The Potts Report: March 2018

For a real learning experience you just can’t beat a failure (but it sure does suck at the time.)

 I like to use my time at soundShoppe to try out new stuff. Quite often by halfway through I get frustrated and just use my time tested equipment to jam for the rest of the session. That was the case at the last soundShoppe. I have been trying to find some “stomp boxes” to replace some ancient…

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: November 2014

Don Lewis (photo by Cindy Bernard)

November’s soundShoppe was hosted by musician and photographer Wild Don Lewis, who was also kind enough to write this month’s Potts Report.


Sometimes I play with the music, and sometimes I go against it. Sometimes going against it brings the overall sound to a whole new level, an unexpected area that can be quite exciting.

It seems that nothing can go wrong. I can throw anything into the mix, and it will…

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

The Potts Report: June 2014

Joe Potts

Occasionally I am approached by someone who is interested in attending soundShoppe but is worried because they don’t have much experience playing experimental music with others. My answer is always, “that’s what soundShoppe is for!”

I like to try to bring equipment that I am not familiar with so that I can figure out how to integrate it into sound performances. In the past at soundShoppe musicians have played an incredible array of instruments including shooting…