Category Archives: The Moment

The Moment last Monday

Last Monday, “The Moment” (def: Nolan and whoever else) had a jam session at my house. I got my whole rig out, indicating this was a special occasion (first jam in more than a month).

  • 1 – Great funky track. It’s rough going now and then, but has some incredible passages, and is definitely listenable on the whole.
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6 – High energy rock/funk.
  • 7 – My favorite of the session. A trance track with nice vocals.
  • 8 – My “Charlie Hunter” moment (okay, that is an overstatement), playing a complex solo and bass at the same time :-)
  • 9
  • 10

The lineup:

  • Nolan McFadden – guitar, vocal
  • Willow – vocal, percussion
  • Will – drums
  • Luke – keyboard/bass

As the lineup implies, my left hand was on “bass” throughout the session. This was the first time I’ve had to cover the bass part, and I thoroughly enjoyed it (and it overloaded me, indication that I improved greatly that night).

Nolan’s Birthday Party

SNW played at Nolan’s birthday party:

The session was pretty good. We were solid, pretty together, and groovy. My biggest problem with it is that we sounded a lot more like a “jam band” than usual. I have a conjecture: pot + guitar = jam band.

That said, #14 is cool (there’s an 8 minute solo psychedelic keyboard intro, followed by a groove with a nice feel). #15 has great energy and #16 is soulful.

UPDATE And of course I forget to give credit to the many musicians involved:

  • Eric, Luke, Evan — The usual
  • Nolan McFadden — Guitar, vocals
  • Devon — Guitar
  • Willow — Vocals
  • Chris Mandel — Clarinet

Gig with Nolan

Last Friday, I had my first real gig. I performed with Nolan and a few others in front of 40-odd people. We played eight Nolan originals:

  1. Now Ain’t the Time
  2. Greyhound Bound
  3. Lead by Example
  4. The Me Song
  5. Movin’ On
  6. 2012
  7. The Guy Who Learned to Fly
  8. Hippie Chick (Encore)

The roster:

  • Nolan – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • Fred – Drums
  • Devon – Electric Guitar
  • Luke – Keyboards
  • Miguel – Viola

It was fun. It’s interesting what happened to my ears. Essentially, when the show was over, I hadn’t the slighetst clue whether we had played well or poorly; I was so focused on playing that my ability to assess the music was completely missing.

We had originally planned a seven-song set, but when we finished playing the seventh song, everybody kept sitting there, as if to say “that’s all?”. So we did an impromptu encore, a song that I’ve only played once before (not a very compilcated one). I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t do some total improv, something I’ve always wanted to do in front of an audience. It’s probably for the best, though, because Nolan, Miguel, and I aren’t comfortable with Fred and Devon in an improvisational setting.

The Persuit of a Practical, Proficient Percussionist

Ryan, our old drummer, has been excommunicated from The Moment for being a drumstick-throwing drunk. Over the weekend, two drummers auditioned for (read: jammed with) us. Leor on Saturday, Mark on Sunday. On Sunday we had the full seven-piece band there, so that was pretty cool. On Saturday we were only missing Miguel the violist. Here are the recordings:

If you want to hear me playing keyboard like a badass, listen to the very last one (oh, the other musicians were playing like badasses on that jam too). I did pretty well on the others, too. I wrote 12_05, 12_06, and 13_03, and they went well (mostly 13_03) (12_06 was unfortunate, because Connor and I both soloed at the same time, and neither of us noticed that this was happening, so we each did a full 24 bars!). It was a good weekend.

Halloween Jam

On Halloween, all the musicians I have ever known in The Moment (except Steve the drummer, I suppose) jammed. It was cool.

The cast:

  • Nolan – Guitar, vocal
  • Connor – Lead guitar
  • Luke – Keyboard
  • Josh – Bass guitar
  • Miguel – Viola
  • Willow – Vocal
  • Ryan – Drums
  • Kate – Drums (Sunshine of Your Love)
  • Everybody – Percussion

Jam (finally) with The Moment

It has been a long time since I last played with The Moment (or any band). Tonight Nolan, Josh, and I got together and played some music.

The omnidirectional mic was facing(!) away from me, so I came in pretty quiet. That’s not too bad, because my playing was nothing special tonight (except on Josh’s new song, perhaps named Born Again, where I have a beautifully subtle part, too bad it didn’t come through very well).

A Few Moments

A subset of The Moment, that is to say Nolan, Josh, and I, got together tonight and played some music. I was trying to record it multi-track style for clean mixing, but Reason and Cakewalk Sonar do not play nicely together (Sonar claims the whole audio driver, so Reason cannot output while Sonar is recording). So we just used the room mic. Here are the recordings:

Part of the cause for the travesty of #5 might have been that my computer was running out of battery, so it clicked and skipped a lot. Thanks to SoundForge’s repair tools, you can’t hear too many of the clicks anymore1. However, that may have had repercussions that screwed with the timing of the song. I remember that our timing was pretty bad during the actual jam, but I don’t remember it being this bad.

1 I have had nothing but good experiences with Sony SoundForge. I highly recommend it. If only it could do multitrack recording…

Jam with The Moment

Nolan recruited a new drummer, whose name I don’t recall. He has experience with trance, as one can definitely tell from these recordings. I like them a lot; however, as usual, they lack focus (our dynamic range is getting better though). Tonight was entirely improvisation, though we found ourselves doing some songs accidentally :-). I think we should continue doing heyholes and other such games in order to improve improvisational focus. Josh the bassist wasn’t present, so we all took turns being the bass. I’m the one that sounds like an upright. The last four tracks (which are continual play broken up into tracks) are very driven, and if you need some dance music, they wouldn’t be a poor choice.

The Moment – Runaway Heyhole

The Moment practiced again today. Finally, Steve the drummer showed up. Starting at track #9, we started a heyhole exercise. Everything was going well until steve put his riff into the mix. It was consistent, but the beat was so weird that it messed everybody else up. Nonetheless, we persevered until we got it (the tapping hi-hat that he decided to add was a big help), and from there it took off into 40 minutes of non-stop music madness. It’s pretty good, too. As usual, it has an issue with dynamics, but this time was better. The listener gets a few seconds of breathing room every ten minutes or so.