…looked a lot like The Viper and His Famous Orchestra. See for yourself. Here are a number of photographs from our recent rehearsals in Palatine, July 10 show at the Hotel SnS, and July 12 show at the Great Performers of Illinois 2009 festival in Millennium Park.
Unfortunately, you can’t view these unless you’re on Facebook. And some require that you are a friend or a friend of a friend of the photographer. But I’m looking to put the best of them in a more permanent place on this site soon.
The setting was one of the great pleasures of playing with The Viper and His Famous Orchestra this past Sunday, July 12, at the Great Performers of Illinois 2009 festival in Chicago. The festival was held in Millennium Park, and our stage was right next to the Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor more familiarly known as the “bean.” (That’s us playing to the right of it in the picture above.) Just beyond the bean was Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain in which my daughter, Kip Rainey’s daughter, and daughters and sons everywhere could play when they got bored with us. Behind us was Michigan Avenue and the Chicago skyline. And in front of us was Dan Peterman’s 100-ft.-long bench and picnic table, which proved indispensable to getting a crowd to hand around while we played.
The picture above was posted to Facebook by Erica Mueller O’Donoghue. More photos to follow.
The Viper had his first practice with the Famous Orchestra since 2002 on Sunday, June 14. It sounded surprisingly good, and I think we’re going to sound really good by the time of our mid-July shows. I’m going back for more later this morning.
The practice included me, trombonist Rob Henn, and bass player Riley Broach. We practiced at the lovely 1866 home of Riley and Therese Peskowits in Palatine, IL. And here’s what we practiced:
…or at least we’re finally on CD Baby. After much gentle prodding from Tangleweed‘s Kip Rainey (source of many of the most delightful TweedBlog posts), I finally got my act together and sent in the 5 CDs of 2002’s “Everything for Everyone” that the site needs to start enabling self-distribution.
On our CD Baby page, you can hear significant chunks of all the songs, read a description of the band which, hands down, wins for the highest density of compound adjectives of any of the descriptions I’ve seen, and link to other examples of bands in the Avant Garde: Avant-Americana, Folk: Skiffle, and Lo-Fi categories. As you’ll see, we come in as both a top-7 editor’s pick and a top-7 best seller in the Folk:Skiffle category. Largely because there seem to be only 7 records in that category. Feel free to review the CD if you’ve heard it, and feel even freer to buy it!
I held off actually sending things in until I’d at least tried to cross some of the legal t’s and dot some of the copyright i’s that would make it ok for a commercial CD and downloads to include the covers we did on that recording: “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Pennies from Heaven,” Angie Heaton’s “Pretty Is as Pretty Does,” and Liz Phair’s “Dance of the Seven Veils.” It’s somewhat obscene that Gershwin’s 1924 piece is still under copyright, 88 years after publication, and (given that he died in 1937) now exceeding even the life-plus-70 years of protection that authored works are supposed to get.
the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about