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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mute Math on David Letterman: 7.17.07

I arrived in New Jersey on July 16, 2007 around 8:00 am. During the following hour and a half, I rode in a van, a train, a subway, a sidewalk, and a taxi to get to our first order of business: a photo shoot in Brooklyn.

I was able to take some shots from the roof of the building where Mute Math did the photo session. It was a beautiful building, with a lot of inspiration.

The day continued with making our way back to the city to have a conference call with a video director and to do an interview for Fuse TV. While at Fuse, Mute Math ran into Underoath; they were really nice guys. I had met a few of them while on Warped Tour the summer before.

This day was overwhelming to say the least. First of all, just walking into the studios, I got a sense of tradition and history. From the old school balcony to all the pictures on the walls on the dressing and green rooms of past performers (The Doors, Rolling Stones, James Brown, etc.), I felt honored to be in such a place. The last time I had been in this building was eight years prior as an audience member, watching Chris Rock and Six Pence None the Richer.

Then, I was sitting in the green room closest to the stage, and in walks Will Lee, the bassist for the CBS Orchestra. I've been watching this guy on TV and reading about him in music magazines since I first started playing bass 15 years ago. He was great to talk to since he had a lot of interesting stories, mainly about New York. This is him below:

Next, while in make-up I came across one of cutest English Bulldogs ever: Matzah Ball. I didn't know it at the time, but this is Adam Sandler's dog. She was really chill and funny. I love dogs.

Finally, the whole reason why I'm in NYC comes to a head within minutes. Right before I go on, I see Adam Sandler, and I shake his hand and ask him how he's doing. He's really nice and wishes me good luck. Before I know it, David Letterman is introducing us, and I start up the feedback to kick into the song. It seems like the shortest version of "Typical" Mute Math has ever played, which technically it is (3:30), but it really flies by. On our way out, Will and Adam tell us "great job" and how they are "going to listen to the cd on their way home." Wow! did all of this just happen?

Finally, something happened that put the night over the top. I was walking in Times Square after dinner looking for a place to watch the Late Show, and all of a sudden, our video came on over one of the jumbo-trons. Right there, in the heart of Times Square, "Typical" was being shown. Mute Math watched in awe. It was a time to remember.

Monday, July 16, 2007

David Letterman

I'm on my way to New York to film for the David Letterman show on Tuesday, July 17th. I recently found out that Adam Sandler is the other guest, which pumps me up more because I really think he's proper comedy genius.

As we move down the road, my mind races with scenes from all the different performances I've seen on this show since I was young, but one performance sticks out in my mind: Red Hot Chili Peppers "Higher Ground" 1990. I think their energy and vibe was really exciting to me at the age of 13. I lived my adolescent life to their soundtrack. I'd skate to their music; I'd dance to their music; I'd learn my instrument to their music; etc.

Now, actually having the opportunity to play the show is a dream come true. I hope we perform with the same intensity and energy as the Peppers.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Without music, life would be an error -Nietzsche

My first two black gospel albums were Fred Hammond's Spirit of David and Hezekiah Walker's Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College. In the mid-1990s, I had never heard anything like this before. The church music I grew up with was Catholic hymns, mainly played with only acoustic instruments and out-of-tune singers. "Alabaré, alabaré . . ." Ouch!

Anyway, it's been about two years since I last had the opportunity to play this type of music live. When I recently filmed the video below, I just thought I'd give it a try, and it was too much fun. I had to share with you.

As I played this song, my mind flooded with memories of Sunday morning at New Home Church in New Orleans, and other similar experiences in NOLA.

I hope all my friends there are doing okay. If you ever read this or watch this, please know that my experience at New Home during those years was pivotal in my musical education. I still am learning from those times. Thanks, and I miss you.

Update note: sorry everyone but I needed to remove this video because of copyright issues. As an artist myself, I want to respect Fred's works. By the way, no one asked me to do this. It is by my own accord and consideration for Fred Hammond. However, I will continue to put up videos, but more like the others on this blog. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Photos from the MTV studios

As I have said before, I always enjoy being in NYC; well, most of the time(e.g., sitting on the JFK runway in a Jet Blue aircraft for 9 hours was not so great an experience).

Like I said, every time I'm there, I'm fortunate enough to see the city from a new angle.

Here are some pictures from the MTV studios.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Salut! Canada

4:5:07-Quebec City-Grand spectacle. Audience magnifique. Je ne peux pas attendre pour retourner.

4:7:07-Ottawa-I really wish we were a part of the Live Earth event. I can remember being introduced to Earth Day back in elementary school, Milam Elementary in McAllen, TX. We planted trees, and we're taught about CO2 gases. I've always tried to make "green" decisions, but I have a long way to go. Watching the Live Earth performances on TV made me wish that Mute Math could have participated. Regardless, I hope we do our part as a collective and as individuals to give back to Mother Earth.

Vive Mère-Terre!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

EUROPE: 6/2007

This was one of the best times I had in Europe, mainly because it was Wendy's first time over there; so, we had a lot of fun discovering sites together.

As far as the shows went, we had some hype times, especially in Cologne and Zurich. We also were able to see and hang out with some amazing bands at the Festivals: Arcade Fire, Bloc Party, Beastie Boys, Interpol, Mogwai, Modest Mouse, Incubus, LCD Soundsystem, CCS, The Bravery.

Check out this guy I filmed in London:

When we finally got home, it was great to see my little girls:

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