You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.


Ryan Paul & The Ardent is the “alt country” band that I play with from time to time, and we’ve got a new record dropping in a few weeks. Mark your calendars for June 19th at the 331 Club for the release show.

The “How Was The Show” blog has a feature post on the album, including a sneak peek at one of the tracks, if you want to check it out…

Recent music news…

– A handful of unearthed letters written by Jazz founding father Louis Armstrong will be auctioned off in London next week.  The hand-written correspondence was sent to a British journalist that Satch was friends with, and provide an inside look at the trumpeter’s personal thoughts on music and race.   The Observer

– Grammy-winning rap artist T.I. played a sold-out show at Phillips Arena on Sunday, then checked in on Tuesday to the Arkansas Federal Corrections Institution where he is to serve out his 1-year prison sentence for illegal firearms purchases.  T.I. closed Sunday’s performance by telling the audience, “I’ll see ya’ll in 366 days.”   New York Times

– Nerd-rock legends Weezer have struck a deal with the Snuggie (the blanket with sleeves).  Rivers Cuomo had this to say about the soon-to-be-released new product: “A Wuggie is basically exactly like a Snuggie, except it says Weezer on it. The people at Snuggie are doing it with us and promoting it with us. It’s a totally legit Snuggie.” A Wuggie… I can’t think of anything more awesome.

– The Beastie Boys appeared on Jimmy Fallon this past Monday to promote the re-release of their popular Check Your Head record.  The hip-hop trio also revealed the title of their forthcoming record, Hot Sauce Committee, and then proceeded to throw down with a single from Check Your Head, featuring The Roots as the backing band.

– American Idol runner up Adam Lambert gave a stellar performance with Queen on the final night of the show.  Stellar enough, in fact, that Queen is apparently considering Lambert for the official front man position in that band.

– Editorial: I’m booking lesson slots for the summer months this next week.  Message me or whatever if you’re interested in locking down a time…

Yesterday was Miles Davis’ birthday… his 83rd had he not passed away in ’91.  Jeffery Hyatt wrote a great piece on the late trumpeter/bandleader, which can be found on Hyatt’s site (a blog completely devoted to all things Miles).

Money quote: “There are only a handful of entertainers that transcend art, those titanic names whose mythology becomes more absorbing with each passing year. In time, the lies and truths may blur, but the artistry is forever genuine.”

Meanwhile, there’s a free download of two 1970 Fillmore East shows available here, but only for a limitd time.  The shows are two consecutive nights of Miles’ opening set for Neal Young, and these recordings are never-before-released bootlegs.

In this recent interview from, Chris Martin sounds off about how awesome Bruce Springsteen is, the recent lawsuits against his band, and other misc what-have-you’s.  It’s worth the read, and then you should watch this video and try to not get pumped up about being a musician…

Ok, here’s the deal…

I realize I post stuff on this blog about John Mayer a lot.  What can I say… I like him.  I’m not a groupie or anything – I just respect his musicianship/songwriting.  That, and Continuum is one of my favorite records ever.  If I am totally honest, though, the main reason I’m so into his stuff lately is STEVE EFFING JORDAN on drums.  Seriously, I love Steve Jordan’s playing, and Mayer’s music is the main place to see Jordan at work for the past few years.

I’ve seen Jordan’s instructional DVD a couple times, which is rad.  I also have a live Mayer DVD that has Jordan on a few tracks (Where The Light Is), but aside from that I’ve not found much footage of him.  So, I am super pumped to have just now discovered a bazillion clips of him on youtube that I’ve not found before.  I spent the last few hours watching them, and the good ones are listed below.  Do yourself a favor and watch them ALL before you go to sleep tonight, and I bet you will wake up to find you are a better drummer because of it…

Some vintage Steve Jordan – a television performance w/ Jeffy Healey, circa early 80’s… (I feel like this might be from SNL during the era when Jordan held that drum chair). UPDATE: a recent commenter pointed out that this might in fact be Omar Hakim on drums, not Steve Jordan. Interesting.

Recording John Mayer’s “Stitched Up” with Herbie Hancock – this is a clip from a documentary on Herbie’s mulit-collaboration album from a few years ago called Possibilities.  The Jordan footage ends around the 5:30 mark…

Recording Sting’s “Sister Moon” with Herbie Hancock – another segment from the Possibilities documentary, this time featuring Sting, Cyro Baptista (perc), and John Patitucci (bass).  The pattern in the groove on this tune is sick.

Demonstrating a Sheryl Crow track – a clip from Jordan’s instructional DVD, The Groove Is Here.

Jamming with Danny Kortchmar and Bernie Worrell – this is apparently an outtake from The Groove Is Here.

Jamming in John Mayer’s home studio –  I found this video on Mayer’s blog, which is dedicated to chronicling the creation of his new record, Battle Studies.

Another jam from the Battle Studies sessions

Performing “Don’t Need No Doctor” w/ Mayer and John Scofield – Jay Leno show

JMT… “Who Did You Think I Was” – the official video release of the first “John Mayer Trio” single.  This performance totally rips.

JMT… “Wait Until Tomorrow” – the Hendrix tune on Jimmy Kimmel, from back when the John Mayer Trio was first formed.

JMT… “Bold As Love” – more Hendrix, this one from a Tsunami benefit teledrive.  Check out Mayer’s response to his own mistake at 2:51…

JMT… “Cissy Strut” – the Meter’s tune from another teledrive, this time for Katrina.  Jordan rocks a cocktail kit on this, and manages to actually make it sound super hip.

JMT… “Out Of My Mind” – another performance from the early days of JMT, from the Live @ Launch program.  The image is pretty grainy, but the performance of this tune is one of the best I’ve heard.

JMT… “Come When I Call” – a blues tune from the Where The Light Is DVD.  The pocket on this is huge, and Pino’s playing is just unreal.  Snare hit on “1” at 2:28 is oh so perfect.

Finally, there was apparently a JMT television performance that has some affiliation with “Network Live,” as I found a handful of videos from the same show all bearing that logo.  The “Jam” is my fav, but unfortunately the audio/visual timing is a little off on that one…
“I Got A Woman”
“Good Love Is On The Way”

I spent the morning at the RD shop today, because my new kit arrived.

My deal with Risen is such that I basically get a new kit every month or so, because Keith (owner) lets me use whatever drums he has laying around on a given week. The orange acrylic kit is mine to keep, but the rest of the “normal” kits you might see me playing are always rotating. BUT… today… I got another kit that will be mine to keep.

These drums were previously owned by Jeremy (Bwack) from the David Crowder Band, and they’ve been all over the world in addition to being on every Crowder record so far.

– 8×10 rack, 9×12 rack
– 12×14 floor, 14×16 floor
– 17×22 kick
– blue sparke high-gloss
– 6-ply, all-maple, w/ wood hoops on all drums

Needless to say, I am super pumped to get these drums.  Here’s a video of the arrival and assembly…

The guys at the Risen Drums shop are now on Twitter.  The account was born earlier today, and this video was “tweet” number two.  If you’re a Twitter user like I am, you’ll want to follow the RD page… asap.

This week in “Mews”…

– Radiohead has begun work on a new album.  Colin Greenwood: “It’s at the stage where we’ve got the big Lego box out, and we’ve tipped it on the floor, and we’re just looking at the bits and wondering what to build.” Nigel Godrich is once again in the production chair.   BBC

– A remix album of the new Depeche Mode record is in the works, but Sigur Ros and MGMT (artists not known for “remixing” anything) are among those tackling the tracks.  Might be more of a cover/tribute album?

– The new Frank Sinatra biopic will be directed by Martin Scorsese.  Sinatra + Scorsese = rad.  NPR

– Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam’s bassist) was assaulted and robbed a few weeks ago outside the Atlanta studio where the band is working on their 9th album.  Apparently the thieves made off with over $3,000 in cash.  (The obvious question at this point: “um, who carries that much cash?”)  Meanwhile, Pearl Jam has been booked for the debut of the new Conan O’Brien show on June 1st.

– The Rock Band people are working on a country version of the video game, to be released this summer.  The new game will no doubt contain heavy doses of patriotism, instrumental parts that require immense precision to perform, and be relentlessly mocked by fans of every other kind of music.

– Editorial: A band I really love, The Posies, have reunited and are playing two NYC shows in a few weeks.  The shows are rumored to include a performance of their amazing 1993 release, Frosting On The Beater, from top to bottom.

Check out this audio interview with Death Cab For Cutie, in-studio at a Nashville radio station.  The interviewer is a bit of a tool, but it’s an interesting 10 minutes nonetheless.

dnots300The past few days have found me listening to and enjoying a cool new collaborative record from Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse called Dark Night Of The Soul.  The album began as an accompanyment to a book of David Lynch photographs, but apparently won’t be released as such due to copyright crap.  Because of this release snafoo, the record is now streaming at, and it totally rules.  In addition to the work of Danger/Sparkle, the album also features members of The Flaming Lips, The Strokes, Grandaddy, The Shins, Super Furry Animals, The Cardigans, Suzanne Vega, The Pixies, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

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