Well, I've been just too busy trying to put this festival on to do much posting, but I have insomnia before the last night of the festival (I play last at 10:30 tonight and I'm nervous) so here goes: We've been blessed with a fantastic festival so far. San Jose's 'best of' show with our foreign artists was sublime; San Francisco's Luggage Store, "Experimental Side of Looping" was equally good and we had a really nice and enthusiastic turnout for S.F. It's hard to pick standout performances as , literally, every performance at both shows was very, very strong. I feel so lucky that our hosts, the Brian and Cherie at the Anno Domini Gallery and Matt and Rent at the Luggage Store reserve us a space every single third week of October. The only downside to either show was artist John Connell having his entire set stolen in the form of his iTouch with all of it's lovingly selected and beautiful samples was stolen in the tough neighborhood that surrounds the Luggage Store at 6th and Market. John triumphed, however, the next night at our opening Santa Cruz concert. He spent the whole day reconstituting his entire set (a LOT of work) at our first 'house concert' at Brad and Sandy Taylor's lovely home just outside of downtown Santa Cruz and did a great 'comeback' set. What a beautiful and intimate spot Brad and Sandy's place is. Semih Yanyali had to cancel (after a beautiful mixture of turkish and contemporary electronica styles set on Wednesday night) with a stomach flu so we had a very short and intimate evening. A standout performance were Noah Peterson's rocking, Americana Sax driven R&B. Noah has enthusiastically and professionally jumped into our community this year with two excellently produced Y2K13 looping festivals in Portland, Seattle (and right after the main fest, San Antonio, Texas). It was just pure joy to me to see how he rocs thousands of people at San Antonio's 6 Flags Theme Park in 105 degree heat during the summer. He is a fantastically strong saxophonist and is very inventive with his looping (including wonderful and strong percussion.....something that always ranks high in my own personal looping book). He's also a really great guy too, with a wonderful and epxansive laugh and sense of humor. It's really such a treat to have him so prominent in our community in his first year of having 'found' us. Thanks, Noah, for everything you've done this year to promote and expand live looping! It was such a mellow evening......really quite intimate and a good sign for the weekend to come. Today (well, yesterday technically, but I can't sleep) was just awesome.........top to bottom. I confess that I have been very, very worried about attendance because we are in our new home at the Treasures Roadhouse which is decidedly outside of downtown Santa Cruz for the first time. I was completely surprised that our early day attendance was stronger than the last two years, however which says a lot considering that we didn't have great luck with our press efforts this year (outside of one nice article in the Good Times). The true marvel, though, is just how wonderful the Treasures Roadhouse is as a venue. Bourn Archer, the owner has created a beautiful and intimate performance space with a great sound system. It's comfortable, well heated (and ventilated); it has a really nice and spacious 'green room' for staging and pre-setting artists' equipment; beautiful theatrical curtains and a very, homey and intimate feel with really great acoustics. Almost every single person I talked to from audience members to performers said that it was the best venue we've ever had for the looping festival. And people CAME!!!!!! That was really exciting to me. We had a really good house last night. I just marvel at how strong this community has become musically and technologically speaking since we started these festivals 13 years ago. The day concert was really great from top to bottom with some real standout performances with the three pre-dinner artists: Rejyna, Marya Stark and Luis Angulo; who , fighting through a bad head cold and complete loss of sound in his right ear after a bad plane ride delivered a knockout performance of all orginal songs. I cried during one of is tunes, it was so beautiful to me. To single out anyone one from the day, though is very difficult because everyone had strong sets. I really loved Bob Amstadt's opening set, using two new completely redesigned LP-2s. This was Bob's first abstract set that I've seen him do and it was really lovely. He did a couple of things with the LP-2 that I'm going to steal (and that's the highest of compliments). Stanosaur also rocked us one more time with high decibel feedback looping. He's the only artist I let play the festival without a specific 'looping' device because of his dedication to manipulating and surfing high volume guitar feedback between two massive Sunn amplifiers (not before handing out 33 db earplugs to everyone in the house). Another standout was David Tristram's beautiful looping graphics work. David has added not only beautiful new algorthms to his syncrhonizing graphics but has also really gotten deep into his ability to meld with the performers. There was some truly beautiful stuff happening visually. Next, I had one of those typical 'put out the fire' experiences as, instead of taking a dinner break, I had to rush back into Santa Cruz to borrow a projector for Maha!'s upcoming LoopyCam visuals for the Headliners show. We had borrowed a projector, after having ours stolen last year :-( but it didn't have the right connectors to hook up to Tim Thompson's loopycam. Hoffman's restaurant , home of my weekly jazz trio, came to the rescue though (man, I love the staff and owners of that place) and lent us their projector in the 11th hour and I was able to get back 5 minutes before the start of the show.........which was JAW DROPPING in it's entirety. Henry Kaiser opened up with a beautiful demonstration of the square wave modulation possibilities in two ancient Lexicon PCM 42s. He then went on to explain the method of improvisation that he has been mining for a long time with beautiful results and then showed us how different the computer manipulation 'emulation' of those instruments are. It was really cool to hear his detailed explanations and then to truly see the difference between the analogue performance back to back with it's 'emulate' digital one. Some people, notably Grammy Award winner, Bill Putnam, really appreciated the difference between the two sounds, but I confess, they both sounded great to my somewhat challenged middle aged ears. Next Daniel Thomas put on the most elaborate and high tech looping show I've seen yet. Playing what looked like an entire mobile studio (with replete with multiple controllers, two MACbook pros and keyboards, guitar and voice, he encountered a couple of very minor technological 'glitches' but his performance and song writing were just beautiful and very, very emotional for me. I was so impressed with his performance and equally impressed that he attempted such an elaborate and truly daring attempt at bringing complex song forms to live looping (something live looping is NOT typically good at doing). Next, living live looping legend, Andre LaFosse played his first Y2K appearance with a tour d-force of guitar playing and absolute seamless mastery of the Gibson Echoplex. Glitch and funky with his 'guitar turntablism' approach of corralling and shaping the glitchy possibilities of quantized replace and the real time shortening and lengthening of loops that the EDP is so famous for, he had heads and feet bopping for the entire set. He's such a fantastic and inventive guitarist as well and it was wonderful to see where he's gone since the last time I played with him, Michael Manring and Steve Lawson back in 2002/2003. As much as I love his funky stuff, my standout performance, both at the Luggage Store and at the Headliners gig was a piece he plays using FEEDBACK set to 0 and Reverse........He has just mastered this art that makes the instrument seem completely and utterly elastic in his hands. The entire set was a tour d'force! Lastly, Bill Walker delivered a beautiful and very emotional set (he played three tunes in a row in the memory of my mother, father and our fearless 'non-leader' Kim Flint. Bill was celebrating the release of his first solo CD and he just played beautifully, mixing in humor and pathos in the set. I confess, I cried twice during his set thinking about how much my parents loved us and how much we love and miss them. I also sat grinning and cheering with Daniel Thomas as Bill tore it up in 6/8 on his memorial to my father, 'Cass County Waltz' , one of the standout tracks on the new CD. I always am a little afraid that people will think I'm being nepotistic in my enthusiastic endorsement of Bill's talent, but he is just a fantastic and inventive musician with a deep heart, filled with a great sense of humor and compassion. He's also been, quite frankly, my tech guru, in all of these years of looping. It was great to see him tear it up. So, we all got into our cars and came back to the Looping compound; ate popcorn and drank beer and laughed and laughed with Nancy LeVan, Nelly Munier, Noah Peterson, Hideki Nakanishi and his friend, Hiro , Stephen Briggs, Emmanuel Reveneau, Laurie Amat and Maha......one of my very favorite things to do at all of the loop festivals. Okay, maybe now I can sleep...........we've got a killer day ahead of us with the lions' share of the foreign artists slated to play the really good closing night of the festival and a very strong day concert, as well. I hope to see some of you down there today. Blessings everybody and thanks so much for all of your support and for this wonderful community.