Sunday 6.9.02 11:54
Right now everything feels like a blur. I'm finally back in my apartment after 2 months away. It's a little strange. The final stretch of the tour went well with a raging finale last night in our old stomping grounds of Ashland, OR. The encore, "Hippopotamus" included an appearance on saxophone by the great Jessica Lurie of the Living Daylights. This was the first meeting of the Daylights/Trio and most certainly won't be the last. We left Ashland at about 3:30 am and arrived in El Cerrito, CA at about 8 am. After jump starting Pete's car (which hadn't been moved in 2 months) we went our separate ways, thus marking the official completion of OM Trio's first National Tour.
A lot more has happened in the last week or so that I'm failing to tell you about. All things being considered, though, I'm lucky that I'm able to get the energy and coordination together to type this entry. For now, this will have to do.
--Brian Felix Keys
Final Tour Statistics
Shows played 33
Thursday 6.4.02 8:06
Sunday 6.2.02 Late Night directly following Minneapolis show
Friday 5.31.02 10.24
The electronica/ambient/emo-jazz jams
have been serious. Brian is coming up with fresh and seemingly infinite
variations of color all the while sounding like multiple DJs. Pete varies
from playing machine-like synth-bass style lines to non-descript chord
slides to funky blurred down beat grooves. I'm starting to look and sound
exactly like Animal from the Muppet Show. It's pretty exciting and the
tempos seem to be getting faster and faster. We shall see. At the
Cleveland show, some guy named Mike came up to me after and asked me if I
study Joey Baron or Jim Black (two drummers I surely admire). I couldn't
believe he rattled off such specific influences--you never know who's
listening and how informed they are. He wasn't even a drummer. He
complimented me on my playing and we talked about the NY downtown scene
for 20 minutes. People do surprise.
--Ilya Stemkovsky drums
Ilya keeps buying stuff:
Tuesday 5.28.02 12.27
First of all, we would like to apologize
for slacking off on the Road Journal. The three of us have been
hanging around the NJ/NY area for the last week or so, and thus have been
on a mini "vacation" in the middle of the tour. Our show last week
at the Lion's Den in NYC was really an amazing and inspired night.
Just about all of our friends and family in the metropolitan area (and
quite a few newcomers) turned out for a solid two sets of OM Trio
jazz/metal/electronica and then dispersed into the NYC night at around 3
am. After that, we spent a few days with family before heading up to
Boston for our Beantown debut at the original House of Blues. The
show went well, and actually included Brian Church (old friend of Ilya's)
singing on "Cult of Personality." There's nothing like ending a show
with a rocker. Now we're just gearing up for the final 2 weeks of
the tour, which will take us back across and finally back home on June
Friday 5.17.02 8:00
We listened to Weezer's new album, Maladroit, three times on the way to the All Good Festival. The combination of it being 34 minutes long and unbelievably addictive made it the easy choice for multiple spins. Walking around humming the tunes all day drove us back to the van for yet another listen. (Right now.) We also listened to the new Rush record, Vapor Trails. The nature of the intriguing and perplexing songs led Brian to describe it as "rock music without riffs, hooks, or choruses... Anton Webern is more catchy."
All this high intensity listening got us prepared the All Good Festival, which kicked off with a five band show in The Barn on Thursday night. We played third out of five bands, and got an overwhelming response from the capacity Barn audience. Festivals are always bursting with folks who want to see a lot of music, which is a great environment to play in. The gig saw the debut of Il's new Zildjian 20" K Custom Dry Ride and 18" A Custom Crash, both of which prompted (unbelievably) the first tour appearance of "Hippopotamus," making its grand entrance before the encore in a fashionably slinky and punchy manner.
Ilya Stemkovsky's Updated Tour CD Purchases:
Wednesday 5.15.02 10:14
The last two gigs of the first leg went rather well. First of all, never let anyone tell you that the folks of Lynchburg, VA don't know how to rock. The Trio knows better than that. After bumping with the folks, we spent a luxurious night on beds that Pete described as "soft wood." In the morning, we made our way up to Baltimore where the pizza was good. We were getting close. That point became even more clear when we were visited by various friends that came down from Jersey for the show.
At about 4 am on the morning of Sunday,
May 12th the van passed the sign "Welcome to New Jersey." I suppose
that at some point in the middle of Kansas I figured that we'd never see
those four particular words, but there they were. We soon after
parted ways and went to our homes for a solid 4 days of sleep.
Energy has been regained, and we're ready to take on the
Friday 5.10.02 8:38
We find ourselves in Lynchburg, VA. Getting closer to home. People everywhere saying "You guys aren't really from San Francisco. Where are you REALLY from?" Jersey, of course. Mr. Bernie Worrell (original Parliament/Funkadelic) sat in with us on keyboards last night in Asheville, which definitely elevated our Funk cred a few notches. He took a deep melodica solo over our "Old Guard" before moving to the keys and playing "Cosmic Slop" and "Make My Funk the P-Funk." (Brian and Bernie were playing at the same time.) We spent the late afternoon throwing various projectiles at the TV in our hotel room to make the picture clear. Ahhh. Life on the road.
Updated Tour Statistics
crossword puzzles by Pete 107.6
5.7.02 6:34 pm
I have to say that you haven't lived
until you've eaten at an all-gay diner at 5:30 am in New Orleans on
Bourbon St. In fact, nothing interesting happens in NoLa until 3
am. After destroying the historic MapleLeaf Club we headed to
Atlanta, better known as "Hotlanta" at 6 am. Upon arrival we
discovered how many different southern dialects are impossible to
understand. We upstaged No Doubt, David Lee Roth, and Incubus (all
partaking in a huge downtown Atlanta festival) and were joined by Bush for
a special funk version of "Everything Zen." I don't think so.
The scenery and aesthetic beauty of specific parts of Atlanta are
unmatched....and no cover after 3 am. We then high-tailed it up to
NC for a Saturday evening gala with the kind folks from Home Grown Music
Network. They're great. We rocked their den. Great
cookies. Starting to get restless for the Metro area. I can
almost smell the pizza. Wilmington NC has a 24 hour Dunkin
Donuts---you know you're on the East Coast. I had a tough time
with the crossword on Monday, was thinking of Jaime too much. Lake
Trout rocked Wilmington with us. Very cool guys. The beach
here looks just like Sea Bright. Jersey
Ilya Stemkovsky's Current Tour CD Purchases:
PHISH Live 07
|So our motor skills have returned after
the craziness of Jazzfest. Sitting in a hotel room in Atlanta, New Orleans
seems like a million miles away. Bourbon Street is smelly, filthy, and
totally awesome. You have not seen freaks until you've been attacked by
the toothless, limbless aliens from the Big Easy. We spent the majority of
the time observing the aforementioned scene with the Netwerk:Electric
folk, who were kind enough to allow us to usurp their pool and
As for music, our show at the world-famous Maple Leaf Bar was classic. Will Bernard's Motherbug jammed from 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and we hit at 1:30 a.m., playing until 5:30 a.m. without break. Along the way, we played a lot of electronica and ambient stuff combined with our unique death metal jazz sound. The 4 hour non-stop set inspired Alex from the Boom Boom Room to declare from the stage that "OM Trio is blowin' up."
Guests included guitarists Will Bernard, Melvin
Sparks, Adam Levy (a tasty NYC cat who plays with Norah Jones now),
saxophonist Topaz, and Motherbug keys-man Michael Bluestein. The crowd was
rocking the whole time and we felt great about the reception we got at
Jazzfest, considering it was our first time and that some other (mostly
obscure) bands were in town. The sun was coming up when we got in the van
and drove immediately following the gig to Atlanta in 7
OM Trio @ Dagostino's Lake Charles, LA
Second Line Blues>
Successfully completed crossword puzzles by Pete 47.3
|The tour has gotten off on the
right foot. First, two dates with Robert Walter's 20th Congress in Salt
Lake and Denver. These were the 3rd and 4th times we've played with them
and had a great time as always just joking, talking about music and
touring. The bands unite by instrument, with both drummers splintering off
together and both bass players and keyboardists talking shop until the wee
hours. All the guys in that band are really nice and great people to hang
and play with. We chilled with Fred Wesley (touring with the 20th
Congress) and listened to some of his entertaining road stories. We
received a Hot Pocket gift certificate from Robert, and after we told him
that Hot Pockets aren't part of our diet, he said "They will be." We shall
see. We've done a lot of driving, and were even challenged by a snow storm
(April??!!) coming out of Salt Lake. |
After playing those two openers, we made our way up to Steamboat Springs, CO to play for a solid crowd of die hard OMies, some of whom came to multiple shows this week. We took the opportunity to do a lot of improvising. The first tune went on for an hour without pause, going through multiple changes in mood, tempo, feel, key, etc...The crowd was right with us the whole way, which gave us the opportunity to really try some new stuff. The debut of a new metal encore rager has gripped the unsuspecting and it will be interesting to see how the venues hold up after the riotous mosh pits.
At the hotel after the show, Ilya reached a new level of laziness by offering Pete $5 to go to the van for some soda. (To wash down the leftover pizza we had just consumed.) Pete accepted the offer, and, even though Il could only actually pay $2, the beverage was retrieved. What a guy.
The band is excited, however, to infiltrate other parts of the country, specifically the ones without 12,000 ft. passes. The van is ready for the 10,000 miles it's about to do, but won't mind when the elevation numbers are lower than the population and gigs are less than 12 hours of driving apart.