Fuzzybunny Rocks Out at the 12th Annual Outsound New Music Summit!!

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Photo by Peter B. Kaars http://peterbkaars.com/

Last Thursday and Friday (July 26-27) were the “electronic music” days at the the 12th Annual Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco, CA (July 31-27). I attended both days.

The last act on the second day was the most fun of the two days. It was the only time the audience clapped wildly and shouted for more!!

I was outside chatting with some musicians before the last act on the second day, when we heard some very interesting loud sounds and rushed in to hear Fuzzy Bunny. The previous group, PMOCATAT Ensemble, had been quiet.

Fuzzy Bunny is “a high-powered electronic improvisation and composition trio consisting of Chris Brown, Scot Gresham-Lancaster and Tim Perkis. All-out “carnallectual” electronic improv, rocky-roaded with pop-music fragments and sonic gags define some kind of new style, difficult to describe. Edwin Pouncey in The Wire called them “a total meltdown of the senses…a trio of smartarses with nothing to say.”

The performance was a reunion for the group, who had not played together for 10 years.

I had seen all of the electronic musicians members of Fuzzy Bunny perform many times – Chris Brown, Tim Perkis, and Scot Gresham-Lancaster, but never as Fuzzy Bunny. Tim had recently returned from a 6 month music residency in France. Scot had moved to Dallas, TX last year and was back to the Bay Area for a visit.

Chris Brown, Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., was the ringleader. I had only seen him doing electronic music sitting in front of a laptop or conducting a group. Friday night he was standing up and moving around like a DJ!

Chris played excerpts from popular music, including “Heard it from the Grapevine”, Beatles tunes, and lots of other songs I can’t remember. I think I heard a short clip of Arnold Schwartzenegger speaking from one of his action movies. Of course, they all improvised wildly on the excerpts. For you techies, he was playing an Alesis Photon X-25 that looked well used and using Supercollider software.

Tim Perkis was in the middle of the group, in his usual role of sitting quietly at his laptop, contributing sounds from his custom electronic music software.

Scot Gresham-Lancaster was playing electric guitar and also moving to the music. Just before they were scheduled to start playing, he discovered the neck of his guitar was broken. He borrowed a guitar from David Molina, the first performer of the evening. But, he was not able to operate his pedal board with his feet, so he used one hand. The only other time I saw a guitar player doing that was Nels Cline (Wilco) last year performing in Oakland, CA. But, Nels only did it occasionally during his performance. Scot made some very interesting sounds. The Show Must Go On!!

What does this mean? I guess all of us, including electronic musicians, love to hear our favorite music with a good DJ and a guitar player!!

Disclosure: I am not an electronic musician, but have played with one for three years in my Ear Spray band, Carlos Jennings.

Click here see what electronic music guru, Amar Chaudhary, said on his blog about the two days (and the other days of the event), plus lots more info on the performers’ other music endeavours and other famous people they have played with:

For more details on the Summit and the artists, go to

Obsessed with video!!

Back in the “stone age” of video in the 1980s I took classes and worked on documentary videos. I came from black and white still photography and did not like the relatively poor image quality, although I loved video production – recording, editing, etc. Also the equipment was very expensive to rent and the video tape stretched when played. Fortunately, editing is really, really easy now due to the software. I started taking videos of other musicians performing about two years ago, using my iphone camera. When I got an iphone 5 I recorded everything in HD. I also recorded almost all of Ear Spray’s gigs. It was ok, but not very creative.I put all the videos on youtube and used iMovie for the Mac, an very, very easy program to use. Since I was posting to youtube “quality” was not a big deal as the videos are compressed.

A few months ago I decided to use videos projected behind Ear Spray while we perform. Recording and editing is very easy. But, wow, the projectors have really changed!! My iphone records in HD, so, of course, I had to have an HD projector. I had not used a video projector for a long time, so  it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted, since I am very picky about quality of the projected images – must be HD. One of my first projects is to have live video of Carlos playing. Mark and I move around but Carlos is trapped to his table of electronics. I will have a video camera focused on his table to show what he is doing.See the foto below.

carlos 10-10 buttonsI studied science in high school and college and am working on videos using science-related footage. Hopefully by this fall I will have some video ready to go. Carlos and I attended a performance at Davis Hall in San Francisco of Phillip Glass’ live music accompanying the film Koyaanisqatsi. I got so many ideas!!

Good thing we have Mark to play percussion in Ear Spray while I am fiddling with the video stuff!!

Finally got this darn band web site up!!

Three years ago I set up a myspace page for Ear Spray, when we first started performing together. Of course, soon later myspace went kids thumbs updefunct for musicians :<  Last fall I started a business wordpress blog that is now almost 60 postings plus lots of comments. After months of working on my business wordpress blog, it didn’t take long to set this one up. It was hard going from html to learning wordpress, which is much less flexible (I had never used templates before), but it worked out well for a band page as it takes little time to manage. Of course, knowing some HTML really helps with WordPress.For setting up this blog, most of my time was spent deciding on a template.