First and foremost, letâ€™s spend some time dwelling on the future:
For our first two gigs of 2014, the Nathan Clevenger Group will be returning to our favorite running series and our favorite venue, respectively, playing the great Makeout Monday series at the Makeout Room on 1/6 and then Oaklandâ€™s own Awaken CafÃ© on 2/6! We are hoping to add a 3/6 date as well, not only because of our all-too-human — and all-too-butterfly — attraction to symmetry but also, of course, to seal our pact with Satan (what, you thought our massive success was due to mere human effort???). Iâ€™m not yet sure who is on the bill with us at the Makeout gig, but the lineups are always great. Thereâ€™s even a rumor going around that percussionist Jason Levis will be on the bill, so maybe weâ€™ll get to dip back into the double-drummer action last seen at our CD release gig a couple months ago.
But we came here to talk about 2013. 2013 wasâ€¦uhâ€¦it was a year! We played more gigs than weâ€™ve ever played in a single year â€“ 11 (donâ€™t fret, Iâ€™ll be disappearing a bit further down the useless trivia wormhole at the end of this post) â€“ and released our 2ndÂ album,Â Observatory. Thank you to everyone who came out to see us this year and to all of the bold club owners and series curators who invited us out to play.
Most of all, I want toÂ very sincerely thank everyone who played in the group this year. From long-time band members to one-gig subs, it is extraordinarily humbling to consider the talented cast of characters who brought my music to life in 2013: Kasey Knudsen, Jon Arkin, Cory Wright, Sam Bevan, Rebecca Kleinmann, Aaron Novik, Marcus Stephens, Evan Francis, Mitch Marcus, Eric Perney, Doug Stuart, Eric Vogler, Jason Hoopes, Jordan Glenn and Jason Levis. They really are the best and genuinely lovely, hilarious folks, one and all. All of these amazing musicians are involved with a rich assortment of great projects of their own, and I hope youâ€™re familiar with their work. If youâ€™re not, youâ€™ll be in for a much-enhanced 2014 if you follow these threads (and the links embedded above)!
Back to the future (to reference, obviously, the awesome song by the late, lamented PDX band The Joggers) or, as we call it these days, â€˜2014.â€™ Things we are looking forward to include but are not limited to:
– The aforementioned gigs: 1.6 at the Makeout Room and 2.6 at Awaken CafÃ©! Please come on out if youâ€™re able â€“ audience turnout is truly the difference between still having a few places left to play this type of music in the future and ceding the field entirely. With the creeping efforts to turn SF as a whole into the Marina-meets-Ayn Rand and Oakland into some sort of twee JV Williamsburg, this kind of preservation strikes me as more crucial than ever, even aside from my glaring self-interest. More to the point, if you saw our final gig of 2013 youâ€™ll know that weâ€™ve just started to unleash a batch of new compositions that I, for one, am very excited about. Please join usâ€¦we require no loyalty oaths and limited feeding
– Putting some time into the ever-more-complex but essential task of securing reviews and radio play forÂ Observatory. Not to mention selling some more copies (feel free to contribute to that last part).
– Getting to work on album no. 3. I hate to make predictions, given the unpredictability and financial hang-ups that always bedevil and delay this type of project, but we have more than enough material ready to record and Iâ€™m hoping to get started on this recording in 2014. I want to get another physical-media release out before it becomes COMPLETELY (rather than mostly) insane to do so, as Iâ€™m just not sure Iâ€™m going to care much about releasing albums once weâ€™re all living in the cloud (a holiday â€˜Fuck You!â€™ to Apple for nixing disc drives from their recent laptops and thus speeding the inevitable).
Some More Nebulous But Still Fomenting Plots:
– A multimedia collaboration with Kim Miskowicz, the brilliant artist behind the paintings that grace the Observatory CD?
– A double-bill with one of my favorite local bandleader/composers?
– A return to the east? (BIG â€˜maybeâ€™ on this item)?
Yours in Eternal Hubris,
* Â * Â * Â * Â * Â *
Apocrypha, a.k.a. Shamefully Pointless Analysis
We played 11 gigs (vs. 8 gigs in 2012)
We performed 31 original songs (29 in 2012)
We debuted 10 pieces (7 in 2012)
3 Most Performed Compositions:
1. The Irreconcilables (11)
2. Things We Kept from the Fire (10)
3. Mornings in Feudal Japan (9)
Personnel (gigs played this year / NCG gigs played overall):
- Kasey Knudsen (10 / 41)
- Jon Arkin (9 / 34)
- Cory Wright (9 / 11)
- Sam Bevan (7 / 45)
- Rebecca Kleinmann (5 / 8)
- Aaron Novik (2 / 45)
- Marcus Stephens (2 / 2)
- Mitch Marcus (1 / 21)
- Evan Francis (1 / 8)
- Eric Perney (1 / 7)
- Jason Levis (1 / 3)
- Eric Vogler (1 / 2)
- Doug Stuart (1 / 1)
- Jason Hoopes (1 / 1)
- Jordan Glenn (1 / 1)