On Sat., June 22, Roger C. Miller will have a solo frottage art exhibit at the Milton Arts Center. He will give a talk/demonstration on frottage at noon, and at 7pm he will play two sets of solo guitar music.
Also on June 22, Miller’s composition Vines4Music (for 3 pianists at one heavily prepared piano, 2 cellists, 1 viola, and 2 violins) will be performed at 4pm at the New England Conservatory. The composition utilizes the residue of vines that grew on his garage door to organize the music.
Roger C. Miller’s Web Site: http://rogerclarkmiller.com/
Roger Miller’s TRINARY SYSTEM at TT the Bears, May 8th.
Roger C. Miller, guitar & vocal; P. Andrew Willis, bass & vocal; and Lawrence Dersch, drums.
Featuring original material and some provocative covers from a range of artists (from Miles Davis to Morphine). Plus newly-written but not-yet-recorded material, which will hopefully be released by the end of 2013. The band will perform BIG STEAM, from Miller’s 2012 45. No Mission of Burma songs.
Opening will be EULA.
LINK: TT The Bears
The three Miller brothers plus a trumpetist. Sproton Layer will regroup in June. Three original members with the roving 4th member replaced. Sound familiar? (In this case, their last gig was 43 years ago).
Fri., June 14: The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sat., June 15: PJs Lager House, Detroit, Michigan
Boston and New York shows planned for July.
Sproton Layer Web Site: http://rogerclarkmiller.com/sproton-layer/
The band will most likely play a healthy dose of “With Magnetic Fields Disrupted” as well as material from their next album, “Press Your Hand and the Whole Room Fluctuates”, due on World in Sound Records in early 2014.
Roger Miller was asked by the Wall St. Journal to review the book “DISCORD, the STORY of NOISE” .
Link: The Wall Street Journal
Mission of Burma have a pair of back to back shows this weekend that begin Friday night at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City and continue on Saturday at Harvard Square’s newest live music venue, The Sinclair. Exclamation Pony, the new project from Ryan Jarman of The Cribs and Jen Turner of Here We Go Magic, will support at The Bowery Ballroom and local Boston band, Reports, will support at The Sinclair.
In advance of Friday’s show, Roger Miller spoke to the folks at The Bowery Presents and answered a few questions for their House List Blog. Read the interview HERE, and check out a tour diary he kept from the band’s December UK/EU tour for WFUV’s The Alternate Side, HERE.
Also, this afternoon from 5:00-6:00PM, Peter Prescott will be at Boston’s WFNX for an in-studio takeover of the station’s daily Boston Accents show with Michael Marotta. Listen live online at wfnx.com to hear Pete spin tunes and talk about some of his favorite local artists. Then, tomorrow morning from 10:00-11:00AM, tune into MIT’s WMBR 88.1 FM (or listen online at wmbr.org) to hear Roger live in studio during the station’s Late Risers’ Club.
The Further Adventures of Mission of Burma:
The Final Entry, UK/EU 2012
Got to the venue early, so I decided to check out some Dutch beers. The bar had Barry White cranked, so I knew I was in the right place. Had a Westmalle Tripel, clear and very strong. Then a dubbel, darker, not as strong. Preferred the Tripel.
Later tried a Grolsch Bok – not so great, even on draft, though Grolsch has sentimental value to me (those filp-tops).
My favorite Dutch city exit name: “Wilp”.
Finally, a lame gig! This elaborate theater (state sponsored, like the festival) had a new type of monitor system we’d never seen before, and a chamber orchestral ensemble before us performed an Arvo Paart composition, then some “local” composers of varying quality. I had the feeling that we were gonna be like zoo animals on stage in a cage. Yep. At first I thought there was hope (Pete and Clint were skeptical from the get-go), but there was such minimal response. I thought Trem II would get their weed-soaked brains on our wave-length, but no: shortly after that at least half the audience had drained out. There were 10-15 or so who actually responded to the songs instead of just watching the circus animals go through their trained act. The Dutch remind me of some rich folks who never had to work for anything so they miss the moment, viewing the world merely with mild disinterest. We asked Bob how Shellac fared in the Netherlands, and he said the response was so weak that they don’t bother with Holland any more. So…. it’s not just Burma…..
But still we had a good time walking about the next day. I went to the M C Escher Museum, and who should appear in the room as I gazed at one of those mathematically hallucinatory images but Mr. C. Conley. Now we’re back in the van, rainy, on the way to Belgium.
The club in Belgium certainly feels more our style than the one last night. I suspect rock will occur.
During dinner Bob called up an incredible YouTube video of Neil Young playing “Hey hey, My My” with Devo. Boojie Boy singing lead from his crib. Bob said that “The Neil Young People” always take this video down when it gets posted, and in some ways we could see why. But after seeing it I respect him even more for going so far out on a limb.
Later, rock did indeed occur. The opening band Mocovo was quite charming, an odd blend of Joy Division and Hawkwind with great drum patterns. And this show tonight was back on track for us. Audience totally into it. (Give us Belgium over the Netherlands, please). A satisfying way to end the tour, and our second encore was a nailed version of Youth of America. Great.
Comment from an Italian who was at this show:
“Energy bursted out and lit the very attentive crowd. Some songs were not easy but it was just like Alice in Wonderland. People fell from one surprise into another, songs curved like a rollercoaster and dragged the crowd along. Mere astonishment.”
I was talking w/one of the club people about beer after the set, praising the Duvel (I actually managed to make a pun in Dutch during the set when I said “Danku Duvel”. heh…. people even laughed!). He said “Have you tried the Westmalle Tripel?” and I said “yes, better then the Dubbel.” He agreed. Then he recommended a local brewerie – but I no longer recall the odd name – he said “just tell the bar-tender you want “The Parrot”. And sure enough, it was quite good, in that Belgian direction.
The wonderful rising at 5:30am (after konking out around 1am) did not produce excessive verbosity on the drive, but nonetheless we attained the Brussels airport with mild amusement. After saying goodbye to Alesh we navigated the lines, boarded the flight, flew, and now have THREE WONDERFUL HOURS to enjoy the Dublin airport! All right! They do have the free WiFi here, and decent food. So we should survive our stay and board the plane to BOS without incident. Usually there is a Western head-wind going back to the US of A, so I’m planning to roll down the window and fly a kite I bought in Den Haag. A guy’s gotta get his fun where he can find it.
My book on this tour (when my brain was up for reading) is Virginia Woolf’s OLRANDO. I was gonna ask everyone what they were reading when we were in the van, but I just never got to it. Bad documentarian: ought to be removed from the job.
But I’m the one who does it, and the pay doesn’t encourage anyone else to take it over, so….. uh…… maybe babble to you-all again the next time we play a series of shows.
Drive to Berlin from Vienna, through the Czech Republic, Alesh’s home-country (incidentally, Alesh does a stunning Borat imitation). Totally snowy-white country-side.
For my part, down-time in the van allows me to correct string parts for my composition “Vines For Music” (for prepared piano, 2 ‘cellos and 2 violas). And to re-write the percussion part for “Music for 3 percussionists, 2 string trios and electric organ” so that percussionists can actually read the damn thing. Of course this was in the down time when my brain was working well, which admittedly, was not often in our sleep-deprived travels… Clint thought I was composing while listening to punk rock, but not really – this is mostly mechanical work.
Alesh does this kind of driving and road management for bands as part of his living. He has told us stories many crazy stories of being on the road w/bands. I said to him: “It must be weird because we’re so normal.” He said “With you guys it’s like a vacation.”
OK. 2 accidents on the road to Berlin, so it took 11 hours instead of 9 and we didn’t arrive in time for soundcheck. Quick dinner, very fun opening band (Delta Love), and with just a line-check, everything was on “Go.” Packed house, and I was thinking “Berlin – they’ll probably be too cool to like us. FINALLY we’ll have a bad gig…” Nope, not at all. Rippin’ set. Bob said it was the best sound in the house on the entire tour (because we didn’t have a sound-check?).
Which brings up how Burma works: At the last three gigs (Balogna, Zagreb, Vien) we were the only band playing and had a fine relaxing soundcheck. Every one of those shows had something odd to drag it back a bit. In Berlin (and also Zurich), we had no soundcheck, had to hurry on, and had no idea how people would react. And those were the best two gigs on the continent so far. I guess it fits our haphazard way of moving forward – the less we know, the less planning we do, the better things are. Wakt.
Eating breakfast in the pub where I went out last night w/Alesh and his friend Anka to have a couple Lagavulin 16′s and get my clothes drenched in cigarette smoke. No smoke now, excellent hi-quality breakfast ingredients. Mild reggae on the stereo. Could be a lot worse!
So we get to sight-see in Berlin. Go to the Brandenberg Gate which separated East and West Berlin. Bob and Pete and I were there in 1989 on that Euro-tour (V.Suns/NoMan), and it was a very different scene then, 3 weeks after the wall came down. It had been ecstatic partying and release. Now, crossing the Gate to the “eastern” side there was a guy in a Micky Mouse costume, a Darth Vadar costumed person, etc. Yipes. Was the Starbucks really a good thing?
Then we went to the Holocaust Memorial. Really amazing, simple, deep. (see photo). Finally, after odd circular drivings looking for a sweatshirt for Pete (his got melted on a stage light in Vien), we ended up at the Ramones Museum. At first we thought it was too silly to go there, but it was actually quite cool with artifacts galore.
Van listening driving half-way to Holland: Converge. Dillinger Escape Plan. This hyper-metal music is pretty interesting, but the vocals always sound like we are watching the Exorcist. Why haven’t any of those bands tried a Dean Martin-style vocalist? That might make produce interesting result.
Hannover Vietnamese dinner was quite good, relaxing night off. Were not attacked by Fellini characters.
The further adventures of Mission of Burma:
Mon. Dec.10/Tues. Dec.11:
Back to those fucking Euro-skinny beds. My feet hung over the foot zone. I’m pretty sure Italians are the same basic type of homo sapien as myself, and probably reach
Today, Electric Ladyland while we travel through the low Croatian mountains and into Slovenia, past Neanderthal remains in the hills. Jimi’s winding guitar solos suited the highways rounded turns and mountain passes.
The Arena club is one of those Euro-Art complexes. Unfortunately the PA ain’t up yet, so we’re sequestered in the “dressing room” which requires a goodly walk in the well below zero weather. Should be great after the show in sweat. At least the WiFi is pretty good.
Later:Well, another well-attended show. Very dark in the lighting department, but this is Austria after all. Vacu-Trem working again (must’ve been the odd Croatian electricity that shafted it last night). Very enthusiastic crowd. AOK.
The further adventures of Mission of Burma.
Sun., Dec.9: Bologna, IT
Listened to Louie C. K. shows in the van on numerous occasions – generally I can’t tolerate comics, but there is something in his over-the-toppity that seriously amuses us all. Heard “Slip it In” (Black Flag) today. Early punk singles. Rolling Stones greatest hits (stopping mercifully by 1971). Alesh hit some nice ambient tracks as we went over the Alps to Italy from Zurich. Later audio included Buzzcocks w/Devoto. Now Lemmy is singing (sic) – just the sound of his voice makes one happy. The Alps are, indeed, amazing to view.
We arrive in Bologna, IT, at the Locomotiv Club (after some perambulations trying to find the entry to it). Extremely nice guys, hospitality superb. We’re the only band tonight. They took us out to a classic Italian dinner.
But like all classic Italian dinners (in my understanding), it went on and on with new plates. etc. We realized that we had less than an hour to be on stage and the last plate had just arrived.
We just finished the set list back at the club, and our hosts come in and ask “are you done digesting?” Well, no, not really…..
This was one of those “so calm and relaxing” type of gigs that we had odd problems, never really got going in our opinion. 2 or 3 songs good, then lose it a bit. Then 2 or 3 good, lose it a bit. Etc. Crowd wasn’t wild but they were all there to see us, which again, always takes us by surprise.
At any rate, we didn’t feel like we really got to where we were supposed to be, but back at the merch. table the crowd was wildly enthusiastic and in a purchasing mood. So all in all, a pretty damn good night, especially for our first ever gig in Italy. What a funny world… who would’ve thought 15 years ago?