(show oldest first)

from bike bus!

from The bike bus rolls on each Friday in Cambridge, but a recent kids' ride was more like a parade

from May 8, 2024

This morning I took part in a "Bike Bus" in Cambridge, folks from School of Honk played music for the weekly neighborhood bike troop of a local elementary school...

Open Photo Gallery

from April 13, 2024


from January 19, 2024


from January 7, 2024


from November 3, 2023

Boston Globe: This band plans to drown out the Men's March against abortion with a ruckus -- "I'm not sure if playing a tuba will change the world," said one musician, "but being a second force behind other activists might." (SPOILER: the musician was me)

from odd, i see, too

Tonight I indulged in JP Honk's founding tradition, the Dunster Road Halloween Block Party!

I was a little worried lights might have distracted from the skeleton vibe but i think the result was pretty awesome

Also just for convenience here is an animation of how the setup can look:

from September 19, 2023

I use mardi gras throws (the more hip term for "beads") on my tuba for decoration and as back up percussion. As the loops break I retire them and put them in jars...

Just the other day I realized that two of the main problems with them might cancel each other out: they break and they are tough to untangle. But that might just mean: they can be repaired! Re-tangling a broken loop at the end by twisting the beads around each other seems like it might be weirdly stronger than a lot of the basic connections? I'll have to make some experiments to see how they survive under real-world conditions, but still...

from July 20, 2023


from July 11, 2023

I'm not sure if I ever posted this James Harvey piece I use on my business cards:

It's based on an outfit I don't wear much anymore (the "infamous sexy cop onesie" - with boots instead of my signature sandals)
(here's the same image but with a big amount of padding so I can center in circle based avatars)

Here are the photos I've been tending to use for profiles. That's the same Alien Bill I drew as a high schooler that I have as a tattoo - but only some people know who Alien Bill is, or why. The other shot I'm a little sick of its McKayla Maroney-ish smile, and frankly my side beard is more gray than that now.

from may photo roundup


Open Photo Gallery

from happy jp honk-aversary to me

Ten years ago today I marched for the first time with the band that would become JP Honk. I just missed marching in their Wake Up The Earth Parade but here is an item that was making the rounds... The Venerable Book of Honk - Chords and Lyrics - 2013 April 17.. you can compare that to the current chart library I manage for the band

At that point the band was very much of an offshoot of the vibrant Dunster Rd community, and was strongly anchored on Jonathan on keyboard (rolling around on the back of a big tricycle) and Bryan on Guitar. I think you can hear (and see on the left just a small part) of the percussion rack of pots and pans we used to roll around for audience participation..... there was also a "big shared skirt" thing, a big thing stretchy cloth that like 3-4 people could wear as a skirt together

Over the years the band has remolded itself as more of a classic New Orleans style street band, keeping up the community and activist vibe, and last year we were a full on "back of the t-shirt band" for HONK!fest, which I think reflects the work we've put into shaping it as a place for joy and (usually) harmony.

On the one hand, wow, ten years! On the other hand it's like wait, I've only been doing this mostly in my 40s?? Ah well here's to many more years honkin'!

from April 23, 2023

protesting for housing justice

from March 18, 2023


from December 24, 2022


JP Honk via JP Gazette

from December 11, 2022

The one year I manage to get to Tubachristmas and I get in the Globe :-D

from October 22, 2022

JP Honk @ HONK!fest 2022, photos by Michael Hall:

Open Photo Gallery

from matt and nelson wedding!


Open Photo Gallery

Nelson and Matt...

Guest conductor Sophie...

Declan, Cathleen, Kirk

Look closely and you'll see the famous Rubin Brothers along with the band...

Officiant Cathleen running the ring ceremony with a bit of trombone business from Eze...


...and Dancing

All at scenic Jamaica Pond!

from PRONK! 2022

The PRONK festival is reinventing itself, away from the classic HONK! model and into being more neighborhood-centric, and emphasizing indigenous folks and BIPOC... School of Honk played, and then JP Honk was invited to help start up the brass section of the after party...

Open Photo Gallery

They had a booth with poets taking commissions...

Nice fall day for a parade!

I miss the photogenic waterfront but the park made a nice performance space...

I caught Second Line Brass Band doing a neighborhood walk before the main parade... reminded me of the old Salvation Army shtick of heading out with a band.

Is there something behind me?

"Farto"? "Farlo"? I guess the former is better decoration for the portalots.

So glad Eze's older brother Gio could make it - we were really low on trumpets for our After Party set.

I like this shots blending my horn's purple lights and the green rows of the entryway...

from HONK!fest 2022


Open Photo Gallery

Lantern Making and Staging for 5 parades...

Askew view of our drums at our Kenney Park premier...

Kenney Park again, photo by Kellie Fournier

I also joined in with School of Honk...

Wide view from the bass section...

HONKfests tend to have after party where folks from different bands eat, rest, shmooze, and jam together...

Banda Rim Bam Bum (from Santiago, Chile) was one of the featured traveling bands... (along with Young Fellaz Brass Band from New Orleams) - they play accompanied by this deathly figure, blowing bubbles from a handheld bubblegun...

from September 27, 2022

Two photos by Seton L, JP Honk at Roslindale Porchfest, Adubbs then Me...

from August 29, 2022


Remember that you're a thought machine.
Steve Martin (on staying alert for comedy inspiration.)

from August 28, 2022

Marched with New Magnolia in the Feast of St Anthony's festival Saturday and Sunday. Saturday had a lot of ducking into restaurants flash-mob style. It's hours and hours of marching but great to be part of a century-strong tradition...

Open Photo Gallery

I've persuaded the bandleader Ken to add "Space Cadet" (my signature bassline, loving stolen from the Atari 2600 port of IREM's game "Moon Patrol") and man - it's a bop

from July 22, 2022


In June 1943, The United States Army Band was ordered overseas to provide musical support; first in North Africa and then in battle-weary Europe, not returning to U.S. soil until June 1945.

Here you can see John L. Latwas (tuba) and Henry Weichler (piccolo) sitting in a slit trench. When The U.S. Army Band was shipped out for deployment in WWII, there were ten Soldiers who were in the original 1922 formation of the band, all of whom were WWI veterans (including Latwas).


from May 16, 2022

JP Honk had one of its most prominent gigs ever closing the Harvard MayFair yesterday...

from May 7, 2022

Happy Wake Up The Earth! Photos via Greg Cooland and Deborah J Karson, cmg, and Jennifer Taub:

Not sure those last ones are me at my band best but still. Good to be able to swap layers, either JP Honk Purple or School of Honk dots on top. My alabaster legs though...

from March 21, 2022


Open Photo Gallery

from December 20, 2021

A friend mentioned my band and I were the poster children for the Tom Donahue Roslindale Day Parade calendar...

(askew banner and weird playing-with-left-hand so I can signal with right and all)

from November 24, 2021

Interesting thoughts on progressive liberals vs conservatives; on how a liberal says they might be willing to sacrifice the statue of liberty to save a human life, and a conservative might view that as ridiculous; but if you asked them if they would sacrifice a spouse or personal loved one, the conservative might change their answer. And then into interesting thoughts on how Conservative view is fundamentally you can't make the world better, but you can punish people for being bad, and so that deeply informs their inability to make good, useful government.
I wrote up about a microreview of Pixelmator Pro on my devblog - just kind of goofing / recrecreating an effect I've seen around:

Fractals as a way of thinking about grief

I dunno, maybe it's too loose with the metaphor?

Like I've had similar thoughts that maybe life has that fractal aspect, in the sense of there's more detail the more you go in. But "detail" isn't enough, it has to have that self-similarity. So I dunno.
JEREMY ROBARD: Hi, I'm Jeremy Robard! Entrepreneur, VIP and founder of the revolutionary program "Think your way to success". It's a 3 step program that's been changing lives and my income for the last 2 years! 5 Years ago, I was a nobody, just like you! After my "Think Your Way To Success" program, I spend the entire weekend in my Jacuzzi, or engaging in the exciting sport of domino toppling! Hey! If you can think it, you can do it! One of my award winning courses is sure to be perfect for you. The first course, I call "Think - Hold That Thought - Complete", because that's what you do. Step 2 is known as "Learn - Start - Doing", where I explain the mysteries of starting. Or take the new accelerator course, which will have you laughing at ugly strangers, "Motivate, Demonstrate, Then Motivate Again". Just listen to these, endorsements and remember these people volunteered, they aren't being paid much.

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JEREMY ROBARD: Call now, and sign up for my "Think Your Way To Success" program. And if you want to think really fast, try my "Crank It Out" program. Call 1-866-434-SELF. Hey! Don't just do it, think about it!
Just played GTA:VC (again) now that it's on Switch. It was my first GTA, and has a sweet spot between the over-simplicity of 3 (namely by having copters and motorcycles) and the huge scope of San Andreas.

This spot stuck with me this play through, especially since these days I'm thinking about "thoughts vs feelings" as motivational force, and "Don't just do it, think about it!" seems like great advice. (What's weird about this ad are the course titles... I don't know, they seem sort of plausible and not very jokey, especially given GTA's usual hamfisted parody standards.)

from from Steve Pinker's "Rationality"

Vincent and his mini-sousaphone, newest member of JP Honk...

from photos of the month october 2021


via Vanessa Mourao (photo by her husband), at the School of Honk Birthday celebration at the Powderhouse in Somerville

from October 9, 2021


HAPPY HONK! One of my fellow tubists reminds me I have to keep up my dancing game.

from October 7, 2021


from how my honk bands work

In a sense, we work backward, either consciously or unconsciously, creating work that fits the venue available to us. That holds true for the other arts as well: pictures are created that fit and look good on white walls in galleries just as music is written that sounds good either in a dance club or a symphony hall (but probably not in both). In a sense, the space, the platform, and the software "makes" the art, the music, or whatever. After something succeeds, more venues of a similar size and shape are built to accommodate more production of the same. After a while the form of the work that predominates in these spaces is taken for granted--*of course* we mainly hear symphonies in symphony halls.
David Byrne, "How Music Works"
I've thought about this passage, or at least this book as the source of similar sentiment, often over the years, and was surprised to see I hadn't placed it in my common place blog before.

Currently I'm using it to bolster a defence of bands I'm in; I'm getting some heat from one of its members that it's not taking the music seriously enough.

But I think the idea that music is shaped by the space is mirrored by how it's also shaped by who shows up. My HONK! music tends towards the motley. Not just activist bands, but open community bands who will try to work with people at all levels and from all backgrounds - and, which might be the sticking point, doesn't necessarily demand a lot of time "woodshedding". (Maybe this reflects my own laziness about practicing. I've always coasted on tuba parts being less technical and my own constantly being in about 4 bands at once, and so I'm maybe too reluctant to tell people they need to hunker down.)

So we have a mix of people who maybe just had music-as-an-elective in high school and college and are getting back to it, or even some people who just started with ear training School of Honk, against, like, lapsed escapees from Berklee. We draw music influence and sometimes charts from lots of places (probably especially other HONK bands...) in the NOLA street tradition and trad jazz and maybe a little klezmer and African and Central/South American and Caribbean - like in a way it reflects a beautiful patchwork society. I mean not as much as we'd like at times- achieving diversity and looking like the less-gentrified parts of neighborhoods we're in is a challenge. Like if you're trying to frame most music as being of a culture, our is more loosely knit than many other traditions that come from a specific community - like, progressive liberals, often white, who live in small atomic families, often are living far from where they grew up, and who dig on bringing in lots of musical influences to their playing.

I've always thought that musical performance is usually leaning either towards connecting with crowds or impressing other musicians. The best can of course do both, but in a world of part-time musicians, I think it's ok to focus on the former more than the latter. "3 chord wonder" punk bands could rock the hell out of their venues! And while that's not who we are or what we do, I think it's a good reminder that even simpler music can be emotionally resonate.

I'm always going to worry that I'm not being harsh enough with the band, that maybe it could benefit from more tough love on demanding practice, more careful tuning, work on intonation, emphasis on dynamic, and thoughtful design of percussion. And my fundamental inability to judge critically (something that's really fundamental to my temperament, but that's a different story) is some of why I usually shy from an official role of "leader" - along my usual preference for consensus over top-down authority. (Also, I used to hold the idea that HONK bands - like my high school marching band - must always shun music stands, but have come to learn to split our repertoire into stuff we can march around with and pieces we will be stationary for, I think a decent compromise)

And we've lost a few of the "escapees from serious musical pursuit" players who get frustrated with the group, see its level as more of a ceiling than a floor. It's a bummer when that happens, because it's usually a loss acoustically and pedagogically , and of course I get filled with second-guessing. But still, I'm pretty happy with what my bands are able to do and the community they bring to my life and the chance to have musical fun for myself and others.

from business cards a recruitment for tootment

New personal cards! I decided to lean into how like 90% of why I hand them out is tuba related, and even did a QR code link to kirk.is/bands which might simplify my shpiel to people who might want to start playing in one of the groups I'm in.

Based on the bottom photo here which remains one of my favorites though it's not a look I go for very often now. In retrospect i should have touched up Alien Bill's pupil to make it bigger.

from July 20, 2021

FB "this day" (7 years ago, 2014) came up with this shot.

I have other shots with a similar bell decoration, but usually with blue tape. (Tape-on-bell is more classic than my current use of covers, but of course hard to change between bands.)

from May 25, 2021

Been fooling around with a mobile app "Prisma", high-powered, sometimes AI-backed filters.

from May 7, 2021

Happy International Tuba Day

(via Andrew Huang)

from babam backs extinction rebellion #2050istoolate


from January 5, 2021

I put together a photo slide show to go with a recording of JP Honk's gig Saturday night:
Pretty pleased with how it all came out!

from December 4, 2020

School of HONK! Friendsgiving Dance Party, I'm in the "miniband".

Man, it looks so much better when I'm dancing a little than just standing stiff.

from October 26, 2020

Folks from my band BABAM has been participating in a weekly vigil in West Roxbury to support Black Lives Matter. Here's the crew that was there last week along with a bonus glitch-y photo of other participants.

Photos by Stewart Ting Chong

from October 24, 2020

my look for Extinction Rebellion's funeral for a sustaining climate ...

from TUBA from Eucuyo'90

An essay I wrote about playing tuba that was published in Euclid High Schools literary magazine "Eucuyo" - kind of a high cringe level for me now, so read at your own risk...

I play the tuba. It's a rather pleasant way I have of passing time. In this world there are few instruments in which the very playing of the said instrument is in itself a physical endeavor. The tuba is one of them. "I am a tuba player," states my philosophy, "therefore I can do anything." I consider the tuba the penultimate instrument. First God created the tuba, then with the material remaining He/She created the other instruments. The ultimate instrument, of course, is the kazoo. But the the tuba is a close second.

I started playing brass in third grade. I started on a baritone, which is like a premature tuba. I look back with fond memories on the days when I could only play two notes, F and G, and those not very well. Then things became "sorta interesting," to quote myself again. Well, actually, not all that interesting. Sigh.

Most of my musical training has been at school or at the Salvation Amy. The Salvation Army is a church, besides being a public service operation. So for three whole years, I happily, badly tooted away. Then, fate stepped in.

A trumpet player in my sixth grade band decided to switch from high pressure, high competition, world of trumpeteering to laid back, no competition land of Baritoneering. This upset me. I've always liked being the only player of an instrument in at least one of the bands I'm in. It's an ego kick to see your name as the only name listed under the heading "baritones." So when this trumpet player switched, a thought popped into my head. 'Right now, no one is playing TUBA! I can switch and voila, I'm a one man section again!'

So the powers-that-be of the Glens Falls Middle School music program (Mr. Antolini) locked me in a practice room with the scales of both instruments and told me to "learn 'em". So I did. My tooting continued, just as bad (if not worse) but in a lower octave.

Then I moved from Glens Falls (as immortalized in 'The Last of the Mohicans' and home of Glens Falls Middle School), New York to Cleveland Heights, Ohio. There I went to Monticello Middle School. Mrs. Beale, the music director there, was a major influence on my Tubaing. She taught me quite a lot about style and technique. I also continued playing in the Salvation Army corps band.

Around Christmas time of my second and last year at Monticello, I was informed about an event called Tuba Christmas by Mrs. Beale. I decided to try it out. 250+ tubas, euphoniums, and baritones gathered together in a large music hall and played, appropriately enough, Christmas carols. It was such a pure, mellow sound. It was enough to drive a man insane, so consider what it did to me!

Euclid, Ohio became my next home. I then joined the NEOSA (North Eastern Ohio Salvation Army) Divisional Youth Band. A trip to Mexico with the Youth Band highlighted my freshman year. Mexico was an experience that completely blew my mind. The people there had nothing like we have in the States, yet their spirit and appreciation was completely overwhelming. I also managed not to get Montezuma's Revenge.

One experience that I have neglected to mention is playing for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle effort. This involves playing eighteen Christmas carols over and over for hours on end as your lips begin to stick to your metal mouthpiece and you pray that your valves will remain moving throughout the day. I returned to the lighter weight baritone for this chilly thrill. It is not easy to perfect your vibrato as your teeth chatter uncontrollably.

Of course there is always the wonder of Euclid High Marching Band. Marching across the field, playing as loudly as you can against eighty of everything else is not a favorable environment to hear the bass line, trying to remember where to march next, all while carrying a BIG white fiberglass tuba (sousaphone really) is not my idea of a Good Thing. Eventually football season ends, though, and symphonic band begins. Real music at last! Music that you can sit down for! Yippeeee!

Somewhere in this I became a fairly decent Tubaist. I'm not sure where, I'm not sure when, but it happened. So I'll continue making up bass lines (which is fun) and marching in marching band (which is not fun) and Life shall Trudge on.

Some thoughts, 30 years later: Kind of weird how I had a 15 year gap after college! It might be interesting for me to remake this sometime. But yeesh, I can't believe I thought I was hot stuff in English in high school...

from July 16, 2020


from March 27, 2020


Near-work photo from a more relaxed time, by Lloyd Park

(It's funny, at first I captioned this as 'from a simpler time', but the beauty of then was that it was more complex, but in enjoyable ways.)

from november 2019 new music playlist


from Salamanca Press and Gothic


from October 26, 2019

Two views from the Annual JP Dog Parade - JP honk was able to muster a quintet- the first is actually a screenshot from a video I took at the head --

Not sure who took the second, but they say it's #nofilter - lovely foliage and vibrant band outfits...

from October 20, 2019


Today I am marching in solidarity with the spooky skeletons that are inside us all, waiting to get out. #justwait

from jp honk @ pronk

JP Honk played PRONK!

from September 21, 2019

BABAM closing yesterday's climate strike at the Boston Statehouse:

from September 16, 2019

Saturday was a busy day for JP Honk... we started with the Augment parade- here's a close up of my favorite tuba accessory, the piles of cheap Mardi Gras style beads, $1 for about a dozen strands at Dollar Tree...

photo from Now+There's twitter feed that has some good photos. Also, see Donna Dodson's video of the band.

Oh and earlier that day I posted this, with my usual selfie joke "feeling cute, might delete later" which is two half-lies.

from group troop

Today at the Friendshipworks Walk to End Elder Isolation - a lesson in photographic perspective, and why you usually put the tuba player and the horn behind the arc not where it angles around... it kind of towers over everyone!

from Damp Tubas Whispering Secrets


from arts advocacy day

A few weeks ago BABAM supported Summer Street Brass Band in helping out MASSCreative's Arts Advocacy Day....

from December 31, 2018

nbd just jamming out the new year with Keytar Bear

from December 23, 2018


--Grinchy, wealthy universities have a change of heart and start making PILOT payments in City Hall Christmas fable

from babam!


BABAM Takes Music To The Streets from Julia Maruca on Vimeo.

from December 6, 2018

I was delighted by this mural inside the Rosebud near Davis Square-

"Al Cass FAST" was my favorite valve oil even back in Cleveland - the rocketship and the way it proudly displayed its hometown really appealed to me, along with the"ODORLESS / WEATHER CONSCIOUS / DOES NOT SEPARATE" copy on the bottle, from an era when products sold themselves as much as facts as feelings. According to Wikipedia
[Al Cass] was the manufacturer and creator of the "FAST" valve/slide/key oil combination for brass instruments, which has been considered the industry standard since inception. It was developed after 18 months of R&D at the request and final approval of Dizzy Gillespie.
which is super hip.

from melissa's birthday surprise!

Melissa's got a milestone birthday coming up, and I conspired with Anna H. and crew to have Anna's "Pre-Thanksgiving Cocktail Party" convert into a full-on surprise party once Melissa and I came over from seeing Patton Oswalt-- I sweet-talked a subset of JP Honk into lying in wait, and stashed my tuba there that afternoon...

We did "Space Cadet", "Mercy Mercy Mercy", and then a "Little Light of Mine" singalong:

Same close-in:

Here friends made up a photocake:

from November 17, 2018

Playing tuba with Veterans for Peace on Armistice Day:

from election night

My friend Hannah saw me and some folk entertaining at Elizabeth Warren's election night shindig:

from BASIC and the joy of little improvisational programs


from moment


--Shot at yesterday's rally for Transgender rights - If you live in MA Vote Yes on 3, please. If you know + like or love a TG person, or you don't but you're willing to believe the world is more complex than you mighta guessed, it's the humane thing to do.

from October 9, 2018


HONK portrait by Steve Jewett

PRONK portrait by Daniela G

from September 28, 2018


photo by Jason Victor Rosenman, on PARKing Day

from tuba pinwheel

Shaunalynn parade led a parade where brass sousaphones were in full effect ...

from anti-alt-right

Two shots from today's alt-right counterprotest-- Marie and my mom's old trombone, and then our merry little crew (not shown, Dave B who set it up at the last minute and then did his double slide whistle). Things were at a standstill, with the remainders of the 30-odd alt-righters standing there in their army helmets staring at the 300-odd counter-protestors chanting anti-Nazi thoughts at them, then the band (who had been doing a lot of chant backing and the odd song) stepped forward and backed a kind of chanting-crowd/honk-band duet, and then shortly thereafter the police said "enough" and shoo'd away the alt-righters. (I guess they try to spin it as they left the left there and went off to bunker hill, but it was clearly not a victory for them.) Anyway, timing might've been a coincidence but maybe not! I believe both Antifa and the alt-right-folk were prohibited from amplified music by the police, which means HONK! style groups like BABAM give the left a current asymmetrical advantage.

Marie and my mom's old trombone!

from August 12, 2018

with BABAM at a Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence fundraiser cabaret at Club Cafe:

from can it fit a sousaphone?

There's a new Facebook page, Can It Fit a Sousaphone? talking about what horns can fit into what cars. They did some outreach to my company CarGurus, and we did some cross-promotion with them.

Very flattering lens. Also last night we were reminded my car can fit TWO tubas...

On my devblog, the crushing equalizing of modern social mediums.
The Best TV Episodes of the past century. I liked the UI of this, with nicely sized clips starting as they scroll into view.
I always love lists of hard to translate words - this one has some especially important-to-that-culture ones.

from jp honk at jp porchfest

JP Honk @ JP Porchfest 2018 doing Mercy Mercy Mercy -

from a playlist of six videos from new member Sam

from July 8, 2018


Photo by Jonathan Richmond
More photos here (on FB, but works even in an incognito window)

from June 25, 2018

Got on page B7 of the Boston Globe, reporting on a Cosecha anti-family-separation rally that BABAM! backed.

Had I know I'd'a worn a better T-shirt than Rick and Morty.

from June 14, 2018

Happy Flag Day Dedham

from me and wally down by the school yard

BABAM ran into Wally before marching Boston Pride

from school of honkin'


--An old shot, but not sure it ever got on the site. A relatively rare tuba shot from the last few years in that I'm not playing Scheiny - trying out one of the School of Honk's polka dot horns.

from February 24, 2018


from February 23, 2018

The Harvard Crimson did a short article on BABAM

from February 20, 2018

Greg Cook took photos of BABAM! and Second Line and Boycott playing for HONK! volunteers at Aeronaut.

from November 26, 2017

Good day for the middle aged tubist getting ready for the Quincy Christmas Parade

from November 12, 2017

The Globe had a reverse angle from yesterday's shot, where BABAM! marched with Veterans for Peace

from glug glug

JP Honk played the wedding of Lilia + Jason yesterday at the arboretum...

from September 21, 2017

Scenes from the Revels RiverSing:

from September 18, 2017

After a long beautiful 4 gig weekend - Mill City Grows in Lowell, Prospect Hill block party, Boston Makers at the Children's Museum, and the Revels RiverSing parade.

from August 27, 2017

can i get a little squee for my super-niece cora and my tuba scheiny?

from August 23, 2017

My horn "Scheiny" and a little friend, Matt M's pocket trumpet:

from August 20, 2017


I can't say enough that the folks playing in the protest band today were HEROES, going (nearly) nonstop for a good 4 hours, elevating and uplifting the entire event, sounding like a million bucks. Anyone who knows any of these Honkers, feel free to pass along my heartfelt thanks.

Posted by Sarah Darling on Saturday, August 19, 2017

one of my favorite BABAM photos. Drummer front and center is Savanah of The Party Band

These people are doing it right.

Violence allows Nazis to pretend to be victims.

Tubas just make them look like the dumbfucks they are.

photo by Jason Victor Rosenman
A tuba player holds a weighty object and breathes deeply.
The poet Donald Hall
JP Honk @ JP Porchfest 2017, Photos and Video Courtesy Agustina M

@School of Honk's performance, photo by Tom H

Imma tryin' to help Ezequiel use his tuba powers only for good... but also thanks to Robert for locating a good size sousaphone for him!
My horn and its rain shadow...
Elizabeth Warren Pride Parade Video - BABAM! is playing in the background and then there's a shot of the band (with me bopping along with the weird left-hand style I sometimes use) at 0:39
I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade

I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade. It shows our Commonwealth and our country at its best.

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday, June 11, 2017
BABAM! with Senator Elizabeth Warren...

Stood in with Prone to Mischief today on the Vietnam Memorial Bridge in Western MA - photo by John Bell
Ezequiel playing in the March for Science in today's NY Times; Andrew, Dave, and me behind
Bass Section of the School of Honk in Austin, TX, via The Book of Honk (prints available)

(The Ride 'Em Cowboy is my favorite from this batch - usually the tuba is riding me, nice to turn that around, though the "hero shot" might be even better than Franklin Marvel's Take at Figment.

behind the scenes at HONK!TX

that's my horn Scheiny on the right
Some of my lunch hour yesterday made it onto the front of the Globe!

(Click for a larger version - that's me and my tuba on the right, nice visual balance to the french horn, and showing the name of our metaband BABAM!)

Here's the photo from the web article
From the Women's March a few weeks ago...
More shots from yesterday's puppet action...

--photos by Andrew Huang
A while back the Cambridge Scout wrote about School of Honk - I show up in 2 1/2 of the 4 photos, I think because my tuba is so shiny and brass.
Three photos (from School of Honk's trip to Georges Island) by drummer Lilia Volodina

I love the sky in the first one.
mid-Honk subway micro-jam; bassline is "Chas Jammer":

Quando pensei que o HONK tinha acabo, entro no trem pra ir embora e...pá!#honkneverends#honk2016#honk

A video posted by Rafaella Marinho (@rafabellam) on

Such a busy weekend at Honk!

Photo by Candace Esslinger - this was the clear Saturday before the Drenched Sunday
Aug 11 we had a repeat of playing with the Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell...

here I am front and center, both as we calmly played along with "Hall of the Mountain King" and then when we went into full on honkin' mode

After JP Honk played Figment, I got myself framed by artist Franklin Marval
Last week with Porch-i-Oke at Make Music Boston...
From last night's School of Honk @ Aeronaut...

This was another shot from School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest:

By Nobuko Ichikawa. I'm not soloing (I think Carlos on the metal clarinet is), just dancing, but still, I love how expressive my posture and hands are... it's more cluttered than my previous profile-able tuba shot but has more energy, and I like that it's my own horn ("Beauty") not a School of Honk one I was borrowing for kicks.
Porch-i-oke by Sari w/ Rev Dave and the Reprobates was a lot of fun!

Some nice footage from Joe Mac of JP Honk at the Jamaica Plain Open Studios juried exhibition last night:

JP Honk

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Played tuba with my super niece yesterday...

Heh, Liz Ryan who throws together a marching group for Boston Pride asked me to record a little bassline I made up last year, to supplement the cadence the percussionists were doing.

It's meant to be easy on my jaw, 'cause it's kind of a long parade!

From "The Book of Honk", the School of Honk bass section:
Nice debut for BABAM! - the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, a loose affiliation of like minded players from various bands for last minute but worthy events and big umbrella gatherings.... today we supported the rally to get Somerville's Retirement fund divested from fossil fuels - a real loser investment these days no matter how you slice it.

(I was having a water bottle crisis where it somehow flooded by hip pack... I gotta stop carrying stuff during gigs :-) (local copy of video)
I think I was googling "what to do with other hand when playing sousaphone"
In 1990 my high school marching band travelled to Detroit for a band competition and the parade... jump to 27:50 for some fine tuba, cymbals, and majorette dancin' to "My Sharona".

Good for anyone who has a fetish for badly lit vintage shots of the Henry Ford Museum.
My sousaphone roots, Euclid High School Panther Marching Band!

The 1991 Homecoming Game, by the looks of it.
Melissa took this photo of my tuba in its Christmas lights doing Honk carolling Saturday night...
Yesterday I learned that Scheiny (nee "Beauty"), my lovely Holton Collegiate Sousaphone, has a serial number that dates it to 1954...
On the escalator at Davis Square T, I have an epiphany: tubas are kind of ridiculous.

(that yellow strip is a cheat sheet to "Seven Nation Army" I put on a long time ago....)
Some footage from the Hatch Shell HONK! Disorchestra gig... you can see my tuba bell whirling in the background
Last Night The Jamaica Plain Honk Band​ did a gig in co-operation with the Hyde Square Task Force, and afterwards a few of us ducked in the formerly closed Blessed Sacrament church to encounter the acoustics of the empty sanctuary... this is before we put together some jams, Pachelbel Canon, and Toccata and Fugue...
A few photos by Joni L, from JP Honk at yesterday's "Wake Up The Earth" parade and festival in JP. It was a LONG haul up Centre St but the chance to do a set at Stony Brook, and really walk around and through the audience, was special

So, a few weeks late, here's what the costume for me and my tuba looked like on Dunster Rd Halloween night... I'm not sure if my makeup actually looked "skull-like" as was its intention, but overall it kind of added to the effect. Or maybe the affect.

This year my tuba gets a costume too:
The jaded sousaphonist...
Me at Saturday's JP Porchfest... I have to say the day was a smashing success! Awesome turn out for a first-year event and great enthusiasm and fun all around. As far as I could tell my lil' website for it (http://jpporchfest.org/) held up fine - in fact I've heard rumors some of the Somerville Porchfest Organizers (who were the (freely admitted!) inspiration for this event) might like to pinch some of our ideas to punch up their own site.

I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.

Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:
I've decided to nickname my tuba "Beauty"

Honk! Parade went well.

"Sousaphonic Cityscape" from JP Honk Band @ Figment 2013

(Someone else's photo, but my horn!)

--via xoBruce. I guess that's a good warning for any hobos who might be asleep on the tracks!
I declare this lazy weekend to be Tuba Weekend, thanks in part to this image from xoxoBruce... (he seems to be keeping an eye out for tuba-themed images for me.)

I would like to add that is about the first realisticly drawn sousaphone I've seen in this kind of thing.
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--via xoxoxobruce... (who found it here) you know you don't see many sousaphones with the bell pointing up, though I'm not sure why not.