it has been a crazy couple of weeks, a barrage of goodness that has arrived like a feast.
First of all, to be clear, The Joe's Pub gig with Balthrop, Alabama and Caithlin DeMarraiss was the most exciting and wonderful thing I have ever been a part of. Caithlin summed it up pretty well last night when she said, "The most fun two bands, one artist and a club full of people could possibly have" and Lauren's admonishment to me on the bus back from Sag Harbor Sunday to "stop smiling" probably explains why my face hurts.
And then on Monday, Michael Leonhart rolled in to the Pub, told them to keep the screen in place and put on a show that was completely inspiring and wonderful. Michael shared some of the delightful sounds and songs he composed in various hotel rooms and tour buses while on tour with Steely Dan. He's always thinking, that Michael Leonhart, and turning ephemeral ideas into tunes. A few weeks back, Michael and his wife Jamie joined Katie-Marie and I up in the booth to watch Tony Scherr and I noted that, at the height of his enjoyment and excitement about the show, Michael pulled out a little pad of paper and a pen and started taking notes, jotting down ideas and smiling like a mad genius. On Monday he showed up with four horns, a human beat-box, a scratcher, a table of electronics with his trumpet hanging on it and a trio of gorgeous back-up singers--including his sister Caroline and his wife Jamie. And, oh yeah, an amazing collection of eccentric films and video loops to round out the experience. And it was hands-down one of the most inspired things I have seen at the Pub.
A week earlier--after a day spent working on a video for Jamie Leonhart that Jeremy and I are putting together--I had seen Michael as band-member with The Eternal Buzz Brass Band, Geoff Mann's amazing ensemble. Geoff was the drummer and a horn-player with Balthrop, Alabama before he and his wife moved to California to soak up some sun and start a family; but, they were back for a tour and some New York time. Matt, Josh and Jason from Balthrop all played with The Eternal Buzz as well, which exemplifies how intertwined this web of talent is becoming. Everywhere I turn are friends and collaborators doing work that moves us all forward.
The realist in me imagines that these times are rare, precious and few; the idealist counters that the potential is always there to actualize and maintain this blessed magic.
Of course, both the idealist and the realist have been invited to perform with Balthrop, Alabama again at Joe's Pub in July, so either way, I'm gonna keep smiling a little longer.