Traveling

About last night in Burlington

A photo posted by A. Baier (@ay_bear) on

One of my favorite parts of being a musician is that I get to travel all over the country as part of my job. I had a lovely weekend in Western Mass and Burlington. BTV is one of my favorite places in the world and every time I get up there it's like hitting the reset button. Trying to keep the zen mentality I acquired there as I integrate back to NYC life! 

Pharoahe Monch Rehearsals

On Monday, PitchBlak had our first rehearsal for our upcoming Ecstatic Music Festival concert with Pharoahe Monch. In additional to our usual instrumentation, we are performing with a string quartet and vocalist. This is a concert not to be missed! Grab tickets here. I swear I'm looking at the metronome app and not Twitter in this picture. 

#PitchBlakRetreat

My nook for the weekend. #pitchblakretreat #welcome #afarmhouse

A photo posted by A. Baier (@ay_bear) on

Just got back from a weekend of writing music, rehearsing, eating amazing food and sharing stories with my PitchBlak family. What an amazing time we had at an Airbnb in Delhi, NY. Here's a picture of my setup for the weekend. I hope we can do it again soon. 

Birthday Weekend!

I had an amazing birthday weekend playing music with PitchBlak and seeing friends and family. We did a masterclass at Loyalsock Township High School with its middle and high school jazz bands and vocal chamber choir. In the evening, we performed music alongside each group. Here I am with the two drummers from the middle school band, DeSean (looking thrilled!) and Corrine: 

After spending the night at my amazing sister's house in Urbana, MD,  we headed to Berkeley Spring, WV to play at Sleep Creek's Spring Dig festival. Just an hour from my hometown, my mom, dad, sister, and nephew were able to come to the show. It was my nephew William's first time hearing us play; I was nervous! We busted out his favorite song, Uptown Funk, and he loved it! Here I am ready to camp for the night:

Woke up the next day and I was suddenly 30! Drove up to Pittsburgh to play at Pittonkatonk to an EXTREMELY hype crowd. This was one of my favorite shows I've played in awhile! 

Last night was bananas @pitchblakbrass

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We got back to our host's house (shout out to Tim Wolfson who is one of the best people on the entire planet) and was surprised with a birthday cake! Thanks to everyone who made my birthday weekend one to remember!

Happy birthday @ay_bear :)

A photo posted by Beau Hartman (@ogbeaunaparte) on

PitchBlak Summer: Fare the well

The whole gang, smiley and giggly at the start of tour. 

I told myself I would blog every day while I was on tour, but of course I didn't, so how about a recap? 

Day 1: Flew EWR->LAX. Slept almost the entire flight (rare). Once we landed we had to pick up the van as well as the drums I rented (thank you Joseph Muskat for the beautiful looking and sounding Yamaha kit) and then it was time for some fun on our only day off! First stop was In-N-Out (overrated but good as always) and then a trip to Dodger Stadium with Max and Brian to watch Clayton Kershaw dominate the Padres. Got back to the hotel for a late-night hot tub session with Bryan, Alison, Brody, and Max. 

Day 2: Drove to San Francisco for our first show of tour at Neck of the Woods. Had some just ok Vietnamese beforehand and caught a random Phish cover band at Cat Club (I heard Reba, First Tube. E: Wingsuit, Llama. Took a moment to reflect on the fact that I would not be at Dick's this year.)

Day 3: Spent the day wandering by myself in Haight-Ash where I picked up some Grateful Dead playing cards and a hoodie. Checked out the Grateful Dead house. Short drive to play in Nevada City where we found out pretty much the entire town goes to Burning Man. Got back to our apartment in Oakland just in time for the earthquake! #wesurvived. 

Day 4: Played an afternoon show for 350.org, busked for a hot minute in Berkeley, and then played at Cafe von Kleef in Oakland. 

Day 5: Started a long drive to Arcata with a busted tire. Thankfully we were close to a Mercedes dealership and they were able to quickly get us back on the road. Thank god because it was time for my favorite part of the trip - the redwood forest! I have seen redwoods before, but this community forest in Arcata was simply breathtaking. A true marvel! Played at Jambalaya and drove 4 hours afterwards to Roseburg, OR. 

Day 6: 6-hour drive to Seattle. Had coffee from a Dutch Bros. The dudes working there commented on my Phish shirt so they got a PB business card. Seattle's Nectar Lounge is a great spot to play and the sound engineer, Mell Dettmer, was among the best I've ever worked with. Also got to see Jasmine, a friend from home, who now lives in Seattle. Went to a clubby-club afterwards but ended up at a quiet gay bar because all I really wanted was a drink and not a fight with some jerk I crossed paths with. 

Day 7: Short drive to Portland. Stopped off at one of the stores you can only find in Washington or Colorado. First time having Voodoo Doughnut (maple bacon bar), first time at a strip club (the entire band went and it wasn't sleazy at all). Free Buck Hunter backstage at the Star Theater. Thought we lost the keys to the van. Oye.  

Day 8: Brunch at Emily's (sax player in Cherimoya) and a quick stop in Hawthorne. Got a hair cut (and complimentary High Life) at Bishop's just as I had 5 years ago on Good Asian Drivers tour. Short drive to Eugene. Second time having Voodoo Doughnut (maple cream) and a short set at Cozmic. Back to the hotel early to crash. Rest was very much welcomed. 

Day 9: Absolutely gorgeous drive to Chico through Shasta National Forest which included distant forest fires and a very dry Shasta Lake.  Opened for Afrofunk Experience at Lost on Main. Loved their drummer Paul who took a picture of me because I look a lot like his sister, apparently.  Got invited to the Conch (aka #SecretStonerMILFCave). Slept in Andrea's pool house.

Day 10: Last drive of tour! Woo! All the way to L.A! Boo! Somehow stopped at the same gas station we stopped at on the way up to San Francisco. Walked around Little Ethiopia, played at the Mint, got to see my old co-worker, Nate. Julia Nunes sat in with us and we stayed at her apartment. Brian, Max, TJ, Ben and I went on a late-night excursion through Hollywood and ate at Mel's Drive-In. 

Day 11: Dropped off the drums and the van, got through security at LAX, and immediately started celebrating the end of tour with Max and Brian. I slept most of the flight home, too. Glad to be back east.