Sunday, December 23, 2012

MarchFourth Trail Mix Ep 54 "Samba Time"

December 12, 2012 - MarchFourth video diary from the road. Pablo takes lead to work with the band on an arrangement of Ary Barroso's "Aquarela do Brasil", the first Brazilian song to be played over a million times on American radio. Requested by a fan through the recent Kickstarter campaign, MarchFourth debuts its version at the Dirty Bourbon, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

More on MarchFourth's touring schedule:

Video production by Diggable Monkey

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Diggable Monkey is in motion for Threshold: Year of the Snake! The Chinese New Year is happening on Saturday, February 9th and promises to be yet another incredible, full-tilt sensory music event here in the City of Roses. Our intention is to bring back the same production team to create what has come to be regarded by many as one of Portland's finest community-produced gathering of the year. Our theme focuses on personal and inter-personal relationships, as well as the mutating interplay between the masculine and feminine energies. Stay tuned for more details! OO OO

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vegas, Baby! Vegas!

Just got back from the Jive Software conference, where MarchFourth was hired to play their annual customer meet and greet. They put us up and hosted their big gig at the relatively new Cosmopolitan Hotel, on the Strip in Las Vegas. Complete with a WWF-style main ballroom set up, the band blasted in for a 5 minute finale spot and a dinner club gigi later in the evening. I hadn't been down there in a few years, but boy do the structures and buildings ever just keep getting more and more over the top! The Chandalier Bar at our hotel was a particular favorite. I'm a sucker for all that bling! We did live it up for a couple of days though. I'm proud to say that none of my hard earned cash went to the cards or any "one-armed bandits". Now if we're talking about food - well, that's a different story... I think the burgers on the room service menu were $18. Ah, Vegas. You old whore, you! Thanks for the memories, Doll. We had a lot of fun while it lasted, but it sure feels good to be back here in quaint ol' rainy ass Portland.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


10/25/12 Salt Lake City UT State Room 10/26/12 Boulder CO Boulder Theater 10/27/12 Englewood CO Gothic Theatre 10/29/12 Lincoln NE Bourbon Theatre 10/31/12 Kansas City MO Beaumont Club 11/1/12 Bloomington IL Castle Theatre 11/2/12 Minneapolis MN Cabooze 11/3/12 Chicago IL Martyrs' 11/5/12 St. Louis MO Old Rock House 11/8-9/2012 Live Oak FL Bear Creek Music & Art Festival 11/10/12 Tampa FL Skippers Smokehouse 11/11/12 Atlanta GA Smiths Olde Bar 11/13/12 Charlotte NC Neighborhood Theatre 11/15/12 Harrisburg PA Abbey Bar 11/16/12 Baltimore MD 8 x 10 11/17/12 Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Bowl 11/18/12 Providence, RI Fete 11/19/12 Fly HOME

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I thought I was done with this crazy festival when we wrapped up a monstrous year with the Groove Bomb Squad at the American Dream year, in 2008. That was four years ago, seemingly a lifetime away. A lot has changed in my world since then. One of the biggest things being my involvement with MarchFourth as a musician and cameraman/editor. For the last two Burns (2010 and 2011), I've been travelling or playing with them in other parts of the "default world". This time around we've been invited by the BORG to facilitate the preponderance of live music at a festival ostensibly awash in electronica. No problem. M4 cut it's teeth at Burning Man. If there's one thing that is certain, we're going to take the bull by the horns and rock this mother. Come find me and the M4 peeps at our camp called The Dump (#20 on the map) at 6:15 and Rod's Road (Columbine). That's just south of Center Camp on the watch dial. Look for Gerlach's original fire engine number 1 parked out front and a large triangular red shade structure emanating the sounds of a an old upright piano. Yeah, it's band camp...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

MarchFourth Trail Mix Ep 48 "Fuzzy Memories"

6/12/12 - Taylor Aqlipay's heavy song "Fuzzy Lentil" goes well with shots from the June 2012 tour, featuring scenes from Bloomington, Indy, Washington and Columbia, MD. Video by Diggable Monkey http:://

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


In 2012, the annular streets are named: Esplanade Alyssum Begonia Columbine Dandelion Edelweiss Foxglove Geranium Hyacinth Iris Jasmine Kingcup Lilac The road circling Center Camp is named “Rod's Road” in honor of BRC designer Rod Garrett (1936-2011). The light blue shaded area does not specify, but rather approximates where you will find reserved-placement, interactive theme camps (we're holding some prime space for the general public there too). Reserved theme camp space is marked on the playa with blue survey flags. Some of these plots are so large that they may appear unclaimed and available, when they actually are not. Be sure to camp outside the blue flagged zones to avoid encroaching on reserved zones, and then having to relocate your camp. Gates open at 6 pm Sunday 8/26. After 11:59 Sunday night, all truly unclaimed camping space everywhere is available to all. The distance from the inner-most Esplanade street to the Man is 2400 feet. Esplanade to Alyssum Street, curb to curb, is 400 feet deep. Other mid-city double-deep blocks are 430 feet deep. The remaining blocks are 200 feet deep. BOULEVARD G A mid-city interactive boulevard, 40-foot wide Geranium street is adjacent to double-deep blocks and features art plazas at 4:30 and 7:30. Public plazas are at Kingcup and 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. We are holding most of the camping space around these plazas unreserved and available for the general public to occupy and maintain as an experiment in spontaneous urban planning and collaboration.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

MarchFourth at Oregon Independent Film Fest (Aug. 28-30)

Last Friday, Diggable Monkey got an email from the Oregon Independent Film Festival (OIFF), in Eugene, saying that they wanted to show the MarchFourth in Germany documentary! Stay tuned for specifics on the playing times which won't be published online until next Wednesday (July 25).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

MarchFourth 2012 Summer Tour Schedule

Coming to blow minds in a town near you. Tue 7/17/2012 Load BUS at 9:00 AM, leave Portland at 10:00 AM Wed 7/18/2012 CONFIRMED Livingston MT grant gilmore Thu 7/19/2012 CONFIRMED Driggs ID Music on Main Fri 7/20/2012 CONFIRMED Pocatello ID Pegasus books Sat 7/21/2012 CONFIRMED Sun Valley ID center for arts Sun 7/22/2012 CONFIRMED Park City UT Park Silly Sunday Market Mon 7/23/2012 Tue 7/24/2012 Wed 7/25/2012 Thu 7/26/2012 CONFIRMED Floyd VA Floyd Fest Fri 7/27/2012 CONFIRMED Floyd VA Floyd Fest Sat 7/28/2012 CONFIRMED Floyd VA Floyd Fest Sun 7/29/2012 CONFIRMED Lancaster PA Long Park Amphitheater Mon 7/30/2012 interest New York City NY private for Lagunitas Tue 7/31/2012 OFFER Hoboken NJ Maxwell's Wed 8/1/2012 CONFIRMED Fairfield CT Stage One Thu 8/2/2012 CONFIRMED Portland ME Port City Music Hall Fri 8/3/2012 CONFIRMED Burlington VT Festival of Fools Sat 8/4/2012 CONFIRMED Burlington VT Festival of Fools Sun 8/5/2012 CONFIRMED Burlington VT Festival of Fools Mon 8/6/2012 Tue 8/7/2012 CONFIRMED Bethlehem PA Musikfest Wed 8/8/2012 CONFIRMED Bethlehem PA Musikfest Thu 8/9/2012 CONFIRMED Bethlehem PA Musikfest Fri 8/10/2012 CONFIRMED Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Bowl Sat 8/11/2012 Sun 8/12/2012 travel Mon 8/13/2012 travel Tue 8/14/2012 travel Wed 8/15/2012 travel Thu 8/16/2012 CONFIRMED Boulder CO Fox Fri 8/17/2012 CONFIRMED Steamboat SpringsCO Howelson HIll Sat 8/18/2012 CONFIRMED Fort Collins CO Mishawaka Sun 8/19/2012 CONFIRMED Bond CO State Bridge Lodge Mon 8/20/2012 CONFIRMED Aspen CO Belly Up Tue 8/21/2012 travel Wed 8/22/2012 Return HOME LATE

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Come celebrate one of the world's masterpiece structures at PDX Bridge Festival's annual FREE All-Ages Block Party on Saturday, July 7, 2012, 5 pm until midnight, at the Slate, 2001 Northwest 19th in Portland. The Block Party features an amazing live music line up (8 bands), two stages, 22 food and craft vendors, a double-duty birthday cake, and a raffle for all-things-bridge goodies. Join us at 5:30PM as the American Society of Civil Engineers Oregon Section presents the Steel's Bridge commemorative plaque to the City of Portland. Music Featuring: Solovox Excellent Gentlemen Quick & Easy Boys Tango Alpha Tango Symmetry/Symmetry Violet Isle Worth Andrew Paul Woodworth PDX Bridge Festival is also sponsoring six pay-as-you-will bridge walks between July 13 and August 11, all fundraisers for The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver--A Book for Young Readers, another PDX Bridge Festival project. (For more about the book, and how to get your name listed in Big & Awesome's acknowledgement page, visit Bridge Walks: Saturday, July 21, 9 a.m. until noon, the day the Steel Bridge turns 100, join guide Nathan Hoover for a walk across the Steel Bridge and other downtown Portland bridges. Begins at Floyd’s Coffee, 118 NW Couch, Portland. Includes a visit to the Morrison Bridge to meet the operator and tour the bascule pit. No advance reservations necessary. Saturday, August 11, 9 a.m. until noon, join Sharon Wood Wortman and Ed Wortman, authors of The Portland Bridge Book, for a walk across the Steel Bridge and other downtown Portland bridges. Includes a visit to the Morrison Bridge to meet the operator and tour the bascule pit. Begins at Floyd’s Coffee, 118 NW Couch, Portland. No advance reservations necessary. Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14, join Sharon for one-hour walks across the Steel Bridge as part of Union Pacific Railroad’s two-day 150th anniversary celebration at Portland Union Train Station. The Steel Bridge walks, also pay-as-you-will, begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., both days, and begin and end at Union Station. No advance reservations necessary. For more about the UP celebration, visit More info @

Monday, June 18, 2012

On the Road

I travelled to 15 countries around the world before I turned 20. While in Asia in the late 70's and early 80's, my family would summer vacation in exotic spots while working in the requisite stops in North America to visit family in Canada and the Southern US. Since becoming a part-time touring member of MarchFourth Marching Band, I've logged about 20,000 road miles over five tours. While the foreign travel has since paled by comparison, domestic travel with the band has taken me up and down the incredible American landscape numerous times. As much as I love visiting other parts of our fair nation, you'd have a hard time convincing me that there's a more beautiful place than Oregon. Some spots in California might be in the running - especially on the account of better weather. However, for diverse geographic majesty, just keep me on the Trail. Play by play for the record: Thu 5/31/2012 CONFIRMED Arlington TX Levitt Pavilion Fri 6/1/2012 CONFIRMED Ozark AR Wakarusa Sat 6/2/2012 CONFIRMED Ozark AR Wakarusa Sun 6/3/2012 CONFIRMED Memphis TN Levitt Shell Mon 6/4/2012 Tue 6/5/2012 Wed 6/6/2012 CONFIRMED St Louis MO 2720 Thu 6/7/2012 CONFIRMED Bloomington IL Castle Theater Fri 6/8/2012 CONFIRMED Chicago IL Martyr's Sat 6/9/2012 CONFIRMED Minneapolis MN Cabooze Sun 6/10/2012 CONFIRMED Madison WI Marquette Park by Lake Mon 6/11/2012 Tue 6/12/2012 CONFIRMED Indianapolis IN White Rabbit Wed 6/13/2012 CONFIRMED Pittsburgh PA Altar Bar Thu 6/14/2012 CONFIRMED Harrisburg PA Appalachian Brewing Fri 6/15/2012 CONFIRMED Columbia MD Columbia Fest of the Arts Sat 6/16/2012 CONFIRMED Columbia MD Columbia Fest of the Arts Sun 6/17/2012 CONFIRMED Columbia MD Columbia Fest of the Arts Mon 6/18/2012 FLY HOME

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jamsonite - Bring It!

The speaker case is not a new concept, but this little guy's built into my old projector case and is most certainly a one-of-a-kind sound brick. Folded up inside the case was a Columbus, Ohio newspaper from 1948. The headline caption read, "Tojo and 5 Japanese Officers Sentenced to the Gallows". I'm not exactly sure, but that crusty old yellow newspaper has probably been folded up in there since around that time - 64 years! He's a feisty little dude - little, but packs a punch! A big shout out to Brent King for the design and construction.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Portland Monthly Best of the City 2012

Portland Monthly magazine's annual Best of the City edition features a clever shot of the kid at Hawthorne Vintage. When Kate asked me to do the shoot, I made sure to do some reconnaissance of the shop prior to the date. I was under the impression that the scene would be set somewhere else, but the teal sofa worked out pretty well. The oh-so-clever camera prop? Again, Ms. Madden... Diggable Monkey appreciates your keen eye, Madam. They were smart to make you the Art Director... Photo by Stuart Mullenberg and Kate Madden

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Counting the Blessings

As Diggable Monkey heads into the summer season, I can't help but reflect on the past 16 months since the company began. The activity surrounding the company has been at a slow, but steadily rising crawl. Just recently, we became a key player in the production of online content for a local dance studio. I'm not talking about 4 minutes of internet content here... Simultaneously, we were once again approached by Flora Bowley to create a new and improved painting video illustrating her techniques. All of this on the heels of a MarchFourth tour starting in June, which is roughly 8 months since my last major outing with them. DM's work with Mizu Desierto on the butoh "Local Culture Project" went swimmingly this past weekend at the Headwaters Theater and we'll be gearing up for another season of the Razzle Dazzle bus video blog series. Are things heating up around here? Oh, man. It's gone from simmer to boil... Photo by Stuart Mullenberg

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Diggable Monkey - Puttin' on the Game Face

Photo by Kyer Wiltshire

I've spent a lot of time behind a video camera over the last 10 years. When it comes to having a staged photo of myself taken, I'm not usually the first one to jump in front of the lens. Beyond the top notch equipment and knowing the technical aspects of getting a good picture, there is the camera operator. What I've observed is that in most cases, having a rapport with your photographer is paramount. This may be an obvious comment to the professional models out there, but for many of you just trying to get a great shot of yourself - for whatever application - the process is often a big pain in the rear. I'll say this: in an age when your mug is all over hells half acre in cyberspace, you might want to partner up with someone who knows how to create good media and get the good shots. There are more talented photographers out there than you can imagine. Once you spot something you like that someone's done, send them a message and give feedback - good or bad. There's nothing more useful to a cameraman in developing his/her skills than random observations from the field. More time than not, you're likely to end up not only effectively engaging the artist, but engaging the artist within yourself. The tools available for communication these days are unprecedented in the entire course of human history. Find your photo/video collaborators, which will help you find your "media self" and leverage the incredible tools now at your disposal. Each of our individual stories are as interesting and compelling as the next persons. When you're ready to put a little thought into how you're presenting yourself to billions of people, challenge your photographer and make that shot count!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who is this Diggable Monkey character?


When I found out I was going to interview one of the March Fourth Marching Band members I got really excited. M4 is by far one of my favorite music groups in town. Admittedly, even though Kevin has been on my Facebook radar for a while, I am a little star struck. Being part of the Burningman community, and a self proclaimed Portland Socialite, I actually have had the opportunity to meet several of the members and since Portland is such a small town, I am not sure why it seemed like such a big deal. At any rate, I had to remind myself that the purpose of the interview wasn’t to go gush over one of the guys from the band. I found out, Kevin actually has quite a bit on his plate right now!

One of the cool things about Kevin is that I would consider him to be part of Portland’s artistic “Burner” community. (A Burner is a person who has embraced the annual festival’s principals as a general lifestyle.) Kevin is an ideal representation of what makes the community so great. Not just as a Burner but as a Portlander as well, his education and background is in urban planning and development. Kevin currently works with several groups to help plan and promote events in Portland such as Threshold, Howl (supporting the City Repair Project) and The PDX Bridge Festival, his current primary focus is on his digital media company: Diggable Monkey, LLC.

Diggable Monkey provides high quality dynamic videos for online social networking media sites and more.

I had the chance to visit Kevin’s website a few days before our meeting. I have to say, I was impressed with the quality of his work as well as the amount of videos he has done already. There is a huge variety of videos seeming to cover what could be many different client needs. It was fun to see familiar faces and the videos are very up beat and engaging. Great for any client looking to put a custom project together.

Kevin works from his home office in SE Portland. When I arrived he was friendly and inviting. He even made me some tea. His space was clean, efficient looking and cozy. It was filled with all sorts of awesome editing gear that made this photographer just a little jealous. Although I think if he saw my room/home office he would probably laugh. With the exception of the drum set, our rooms look a lot alike.

So the man has got the gear and he’s got the creativity, he certainly has the business sense. What I liked the most about Kevin is his passion for what he is doing. Again, I keep running into these business owners that are like minded professionals who run their businesses on the concept of community. Just like I have made friends through my photography business, Kevin finds himself connecting with his clients. He is not only building a strong client base, he is building a network of people he considers friends. When asking Kevin who he felt was his target clients, he didn’t have a specific group in mind. While he may not be pin pointing his niche, he is certainly developing a solid brand. The cute, easily recognizable monkey logo represents community, creativity, friendship and quality professional videos. Through social media, word of mouth and his creative talents, I am sure Kevin will continue to build a solid video production company in Portland and beyond.

If you want so see some of Kevin’s past projects you can check them out on VIMEO:

Getting Personal:

What is your coffee drink?

Black Stumptown Coffee. I first met Duane Sorensen around the time he moved to Portland from Seattle around 2000. Humble beginnings, to be sure. Watching that tornado form has been interesting.

Favorite video you have made so far? Why?

My favorite videos are the personal ones that showcase the tenacity of the human spirit. I get to work directly with people that are looking to share their stories with the world. They hire me to craft a narrative of some important aspect of their lives, which I consider to be a great honor. I think my latest video for the Joy Now Arts Foundation (mini MarchFourth) is strong.

Oddest thing that you have done for the sake of “art”?

Blown thousands of dollars building theme camps at Burning Man from 2000-2008. And yes, I’m going back for the first time in four years this summer (2012).

Were you born in Portland? If not, what drew you here?

No, but my great grandmother was born on a wagon train in the late 1800‘s. The family homesteaded near Oregon City. I suppose that I was drawn back West for some of the same reasons the pioneers were: clean air, abundant fresh food, the lush landscapes and its more overtly communal aesthetic.

Favorite food that you can only get in Portland?

The miso soup at Zilla Sake House on Alberta Street.

What would you recommend to somebody who has never been here before to do in Portland if you only had a day to visit?

To let me personally take them on a tour. I studied Portland in great detail while completing a graduate-level urban planning degree at PSU. I was also a map data (GIS) analyst building street databases at a freight company for twelve years. Suffice to say, I know my way around this town.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Joy Now Arts Project Summer Camp 2012

Stoked to be supporting the Joy Now Arts Project and Summer Camp. Check out the latest promotional video by Diggable Monkey.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MarchFourth 9th Anniversary - Pop A Heely!

March 4, 2012 -- Jen Forti and Jason Sawyer Arquin perform on Heely shoes to the song Queen Luna at the Crystal Ballroom for MarchFourth's 9th Anniversary show.

Diggable Monkey Productions
© Diggable Monkey

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kickstart My Heart: MarchFourth Bus Project Razzle 2.0

Your favorite intergalactic marching band, MarchFourth, needs a new space ship! Our beloved bus, Razzle Dazzle, is getting old and she ain't what she used to be. Razzle's not very gas efficient and spews more exhaust than we'd like to admit... and she broke down three times last year! (though amazingly we never missed a gig =) Without a reliable ride, we can't get to your town to rock your face off.

Monday, February 20, 2012

MarchFourth Trail Mix: A Life with Razzle Dazzle Ep. 37 "Bears Bend Eugene"

February 20, 2012 -- A Life with Razzle Dazzle video diary with MarchFourth from the road. While in Bend and Eugene, Richard and the gang fire up the crowd with pleas for support of the Razzle Dazzle 2.0 Kickstarter campaign.

More info on MarchFourth Kickstarter:

Video by Diggable Monkey

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Day the BORG Was Impaled On My Unsecured Rebar

The following is an essay that I wrote and posted to my personal profile concerning the Burning Man organizations (BORG) attempt to re-organize ticket distribution for the 2012 event. The most obnoxious aspect to the whole affair is the lack of foresight (and apparent lack of insight) concerning the ticket lottery systems disruption to the basic organizational structures of "theme camps" and the art projects that they support. The situation is not all that surprising given the festival organizers do nothing more than review "applications", assess various credentials and requirements and then place what appear to be legitimate camps in some logical orientation on the city map. Indeed, if Robert Moses were alive today he would covet this unbridled control over the hyper engineered social landscape.

The BORG has done right by many festival participants over the years, but continues to fall short in the eyes of many involved with producing camps - or tribes, as I refer to them below. These tribes are the critical flesh and muscle sitting on top the infrastructure bones assembled by their highly functional (and mostly subsidized) public services crew counterparts (DPW, BRC Rangers, Man Crew, Arctica, BMIR, etc).

Apologies, I don't offer much in the way solutions in this letter. I'm pretty sure they'll get a hold of me though if they really want my input.

Previously posted on Facebook on February 2, 2012

Against my better judgement, I'm going to say a few things about the above tirade. First, this isn't about ME not getting a ticket in the lottery. In fact, I already have another opportunity through a close friend, which ironically I will pay less than what I was offering to pay myself... After all this debate, I wonder whether I even have the stomach to go! This thread is meant to be more about my personal perspectives on severe blows to my notion of the tribe. I'll use the word tribe rather than community because the word suggests specificity in both composition and scale. All the magical contraptions aside, to me "tribe" is the heart and the soul of the event.

Through the years, I've met lots of "solo journey"- type people on the playa that sing of their unattached personal freedoms while at the event. Frankly, I've never been that person. Instead, I prefer the more complicated group dynamic of shared commitments, agreements and accountability while playing monkey in the mad house. The comfort and care we can and often do provide for one another at the tribe (camp) level is crucial. Indeed, perhaps some of the most revealing experiences one has at this festival are personal exchanges between members of our tribes. Let's be honest, your romance with the giant slinky in deep playa is fleeting. The place you rest your head and call home is not. We depend on the sanctity of knowing our tribe is vigilant, aware and looking out for us. These are the qualities we spend years developing, implementing and maintaining. My 5 consecutive years with the "little Puzzle that could" still feels like an accomplishment, knowing full well that the average shelf life of a theme camp is more like one to two. I left the playa last in 2008, but full of hope and aspiration that I might once again return with a solid crew of playa warriors; fit and able. I thought that 2012 might just be that time. Now I'm not so sure.

While I'm sure the vast majority of camps coalesce around the last two months of the summer, the most solid ones are a year round affair. You absolutely cannot throw groups of people together on the Playa and expect things to function properly. People need to know one another somewhat to anticipate and react to situations, whatever they may be. If you were working with the 80+ Mobile Groove Bomb crew at the American Dream, then you know precisely what I'm suggesting. When you put a commander in the field with a set of fresh recruits, you cannot get the same results as you would if he had his trusty veterans on point. The successes of MGB on the playa that year both as a mobile installation and a physical camp had EVERYTHING to do with experience and familiarity.

As Pirate Ship Andy Tibbets has already eloquently described in his message to the Portland Burners, there isn't a whole lot of hope for restructuring a functional work/living environment when a lot of your experienced people have been made to fight even harder than they already do to be a part. I won't speculate on a macro level what this might do to the event at large, but on a micro level - on a camp level - it leaves me feeling uncertain at best about on how to proceed. For me, it has very little to do with the idea or argument that it's important to forge new relationships. Look, I get that. I've been forging relationships all along. My disdain for the current situation has much more to do with the notion that some jackleg Super Being came in pissy one day and fired all my employees without any consultation. Yeah, it hurts. It feels disrespectful, dishonest and downright asinine.

As a tribe leader, I'm rather unwilling to expose myself and others around me to the myriad of complications that arise in the difficult environment that is a blustery salt pan desert in rural Nevada. I feel as though I've spent enough time in the trenches developing the requisite thick skin and I can tell you with certainty that I'm long out of the training business. Can I put my energy and focus in some other area? Well, of course... to what end? Spend another decade forging skills that end up getting tossed out with the bath water? Doesn't sound too appealing. I'm sure this rant comes off ugly, self-righteous and very "un-burner"-like. Sorry, but I know my tribe and I also happen to know that they've got my back on this one.

Regardless, if I'm extremely lucky (not hard working, but lucky), I very well may see some of you out there in August. Barring some miracle, it's not likely you'll see me in my element. I'll be on a solo journey, running light and without a lot of backup...

Damn, Lighteekevee just doesn't seem to have the same ring.

Kevin Balmer aka heaveekevee
Foreplay Lounge 2000
Red Planet 2001-2002
Monkey Puzzle 2003-2004, 2006-2007
Astral Vortex 2005
Mobile Groove Bomb 2008

Monday, January 30, 2012

Threshold: Enter the Dragon Crew

We passed through another Threshold Saturday night and by all accounts it was a smashing success. To all 150 leads, crew and volunteers who worked on the production, a big thank you! It's very easy to understand why people want to attend when you've got talented and inspiring people like yourselves involved. That was one of - if not the best - execution I've witnessed from our now seasoned team. I couldn't be more proud of our accomplishments. Bitchin' party...

Here are some impressions from my experience I'd like to share:

1). Environment - Nara you are a star. Keep up the good work and you'll go far. The space looked - and more importantly - FELT warm and cozy. Not an easy thing to do in a warehouse... Let's keep at it, Ok?
2). Stage - off the chain... Pedro, thanks for setting it up with such ferocity. Sija, thanks for the inspiration and Drew for keeping that gong tight... Love the dragons, Arun!
3). Lights - damn, is about all I can say. Chris Fish rocks. Thanks also to Jean Margaret and Lila who make his life easier.
4) Mural - There's no doubt that Dan and Gabe are on to something. I absolutely loved the mapped dragon mural and so did everyone else in the room. "Sick" and "badass" were two of the more popular descriptives.
5). Projections - thank you for pulling it all together, Ben. I'm so glad to have someone in there bringing us the appropriate stuff.
6). Catering - tasty, delicious and critical. Jen Phoenix, an extra special thanks to you for all your talents in food production and hospitality. The first-class green room service was sublime. Great infusions, Sabrina!
7). Music - the music lineup was impressive, no doubt. Sija, you are really getting good at creating the musical alchemy. To all the artists on stage who killed it, huge thanks!
8). Image and Marketing - Piepo gets a gold star and Daflew gets a "threshie" statue for their stunning work on making us look good.
9). Vols and crew - Super impressed with management and execution, Tiff. You make it all seem so easy, which is a testament to your skills. I'd like to individually thank everyone of your people for a job well done. Loved having k8 back in the mix...
10). Video - personal thanks to Kelly Kendiorski who bailed my ass out, pinch hitting to film the show.
11). Box Office - With the women we had sitting at the gate, I never once was worried about what might happen out front. You guys were awesome! Thank you Ms. Keri Chang, Iris Murdock, Brydl Mar, Zig and the others who braved the barrage of people wanting to get inside a little closer to the flames. There's not a lot of glory in your position, but the task of handling our customers is so key. Nice work! I'm so sorry about the crappy heaters... EPIC FAIL!
12). Venue - Maria and the crew at Refuge really took it up a notch for us. I got positive feedback from lots of folks about how much they thought the sound, stage production and service was top notch. I'll be sure to thank the sound guys, the security team and bartenders when I see them.
13). Performers - y'all keep the wheels running out there! I caught a glimpse of Athena - dope! Endi and the belly crew were pretty stunning. I stopped to take in some of that... Dawn and the dragon crew, thanks for working the show and keeping it interactive. The Good Time Girls, always a favorite and loving the new kimono's!
14). Kyer Wiltshire and Aaron Rogosin, I haven't forgotten you my photographer friends... Your work helps keep these important moments alive on into the future. I can't wait to see what you pull together.

and last but certainly not least...

15). Sija - you're the embodiment of grace under pressure. How we've managed to get here I'll never know. Bless you for all the love and light that you bring to our little tribe and to the magical world in which we play.

For all our new and returning guests, we say thanks! Sorry about the long line at the bathrooms... Times are tough all over, so we understand you are discerning about how you spend your hard earned money. This wasn't our first rodeo and it probably won't be our last. If you like what you experienced, tell your friends about us. It's true what they say: we do like to party amongst ourselves. However, we also really love bringing it to the people and sharing on a grand scale from time to time. Threshold is one of those special times... We're glad you chose to spend the evening with us. I'd say that was a wise choice.

So, together let us enter the dragon.