Wednesday, December 21, 2011

High compliments

I just received a facebook message from David Griffin, 4th horn of the CSO.

He wrote:
I enjoyed hearing you in ACC at Goodman last night. Bravo!

Mr. Griffin has been a horn god to me ever since I moved to Chicago in 1995 to attend music school! His low horn playing has been the rock of that section, the unsung hero if you will, for the last 16 years.

I am moved and honored by his words and the fact that he reached out to express them.
Thank you, sir.  It was my privilege to be on stage with you in the audience!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New venue and forced perspective

I procured my CTA performer's permit today.  Gonna try my hand at playing in a brass trio with my friends Ellis and Jerry down in the bowels of Chicago's Transit Authority.  I've street performed before but never in a group and never in a train station.
I have a badge that I need to "wear prominently."  I wonder how musician's union pension comes out of what we make?

Anyway, we're going to try to be at one of the 4 designated spots (Lake Red & Blue lines and Jackson Red & Blue lines) during some rush hours this holiday season.  I'm guessing the 4-6pm rush hour is more in our time-table but we may try to make a morning or two.
Please email or facebook me if you would like a heads-up as to when we may be down there.

On a personal note, I saw the Muppet's Movie yesterday and I have to admit, after the new tune "Pictures In My Head" by Kermit, my eyes weren't dry for the remainder of the movie.
I suspect this was due to the following things:
 1) That brand new song Kermit sings is awesome and touching. It touched me in a way that said, "How could you forget us?" and my soul responded, "I don't know, life happened?"

2) The old tunes resonated a chord in me that hadn't been plucked in a while. That old music played by Rowlf on classical Piano and Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (Especially Zoot and Animal) inspired me in ways I didn't realize until I heard it again.

3) Jason Segal was the perfect bridge from that era to this one. All the cameos were fun and made me happy, nay! Giddy.

4) After a week when I hosted my parents, did 9 christmas shows (including 2 noon matinees), 3 early promo appearances (WGN, ABC, and Macy's), I think my Monday day off needed a physical and emotional release.

Honestly, I had better shows today because of Number 4 in this list. I'm going to have better composition and arranging success in 2012 because of Numbers 1 and 2.  Dunno what to say about Number 3 except, Yay, Cinema!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back from NY

Very fun, very successful trip to New York!
I had to miss Mucca Pazza's first show at Lincoln Center and a short set at the Brooklyn Brewery due to contractual obligations at Goodman.

However, I flew into Queens in enough time to make the late set at the Brooklyn Bowl! I had the most amazing view of Ellis Island and Manhatten coming in around 10:30pm.

Then the real treat. An Amtrak ride upstate to Albany/Troy to attend a screening of "Fanfare for Marching Band."
First, the train ride along the Hudson River couldn't have been more gorgeous.
Second, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is an amazing place. Kinda like a Wonka Factory for artists. 
Third, our short dance film exceeded expectations and seeing the end result of so much of my year's worth of work was enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Happy to be home. Ready for a Cool Breeze Big Band rehearsal tonight and back to the Goodman grind tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sea Monster Graphic Novel

Check out our Kickstarter page!
7th Kind (pre-) wrote and recorded the sound track for the (not yet made) movie that this comic is based on!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Go West, young man.

Well, off to California.
It'll be my 3rd road trip from Chicago to San Fransisco in as many years. I'm going with a group of 10 this year; 10 of my closest friends I may add!

I've had a great month. I've spent most of my waking hours moving notes around for Michael Karras. Got to play with my usual groups as well as Al Scortch, Broken Social Scene, and others.

What fun!!!!!

When I get back, 4 Game Show Show...and Stuff shows, a couple of Mucca gigs, and Goodman rehearsals start on the 25th.  Oh, Boy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Busy September!

I need to get better at this blogging thing.
Once a month isn't enough.  Maybe I'll try weekly when I get back from California.

Oh, yeah! California!
Even though there will be six shows to play, this will be a vacation!
On the bus with a bunch of my best friends, sleeping in the salt flats of Utah, dinner at the Red Iguana, some of my favorite towns in Cali. It's going to be awesome!

Right now, I'm trying to finish up a large orchestration project with my partner Jeff Thomas. We are arranging and orchestrating a piece by the incomparable Michael Karras for a concert in November.
This Friday is the next big deadline.

I can't believe this month has flown by. I am less than a month away from the first Christmas Carol rehearsal! The year rolls down hill from there.

Probably won't talk to you again until mid-October.
Until then...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I got Scorched at Revolution Brewing!

I've got a couple of shows coming up this weekend:

1) Expo '76 in Woodstock, IL for you non-city-dwellers:  Here are the Deets!

2) Al Scorch's Country Soul Ensemble on Sunday night at Subterranean.  Here is where you can get your $8 tix!

I just happened upon Al Scorch at Revolution Brewing, Co, during a Leather Bus "business meeting", where we shared an a capella rendition of "For No One" (the day breaks, your mind aches...), at which time we decided I should play French horn and/or trumpet with this suspender-deserving group. Listen here for sounds:  Twangy Link!

I know it's only Tuesday night, but wherever you are, have a great weekend (mine may already have started)!
~Justin Amolsch, SuperBrassPlayer

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shows this weekend!

Howdy folks -

Justin Amolsch, Brass Superhero will be performing twice this Sunday with Mucca Pazza! At 7pm at the Logan Square Monument (aka, the Illinois Centennial Monument, built in 1918 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Illinois becoming a state), and then at 10pm at the Empty Bottle (aka, "Friendly").

In Logan Square, we'll be performing with Lord of the Yum Yum, and at the Empty Bottle we'll be performing with the Velcro Lewis Group.  These are both bound to be fantastic shows, and I hope to see you at one or the other...or Both!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Did I mention I also book horn bands?

Yup. Do your ears long for more than just the vox/guitar/bass/drums sound? Does your soul wish to move to the sounds of air vibrating through metal?

Great!  Brass Inferno Productions is putting on a show this Friday, September 2, at Reggie's Music Joint.  Check out these bands, then come see them Live!

Origin of Animal - the best 7 piece Baroque Metal Fusion group in Chicago! 

Balkano - A Chicago Klezmer band with a Balkan Twist!

The Mood - Get ready to dance!

These super-talented folks will help you kick off your Labor Day weekend, so join us!

The Mood at Martyr's

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just starting

So, I've never blogged before.
I don't have much time for it but maybe it's something I'll enjoy and/or get good at.

In the meantime, check out my teaching site: Justin Amolsch on Betterfly
Also my Facebook musician page: Justin Amolsch, Brass Player

Time to get back to practicing. Big show tonight with Expo '76 at Simon's Tavern!