomach, so I ended up seeing very little skronking. Alas.
It’s funny how I have anxiety about so many things and sometimes barely get through my day, but getting up and playing tuba in front of a room full of people is no problem. I think I should play more tuba every day. Honestly, I don’t know how people live without tubas and dogs. How do they ameliorate the crushing pain of existence?

Still space for the last gig

There is still space available for my Wednesday gig. It’s the last one that I’ll probably play this August. (if you’re looking for a tuba player around the SF bay this August to improv – I’m your man!) I just found all the pieces of my synthesizer yesterday and set it up at Maybeck. It sounds nice there. There’s a good PA and the room sounds good. Doing noisy, loud sounds that cut out suddenly is very dramatic there. The sound hangs for a moment, reverberating and then disappears.
I bolted everything together sort of haphazardly, such that modules I would normally patch together are far apart. So when I was testing it yesterday, I got some very different sounds. The best patch ever! Too bad I couldn’t record it. I think I will keep it in this configuration for a while.
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Charles Céleste Hutchins

Supercolliding since 2003

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