With a name like No BS! Brass Band, you think you know what you’re getting: brass and lots of it. And while that is true, the Band goes way beyond what I anticipated a brass band would sound like (nothing like the far more traditional Canadian Brass for instance).
The blurb states:
Funky and danceable, the NO BS! Brass Band takes after the full black-music continuum you hear in groups like Rebirth or the Hot 8. But it’s also proggy, and a bit brutalizing, and full of pride in a different Southern outpost. The group’s new album is called RVA All Day, after all. [I don’t know what that last line refers to].
Recently, Koehler, Pace and nine other musicians piled into a bus and journeyed up the freeway to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk in Washington, D.C. They blasted us with songs from the new album — it was so loud, you could hear the music on the other side of the building, a floor down.
The band includes: Lance Koehler, drums ; Reggie Pace, trombone ; Bryan Hooten, trombone/vocals ; John Hulley, trombone ; Dillard Watt, bass trombone ; David Hood, alto saxophone ; Marcus Tenney, trumpet ; Sam Koff, trumpet ; Ben Court, trumpet ; Taylor Barnett, trumpet and Stefan Demetriadis, tuba. And they play three super high energy largely instrumental songs that are obviously jazzy but which also have elements of the most fun marching band you’ve ever heard along with some rapping, some chanting and lots and lots of clapping.
The first song is all about “RVA All Day.” And yet since that’s all they chant, I still don’t know what it means. While the whole band plays loudly and powerfully, there’s a few solo moments as well. First a trombone solo followed by a sax solo, then a trumpet and a super wild trombone solo (he gets some truly great, crazy sounds from that thing). And then a huge surprise, midway through the song is a rap through a megaphone.
“Run Around” has a sing along to begin the song (and again, vocals through the megaphone). It is also lively and a lot of fun. The final song, “Infamous”sounds a lot more jazzy/big band. It’s got a really nice groove. The middle has a section with just tuba and trumpet where the rest of the band claps and shouts “Ho!” and it sounds great. It’s also interesting watching how the different players “store” their instruments in different ways while clapping.
No BS! Brass band will totally make you wiggle your hips.
[READ: August 20, 2016] Shark Life
Clark had to pick a book for summer reading and he chose this one. He enjoyed it so much, that he encouraged me to read it too. And I’m really glad I did. Although it wasn’t until writing this that I realized that this book was adapted for young people by Karen Wojtyla. And yet I can’t find any mention of a grown up version of this book anywhere. So who knows.
Anyhow, Peter Benchley (who died in 2006) is the author of Jaws, and this book is full of stories of his life in and on the sea. For, in addition to being an author, Benchley was a diver and explorer. And his tales are both exciting and full of conservationist ideas.
The book opens in 1974. After the success of Jaws, Benchley had been invited to Australia to be on The American Sportsman. He was going to be swimming in a cage with sharks feeding around him. They put him in the cage, strapped all kinds of good food to it and left him there (okay they were close by). But a few things went awry and suddenly things weren’t quite as safe as they could be. The shark got caught in Benchley’s air line and then panicked. And a panicking shark is never a good thing. (more…)