My Dearest AllWonderers (AllWanderers),
As I write this I am listening to Bad Religion's "The Dissent Of Man" and getting in this last rush of writing before I go to host an open mic night at the incredible House Of Brews in Port Jefferson (the revived and reinvented husk of what used to be Lulu's!) If you're on Long Island and looking for places to perform, you'll want to visit the VOX POPULI open mic series, run by Mike Perlmutter, genius bassist and former Velvet Lounge open mic host of 3+ years. The sound system and stage and the overall quality of the venue is unmatched in terms of open mics, plus Port Jeff is a dazzling charming little town to explore before and after! My friend NOX is the feature and he and I got together to film a cypher which contributed a segment to Episode two of my new series Spontaneous Sundays with AllOne. Click here to watch Episode 2. If you recall when last we spoke, I had departed from Albany further North into Upstate NY for the final weekend stretch of the trip...lets get into it....
Friday 12/2 A Hip-Hop show in a Rare Famous Waffle Haven
I drove up to Syracuse finishing up listening to Revealed podcast and Tell Me Something I Don't Know. When I drove into Syracuse I was really excited to see my friend Evan "Attaboy" Bujold (a quirky and charismatic multi-faceted mega human whose talents seem to know no bounds, a graphic designer, lyricist, singer, guitar player, comic book writer and illustrator among many other things. I've known Evan since my days at Oswego, He did the album artwork for "The Inevitable Effort", "We'll Make It Together" and my newest AllOne offering "I've Been Thinking...". When Evan and I met, it was at a random performance night with my friend Sam Katz at the open mic and Evan and I meshed really well and kept in touch after he mentioned me in a nice article!
It was freezing cold when I arrived and I visited Evan at his job to pick up some show tickets in this cool art museum// "technology garden" of sorts where space was granted to start-ups (one of which Evan works for). They had an art display to commemorate David Bowie that was up. I wandered around town for a while, went and got myself wings and sweet potato fries (at a greek spot of all places?!) I was feeling hungry and impulsive as much as my rule is generally "no spending money on food while traveling". Evan was kind enough when I reached out to him to use his connections as the newly hired music director at Funk N Waffles. Although we'd
Wrote for a few hours in my car and caught up on some things trying to stay warm. Funk N Waffles is just wayyy too cool a venue. There are two in Syracuse now, the one I played is in the downtown area, you have to walk downstairs to get to it, there is an abundance of art and community. The Funk N Waffles claim to fame is that it was on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" . Did I mention that their inventive waffle selection is absurdly delicious?! I set up my merch table and caught up with Evan while people filled in. The panorama is just incredible between the paintings and the decoration and the tables and artful menus was just such a good vibe. They made the mistake of comping me free coffee as a performer and I got their Jersey Shore waffle for irony's sake (and frankly because a simple waffle with ice cream sounded incredible. It was here that I started regretting having spent money on food earlier when getting my late lunch considering I got half off the food that was arguably more interesting. I performed alongside Evan (as Attamizk, and a couple hip-hop cats ADVICE & Skateboard, Wyze Guys, and K.B.). I found myself getting antsy, I performed last and watching rappers perform always just makes me want to freestyle and "get open" and get performing. Seeing Evan perform is always astonishing between his guitar playing, his lyricism and its topics as well as his uncanny delivery between rapping and singing and being able to do all of this at once is just incredible! I had a fun time at the show and will be returning there Wednesday Febuary 8th. Here are some photos from the night! Evan's Aunt and Uncle were kind enough to allow me to stay with them and I tried their homemade pumpkin raisin, nut chocolate chip bread which was a wonderful way to start the day! Evan and I caught up a bit, talking about the highs and lows of the year prior and how we planned on digging ourselves out of it or already had. I always find it helpful on these travels to run ideas by people as they all come from so many different backgrounds and perspectives. Hearing and seeing how other people react to certain circumstances either "good" or "bad", "mundane" or "magical" gives me an alternative lens through which to try out processing my own experiences. This is a benefit of the hard-earned (For me) practice of listening and communicative vulnerability.
|Funk N Waffles interior Panorama|
|Evan "Attamizk" playing at Funk N Waffles|
|The only "Jersey Shore" |
I will be able to stomach!
Saturday 12/3 Visiting Oswego for nostalgic coffee & comics and Rochester Return!
Before heading over to Rochester to visit the Beshures brothers and spend time with them for the house concert, I stopped about 45 minutes north of Syracuse in Oswego, NY of which many of you know I have a history. SUNY Oswego is my ...Almost Mater... and it was there that I filmed a series of videos ( "I couldn't Stay" with Sam Katz" and "Revealed (Universal)" by AllOne & The Room and my song "Zoom In (There's Life Here)" is inspired by my life there and Tyler Edic filmed a video on location for that song).
For nearly 30 years Oswego has been the landlord for one of my favorite places ever since I came to school here six years ago, Coffee Connection is a homely place that has somehow operated in this gray-scale, dilapidated fossil of industry's locale that from its hundred-plus-year-old windows overlooks the chill choppy waters that thrash nonchalantly under the town from Lake Ontario. I have written many songs here including "Zoom In (There's Life Here)" which describes its fellow small towns over a menagerie of mugs and a fueled by a stomach full of delicious treats in the creaky old boards of its familial hospitable environment in old complaining chairs that reside within the flamboyantly decorated and local art adorned walls that make this place so beloved and unique… Needless to say I had to take a detour here from Syracuse to Rochester to grab a coffee, take in all of the sights and smells and get a bag of their addictive "buzz bombs" which are chocolate and candy covered espresso beans that I can never get enough five, so it is a good thing that I live eight hours away! After indulging on buzz bombs and a delivious latte I also stopped into one of my other favorite businesses, the local comic store. It makes me happy to see that these places are still open in a place in such a down-on-its-luck area. I picked up a copy of Will Eisner's "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative" for a comic project I'm embarking on this year with some friends.
|Mike Beshures looks pretty serious, but he's likely|
improvising absurd ballads about genitals or politics
I performed two full sets and had a great time doing so, to be able to have everyone's attention and just have the focus set entirely enraptured on the words and really get to deliver what I'm saying to ears that are taking it in and brains that are processing it and people that are reacting to me in real time with no distractions is such a joy and a pleasure! There was such a feeling of fun and family, no pressure or judgement and people talking art and animation and music together just hanging out. We all jumped on different instruments (I was even on the drums at some point for a jam!) We ended up performing and hanging out until 3:30AM! It was a genuinely great time and the perfect "show" and event on which to end the trip.
|From Left to Right: Mike, Miles, Sally, Cait,|
Mike Reynolds, Rob and myself!
|Miles "Cu-Cu" George sharing honest songs|
born of poems he'd written many moons ago.
|Mikes regales us with piano ballads and storytelling |
in the dining room of the Beshures' Rochester home
12/4 Sunday. Spirited Away, A farewell to friends and the road and the promise of returning
I enjoyed the rare luxury of sleeping in and the even more rare luxury of waking up to the smell of eggs and potato breakfast that Mike was preparing for everyone. We talked about the night and about future hangouts and travels. Rob ended up treating me to seeing a showing of Miyazaki's Spirited Away, which I'd never seen (and never seen any of his films) and I absolutely loved it and feel bad for having missed any of them! Such odd and artful presentation and intrigue, it was a wonderful story and mystified and enthused me in a way that felt apt at the conclusion of the tour with all of its complications and beauties. Rob and I talked music and agreed to collaborate on a song (the final piece to my forever-discussed album Rapologues) which as of the time of writing this, we are in the throes of! On the way home I did get a crippling speeding ticket in Cayuga county and the officer was irritatingly condescending, suspicious and yet somehow warm and courteous as well. On the way home I listened to Marc Maron's Podcast, Reveal and a Waking Up with Sam Harris episode about the abysmal and horrific creature that is Donald Trump and all that has gone on recently. Terrifying and eye opening, but also level headed and fair in its discussion.
Upon getting home, despite any moments of failure or any stresses of preparing this journey or maintaining it I felt immensely grateful for the travels. In a way, this tour was an experiment for how plausible this type of autonomous travel in my car would go both mentally, practically and financially. I would say overall it was a huge success and gives me a lot of hope for what adventures and tours I have to look forward to in 2017, whether long or short. I'm very indebted to everyone who supported me on this trip and made it so enriching and fulfilling. This sort of trip and change of scenery was exactly what I needed artistically and deep in myself to be inspired and motivated.
I'm going to be on tour again in February, returning to many of those locations including the following:
If anyone has any advice or venues or house shows they want to throw in these dates I'm still trying to fill.. please Email me at AllOneVoice@gmail.com ASAP so we can get it set up !! Thank you!!
1/28 The Basement in Port Jefferson with SAD MAGIC, Alexa Dexa, Paris Yates, I Dreamt The Sea, Pozy and Noise Quintet
2/1 House Of Brews, Port Jefferson Hosting
2/2 Stella Blues in New Haven, CT with Zak G, Dope KNife, Sketch Tha Cataclysm and more
2/3 Open Mic Feature at Everett in Rhode Island with Drent and Kleen Kutt
2/4 Video Shoot // Writing Day with Drent//Kleen Kut//Jesse Ramos
2/5 Alchemy in Providence Rhode Island with Drent and Kleen Kut
2/6 Madcap Monday feature in Providence Rhode Island
2/7 Inspired Word NYC at Parkside Lounge, Lower East Side
2/9 Hudson River Coffee House Albany, NY
2/10 Caleb Grippin House Show in Knox, NY
2/11 Beshures House Show
2/15 Broadway Arts Spoken Word (open mic) Kingston, NY
Never stop moving, never stop growing!
I hope to see you all again soon and see even more people as well!
Thank you for reading my story and being a part of it!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo