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Civic Minded 5 gets saucy over Peter Brotzmann and Joe McPhee

May 16, 2013

On the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt tackled a round variety of music genres to create an album he claims is “about love songs,” but on the second volume of the three-disc set, there’s definitely this one song that evidences just how audacious Merritt could get with his teasing songwriting, making the release also “about song structure.” The song is called “Love Is Like Jazz,” and in it, Merritt sings over flailing, exaggerated jazzy riffs: “It’s divine, it’s asinine, it’s depressing / And it’s almost entirely window dressing / But it’ll do.”

This double-edged sword that jabs both at love and at jazz fails to acknowledge or address the intrigue of peak moments in both broadly defined entities: impulsive adventures like both hands deftly pounding a piano, unexpectedly tender empathy like a sax coming off an intensely breathy run, support when you need it like an urgently required drum break. I’m getting romantic, and I’m getting off point, but it’s because too often we walk within the pre-packaged aisles of pop music instead of freshening things up with actual fuel for thought and feeling. And that’s the appeal of free-form jazz. Loose emotions and trusting your gut reaction.

Help the Civic-Minded 5 raise funds by donating or buying a commemorative Peter Brotzmann and Joe McPhee poster and/or pepper sauce.

The Peter Brotzmann Octet’s Machine Gun was quite literally intended to blow away preconceptions of music while un-apologetically feeding the stereotype that Merritt described in his song 31 years after Brotzmann’s release. Brotzmann released the album himself originally, and it certainly reads like an overconfident improvisation from a group of musicians who were not afraid to rival each other in their energy and output. It’s insane and loud and the energy from it will be conjured live in Orlando in a special event at Timucua White House featuring Brotzmann and Miami-born experimental jazz musician Joe McPhee, as a fundraiser for the Civic-Minded 5 to continue its capable concert booking, including many free shows yet to be announced in 2013. (Here is a list of all the free shows they’ve staged in the past.)

The cost is $20, which includes a beautiful commemorative ticket. Then there are other cool bonuses like a special edition poster designed by Flying Horse Editions for $25 and a delicious, limited batch of pepper sauce featuring a Machine Gun-inspired label that I myself have taste-tested and massively enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, that you can pick up for $10. Event details:

Peter Brotzmann and Joe McPhee
Timucua White House
7:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, 2013
Buy tickets for $20 and commemorative items in advance here or pick up advance tickets at Park Ave CDs.

More info:

Listen to Machine Gun sessions now to get a clearer idea of what to expect:

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