Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Technorati Profile

I've been called a lot of things in my time...

O.K., I've been called many things in my day, but to be compared to a talk show host? Check out Kris's blog post about me and Howie Mandel...


Come to think of it, I've never seen myself and Howie Mandel at the same place at the same time...

Friday, November 17, 2006


Bill Harrington was using my software, the KaiserLooper, at a concert last Wednesday. All of a sudden while focusing and concentrating on the performance, a window popped up on his computer that said, "Jeff Kaiser will be playing in Bakersfield Thurday night." He thought that somehow I had embedded code that would post my gigs to anyone using my free software... The truth was, his Mac signed on to the local wireless, and Earthlink gave him the notice of an email announcement from me.

But not a bad idea.......

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Steuart Liebig Turns 50! Today....!

Steuart Liebig turns 50 today...Happy Birthday....

Supposedly he shaved his head this morning to celebrate.

A KILLER gig of his music will be on Thursday.
We had the first rehearsal last night. Here are some photos from the Cryptogramophone World Headquarters:

Steuart takes charge...

Alex, Vinny, Ellen...

Ellen, Jeff G., Andrew...

I got in trouble for this: no photos while playing, please... but hey, somebody has to document this stuff...


Nels, Vlat, me...


Monday, June 12, 2006


Ligeti, one of the composers whose choral music (along with Bach, Josquin, Palestrina and Penderecki) has remained eternally in my listening rotation. Whose composition has inspired me since college, and has inspired innumerable other artists of all ilks, passed away. In my spell checker, even now, his name comes up with the suggested replacement "light."...

Here for the story.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Question I've Asked Myself: Why is the Da Vinci Code so popular?

Click Here for the news Story

"...[F]orgettable sentences with breakneck pacing, lectures on art, history and religion, sinister conspiracies, evil villains, puzzles and cliffhanger chapter endings..."

"Forgettable sentences." An understatement.

For a great conspiracy story with great writing....Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum."

Get it here.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hollywood logical?! Finally, stands up to Opus Dei...

Thank [fill in favorite venerated human or deity]!

Logic has prevailed, Ron Howard, director of the thriller "The Da Vinci Code" stood up to Opus Dei.

"[S]tating what he said was already obvious. 'This is a work of fiction...'"

Arinze and the Da Vinci Code....

Wait! They want to sue us and make us respect their rights, while not respecting ours??? Oh, this just gets better everyday....

Click here for more from Cardinal Arinze

I love the absurdity...

Here is a nice quote:

There is only one blasphemy, and that is the refusal to experience joy. — Paul Rudnick

Monday, May 01, 2006

Odd memories of Paul Whiteman...

Little known fact: My step-grandmother's (she is deceased) first husband (my grandfather was her fourth) reportedly played with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. She kindly gave me his cornet...a very nice instrument...this memory was triggered by an email from my friend Phil Salazer who sent me this link:

Click here for for a short movie of Willie Hall (one of the Whiteman Boys)

The guy plays a mean bicycle pump at the end.....

Which led me to this nice site:


Friday, April 28, 2006

Boycott Da Vinci Code!?

A new "Index Expurgatorius?" If you are a Catholic, you are being urged by the Vatican to boycott the film of the Da Vinci Code...

Click here for the article.

Archbishop Amato claims the book is successful on part due to "the extreme cultural poverty on the part of a good number of the Christian faithful."

Wow. If you are a believer and like the book, you are culturally impoverished. What does that make me, a non-believer who enjoyed the book?

"He [Amato] said that if 'such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust they would have justly provoked a world uprising...Instead, if they are directed against the Church and Christians, they remain unpunished."

We should be punished!? God, once again, should rain down punishment on us for our ideas?

To Amato: I hope you continue to speak your mind. You show your own ignorance and distance from the idea of the loving God you pretend to believe in. I hope your impoverished words will lead people to freedom from your restrictive ideas.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can you even believe this is a debate?

Can you even believe this is a debate? The Catholic mucky-mucks discussing whether or not the use of condoms to prevent AIDS is a "lesser evil" than using condoms for birth control...Truly news of the weird....

Click here for the story...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rare political message from Jeff....

I'm so fed up I had to write. The war, the alienation of the middle east....wasn't about oil and money? Look, while we pay (yesterday, over $3 a gallon at Chevron for me) and even more pointedly: while members of our armed forces die....these guys make even more money than ever. Bush and Cheney have been in bed with these guys all along. I'm not against businesses making money, BUT...really, this is truly ridiculous. Remember who got the contracts. Remember who Cheney worked for...

Haliburton up 33 percent....from: oil!

From the Associated Press

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More Da Vinci Code....

I sure hope the filmmakers don't publish this disclaimer for the Catholic group Opus Dei.

What's next? Maybe the makers of Wallace and Gromit, out of respect for scientists, should publish a disclaimer in "A Grand Day Out" that the moon is really NOT made out of cheese...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Choir Boys: Eight Days in Chicago-4.12.2006

After another afternoon of teaching, we had our debut at the Empty Bottle, a great, classic, jazz/creative music bar in Chicago. Unfortunately, it lived up to its name, it was somewhat empty...but we had a good gig and made some good music for those that were there...

Choir Boys: Eight Days in Chicago-4.11.2006

Andrew showed up bright and early (5 am!!!!) He wanted to save a night on the hotel...turns out our "patron," Roosevelt University was picking up the bill for all this stuff...he could've got there a day early, and I could've slept in. The raucousness began right away, leading our neighbor to pound the hotel room wall so hard it bent with each pound...

So, believe it or not, we worked while here. Tues-Thursday, we would imporovise and dialogue with students from 12-4pm, then we held a Master Class for grad and undergrad composition majors Thursday evening, which was a blast.

Here Don is regaling us with stories of using decommissioned nosecones of InterContinentalBallisticMissiles as voltage controllers for early synths. For real.

Here is one of the undergrads we worked with, Kaimitsu, who just got accepted to grad school...but I don't remember where...

After the teaching, we had dinner at my favorite diner in the country, The Chicago Diner

and then went and did a live performance on WNUR (Northwestern University Radio)

Mike and Jacob were PHENOMENAL. They did a great job mixing and recording us. That is them in the last pic.

Choir Boys: Eight Days in Chicago-4.8-4.10.2006

I love Chicago! So when my friend Don Malone invited me to come and play his final recital (retiring after THIRTY-One years) and teach some Master Classes, I said, "of course!" Even better, he had me invite the other Choir Boy, Andrew Pask. This would prove to be another epic Choir Boys trip....(BTW, Steuart Liebig and I did some Master Classes and a show there a few years back. That was also a blast.)

Here is a pic of Don driving me from the airport to the hotel in the Loop:

Ah,the beautiful skyline....

and ubiquitous starbucks...

I arrived there a few days before classes (we would teach four) and the performances (five) to hang out with Don and check out the city...here are a few of the reasons I love it....(and look at the weather!)

ARTIST: Alexander Calder
TITLE: "Flamingo"
DATE UNVEILED: October 25, 1974
DESCRIPTION: 53-foot tall red-colored steel stabile
LOCATION: Federal Center Plaza at Dearborn and Adams Streets (Calder's model sits inside the Klucynski Federal Building)

ARTIST: Joan Miro
TITLE: "Chicago" (originally titled "The Sun, the Moon and One Star")
DATE UNVEILED: April 21, 1981
DESCRIPTION: forty-foot tall sculptural representation of a woman with out-stretched arms
LOCATION: Brunswick Plaza on Washington Street (overlooking the Daley Center's Picasso)

ARTIST: Marc Chagall
TITLE: "Four Seasons"
DATE UNVEILED: September 27, 1974
DESCRIPTION: 70 feet long by 14 feet high by 10 feet wide glass-and-stone mural nicknamed "the boxcar mosaic"
LOCATION: First National Plaza (Dearborn and Monroe Streets)

ARTIST: Picasso
TITLE: unnamed (called the “Chicago Picasso”)
DATE UNVEILED: August 15, 1967
DESCRIPTION: 50 feet tall and weighing 162 tons, is made of Corrosive Tensile ("Cor-Ten") steel, the same material used to build the Daley Center.
LOCATION: Chicago's Daley Plaza (a public square on the south side of the Richard J. Daley Center at 50 W Washington Street).

ARTIST: Jean Dubuffet
TITLE: "Monument With Standing Beast"
DATE UNVEILED: November 28, 1984
DESCRIPTION: 29-foot tall, 10-ton white fiberglass monument
LOCATION: James R. Thompson Center (formerly known as the State of Illinois Building)

The Crown Fountain (Click for more info)

Trains everywhere...didn't need to drive much, even for all those trips to Evanston to get Andrew's soprano fixed (twice....)

Here I am by the Biograph, where Dillinger was shot.

Don setting up the studio for our classes and recording sessions...

Nice moog modular....original, built by moog himself....(click)

And some skyline shots, including the water tower, one of the buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire....

Friday, April 14, 2006

More Da Vinci Code...

The brouhaha continues in the Catholic church over the mediocre novel The Da Vinci Code.

I really believe Pope Benedict and his team, if allowed, would go back to banning and burning books...but so would fundamentalists of any ilk. Christian fundamentalists, Muslim fundamentalists...all think they know what is best for us. What hubris. And how destructive to the world. The evil that has been, and continues to be, perpetrated upon the world in the name of fundamentalist religion is overwhelming. And it all starts with an idea that is spoken or written...a novel, a silly little novel in this case. A work of fiction. And they get up in arms. Ridiculous.

For information on the "Index" (The Index of Prohibited Books).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Celebrating 10 years.....

I am celebrating this year. Ten years of being a vegan. Ten years of being crazy for tea. Ten years of making a living as a musician. Ten good years.

Favorite tea quote of the moment.

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. ~T'ien Yiheng

Sunday, March 26, 2006

How Evil is your Website or Blog?

Haven't we all wondered at times if we were evil? Well know you can know! Put samples of your writing or your website URL in the space provided here:


And then you will finally know how evil you are. Or good for that matter.

Turns out I'm mostly good.

Glad about that, I was worried.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Movie Theaters Stink...

"Theater owners are trying to stem declining admissions, which fell nearly 9 percent in 2005. One way to do so has been to install new digital projectors and feature new types of entertainment."

I found that statistic here.

If theater owners really want to improve attendance, they should do a few simple things:

1) Clean up the theaters so they don't smell. And aren't sticky.
2) "Patrol" during shows to get rid of annoying drunks, cell phone users, and yelling children. And ask people to just shut up that are talking.

I stopped going to the theater regularly about 7 or 8 years ago. It got too much to handle. When the bad experiences outweigh the good, why should we drop 10 bucks on a film? For the privilege of being uncomfortable, sticky, smelly, and in the presence of loud obnoxious people? Do they really think they will attract people by adding stuff?? Clean up what you already have and make it a good experience.

Me? I'll get whatever it is on DVD when it comes out and watch in the peace of my own home, with a nice cocktail and dessert. The hell with the theaters. And their owners.

A Day Without Tea...

I decided to google the phrase, "a day without tea."

Turns out I'm not alone in my feelings.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dostoevsky and Tea....

A friend sent me this quote:

"I only like playing with words, only dreaming, but, do you know, what I really want is that you should all go to hell. That is what I want. I want peace; yes, I'd sell the whole world for a farthing, straight off, so long as I was left in peace. Is the world to go to hell, or am I to go without my tea? I say that the world may go to hell for me so long as I always get my tea."
-- Notes From Underground (Dostoevsky)

A day without tea is misfortune. Or worse.

Try talking to me before my morning tea. (Ask my former girlfriends.)

It is more than just caffeine, as I drink white and aged teas low in that dreaded stimulant. It is the fragrance, the warmth, the liquid character that uplifts in a way nothing else can. The substantive quality that raises me to the level I need to be at before I can deal with the others in this world: the news, politics, traffic. Pushing crowds at the grocery store, at the post-office.

I just got off the phone with Jack Strand and ordered some more tea.

Strand Tea

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My little trunk monkey....

Just bought one for my Honda Civic. Got the Rhesus version which is a little smaller for the compact size car. Fits nicely next to my trumpet case.

Trunk Monkey Car Theft Prevention Device

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good gawd, I love Chuck Norris!

Ever since I was a kid in high school and Good Guys Wear Black and then, A Force of One came out on the big screen, I have thoroughly enjoyed, and looked forward to, the next movie by the cheesiest actor there is this side of Steven Seagal...the one, the only, the greatest deliverer of awful one-liners: Chuck Norris.

I am currently watching, The Cutter. A truly and delightfully awful film.

Dialogue Excerpt:

Bad Cop to Norris: "I'm not through with you yet!"
Norris: "Well I am!"

Who, exactly, is Norris through with?

Also: This film features some of the worst fake mustaches and beards on the evil villain (redundancy?) that I've ever seen. After thinking this, I hear the Interpol agent say:

"He is obviously a master of disguises."


Why do I love these movies so? But I heard that Sartre read pulp novels non-stop when he wasn't working...we've all got to have a hobby.

Side Note: Check out Chuck Norris Random Facts

And, in fairness, his own response to the random facts, which is really just an opportunity to pimp his autobiography.

Personal tank....

Last item of the night to add to my Amazon wish list:

A personal tank

Oh, it is more than a tank, it is a personal comfort and safety conveyance system.

From the product description:

"The JL421 Badonkadonk is a completely unique, extremely rare land vehicle and battle tank. Designed with versatility in mind, the Donk can transport cargo or a crew of five internally or on the roof, and can be piloted from within the armored shell or from an exposed standing position through the hatch, thanks to special one-way steel mesh armor windows and a control stick that pivots up and down to allow piloting from the standing or seated positions. The interior is fully carpeted and cozy, with accent lighting and room for up to five people. A 400 watt premium sound system with PA is mounted to project sound both into the cabin and outward from behind the windows. The exterior is a steel shell with a rust patina, and features head and tail lights, turn signal lights, trim lighting, underbody lighting, fixed slats protecting the windows, and a unique industrial-strength rubberized flexible skirt that shields and protects the wheels to within an inch of the ground, while still allowing for enough flex to give clearance over bumpy and uneven terrain...Price does not include shipping and handling."

As one reviewer said, "shopping for a personal tank can be quite daunting...."

But the Donk seems to have it all. Now if they only included shipping and handling.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Religions and hypocrisy...Scientology, too?

The message: Scientologists are saying you can make fun of other religions....just not theirs!


Isaac Hayes was fine when they mocked other religions, but when they hit Scientology, forget about it. He's taking his voice and going home...Hayes quit South Park over their "inappropriate ridicule" of religions. Matt Stone, co-creator of the series, is quoted in the above article as saying, "In ten years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews..."

It seems that fundamentalists of all ilk are prone to hypocrisy, even Scientologists.

Tired of MySpace and Blogs...?

Tired of Emails, MySpace, Blogs, Text messaging, Voice messaging, chatting....?



and be sure to read their FAQ:


Friday, March 10, 2006

Religion and absurdity....

I love The Flying Spaghetti Monster

I think venganza.org shows the absurdity of religious "logic" when arguing about science the best, when they say:

"You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s."

Da Vinci Code vs. Catholic Church

I admit that I read and enjoyed the Da Vinci Code. But it was far from being great literature. It is a simple book, based on an interesting possibility from a couple of historians, and it is far from well-written. It was a fun piece of pop fluff. I enjoyed it. But this brouhaha over it and other books by the Catholic and some Protestant Churches is just ridiculous. It is fiction, and they are arguing against it like it is a historical truth. The latest:


Is another absurdist religious attack on art, if we dare call the book that. Which, actually, I don't.

The web page says: "The Da Vinci Code novel contains a claim that in Leonardo's mural The Last Supper, which portrays Jesus and his twelve apostles at the meal he took with them on the night before he died, one of the twelve is not the apostle John but actually a woman who is Mary Magdalene." And then goes on to argue about it.

Let us dissect this for a moment. "...novel contains a claim..."

It is a novel. Great Jebus help us. Other novels make fantastical claims. We don't argue about them. We suspend our disbelief, and read them. And we enjoy them, they stimulate thought, dialogue, or they inspire. Or not. One of my all-time favorite novels is Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. Because of the book's "claims," do I believe that the Templars are about to culminate their evil plans against the world? Or because I love Hugh Lofting, do I REALLY believe that Doctor Doolittle can talk to the animals?

But, I bet the publishers are stoked. It probably is boosting sales of The Da Vinci Code.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Me? I love Duchamp....

It never ceases to amaze me how people get worked up over art.

Here, we have a guy attacking Duchamp's Fountain.


First he pee'd on it in 1993. (After all, it is a urinal.) Now, the 77 year old French performance artist attacked it with a hammer.

I hate to ask the obvious, but why was he so pissed off at the pisser?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

and more tea...

OK, one more link on tea and aging...and the prevention of a mental decline...

Click Here

It totally makes sense: If tea helps prevent arteriosclerosis , most commonly thought of in relationship to heart disease, would it not affect the smaller blood vessels in the brain....? Any ideas out there? I'm certainly not a doctor, so any input is welcomed...

Tea and more...

Many of you know of my love of tea. Particularly white teas, green teas, and pu erh teas. Well, in a lovely morning of drinking organic Tuocha and doing some delightful searching on the internet for information about tea I came across one of the most humorously useless technological experiments ever. An experiment on the functionality of the Chocolate Teapot by PLOKTA zine. (According to Wikipedia, PLOKTA means "Press a Lot Of Keys To Abort," an old way of getting your computer to stop whatever it was doing...

Click here to read about the Functionality of the Chocolate Teapot

I also ran across a nice link about health and tea:


Also: I regularly get asked where I buy my tea.

I have two places that I shop regularly
Jack and Judy Strand that run Strand Tea are an excellent resource, but their website is a little lacking. Don't let that stop you, their tea is excellent, and phone service unsurpassed. I recommend calling them and chatting about tea and taking their recommendations. If you are lucky, you will get Jack or Judy. Their advice has broadened my tea experience immensely.

My other choice is the Tao of Tea, whose website is easy to use and they also have a great selection of organic teas. And if you go into their tea house on Belmont in Portland, Oregon, be sure to talk with Jonathan Sielaff...his knowledge is vast, and his recommendations always good. And he plays a mean bass clarinet as well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Saturday Night at Spark...

Wow. A memorable evening. Great music, particularly by Ben Nevile and Andrew Pask and then by Randy Jones. Ben and Andrew did a trance inducing set of interlocking polyrhythms and modal melodies, whereas Randy got more insane dance grooves going while singing about, ahem, "My Little Pony," among other things.

Somehow, at the end of the evening (4am) at our usual hang, the Hard Times Cafe, Roy Carroll (who joined Andrew and I on many adventures this trip) and I heard about a big rave going on. Well, we decided to go. It was pretty insane. Photos to come later. As I dropped my camera and broke it about 6am while grooving to the DJs...Back to the story. As we were walking up, I was joking around speaking faux German to Roy when this hyper-rave-fiend comes up to us and says, "Dudes, are you German, are you? Are you? I love Germans, say something in German!" So I said, "yah, yah, my name is Dieter and this is Heinrich. Is dis das rave?" Well, we led the guy on, and it turns out he was involved in the production and got us in for free....saved us 20 bucks each...also gave us his number in Miami and told us to visit next time we were in the states...

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Many of you that know me, know that for years I have wanted a granular synthesis footpedal for my electronics...Now that I've gone max/msp I have one. One of the gentlemen that I've met on this gig at Spark is Nathan Wolek, he is it when it comes to granular synthesis. And if you've been wondering what the heck granular synthesis is you can download papers at his website by clicking his name or pointing your browser at NathanWolek.com. Or you can start by going to Wikipedia
and read about it...

Friday night at Spark...

Another great day. The highlight for me was DEFINITELY Gregory Taylor and Tom Hamer performing music with Mark Henrickson doing video improvisation. Gregory was using Radial to create gorgeous loops and textures with Tom playing, among his other percussive devices, an amplified pine cone. Yup. Amplified pine cone. It sounded great! Mark continues to impress me with his video. More pics on the way, as soon as I find my connector cable...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thursday night at Spark

Great night! Since we performed opening night our only job now is to hang out, listen to music, and meet people. I was lucky enough to hang out with Andrew Pask, of course, and meet Ben Neville, Nathan Wolek, Joe Grimm and other very interesting musicians, as well as see the beautiful and engaging Smyth-Wymore Disappearing Acts. One of the most engaging and interesting pieces yet on the program....wonderful. That and the folk-singer/percussion/musical saw (!) duo....REALLY! Haunting folk singing with fiddle and overtone singing accompanied by dark electronics and percussion: "A Conversation with Death" Michael Theodore and Tim Eriksen performed. Tim Eriksen is a bit of a legendary character around here....beautiful day. I can't say enough good about Tim Eriksen, he is the real deal. Check him out by clicking here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Finally, Spark makes it official for me. No more hardware/stomp box based sound processing...Cycling 74's max/msp is it for me...the versatility and portability combine to make it THE way to go, in my humble opinion. Listening to all these laptop guys and the amazing array of textures and timbres they get is amazing...

Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art 2006

The Choir Boys (me and Andrew Pask) had a wonderful gig at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis, MN last night...what a great venue. Part of the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art directed by Douglas Geers, we played as part of their Spark Nightlife...a great club, the night was curated by J.P. Hungelmann who was AWESOME. A great guy who took care of our every need (assisted by Mark, the soundguy), from making sure I could hear myself in the monitors (which was a problem, but got fixed right away) to making sure we had our favorite cocktails on the bandstand. His curating was beautiful, flowing from ambient, to the madness of the Choir Boys, to pointillistic laptop and video. Wonderful night. One of the great shows of the night: video artist Mark Henrickson working with Jitter...wonderful video, The Choir Boys hope to work with him sometime. I hope he is reading this. Photos by Roy Carroll an Irishman living in Germany with a wide vocabulary of Canadian slang...he also turned in a mean set on laptop using Reaktor. Check out his amazing grooves at his Myspace Site.