Yes, it is all about me... Bio-age Page 2

“…two-fisted picking and pretty good songs, eh…”

On his old booking website SPOT described himself as an “American Musician” but made it clear that in no way, shape or form was he referring to that vanilla-esque style known as “Americana.” It was a subtlety most folks didn’t get. And it’s too bad he got identified with the limitations of punk rock. Once a general in that army (see SST, Descendents, Minutemen, Big Boys, blah blah blah), he withdrew from the battlefield a long time ago and in late 2014 Sinecure Books published his photography collection “Sounds of Two Eyes Opening”—a document of mostly SoCal-based culture he captured between 1969-1982.

At the heart of it, he took a lot of photos, engineered and produced a buncha records, and is a multi-instrumentalist / composer / performer whose music revolved mostly around Traditional and Celtic styles through the ’90s & ’00s. Then he ran away from that at the dawn of the ’10s. But when the muse calls she usually screams, and in 2014 he jumped back into the fray, unable to fight the pull that Jazz, Rock, Avant-Garde, Country, Garage-Trash and Classical (and all the other styles that made him an insomniac) had on him. Yep. Performing again and threatening to inflict a new band project on the world, he’s been actively playing music since the early 60’s when there was no such thing as an “alternative” scene. And while latter day America seems obsessed with building walls, SPOT remains far more interested in tearing them down.

SPOT has:

• done numerous solo tours (in ancient Toyota warhorses);

• toured with Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose, Porno for Pyros, Stooges) as an opening act (spring 2002);

• done a songwriters’ tour with Jen Hamel (once a member of Celtic band Clandestine—former tourmates with the Chieftains);

• done shows and shared stages with folks like Sonic Youth, Devotchka, Drive-by Truckers, Guitar Wolf, Cherry Valence, Eugene Chadbourne, Bad Livers, Gaza Strippers, The Woggles, Poison 13, The Sadies, Fugazi, Bob Mould, Alejandro Escovedo, Clandestine, Jean-Michel Veillon & Yvon Riou,Michael Hurley, Ed Miller, Michael Fracasso;

• played festivals such as North Texas Irish Festival (Dallas, TX—largest in the southwest), CelticFest (Jackson, MS), Austin Celtic Festival, Old Settlers’ Bluegrass Festival (Austin, TX);

• performed at events like Garage Shock, Sleazefest, Lollapalooza;

• collaborated with bodhran (Irish frame drum) player/drum-maker Albert Alfonso (once deemed “the Celtic-Cuban Connection” by Mick Maloney) Together they did two tours and recorded one album;

• performed in the 2005 collaboration project of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) with playwright Dan Dietz and dramaturg D.J. Hopkins;

• and, way back in 1972, worked with cinematographer John Bailey as a member of the production crew for what was learned much later to be the very first American Film Institute filmmaking class.

(and, of course, you know to check the Billboard Encyclopedia of Record Producers for his discography because, yes, once upon a time he created a sorta legendary body of recordings from artists such as the Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Descendents, Big Boys and many more. But please don’t be influenced by any of that…..)

What some people and writers have said:

“…the man makes some very interesting but very hard to describe music. Certainly worth a listen for the musically adventurous.”
— Dirty Linen

“…Spot can really play his ass off.”
— Mike Watt

“He is a ruling individual—privilege to know him. Spot is the best—funny, insightful, a real natural Dadaistic head.”
—Nels Cline (Wilco)

“…his simpler, storytelling numbers resonated with naughty wit and fiery sarcasm (while) the instrumentals recalled the more refined works of Leo Kottke and Chet Atkins.”
— Bernard Lesemann (Flagpole; Athens, GA)

“…Spot stole the show and he was completely solo. But then again, he can play anything, as he proved when he joined Mike Watt later in Mike’s set, so it never gets boring. Great show.”
—Xanna Don’t (Don’t Label It; Raleigh, NC)

“…with influences as far reaching as rock, jazz, avant-garde, country and Celtic… …this man takes off, leaving the known world far behind, although pegging it as only a truly ‘out there’ perspective can. …because he plays the hell out of anything he gets his hands on—most visibly guitar and tenor banjo.”
—Tim Britton (Fairfield Weekly Reader; Fairfield, IA)

“…he heads down the eccentric-post-Beat path (a narrow one, through dark woods) taken by the likes of Michael Hurley and Peter Stampfel.”
“…(Spot is) proof that the elusive grail of tradition is as much in the individual vision as it is in the cliches.”
— Monica Kendrick (Chicago Reader)

“Oh lord, Spot… …that talentless hack.”
—Chris Beatmaking Beardman