So has anyone else heard of Crossfit? I discovered it two days ago because my trainer turned me on to it. It’s basically cardio combined with weight training. The workout two days ago was: pull ups as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by dips as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by burpees as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Then rest a minute, then repeat the whole set again and again until you die. For those of you who don’t know what a burpee is, think a push up combined with a sprawl. I got through the whole thing 5 times and then couldn’t do even half a pull up anymore.
The thing is, these workouts come with cute girl names like, the Lisa, or the Meredith. I believe that workout is called something similarly cute. I can only imagine what the tough girl names are like. Can you imagine the Helga, or the Brunhilda?????
Anyway, the workouts are great, and very low tech in terms of the equipment you need. Today they posted a variation on the 300 workout, which was challenging, fun, and almost killed me… again. The website is www.crossfit.com for the crazy people like myself who want to try these.

In shameless self promotion news, my band Finer is playing Birdy’s tonight at 9pm, and I’ll be running sound at the late night jam both nights at Springfest, so come say hi if you’re at any of these!

Okay, so I play music for a living, and I’m trying to make my band make enough money so that I don’t have to play with anyone else; so anyone who comes to the show this Wednesday will have my eternal gratitude and possibly be making my dreams come true! How’s that for pressure??? :) My band Finer will be at Birdy’s this Wednesday at 9pm sharp, and we’ll play for an hour. This is our first show back in Indy from SXSW, and I think we have one of the best bands around. Hope to see some Mofos out there!

Had a great time at Landsharks last night, and was so happy to meet all you Mofos that were there.
I thought today I would write about a style of music that’s coming to Indianapolis slowly but surely. It’s called Timba, and it originated in Cuba. It’s like a mix of funk, hip hop, and salsa. If you’re interested in hearing it, Orquesta Bravo does a lot of it during the second set at El Meson the second Saturday of every month.
Ever notice how life sets you up for success? I went for my undergrad degree to Roosevelt in Chicago, and just as I arrived in Chicago, so did Timba. It had been brewing down in Cuba for a while, but it really hit Chicago around that time, and I was perfectly placed to get into the scene. I was brought in by a friend of mine who played trombone in one of the bands. Timba artists like Isaac Delgado, NG La Banda, and Bamboleo were making regular touring stops in Chicago.
The cool thing was, when I moved to Los Angeles four years later, Timba hit there, and since I already knew the style, I was again placed to hit the ground running and start making money.
Now the style has followed me to Indianapolis. If you’re interested, here are a few videos: Enjoy!

In shameless self promotion news: my band Finer is playing Birdy’s next Wednesday at 9pm. Hope to see some mofos there!

Now that I know JK is reading my blog, I feel the pressure to write something awesome all the time! So I hope this suffices, if not, you have permission to chase me down and beat the $%#%% out of me. :) !!

I’m teaching about the 70’s in jazz history class today, and I found this amazing Miles Davis interview from youtube. For those of you who know Miles’ 70’s stuff, it’s pretty trippy, think Grateful Dead crossed with funk with less harmony and no singing. I played a little of the music last week for the class and ask them why they thought anyone would make music like that. Their answer was, lots of drugs, which made me laugh. I then asked why anyone would listen to that music when it came out. Their answer was, lots of drugs. All that aside, is it really the drugs? When I hear that music, I think they’re playing to make a mood, not a tune. Some songs sound like tension, some songs sound quiet and sad, and some sound like a New York street at rush hour. So the real question I have in my mind is, would that music have been as cool if they all hadn’t been doing drugs? If they had been clean, would it have been better, worse, or the same? When we hear Billie Holiday sing, do we hear genius, or a woman tripping? Pretty crazy…
I personally think that music itself is a transcendent experience, and I’m very lucky that I get to work and make money in a career that I love so much. Maybe that’s why drugs are so prevalent in music: musicians are seeking that euphoric feeling before they walk onto the stage. I think whenever you see someone play on a stage, whether you like the music or not, and whether you think it’s good or not, you’re still witnessing someone reaching for transcendence. I hope someday we can all find something that makes us feel that kind of passion and transcendence! Let me know your thoughts about weird 70’s music!

I saw in the discussion forums today a thing about “manning up.” It made me laugh, because when I play with Orquesta Bravo, they all say that to each other for things like not being able to see in the dark, not playing right even when the music is written wrong, and not being able to lift a 500 pound speaker by yourself. It also made me think of earlier today, when I had the really amazingly bad idea of planting a hedge next to my driveway in order to have one less thing to mow. As I was elbow deep in dirt, I thought, “maybe I’m not the yardwork kind of guy.” I like DOING the work, but the results are always a little bit less than presentable. So what does it mean to “man up”? Maybe taking responsibility or being tough, but what is tough? I’m pretty tough, but I would lose most fights, since I’m a foot shorter than average, and about 100 pounds lighter. I came to the conclusion that the best way to man up is to be able to keep a positive attitude in spite of all the things happening around you. In that way, things like responsibility and toughness work themselves out. I really thought about that as I got my shovel stuck under a root as I was digging and sailed head first into the mud. At least I was laughing on the way down….
In shamless news, my band Finer will be playing the Taste of Brown County down in Nashville, Indiana. We’re playing the last slot as the Wine fest is getting out, so I’m definitely looking forward to it. If you find yourself down there, come say hi! We play at 7. Also, if you find yourself at the Spring Fest in Muncie, I’ll be running sound late at night at the open jam, so come say hi!

I’m currently sitting trying to figure out a way to make Premier Pro work with my computer so I can edit my band’s South By Southwest footage into something that looks like a music video. I decided the best way was to give the computer and Adobe a break and talk about random stuff. I teach a lot of bass students both in my house and at IUPUI. It’s interesting teaching jazz to students who most likely will be musicians but not jazz musicians. They come to learn jazz because they know that it’s the best style to learn to be excellent on whatever instrument they play. I teach both the top and bottom jazz combos in terms of skill level, and what I’ve found is that the real lesson of jazz and of all music has very little to do with scales and rhythms and harmony. In my humble opinion, the real lesson is learning to still love yourself in spite of how you play at the time. How many people feel great about themselves if they know they just sounded really bad? Interestingly, if you can feel good about yourself no matter what, you never have a bad day playing. It’s the freedom from NEEDING to be perfect that makes you perfect. It also gives you the courage to try new things, which is the lifeblood of music. It’s the same kind of courage and desire to be different that made Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead, Kurt Cobain, and even Lil’ Wayne do their thing, and we’re all better off for it. I think that maybe this applies to all areas of life, not just music. Think about Google as a company: they’re not afraid to lose a bunch of money trying stuff, and that kind of character has led them to practically take over the world. What do you all think? I’m always interested in hearing what other people think about this kind of stuff. Thanks for reading!

Welcome to Hell: Okay, so I got Adobe Premier CS4 as part of the production suite, and now all my video codecs aren’t working. I’m trying to edit video, but I can’t actually SEE what I’m editing (maybe that’s better since it involves my face). If any of you are out there are tech savy with production CS4, please tell me how to fix this! Thanks!

The first time I heard about South by Southwest, I was living in Los Angeles. To us, it was more like South by SouthEAST! I had the great fortune to play there a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the experience. It was like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, only mellow. Imagine 200,000 people in the streets of Austin, and no one naked or too drunk. Now, I see the disadvantages of that, but it still was fun. We played Darwin’s Pub, which had an awesome stage, and did a huge amount of networking. So for those of you planning a trip in your future, here’s some survival tips:
1) You can have a good time at SXSW for free. You can see your favorite band for free. Most bands do 4 or 5 shows during SXSW, and only one of them will need for you to have a wristband.
2) The best events are RSVP ones. These are free, you just have to give a name and an email beforehand on the SXSW website.
3) Bring layers! Temperature was between 40 and 75 degrees throughout the weekend, so be ready for anything. It even snowed when we were leaving Austin.
4) Some of the best bands are playing at events not affiliated with SXSW. These are bands passing out flyers on the streets. One of the best shows I saw was at the Austin Museum of Art.

Now back to shameless self promotion! One of my students saw the band and can’t tell us what we sound like and what genre we fit exactly, so I’m putting that out there to see if anyone can help define it. I’ve been saying progressive pop rock, which is like saying nothing. So for those who are interested, here’s a video clip:

Welcome to my indymojo blog! I’m a full time bass player (read: nerd) and part time teacher at IUPUI. I have a jazz degree and have played with a lot of bands in town, especially the jam bands, so if you have a music theory question, I will be more than happy to reveal all the inner secrets of jazz theory which I’m sure will just rivet the general population to their seats. For those that are interested, I will warn you that you will be dooming yourself to life long nerd-dom, and guarantying your children a nice cozy spot inside a small locker once they reach middle school. Now I play for the band Finer, which just played South by Southwest. It was great fun. We saw about 60 bands. It’s always nice to see what others are doing all over the country. The Onion newspaper and Purevolume.com had by far the best stages that we saw, with great lights and sound.
Now that we’re back, I’ve been looking for ways to promote the band, as it’s the main source of income and therefore food for me, and it got me wondering, are we all totally saturated with music now? It seems that everywhere I go both in public and online now has music running. It’s all becoming so much noise, and I wonder if anyone is actually latching on to any new artists. Now granted, I have an awesome band, and I love it, but you all would expect that, right? After all, it’s what I’m giving my time to, and who would slog away for something that’s miserable? Anyway, this is the question I pose to you. How would a new band promote to you in a way that you would listen? I’m willing to trade nerdy answers for information!