Dave Klemencic

Art. Music. Words.

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LarJarFest 2008

LarJar Fest 08 Highlights

On October 4, 2008, 5 bands, DJs and 100 or so of our closest friends gathered at the Jarrell Ranch outside Richmond for the second annual LarJarFest. The music ran from 4:00 in the afternoon till 5:30 in the morning, with camping, bonfires and lots of good times. Richmond Engine #3, Silo Effect, the Former Champions, 11th House and the 29th Division performed, along with the DJ Gumby Crewe. The video includes the Champs, 11th House and 29DIV, along with some great clips of the hoopers and fire twirlers lighting up the night.

The video was shot and edited by Jason Werner of Accolade Music Productions and Richmond Engine #3. Big thanks!

Posted 11 years, 8 months ago at 7:41 pm.

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The 29th Division fights on!

Our residency at Cary St. Cafe continues, performing every Wednesday night for friends and newcomers alike. The 29th Division, our current moniker, has been served up as a replacement to the 7 Pound Star handle of old. With changes in our lineup and a completely overhauled setlist, it was time for a name change as well. While we may switch this up again in the future, for now it sticks.

As the 29th, we’ve moved our material away from much of the JGB and Dead influenced music, pulling covers from the Phish, Robert Walter and MMW songbooks instead. We’ve also brought in songs by Marvin Gaye, the Guess Who, Radiohead and DJ Shadow, and continued with Jaco Pastorius and Temptations tunes that 7Pound used to perform. The lineup consists of Jason and Larry Alen Jarrell, on drums and bass respectively, myself on keyboards and the recently recruited Matt Walton on guitar. Larry and Jason were among the core of 7Pound, I being a late edition to the group prior to their disbanding. Walton comes to us from the Former Champions, his own jazz- and dance-based collective, as well as the VCU Jazz program. Justin Huppman has been at times a regular feature on guitar, and many of our opening acts have been included into our sets, including members of Silo Effect and 11th House who have both taken the stage for numbers with us.

In addition to the weekly gig, we’ve performed at the Curry House in the west end of Richmond and Emilio’s in the Fan. We have several upcoming gigs, dates for which can be found on my myspace page.
We’ve kept a fairly rigorous practice schedule, adding new tunes each week and refining them as time passes, and negotiations are in the works to add a boatload of dates both in and outside of Richmond. Check back to the aforementioned myspace page, as well as our in-the-works 29 DIV page for upcoming show dates and sample tunes.

As a brief aside and insight to the name, we’ve latched on to the 29th Division handle out of respect and tribute to the fabled military unit, though we have no direct link to the organization. The 29th Division fought bravely in World Wars I and II, acheiving great notoriety at D-Day, where they fought on the beaches of Normandy and throughout Western Europe. Their unit nickname “The Blues and Grays” refers to the unit initially being formed from members of both the Union and Confederate armies at the end of the American Civil War. Coincidentally, 7Pound was known to perform a tune titled “Blues and Grays”, and has been formed from members of assorted Richmond acts from a variety of backgrounds. A casual connection to be sure, but we’ve taken an open eye towards history of all sorts with this outfit, and we draw inspiration from a broad swath of musical, literary and cultural resources. Come check us out, it’ll be great.


Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 3:16 pm.

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LarJar Fest

In early November, members of Seven Pound Star organized a festival in the Elmont/Ashland area of Richmond. The event featured a sizeable stage and tent, bonfire and barbecue. A hundred or so people gathered as several Richmond bands performed. Seven Pound Star was joined by 11th House, Central Garage, El Plantanos and the Spaceheaters. Lasting from 3 till around midnight, it gave many of us a chance to get out and enjoy some fresh air before the real cold began.

If you visit the New Stuff! portion of the adjacent gallery, you can see a brief walk-through of how this image was created, from the initial sketch to the stars and highlights.

Posted 12 years, 6 months ago at 2:03 am.

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The Chemists!

Forrest Young performing with the Chemists at Cafe Diem on Monday, November 19, 2007.
The Chemists include Brian Mahne on piano and Rhodes, John Small on bass and Forrest Young on drums.

Brian Mahne performs regularly as the pianist of the DJ Williams Projekt, and is involved in a number of other top-notch local acts such as The Big Payback and Mark Ingraham’s Bungalo 6.

Among other things, bassist John Small is known particularly for his work touring with the Pat McGee band. He , Mahne and Forrest have worked relentlessly to pull this project together, and their efforts have paid off. Pulling from a wide catalog of music, they include numerous highly scripted original pieces and a strong catalog of challenging covers including Rush’s YYZ, tunes by the Bad Plus and much more. They’ve been performing Monday nights at Cafe Diem for the last month or so, and are scheduled to continue there for the near future. Don’t miss this band! Their dynamic shifts from swing to rock and Brazilian jazz to fusion are impeccable. These three bring a casual professionalism to the table that is seldom witnessed in live music today. And they rock.

Posted 12 years, 6 months ago at 6:10 am.

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Reviewed Volume 1

Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America’s First Shadow War
By Colin Beavan

Jedburgh is an interesting and smoothly written narrative of modern America’s first foray into covert military operations. Composed in a prose/novel style, Beavan’s work has chosen to focus on the actions, using poignant anecdotes and firsthand accounts to propel the story forward. The lengthy bibliography and the author’s own introduction highlight the research, supporting documents and interviews that were pored over, but I can’t help but find elements of the story wanting for detail or substance. Beavan acknowledges that he has pruned certain elements, spared the reader of analysis of official documents and the like, but I fear he’s strayed too far in the opposite direction. Still, a very compelling read is there for the taking, and I found myself anticipating many a lunch hour for the chance to pour over the efforts of the little-experienced Americans as they attempt to bond with their English and French co-conspirators.

The first third of the story deals extensively with the gathering of the Jedburghs’ forces, their training, a bit of background and explanation of the need for such a force.
The Jedburghs were formed out of a need for a behind-enemy-lines force that could train, consult, arm and ultimately lead a partisan resistance force in sabotage, intelligence and counter-, and ultimately a general uprising against the Axis forces. Working jointly with the British SOE, (Britain’s cloak-and-dagger unit) the Americans gathered French-speaking officers and radiomen from across the Army to be parachuted into France to coincide with the D-Day invasion of mainland Europe. The reader is given a back story for a number of characters, whom we will follow throughout the novel to either their victory or an untimely demise. The reader is likewise treated to a number of sub-plots that illustrate the struggle of the French resistance, most tellingly through the sordid treatment of one Odette Sansome, a member of the underground that was brutally tortured by the Nazis.

The Jedburgh teams, small units (3-4 men) were charged with making contact with the resistance, establishing hidden drop zones for the gathering of airdropped supplies and munitions, and arming and training the local resistance force. They were then to harass select Nazi patrols, destroy rail lines and clog up supply routes with ambushes, traps and roadblocks. For valid fear of reprisals against the local populace, the troops and resistance were instructed to avoid direct confrontation with the Germans, and likewise had to avoid pro-Vichy French as well, who sided with the Axis forces and worked to route Allied-sponsored resistance. As time passed and the main invasion force gained momentum, the Jed teams worked quickly to halt German reinforcement and otherwise assist the general army.

The book does a great service to the tradition of the secret warriors, sharing their story and in no way minimizing their impact on the invasion as a whole and the war in western Europe from 1944 on. One could almost ask for more character development, more day-to-day effort, but Beavan has shed a great light on the subject as is. The French forces are left with a certain anonymity, serving as a faceless rabble to be spurned into action by the Americans, but this seems to have been much the case. A humorous, if tragic side note is the divisions within the French resistance that existed, and between De Gaulle’s Free French, the many isolated underground units and those loyal to Petain, figurehead leader of France throughout German occupation that favored a wait-and-see attitude over aggressive resistance.

Though Beavan frames the Jedburghs’ story as the basis of the CIA of the 1960s and today, the men, units and agenda seem a far cry from the Watergate era, the Howard Hunts and Gordon Liddys we are more familiar with. Here we see armed fighters sharing the struggle with the locals, as much advisors as the Marine and Army units training the Vietnamese populace between 1963 and ‘67. With their diversionary tactics, arming the local populace and disconnect from the command structure, the seeds of the modern intelligence community are there, but it is refreshing to see a tale of bravery and triumph rather then one mired in scandal and ambiguous morality.

Posted 12 years, 6 months ago at 5:36 pm.

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Shark Tank Funk

Come out to Emilio’s on Thursday, September 20. We’ll be throwin’ down in grand style with the full compliment of horns thanks to Roberto Curtis and Alex Power of the Richmond Afrobeat Collective, the much fabled rhythm section of the Southside Future Squad: Josh Santamaria on drums and James Chalifoux on bass, the ever-enlightening Justin Huppman on guitar and myself on Rhodes, organ and synth. Be there.

Posted 12 years, 9 months ago at 12:14 am.

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