29 April 2008

So. Here we go!

I am co-emcee'ing the event, along with our lovely and talented Artistic Director, Phil Kelly.
This night is going to be either insanely entertaining or entertainingly insane. I'm not entirely sure which. The surprises we have in store ... just you wait!

I can tell you this much: leggy dancing girls. That's right. Leggy dancing girls. And if that's not your cup of tea, how about this: Jim Martyka. That's right. Jim "what girl wouldn't" Martyka. We've got jokes, we've got songs, we've got high art and low-brow humor. This is such an incredible hodge-podge of acts, you'll be begging for another night just so you can invite all your friends and show them what a cool person you are. But alas, this show is going up for ONLY ONE NIGHT.

Folks, you don't want to miss this one. And the proceeds are for a good cause: to help us bring kick-ass theatre to Los Angeles. Some of you, I know, say to yourselves "I'd really like to do theatre, but I don't have the time!" By contributing to our efforts, you become a part of them. When Jeff Soroka's visionary take on William Shakespeare's The Tempest opens later this year, you will own some small piece of that. You can help me bring my original work, Pin-Up Girls, to the stage in October.

So tell your friends. Make your reservations. But most importantly, please come. When I'm up on stage cracking wise and introducing acts, I'll be happy to see a few familiar faces in the crowd!

(And for you out-of-towners, you can contribute, too! Visit www.theatreunleashed.com and click on "Support". Any contribution is appreciated!)

18 April 2008

What I've been up to ...

The big show is coming up soon! For more info (i.e. tickets) check out www.theatreunleashed.com!

04 April 2008

(one of) My Latest Obsession(s): Suitcase Drum Kits

I'm trying to remember when I first became aware of these things. It may have been on the bonus DVD that came with the Barenaked Ladies' "Everything to Everyone" CD. Drummer Tyler Stewart played a Suitcase drum kit on an all acoustic set, prompting someone (maybe Ed Robertson?) to say, "One day we'll have to buy you a real drum kit."

As far as I can tell, the suitcase drum kit is used primarily in bluegrass/old timey/ragtime music. Also it's used by buskers, due to it's compact size and ease of transport. Here are a few pix:

Dave Harris, a busker from Canada.

The Woody Pines from Ohio. I befriended them on MySpace ages ago. Great sound.

I guess they're used by rockabilly groups, too. This is The Hightown Crows of the UK.
And finally, a great video of one of these things in action. They sound pretty damn good!

The centerpiece (and namesake) of the suitcase drumkit is the suitcase bass drum (or "kickdrum".) (Here's a link to a guy who provides instructions for building one of these things. [UPDATE:  Dead link!  Try this tutorial.)
I'd like to know more about the history of this instrument ... I imagine it was invented by some hobo in 1910 who wanted to accompany his harmonica blowing and banjo plucking friends. I can just see 'em, sitting around a fire, waiting for the mulligan stew to warm up, stirring up a ruckus under a full moon.