Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nice blurb in Eugene Weekly

From the Eugene Weekly:

Welcome to the Machine

Barry Threw’s laptop-generated soundscapes immerse listeners in ominous clouds of music occasionally lit by bolts of electronic sound. It’s no surprise that the San Francisco-based electronic musician often works with visual art installations. Threw has collaborated with Southern California trumpeter/composer Jeff Kaiser, who’s also played with important avant improv musicians such as Eugene Chadbourne and Emily Hay and written and performed music for films and TV. His microtonal music drifts toward ambient, with strange ripples and bursts of sound flashing through oddly compelling textures. Eugene’s own Warning Broken Machine wrings subtle beauty from ostensibly non-musical sources such as amplified stones, glass and found pieces of metal. Springfield’s [view] uses obsolete medical equipment such as muscle stimulators as sound sources. Though they come from disparate origins — improvisational music (so-called “creative” jazz, free jazz and non-jazz-based improv); the digital music cybersphere; ambient and noise bands — all use mechanical or electronic means to create fascinating soundscapes (some gentle, some searing) in which texture and atmosphere take precedence over traditional musical means such as melody and rhythm. They should make DIVA an ear- and mind-expanding place to be this Saturday. Jeff Kaiser, Barry Threw, [view] and Warning Broken Machine perform at 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 2, at DIVA. $5. — Brett Campbell

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Poster for Eugene, Oregon show

Don Haugen made this great poster for our Eugene, Oregon show this weekend:

(click pic to enlarge)

From the DIVA website:
August 2, 2008, 8pm
Eugene, Oregon
Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts
(541) 344-3482
Cost: $5, All ages welcome

Local sound artist and promoter Don Haugen hosts an evening with performers Maximus P (Jeff Kaiser and Barry Threw), [view], and Haugen's own group WARNING BROKEN MACHINE.


Many of you are familiar with my dear friend, the wonderful trombonist and composer, Michael Vlatkovich.

I had a chance to surprise him while he was on tour in Portland, Oregon last week. Trying to sneak into Tugboat's unnoticed I heard Vlat's unmistakable voice yelling, "Jeff Kaiser, Jeff Kaiser, Jeff Kaiser!" What a delight, to hear him performing his trio compositions for two trombones and drums...wonderful stuff.

The next day I went to hear Vlat play on Powell's Butte with Rich Halley's group. Great music, in a beautiful scenic environment. My college friend and fellow trumpet player Garen Horgen came along, and we had a nice visit with Dottie Grossman (who rode up with Vlat) before the show.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

KWVA tonight

Tonight I'll be on KWVA radio in Eugene, Oregon at 8pm.

It is available to stream at their website:

and from SHOUTcast.
(You must click the small yellow "Tune In!" button.)

I'll be playing some of my recordings, talking about them and discussing the upcoming show with Barry Threw. (See two posts below for info on the show.)

Radio Host: Don Haugen

Monday, July 28, 2008

A little worm-like amphibian with your tea?

Some of you may know that I'm a fanatic for tea and I keep abreast of tea news with my website

Having enjoyed different teas from the Makaibari tea estate I was pleased and intrigued to see this news:


Rare animal found in tea estate

Statesman News Service

KURSEONG, July 28: A rare animal ‘caecilians’ has been discovered in Makaibari Tea Estate near Kurseong. The animal belongs to the amphibian family. It is being claimed that the animal was sighted after a gap of over 100 years.

The creature found for the first time in 1881 at Rangliot Valley in Sikkim was named as Icohthyophis Skkimmennis. Robin Suyesh, a student from Delhi University made the discovery in the tea estate recently.


A Caecilian is pretty interesting. (I'll sidestep jokes about "The Godfather" et al.) Among other things, according to Wikipedia, one of the species has babies that eat fatty tissue off their mother, which she then regenerates so they can eat her some more. This "is the only currently known instance of dermatotrophy, or deriving necessary nutrients from the consumption of skin."

Hmmm. Caffeinated limbless amphibian babies eating their mother's fatty tissue.

Still, I highly recommend Makaibari Estate can find some at the Strand Tea Company. Although I tend to do much of my tea ordering from The Tao of Tea, as I love the variety of pu-erh teas they have, I can recommend the Makaibari (green, in particular) from Strand.

Maximus P in Eugene, Oregon...

Barry Threw and I first performed together as Maximus P at the Palindrome in Oakland, then again at a sideshow to Siggraph at UCSD last summer. Well, finally, another chance: Here in Eugene, Oregon at the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, hosted by my friend Don Haugen.

From the DIVA website:
August 2, 2008, 8pm
Eugene, Oregon
Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts
(541) 344-3482
Cost: $5, All ages welcome

Local sound artist and promoter Don Haugen hosts an evening with performers Jeff Kaiser, Barry Threw (Maximus P), [view], and Haugen's own group WARNING BROKEN MACHINE.

Also: You can hear a recording of our Oakland gig here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jeffrey Kaiser and Milk...

Poet Phil Taggart sent this video to me this morning, cracked me up! I received a lot of teasing when this came out in the 80s. Amazing how common the name "Jeffrey Kaiser" is.

Of course, me being vegan makes it even more humorous. If you are for some reason interested, click here to see how I feel about milk now...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Max/MSP, The Wandering Goat and The Secret Aardvark

I've re-written my entire Max/MSP performance rig in anticipation of KaiBorg's gigs in Sweden and The Netherlands. KaiBorg is a duo project with David Borgo and myself. We've been working on it this will be posted eventually on our MySpace page.

I completed the re-write of my rig in one week's time, fueled by the amazing Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce (good luck finding it) and The Wandering Goat's Chupacabra espresso roast with different samplings of their vegan well as plentiful amounts of pu-erh tea from the Tao of Tea (picked up after a visit with my tea "guru" Jonathan Sielaff)...I'm particularly enjoying the 2002 Tibetan Pu-er - Zhuan Cha. Life is good up here in Oregon. I've been here for two weeks, and will be here for one more...

Jeff Kaiser and...Friends?

Zoey's had this sign outside that I liked, and it also cracked me up as I thought about the usage of "and Friends."

Here are some quick examples from the web:

Nice to be in Jobim's company...

Noticed my friend David Witham on that one...



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tour-ette Syndrome: "Triumphantly weird, of course!"

Steuart and I at the Metro Gallery in Bakersfield
Photo by Kris Tiner

"Triumphantly weird" is how the VC Reporter heralded my first return show in Ventura since leaving for school in San Diego. I like it: catchy, nice ring to it....and between the wonderful support of the Reporter, The Ventura County Star, and the owners of the venue (Steve and Polly!) we had a packed house at Zoey's...nice to hang with all my friends from the town.

All around, Steuart Liebig and I had a great mini-tour (tour-ette, as he called it), all the shows went well and were recorded. The other gigs were in Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, and Laguna Beach. We were joined by James Ilgenfritz's trio with Jonathan Moritz, and Chris Welcome. (They were joined, to great effect, by Kris Tiner on the Bakersfield date.) Great music,great enjoyment. The Laguna gig was a house concert unlike any I've ever done, great food and drink, but also packed, and they really enjoyed the music.

Here's some notes from the press....

From the VC Reporter
Picks of the week
Jeff Kaiser comes to town


Jeff Kaiser Local musician Jeff Kaiser has long carried the torch for the avant-garde in Ventura County. He created the New Music Festival, an annual tribute to the freaky, far-out and plain weird players toiling on the fringes of the music universe, as well as the labels pfMENTUM and Angry Vegan. Even beyond those testament to the eccentric, however, is Kaiser’s own oeuvre as a trumpeter, which sits on the border between the classical and the iconoclastic. His award shelf is stocked, but it’s best to let the musical explorations speak for themselves. Kaiser left town last year to attend a doctoral program in San Diego, but his homecoming at Zoey’s on July 12 is sure to be a triumphant one. Triumphantly weird, of course.

From the Ventura County Star:

Sonic wizard to blow in

Avant-garde trumpeter, composer and conductor Jeff Kaiser, who left Ventura last year to pursue a doctorate in "critical studies and experimental practices" (yes, this is a music degree) at UC San Diego, is returning north this weekend for a gig at Zoey's. He'll perform as a duo on his quartertone trumpet with contrabass guitarist Steuart Liebig and bring along Trio Caveat, a New York City ensemble.

Admission to the all-ages concert will be free, Kaiser said, "so my friends can get in, as they are all poor musicians."