April 14, 2014

Our debut album, Wanderlust, now available for preorder

Our debut album, “Wanderlust,” is set for release on May 5. You can preorder it now, via Bandcamp,and download two tracks immediately. You can also pre-order CDs now, which should arrive at your doorstep by the release date. Our CD release party will be at Esquina Tango on Sunday, May 4 at 7:00 PM. The first set will feature our usual repertoire of Brazilian jazz. Then, we’ll take a short break and Bruno Vinezof will lead us in a set of traditional forró tunes, for your dancing pleasure.

This album is the end result of two days at Church House Studios in East Austin, as well as many gigs and rehearsals over the past couple of years. It was a pleasure to record some of our own compositions, as well as the music of our chief inspiration, Hermeto Pascoal. The record features all the usual suspects, as well as frequently Mente Clara-ians Stephen Smith and Jan Flemming. We’ve come a long way from our first gig at (the now defunct) Skinny’s Ballroom!

A big thank you to David Boyle for engineering and mixing this music, Bruce Brown for mastering it, and Caio Barreira for creating the album artwork. Also, thank you to all the musicians, friends, and fans that we have come across since this project began. We’re excited to present this music to you and we hope that this is only the beginning of our journey.

We’re also excited to hit the road this summer. First up is a trip to New Mexico and Colorado in June. Look for us in Albuquerque, Boulder, and probably Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins. More on that soon!

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February 27, 2014

March Calendar, Recording Update, and More

With February coming to a close, it’s probably time for another home page update. Austin’s weather has been predictably unpredictable, but I wasn’t ready for the summer to start quite yet anyway. On the band front, we’ve been working on a few different fronts.

We’ve started to play regularly at Buenos Aires Café, Galleria over the past couple of months and it looks like that will continue. With the advent of warmer weather, Sunday brunch gigs at Satellite Bistro will also return. We’ll also perform at the lovely Vineyard at Florence for the first time on March 1.

Here’s what our March calendar will look like.

In other news our record is currently being mixed and we hope to release it in early May. Our CD release party will be Sunday, May 4 at Esquina Tango. More details will be announced soon, but we’re planning on having quite the celebration.

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January 10, 2014

2014 Begins

We kicked off 2014 with an exciting weekend. After playing to a nice crowd at The Sahara Lounge on Friday, January 3, we traveled a couple of blocks away to record some tunes at David Boyle’s Church House Studio. The non-Austin members of the group had some trouble getting to town thanks to the winter storm on the East Coast, but the sessions went well. We hope to release an EP, (or perhaps a full record,) at some point in the Spring.

We will play two small group shows before the end of the month: January 18 at Buenos Aires Café and January 30 at Satellite Bistro. We’ll hopefully put another full band show together for February, so stay tuned!

 

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December 20, 2013

2013 In Review and a Preview of 2014

2013 was an interesting year for us on many levels. We played a bunch of gigs, added quite a few original compositions to our book, brought Bruno and Jon into the fold, made some new friends, and drank some beer. From a musical perspective, the band keeps sounding better and better, as we get more comfortable with this music and each other.

Now, it’s on to 2014! We’ll kick off the year on Friday, January 3 at The Sahara Lounge, with a 7:00 set. That gig will feature guitarist Steve Blum, who will be visiting from New York. That brings me to the next announcement: On January 4 and 5, we will head over the Churchhouse Studios in East Austin to record our first record. It’s a great space and we’re excited to record some original material, as well as a couple Hermeto tunes. Brian is coming in from Brooklyn, along with Steve, to play on the record. If everything goes to plan, we’ll release the record some time in the Spring.

Happy holidays! We hope to see you at The Sahara on January 3, to send us off to the studio right!

 

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October 22, 2013

Mid-October Update

We have lots of exiciting things in the works, so it’s time for an update from Mente Clara land!

 

First off, we have quite a few cool shows coming up. In addition to our long scheduled trio hit at Satellite Bistro on Saturday, October 26, we’ll share a bill with Nori (http://noriband.com/) at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Wednesday, October 30. Nori is a world/jazz/folk fusion project led by drummer Andy Beaudoin, featuring Akina Adderley, Bob Hoffnar, Erik Telford, and Aaron Allen. They’ll hit at 9 and we’ll follow around 10.

 

The following Wednesday, November 6, we will take part in WOBEON’s (http://www.wobeon.com/) monthly world music night at the awesome One2One Bar. Forró group Gente Boa will open the night, followed by our good friends Maracatu Austin.  We’ll play around 9, closing out the world music portion of the night, but the always awesome organ trio, Black Red Black, will play their weekly set at 10:30 PM.

 

Finally, we will converge on Church House Studios in early January to make our first studio recording. The plan is for it to consist mostly of original compositions, along with a couple of our favorite Hermeto tunes. If all goes to plan, we’ll have a record to release sometime in Spring 2014.

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September 14, 2013

September Dates

We’re happy to return to Satellite Bistro tomorrow evening, September 14, from 7-10 PM. This will be a trio show with Manny Flores on bass and Aaron Parks on drums. It’s always fun to play on Satellite’s excellent grand piano and this night should be no different. We’ll also make our debut at Flipnotics Coffeespace & Cafe on Barton Springs Road on September 22. This will be the first full band show in awhile. Your support is always appreciated and I hope to see some friendly faces in the crowd at both of these gigs.

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June 14, 2013

Gigs This Weekend

We have two gigs in Austin this weekend.

The first will be on Friday, June 14 at Satellite Bistro from 7-10 PM. Our new friend Manny Flores will sub for Daniel on bass. It should be a lot of fun.

On Saturday, we will play at Central Market Westgate from 6:30-9:00 PM. They recently renovated the entire store and the new stage looks great. We’re really looking forward to this one. Bruno and I will hustle over to Esquina Tango right after the gig to play some maracatu with Maracatu Austin, before Seu Jacinto takes the stage for their Festa Junina party.

Here’s another track from the Ham Jam House Concert, Santo Antonio. The piano is a little low in the mix, but that’s ok.

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June 10, 2013

A Short Clip from the House Concert – 06.09.2013

Here’s a short clip from our house concert gig on June 9th. The tune is Hermeto’s 9 de Junho. Thanks to Manny Flores for taking the video!

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June 9, 2013

Welcome!

Welcome to our new home on the web!

June has been good to us so far. We have three gigs in the next week, starting tomorrow at the wonderful home of Daren Appelt for an intimate house concert, followed by stops at the always wonderful Satellite Bistro on Friday, and Central Market Westgate’s fantastic new stage on Saturday. It should be a busy and rewarding few days!

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