Friday, November 25, 2016

AllOne NovEmbark Tour 2016: 11/19, 11/21, 11/22 Back home Long Island & NYC

NOVEMBARK TOUR: 11/19, 11/21, 11/22 Back Home NEW YORK
Hey AllOne Family!
    Now that I'm just about the middle of my NovEmbark tour, I have a few Long Island shows to reflect on now that there is room to breath in the wake of chaos from  performance and travel and the holidays.  Many people were confused when I said I had a few days at home on Long Island, and really as I've mentioned before about the tour, there were circumstances that made these events a must and I wasn't going to shirk my responsibility of a friend and a touring peer for the stubborn idea that I needed to be out of state because I'm "on tour from date A to date B".  As long as I'm changing things up and moving around, performing with people I enjoy making memories, it is all valid and meaningful to me!

11/19: Katies of Smithtown Benefit For Biv:

A venue down the road from my apartment, Katies of Smithtown was hosting a benefit event for my friend Mark Biv from Kill The Inventors, so I knew I would have to be home for this one to help out a friend in need.  For those of you that don't know, KTI is one of my favorite hip hop groups on Long Island and last summer we collaborated on a song together called "DYSTOPIATES" (click to listen).  Katies has become one of my favorite venues not just because of its proximity to my new home but because the staff are awesome, the stage/sound is optimal, and my friend Heather runs a delicious food truck in the outside back patio area that had some irresistible foods!  I had the opportunity to see some friends I haven't seen in a long time!

The Line Up:
The MOFOS opened the show up with a slew of covers played expertly by members of The Vigilance Committee, Ninja Tree House and Jungle Gypsy that really warmed up the room and got people pumped.
I went up next with BMO and had one of my favorite sets we've ever done due to our song choices and interactions, the energy in the room and a random freestyle session that occurred as well as closing on an unexpected remix of "What's Your Problem?" as requested by someone in the crowd. for the second show of ours, BMO brought his saxophone out and it was even better this time in its cohesive incorporation!

Kill The Inventors went up and had a great set, playing with a drummer (Chris, who was amazing) for the first time in years.  We ended their set with a freestyle cypher between Hi-Q and I (as pictured below) which was a ton of fun, I always love doing that and even BMO jumped up and rapped with us!  Can't wait to be performing alongside KTI more as the year turns!

Samurai Pizza Cats closed up the event with some high energy full-stage punk and ska vibes that had people dancing.  Raffles were handed out, I met a lot of new people, sold a bunch of music that I turned the money over to Mark's cause and the night progressed wonderfully.  Such a fun time!

Freestyling with Kill The Inventors at Katies of Smithtown

Me, Hi-Q of KTI and Eric Correa

11/21: Parkside Lounge, Lower East Side, NYC:

On Monday I went back to work so I could make some extra money since I was going to be in the area anyway, which bought me some leeway to take off two later dates in December and extend my trip for a few more dates into the weekend (getting 4 days for the price of two).  Thanks to the help of my incredible poet/singer friend Jane LeCroy, I was put in touch with Mike Geffner who has run the INSPIRED WORD NYC open mic series throughout Manhattan for 7+ years and I got the chance to feature during this open mic at Parkside Lounge in the lower east side.  I got to meet my illustrator/fashion designer friend Dani Blum for dinner in Astoria, Queens then she showed me how to use the subway to get to the venue because I'm pretty inept when it comes to those transit systems!

When we got there we had the pleasure of meeting up with my friends Adam James (of More Than Skies and Sleep Bellum Sonno), Emily Lazio, Mikey Bilello, Doug Widick and Onodera !  All save for Doug and Mikey performed and I was so proud and excited to see my friends displaying such talent to the room, it felt like we were revealing some of the power of the Long Island scene to the city folk!

There were some great performers I'd never seen throughout the open mic that I'd never seen including comedians, singers, improvising poets, silly hip hop comedy acts like The Retar Crew and beautiful bands.  What a time!! Mike Geffner was generous to me and the space was professional, encouraging and had a sort of secretive community vibe about it.  Afterward Mikey, Dani, Emily, Adam and I romped around in the city on a quest for hot chocolate that was all for naught and settled on Pizza, which... is probably the best "disappointment" one can experience!  I look forward to returning to the series eventually, which occurs every monday night!

A Capella//Spoken Word Setlist @ Parkside:
- Youthtopia
-Therapy Sessions
-Revealed (Practical)

Onodera @ Inspired word NYC

11/22: Velvet Lounge Open Mic Feature with Miggs Son Daddy, Lauren Schwind and Freak Tha Monsta:
This show at the ever-favorite Velvet Lounge was the entire catalyst of the NovEmbark tour.  Miggs and his artistically gifted lady Lauren Schwind live in Savannah and were traveling up to NY for the holidays so they asked me to hook them up with an event or so.  Velvet Lounge has a new open mic series (with art, free food, music and fine art features, vendors and jams) on Tuesday nights so that perfectly lined up with their traveling needs!  

I know Miggs and Freak Tha Monsta from prior shows they've played on the island.  Miggs and I are actually on a track together from his Happy Thoughts project with Dope KNife entitled "When The World Ends"...  They're both really talented rappers and high energy performers.  The Lounge was packed out that night on account of people being home or off from college with the holidays coming up so that made the room really interesting.  I went on just before them and at the end of my set I ended up freestyling over beats spun by DJ Kaution about a bunch of topics thrown to me by the crowd which by some weird turn of events ended up being all 90's shows!  Lauren displayed her art which was so eerie and well crafted, many of the pieces I was shocked to find were created live at events she and Miggs played on a tour over the summer!  That sort of joint travel and artistic passion really inspired me.  The night was awesome those guys have so much power and energy in their sets and really know how to move a crowd.  I can't wait to see those guys play again or do some traveling out their way and share a stage with those cats, such good vibes!

"There's no place like home" is said, which can both compliment home as well as be a reason to leave!
I like the idea of there being positive aspects to each side of that coin!

Tune in next time, I made my Thanksgiving-eve debut in Washington, DC!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Saturday, November 19, 2016

AllOne NovEmbark Tour '16: 11/17 & 11/18 Adventures in New Haven


To start off the trip yesterday I headed off to New Haven for my debut there at Cafe 9, a spot I'd been to autumn of last year where I saw my friends Dope Knife, Miggs Son Daddy, FarOut, EyeNine and Zak G. perform.  The show was with Dodgy Sorts, Average Citizen, Dave DeLucia, Drent & Kleen Kut !!  The drive in my new car was comfortable and the gas mileage is bonkers, made a couple of phone calls with my fancy new bluetooth situation which was nice, I hit traffic but I watched the sun setting, a time lapse with my GoPro as well.  A few hours later I arrived and met up with Collin (Dodgy Sorts) who is a unique and really intelligent guy.  We talked and played the drums and then headed out to the show at Cafe Nine which was a lot of fun, the crowd was modest and there was a lot of love and talent in the room!  Please go ahead and click the links above to check out the performers' sites!  Our friend Ceschi of Fake Four Inc. came out to the show to hang out which was relaly cool of him.  Dave DeLucia played a bunch of really well written songs with his electric guitar that reminded me at times a little of one of my favorite albums, Eddie Vedder's Into The Wild Soundtrack ! Dodgy Sorts and Average Citizen performed a specifically hope-inspiring intellectual brand of hip hop, both insightful and meaningful.  Kleen Kut made a surprise appearance to join Drent on stage for the best Edgar Allans Ave set I've seen them play!  I think their album is going to be fantastic, looking forward to playing with them at News Cafe on the 27th and Firehouse 13 on Drent's Birthday on the 28th!
Kleen Kut, Drent and I after the show, Drent
with particularly great choice of clothing...
Here was my setlist:
I Get Down
This Is For
Zoned Out
Cause & Effect
Creative Differences
Travel Baggage (Carry On)

After some freestyling goofing off and catching up in the eerie reverberating vacant streets of 2am New Haven, the Edgar Allens Ave guys and I said goodnight and went our seperate ways.
New Haven DAY 2...Meandering the Microcropolis

My friend Annie (who is also a childhood friend of my father's) offered to meet up for lunch with me the next day so I stayed the night in New Haven to ensure another adventure!  As a bed, my car left a lot to be desired as compact as it is, but that wasn't so bad and my sleeping bag is really comfortable and warm so despite my legs being bent to angles that might convince crickets to call me kin it was totally feasible!  I had breakfast at the rest stop and wrote for a little and then met up with Dodgy at this great art spot and coffee shop called Koffee? on audobon street.  They had a glass case of a delicious collection of treats and a huge list of coffee options.  Koffee is a place I would absolutely recommend anyone to go to and I hope I perform there one day, it is quite a bohemian watering hole, packed tight with young people hunched over books and laptops working busily under the watchful eye of portraits.  One of my favorite parts about Koffee there are doors that open out into an irregularly shaped courtyard area with benches and a little sculpture garden with big iron fire escapes that wind crookedly against brick buildings donning clinging ivy regalia.  Dodgy and I had a great conversation ruminating on art, music, charity, travel and more while I waited to meet with Annie, which I eventually did.

Mind Exploding
Lobster/Chorizo Sausage
Mac N Cheese
Annie met me near one of her favorite places, Geronimo in New Haven which is a higher end Southwest bar and grill with fun decorum, a spiral staircase (one of my favorite things) and a really wild menu.  Annie is kindhearted and gregarious woman, one of those people who is unafraid of talking to anyone, she sparked up conversations with our table neighbors, our waitresses and promoted me to people with such high praise.  She was excessively generous to me and just that morning she bought lunch for a homeless man she saw sitting out by a Dunkin Donuts, whom she talked to for a short time and imparted the idea, upon reflecting that, "not all people who are on the streets are there for bad reasons, and they're all people."  She was a great warmth to be around.  Geronimo was very well chosen, what a wonderful place!  They brought out homemade guacamole, chips and salsa, each menu item was more incredible than the last and we tried elk and buffalo chili for the first time which was spicy and then this insane lobster mac n cheese with chorizo sausage and was unreal!  With full bellies we opted to walk
Chili Trio: Hatch Green Chiles
Elk Chili and Buffalo Chili!

From there, by talking to a group of women with Annie's aforementioned social bravery we found out that one of her favorite dairy farms, based in Litchfield, Arethusa had a storefront location nearby, where Annie raved about their homemade ice cream and warm homemade waffle cones.  We both bought toasted almond with toasted coconut cones.  They made drippy and sweet companions to the cool autumn day as we wandered about.
Here's a little not get waffle
cones full of ice cream if you have a
thick moustache or unless you have
a beach towel sized amount of napkins!
New Haven is such an interesting place to explore, a little microcropolis that offers an interesting juxtaposition between modern buildings with interesting and ornate architecture and old archaic buildings like Yale (which was breathtaking and reminded me of being in Italy in 2015!).  Every few storefronts there is a boutique or a restaurant, a bar or a music venue and all sorts of cool things  I can't impress upon you how intense of an experience Yale is to see, the towering buildings that are as marvelous and meticulously crafted as ancient European cathedrals, students wheeling around string instruments through vast courtyards.  Perhaps what was most bizarre about Yale was seeing two Alpaca there just wondering around.  Intelligent alpaca to be at Yale!  Shortly after taking photos with the  Annie and I found a little sale in a church and I got a collection of Stephen Crane stories for 50 cents, perpetuating my inexhaustible to-read bookshelf, but when I see books I think I'll read eventually I figure I should pick them up when there is an odd circumstance and affordable price even if I may not read the book until years later (ironically, when I may have forgotten where I got to book in the first place!).  Antoinette was such a social energy of compassion and open to everyone, it really opened up the door to adventure and it was a reminder that being open to other people and inviting yourself into the world and the world into yourself is a sure way to really truly experience and embrace the spontaneity of life that makes it so special.
We parted ways and I took the ferry back home, glad that I had opted last minute to take the second day in New Haven to experience a new adventure, even though I had only stayed out one night, took a few hours of travel, played one show and met some new people and wasn't even away from my typical daily life for all that long, I felt really revitalized and encouraged and that is exactly what I put this haphazard set of shows and journeys together.  I came home feeling so energized and excited and also terribly exhausted at the same time!   Looking forward to my show at Katies' tonight with Kill The Inventors, BMO and a slew of other folks! I'll be performing in Connecticut again with Dope KNife, Zak G, Esh and some other folks at Stella Blues Tuesday Febuary 2nd!

Thanks as always for reading these blurbs, I hope to see you on the road, if you have any shows or venues or parties or anything, I'd love to be a part of them, keep in touch!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Preparing/announcing/thinking about the AllOne "Novembark" mini-tour 2016

Hey AllOne Family!
As of tonight I'm GOING BACK ON THE ROAD!! I've decided to name this one after a portmanteau, the NOVEMBARK TOUR! I've posted the dates and events below from 11/17-12/4 (yes I know..some of this is the DECEMBARK TOUR technically, call it what you like, just come on down to an event!).  I've decided to elaborate on a few little bits of information just in the event that it may help out anyone looking to do the same...

How did I Decide the Course?
The seed of the tour, aside from my intrinsic need for change and desire to get out on the road and meet people (see "Travel Baggage (Carry On)" ) was a message from my friend Miggs Son Daddy who happened to be coming up to NY and was looking for a show (we'll be performing together at The Velvet Lounge Open Mic Tuesday the 22nd as features!) and it got me thinking about where else I could travel and so I started booking feverishly!
For the first time, I've opted to drive and so without the restraints of the Megabus schedules and stops, I had freedom to do some of the logistically difficult (or probably stupid) routes. Some events were offered to me, such as the 11/19 fundraiser to help out my friend Biv from Kill The Inventors, and I knew that no matter where I was, I was going to make it home to be there for that because a friend in need trumps anything else, It also came to be that my friend Gina Tomitz (of "Caution To The Wind", "Will She Ever Change?" and "Spring: To Life!") has the joyous occasion of an engagement party so I wanted to stick around that day as well to celebrate!  Some stipulations were also that Thanksgiving was coming up so I wanted to stay nearby, so I'm jumping back and forth a lot.  Again, it was more about my desperate need for change and activity than making some sort of clear path or plan.  Sometimes flying by the seat of our pants is the only way to reach any sort of altitude, and frankly, that's fine for me, as I've felt like a grounded little kid lately, and not in the best ways!

How does one book a DIY tour?!
Seeing as many of my dates are still TBA or ended up being taken offers from my hometown, clearly I'm still figuring this out!  From the good and negative aspects of this and all experiences I could tell you that READING THIS BLOG I WROTE SHOULD HELP.  That particular article details my experiences and strategies when booking my 2014 "Onederlust" tour and the 2013 "little piano BIG MOUTH" tour.  One of the more obvious things is to reach out to friends in places you want to be in.  Establish the easier or target locations first. then branch out to fill the spaces between there.  I knew that my friends the Beshures would help as they're always kind enough to offer me a place to stay and that they'd endeavor to set something up whenever I come around.  Owen "Drent" had a few ideas in mind so I reached out to him.  I knew that my friend Jane LeCroy was very active in NYC so I reached out to her which got me the esteemed feature spot at Parkside Lounge, and I am indebted to her.  Dodgy Sorts, who had played a show with me several months ago offered to get me a show whenever I was around so I let him know I was looking for something, and Evan Bujold turned out to be even more helpful than I expected when it came to be that he was newly the man in charge of managing the music at a respected Syracuse venue (where we met) at Funk N Waffles!

Aside from reaching out to helpful friends, one of the most helpful resources has been DODIY.ORG which is indispensible!  Indie Music Bible turned out not to be as helpful as I'd like, mostly just a compilation of facebook pages and websites, many of which I found the links to be no longer relevant as the spaces or venues had closed down or perhaps changed site links.  Overall though, I believe my trouble with Indie Music Bible has a lot to do with the fact that what I do is unconventional and niche.  Not only to I make hip hop music, which a lot of bars/clubs/spaces don't particularly care for, but I also make a strain of that that is a little more fringe, so even the hip hop fans don't feel it meshes.  This isn't a complaint, but an observation. You will send countless emails and you will receive very few back, that's just how it goes.  Do not get discouraged.  People will disappoint you, do not be embittered.  Keep a humble head on your shoulders, nobody owes you anything and sometimes timelines don't work out.  That being said, I limit my research and questions to NOTHING.  I look up towns and see what friends lived there or went to school there and I reach out to see who knows who.  Doesn't matter if I've talked to them in a while, life happens and people get busy, everyone understands that!  You never know whose friend or family member might do shows in their basement or be in charge of booking at a desirable venue, and all a person has to do is a read a text or a message, respond back and maybe send one or two things to relay the information, it's not asking a lot of people, and if they say they can't help, just be courteous and thank them for their time and move on.

Where & when can you see me?

The Dates/Shows/Events:
11/17 Cafe 9, New Haven, CT with Drent, Dodgy Sorts, Average Citizen and Dave Delucia!
11/19 Katies' Bar, Smithtown, NY Fundraiser for Biv of Kill The Inventors
11/21 Parkside Lounge, Lower East Side NYC
11/22 Velvet Lounge in East Setauket, NY
11/23 Electric Maid in Washington, D.C. with Eli Lev and Nostromo
11/25 The Cup, Wantagh, NY with Eric Daino
11/27 News Cafe, Pawtucket, RI with Drent, Kleen Kutt, Nice, Jesse Ramos
11/28 Firehouse 13, Providence, RI MADCAP MONDAY with Drent & Kleen Kutt
11/29 TBA
11/30 TBA
12/1 TBA
12/2 Funk 'N' Waffles in Syracuse, NY with Attamizk and more TBA
12/3 House show in Rochester, NY with CU-CU

I'm very much looking forward to capitalizing on capriciousness and a sense of adventure, seeing new friends and places, catching up with old ones.  I also plan on capturing a lot of footage with my GoPro for a video so that will be a goal along the way as well!

Keep moving!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Beauty in Reconnecting and the Ugly of "Awkwardness"

Hey AllOne family!
It has been a little while hasn't it? This prompts me to open this piece with a sort of meta topic. In the interest of hoping to use this page and medium more frequently (and admittedly often failing) I find I'm trying to open my creative filter up to accepting more ideas or experiences as things worth publicly writing about. Sometimes, concepts or philosophies that are second nature to us bear elaborating on and sharing to others. Oddly I find that this is hard for me to recognize because I'm always fearing coming off as pretentious or overtly obvious by stating what feels important to me, assuming that it's also second nature or obvious to others, especially knowing that no ideas are original and I have no illusions that I'm coming up with groundbreaking ideas so I don't want to just blandly state the obvious. I I think it is a forgiving reminder that there is merit in confirming what other people already feel they know or believe and personally I still feel great when I just see someone else working a theory or value out for themselves or sharing it with enthusiasm (as I am here) even if it's an axiom or maxim that I already hold. I say all that to say the following...this started out as a spontaneous Facebook post, but I decided "Hey Bruce, It's an important idea to you, so you should spend some time with it and then share it." Plus today's anecdote that prompted it brought me much joy. Which really is the entire crux of this story, you'll see.

The Pertinence of Reaching Out...

My friend Mike Genrich, once-drummer for AllOne & The Room, a wonderful person whom I played music with and was a co-worker for several years at my day job until a couple years ago came up in conversation today. I probably only him see quarterly a year if I'm lucky, and because he was brought up, I immediately texted him on a whim. I almost always message people in the event that I think of them in my ever fluxing Rolodex of a brain. It doesn't matter how long ago that I've talked to them so long as me contacting them seems appropriate or comfortable based on the circumstances of our relationships. Even if the message is only to say that they came up in conversation or appeared in my head and I wish them well, and perhaps that miss them, I send it.

As it turns out, my message came at a serendipitous moment for him. Mike really needed some kind words this morning. So of course, that pleases me immensely that I sent good vibes to a friend who could use them. But really, good vibes are almost never wasted, right? Who but an ex lover with a conflicted set of feelings for you could be upset about you sending good feelings their way? So now, Mike and I are talking throughout the morning and catching up after an absence of not seeing one another and made plans to meet up. How cool?! Not only did we have a good interaction, but now I have plans to meet up in person and experience the new novelty of the company of a friend whose life is largely a mystery. We uncover some of the out of touch mysteries in our updates. It turns out he's working on developing some writing for hip-hop instrumentals that he has been producing and this leads to him asking me advice on some rap craft. (NOTE: He probably regrets that because I'm "blowing up his phone" with all sorts of writer-geek advice!!)  

Return To Sender (Mutual benefit)
Here's a really great turn in our spontaneous correspondence: suddenly I'm unexpectedly inspired as I'm finding myself teaching mode" to share what techniques I know and have experimented with and used in my writing! It is probably no surprise that attempting to teach something only strengthens our own skill and knowledge of that thing because it tests the depth of our knowledge and challenged us to analyze and to simply communicate things we may ordinarily do organically that feel come "second nature" to us (sound familiar?). So now I'm entirely benefited immensely as well, not just from the casual subtle benevolence of my message our amiable interaction, but now I'm spurred to consider my craft, to celebrate my prior accomplishments as I root around my previously released work for examples for him as well as invigorated creatively!

"Don't Be A Stranger"
If it wasn't clear, my purpose here is the reminder of the importance of connecting with people. Even if it is people that you know already, don't take their established friendship for granted. "Don't be a stranger." Check in randomly with your friends and family, you'll feel good about it. I don't believe that a lessened proximity or decreased frequency of time spent together indicates some diluted value in our connection to that person. Meaning just because you stop seeing someone regularly it doesn't negate the friendship. People get busy or they change locations and move far. Collaborative projects end and time gets spent on other things and sometimes paths split. This no reason to develop a grudge against hat person for not maintaining the same amount of interaction that we got used to. If the friendship was defined only by routine then was it actually valuable? It gets lonely to adjust to change, but I think the foreknowledge of knowing our intense interactions are temporal is important, it helps us to anticipate that ebb and flow and reminds us to place more emphasis on being present and making the most of our engagements. I also find it important to retrospectively cherish the lengthy or bite-sized vignettes that we have developed, no matter if it's "relevant" or not. Technology is amazing, why not utilize it to let that person or those people in on the little memorable moment you experienced and see where you two have been? Perhaps, like my experience with Mike, you'll end up with a surprise opportunity to fortify yourself as well as someone else.

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Awkwardness
You may be reading this and thinking "Yeah yeah Bruce. We get the Grandma advice.. keep in touch with your friends and family randomly... what a revolutionary and remarkably corny Hallmark idea.. but when it comes time to message that person it's just....random and ...weird!" Is it honestly weird? That's up to you may know best the nuances of your personal interactions But do you? Analyze yourself and your motives before you cast out an idea like this as cheesy or odd. There may be biases at work or assumptions that don't necessarily belong to you, they just culturally seeped in. Let me explain: I'm cautioning you against getting caught up in the new internet culture fad that is obsessed with romanticizing social anxiety and stressing that "everything is like so stressful and awkward LOL"!  Many of the times when I hear people describing people, places and events as "awkward", the context doesn't even make sense for the use of the word, it just gets thrown around with a snicker and a snide laugh or a *tsk* *tsk* sucking of the teeth.
It seems to me that the advent of the internet has done a beautiful thing by providing a place for people who have issues interacting with others. Now they have the beautiful chance to get to express themselves and interact in a diluted and socially less threatening way. This also provides a platform for this culminated caricature of people of our generation as lazy, anxious, socially inept people that people just do meme-shares of and subtly start defining themselves as lethargic people who are afraid to leave their Netflix account or be honest in anything but a wordpress blog because "everything is threateningly awkward". I firmly believe that circumstances or interactions are only "awkward" if you decide they are! 
It works in both parts of an interaction.  Perhaps a stoic way to look at things but if someone else approaches you and you automatically decided it is going to be awkward, now your confirmation bias will surely make the situation feel uncomfortable because you weren't even opened up to the idea of just enjoying the correspondence! Similarly, when we want to contact or approach someone, if we go into that scenario with the unsure, self defeating expectation that the interaction is going to go sour and feel unsettling, then you will immediately be projecting that bizarre fusion of self doubt and fear and people will pick up on that awkwardness!  It's a self fulfilling prophecy that doesn't seem fulfilling at all to me!  
On some level, it feels like we have been training ourselves to be bad at the important social interactions that we human beings need. We can't make eye contact anymore! So if you don't want to have awkward situations... refuse to choose awkwardness! It's the one friend you shouldn't keep in touch with! It's a sad truth but the fear of a situation being awkward is really the fear of not meeting up to expectations or being judged at its core. So the weird paradox is that we don't interact with people because we're avoiding a negative experience and this keeps us from engaging and then we are upset because we are having none of the positive human interaction that is needed, and we become saddened because of this. When you risk failure you risk success too. So when you see you haven't seen in a while and you have a moment, or if you happen to think of someone, maybe reach out would you please? Most of us could usually use it and I'm sure the interaction will often be mutually beneficial!

Always thinking of you,
Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo
Here's a video of AllOne & The Room performing our song "Needle Kiss" with the aforementioned Mike on percussion! Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Youthtopia" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 12/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I had planned on be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track.  I got a little off schedule due to a series of crazy life changes and distracting obstacles, but I'm back to finishing up this series! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

As a short aside before we get into the details, I'm proud to announce that "I've Been Thinking..." is now available on !

     The closing track to the album, Youthtopia was also the last song I wrote for the album from scratch (really, Zoned out was the last one I made significant edits to, because I'd added half a verse to it in the studio when it was the last song I recorded, but I started writing Youthtopia altogether last.).  It was a song idea that I'd had around for a while, and compiled hundreds of lines for this song.  I remember writing the majority of it in two sittings, one in a cafe writing session and the other in the courtyard area of a library.  I had a hard time when writing this, how to reign all the material in and the order to present the concepts in an how to break it up and make it feel cohesive, especially with all of the different deliveries and rhyme patterns that I'd chosen to experiment with.  It took a while to decide what lines the chorus would be and how to deliver it.  I also feel that the third verse is some of my finest writing and arranging to date.

      I knew straight off once I started writing this song that this would be an epic (meaning long with many changes, which did in fact render it the second longest song on the album) with some form of an approach similar to the song "Unbelievable"  which I described in the blog as a sort of "rhyming essay", steering clear from anything but relatively direct language.  I knew that this would be a long song simply because of wanting to cover all the angles of the topic: my past, my family, my views on life and my values in youth.  It's an expansion beyond the individualistic empowerment//choose your personal legacy (in the parlance of The Alchemist) messages in my songs like AllOne & The Room's "Revealed (Practical)" and "Build Here" from "The Inevitable Effort".  The hopes for this song were both to give an image of the trend of defeatist mentality I've seen people take in both their personal image and philosophies as well as their social lives and career choices as well as directly that "YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE, AND EVEN MORE PRECARIOUSLY IF YOU'RE OBSESSED  WITH WHERE IT IS ON A TIMELINE!"  sort of deal.  
     More than any other ideas or maxims, this is one that feels most important to me of my values.  I really honestly believe the old axiom "you're only as old as you feel, or allow yourself to feel".  Obviously our bodies age and wither with time, but thinking of life and time as something in an hourglass, as a blanket metaphor for thinking of our capabilities and quality of life as something that is constantly diminishing and escaping us is very dangerous.  The themes on the album, in songs like "Cardiac Compass (Path to Preservation)", and "Seize In Caesuim", are often about our inevitable approaching end, or the scary fact of the progress of life and how we ought to optimize our time here, but here my outlook was less bleak than that should suggest.  While realizing that same fact of mortality I wanted to say...lets not "look back" and be caught up in nostalgia, and lets not be paralyzed by our "look forward" unless it was "looking forward to events".  
    We will often talk/hear about how smart and insightful children are.  Perhaps because they still enjoy are intrinsic beauties and innocent truths in humanity that are unmarred by many of the societal stresses and insane imprisoning commitments we tend to put on ourselves and restraints we put on our lives as we reach the dubious reward or accomplishment of "maturity" or "adulthood".  We often hear about how we "pass golden years" in certain brackets of time in our lives.  I think that this is very depressing and limiting, I don't believe in delineating or compartmentalizing any particular part of our life as "the best times of our life" in some bleak premeditated way.  Who can say what that is until they've reached the end of their life when the best times were?  Why not just live life enjoyably instead of thinking about how your best times were behind you?  This is somewhat discussed in the AllOne & The Room song "Revealed (Universal)" where I theorize or ponder the tragic irony of missing out on life while you're busy puzzling over the purpose of it. It would seem to me, just a laughably self important side effect of complex sentience to wonder such a thing!  Purpose?!  What purpose?! OR, if you prefer: The purpose is to live! Exist! Go BE!

Enough philosophizing blabbing, Who produced it?
My 2013 tour mate and great, frighteningly talented friend Alexa Dexa produced the song.  She is currently touring Europe and the rest of the world for many months, please check out her music and genius collection of impressive and original music at !  When I considered the concept of the song, Alexa was an obvious choice, both to make this lengthy song interesting and original but also to inject her trademark sound using toy instruments or strange sounds.  In the three or so years since I met her, it was odd that we had yet to have the opportunity to create something together.  We got together for two days and holed up for hours just coming up with beats and textures and just worked over the song and put something weird together that felt like a mix of a forward moving pace with serious sounds and something lighthearted and inspirational as well.  With these longer songs even more so than usual, it is important to me to have more in-room, on-hand hands on control over the production as well so as to allow for the peaks and valleys in the fluxing emotions and lyrics and deliveries and "movements" in the song.  A fun fact, in the sparse third verse (what I think of as a sort of part b of the song) the instrument you hear is a Kalimba she got from Africa with reverb on it.

What is that sample at the beginning and end?
One of my favorite shows of all time is The Twilight Zone.  The wonderful episode "Kick The Can" is very much about my theories/values that this song describes.  It is a short episode about the seemingly magical power of the unabashed joy and liveliness of youth and the quotes were just too perfect to pass up!  I highly recommend watching that episode (and really all of them!).  Luckily now you can watch several seasons of it on Netflix!  Also, the classics are always played on the New Years Day marathon!

     I really hope that you've enjoyed this blog series, that it offered insight into the songs and my creative process as well as some external bonus thoughts and ideas as well!  It was a laborious joy to write it and to share this series and especially this album with you all!  It's incredible to me to have people sincerely interested in supporting my work and I feel immensely lucky, so thank all of you! There is much more to come this year musically and otherwise.  Click below to listen to "Youthtopia", feel free to follow the bandcamp links to pick up the physical edition of the album on cassette or other merch goodies on my page!
Remember, it isn't great to be childish, but it is beautiful to be child-like!
With love,
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Seize In Caesium" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 11/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I had planned on be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track.  I got a little off schedule due to a series of crazy life changes and distracting obstacles, but I'm back to finishing up this series! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

As a short aside before we get into the details, I'm proud to announce that "I've Been Thinking..." is now available on Itunes, CDBABY, !

Earliest recorded song on the album/history of the song:
Seize In Caesium was one of the first recorded tracks for the album, my buddy Tommy Beets (check out a bit of his production collection on his soundcloud here), who I met at a show at a Hauppauge, Long Island venue called Barringtons because he is the talented drummer of the now-defunct progressive band "And The Day Is Mine" (of which Austin Sandick, the producer of the first track on the album, "Cardiac Compass [path to preservation]" was a frontman/guitarist).  We befriended one another and eventually in fall of 2013 he sent his instrumentals my way and generously offered to let me work with whatever instrumentals I wanted.
Myself and a Gnome rapping September 2013
at Barringtons, where I fatefully met Tommy Beets
and the rest of the ATDIM geniuses!

The instrumental that I chose for the song was originally called "eternity" (listen to that by clicking here) and that set me thinking about time, and the vibe of the music and the seeming effect of gradually increasing tempo had my mind on that topic as well.  I started writing over the beat and within a day or so the song was basically written save for a few edits here and there.  (note this is the only song on the album that was written entirely from scratch to a beat).  Progress with artistic endeavors rarely ever happen in a predictable or linear fashion and it may be strange for non-creatives to hear that an early recording of "Seize In Caesium" from Tommy's bedroom was finished in early 2014  that I had performed in set lists for quite a while until I found a home for it in on this record and re-recorded it with my former roommate Paul (who also helped me record "Roamer" and "Dystopiates").  I've included a video that Tommy took of one of the early performances of the song below!  Other fun facts: Because I was so used to performing this song out, this was the quickest track to record by a long shot!

What's with the weird title?
The title comes from a play on words and a discovery I made for myself about atomic clocks.  Carpe Diem being latin for "Seize the day". Now, Atomic clocks keep highly-accurate time by observing electromagnetic transitions in the atom Caesium-133, due to associating its decay rate with our understanding of "a second", (being off by only one second in 20 million years) and is recognized as being the most accurate realization of a measurement that mankind has achieved. That little factoid being shared, I though that it was interesting that the atom we closely associate time with "Caesium" phonetically contained "Seize" in it, as in the reminder to "Seize The Day".  This association is also written into the lyric "See that "seize" is in "Caesium atoms' " phonetics, arranged". If you are more interested in the science behind this, here is an interesting link.

Quite obviously (I hope), this song is the penultimate discussion on the album regarding my aforementioned obsession with time and constant harsh worry about the fear of having wasted it.  I also point out, as a fair transition from "Unbelievable", that I'm not as scared of being "damned to hell" or concerned with "aiming for acceptance in the heavens" as I am with just feeling like I made a decent mark here when I made a mark here.  With a mentality like this, you could almost say that in my ideal lifestyle I inhabit or legacy I hope to leave; frequent sharing goodwill and good work is my "religion".

What is that odd sample in the beginning?
The sample included in the beginning of the song is one of my favorite Disney segments from one of my favorite Disney movies, Pinocchio.  There is a beautifully imagined scene in Gepetto's workshop of all of his various humorous and astoundingly crafted clocks as he falls asleep they all tick maddeningly (for J. Cricket) and perform their odd theatrical machinations.  After all of that ticking and after all of those clocks everywhere, Gepetto still "wonders what time it is".  I've included the clip (from which i borrow the audio) here for you to most assuredly enjoy:

I hope you've enjoy this write-up...I've tried not to make it too painstakingly long because frankly, you and I both have "things to do".   Its never really just "things" is it? At least I hope not.  And its never just "doing" its so much more than that! Creating, living, experiencing, becoming enveloped in memories and moments!  One of my new favorite sayings/lyrics that sums up the simplicity of life and my personal aspirations is "Make. Do. & Make Due!".  As a song  ("Intertwining Storytime"off my first album, "Coal Aberrations" (Which just experienced a 6 year anniversary, speaking on time!) reminds me/us constantly "When we have the time of our lives, we rarely have the time at all!"

To get lost in a moment is also to be found in one.

Stay tuned for the final entry about the closing song "Youthtopia"
Now "get lost" will you?
With love, time and time again.
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Bonus Blurb:  "Between The Lines" (Links to the references)
I often weave  many references to books I read, people I've learned about or films I've watched into my lyrics.  In addition to this showing the influences of mine and being a fun way to cleverly carve new meanings into the titles and authors and performers whose work I've enjoyed, it is mostly an attempt to expose those who listen to my music to media that I've been inspired by in hopes that you may pursue them and will get something out the art that I've taken in. Here are links to a few people/things I reference in this song.  Enjoy!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

"Unbelievable" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 10/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I had planned on be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track.  I got a little off schedule due to a series of crazy life changes and distracting obstacles, but I'm back to finishing up this series! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

     The 10th track and arguably the most controversial, "Unbelievable" is the longest track on the album as well.   It is produced by my talented friend Hi-Q of KILL THE INVENTORS (whom I recently collaborated with for a song "DYSTOPIATES" on their excellent beat-tape "Symptoms" summer of 2015).  The song also went through several name changes, including "Believe (in yourself)" and "Accepticism".I recently cited this song as an example of what I would have called "a rhyming essay".  Obviously I had a lot to say here and when writing this, I saw it as a series of points I really wanted to make and focused more on delivering my them clearly and applying the discussion/conversation to a rhyming/rapping cadence and presentation.  The references and the wordplay are either very subtle and out of the way or absent.  I wanted to toe the line of personal and more generally (ironically) "preachy" while sharing ideas and arguments that meant a lot to me and needed venting/discussing and I wanted those to come up as immediately and frankly clearly and conversationally as possible.
    I admittedly struggled a lot with the decision of putting this song out there.  It felt outwardly offensive.  On one hand I realized that it's not necessarily true, or if these secular or agnostic/skeptical ideas (albeit a bit bitterly presented at times) offended people, that listener's offense was either born of a misguided sense of connection of identity to their belief's ideologies (a common problem I've found fault in myself as well as others, we connect the very essence of who we are to these temporal ideas and theories that we attach to, on a scale as diverse to span the profoundness of religion or moral questions to something as mundane as musical tastes or food preference.  Perhaps this is because we forget that these concerns or opinions are malleable and this is the true trouble and why we have all the struggle and argumentative (or worse, malevolent fundamentalist wars) throughout social/political interactions, when we encounter opinions not even attacking us, but just presenting something different.  It also felt invalid to fear offending others because...well, frankly, such is the job of art isn't it?  To rattle cages?  Cages indeed, while we are on the topic...cages indeed.
     This song and my feelings expressed on it are born of both a staunchly roman catholic upbringing (that I resisted from the very beginning, whether or not it was any sort of conscious effort) and a my current state of agnosticism.  I share my love for nature in the funny (and true) event of choosing my confirmation (a word which rhymes appropriately with "indoctrination") name as that of Saint Peregrine, based on my favorite falcon (surely prompted by the animal protagonist "Frightful" from the excellent children's book "My Side Of The Mountain" by Jean Craighead George which was paramount in my youth.).  Even more fittingly, when I later looked up the definition/history of the word Peregrine and found it to be aptly descriptive of me or at least my meandering oddball mentality (1. Foreign; Alien; coming from abroad 2. wandering; traveling or migrating)!
     One of the big motivations for creating this song was also the fact that while the god-fearing gather regularly in their places of worship and talk openly of their thoughts and even attempt to convince others to join their cause, for people to openly discuss skeptical thoughts regarding these things comes off as inherently a negative and bad thing, regardless of whether or not the secular conversationalists are even being maliciously acerbic.  These thoughts needed discussing, I don't want to tell anyone how to live their life, whatever makes you comfortable, but that should go for everyone.  For me, it's common sense to just live ones' life in a fulfilling manner determined by the passions you find and the people you share them with and learn them from.  Do good because it feels good, gather together with people because we are social animals and help where you can.  I don't see why people need all of the hokey hocus pocus and seemingly pagan theology just to do right by others and themselves.  I feel that if you're doing good only because you have this religiously minded ulterior motive to appease a fabricated deity, does it invalidate your goodness because on some level it is insincerely conjured?  Not that mutual benefit eliminates altruism, but it seems strange to me that you needed a bunch of wild trendy mythology to tell you how and why to live your life and how to execute it.
    The chorus' final lines, which I'm proud to say I found a concise way to sum up my entire life's ideology in (and again, the focus on our mortality and the hope to race to significance before our rapidly withering time wears away to naught but the dusty lid of an hour glass tattooed with a headstone-shaped-"expired" stamp), came about from secular people who I've seen switch to adopting some "organized religion" ways of "guiding their children" because it is simply easier than to try to give them equal opportunity to explore all worldviews from an unbiased point of view, or because it is a mainstream acceptable way for kids to be seen by their peers or the choice is made to appease the wishes of THEIR faith-abiding parents.  If/when I have children, I will simply teach them to be good to people, to be purposeful and helpful, and to embrace and enjoy life for all of it's experiences. No spectral theistic scare tactics to motivate, just a spur to live and love until time is up!
Regardless of what you believe, be sure to believe in yourself and encourage the same (or different) in others!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo
Stick around tomorrow for the time-paranoid/chrono-concerned track "Seize In Caesium"!