Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 Retrospective and Favorites....goals for 2016!!

Hey AllOne family!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 It has been a while since I've fact nearly half a year.  The mountain on the bottom half of the time-sieve continually grows.  I clearly don't post here often. I'm not sure if that will change (although it certainly will once I'm on the road and I'm writing a daily journal of my tour experiences.  When I'm home I find most of my thoughts and energies going to projects I'm not ready to share yet (albums and short stories) or just short quick musings that get blurted out on Facebook briefly.  Aside from sharing adventures, I'm not sure what to share. regardless...lets talk about 2015 a little bit.

An experiment of a year...(no adventure has a sure outcome):
        2015 was an experiment year for me.  I intentionally took time away from traveling and performing to make progress on my album and book.  I ended up working on three albums, doing 5 podcasts, (Here are some podcast appearances from this year, please listen and subscribe to these friends of mine: Bonesaw Zine (by Chris Butera) ... Required Radio (with D.o.drent by Colette Spencer) ...  Custodian Chronicles (by Tim Mission and Garrett) ... Bandcast (by Costas Cortez) ... Custodian Chronicles (with Tim Mission, AllOne, KNife, Miggs and D.o.drent ) 
Bonesaw Zine podcast
with Chris Butera 6-2-15

My Bandcast Interview 3-11-15


  I was awarded "Most Notable Up And Comer" by the Bards Initiative, at the release party for their Bard's Annual poetry anthology, in which two of my poems were published! Additionally I had the baffling joy of getting signed to the label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes and because of this I am unexpectedly putting attention and energy into another full length record that I'd written called "I've Been Thinking..."!  Perhaps one of the most surreal moments, I was asked by Brandon Crowson, director of the documentary "The World Has No Eyedea" a film exploring the life and death of one of my biggest artistic heroes, Micheal "Eyedea" Larsen to film an interview for the documentary, for a segment of the film regarding the future of hip-hop in the wake of Larsen's influence! 
Myself, KNife, D.o.drent and Miggs after our
Custodian Chronicles interview 10-20-15

                   The shows I played...
    Also, while I didn't leave the Island for shows, I had the pleasure of hosting two tours in May and October of D.o.drent's and the Dope Sandwich guys in autumn!  'Drent and I also filmed two live music videos of sorts for our songs "Creative Differences" and "Cause and Effect" with our artist friend Anjipan.  During the May tour, 'Drent and I also played a phenomenal show with Kill The Inventors and our new friend Ceschi, a rightfully celebrated folk-punk/experimental rap powerhouse and owner of the underground/progressive label Fake Four Inc. ! 
     I attended a few open mics to try out some new material and played a really special fundraiser show in June with AllOne & The Room (picture below) we played a really great set and the place was packed, we ended up winning an contest for who brought in the most people to the show!  I played a really athletic challenge of a 3 hour set at the Islip Arts Museum the last day of August, during it I performed The Inevitable Effort in full for the first time in years, played a set of new and old material as well as a full 45 minute interactive freestyle set with crowd suggestions written and drawn on an easel that was passed around!  
     Also I did a lot of recording for collaborative projects for others, as well as finishing about half of the music for "Rapologues"and half of "I've Been Thinking..." as well.  While I made progress on these creative endeavors, I admittedly didn't get as far as I intended.
D.o.drent and I performing at O'Briens
in Coram 10-18-15
    In the interest of transparency, I will share this next bit...there were certain release goals ("Rapologues" and "Water Coolers and Campfires") that you will note I had anticipated and planned for in 2015 and neither of these releases were met.  This failure to reach my visions and ambitions stung and produced a lesson that is humbling and helpful.  This has taught me to focus more seriously on tasks and hands and to be a better composer and executor of plans and a more confident writer/bandleader.  
     The only thing to do when you feel failure is to analyze what went wrong and build on it, informed by speculation on your missteps.  I have a lot to be grateful for, as is evidenced above as well as other personal and familial joys outside of my creative pursuits.  Expectation is integral to goal setting in some way, but it is also surely the common denominator for most pain or disappointment.  So how to reconcile this?  The easy answer is to complete your goals!  The realistic answer is to be sure that even when you fail, you be sure to recognize your triumphs and use the experience of both to create more efficient paths to victories in the future.
Recording vocals for the Rapologues
 narrative song, "The Almost Accounts"

                                                   Home Life
      Another new change for me, the entire last year I've lived in a nice town house with two great friends and roommates.  One who is a kind and mild mannered musical/technologically savvy genius who has an inspiring breadth of knowledge and skills (Paul) and the other, John who I've long considered a brother for the nearly 20 years since elementary school and who I've always said is just me with more talent and charm.  He's a screenwriter/author/poet/musician/director... plus he's hilarious and bafflingly hard working.  These guys have genuinely been a joy to live with and I can't say I've had a healthier living situation most of my life.  Paul has recorded a few songs for me for some new projects as well as aforementioned collaborations (I publicly have shared "The Case Of Sydney Barringer" for my impending album "I've Been Thinking..." as well as "Dystopiates" for Kill The Inventors new beat tape album "Symptoms") and I've had the joy and challenge of racing John for populating our own short story collections as well as editing his works and collaboratively writing an acoustic EP with him of songs that I wrote for a side-project called "Almost Elijah"!!  
    Still, I sometimes find that life in this new home seems a little too comfortable and alarmingly sedentary.  I yearn for the road achingly.  I think I find the distractions and complacency comes easily though I am grateful for it. It's nice to have a place where I can invite friends and family and strangers and be proud of it.  Hemingway's "clean well lighted place" perhaps.  I also find myself desiring to fill my home with decorations, with trinkets and conversation pieces, with potential entertaining activities.  This weighty fixation on objects can be a burdensome anchor.  As I said, this year has been an experiment, "stability" can be subjective perhaps.

AllOne & The Room reunited for a fundraiser
at Even Flow in Bayshore 6-7-15!

Music of 2015
 I enjoyed doing album reviews last year (I only did two elaborately for the public, but since no one really asked me to do them, I just enjoyed albums and told people about them in person!). In any case, here are my Top album releases of 2015 (in no particular order here, based on both quality of the songs/recordings and the replay quantity that came naturally to me!) 

Also, these are not all new releases but there were a handful of groups and bands I got really into exploring this year including: Led Zeppelin, Tool, Yes, my new Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes label-mate Black CaesarFive Of The Eyes, Tom Waits, Chicago rapper Qwel, Radiohead, This Good Robot, Illmaculate, numerous jazz musicians such as Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie to name a few!

Looking back at it, this is an eclectic grouping of musical styles and approaches.  As I've grown to explore and learn of music more with the entire process of the extensive writing and collaborating with educated and varied musicians for Rapologues, it has expanded my aural palette as well as made me more voracious than ever to listen to new music and learn from each song.  I have as much to learn about my own work from Qwel's masterfully spun lyrics as I do from the arduous instrumental work of Zeppelin or Tool.  The idea of "Training your ear" is something I think we could all do in some form in any or many disciplines, being humbled and informed by a myriad of varied practitioners of that craft or art is important.  That being said, as a writer, it is important to read and that presents this next segment...

Books I read in 2015... This year I got a bit more into graphic novels and enjoyed many new selections in that medium!  I also read as much Stephen King as I could because I wanted to finish his bibliography in anticipation of starting the Dark Tower Series (which incorporates much of his work within it!)  I have to say, the novel that rocked me the most was William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!".  It was the most difficult book I'd read since reading Moby Dick in my teens and I'm ashamed to say I sometimes avoided it.  It took me four months to finish that book (and I don't double up reading multiple things as a general rule).  I was very happy with the majority of my selections... again, what were yours? What are your opinions on these books if you've read them? Any Questions?

Monday or Tuesday (Virginia Woolf) 
Songs Of Distant Earth (Arthur C. Clarke)
20th Century Ghosts (Joe Hill)
The Eyes Of The Dragon (Stephen King)
The Stand (Stephen King)
Nothing By Chance (Richard Bach)
Persuasion (Jane Austen)
The General's Daughter (Nelson DeMille)
Stranger To The Ground (Richard Bach)
Up Country (Nelson DeMille)
Ray Bradbury: The last interview (Sam Weller)
A Farewell To Arms (Ernest Hemingway)
Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010 (Various Authors)
The Vesuvius Club (Mark Gatiss)
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (Douglass Adams)
The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
Absalom, Absalom (William Faulkner)
Swamp Thing books 1-6 (Alan Moore)
Batman: The Killing Joke (Alan Moore)
Drunken Fireworks (Stephen King)
Mr. Mercedes (Stephen King)
The Psychopath Test (John Ronson)
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (Stephen King)
Dark Tower: Drawing Of The Three (Stephen King)
Dark Tower: The Wastelands (Stephen King)
Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass (Stephen King)
Asterios Polyp (David Mazzuchellii)
Dark Tower: Wind Through The Keyhole (Stephen King)
The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman (Alan Moore)

The big question of resolutions:
All of this being said...what does 2016 hold?  Well most certainly it holds the release of "I've Been Thinking..." "Rapologues" and "Water Coolers and Campfires" and the "Almost Elijah" EP "For A Year"!  I plan to tour and perform far more extensively to make up for lost time!  I also intend on being more mindful of others and of my own use of time. I want to collaborate and freestyle a lot more as well! I intend on resuming, creating and sharing more video material as well as getting far more poetry and prose published!  I began learning drums last year and so I hope to continue to teach myself that instrument which I've come to enjoy so much!  What are your 2016 goals!? How can I help you? Can we collaborate?! I wish you the best.

Performing a new collaborative piece with my
lauded and legendary talented friend Kaila Mullady
at the Velvet Lounge in August 2015

I hope you've had a wonderful year and intend on having yet another,
 spend it with those you admire and respect, and say yes to yourself more often!
New year, new use!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo