Friday, June 25, 2010

First/Last-David Bernabo

David has a couple interesting gigs this weekend. Tonight he is playing Garfield Artworks with Matt Griffin as a duo called Tony Blowad. Also on the bill are The Friction Brothers who play...dry ice!?! Not a song titled 'Dry Ice', actual dry ice. Must be seen to believed.
On Sunday the 27th, he is participating in Nathan Hall's Music of North Side Spaces.
As with most of David's musical contributions, it sounds extremely interesting.
He was kind enough to take some time and contribute to this latest edition of First/Last Friday.

The first album you ever bought?
Bruce Springsteen - Human Touch, however, my dad reimbursed me since we both agreed that it was a pretty pathetic effort. After that was Pearl Jam - Ten.
Your last album bought?
Technically, these were all bought at the same time: Rolf Julius - Music for the Ears, Sylvie Courvoisier - Signs and Epigrams, Jamie Lidell - Compass, Arild Andersen - Green In Blue Early Quartets, and Gangwish 7".

Favorite album of all time?
Richard Youngs - Sapphie (Jagjaguwar) - just three tracks of voice and classical guitar - incredibly beautiful.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
This took forever for me to think of, but the Charlemagne Palestine/Tony Conrad record called An Aural Symbiotic Mystery may be the most disappointing record for me. I really just don't like the sounds on this one. But I love both artists' work in music (and beyond).
First concert attended?
Steely Dan at Star Lake!!! However, I may have seen some classical concerts prior to this, but I'm not sure who they were aside from Itzhak Perlman.

Last concert?
OPEK at Club Cafe, 6/4/10. Great show, OPEK played two sets of loose, but nicely arranged tunes from Sun Ra, Monk, Ellington, and more. 

Favorite concert ever?
Free Music Ensemble at Pitt Union Health Building. This was an alternate lineup since Paal Nilssen-Love could not make it. Ken Vandermark (reeds)/Nate McBride (bass)/Tim Daisy (drums). Possibly one of the first improvised music concerts that I had seen. Tim Daisy was playing this shifting half-time beat that knocked me out. This was also the first time I saw Vandermark live and the whole thing blew me away. (Thanks to Manny Theiner for continuing to bring these jazz shows.)

Least favorite concert?
After playing shows for the last nine years, I've seen tons of horrible bands and have played countless shows where no one comes and it can be hard to get into the mood. But, for this question, I am going to go with R R I I C C E E. This is Vincent Gallo's band with two other guys. I was really into his solo albums and some of his films, so I had moderate expectations for this show. Then I saw the gear - mellotron, vibraphone, nice amps, drums, nice guitars, and a beautiful microphone recording the set. However, the music that followed was an out-of-tune, unbalanced mess of what seemed to be most improvised ideas. Don't get me wrong - I had a great time, but mainly for the shock of how bad it was. I am still unsure if it was performance art.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is a place that if you want to do something and you put in the work, you can achieve it on some level. We still need better distribution channels to get music out of the city - more labels, more licensing opportunities, more touring, but this is one of the best places to create freely and have an audience for it. It is a very (musically) accepting city. There are tons of great musicians around, and I'm very thankful to be able to work with many of them.

Thanks Dave. Springsteen's Human Touch, eh? I would have wanted my money back as well. Even though the shows he did promoting those records were hot!

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