This weekend features a neat venn-diagram of bands.

For many years, Jill Knapp has been IJG’s singer in the bee costume. In the few years that IJG has taken a little hiatus, Jill has been focusing on her acoustic dork-rock power duo, Hot Breakfast! which features her and her beau Matt Casarino.

But this weekend, there’s a double-bill with Jill at the middle of that venn diagram: Hot Breakfast! is opening for The Industrial Jazz Group at Tabor Space in Portland, OR, and it’s gonna be a beautiful thing.

There’s more info at the Facebook Invite, but in case you’re not the Facebookin’ type (we don’t blame you) here’s the pertinent details.

WHO: Hot Breakfast and The Industrial Jazz Group!
WHERE: Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, Oregon 97215
WHEN: Friday, July 11, 2014. Doors open at 7:00. Hot Breakfast plays at 7:30sharp; IJG plays at 8:30. We have to be out of the building by 10pm, so it’ll be an early night.
COVER: $10-$15, sliding scale.

This is gonna be one hell of a show, and we’d love to see you there!


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Audio from the March performance in LA, expertly recorded by our friend Daniel McCoy. This is probably one of the more “conventional” things I have written in a long time. We didn’t get much rehearsal on it (or any of the other new things I introduced on this tour), but the fact that it sounds a little like a graceful drunk falling down a set of stairs is by design.


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[Mike Richardson, by Kio Griffith]

A lot has happened since we went to Italy. Let me summarize:

1. Not one, not two, but three times I started and abandoned the mix for the IJG’s sixth album, tentatively titled Hello, Dada! (“Antennae Town,” included in a post below, was one of the tunes slated for that album.) I am still not sure what is going to become of the tracks recorded for Dada, which at this point are about four years old. I also don’t want to get into the details of the delay. I’m just not happy with the music, for whatever reason. Yet it simultaneously irks me that most of it is not publicly available.

2. I finished Decomposition, my 392-page manuscript, which I describe as a philosophy of music. For a while, I wasn’t sure if that would ever see the light of day, either. Eventually I discovered that I would not be able to finish it until I set my music aside for a while. During the last six months of the process, I didn’t write any music — probably the first such period since high school — and in fact I didn’t listen to much music, at least compared with my previous obsessive listening habits. It was a bit like fasting. And in retrospect I think it was healthy.

3. I started a new Portland-based band, a sextet called Proto-human. I wrote an album’s worth of music for Proto-human, of which I’m very proud. We rehearsed like mad, played two great shows (in March and July of last year), and recorded half of an album. Then we lost two of our members. I have been struggling to reconstitute that group in the months since. I believe we may be on the cusp of re-emerging, but I’ll see how next week’s rehearsal goes before I say more.

4. I came face-to-face with my own mortality in ways I never anticipated (except abstractly) before I was in my forties. I quit drinking, shifted my sleep routine, and generally started taking my health seriously. Physically, I feel better than ever. Existentially, I struggle with a suddenly much more acute sense of melancholy.

5. Damon Zick (one of the IJG’s regular saxophonists) had been proposing the idea of having the IJG at his school for a long time. He teaches band at a private Lutheran school (kindergarten through eighth grade) in North Hollywood. Once my manuscript was finished, I could think about this seriously. This past Tuesday, that performance finally came to pass, plus a show at Chinatown’s Grand Star Jazz Club. Out of necessity, the mini-tour involved a smaller version of the group — ten pieces instead of the usual fifteen. But we debuted an entirely new set of music — eight songs, which are probably among the best I have written, if the most awkwardly titled. There will be video available from at least one of those performances very soon; I will save further commentary on this latest incarnation of the IJG, and my plans for the future, until then.

Thanks for reading.

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Here, and here:

Antennae Town by uglyrug

More updates coming. Thank you for your patience.

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Have you heard? We went to Italy!

It’s true. On March 6th, we played at the absolutely magnificent Teatro Manzoni, an 800-seat theater right in the heart of Milan. We sold out the show, and the audience was so gracious and beautiful.

After the show, the audience stuck around and asked for autographs. I sat on the lip of the stage, and as I signed the programs, people touched my hair. When I looked up and smiled, they reached up and touched and held my face– it was the most beautiful, moving thing. Unfortunately, I only speak third-generation bastardized Italian (think Sopranos), but we didn’t need words to know that we made a real connection.

The trip over the US and across the pond to Milan

The trip over the US and across the pond to Milan

IJG in Milan


IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan


IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan

IJG in Milan

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