|NEWS SHOWS MUSIC WORDS IMAGES BIO LINKS
|7 November 2015
New recordings, web site, and announcements coming soon!
|8 June 2012
|2 May 2012
I am setting up a tour of the southern US, from the end of June to mid-July. I will post more information as it comes together:
6/29 Jackson, MS, location TBA w/ Shelby Sifers
7/3 Carrboro, NC at Meadows of Dan, 112 Hanna Street, 9:30 PM
7/4 Columbia, SC for Spit Fest II, 501 South Ott Farm, 3 PM
If you have any suggestions for hospitable venues or interesting bands, please send them to starceri at gee mail dot com, thank you! Hopefully this will come together quickly.
Sorry for not updating more frequently, I have been taking two classes and working full-time. Now that the semester is ending and work is slowing down, I can devote most of my energy to planning this tour, and recording (finally) at home on four-track (like old times). It will be about thirty songs, or as many as I can fit on a ninety-minute cassette. Interested tape label curators please drop me a line!
|1 Dec 2011
I'm very excited to play this show with Awen, at the Scarlet Woman Lodge of the O.T.O. in Austin:
Learn more about the SWL and Ordo Templi Orientis here. I'm not a member (of any organization) but I am a friend. If this benefit is a smash, hopefully they'll have more shows like this!
|7 Nov 2011
Like many of you (I presume), I have been following the occupation movement closely, but only participating spectrally. For my own reasons, I feel like I can be more useful from a distance at present.
Thanks to Bell Riots and Amanda Lepre for playing awesome sets at Bernadette's Bar last Thursday!
This Friday, I'll perform at Flipnotics for Capital Zen Night!
|19 Oct 2011
In the month since my last post, the season has changed, the rain and wind have returned. I'm wearing a jacket today!
I have two shows coming up, which I've posted, more details forthcoming.
I'm still waiting to finish recording the first six songs of what will be two dozen or more. For the past few months I've mainly been working and getting personal affairs in order. I should have a few demo recordings posted here before the end of Scorpio.
I'm re-reading The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche. Sticking with my recent literary theme, here is an excerpt, chosen at random:
|15 Sep 2011
Reading Yukio Mishima's Spring Snow this morning, I came upon this passage which struck me as a window into the author's nuanced politics:
More on Yukio Mishima here.
|21 Aug 2011
In July, I started recording a new album with my brother Mike in Dallas, and temporarily relocated to a punk house on the north side. In August, Jeanne and I travelled to Portland. We attended the Columbia Gorge film festival, watched Erin Obrien and Jeanne's animation of Erin's paintings on life death and rebirth My Journey, Jay Duplass' documentary Kevin about his friend the secretly legendary Austin songwriter Kevin Gant (who I once performed with at the old Church of the Friendly Ghost), and several other movies ranging from interesting to bizarre to bad to outrageously bad. Then we went to the actual Columbia Gorge, where I was overwhelmed by mountains, waterfalls and forest, and met a nice black-tongued tree snake. Then, to the Pacific Ocean, where we encountered wondrous sea creatures and barnacled mossy cliffs. Then we stayed near the Hawthorne district with my friend Shelby Sifers, where I unexpectedly played a house show with Joel Kraft, Ghiant, Johnny Bertram and Purrbot.
When I got back to Austin, the wiring shorted out at my temporary residence and my computer exploded. This motivated me to move into my own apartment again, on the east end of Hyde Park. Now I'm getting ready to resume recording in Dallas next month. As soon as I get unpacked and get my bearings I'll set up a show somewhere.
|26 May 2011
The tour is postponed pending actual interest in music, people who come through, and funding. The Capital Zen indie songwriter showcase is postponed pending a date that is not double-booked by the venue. My next semester of school is postponed pending financial aid, no thanks to a financial aid counselor's bad math. The book is postponed pending illustrations, but I'm working on those now. And Quinotaur plays at Monkey Wrench Books tomorrow night!
|5 Apr 2011
Friends in the Northeast: I am looking to perform in DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and NYC in late June/early July. It will be myself and one tour-mate, both solo and/or in collaboration. I'm not sure what name my friend will play under, but it's industrial/experimental music. Any kind of show, any sort of help will be appreciated/reciprocated. Thanks!
|21 Mar 2011
Welcome, Spring. By weekly updates, I meant monthly updates... There's much to tell post-SXSW, but first I feel I must weigh in on something more pressing. Not surprisingly to those who know me, I want to say that I do not support US military intervention in Libya. There is no such thing as a "no-fly" zone, as we've learned from past experience, only a war zone. Only a tar pit. Now, watch in horror as a familiar scenario unfolds. The US and allies will subvert the popular revolution, attempt to install a regime favorable to Western powers and global corporations, fan the flames of reaction, and smother Libyans' democratic aspirations in a protracted civil war. Except this time, given the paradigm shift in the Middle Eastern and North African political climate, the conflict in Libya is likely to escalate quickly to a regional conflict and then general war. As of this morning, 1100 US cruise missles and a number of UK tomahawks have been launched over Libya. Germany and Russia were opposed to the UN Resolution authorizing intervention. Will we go on strike to call off the dogs or bury our heads in the sand again?
The US regime already knows, from recent experience, that this strategy (bombardment, occupation, election) does not work to attain its ostensible goal of regime change. So, if they know it doesn't work, but they do it anyway, then one must ask, what is their real intention? Simply to keep oil flowing to the West? Gain a toehold in North Africa in preparation for a broader regional conflict? Protect Israel from its own bad cooking? Prevent the emergence of "sovereign" economies in the Middle East and North Africa? To date, the US has not helped to establish a single democratic government in the world, but more dictatorships than one can easily count. You can't install democracy! The US has zero credibility in the region, and has only proved it cannot be trusted as a "liberator". Case in point: Iraq.
The "flower of democracy" has yet to blossom in Tunisia and Egypt, and the nominal republics in the region have yet to offer the Libyans anything but empty words of "solidarity". Can we offer anything more than empty words, when our government carries out wars in our name, even in the guise of "humanitarian aid", to further the cause of neo-imperialism (or whatever you like to call it)? The Libyans don't want American (and British and French) occupation, just wanted the UN to ground Qaddafi's war planes. It is up to Libyan people to make their own future. Footnote: Since my economics professor makes his students subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, I happened to notice that the stock market inched up as soon as the US sent Marines into the Gulf. War is the health of the State. And the truth is probably worse than we suspect, though our potential (to change) is probably greater than we estimate.
|21 Feb 2011
Still no sign of Alphonse. This week I will redouble my efforts and hang more road signs and posters in adjacent neighborhoods. It is likely that he was either "adopted" (kidnapped), joined a nearby cat colony, or moved in with a lady cat he was chasing.
Today I am studying for my first philosophy exam, reading bits of Aristotle expressing the obvious, passing off tautologies as insight. I need more than three cups of coffee to wade through this crapola. It's no wonder western civilization got off on the wrong track. Medieval Christians picked up Aristotle's catalog and heaped even more garbage on top of it. His was a practical philosophy, in that it doesn't tell you anything that is not readily apparent. The implication of Aristotle's philosophy is that only the apparent is real, whereas with Plato the real is only apparently so. The former seems to lead to realpolitik and end-justifies-means thinking, and latter back to mysticism. My Qabalah and astrology studies tend to fall back on ideal forms, primal forces as I call them, but as a sorting method rather than a belief in pure versions from which everything else is degraded. The need to order reality, not pleasure, is the most basic human need--pattern recognition--especially if one is borderline OCD like yours truly.
I have a show in the works for April, with a couple of fellow odd birds. Stay tuned for details. And I am simplifying tasks and limiting the scope of my half-dozen or more projects so that I can wrap them up and start new ones. I have more ideas than time, but maybe some of the ideas are crap and some of the time is wasted. On the other hand, the purpose of relaxation is not just to rest in preparation for more work, the views of Aristotle, Calvin, Ben Franklin and other complete assholes notwithstanding. Slack can be an end in itself. Give me slack or kill me!
|17 Feb 2011
I am going to start updating this page weekly. Eventually I will enable comments and start archiving these. As some of you know, my cat has been missing for over a week. We've done everything we could think of and many things we wouldn't have thought of to find him. I am reserving judgment for now. If you live in the North Loop/Lamar area (or anywhere in Austin) and have seen a sandy colored cat with yellow eyes and two orange rings at the end of his tail, not wearing a collar, please contact me. A lot of my projects are on hold until I find my cat. I still have to go to work and class, but probably won't be playing shows again until April or May. But who knows? Please check back.
I have not recorded the new songs (three dozen), like I said I was going to have done by now. I was all set to begin, then realized I was missing the power adapter to my four track. Now I am considering making a proper recording in a studio, again, but in a more economical, less time-consuming fashion than before. Which means it will involve more help from friends and/or be more acoustic than rock songs. In either case, I'm going to get the ball rolling on this by booking studio time! Also, I am ready to reproduce my codex of arcane diagrams in some kind of less scribbled form. I just have to redraw everything more neatly, and finish distilling my notes into thirteen chapters. Progress is slow when one has so many interests.
I need to update this page more often. That's probably one of the most common sentences found on the internet. I spend entirely too much time posting and re-posting (mostly the latter) on a certain gated community, and tend to forget about my own web site. Long ago, I kept a proper blog, but I got tired of deleting ads for penis pills and suchlike. But if I can think of less self-involved content to publish, I might blog-ize this page again some day.
I'm back in school, taking three classes this semester, Philosophy and Economics right now, and Texas Government later. I'm also working full-time as an internet support technician. This does not mean music is taking a backseat! Nor are my spiritual/literary pursuits, for that matter. To mix metaphors badly, I've got all four pots simmering simultaneously. All of these interests co-mingle. My lyrics draw on my studies, which are never-ending, whether I'm enrolled in classes or not. I might as well get credit for reading philosophy--with the modest goal in mind of becoming a high school history teacher. But that's a long way off, yet.
It occurred to me recently that I seem to be shifting to a more "performance" based set, and thus playing more at "art" or "experimental" showcases than coffee shops and bars. I suppose that is as it should be; I've long lamented being stuck in what I call the "songwriter ghetto". But I am not altogether comfortable with the pretensions which may be attached (rightly or wrongly) to these kinds of events. My music is somewhat unusual, in the sense of structure or lyrics or chord voicings or whatever--subtle details--and yet also conventional, in the sense of instrumentation, song length, and the fact that it is lyrical. But there is certainly a lot of current music that is called "experimental" but that is unqualified for that descriptor. Electronic rock, in particular, is still rock music, in 4/4 time with verse and chorus, in diatonic mode, etc. A "surreal" music video does not confer experimentalism to a song. And synthesizers have been around a long time, now.
Not that I would discourage its exponents from dressing strangely (if a bit too much like each other), projecting video on stage, using cumbersome band names, or being generally obscure. But I would like to pose a few challenges to my peers (if I can pretend to use that term).
One: Consider the subtle differences in music that might otherwise appear conventional because of common instrumentation, the fact of being lyrical, etc. (My own music would fall under this heading most of the time).
Two: Try using a time signature besides 4/4. Dance music and rock music have trapped us in this box.
Three: Resist the urge to (for example) drop the beat out at the moment when it seems like you are supposed to.
Four: Write shorter songs. Instead of repeating bars just because it seems like you are supposed to, or just to fill up set time or tape (or hard disks), try cutting the phrases down, or going somewhere unexpected or into an entirely different movement. I am not addressing improvisers and jazz players here because I have little experience with that music though I am sure it is plagued by the same sorts of problems.
Five: Write good lyrics or don't bother. Think about the musicality of the syllables as well as the meaning of the words.
Alphonse and I have moved into a new place on the North side of town, and after this week I probably won't be working again until January, so I should have a lot of time the rest of this month to devote to wrapping up projects I've been hinting at for some time. The main goals on the list are to set up my new electric guitar, record about three dozen songs (acoustic), work on Quinotaur songs, finish writing (and drawing) my book on the Tree of Life, flesh out this web site, file miscellaneous papers, and send letters. I want to be well organized and have a relatively clean slate when I go back to school in January.
I am going to be more aggressive about setting up shows in the Spring. I've just gotten lazy about it. And I'll post Quinotaur recordings as soon as I have them. I'll be focusing on getting that project (which involves extra sounds and images) off the boards in the Spring, but I will continue recording and playing under my name as well. As always, I will not be playing south by southwest, but I will try to play somewhere that week. And please don't hesitate to ask me to perform anytime, anywhere, as I will most likely say, "yes."
After being somewhat disengaged (for me, anyway) from politics for so long, on principle as well as in the interest of not bursting a neck vein, I have recently been distracted by government threats to the already far-less-than-ideal, corporate-controlled internet. Instead of whining about it, I've decided to work on alternate ways-of-doing-things. I've pledged to help my friend Jon Riehl re-boot his long dormant Wild Idea Preserve, as well as another (top secret) project. In order to do this, I'm going to have to teach myself Python and catch up with the new trends in web design. Someday soon Jon and I will collaborate on music again as well. It's been eleven years since Dada2k...
Resuscitating. My new project Quinotaur is still on training wheels, unofficially debuting 10/21 at Cherrywood Coffee House. I don't know how many unofficial debuts I have to have before it's official. Between suffering fall allergies, working every day, and taking classes on weekends, I've had little energy or time left to make music lately. That should all change in November, when I move into a new apartment where I can spread out my music machines. I'm focusing on my Quinotaur set for the moment, but I still plan to record all the songs I've made up over the last couple of years, soon.
Work and school.
It's too hot to think. My various ongoing projects (see below) have temporarily taken the backseat for working full-time and getting back into school. I'm playing on Friday, August 20 at Flipnotics with the Basement Tapes, who are playing songs by Bob Dylan and the Band, of whom I'm no great fan, but David asked me to play so I happily oblige. I'll bring a stack of CD's with me to the show. As soon as I have a little extra cash I can stock all the record shops in Austin. Further distribution depends on demand.
Made lots of new friends this month. Howdy, y'all! Shout-outs to CRUNK and Children of the Feather.
Now that a small run of Sackcloth Standard has been officially released, and the new version of this web site is done (mostly), instead of touring or playing high-profile local shows as one might expect, I am going to take a break from shows in order to distill three years of notes into an illustrated book on qabalistic astrology, make more tape loops for my new music project Quinotaur, help my friend Rob build electric three string cigar box dulcimers, and record acoustic demos for a triple(?!?) album...not necessarily in that order. In the meantime, you can order my new CD directly from this web site, until I've assembled enough of them to stock the local shops. Each booklet takes about 24 minutes to put together(!), so it's just going to be like that. Thanks to everyone who came out to, made cake for, and played at my release party!
I will be performing at the New Media Art and Sound Summit, in Austin on June 18 (details TBA), followed by a Sackcloth Standard CD release/renew party at Cherrywood Coffeehouse on June 19, details here.
Learning to build cigar box guitars.
Projects I am working on this month: printing booklets for Sackcloth Standard (prototypes printed, just need to find some good paper), finishing several brand new songs, penning lyrics to unfinished songs, managing anxiety about starting to make preliminary acoustic demo recordings for next album(s), 30+ songs, making stuff for Quinotaur (new concrete/metal side project): cassette tape loops, papier mache, finding junk, finishing an essay on astrology and kabbalah with copious diagrams (three years worth!), two years back taxes (govt. owes me money!), making all songs from old albums available online (done!), uploading photos from recent shows, scouting shows for May and June, watching the herb garden grow, trying to keep things in perspective, holding steady at a buck fifteen.
What happened to Winter? In December, I played at Carousel Lounge with my old bandmate's new band Paperthreat, and in February I tested new sounds (and equipment) for a few friends at Genuine Joe Coffeehouse. I had little time to book or promote shows myself because, like so many people living in this country, I was working two part-time jobs, evenings and weekends, in my case as a pizza cook and an internet support tech, just trying to save a little for the inevitable lean times ahead–lean as from being squeezed by stagnant wages and the rising cost of living.
I missed a lot of great shows and parties, to be sure, but I made the most of what free time I had left working on songs, sounds and images for my new project Quinotaur, which shall make its debut Thursday, March 18 at Noon as part of the Leisure Tourniquet Equinox Mish-Mash 2010 at Hot Mama's Espresso on East Sixth.
I'm also performing Friday, March 19 at 5 PM at Genuine by Genuine Joe. So far, Quinotaur uses cassette tape loops of found sounds and live samples, acoustic and electric guitars, a drum, and voice, combined in a series of "sound scenes" with set decoration (thanks, Henna). There's not much more I can say, come see for yourself if you're curious.
Thanks to everyone who performed at and came out to the October and November shows. Now I need to catch my breath and shift gears to start working on a collaborative project. I'll post details (and hopefully a new song or two) as they emerge. There's not much else to report. I'm working part-time making pizzas and hanging on by my fingernails.
I've moved in with my two good friends Matt Grusha, who plays in She Sir, and Jen Brown, who belongs to Vestige Group theatre company. I'm still looking for work; in the meantime I'm selling this vintage Alembic F-2B stereo preamp on e-bay. I played a few new songs last night at the Moose Lodge (it was good to see you, Andrew!) and I'll have a few more finished for my next show, 10/24 at Cherrywood Coffee House with Wax Museum Pandemonium. I have boxes of new CD's but I've been dragging my heels on printing their accompanying booklets. By next show! What else? I got my 4-track back from Matt Smith's closet, so I'm going to start recording the thirty-some-odd songs I've made up since Sackcloth Standard. Cassette-only release?
I've set up a series of shows for Samhain. Details are listed here; posters will be posted soon. The new CD is on its way; it will be available later this month. I'm still hemming and hawing about putting together a little combo; lately I've been working around the clock saving money for pressing, printing, and rent on a new place, location as yet undetermined.
Hello, it's been a while. A few items to report:
Sackcloth Standard, an album of twelve songs recorded on two-inch tape in 2007 and 2008 at Hot Tracks!!!, produced by Matt Smith and featuring artwork by A.H.B. Jones and guest appearances by H. Chou, B. DiPietro and C. Swietek, has been finished since March, and will be officially available as soon as I can come up with the rest of the money to press it. If there is a label, distro, curator or angel out there that would like to help, please write to me.
After a short northwestern tour (Portland, Olympia, and Seattle) followed by a two-month stay at an intentional community, I am back in Austin, working temporary jobs and playing casual coffee house gigs. I'm looking for interesting bands and soloists to set up bigger shows with. If you happen to be one, please write to me.
I am also looking for a drummer and bassist/keyboardist to learn a pile of songs and play a string of shows in Austin and around Texas in the fall. If you are interested and available, please write to me.
I have shelved my solo imprint Distress Signal for lack of funding, but you can still order my old discs from this site until they run out.
|NEWS SHOWS MUSIC WORDS IMAGES BIO LINKS