Tag Archives: bucharest drinking team

New in 2014

Hey, so I’ve added a few more projects to the list. The new year is going to be awesome.

THINE

Stuart Dalquist and Joel R.L. Phelps were kind enough to invite me to join with them and a few other excellent people such as David Lutz and Jake Weller. We’ve met once already, and I’m really looking forward to the huge challenge in reproducing the whole thing in a live setting. Probably in a few months. Like Holy Cities, this is something where I was already a fan, long before I got involved. So this is dear to my heart. It’s the kind of music that sort of invents itself as it goes along–a concept that inspired me to be a musician in the first place.

UPDATE: The name has been changed to Dama/Libra.

The minor 9

We’re a Balkan brass band. No official recordings as of yet. We’ve been gearing up for Balkan Night Northwest, where you will hear our debut. This is a group of Balkan brass aficionados, who aren’t interested in being held back by the past. Yes, you can dance your butt off to us, but we don’t want our sound to require mothballs or a vacuum seal.

And I should also mention that Bucharest Drinking Team will be playing at Chop Suey for International Women’s Day, along with Kultur Shock. As per the usual, this party will be epic.

Bucharest Drinking Team on iTunes and Spotify

Happy New Year! Hey folks, I just wanted to let you know that Bucharest Drinking Team music is now available on iTunes and free streaming on Spotify. Crank these up right now!

We recorded these (mostly) live at Bani-Love Recording studios in the midst of the Columbia City Theater.  We threw a 2 day party and just recorded the heck out of ourselves within that amazing sounding hall that we love so much.

Let me know what you think. And what songs we should record next.

Trying to trust

I was brainstorming with BDT’s coach (yes, we call her Coach), and she mentioned the importance of feeling like you can trust everyone in your group. And that totally reminded me of a bunch of stuff I’ve learned about trust over the past years! So this week’s post is about Trust.

Ross Smith, a Director of Test at Microsoft, took a bunch of theories about trust and now regularly puts them to the test. I had the good fortune of working in his organization for a short time, and it was pretty amazing to see the transformation he achieved in a short period of time. Ross is tricky. He uses crowd sourcing and game techniques to improve results. In other words, he turns things into games that encourage people inside and outside his organization to play and compete. The genius of it is that people end up spending extra time on projects that they aren’t even responsible for–because it’s so fun and personally rewarding for them.

Here’s an article about when Ross first created a game framework that encouraged trust behaviors inside his group. Click the link, and then first scroll down to Benefits and Metrics and read that dense paragraph. Here’s an example of some of the results:

“Our retention numbers were 20% to 50% higher than our historical numbers”

“We saw between a 10% to 60% improvement in productivity, as measured by a number of different metrics”

Okay, now go back and read that dense article to learn the specifics. Since we’re talking about software here, it was all done in a systematic way that he could measure. Out of the process, his group came up with a list of 150 trust building behaviors that they would track and turn into a game.

In another interview, Ross lists the sources of his inspiration on Trust. Scroll down to the very bottom of the interview for the list of sources.

So as musicians in a band with a couple members, we probably don’t have to be all systematic and scientific about it. My only reason for linking to those interviews is to build the case that organizational trustworthiness has been measured and it’s a huge pile of awesomeness. You can even take the next logical step: an increase in productivity should help make an increase in income. Of course income doesn’t matter so much if you’re stressed out and burned out–but again the numbers show that happiness increases just as much on average.

So it’s pretty clear that Trust is going to make a significant impact on the success of your band.

And by the way, back when I was working for Ross, he created the environment that produced a tool called the Conversation Analyzer. It analyzes your IM conversations (using a communications program called Lync) for trust building language, and gives you a score. You can track how you progress toward being someone who is trustworthy and encourages trust building.

Now, go back to that list of 150 trust building behaviors and actually take a look at it. It’s something we could spend the rest of our lives working on. So, in addition to everything else we’re working on, let’s just spend the next year focusing on maybe one or two off that list. And then move to the next, and so on. As the data shows, we’ll be happier and more productive.

August news, 2013

I’m looking forward to doing some new things in the upcoming months.

I’ve been putting together a set with a group of good friends and we’ll likely start playing some shows in November. Stay tuned for some announcements. I’m really happy with the direction this group is taking. I get to focus on playing some rock in a more subtle and mature way, and I’m really proud of the music we’re making.

Related to that group, I’ve been putting together Spotify playlists of music both new and old. Just different tunes that I’ve been listening to, as I think about how to approach this new project. When I gather enough songs, I’ll post the playlist on the next Monday. There may be some clues about what we will sound like. I hope you enjoy the playlists too. Spotify has a web player now, so I don’t think you have to install anything anymore if you don’t want to. The latest playlist is there already, but I won’t be posting the link on facebook until this Monday.

I’m also sitting in with a Klezmer group, the Debaucherantes, so stay tuned for a date or two with them. Looking forward to that!

Gamer Jam is set to continue, even though we announced that it was over. Sean is just too busy, but the rest of us want to keep it going. Let me know if you have any ideas!

As you know, Shiplosion is winding down. Our last show is in the woods at the end of the month. And Bucharest Drinking Team continues strong! It’s amazing to look back over how far we’ve come over the past couple years, and we have so many more great ideas!

Lots of fun stuff. I hope to see you around sometime real soon. Check out my calendar for dates. Thanks for reading this blog! As always, let me know what you think, or anything else that’s on your mind.  –Kai

FolkLife 2013 – Saturday

Wow, tonight was insane. Looking forward to part 2 tomorrow!

Okay, here’s what we got for FolkLife Festival on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

 

1:40pm — Les Pamplemousses hit the stage to play music from the earlier part of the 20th century. Facebook. Video.

6pm — Balkan Misfits Party. I’ll be playing with Bucharest Drinking Team, and we get to share the stage with our good friends Orkestar Zirkonium, Erev Rav, and Chervona! FolkLife blog post.

10pm — The afterparties begin! First, the Klezmer FolkLife Afterparty at Re-Bar! Local klez artists The Debaucherauntes (fusion), and the legendary Nu Klezmer Army (trad), are proud to welcome special guests Fleet Street Klezmer Band, hailing all the way from Boise. Facebook.

 

… and then… ???

 

FolkLife Schedule

FolkLife 2013 — Friday

Okay, here’s the rundown for FolkLife tonight, Friday, May 24, 2013:

6pm — Check out OneFourFive. There is a facebook event. onefourfive will sing a cappella songs from Caucasus Georgia

7pm — Head over to DuBorziLanza. Indeed, there is a facebook event as well. They will play a set of sinister love songs and morose prison ballads from the south side of Italy.

8pm — The afterparties get started! First, I’ll be playing with Bucharest Drinking Team, and we’ll be joined by many of our good friends! Including Chervona and Erev Rav! Yes, indeed the facebook event is there for you.

Then… ???

Stay tuned for Saturday’s schedule!

Edit >> You can create your own schedule and see what your friends are doing this weekend. Cool stuff. See you there!

 

 

Capturing inspiration

The concept of Flow is a certain intoxication of attention that gives you a feeling of omniscience of your subject matter. Time slows down to a crawl, and you handle many things at once. Your mind is clear, and your productivity is maximized.

There are lots of online articles about how to get into Flow, and how to avoid breaking Flow. Flow is important for artists and engineers alike. It’s a state of mind that is difficult to acquire and easy to lose, but it allows you to create your own inspiration. We all go through rituals to achieve Flow, just like we go through rituals to sleep or to be comforted.

I think that intoxication of Flow is a huge lure for artists, and probably one of the reasons that so many never leave their studios or complete anything. Flow is seductive and addictive.

There are a few other, less common, instances where Flow can occur but may be ignored and lost due to stress or distraction. Namely: during a performance and during a recording session.

I usually blog about things I messed up, as learning lessons. :) But from time to time I get something right. Scary, I know. Not too long ago, I was in the studio with Shiplosion, and on maybe the second take of a song I played this bombastic tom fill with a ton of cymbals on a complete whim. In retrospect, I had finally achieved a Flow state, and the inspiration presented itself in a single second that felt like an eternity, and I made a split second decision to just flow with it, and dammit I’m proud of that drum solo–something I had never rehearsed. (Sorry, the song’s not posted yet, but I’ll let you know)

Most recently, I recorded on the debut Bucharest Drinking Team album, and had another Flow moment (I think it took several takes this time) in a tune where I switched over to the ride cymbal during a brief phrase where the violins play. Again, this was never rehearsed, but it felt like I had an eternity right there in the middle of the song to think about the idea and decide to go with it.

In both cases, I’m pretty darned proud of what happened, and they would have been impossible without Flow.

I’m totally going to work hard to set my self up for this next time, because it was largely on accident. But I think the factors probably include: practice, practice, practice, self-confidence, preparation (i.e. practice), being warmed up, joy, minimized distractions, focus, trust in others, and relaxation. I’ll have to think about what kinds of rituals I can perform to lead up to moments like this. But the key is, that yes we still have to work and work and work regardless of inspiration–but we also need to be prepared and ready to seize inspiration when it does happen.

If you have any Flow rituals, or other examples where Flow was a huge success for you… please share them!

Honk TX Complete!

Honk Texas is OVER, and I’m safe and cozy in bed.

What a week!

You can get a play by play at http://facebook.com/bdtmusic or check out http://twitter.com/drinky_team. Lots of photos! Oh, and of course my facebook page:  http://facebook.com/kaistrandskov.

I got to see a lot of amazing music, and meet some incredible musicians and just all around awesome people.

Being a musician, first and foremost, is about people. Making  people happy, and being happy with people, and being made happy by people. And that’s what happened at Honk Texas.

I’ll write more when I recover. Right now I gotta get caught up with my day job.

Honk TX

Well, I’m on the train to the airport, and then… Austin! Bucharest Drinking Team is headed to Honk Texas for 5 days of hedonism. We’ll be all posting stuff online all week, so it’ll be just like you’re there.

Things kick off tonight at the Russian House, and then well be playing in the streets the rest of the week. Meow!

So far, I have discovered that I forgot my important sash that ties together my whole fashion ensemble. At least I have my tupan….