John Beezer - February 24, 2013
As curator for this Sunday’s Racer Session, I’ve invited one of my bands, Joe Kaiser, to play the opening set. We play 100% improvised music and I’d describe the sound as somewhere in the nebulous space between Can and Led Zeppelin. At least, that’s how it sounded last time we played …
The other musicians are Steve Turnidge, Jonathan Plum, Greg Reid, and Brad Marvin. So yes, none of us are actually named Joe Kaiser.
Coming up with improv bands has been my strange obsession for decades. In particular, I really love playing for people who can’t tell we're improvising. Of course, sometimes people just figure we’re really bad at what we’re doing – but even that’s kinda fun. Having been boo’d by an audience of 800 people once, I can report that it’s an excellent character-building exercise.
Over the years I’ve noticed it’s actually pretty easy to start an improv band, but almost impossible to quit one … for example, you can’t stop going to practice if there aren’t any practices. As a consequence, I’m now up to 12 active bands, each with its own unique sound – metal, punk, jazz, psych, prog, noise, etc. If you're interested to hear what they sound like, here’s a blog post with a few tracks from each of them.
Regarding curatorial guidance for Sunday’s jam session – I’d love to hear more singers. Vocals are the hardest thing to improvise, but it's really cool when they’re done well. So I hereby challenge the singers, and especially any wanna-be singers, to go for it on Sunday.