Interesting Stuff? Maybe...

Besides the Thai Elephant Project and What’s Her Name?, here are a few other projects I’m involved, or have been involved in:

Van Goo was a band I formed to play many of the tunes from Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s ineffable album Trout Mask Replica. Here’s a clip from our very last show.  I am reminded of how astonishingly good our singer, Ann, was.  She lived downstairs from the studio we rehearsed in. One day, I asked her “Do you have any singing experience?”.  She said no, I said “Perfect!”  I think Don would have been delighted…

In 2010, I spent 3 weeks in Greece, heard Rebetika, brought a bunch of CDs back to Paris, where I was living at the time, and started learning a bunch of it.  When I finally moved back to NYC, I struck up a conversation at my favorite musical venue, Barbès.  I said, “You know what I’m really into?  Rebetika…”  The guy behind the bar said, "Oh, yeah?  I study singing it!”  I said, “Then we’ll have to start a band…”

 

Que Vlo-Ve? was the result...

To Baghlamadhaki Spase

O Psilos

For about a year now, we’ve been doing the same repertoire as a psychedelic/metal band, Greek Judas.  You can listen to lots of stuff on our website:  

 

http://www.greekjudas.com

Then, of course, there’s the Eastern Blokhedz!, a tribute band to Edita Pjeha and Ensemble Druzhba.  They were pop stars of the 1960’s Soviet Union.  Sometimes there are ten of us recreating this Soviet take on the music of that era.

http://www.theeasternblokhedz.com

Lately, I've organized a rather large ensemble to play Leroy Shield's music from the Hal Roach Little Rascals/Our Gang series of the '20s and '30s.  Currently, we call ourselves Quatre-Vingt-Neuf, or Ripka's Rascals.  The band features no less than 17 players!  Here's a link to several cues from our last show:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoJz_kEGN0jUaYh76frAgao9fYR_RlcRZ