Life OUTside the bLog

Readers will no doubt have noted that the pace of entries on this blog has slowed considerably in the past 8-9 months. This is due to a variety of personal reasons that have made this a very busy year for me. I wanted to share some of those projects with you all because, basically, I need all of the advertising space I can get.

This month my jazz trio, the Rhinoceri Trio, released our first debut CD, ‘Libera Me’. For those of you who don’t speak Latin, that means “Liberate Me”. The album is a an adventurous exploration of several different musical influences: eastern european grooves, classical song forms and melodies, free improvisation, impressionistic textures, etc. We are very proud of it. You can listen to some of the tunes on the album here. The album is available for sale on CDBaby.

And here is a video of a recent rehearsal:

You’d think that after all the composing, rehearsing, recording, fundraising, mixing, mastering, cover-art designing, etc that our work would be done. But alas it has only begun. Now begins the long arduous task of promoting the album, getting reviews, booking tours, etc. I know that I have a rather diverse, international audience on this blog, so it seemed a waste not to mention this project here and see what comes of it.

The music business is a weird business. One wants to get lost in the creative aspects of it all and hope that the business end of things will magically work out. But unfortunately there is a huge amount of labor time that must go into promotion- designing websites, writing copy, designing press kits, shooting video, getting photos, amassing lists of press and venue contacts, mailing CD’s… Definitely an inefficient business for us small fries, compared to the massive publicity capabilities of a large record label. (Though even the big labels are struggling now-a-days.) While I have played in lots of bands this is my first time heading up my own project and working on all the promotion/business side of things. It has definitely been an interesting view into how socially necessary labor time operates in the world of the self-employed musician. The album’s title, artwork and the accompanying text, is somewhat of a commentary on this experience. The musician appears as a ponderous, terrifying beast from a far-away place, cruelly stranded in the post-apocalyptic city, yearning to be liberated.

Another project I’ve been busy with is making preparations for a tour of a live-film score I wrote back in October to the classic german-expressionist vampire film “Nosferatu”. The partly-improvised score is for clarinet, accordion, piano, violin and bass. We are hoping to schedule a week-long tour around Halloween this year. Here is the trailer for the score… it’s a long trailer- I still haven’t had a chance to make the short version.

We are looking for theaters, community spaces, etc. on the East cost of the US around Halloween. Let me know if you know of any good venues!

When not playing the piano in these projects I have been known to play the banjo. Here is a really fun video project I did this past December with my trio Noggin Hill.

Actually it’s one of the more creative things I’ve done recently….. The band has nothing to sell but our labor time. We do a lot of weddings.

I’ve also stayed super busy playing baritone horn with the West Philadelphia Orchestra, a brass band from my neighborhood that is quite popular around these parts.

At some point, once Drexel University’s crappy record label gets done shitting all over us, we might have a new album out.

And the last piece of news is that I will be moving to Boston this summer… chasing a woman. So I will be saying goodbye to my current Marx-reading group and looking for new folks to ready Marx with. If readers know of any good pre-exiting reading groups or know folks in the Boston area who might be good candidates please let me know!

I hope that once I’m settled in a new city I can find the time to catch up on this Law of Value video series and to finish my Kapital vol. 3 blogging…

Cheers.

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3 Responses to Life OUTside the bLog

  1. Everpresent says:

    Nice music,
    I hope you own your labour product (the music) and that the industry does not alienate it from you.

  2. I live in Westfield MA., during the summer normally and attend college in Unity, ME. Either way, Boston is a short ride away. I don’t know if you’re interested in the ISO, but I believe a branch exists out there of which I’m sure would love to attend a reading group.

    And if I may, I’m looking for solid information on a Marxist response to Menger and Bohm-Bawerk’s attacks on the LTV. I’ve attempted to search around, but even if the information was right in my face, I missed it.

    Hope all is well!

    • Thanks for the tip.

      As for responses to Bohm-Bawerk there are many. I would suggest reading Hilferding’s “Response to Bohm-Bawerk”. Isaac Rubin’s “Essay’s on Marx’s Theory of Value”, though not solely devoted to responding to BB, deal with his critiques well. Interestingly, Rubin and Hilferding differ on a few key points. “The Economic Theory of the Leisure Class” by Buhkarin is a good critique of the early Austrian School. Keep your eyes open for a forthcoming work by Nicole Pepperell (roughtheory.org) which will discuss the various readings/debates around interpreting the 1st chapter of Kapital. I respond to many of BB’s points in my Law of Value series.

      Hope that gives you a starting point!
      Brendan

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