....<....>.............<........ posting below .´
¡¡¡¡¡ >.,"": *& £££ £££ £££ ££

Friday, November 03, 2006

11.19.06: Culture Room-Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The mother of all shows, that is, not only the last, but with one of the best crowds in the world: South Florida. The finale was probably one of the funniest times I've had on stage (watch the video and you'll see what I mean). We had silly string, half-naked indians, end-of-tour angst, breaking stuff and more breaking stuff. I miss the guys from Jonezetta and The Whigs, and I wish them the best.

11.17.06: State Theatre-Tampa, FL

Exceptional show and quite a surprise. I can't wait to go back for the Fray tour.

11.15.06: The Social-Orlando, FL

The Social is always a special place because it sounds so great in there; well, at least most of the time, but this time, I had major sound issues, which made for a not-so-enjoyable performance.

11.14.06: Martini's-Jacksonville, FL

Not much to say except that we are getting closer to Miami.

11.13.06: off day-Nashville, TN

What can I say? I'm home!

11.12.06: City Hall-Nashville, TN

Our best Nashville show yet. Club of the Sons were exceptional. Plus, I get to sleep in my own bed after the show!

11.11.06: Grimey's-Nashville, TN

This was a special performance since it was the first time (without any rehearsals) that I played my upright for a Mute Math show. I played it on "Chaos" and "Noticed." By the time we got to "Reset," I was worn out. Not playing upright consistently for over three months will show you what a wimp you are. That thing had me for lunch, but at least I was warmed up for the next day when I used it for "Obsolete" at City Hall. That was memorable. I hope one day to tour with the double bass, ¡mi contrabajo míjo! I bought Ron Carter's Green and Yellow on vinyl, too.

11.10.06: The Basement-Columbus, OH

The Decemberists played next door in the big room. I'm not too fond of this venue because it's too small and only about a quarter of the audience can really see the stage. I'd hate to see a show here.

118.06: El Mocambo-Toronto, Ontario

Did the whole MTV thing in Canada, which was quite fun. The show was decent. It was a long day, and I was happy for it to be all over. By the way, I have no idea what a "mocambo" is except that I think it's a place and has to do with Brazil.

11.7.06: Mile End Cultural Center-Montreal, Quebec

While in Montreal, I kept wishing I knew more French, and since this visit, I have started studying. (My father speaks French, and it's part of my hertitage.) I ate at a Chileno/Mexicano place and spoke Spanish instead. At the show, the crowd was so insane, by far the craziest of the entire tour, for reals, no lies, ¡te lo juro! I thought the floor (we were on the 2nd floor) was going to cave in.

11.6.06: Webster Underground-Hartford, CT

Since I dropped the ball, the blogging ball that is, near the end of the fall tour, I decided to write a quick recap of the remainder of the dates. Must I remind the reader that it has been over a month since the tour ended. Most of these will be no longer than a paragraph.

Webster Underground was a crappy little club in the ghetto (it seemed like the Puerto Rican ghetto at that, which of course I have a special place in my heart for) of Hartford. Anyway, we had played here once before with Switchfoot (but in the big room, which was nice.) As usual, the crowd made up for lack of bad sound and lights.

11.4.06: off day-NYC

New York on a day off . . . not to mention, a day off in the city with my wife! What else could I ask for? We had a wonderful, romantic time.

I'm going to live here one day . . .

10.31.06:20th Century Theater-Cincinnati, OH

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos, Día de los Difuntos or Día de Muertos in Spanish) is an ancient Aztec celebration in memory of deceased ancestors, celebrated on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Souls' Day).

The holiday is especially popular in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and is celebrated in the Philippines, in Mexican-American communities in the United States, and to a lesser extent in other Latin American countries. It is a public holiday in Brazil, where many Brazilians celebrate it by visiting cemeteries and churches, bringing flowers, lighting candles and praying.

Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the perspective of some other cultures, Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead joyfully, and though it occurs at the same time as Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, the traditional mood is much brighter with emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and celebrating the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.

11.1.06-BB King's: New York, NY

It was my first time to play in Times Square, and it felt surreal to see our name up on the marquee, down in the middle of it all.

Down in the bowels of the city, Darren and I catch the subway.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

10.26.06-Zydeco: Birmingham, AL

Finally, the day came for Club of the Sons to join us for some gigs. It was like seeing family after a long period of separation, a family that blows your mind with its musicality and creativity at that.

Their show was everything and more of what I anticipated. I can't wait for Club of the Sons to record an album and start touring. They are one of a kind, and a must-see live.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

10.24.06-40 Watt Club:Athens, GA

10.20.06-Starr Hill:Charlottesville, VA

What is in the water around here?

This was by far the most insane crowd on this tour:

Sometimes the Sky's Too Bright
by: Dylan Thomas

Sometimes the sky's too bright,
Or has too many clouds or birds,
And far away's too sharp a sun
To nourish thinking of him.
Why is my hand too blunt
To cut in front of me
My horrid images for me,
Of over-fruitful smiles,
The weightless touching of the lip
I wish to know
I cannot lift, but can,
The creature with the angel's face
Who tells me hurt,
And sees my body go
Down into misery?
No stopping. Put the smile
Where tears have come to dry.
The angel's hurt is left;
His telling burns.

Sometimes a woman's heart has salt,
Or too much blood;
I tear her breast,
And see the blood is mine,
Flowing from her, but mine,
And then I think
Perhaps the sky's too bright;
And watch my hand,
But do not follow it,
And feel the pain it gives,
But do not ache.

10.19.06-The Norva:Norfolk, VA

Got up at 4:30a.m. in Nashville;
Flew to Baltimore;
Two hour lay over,
Flew to Norfolk;
Waited in airport two hours;
Friend Jess picked me up (thanks)!
Went to venue and was happy to find a ping-pong and foozeball table in dressing room . . .

Took pictures of my bandmates and them of me:

10.15.06-Stubb's:Austin, TX

Looking back on this night in Austin, I immediately think about the history that I've been cordially brought into, namely that of La Zona Rosa. I took this picture of Ruben Blades in our dressing room, and was humbled to be part of this legacy; that is, the legacy of playing some venues with significant history, such as Cain's in Tulsa, Knitting Factory in NYC, etc.

As the rest of the Texas shows, it was a special night because a good number of friends and family came to see us, especially people from the valley. For example, I was surprised to see David Ramirez, a friend I grew up playing music with and someone I haven't seen in over two years. So, it's nice to encounter such people in midst of tour. These things bring even more meaning to me as we constantly make our way around the country. Thanks.

10.14.06-Numbers:Houston, TX

Another great Texas show, but with too much destruction at the end . . . bass amps fell and so did people . . . Darren wore a bass drum on his head at the end of the show.

Thanks to Homer Rios from the RGV for bringing some tasty Mexican food from back home. Plus, it was cool to hang out with another homeboy Steve Salinas, with whom I ate some Mediterranean and talked about music, life, and old times.

Pictured below is Robert from Jonezetta. They blew it up that night in H-Town.

10.13.06-Gypsy Ballroom:Dallas, TX

Even though I haven't lived in Texas for several years now, I always feel like I'm coming back home when we play here, especially in Dallas since my family now lives in the area. I talked to my sister about why Texans are so proud about being Texans, and it is not always so clear. Were we brainwashed from an early age to think that this is the best state?

We do have only one star on our fl
ag . . . so does Puerto Rico. I know PR is not a state, but a territory; regardless, those a some proud people . . . ask mi suegro, my father-in-law.

However, Texas does have a unique history, that is, once being its own country and also its being a part of Mexico. Its culture is diverse and so is the landscape (hills, deserts, beaches, big cities, etc); it may not as beautiful as other parts of the States, e.g. Oregon, Washington, and Tennessee (ha ha ha!). I'm sorry to admit. Nevertheless, I'm a proud Texan, and always will be.

Before the show, Darren and I hung out with Jason Hibdon, a good friend and our old monitor engineer. We went down to lower Greenville street and checked out some thrift stores. It was an interesting ride as Jason jerked us around in his little pick-up truck, as Texas as it gets.

As far as the show went, this was by far the most enjoyable Dallas show Mute Math has ever played. The Gypsy Ballroom was packed, and the crowd, as usual big D audiences go, showed big love.

My favorite part of the set came during the end of "Break the Same" when Darren took his bass drum off his kit, handed it to someone along the front row, jumped on top of it as people held him up, and he played his little clicky/clicky part. I was floored to see Darren doing his thing as he floated on the crowd. He was crushing them with not only his drums, literally, but with his charisma.

10.11.06-Cain's Ballroom:Tulsa, OK

This being our second time at Cain's, I knew what to expect and was looking forward to it, that is, a historic venue with a unique vibe and energy. However, I really didn't expect the show to be one of the best of the tour.

I think what makes for a great rock show, ultimately, is how closely the band can connect with the audience and take them to another place, preferably a higher/out-of-this-world experience.

At last night's show, I believe we made that special
connection; sometimes the band can play all the right notes, make all the right moves, turn on all the right lights, and still nothing special happens if the audience isn't willing to go along for the ride; however, last night the crowd was with us all the way, displaying a vibrant energy and love for the music. They were amazing! We fed off it all night long.

According to Cain's, this venue was one of only the seven or so US dates the Sex Pistols played. Sid left his mark here by punching a hole in the wall, which is shown in this picture. They have taken that piece of dry-wall and framed it. This is just one of the many interesting things about this venue.

By the end of the night, I was feeling like this plate of veggies. My friends Roy Acuff and Alex Warren (fellow scholar and writer/legalist) shared in the joy of the night. Smiles bombarded the cool night in Tulsa. The dry air soothed our throats and cleared our minds for the next round of shows in Texas.

10.10.06-Revolution Music Room:Little Rock, AR

Just in case you didn't know, Rumba is a style of music, and in Cuba it has various forms.

Hay tres variantes principales del complejo de la
danza denominada rumba cubana:
  • el Guaguancó, (La Habana)
  • la Columbia, (Matanzas)
  • el Yambú. (Matanzas)

La instrumentación para la rumba

incluye tres tumbadoras (la tumbadora es un tambor inventado

en Cuba que, a diferencia de los africanos, tiene llaves; se puede afinar, y escribir partituras. Hoy es universal) y dos palillos que repiquetean sobre una caja de madera.

Dos de los tambores, (la tumbadora prima y el segundo o tres), marcan el ritmo básico; la tercera tumbadora llamada "quinto"(que se afina más alto), da los golpes improvisados, los floreos dirigidos a los bailarines.

I love Cuban music, Cuban culture, and most of all, Cuban food. However, it's pretty sad and (some what insulting) when restaurants claim to have Cuban food, but they are not even in the ballpark. Unfortunately, I experienced this yesterday in Little Rock, but I'm going to leave it at that because everything else regarding this city, the decorative venue, and the fans was wonderful. We had a surprisingly great turn out of enthusiastic people even though this was only our second time placing here; they definitely made me forget about my disappointing food experience. I guess I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to that, especially after being married to a beautiful women who can cook they real stuff. God, I miss my wife!

10.08.06-Creepy Crawl:St. Louis, MO

I woke up to a lovely Sunday morning in St. Louis. As I walked around the area near the venue, I soon found a beautiful church that reminded me of many things: one, my days as un jovencito sitting in mass, staring up at the ceilings; two, my Catholic school days at Our Lady of Sorrows in McAllen, Texas; and three, my first visit to New Orleans in 1995 as a new student to Loyola University, in which I gazed at the immaculate beauty of the insides of the school's cathedral.

Upon immediate glance, I explored the buildings' outsides, admiring the architechture and surrounding statutes, but when I stepped inside, I then felt a peace and calming effect. It was a serene place, with a circular fountain of sorts, endlessly moving holy water. The sound allow was enough to make me take a deep breath and relax. The smells of the old wood floors and burning candles brought calm to me in the midst of a busy tour and even more hectic city outside the four walls of the special sacturary.

I naturally dipped my hand into the bowl of holy water and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. I even genuflected without thinking about it, just unconsciously. This place was impressive to say the least. I sat down and just tried to become still. I meditated and prayed.

I thought of this prayer known as the "serenity prayer" -

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.


--Reinhold Niebuhr

I walked out of the church with such a good vibe on my shoulders and

seemingly, nothing else. I tried to carry it on throughout the day and into the show.

I felt such a great energy and revitalization during the morning that I didn't wait to lose it; instead, I tried to retain it and pass it on to those around me, specifally via music. As I played the show, I wanted people to feel the vibrations of that serenity I felt today. Like a dub line from a Bob Marley song or tumbao from Cachao, I desired to translate that positive energy into the hearts and soul of everyone around me. Hopefully, it did.

10.06.06-The Loft:Minneapolis, MN

Fall approaches as we follow it around the country . . .

"The Tables Turned" by William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,

There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless--
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

10.05.06-Park West:Chicago, IL

It was nice coming back to Chicago after not being there since Lollapalooza, my two-year anniversary. This is a wonderful city and it's amazing every time we are here.

This was our second time playing at the Park West, and it was better this time around; that is, we didn't have prom to compete with. Anyway, with a lot of friends and family out at this show, it was difficult not to have a good time.

Dan's father helped us tremendously, from loading in to setting up lights. Dan brought the goods to this show and made his family proud. It's been great having an actualy light show. It really enhances the music and feeds a spectacular vibe into the venue. We are blessed to have someone work so hard for us, and someone who really loves what he does.

Vintage cab used on MM debut (two 15" Jensen speakers).