i think it's important to see live music. it helps remind me what's going in the world and gets me thinking about my own art form. i also believe in karma - the notion that if you aren't getting your lazy butt up and out to some shows, that may in fact guarantee that others follow suit when you've got a gig somewhere. i often am conflicted when i see live music. i question the choices of literature, am sometimes depressed by how many people came out (lots - why don't i draw bigger crowds? few - where is everybody?), and inevitably doubt my own musicianship. pretty sad, huh.... why am i so intimidated by live music? i mean - it's fun to hear, doubly fun to do, and important to the furthering of society as a whole. i believe in it and know that i can hang, but am prone to questioning myself on a metaphysical level.
my friend abe goldstein hosts a jazz series in waukee. he has great taste in music; creative and box-destroying performers. last night, somehow he was able to finagle the icp orchestra (no, not insane clown posse). these dutch wizards of spontaneously creative music made a stop in iowa. i'm not sure how abe did it, but i'm very thankful that he was able to bring them through. attending this show was the best thing i've done in recent memory. the tunes were the perfect length. the flow of the set was unpredictably comfortable (tunes, improvised transitions, ballads, mixed instrumentation, spatial staging experiments). the musicians were in top form and very appreciative for the opportunity to play in waukee. their onstage banter was welcoming and positive. their improvisations were inspired and well crafted. their camaraderie was evident.
and han bennink... where do you start with this guy? about to turn 69, he was far and away the most engaging performer. he was the reason i was attending the gig, in all honesty, and he did not disappoint. he is easily one of the most creative drummers in the history of the instrument. he always seemed to play the right stuff at the right time, while swinging his hi-hat leg up onto the snare and small tom to deaden the sound. he sported his trademark bandana and tackled each piece relentlessly and sensitively. he was so grateful and especially poignant when he spoke to the crowd at the end.
i left caspe terrace relieved and humbled. as i strode to my car in the unseasonably warm nightfall, i literally said to myself "i'm gonna make it".