Excitement reigns throughout the land, for my all-time favorite Buffalo band (leaving out at least one that sorta started here but quickly moved on) is reuniting for a night and collaborating with me on a new spoken-word-plus-music experiment next week.
That's right: Behold the brief return of Treelined Highway, a wonderful instrumental/improvisational trio who played their last show together in 2001 before the original members went their separate ways. (Update: Nick Laudadio now lives in North Carolina and has a terrific project called Gordon Merrick, which I can only describe as electronic covers of 80s power ballads, though I think the idea has changed a bit since I last saw a show. Mike Bouquard is still in Buffalo and is the newest member, I think, of another swell ensemble, Odiorne. And Brandon Stosuy lives in NYC and writes for all manner of music mags.)
A true obsessive, I saw TLH perform many times in their glory days, and bought multiple copies of their recordings to send to friends around the country in hopes of spreading the word far and wide. (I wish I could send you to an active website of theirs, but this is all that's left of it.) It was probably their soundtrack to Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera--performed live at a screening at Squeaky Wheel--that most excited me, but I pretty much liked everything they ever did, which was sometimes noisy and more often remarkably quiet. Reunion talk has been a kind of running joke for many years now, but it's actually gonna happen next weekend--Saturday, June 11 at Soundlab (110 Pearl in Buffalo, NY) at 9 p.m.
The occasion is the latest version of that ever-changing performance I've gone on about here from time to time--"EVERYTHING: AN EVENING WITH RON EHMKE AND HIS OR HER VERY SPECIAL GUESTS." I got the idea to invite them to be one of those VSGs during an earlier Soundlab show, the one by Animal Collective that I keep meaning to write about here. In the opening moments of that amazing performance, my mind sort of drifted (in a good way) and it occurred to me that now was the time to try this thing I've been wanting to do for many, many years: setting a monologue of mine to music, or at least finding a way to work music into a spoken-word performance. The late, lamented TLH seemed like the perfect band to do it, and happily enough Mike B happened to be in the audience at the AC show, and he was open to the concept, then brought it up with the other 2, and one thing led to another, and here we go. We'll have less than 24 hours to rehearse, which only adds to the excitement: 3 people who haven't played together in 4 years, joining forces with someone to do something none of them have done before as a group.
I'll do my own show, including the story with them, and then they'll do a set of their own. (There's even a chance of a Gordon Merrick cameo, but that remains to be seen.) Hey, it's every #1 fan's fantasy, is it not: to be the force who brings a favorite former band back together, even if only for an evening.