The Potts Report: May 2017

My friend Danny Gromfin just gave me a stack of vintage Grateful Dead LPs that he inherited from his “hippie aunt.” He asked me if I had ever seen the Dead in concert. I remarked that I had seen them several times at The Shrine when I was about the same age as his fourteen year old daughter. It got me thinking of how and when I first became aware of improvised music, and I think these concerts may just…

The Potts Report: August 2016

I am a member of the Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS), as is artist/musician Paul McCarthy. Whenever Paul speaks about the music of the LAFMS he refers to it as “porch music.” I think Paul is trying to link the unrehearsed improvised music that we produce with the traditions of folk music. This form invites all comers to participate in a communal exercise of joining together to create a musical experience that is greater than the sum…

The Potts Report: April 2016


“Pushing through the market square, So many mothers sighing News had just come over, We had five years left to cry in

News guy wept and told us, Earth was really dying Cried so much his face was wet, Then I knew he was not lying” -David Bowie 1971

April 22 is Earth Day. I remember the first one. I was in High School. We formed an organization that sold books like Paul Ehrlich’s…

The Potts Report: July 2015

July soundShoppe was intense and sustained, going nonstop the entire time and weaving through all sorts of moods and atmospheres. Case Hudson, a soundShoppe regular was using a guitar with effects. He was trying out a Mystic pedal, which I think he said was a blend of sustain and distortion. David Hendrey as combining the output from his keyboard with mixer feedback. Mike Meanstreetz from the Whereas Collective was exploring percussion. Bernd Buerklin moved…

The Potts Report: February 2015

soundShoppe gear

Another great soundShoppe thanks to Case Hudson, Max Zimmerman and Christopher Walker. It was pretty electronic. Case had a really nice compact array of circuit bent and off the shelf stuff including an elegant and mysterious wooden box and Christopher was playing some mini Korg boxes. Max had a guitar and a few pedals but had no problem trading interesting sounds with the two other great improvisers. Funny, the ensemble was minimal as far…

The Potts Report: January 2015

soundShoppe January 2015 soundShoppe January 2015: Wild Don Lewis and Erin Worra duet

2015 came in with a bang. After a holiday hiatus soundShoppe returned with a well attended and somewhat raucous session fueled by the irrepressible energy of the musicians associated with the Vernon based WHEREAS collective.Sax wielding Erin Worra (PRESENT) blasted through some amazing horn duets with soundShoppe alumni Wild Don Lewis (Small Drone Orchestra) while other collective members drove the wall of…

The Potts Report: September 2014

Jeff Boynton at soundShoppe (photo by Joe Potts)

First things first, to all the soundShoppers and sound. followers who reached out to pull SASSAS from the financial abyss this summer let me say, you had our back and now you have our undying gratitude.

September soundShoppe was outstanding, with lots of “boys with toys.” There seemed to be a duo thing happening this month. From The Mercury Seven there was Ken Lee and Christopher Echols. Ken had an array of instruments including a Pigtronix…

The Potts Report: August 2014

soundShoppe, August 10, 2014 (photo by Cindy Bernard)

There were a few new faces at the August 10th soundShoppe.

Christopher Echols (The Mercury Seven) showed up for his first, with a shoebox. Inside was one of his birthday presents, a Korg “Little Bits” modular synthesizer. It was amazing. It is a bunch of plastic parts that look like Lego pieces with knobs on them. You stick the individual blocks together to make the patches (they have magnetic sides.) The result…

The Potts Report: July 2014

The July soundShoppe was made memorable by a guest appearance by the “why aren’t they famous” Howard Amb (James Hamblin and Stefan Scott Nelson.) They accompanied Sandy Yang (Red Krayola, Lady Noise) and together created a sort of reduced volume power trio. Sandy was experimenting with a mini “popcorn” snare that she hadn’t used before. Stefan coaxed ethereal and demonic sounds from a new Electro Harmonix V256 Vocoder