Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Live! At the House Cafe, Sept. 27, 2010

Last night marked the fourth Monday in a row I have played open stage at The House cafe. I felt most comfortable, and as a result had better chops. I only missed a few notes, an accomplishment hard-won through many hours of practice. I am admittedly a little fumble-fingered, but can keep a steady rhythm and know how to read music and listen well.

"Walk, Don't Run," like "Etude No. 7" and "Rustic Song," are songs that I've been dinking around with for years. The sheet music for "Walk" is from a pep band score, and was given as an assigment when I took guitar lessons for 6-7 months in 1991. I wonder of my former instructor, Gary Williams, is still around. If so, I'll send him a link to the video with my thanks. He also gave me the music for "Rustic Song," which means, yes, if you do the math, that I've been dinking around with those two songs for almost 20 years. I can finally say I got 'em down cold. The Matteo Carcassi etude is from 39 Progressive Solos for Classical Guitar, arranged by Ben Bolt. I've had that book since 1992 or 3.

I played "Space Oddity" back in 1997 at Clyde's Open Stage, which was hosted at the now-closed, but still iconic McCabe's, just across 3rd St. from The House. But I just learned the bridge and outro solo on Sunday. I'd never played it with accompaniment. It sounds so much better with Jim's assistance. "Inflatable Barbie Chair" was written during the famed Tallheaded Woody Wilcox sessions in 2003, but this performance is the first time I extended the intro and also ended it with some nice feedback. This is the best live performance I've given of the song.

Here are the videos. There are three. My video shows all three songs, but cuts off ...Barbie Chair. My camera battery died. But Jim took video too, and placed the camera on stage beside his keyboard. His has better sound quality (I can hear the vocals better on all the songs and the overall balance is good). I am also including a short clip done by my former employer, The Northern Star, the student newspaper for Northern Illinois University. It shows a short clip of me solo from Sept. 20 at the 1:39 mark.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Live at The House, DeKalb, 9/20/10

Although I screwed up the Matteo Carcassi song, I've included it so that when I improve and play that song again I can look back on this performance and laugh at the iniquities I've overcome. My goal is plain and simple. For the past three Mondays I have performed at The House. I want to continue this streak for at least the next seven weeks, never repeating a song. This means I will have 30 songs in my repertoire, enough music to get a band together and go play some gigs.

I will try and video tape every performance, and will even include the not-so-occasional flubs.

Enjoy! And if anyone reads this, please leave me some feedback. I will return the favor on your blog.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New song, "Enkidu"

Whew! Seven songs recorded since April. I have three older songs in my repertoire I have yet to record, "So Damn Tired," "When You Coming Home?" and "Eph." Those will be finished by the end of the month. Which means with the seven recorded I have 10 original songs in my repertoire. Three more to go before I have a decent album's worth of material. Of course, the goal is to have 20 recorded by year's end. No time to rest easy. Good thing I enjoy the creative process.

A few notes about the latest song: The song is based around the A-flat-seventh chord, which I'd never played before; that's why I chose it; all of the other chords (B, B7, D-flat, D-flat7, and F#) are in the same key as the A-flat-seventh; the lyrics are inspired by The Epic of Gilgamesh, with a few lines paraphrased from some poetry by Pablo Neruda (beery belly laughs, etc.); disparaging civilization for the nobility of nature; and in this way, it touches on a similar theme expressed in "All the Same"; this is the first track where I used the drum machine on the keyboard; it can keep a must faster beat than I can; through this I discovered the verse is 170 beats per minute and the chorus 147 beats; Jim Nerstheimer once again does an excellent job on organ for this track; and his playing also appears on "Bomb Shelter."

Also, on this version of the player is a re-edited version of my first song. Its original title was "Progress?", but Jim informed me the song is done in the style of a ritornello, a recurrent musical section that alternates with different episodes of contrasting material. So the song's new name is... "Ritornello."

I hope to put a string of weeks together and play one original and two covers every Monday night at The House in DeKalb and videotape the performances. Last week was so much fun! My band's name is Stoom, or Stu(umlauten)m. My stage name is Allan Ru. Sorry, Mom and Dad, but Locascio is too hard to spell or pronounce. I also like to take on a different persona when I perform, so a name change is appropriate.

Check out the House's live feed Monday night after 8 p.m. to enjoy local talent at the best, and one of the only, open stages in DeKalb:

Monday's song list: "All the Same," "About a Girl," by Nirvana, and "Summer's Almost Gone," by The Doors.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

More Live! At the House

The House Cafe broadcasts their open stage performances at the following web site:


Check it out on a Monday night if you want to check out some of the local amateur talent in DeKalb.

Live! At the House

Its been a while since I played at The House, but Esther, Jim, and I practiced a few hours over the long weekend and performed an original, "Bomb Shelter," and two tracks from Picaresque, an album by The Decemberists, "Eli, the Barrow Boy," and "The Engine Driver."

I hope to do this every week, or at least put together a long string of weeks. I'm also looking for more band mates. I need a bassist, lead guitarist, and drummer. Listen to the MP3s of my original songs on this site. If you like them and think you can play them, get in touch with me as a comment to this post or e-mail glocascio@hotmail.com.