Newsbits: Eighth Blackbird / The Thing / ICE / Lopez

Modern classical ensemble the Eighth Blackbird is playing Chicago tonight and Saturday.

In an odd mix, free-jazz group The Thing is collaborating with Don Cherry‘s daughter, Neneh, on covers of tracks by Suicide, the Stooges, MF Doom, Cherry’s father, and more.

The International Contemporary Ensemble have announced their collaborators for 2013: Martin Hiendl and Monica Duncan, Sasha Siem, Felipe Lara, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Daniel R. Dehaan, and Maria Stankova.

Stephan Moore and ISSUE Project Room have commissioned a new piece by sound artist Francisco López for Moore’s unique multi-channel sound system, and it will be performed on Saturday night.

Search and Restore: New Orleans

From Open Ears Music:

The Open Ears Music Series is proud to be a part of Search & Restore New Orleans, a 3 day festival (April 30th-May 2) celebrating the incredible new jazz musicians, creative composers and improvisers operating in New Orleans today, organized by Adam Schatz (founder of Search & Restore), Justin Peake (founder of the Merged series @ the Dragon’s Den) and Jeff Albert (founder of the Open Ears series @ the Blue Nile). We will host the Round Robin Improvised Duets from 7-9 pm on Tuesday May 1 in the Blue Nile Balcony Room, before our regularly scheduled WATIV concert. More details about participating artists will be posted soon.

San Francisco Bay Area Scene

Gloria Cheng
Cover of Gloria Cheng

From Bay Improviser:

Thursday, March 22, 8pm
OutSound presents the Luggage Store New Music Series, this week featuring a set at 8pm with Sarah Elena Palmer (vocals, processing), and at 9pm with Ann/Marianne, featuring Ann O’Rourke (cymbals, drums, found objects, effects) and Marianne Tomita McDonald (Scottish harp). Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St. (@ 6th St.), San Francisco | $6-10

From CNMAT, Berkeley:

Thursday, March 22, 8pm
CNMAT presents pianist and Regent’s Lecturer Gloria Cheng in a performance, demonstration, and discussion of new works for piano and live electronics. The pieces have been composed for this occasion by UC Berkeley graduate composers Sivan Eldar, Dan Van Hassel, and Jen Wang. CNMAT, University of California Berkeley, 1750 Arch St., Berkeley | Free

From Bay Improviser:

Friday, March 23, 6:30pm
In 1975, California-based Dutch Conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader disappeared under mysterious circumstances at sea while attempting to cross the Atlantic in a small craft. Filmmaker Rene Daalder uses this story as the basis for a sweeping overview of contemporary art and an epic saga of the transformative powers of the ocean in his 2008 film Here is Always Somewhere Else: The Life of Bas Jan Ader. Before the screening, immerse yourself in a recording of ARP’s meditative electronic musical work Odyssey (For Bas Jan Ader). In conjunction with the exhibition State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970. Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley | Free to $7

Friday, March 23, 8pm
Artists’ Television Access presents an evening of electroacoustic audio-visual improvisation with Bill Hsu (electronics, interactive animation), Tony Dryer (contrabass), Jacob Felix Heule (percussion), and special guests from Norway. Artists’ Television Access, 992 Valencia St., San Francisco | $6-10

Friday, March 23, 8pm
Open Sound West at CNMAT presents Jacob Zimmerman’s Lawson and Zachary Watkins’ Positively Right On. The Lawson Ensemble, formed in the fall of 2009, features Jacob Zimmerman (alto sax), Theo Padouvas (trumpet), Rob Ewing (trombone), Michael Coleman and Dan VanHassel (keyboards), and Dan Good (electronics and trumpet). Positively Right On by Zachary James Watkins is a new work written for Ava Mendoza and John Shiurba who are also the performers (electric guitars). CNMAT, University of California Berkeley, 1750 Arch St., Berkeley | $10 / $5 UC Berkeley students

Friday, March 23, 9pm
Free Jazz/Free Punk band, LIBERTAS, will be performing live at The Starry Plough. Also performing will be THE ECONOMEN (MINUTEMAN tribute) and BRIAN KENNY FRESNO. Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave. (@ Prince), Berkeley |

Saturday, March 24, 1pm
Sculpting Air – Vocal Workshop: Theresa Wong will lead a workshop exploring the voice through raising awareness of the body. During the workshop, the following topics will be explored: using the breath, singing long tones, awareness of body tension, the location of vibration frequencies and creating sounds via focusing awareness on the body. Simple games of conducting via free movement gestures will be used to generate vocal sounds including textures, melodies, text and noises to allow the voice to take flight into its infinite expressive qualities. To reserve a spot, email tree_wong (at) Berkeley Arts Festival, 2133 University Ave., Berkeley | $30-60 sliding

Saturday, March 24, 4pm
Heavy Disciplne and Good Bellies Cafe present a double bill Saturday, with Aram Shelton (reeds) and Mark Clifford (vibes), along with Retro Blue, a new band with Jim Ryan (vocals, sax, flute) and Esten LIndgren (double bass). Good Bellies Cafe, 4659 Telegraph Ave. (@46th), Oakland | donations encouraged

Saturday, March 24, 8pm
The Swarm Gallery presents an evening with India Cooke (violin) and Cloud Shepherd – Andrew Joron (theremin), Brian Lucas (electric bass/tapes), Joseph Noble (flutes/reeds), Mark Pino (‘cloud kit’ percussion) share their experiences in sonic space travel. Swarm Gallery, 560 2nd Street (Jack London Sq. area), Oakland | sliding scale

From CNMAT, Berkeley:

Saturday, March 24, 8pm
Cal Performances, CNMAT and the Department of Music present the Eco Ensemble, UC Berkeley’s professional performance group dedicated to new music by established and emerging composers. Featured on this evening’s program is Martin Matalon (Tunneling),
Liza Lim (Songs Found in Dream), Aaron Einbond (What the Blind See), and Nico Muhly (Clear Music). University of California Berkeley, Hertz Hall, Berkeley | tickets start at $30, available here

From Yoshi’s, SF

Saturday, March 24, 10:30pm
Yoshi’s San Francisco presents the Eric McFadden Trio, in concert. Thoughout his illustrious career, singer, songwriter and guitarist Eric McFadden has steadfastly rebuked the Sirens of commerce, instead heeding the fearless, uncompromising Muses inside his head. Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco | $18

From Bay Improviser:

Sunday, March 25, 4:30pm
ODC Dance Commons will host San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: Contemporary Insights: Music and Conversation, as they perform Katharina Rosenberger’s scatter 2.0.  Scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, scatter 2.0 is the ensemble’s first performance of music by this innovative composer. Katharina Rosenberger will visit San Francisco to discuss her work with Steven Schick and the audience at this event, as well as at the pre-concert talk the following evening, Monday, March 26, 8:00 p.m. at Herbst Theatre. ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell Street (between 17th and 18th Streets), San Francisco | $10

Sunday, March 25, 7:30pm
OutSound presents the SIMM Series, featuring at 7:30, the duo of Kyle Bruckmann (oboe, English horn, electronics) and Lance Grabmiller. At 8:30pm, the Mirror Trio (sextet) will perform, featuring Jacob Felix Heule, Tony Dryer & Guro Skumsnes Moe (contrabass), and Håvard Skaset. Musicians Union Hall, 116 9th St. (@ Mission), San Francisco | $10 / $8

From FaceBook:

Monday, March 26, 7pm
Nebraska Mondays at Luna’s Cafe presents the Know Hassell Project with Foothill Jazz Trio. Nebraska Mondays is the weekly underground jazz/electronic/poetic/creative music spot, hosted by Ross Hammond. Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento | $5-20 sliding

From Bay Improviser:

Monday, March 26, 8pm
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players present Zone 4: in which momentum and position co-exist within the physicality of a musical performance. The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, conducted by Artistic Director Steven Schick, will perform a concert of music by Katharina Rosenberger, Brian Ferneyhough, Olly Wilson, Geoffrey Gordon, and Heinz Holliger. Wilson and Rosenberger will participate in a pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m., hosted by Schick. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, San Francisco | $30 / $25 seniors / $10 students box office info

Wednesday, March 28, 7:30pm
Tuesdays at Tom’s Place will host the Barney Childs Festival, evening one of a two-day celebration of his music performed by his students and collaborators. Tuesdays at Tom’s Place, 3111 Deakin St., Berkeley | Free, donations requested

Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club

Louis Moholo
Louis Moholo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From London’s Vortex:

Exotic Pylon Festival

Thur 22 | 8.30pm

Old Apparatus

Old Apparatus are a powerful and mysterious East London audio-visual collective releasing unpredictable, ambitious and strange music on Mala’s Deep Medi label. “A complex but still highly accessible synthesis of elements drawn from dubstep, hip-hop, industrial, drone and avant-electronics – imagine Mount Kimbie by way of Kevin Drumm.” (FACT Magazine).

Fri 23 | 8.30pm

Roly Porter

Roly Porter was best known as half of the almost-legendary production duo Vex’d who were crucial in the development of the dubstep sound whilst operating under a much broader and more ambitious sonic manifesto.

Last year Roly returned with his extraordinary debut album Aftertime, blending his command of heavy textural depth with a refined, almost classical compositional skill. Truly intense.


An extraordinarily powerful live act, Cindytalk operate in an entirely improvisatory zone. Cinder, Dan Knowler, Paul Middleton, Gary Jef and Jacob Burn, dissolve genre boundaries in a genuinely original way creating a space of free noise, further distinguished by their ability to move from savage elegance to melancholy poetry in the blink of an eye.

Sat 24 | 7.00pm

Cut Hands

2011’s most staggering eruption – Whitehouse mainman William Bennett emerged with a hugely visceral and equally meditative album, Afro Noise, which combined electronics with percussive instruments from Ghana, the Congo and Haiti – a startling strange and towering achievement. Cut Hands live is a formidable prospect – prepare yourself for a powerful experience.


Chris Douglas has been making some of the most beautiful and strange electronic music of the last decade as exemplified on the utterly superb and undersung 2011 compilation, Benacah Drann Deachd.

This is an extremely rare chance to see Chris perform live, and an opportunity to savour what The Wire called some “of the most striking evocations of the life of the mind that you’re ever likely to hear”.

Ship Canal

Ship Canal is Daniel Baker. “Music For Burning Kebab Houses. Ghost Shops. Flash Mob Rioters with Rabies. Asbocore.” (Kid Shirt). Dole noise. Psychic damage-tech. “The grey concrete crunch of bastard techno and mangled dubstep and seventies TV filtered through damp plasterboard walls.” (Cows Are Just Food).

Wed 28 | 8.30pm £8

Alex Roth Trio

Drawing inspiration from modern guitar masters such as Ben Monder and Marc Ducret, the trio – Alex Roth (guitar), James Opstad (bass) and Simon Roth (drums), is dedicated exclusively to the performance of its leader’s original music, in which grooves, colours, forms and space mingle at the interstice of contemporary composition and improvisation.

Roller Trio

James Mainwaring (tenor saxophone and electronics), Luke Wynter (guitar) and Luke Reddin-Williams (drums), combine contemporary jazz and rock traditions in a blend of conventional and experimental sounds, comprising groovy riffs, thrashy noise and electronic soundscapes.

Thur 29 | 8.30pm £10

Foxes Fox

Launching the ‘Live at the Vortex’ CD. Evan Parker (saxophone), Louis Moholo (drums), Steve Beresford (piano) and John Edwards (double bass).