The preparations are in full swing. I've been shedding the repertoire like a mother!@#%$% but can't remember the Swedish lyrics to save my life. As usual, I am looking forward to the tour and am, at the same time, completely and utterly mortified - you know, a vocalist.
On Friday we'll have our CD release bash at Lofish Studios. Ulf Stricker, the drummer, has hopped across the ocean to play the show, Johannes Weidenmueller will join us on bass. And then it's packing, tying up loose ends (making sure the studio is in good hands, everybody gets paid, the New School students get closure from the trauma of their last Ear Training class - kudos for fabulous compositions by the way!!!, giving my private students something to practice for the next month etc...).
Then on to the tour. 12 shows for 12 songs, or maybe 13, since I have now written a Christmas song that might make its way into the set. Christmas in Austria with the family for the first time in - I don't care to remember.
And in January, first thing: The New Year's Jazz Voice Workshop in Hilden, Germany!
Ah - yes. Must prepare for that as well...
12/8/11: Tunnel, Vienna/A
12/9/11: Beim Beppi, Marchegg/A
12/10/11: Musikschule St. Georgen i. A./A
12/11/11: Musikschule Pregarten/A
12/12/11: ORG der Schulschwestern, Vöcklabruck/A
12/13/11: Baumann Glas, Baumgartenberg/A
12/15/11: Jazzkeller Krefeld/D
12/16/11: Capjojazz Hilden/D
12/17/11: Destille Düsseldorf/D
12/20/11: Wiedthalgymnasium, Neustadt bei Wied/D
12/21/11: Herzblut Bocholt/D
12/22/11: B-Flat Berlin/D
Technology - the enabler of communication across oceans, has made it possible for myself and Walter Fischbacher to do a radio interview with Volkmar Theil for Freies Radio Salzkammergut in Austria - via skype. The interview, interwoven with music from our respective bodies of work, will air on December 8th, the start of our "Christmas In July" tour, at 9pm. If you would like to tune in (and are in the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria at that time), the hour-long show will air at 9pm. You can also listen to it streaming on the radio station's website at www.freiesradio.at once it is posted there.
In this interview you will get answers to burning questions such as what possessed us to make a Christmas album, why I made an album with the title "Songs Of Love And Destruction" and - gasp - what meaning does the Christmas holiday really have for myself and Walter. And of course the ultimate question: Will we stay in New York like FOREVER or are we planning on moving back to the old country anytime soon? (Ask me again after the next election...)
Visit www.lohninger.net for our tour itinerary.
Isn't it a fun co-incidence that I have a duo show with Walter Fischbacher on the day our collaborative effort of a Christmas CD is released to the world? Although our duo show tonight has absolutely nothing to do with the repertoire on "Christmas In July", it's thrilling that we're giving it a sweet, intimate, energetic send-off. (In case you want to know: Tonight at 7pm at Somethin Jazz)
The bigger send-off will happen on December 2nd at Lofish Studios, with a live show at 8:30pm and a party surrounding the CD launch.
"Christmas In July" is available at www.amazon.com, www.cdbaby.com, www.itunes.com, and www.lohninger.net.
Pick up a dozen to stuff some stockings!
Here's a link to our first review: www.jazmusic.com
I think I've mentioned this before but - you know - I own a recording studio. On 28th Street. In New York City. 28th and Broadway, for the uninitiated, is Tin Pan Alley "the name given to the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century." according to wikipedia. The name originally referred to a specific place: West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, and a plaque on the sidewalk on 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth commemorates it. Although I think, lately that plaque has been covered up by a garbage can.
The building that houses my - ok - OUR studio (I own it with my partner in life, crime and other endeavors, Walter Fischbacher) is one of the last ones standing from a by-gone era of grime, dirt and lead paint. Many a client has felt the chill of the rumored ghosts that haunt this building, and there have been two ghost sightings to my knowledge. So the place is perfect to get the creative juices flowing, and we haven't had rats in the building in years.
Gentrification is gnawing away at the edges of our block, and already the building at the corner is being gutted and re-imagined as a swanky hotel, and the developers are huffing and puffing their way towards buying out everything in sight, but so far our place holds. For how long - we don't know.
But for now we work hard at expanding our wall of fame with CDs by artists who have recorded, mixed or mastered here. Maybe, if we're really, really lucky, we'll cover the entire green room this way.
Somebody had drilled a hole in the tank and siphoned the gas out of it overnight. Walter found himself underneath the van, gluing the hole shut with epoxy in the hope that it would hold for the rest of the tour. That was last night.
Before that our car had been broken into on numerous occasions, with glass panes shattered, all locks except for one ruined by amateurs and a bloody attempt at getting the radio out of its slot without the front panel attached. If the thief had only thought to look under the seat for a tool case, we would have been spared all the blood on the seats from the cuts on his hands.
We've had to drive from Teplice to Cologne (a ten hour drive) in torrential rains with only a piece of cardboard to cover the shattered pane, and during our last tour in the spring our bus got towed - luckily at the end of the tour, but still - in a country whose language I don't speak and whose customs as far as the towing of vehicles are concerned I am not familiar with. And it was Sunday. The bus got scratched in the process, but we got it back without too much fuss thanks to the club owner's help.
We depend on that car to get us from A to B to Z with all our equipment, without a fuss and, most importantly, on time. When you're messing with our bus you're messing with our tour schedule. So - you know - stop messing with our bus, people! Go break into some muscle car or something. You might find more stuff to filch from there than from the always cleared out inside of a jazz musician's touring vehicle.