“Some Things Will Always Be Ours…” on May 20th

Reeling from a massive tear in my personal space/time continuum, this week I got the rare privilege to join truly one of my favorite bands, Thanks to Gravity, in preparation for their reunion concert on May 20th. In what might be the most flattering and humbling invite, my friends Andy, Drew, and Sean asked me to play percussion for this fantastically rare event. The meaningfulness of this reunion concert swirls at such a current, it’s hard to know when the “then” stops and the “now” starts.

After my graduation from high school, I moved from my hometown of Nantucket to the North Shore of Boston to attend college. My bandmate Billy Voss, fresh of our summer busking together on Nantucket, moved shortly thereafter to Boston proper to pursue his music career. Obviously, Billy’s gig offers were infinitely more interesting than Old and New Testament classes, and I joined him frequently to gig around the city. At the same time, just a bit north, Thanks to Gravity was cutting in to their craft and making fans and currents of their own in the process.

In the years that followed, Billy and I had to realize that we were just a few steps behind where Thanks to Gravity were treading. They frequented our island in the summers over a few years for shows, and last I looked, their 8×10 glossy photo was still hanging in the Muse. We were unable to succeed in the major mission to get a song placed on the latest AWARE records compilation that summer, but I’ll be damned when it was released, we saw TTG had the opening and closing track on the release! And, while we met and hung with all the cats that came through the island on their tours like Vertical Horizon, Dave Matthews Band, Edwin McCain, and countless others, we missed getting to hang with Thanks to Gravity. Now I know its because they all drank milk and went promptly to bed after shows.

After I left college due to excessive absences, my roommate Nate shared his love of TTG, as he’d grown up in New Hampshire, and still considers them the state’s greatest band. Nate just reminded me the other day of his original artwork that appeared on the cover of our college’s literary journal, IDIOM, entitled “Eating the Moon,” inspired by the TTG tune of the same name.

When I first met Andy Happel some 15 years ago, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to share a stage with his band, never mind have the friendship that this time has allowed. We’ve played countless shows together through the years with Don Campbell, Andy’s solo material, and now our band, Los Galactacos.

Somehow, I feel that I’ve been practicing for this show with Thanks to Gravity for 20+ years now.

“Electric Flow” with my Hero

This Friday, I have the singular experience of DJing the music for the Maine Yoga Fest’s kickoff event. 
Electric Flow: An Uprising” will be led by one of my oldest and dearest friends on this Earth, Caitlin Marcoux. To say I’m honored to accompany her as her DJ is a gross understatement.

My friendship with Caitlin stretches back nearly 3 decades now, when we would race each other from the bus stop that we both shared in our hometown of Nantucket Island. As we grew in to middle school and high school, I admired her talent in everything she applied herself to. A fantastic dancer, vocalist, and pianist, Caitlin has always been a shining star and beacon for her friends and peers.

She probably doesn’t realize it, and might not ever cop to it, but Caitlin has influenced my musical tastes in major ways. Not only did she turn me on to some fantastic music (Seal’s first album is still one of my all-time favorites, and that’s just one) but conceptually helped me realize the art and the cool in pop music.

As we drifted in to our adult years, we lost touch for a spell, but were easily reconnected thanks to the gravity that Nantucket fosters in its own. I learned that Caitlin had, already in her young adult life, experienced the kind of loss and grief that most can’t comprehend. Through her struggles, she forged a new path for herself in healing and therapeutic arts, eventually landing in this fantastic career as a yoga instructor.

There’s no great way to receive the news that someone so dear to you has cancer. Since her diagnosis, though, I have seen something truly remarkable in this amazing woman. She has re-phrased the words of a diagnosis, and turned it in to a prescription for action and living, not only for herself, but scores of others who she has influenced and mentored in her classes and practice. It’s catching. People are taking notice of Caitlin, her work, and her advocacy for others. This might be the functioning definition of healing. She’s hardly a survivor. This one is a thriver.

On Friday, I’ll see Caitlin for the first time in quite a while. We’ll be celebrating life in all of its gloriousness. We’ll be finding the Electric Flow that binds us in moments together. And, we’ll see how much of it we can amass together, so there will be ample amounts for everyone to take a bit home. There’s much to celebrate. Let’s do that.

Get tix here: http://sched.co/2Owh

“Show Band” hits the digital “shelves”

Show Band (Miss Fairchild)
Show Band (Miss Fairchild)

Miss Fairchild’s excellent record “Show Band” hits the digital stores today. The limited-edition CD run was put together as a special partnership with my hometown brewery, Cisco Brewers. And now, the whole world gets to check it out!

I played percussion tracks on a few cuts off of this record, and I love how it turned out. Feel free to take a listen here before you buy.

As a former member of Miss Fairchild’s touring band, I can attest to the fact that the show really does sound and feel like this recording. They really did a great job conveying this awesomely electrifying (and now very large) live band. Big ups to frontman Daddy Wrall, aka my kid brother Travis.

“Nanook” Available In Digital Format!

I’m thrilled that my friend Sumner McKane has a new online store for his recordings, and he has included our work from last year, Nanook. The score for the silent film “Nanook of the North” was written in 4 weeks in 2009, and refined over a limited number of shows over a two year period. This was recorded and released in a very limited physical CD run last year, and received generous airplay from our good friend John Deliberto from the nationally-syndicated NPR show “Echoes.”

“Nanook” remains one of the works I am proudest of, and am so excited that it is now available for download, straight from Sumner’s website in a variety of file formats.

Please check it out at http://sumnermckane.bandcamp.com/album/nanook

Nationwide Audiences Get Preview of Sumner McKane Group’s “Nanook”

echoes

National Public Radio’s “Echoes” program continues its support of the Maine-based Sumner McKane Group by playing several selections from their newly-released score to the classic silent film “Nanook of the North.” Over the end of October and throughout November, Diliberto has played many tracks from “Nanook.”

The host of the show and an avowed fan of the group, John Diliberto has said “McKane’s landscapes are tinged in ambient atmospheres and pulled by an undertow of psychedelia that makes them some of the most unassumingly mind-bending music of the decade.”

Mere weeks ago, “Echoes” released a list of “The Best 200 CDs From 20 Years of Echoes, As Chosen by Listeners” and three of Sumner McKane’s records were chosen for the Top 100.  View the full list here: http://www.echoes.org/200Albums.html

The national media attention is in support of the extremely limited-edition CD release of “Nanook,” available only through http://www.sumnermckane.com.

Local NPR listing information for “Echoes” can be found here: http://www.echoes.org/stattime.html

Media Glutton

I was interviewed last week week by my good friend Justin Ellis at the Portland Press Herald for his regular "Favorites" column in the iHerald section, which is now up today on the Press Herald website.

You can see it here: http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=171480&ac=

Please note the animated expression in the photo. This is a shot that was used a few months ago for another story they interviewed me for. The day that story came out, Justin emailed me to ask what the hell my problem was and why I looked so crazed. Now I realize, he asked me to be a part of today’s column so he could run that photo again.

Thanks, pal 🙂

Anyway, enjoy!

t

WPB IN THE NEWS!

Please visit the following links to see recent press regarding the 1st Annual wepushbuttons Awards

NOVEMBER 5TH, 2007 – PORTLAND PRESS HERALD MONDAY MAGAZINE
AN AWARDS SHOW FOR THE COMMON DJ
BY JUSTIN ELLIS
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=145502&ac=MondayM

NOVEMBER 6TH, 2007  – THE MAINE SWITCH
MAKING SURE PORTLAND’S ELECTRONIC SOUNDS GET NOTICED
BY AMY MARTIN
http://www.themaineswitch.com/story/view/1456/

NOVEMBER 8TH, 2007 – PORTLAND PRESS HERALD GO! MAGAZINE
READY,SET, GO!
BY STEPHANIE BOUCHARD
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=146208&ac=Go&pg=3

NOVEMBER 8TH, 2007 – PORTLAND PRESS HERALD NXT PODCAST – INTERVIEW WITH MIKE CLOUDS OF WPB
BY JUSTIN ELLIS
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/mondaymag/ellis/PODCAST/MP3/CLOUDS.mp3

Project Dark “The Director’s Cut” Remix Album Out 10/31

Directorscut_pd

the Difference is appearing on the remix album to the highly anticipated Project Dark CD, the collabo between Moshe and KGB aka Syn the Shaman, being released on Halloween on Milled Pavement. The remix CD is called "The Director’s Cut," and is the companion piece to "and it was black" the debut release by Project Dark.

Patrick and I did a remix of the track "Exist Through This," and we are so psyched, not only for our track but the company we get to keep… this remix album is chock-full of some of the best producers and remix artists in the Northeast!

Peep it here: http://www.milledpavement.com/index2.html

rocket – one nominated for wepushbuttons award!

Wpb_awards_show_banner

i’ve been nominated for "best downtempo dj" in the first annual wepushbuttons awards! awesome!

everyone can vote! please go and vote for me, as well as slowing room, miss fairchild and the many friends, associates and affiliates on the ballot in a bunch of different categories…

thank you everyone for voting!

WEPUSHBUTTONS ANNOUNCES:
THE FIRST ANNUAL WEPUSHBUTTONS AWARDS

It’s time.

It’s time for the electronic/hip hop music community in Maine to set forth a definition; a definition of who we are and what we do.

It’s time for us to come together to understand each other as well as encourage others to dig deeper than their own understanding of electronic-based music; a true conduit of information to build a complete circuit.

It’s time for the wepushbuttons Awards.

The wepushbuttons Awards recognize individuals and groups and their respective achievements, ranging from DJs to MCs to Producers to Bands that represent the realness in electronic music in our city. The Awards are realized in 25 different categories. Yes! Our “small” music community has enough richness and diversity to warrant this many separate areas of recognition.

Re-define. We define. We Push Buttons.

the Rocket’s New Drums!

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I’m so thrilled to show you all the newst edition to my family… my brand new Pearl Masters Studio Birch set in Red Glass sparkle wrap finish. Thanks to Chris, Shane, and everyone at the Drum Shop in Portland. They have always been there to give me a hand and know me and my tastes so well. It’s great to have guys like this on your team! If you’re looking for drums visit them on the web here: www.drumsforless.com

I’ll be including all the tech specs on my artist package page shortly, but for now… here’s a few snaps… The kit will be making its debut at the Miss Fairchild SPACE show tonight!