This was my first time attending the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, but it won’t be the last. I was initially drawn to the possibility of seeing Stian Westerhus live, but unfortunately, though originally announced, he was unable to participate. I decided to go anyway, excited to see Nels Cline with Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief and Mayhem, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. My wife Liz and I had been talking about visiting Knoxville for a long time, so the stars seemed to align.
This makes me sad. From when I first encountered Source Audio, back when the original Hot Hand was still tethered to the pedals by a cable, I encouraged the company to target laptop jockeys. I was thrilled when they introduced the Hot Hand USB. It seemed like such a good idea at the time: a way for DJs and electronica musicians to stop looking like they were reading their email, as filter sweeps and other effects could be connected to the performer through their hand movements. I even figured out how to use it with guitar without tying up either hand. (See video below and read the article here ). Unfortunately it never caught on and is being discontinued. If it looks like something you could use, grab one now while they last.
The weather outside is frightful but at GM it is so delightful because we have a festival of concerts by modern guitar pioneer David Torn, Jam Pedals founder Jannis Anastasakis, as well as Guitar Moderne Spotlight subjects Nicola L. Hein, Hans Tammen, and Martin Siewert. So snuggle up in your jammies and check them out.
Sun of Goldfinger in Schlachthof, Wels, Austria
David Torn (guitar, effects), Tim Berne (saxophone), Ches Smith (drums)
It is always enjoyable to see Eivind Aarset play in a context other than his own music. Here he joins his wife Anne-Marie Giørtz for some avant-pop music.
I saw this at a NAMM recently and it looked interesting but was vaporware at the time. Also, it required wearing an unwieldy contraption on your foot. Since then the folks at Chroma Coda have made some changes to the Poly Expressive concept that makes it more attractive (getting rid of the footwear, for starters). They have also launched a Kickstarter campaign. What do we think?