Archive for the “Shows” Category

Around 1980, my cousin Billy often used the word “biffit” to describe “10 pounds of x in a 5 pound y.” 1

Ever since our band broke the 10+ member barrier, The Industrial Jazz Group has had to figure out how to deal with the challenge of playing in smaller places. It’s fun to walk into a venue and do the mental tetris to figure out how we’re all gonna fit. Even though we have trombones and music stands and a keyboard and furiously gesticulating singers and dance moves and such, we always manage to make it work, and also to make it super-fun.

Friday (10/16) we played at The Green Line Café in Philadelphia and despite the teeny space, we ROCKED it. That was most definitely a biffit: 20,000 pounds of awesome crammed into a 5 pound bag… and by “5 pound bag” I mean an 80-square foot slab of floor that required the trombones to stand on the windowsill so they could play over the heads of the trumpets, and 9 tunes crammed into a 40 minute set. And by “20,000 pounds of awesome” I mean that our show contained booty-shakin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, audience-member smoochin’, and a big-time bangover the next morning. Or: to paraphrase Durkin: “On a 40-degree rainy night, we had the place rockin’ so hard that the venue had to turn on the air conditioning.” Oh hells yes!

On Saturday (10/17) we were invited to play at Galerie St. George, which is an old, huge, beautiful home on Staten Island that’s been turned into an art gallery. Despite the lipstick on this (absolutely gorgeous) pig, this show was still at its essence a house concert. You might be thinking, “How on earth can a 17-piece band play a house concert?” The answer is: With awesomeness, baby.

This event was another biffit: We stuffed 17 people, 15 music stands, a PA, a keyboard, and two mic stands into a 120-square foot center room of this house. Only the band could fit in this room, but the the audience sat in the surrounding spaces and they had a great time, goshdarnit. So did we! It was probably the most unusual setup we’ve ever had, and it was cool figuring out ways to engage the audience. I got to resurrect the signs by parading them around the house, which was good fun. I’ve missed those signs, and I plan on using them for most of our other gigs on the tour. Keep your eyes peeled!

IJG at Galerie St. George

Anyhoo, tomorrow (well, technically today as it’s 12:16am EST, despite what the header might say) we’ll be on a big, beautiful stage in Brooklyn at The Bell House. I’m very excited to share a bill yet again with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and to experience for the first time Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra. The show starts at 7:30, and IJG goes on around 9. Can’t wait to see you there!

But now: Sleep. Today was a full day of mystery-gigging and bacon-cookie-making, but I’ll tell you all about those at another time.

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1 Where x = dingleberries and y = bag.

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eh?When I was living in San Francisco, one thing I grew to appreciate was the ubiquity of earplugs at bars, music venues, and thumpy clubs. Just ask the bartender for a pair, or grab a set as you paid your cover charge and you were good to go. You could hear the nuances of the music just fine, but your ears weren’t ringing for three days post-event. Lots of people wore them, and it wasn’t considered dorky.

I always keep earplugs in my pocket or purse, because I never know when I’m gonna be in an emergency rock-and-roll situation– yessiree, that’s the life I lead. One minute I’m shopping for soup, and the next minute: METAL!!1!

Anyway.

Singing for a big band means that I stand in front of 14 other people playing their hearts out, which translates into ow-ow-ow-ow after the second song if I’ve forgotten mah ‘plugs. You should see the fabulous set Tany has– I bet she’d show you if you asked nicely. (Her EARPLUGS people, her earplugs. Tany will show you her fabulous set of EARPLUGS. Good lordy, you are that pig!)

Because some venues let audience members sit close to the stage, I can see folks cowering a bit during the loud bits, and relaxing more during the quieter moments. But let’s face it: Even when 16 people are all playing softly, it’s still loud.

Folks, we want you to be able to enjoy our music for many years to come, so you have to protect yourself. Practice safe listening!

You can do this by:

1) Not listening to shitty music
2) Buying The Industrial Jazz Group’s albums, either online, or at a show
3) Supporting the band by donating to our fund raiser (Honestly! This is scientifically proven to protect your hearing!)
4) Wearing your earplugs.

As a comfy, environmentally friendlier, low-cost, effective option, we like Argus Hexagonal Polyurethane earplugs. Hexagonal design means there’s less production waste than round or conical earplugs, and they expand comfortably in your ear canal just fine. Polyurethane means no latex allergy concerns. And we buy them in black, because black is the (non-)color of ROCK.

So this is why I, Jill Knapp, The Industrial Jazz Group’s Patron Saint of Hearing Protection, will make sure that earplugs will be available at our east coast shows this ROCKtober. Like I said, we want you to enjoy our music for many years, but you can’t do that if we make you all deeef.

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Tany Ling here. I’ve recently returned from a quick work trip to Florida to record some vocals for the new Trans-Siberian Orchestra album “Nightcastle”, due out later this year. It was fantastic to see some of the gang again, even though I was bonkers due to insomnia and all that time-traveling.

Anyhow, this Saturday I spent a lovely afternoon downtown attending L.A.’s first Renegade Craft Fair. I was expecting to catch the roving rabble-rousers Killsonic, which sometimes features IJG’s very own Daniel Rosenboom, but, alas, I was off by one day, as they’ll be stirring it up this Sunday at 3pm.

Yet, I was not disappointed with the offerings off the day. Notably, there was a plethora of moustaches all about this craft parade. I was particularly tickled by these plush ‘staches from Fuzzy Ink:
colorful_staches giant_stache
And, yes, I did enter the drawing to win the Monster ‘Stache.

Fuzzy-Ink also served up this graphic on a t-shirt

Also of note were these wearable ‘staches (below left), though you wouldn’t want to wear them on your face, unless you’re already pierced there:
staches_on_bag beards
No, the IJG hasn’t gone bearded as of yet, but those (above right), from I Made You A Beard were too fun to exclude.

So, what’s with all the moustaches? From the multiple artists here to the dudes from that United video, to the well-‘stached guy at the craft fair wearing the red sweater who I was too shy to ask for a photo op, I felt like I was a member of a popular taste-maker’s club. Because, you see, I, too have been ‘stached. All of us in the IJG, in fact, know the moustache well. As do our fans, as evidenced here:
IJGmoustaches2629

Soon, thanks to our new-ish tune “Theme For A Cable News Show”, all you lucky folks who’ll be able to catch us on our October 2009 tour (with many more dates/locations soon to be posted) throughout the North East will know the power of the moustache. Is there, perhaps, one lying in bed next to you right now?

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Okay, I feel like I at least have the basic outlines of a tour in place. I can’t say much about it yet, though the two officially confirmed gigs are now listed on our “shows” page:

October 15 in Pittsfield, MA — We’re going to be the headliners at that (very artsy) city’s October “Third Thursday” celebration. We played here last time we were out east (2007), and had a great time.

October 19 in Brooklyn, NY — Pairing up once again with our friends: Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society. Come on: how many times a year do you get to hear two wildly different big bands in one evening? A splendid time is guaranteed, etc., etc.

There are other exciting things waiting in the wings, I swear. I just can’t commit ’em to text yet, cuz none are locked in. But there will be more updates soon, and much “huzzah”-ing, and maybe a little “harumph”-ing too.

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I’ve added some more pics from this past tour to the Flickr stream. (You should see them right there on the right.) If you’re having troubles with the RSS feed, check out the stream directly over at the Flickr site here.

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