Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - LoCascio Trio @ Cezanne
This Saturday, one of Houston's own legendary jazz pianists, Joe LoCascio, will be performing at Cezanne. If you've never heard Joe perform before, or you want to hear some of the most amazing music Houston has to offer, this is one you absolutely cannot miss. Performing with him will be Thomas Helton on bass (of Drop Trio fame ... haha) and Richard Cholakian on drums. Do yourself a favor and catch this amazing show. We'll see you there.

Sunday, June 27, 2004 - Prog rock dorks
The Nuje Report:

Ian and I made our way to the Rush concert last night at the Woodlands Pavillion. It was Ian's first time seeing the Rush experience, but it was double digits for me - 10 times since 1984.

31 songs in 3 1/2 hours might be enough to make our wives (and most of you) jump from tall buildings, but I left wanting more. "Red Barchetta", "Xanadu" (double neck guitar for this one, eh), "Mystic Rhythms" and "Between the Wheels" were among my favorites of the night.

We ran into Alfred (trombone player in Clouseaux) and Spike (aka Astrogenic Hallucinating) during the show. Alfred was suprised to find out that I am a long time Neil Peart fan. I see how it might seem strange, with the music we play now, but I cut my teeth on Rush. What Neil lacks in funk he more than makes up for in chops and power. And you know I'm a total sucker for odd times. Rule!

Now, if Yes will ever tour again I'm sure Ian will drag us to go see them. Oooh, maybe King Crimson will pass through town soon.

- Nuje

Saturday, June 26, 2004 - Rush to the finish
Thanks to all of you guys who came out to Brasil last night. We had a great time and pulled a pretty cool couple of sets out of ... well, out of where the sun don't shine. Daniel Beatty (LBP) was MVP, stepping up to the plate and throwing down some excellent grooves with less than 1 day's notice. Nick Anaya (Ellipsis) also proved what a heavy hitter he is, blowing for our second set and leaving everybody in the crowd speechless. We played a bunch of standards, including Red Clay, Nostalgia In Times Square, Afro Blue, Impressions, Chameleon, and a few Drop Trio tunes as well ... not to mention a couple tunes with some other auspicious guests. All in all, it was a pretty cool night.

Now it's time for head-down mode - bringing Leap out of the studio and into the world. But first, Mike and Ian are going to make a little excursion to see Rush tonight. Should provide us with at least another album's worth of inspiration. Be warned.

Friday, June 25, 2004 - Something A Little Different
OK, get this - tonight at Funk Jazz Fridays, we're doing something a little different. Due to a family situation, Mike can't make our show tonight (don't worry, everything's fine, we'll explain soon). So instead of a last minute cancellation, we decided to throw caution to the wind and try something new.

So tonight, we're going to do an open-ended improvisation with Daniel Beatty (the infamous Little Brother Project blogger). We may have a few other stop-bys as well (anyone who witnessed our last "Drop Trio & Friends" show at Brasil knows this is a good thing). We'll improvise, maybe play some originals and standards, and just have a good time. Same time (10 pm till 1am), same place (Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy). Come break new ground with us tonight.

Thursday, June 24, 2004 - Tonight - LBP and Collect All Five
FYI - there's a great show tonight at the Rhythm Room. It features 2 great bands you will dig. All you Houstonians will be familiar with the first - Little Brother Project (Marc, their guitar player, is also an occasional contributor to the Drop Trio machine). Fresh off their Port Aransas tour, they're bringing their funk jams to the Rhythm Room.

Also on the bill are some great friends of ours from Austin, Collect All Five (formerly known as Unified Feel Theory). These guys are truly awesome. Do yourself a favor and go check out their sound samples - fans of Drop Trio will definitely dig it.

Great double bill on a Thursday. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - Optimum Career Management
Drop Trio has just contracted with booking agency Optimum Career Management. Based in Dallas, this agency has offices throughout Texas, as well as on the east coast. They've worked with locals like The Neutral Sisters and Collective Hallucination, and they do great work! We'll continue to do the majority of our own booking, especially in Houston, but OCM will allow us to extend our reach into new areas and opportunities. Yay for OCM!

What does this mean to you, the listener? Well, by this time next year, you should see Drop Trio headlining Lollapalooza! I mean, oops, nevermind. We'll just shoot for Carnegie Hall.

Monday, June 21, 2004 - The Red Pub
Drop Trio is featured in the current edition of The Red Pub, a local Houston writers & artists publication. They say we're a "refreshing touch of class in Houston". Obviously they've never been in the van with us on a road trip. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2004 - Last Concert With Moses Guest
Tonight, come by the Last Concert Cafe and check out Drop Trio playing with Moses Guest - it's their CD release and the last Houston show before their summer tour, so come by and check it out!

Monday, June 14, 2004 - Eat Your Jazz
This week's big show will be Friday night at Super Happy Fun Land. Together with the Rosta Jazz Avengers, we'll be presenting:

"Eat Your Jazz" - an evening of avant-garde instrumental jazz music, along with a full meal of vegetarian Pakistani food by chef Nusrat Malik. $5 gets you in, and another $5 gets you dinner. We'll have Thomas Helton on bass, so it's guaranteed to be a wild night of inscrutable sonic and culinary happenings. For more info, check out the poster.

Sunday, June 13, 2004 - Weird and Wonderful
The art show opening was great. Thanks to Marcus & crew, and all the folks who came out to see us and stayed for the art. Gallery 101 is an excellent space (though the lack of air conditioning made it a bit of a damp show for us all). We started off the set by having Ian and Mike swap instruments. Mike's not particularly good on keys, and Ian is particularly bad on drums, but for some reason, the planets aligned and it sounded pretty cool. (Well, unless you ask the 3 year old girl writhing around on the floor with her hands over her ears, screaming.)

Give a listen (mp3, 8.9 MB) Think we should keep the new lineup? Don't miss the unhappy infant at the 5 minute mark.

Saturday, June 12, 2004 - Gallery 101
Tonight at Gallery 101, we'll be performing a couple chill sets for an art opening. The show is called "A Little Insolence, A Little Soul" and it's a collection of art by 16 young Texas artists. Gallery 101 is located on Washington - if you're heading east towards downtown, it's on the left just before you enter downtown (1011 Washington).

Friday, June 11, 2004 - Brasil Blue Plate Specials
We continue our long-standing tradition (well, if 6 months can be considered long-standing) at Brasil tonight with Funk Jazz Fridays. Come on out and enjoy the "Ian Varley Combo" - 4 cheese pizza, Boddington's Ale, and weird Rhodes effect pedals. Or the "Nuje Special" - Pepperoni pizza, Shiner Bock, and drum solos in 15. Or, if you're feeling wild, try the Patrick Flanagan special - Red Wine, Cigarettes and patented McNoodle (tm) bass technology.

Um, yeah. See you there.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - The Portal
Back in March, Ian got the chance to head over to Austin and jam with some friends as part of a long running jam called The Portal. It was a great evening, and the jam included (if I remember right) members of Unified Feel Theory, Apostrophe, and Groovin Ground.

Like to hear it? Here's an audio recording of one set (you can stream it or download it).

As it happens, tonight is the last night that the Portal will be taking place in its usual digs, Tambaleo. So if you happen to be in Austin tonight, go on over an listen in on the end of an era (and the beginning of a new one?)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - Bio Updates
Finally got around to updating the info on our bio page, complete with an updated Press Kit and blurbs about Ian, Nino and The Nuje ... plus, information about some of the other bass players who are part of the Drop Trio family - Patrick, Marc, Thomas, and Adrian. That's not all the bassists we've played with to date (others include Roy Keyes and Guy Schwarz), but those are the suckers we've managed to capture in some sort of "indefinite engagement". :)

Next up: our sorely outdated links page.

Monday, June 07, 2004 - The Tidbits
New addition to the funk jazz fridays calendar: The Tidbits (alternately known as the "Galloping Tidbits", the "Infernal Tidbits", the "Postmodern Tidbits", or any other adjective you can throw at 'em.) Helmed by the happily unhinged Gerard Bendiks of Swirve fame, the Mysterious Tidbits bring a bewildering blend of jazz, free improv, and electronica that will keep you listening even after you've decided to stop. They're coming from Dallas on Friday, June 2nd. Be warned.

Sunday, June 06, 2004 - Benton's
We had a great time last night at Benton's. After spending a few minutes oohing and aahing over Nino's new baby, we managed to get our gear set up in time to have a tasty meal. Benton makes the best New Orleans style food in the Woodlands, without a doubt - his Mac & Cheese is my particular favorite, though the Crab & Shrimp au gratin is pretty damn tasty too.

And it was excellent to get a chance to play a couple sets with Nino! He proved that it's just like riding a bike - we had a couple great sets. Unfortunately our recorder crapped out on us for the first two, so we didn't get an archive of them. :( But we at least got a tape of the third set.

One of the highlights of the evening was when a student of Mike's, Alex (aka "the funky kid"), got up on stage and played "Wreck Of The Zephyr" with us. He totally nailed it - if he were old enough to get into all the bars we play at, Mike would have to worry about his job. ;) We also had a couple fellas from New Orleans sit in on bass & trumpet - they're from a band called Three Straight Up, and they killed a couple blues tunes. Very nice.

So now we rest up for next weekend, where we're back at Brasil for funk jazz fridays.

Saturday, June 05, 2004 - At the bistro
We could just take yesterday's post and put it up again ... "Last night's show was great, and we're playing again tonight."

Mike and I got to Rudyard's around 9 and had a couple drinks with the other band members. (The perpetually early Patrick slept through his alarm, but it was OK, because we didn't go on until later than planned anyway, as is typical at Rudz. But don't expect us to let Mr. Sleepy Head off the hook about it anytime soon.) Mike bumped into his Trombone playing friend Alfred, who is a recent addition to the Clouseaux juggernaut. We discovered a few other funny crossovers - Mike used to work with Jay's wife, etc, etc.

Our set was very energetic, egged on by all the enthusiastic folks in the crowd, plus the members of Les Saucy Pants (a teriffic Austin band that reminded us of a cross between the B-52s and a ska band) and of course, Clouseaux. It was nice to finally get to play for each other. We felt like we played one of our best shows in recent memory - things just flowed naturally. Joe O. gave us a great board mix of the show, so if it came out we'll post it here soon. As we expected from this show, the other bands blew us away ... but the show must go on. :)

... and tonight, the show does go on, up in the Woodlands at Benton's Bistro. We start around 8, so come on down for some gumbo and funk jazz. And come meet Pennie Layne - this show'll have Nino on bass for the first time since delivery, and we hear he's bringing the young'un.

Friday, June 04, 2004 - Rudz Tonight
Last night at Rhythm Room was sweet. The Hairy Apes BMX were awesome, of course, and we had a great set too. Thanks to all of you who came out and represented. For those who couldn't be there, here's an mp3 of a track from last night's show:

- Cognac Morning

Tonight, come out and see us do it again at Rudyard's British Pub. We're playing with our good friends Clouseaux, and Les Saucy Pantz.

Thursday, June 03, 2004 - Tonight With Hairy Apes BMX
Tonight, come on down to the Rhythm Room (1815 Washington) for a taste of the Hairy Apes BMX. Drop Trio will be opening the show at around 9pm, and then the apes will take over and groove all night. Last time they came by, in March with the Benevento / Russo duo, they tore it up. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - June Funk Jazz Fridays Schedule
We've released the schedule for Funk Jazz Fridays in June.

On the roster this week (June 4), we've got Sketchy, a Houston band with a quirky brand of improvised postmodern pop music. They consist of two horns and drums, playing deconstructions of pop tunes like Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" and Madonna's "Material Girl". You have to hear it to believe it. Fans of the weird side of instrumental music, this is your night.

In two weeks, we've got visitors from Boston, called (believe it or not)... Drop. These guys play a wide spectrum, from jazz to hip hop. At Brasil, they're gonna return to their roots and play an all instrumental jazz / funk / hip hop set. Take a listen. The band will be in Houston for a couple weeks, check out their other local dates as well.

Drop Trio plays on the 11th and 25th.

Spaceship jazz from Texas.

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