Tag Archives: Joel R. L. Phelps

Dama/Libra Tour 2014

So, I have been saving up some blog ideas, but have had no real time to flesh them out because of this Dama/Libra tour. Perhaps I’ll have a moment while riding in the van to deal with that backlog.

I was thinking back to how it is that I got to be this fortunate, and ended up going back to 2003. So that’s a long story for another day. Suffice to say, I feel very fortunate. Stuart and Joel are incredibly kind hearted souls, so they are great to work with.

If you’re just getting caught up, Pitchfork gave Dama/Libra a 7.1 and wrote up a review. I think the reviewer missed the point of a few things, but in another way he really dug into the psychology of the album that felt very poignant.

It has been a real eye opener to work with Stuart, in the way that he intuitively thinks about time and space (in a musical sense). It’s made me have to question many of my own habits as a drummer. His music is so slow, that you must throw counting out the window and just rely on each other for queues and simply feel when it’s time to play a particular figure. It’s frightening to let go, yet also very freeing. His phrasing is so long, and notes so sparse, that you must enter a zen like state just to play the music. Very challenging, and very gratifying.

Joel brings thoughtful, and frankly vulnerable, lyrics to these songs. Sometimes I get distracted by their meaning, even while performing. Vulnerable really is the right term. Working with him in rehearsals, he’s the real thing. Singing, or just hanging out–it’s the same guy. It’s refreshing to work with a singer who is just so genuine.

Even the song, Destroy, which has one word: destroy, feels so right! He sings it right in the middle of the song, and it’s this sudden moment of clarity that then completely changes your point of view as the song continues along. I wonder if by “destroy”, he might also mean “renew”? I’ll need to ask him that tomorrow.

So here’s the vague tour route:

 

We leave… tomorrow! We’ll cram our belongings in a single van, and drive across the US. 7500 miles! I have never gone on a tour this long, so I’m excited!

I hope to see you along the way. Please stop by and say hi!

Oh, and I published the calendar, so I hope there are some places near you.