Oom Pah!

A couple weeks, on the way home from watching the Mighty Oregon Ducks play football, I got to go to the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. If you don’t know about it, its definitely the biggest Oktoberfest in Oregon, and basically takes over the whole town of Mt. Angel for a weekend. In addition to getting my fill of Schnitzel and Hofbrau, I also got the opportunity to hear some great music, as well as play some music.

The coolest band we heard was Salzburger Echo. They played all of the Oktoberfest classics and some interesting traditional instruments. There was some sort of xylophone, some awesome cowbell hand bells, and Most notably, they busted out alpenhorns. The coolest part of the performance was after they played the alpenhorns, they invited people on the stage for an impromptu alpenhorn competition. I ran up to the stage for my chance to play the awesome instrument.

My competition was a mix of kids and old military band people. We each got to blow a couple notes, and then had to play part of the Blue Danube for the first round. I quickly realized I had some stiff competition. One guy was formerly in an Air Force band, and another bragged that he had been in DCI for a long time. After the first round the two guys and kid got picked to go to the next round. But before they moved on, my family and some really awesome loud people in the front started a “Kyle” chant! Awesomeness occurred as I moved into the final round. William Tell.

Using awesome double tonguing power, I whipped out my best William Tell. They had everyone cheer for their favorite performer, and when they called my name, I flashed an Oregon “O” to the crowd and secured a victory! My prize, a free CD of alpenhorn music. The real prize was getting to play such a cool instrument, and this awesome story.

Anyways, I wasn’t just posting to brag, I had a point to all of this. The whole experience reminded me of how much I miss playing with the Donauschwabishe Blaskappelle back in Cleveland. I’ve been tinkering around with the idea of finding a similar group here in Portland, or seeing if some people would be interested in starting a German Brass band. It’s fun for all ages, from young players who need more practice to old players who like to drink beer while they are playing. Any takers?

The musical beer critic

This is a couple weeks old, but I have been working with Azuvu with some of the aspects of the Jamcast they are working on. It’s a great format: get together with musicians, jam for a bit, taste and review a couple beers, and then jam some more. I got a chance to be a part of one of such podcasts a couple weeks ago and had a great time playing, drinking, and talking about my recent cross country trip.

In related news, I attended the Portland Brewfest yesterday and had a great time. I drank a different Bayern (their dark doppel bock) that I liked more than the one from the Jamcast. It made me feel guilty because they are from Missoula, and not from my beloved Oregon. I also had a quite delectable Scottish Ale from Fearless Brewing in Estacada. The rest of the beers I had weren’t as noteworthy, except for the lavender flavored beer. Lavender is good for smelling, not for drinking. Overall, I had a great tasting experience, and thoroughly enjoy living in the beervana that is Portland.

 

Cheers!

February!?

Wait. I haven’t posted yet this month!?

February is the most confusing month with its changing length and its silent “r”. Despite my web silence, a lot was going on, and I will now dump a months worth of bloggage to make up for it.

Its a little hazy at the beginning, but there was an epic movie starring this furry character that taught me a lot of life lessons about microwaves and the importance of unconditional hatred towards dog catchers. EIT rocked it out with their “Doggie Woggiez and Poochie Woochiez” tour at the Hollywood theatre. It was a very inspiring movie and performance.

 

 

The next day, Tia and I decided to go full out Oregonian adventure on Mt. Hood. The skiing part was easy, but getting to the slopes was not the average road trip. Putting chains on a car is like building a lego set in below freezing temperatures on the side of a road in a foot of snow. My Hyundai powered through and we narrowly survived the wilds that are the non-valley part of this great state. The kicker was returning to hail in the valley.

 

 

After two unfortunately cancelled shows, Waffle Taco had an exciting show in North Portland at the Sundown Pub. We were joined by SugarCube Light Show Deluxe, who improvised some excellent visuals over our music. We don’t have anything on the books yet, but there will be new shows and tracks in the near future. If you click on the link above, there are some videos of the show.

Other than that, a dark knight descended on my life and robbed me of my free time. After getting “Arkham City” as a Valentine’s Day present, I descended into the vast world  of being Batman. Usually a game will destroy all of my free time for a weekend and then leave me at peace, but the riddler’s puzzles haunt me yet.

There are four snippets for the four weeks of this wild month. Now that it’s over, it will be back to business with a regular dose of bloggage.

Gobble Gobble

This week it will be nice to take a break from working and get to spend some quality time relaxing and eating some delicious food. A very important part of the holiday is thinking about all of the things you are thankful for; Especially the people in your life and what you are going to get them for Christmas. I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody that has been there for me.

I know that I did this exact same thing a few months ago when I graduated from college, so I apologize if you do not enjoy the extra appreciation.

I’m thankful for Tia, for all of her love, support, and coming up to the Portland area to start our post undergrad lives together. She was there for me through my job hunting  up and downs with positive encouragement.

I’m thankful for my parents, for always supporting me, even in majoring in music. They came out and helped Tia and I move and were always encouraging in helping me look for jobs, and never gave up hope for me. They also got me an amazing College education and a car.

I’m thankful for Brian McWhorter, my trumpet professor at UO. He helped me to find my musical voice, and inspired me to be focused and work towards that voice and achieve my creative goals. There was some trumpet coaching as well.

I’m thankful for Jeffrey Stolet, my Music Technology professor. He taught me the patience to make my music the best it can be and the importance of message and journey in music.

I’m thankful for EthicsPoint for providing me with employment in a time where job hunting is more like hunting big game than turkey. They took a big chance hiring some musician to do their Javascripting, and I’m glad they did. I am also thankful for how awesome of a place it is to work and the fact that my co-workers are all cool.

I’m thankful for Ben Beauvais and Waffle Taco. After a month of rehearsing with Waffle Taco, I had improvised as much as four years of college and felt a 100% more confident about doing so. Our performances have all been very fun and there has been a whole host of good beers and waffle based foods. Ben is a very cool guy from a very different part of the music world and working with him on our music has been a great experience.

I’m thankful for all of the people who have been there for me and supported me in my music, job hunting and college graduating. It’s been a great year, and it was all of your doing.

Thank You!

 

(and a happy Black Friday!)

Adventures in Making a Living

Right now, coming off of school, I have professional goals in four areas. DJing, recording and producing, Trumpet, and Web Design. The overall goal being to make a sustainable living off of some combination of those talents.

This last week, things started picking up for me, although I still remain without the elusive paying day job…

I did have a few interviews, but with most of my training being in music, I’m sure there is more competition from people who have focused on things like web design and retail. I’m still sending out a barrage of resumes to some jobs that seem like they would be very cool.

DJing wise I’ve been sending off booking emails and mixes to a wide variety of places. I just got my second gig with MEGA, doing a Bar Mitzvah. As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for a call back about a potential gig.

For recording and producing, since I just finished my EP, I’ve been sketching out my next release, but what I really want to do is collaborate. I toured some Portland recording studios, and am excited about all the cool places around the area. If your band/group needs a producer or engineer, please hit me up!

Trumpet-wise, I am rehearsing with two different groups right now. The first is a traditional brass quintet that will be good for church and weddings. The other is a little more of the Clodewerks style with an great bass player doing electronics and trumpet and bass. I’m also rehearsing my material for a solo act, which I can start booking sometime next month.

Web Design wise, I’ve been applying to jobs every day. I had one interview last week, with a subsequent disappointing call today. I heard back from another saying they were interested in me, but haven’t responded to me since. I am working on my own stuff to keep my chops in shape. I am going to be releasing something Thursday with some PHP/MySQL fun.

That’s been my experience in the last week working on making a living in the big city. See you Thursday with some interweb fun!

Rubber Side Down

Given my cycling upbringing, I am constantly amazed at how much I forget the cardinal rule:

Rubber side down.

I remember in middle school the first time I rode a road bike with skinny tires I ended up waking up sitting on a fence bleeding with a dislocated thumb. More recently, I’ve crashed every year here in Eugene. Freshman year, I was not accustomed to the slippery pavement that accompanies the Pacific Nothwest’s eight month wet season. I tacoed a wheel that promptly got stolen. Sophomore year, I crashed twice. The first time, some guy cut me off going down a hill and rode off ( a theme that will seem familiar soon). The second time was on my own stupidity. My trumpet case slipped and I went over the handle bars (which had been bent from the previous incident). This led to my dad performing a heart transplant in the form of replacing the shifter for my front derailer.

In my latest over the handlebar adventure, I was going down a hill with an intersection at the bottom of it in a clearly marked bike lane. I was watching the traffic to see if anyone was turning. There were no turn signals, so I thought I was good. The white car looked a little suspicious as I was about to pass it. Then it began turning. I tried to stop, but my bike doesn’t the best of brakes, probably because of the aforementioned abuse. I bounced off the car, and then on to the pavement. As I was trying to pick myself, my bike, and the cans I was returning to the supermarket off of the street, the guy who hit me rolled down his window, uttered something to the effect of “my bad, dawg,” and then sped off on his merry way. I was too preoccupied with getting hit to think about checking out the guy’s license plate number.

Its interesting how I react to crashing on my bike. I moved my stuff off of the road, checked my bike, which was fine, and then talked to some nice ladies who had stopped to help me out. I didn’t even think about whether I was ok until some one asked. The damage report was surprisingly short: a very notable gash on my finger (not on the trumpet hand, thank God), and a little scrape on the knee. After consulting with the very nice ladies, my mom, whoever was in the band office at the School of Music, and the marching band director, I filed a hit and run with Eugene’s finest, and headed down to the health center.

The last time I had gone to the health center, they cut my face a couple times and shipped me out to a hospital that stabbed my arms with needles for a week straight. So I wasn’t expecting much help on my bleeding and partially numb finger. Thankfully, I got in to see the doctor within 10 minutes of walking in the door. They superglued the gash on my finger, and I was out the door (that is, after a lengthy lesson about why I should have been wearing a helmet). Word on the street is that tomorrow is when I’m going to wake up in extreme pain.

I guess there should be a lesson to be learned here. Wear a helmet. Say no to Kyle picking you up on his tandem, given his track record. Watch for cars. When driving, watch for bikes, and if you hit one, stop and make sure they’re ok.

This is probably cause for some long rant about sharing the road and biker’s rights, all of which I support wholeheartedly, But I’ll leave that to your comments.

Stay Safe,

Kyle

P.S. If you see a white POS with a kyle sized dent in the passenger’s side, and a messed up mirror, being driven by a college aged student, let me know or feel free to exact revenge.