sounds local: Tom Beardslee


Tom Beardslee

Tom Beardslee
A few months ago, I got a myspace friend request from Tom. He’d just moved to the area, was looking for folks to play with, and did I want to play sometime? I took one look at that myspace picture and thought, “This guy’s too big time for me. Too polished.”

You know how it is. Every once in a while you’ll get a friend request from some music fem-bot looking to fan a friend for life. I had a similar feeling. Not from the language in his message. Something about that picture on his myspace page told me he was too big time.

I was only partly right.

Since then, I’ve seen Tom play, and met him by way of the Radials, who graciously played the first Dotmatrix Project. Needless to say I was awed by Tom’s lap steel guitar skills. And a little disarmed by glasses. The guy in the picture looks a lot different than Tom does in person. Something about Tom’s narrow oval spectacles puts an approachable midwestern affect on his countenance. Plus, the occasional Ohioan slang takes the slick polish off that photo posture, and Tom is as real as they come.

He’s also opening for an upcoming Dotmatrix Project. Here’s what I wrote about his music:

A short-timer to Greensboro, Tom has already made his mark as a master lap-steel guitar player, and a man who can lay back and jam with the band, or handle the spot light himself. As a pedigreed ethnomusicologist from Ohio State, Tom spent time in West Africa to study highlife, soukous, Afrobeat, and traditional music. And all those styles sift through his peculiar kind of blues that leaves you wanting more, more, more.

How many people does it take to make a dotmatrix project?


from the ceiling

A lot. Here’s just a glimpse inside the minds behind one element of the dotmatrix project: film. A small slew of the crew showed up late last night to edit video footage from last month’s show. Pictured here is just a portion of the film crew.

Unseen is photographer Stephen Charles, who is behind the camera here at dotmatrix hq on Elm Street. Also unseen are the musicians, Green Burro bartenders, sound engineers, photographers, volunteers, and believers in the project whose ideas are still unseen, but slowly unfolding.

This crew started at 8 pm last night and stayed until just after midnight.

sounds local


Dawn Chorus

Photo by John Rash

Dawn Chorus
It could be said that founder Andrew Dudek himself is an unexplained phenomenon that dawns on Greensboro’s creative communities. The man behind Greensboro’s most loved record store, Gate City Noise, is now gate-keeper at Square One, a shared rehearsal space for hungry hipsters and music lovers just outside the old Glenwood Neighborhood. Dudek walks and talks a strong love for home-grown, community-nurtured music. That love comes through this shoegazer style of rock, which whispers of Iron and Wine behind a beautifully tense vocal styling reminiscent of the west’s Rocky Votolato. Only in this Dawn Chorus, the musical arrangements rise to fiercer, frentic, rock crescendos strong enough to make any shoegazer look up.

Dawn Chorus appears in this month’s Dotmatrix Project, June 26, at the Green Burro. The show is free and starts not-so-promptly at 8 or 9.

Dotmatrix Project show Thursday night


Another dot in the matrix

No where can you see so much spontaneous collaboration. The Dotmatrix Project is a monthly show that brings together musicians, filmmakers, photographers, and sound engineers to document one evening’s live performance.

And from the audience of point of view, all that media really ups the performance ante. You’re not just watching the band. Photographers and filmmakers are the rock stars as they bend and glide around the music and the crowd to get the right shot. It’s a different kind of performance. Right down to the cover charge, or lack of it.

If you’d like to get involved, or you’re interested in sponsoring event, let me know. And hope to see you Thursday at the Green Burro.

Cluetrain Manifesto, push pull, and the future of managers


Having a couple turkey sandwhiches with my good friend Kathryn Brown and the folks at Beyond Email today. We’ll be talking about blogging, why people hate being yelled at, and passing the potato chips, please.

Poking around for videos to use beyond the usual boring blah, blah, I found this video of Teemu Arina succinctly sizing up the big ideas behind a very influential book, Cluetrain Manifesto. Both the book, and the man who introduced the ideas to me, changed my life.