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Music Production: Maurice Rickard
01/26/2006 Maurice Rickard: The Even Bigger Show


Announcement
First we had the BIG show. Then we had the BIGGER show. Now there's the EVEN BIGGER Show! How big is this show?

* Unfinished Symphonies rocking the joint with his witty, urbane musical musings on the not-so-cheap plastic organ

* The belly dancers of Wicked Temple, accompanied by the atmospheric tribal ambient music of electronic guitarist/ukulele player Maurice Rickard and electro-flautist Steve Sciulli

* As far as we know, the world's ONLY Knonono No. 1 cover band, Konono No. 2! If you dug K#1 at the Warhol, get ready for Pittsburgh's own fun-loving music luminaries to take a whack at duplicating K#1's extremely catchy, distorted groove. On board are Mr. & Mr$ Funky, Tommy Amoeba, members of Amoeba Knievel, the Stem Cell Liberation Front, and the Hope Harveys! How can you lose? Well, by not going to this show, that's how.

When is it? Thursday, January 26 at 9PM. Where? Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (right near Penn and Main in Bloomfield/Lawrenceville). Map. How much? $5. And it's 21+. See you there!

Report

Glorious. We had a buzz, we had an audience, and the vibe was right. Even the road-rage-addled cab driver doing 50 in a 25 zone couldn't spoil it. (The one unfortunate part of the evening.) Load in was a bit arduous, because I was carrying the keyboard and the new drum, a gift from a friend, so I did it in two trips, with help from one of our K#2 players.

Rob had said he thought we'd be in the house by 9 for a last rehearsal, with show time to start at 10, which seemed a bit late of a start, but he had called it exactly right. We had a few friends witnessing this, along with one actual audience member, and for a while I thought it was going to stay that way for the show, but no--after our rehearsal, people started pouring in. The rehearsal had some good portents, as well--Ami from Life In Balance was dancing to our rehearsal, so it seemed we were in fact hitting our groove. After this, Steve Sciulli and I did our brief soundcheck (brought a preamp for him, both of us through my PowerBook), and we were ready to go.

My conversations with people before the show kept being interrupted as even more people I knew showed up--the dancers, my friend Constance, other people we knew--and even more importantly, did not know. The buzz Rob got going in the City Paper was going to help us a lot here. The place ended up with a lot of people, in fact.

Rob's Unfinished Symphonies set was first, which he did in the personage as Bill Clinton. His ideal pop sense was fully on display, to the obvious pleasure of the crowd. I felt a bit guilty for continuing conversations, though.

Due to the late start, Rob wanted a quick changeover and a short set, so we figured on doing a half hour. Steve and I were ready to go, so we gave the dancers the heads-up and began. As of this writing, I've yet to listen back to the performance, but my overall perception at the time was that a) I was glad Steve was there to contribute on flute, as he was supplying some really strong melodic lines and textures that the piece needed, and b) I myself was rather rusty in using my system, not always coming up with compelling ideas, and sadly missing opportunities to loop Steve's lines at the best times, or to process things in interesting ways. But then I'm often unsatisfied with how I'm playing. I was at least careful not to break the rhythmic flow for the dancers, so that was a positive thing. The dancers, of course, did a great job, or so it seemed to me, when I could see them to the left or right of the K#2 music stand blocking my view of the floor.

At the end, we got a lot of applause--or, perhaps, the dancers did, and we just basked in it. Still, it was neat. (If weird for me at the time--I seemed to want to keep making acknowledgements and announcements, rather than wait the appropriate interval for the applause to run its course.)

A bit of a break, some congratulations from friends, and soon we were back on as K#2. When hitting the drum (double-headed Indian drum), I'm always a bit worried about hurting my hands, because I don't know what I'm doing. I figured out some methods that weren't hitting the edge full-force, but which still allowed the head to ring, so that helped.

In addition to the drumming, I'd also be adding psychedelic keyboards from time to time. Many of the K#1 songs are in the same key, so what I'd do is turn the PowerBook's volume down, hit a few distorted metallic keyboard notes into the dub delay on infinite, and let the ostinoto go, turning up whenever there seemed to be a hole. On a couple of the tunes, I took a full-out solo. Nice. At one point, Mr$ Funky addressed the dancers, asking if they'd consider just following her around and dancing as part of her life--another ringing endorsement. So we had a good groove, a good vibe, plenty of applause, and money from the door. I even dropped three CDRs. Quite a good evening.

Contact:

You can buy my music right now over the 'net at onezero music-- instant music at sensible prices. You can check out free samples before you buy, and there's a discount for buying full albums or EPs.

If you like shiny discs, CDRs are also available. Click below for details:
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Live at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, June 4, 2010
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Live at Garfield Artworks, November 30, 2010
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Live at Garfield Artworks, October 27, 2010
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Live on WRCT, March 23, 2009
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Live at Morning Glory Coffeehouse, March 6, 2009
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The Furbies of Tibet: Live on WPTS, February 18, 2009
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Live at the Thunderbird Cafe, November 9, 2011
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Tell Ya One Thing And Then Some
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Death Pig (Live, July 2, 2003)
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Circuits of Steel Tour 2003: Chicago, St. Louis, Muncie
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Guitar Clouds
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Lady of Pain: Live, June 2, 2003
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Live at the Quiet Storm, November 2, 2002
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Tell Ya One Thing
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How to get this music? Head on over to onezero music and get your hands on some downloads.

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