April 3rd, 2004.

So, I’m pretty familiar with the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut” concept, so I think that I’m not going to write much, and simply pull a Strangeland on my lips.

I’ve had a glorious week of catching up with some friends who I’ve had no time for recently. I bought a new guitar. All in all, it’s been a good week despite (or because of?) the oppressive and constant cloud covering of our current weather cycle.

Quick thoughts? Don’t go to the Polly Esther’s open mic…. DO go to the “New Rabbit” AKA the Folk Art Cafe… DON’T go rent House of 1000 Corpses unless you’ve got friends in the room and have some cartoon afterward to dilute the imagery… (though it’s REALLY FUCKING COOL)… DON’T try to play a whole gig on a baritone guitar…

Sigh – this not having a computer of my own is really taking its toll.

04.04.04

We went to Polly Esther's open mic to test out the new guitar. Though there were more people there than the photograph implies, it wasn't by much. Peewee's Big Adventure was in the DVD player, and it looped three times before we'd left. The night started off with Uncle Chunky, and I gloried in their lead guitarist's skills. It's cool to watch a man who can just take his electric and a distortion pedal, and get all the effects that it takes us mortals a wah and a volume pedal and this and that and the other to pull off. And then the soundguy broke his subwoofer, and we waited for an hour for things to get going. Brennan nearly killed someone, and I nearly slit my wrists.
We went to Polly Esther’s open mic to test out the new guitar. Though there were more people there than the photograph implies, it wasn’t by much. Peewee’s Big Adventure was in the DVD player, and it looped three times before we’d left. The night started off with Uncle Chunky, and I gloried in their lead guitarist’s skills. It’s cool to watch a man who can just take his electric and a distortion pedal, and get all the effects that it takes us mortals a wah and a volume pedal and this and that and the other to pull off. And then the soundguy broke his subwoofer, and we waited for an hour for things to get going. Brennan nearly killed someone, and I nearly slit my wrists.

The storm hit us at around 5.30 this morning, ripping trees apart and marching raindrops down upon us. The damned things didn’t queue up, they fought to get to us. Raindrop fistfights broke out hundreds of feet above our head as they argued who would get down to us first. The roof sang with it.

And the day shows little of the fury of last night. The air has cleared, if not the sky, and the wind has grown more capricious, if less malicious. Yesterday we attended a JP Folks meeting, and the night before that, we had a pretty taxing gig, so today, we relax do some catching up. Offload photographs, update webpages, watch James Bond. For all the crap that “Spike TV” usually plays, they have decent, and more importantly, frequent James Bond marathons.

I got a new guitar this past week, a baritone Tacoma. It's pretty much the most fantastic guitar I've ever owned. The case looks like something used to carry light anti-tank weapons (1d4x100 sdc)
I got a new guitar this past week, a baritone Tacoma. It’s pretty much the most fantastic guitar I’ve ever owned. The case looks like something used to carry light anti-tank weapons (1d4x100 sdc)

I am, however in a mutual relationship, so soon James will be replaced by a Sex in the City marathon instead. I guess that’s ok. Afterall, we’re just in the Sean Connery fan, and when it comes down to it… I’ve really Loved Pierce Brosnan… (bring on the hate mail from my mom… sigh).

Also, go to the Dan site to download forms for renaming your environment. Check out the blog on his site.
Also, go to the Dan site to download forms for renaming your environment. Check out the blog on his site.
Dan Zimmerman brought his new Mark II to Polly Esther's last Wednesday. Unfortunately, he didn't work up the guts to play it, but obviously, it's a vast improvement on his original model. Two strings!!! Anywho, I'm sure he'll be taking orders soon, building the Zimmy. The boy just needs a logo.
Dan Zimmerman brought his new Mark II to Polly Esther’s last Wednesday. Unfortunately, he didn’t work up the guts to play it, but obviously, it’s a vast improvement on his original model. Two strings!!! Anywho, I’m sure he’ll be taking orders soon, building the Zimmy. The boy just needs a logo.
DCF 1.0
I stayed at a friends' house with her cats. Jen has this cat attract whistle... and the infestation comes out of the walls... out of the floor... they swarm. Even the above Pika Cat. Apparently there are eleven of the damned things, and I don't have a clue which was which. Most of them were very affectionate, but there was one particularly strange S&M cat that sort of likes to be beaten. It's just not right.
I stayed at a friends’ house with her cats. Jen has this cat attract whistle… and the infestation comes out of the walls… out of the floor… they swarm. Even the above Pika Cat. Apparently there are eleven of the damned things, and I don’t have a clue which was which. Most of them were very affectionate, but there was one particularly strange S&M cat that sort of likes to be beaten. It’s just not right.
DCF 1.0
April 1st was the grand opening of the "New Rabbit" - the Folk Art Cafe. For those of you who missed it, have no fear - that was just the "soft opening". There will be a GRAND grand opening during Memorial Day weekend, at the end of May) Cathy and Kali from the Folk Art Gallery next door to the Year of the Rabbit have taken the place over, and they have truly made it the place it should've always been. Funky and artsy, it's gorgeous. Kali has been given free range all over the walls, the tables and chairs - she had been armed with brushes and sponges and fabric for almost three months creating the New Beast. Fish and mermaids and guitar parts and yarn and disembodied hands. Beautiful.
April 1st was the grand opening of the “New Rabbit” – the Folk Art Cafe. For those of you who missed it, have no fear – that was just the “soft opening”. There will be a GRAND grand opening during Memorial Day weekend, at the end of May) Cathy and Kali from the Folk Art Gallery next door to the Year of the Rabbit have taken the place over, and they have truly made it the place it should’ve always been. Funky and artsy, it’s gorgeous. Kali has been given free range all over the walls, the tables and chairs – she had been armed with brushes and sponges and fabric for almost three months creating the New Beast. Fish and mermaids and guitar parts and yarn and disembodied hands. Beautiful.
DCF 1.0
The Folk Art Cafe has a yarn shop and an Edward Gorey table. Does it get better? No, I think not. They are going to have Knit Nights and stuff. Very different feel. Live music won't be as high profile there, but they've asked me to run a song circle there, probably on Thursdays. I'm not really sure if I want to do that. I don't know that I've got the time or the patience. It'll be done sans sound system, so it'll be very different from the old YotR open mic. A totally different format.
The Folk Art Cafe has a yarn shop and an Edward Gorey table. Does it get better? No, I think not. They are going to have Knit Nights and stuff. Very different feel. Live music won’t be as high profile there, but they’ve asked me to run a song circle there, probably on Thursdays. I’m not really sure if I want to do that. I don’t know that I’ve got the time or the patience. It’ll be done sans sound system, so it’ll be very different from the old YotR open mic. A totally different format.
DCF 1.0
This is the expression I make when I'm counting the number of little tapioca balls I've slorped up.
This is the expression I make when I’m counting the number of little tapioca balls I’ve slorped up.
DCF 1.0
The Folk Art Cafe has also revamped the menu. I wandered into the kitchen and admired that supahfine hot-rod of a chromed out cappacino device. I walked around the corner and was surprised that it was standing still. Then there's the new convection oven and Cathy's mom's tuna cassarole. And her chicken soup. And Kali seems a little upset that I introduced Cathy to the concept of bubble tea - I think she's a little frightened by it.
The Folk Art Cafe has also revamped the menu. I wandered into the kitchen and admired that supahfine hot-rod of a chromed out cappacino device. I walked around the corner and was surprised that it was standing still. Then there’s the new convection oven and Cathy’s mom’s tuna cassarole. And her chicken soup. And Kali seems a little upset that I introduced Cathy to the concept of bubble tea – I think she’s a little frightened by it.

April 6th, 2004.

We’re out on the road again, if not travelling extensively. I think I’m officially getting sick of being in Maryland, of knowing the streets and highways, and the unpredictable weather. At least we’re off to Ohio in two weeks.

Friday night we played with Sarah Pinske and the Stalking Horses. She is proud of her band.
Friday night we played with Sarah Pinsker and the Stalking Horses. She is proud of her band.
Sarah's sister wore a yellow shirt. I've decided that someone needs to wear a yellow shirt at every one of our gigs. It's an awesome focus - an awesome energy focus. Yellow... yellow is wonderful. God I Love yellow. She made Friday night at Mum's worthwhile.
Sarah’s sister wore a yellow shirt. I’ve decided that someone needs to wear a yellow shirt at every one of our gigs. It’s an awesome focus – an awesome energy focus. Yellow… yellow is wonderful. God I Love yellow. She made Friday night at Mum’s worthwhile.

Ice cream trucks drive by as I write this, Octopussy playing in the background. We played the Austin Grill in Silver Spring last night – a first for us. The open mic was run by Mike Holden, a friend from Northern Virginia. The food was great, but the ambience wasn’t anything to be spoken of – the sound system was nice, but there weren’t many performers to take advantage of it. I’m still trying to get the hang of my new Tacoma – I eventually borrowed another performer’s Taylor to finish up our set. I just keep running into circumstances where I haven’t practiced with the baritone enough, and I worry that I maybe should’ve just bought a regular guitar… but I can’t bring myself to take it back. I’ve almost finished a new song on it, and really, that’s the clincher.

Sigh. Our window won't go back up. It makes me cry. We taped it up just before the storm hit at around 5am. Then went out and taped it up again when the storm tossed the plastic apart. Sigh.
Sigh. Our window won’t go back up. It makes me cry. We taped it up just before the storm hit at around 5am. Then went out and taped it up again when the storm tossed the plastic apart. Sigh.

April 7th, 2004.

Weird-ass store front. I can only hope that this particular window display will change once the Silver Spring Phillip's actually opens.
Weird-ass store front. I can only hope that this particular window display will change once the Silver Spring Phillip’s actually opens.

I think I’m finally beginning to realize that the Journal has taken the place of having a hobby outside of music. It’s the thing I just sort of fiddle with to pass the time, and I Love it.

Last night, we played College Perk again. God, we need to travel again – my feet are slowly splaying into little pancake appendages for lack of wandering.

Of course, even when we stay in one place, we’re constantly meeting new creatures – last night I met a spectacular singer/songwriter named Shanna. She reminded me of Audrey, in a way – perhaps simply because she had fantasticly long brown hair that fell in ringlets down her back while her long fingers danced elegant finger-picked patterns on her Taylor… or perhaps not. In general, she came across as a generic folk girl, perhaps raised on the oldies with a dash of Suzanne Vega – but when she started playing, she really kept me transfixed with a voice that ALMOST fit into that category, but then kept digging its claws into the walls of that box and climbing up out of it.

All in all, a pretty damned good night – Alfred showed up and played with us, and Dan Zimmerman played some bass with us – and I played some bass for Dan Zimmerman – all the back and forth inspired Brennan to decide our show this Saturday should include some form of musical Twister. He’s making spinners for each of us, so that at the beginning of any given tune, he can say “Heather on… guitar. Rob on… bass. Dan on… Zimmy.” It’ll be pretty awesome. What with Easter break and all, I hope we’ll have enough audience members to spin all the spinners.


btw – random note for AOL users – I finally took a peek at the Journal under the horrific compression algorithms that AOL dial-up uses (in order to acheive “higher speeds” the re-compress all the graphics on their way through their browser) and GOOD LORD it makes the pages look awful.  All you AOLies should take a peek at the Journal through Explorer or something instead. You’ll have more respect for me in the morning.


Heather’s in the back yard, kicking out Ryan Adams tunes. I wonder if there is any future of rob and Heather covers – our musical tastes are SO godawful different. There’s a trampoline in the back, tempting me, there are trains passing, noisily… and Heather singing, sultrily. Sigh.

Fellow open mic performer, Ken - at the Austin Grill, in Silver Spring, MD.
Fellow open mic performer, Ken – at the Austin Grill, in Silver Spring, MD.

April 8th, 2004.

We returned to the bar of 70’s decor… we returned to Polly Esther’s. Last night… we went back despite better judgement. Originally, Heather had been planning to go to some poetry slam… being the uncultured wretch that I am, I tend not to enjoy slams (don’t really like the competitive culture that surrounds them) and I’d planned to go back to Polly Esther’s on my own, just to watch Uncle Chunky play.

Anywho, Heather ended up changing her mind, and we headed out to Rockville together. I think she was kind of horrified.

Anywho, surrounded by strobing lights and airbrushed tie-dyed walls – we hung out at Polly Esther’s till 11pm or so, with the (perhaps) 6 other occupants of the bar…. INCLUDING the owner/sound guy and bartender and the three members of the house band (Uncle Chunky).

Aaand, incidentally the evening included Chris - a horn player we'd met the previous night at College Perk. Down from Wimington and looking for stuff to do while he's here. So, he came down to Polly Esther's and played bluesy jazzy jams with Uncle Chunky. When he walked in with his horn, the owner and I traded WTF looks... it was odd watching him jam out with it, cause he did all the little horn dance moves that you visualize with trombones or trumpets - and they just looked odd coupled with an instrument that looks like... well, it looks like the one that the nerdy kid with braces gets stuck with in band class... the one that keeps having to empty the spit out of his brass or whatever. Of course, he's a nuclear engineer, so he may well have once been that kid, but now he's turned the baritone horn into a Tool of Cool. hehe.
Aaand, incidentally the evening included Chris – a horn player we’d met the previous night at College Perk. Down from Wimington and looking for stuff to do while he’s here. So, he came down to Polly Esther’s and played bluesy jazzy jams with Uncle Chunky. When he walked in with his horn, the owner and I traded WTF looks… it was odd watching him jam out with it, cause he did all the little horn dance moves that you visualize with trombones or trumpets – and they just looked odd coupled with an instrument that looks like… well, it looks like the one that the nerdy kid with braces gets stuck with in band class… the one that keeps having to empty the spit out of his brass or whatever. Of course, he’s a nuclear engineer, so he may well have once been that kid, but now he’s turned the baritone horn into a Tool of Cool. hehe.

Anywho – I enjoyed the music, and it was probably a good thing we’d gone back, as the owner had been trying to remember my name… he’d been asked by Budweiser to name 5 acts to be Budweiser represented bands, and wanted to suggest us as one of them.

Now… I don’t drink. Or rather, I used to not drink… and now I really don’t drink very much, and I certainly don’t play at bars, standing on stage with a bottle in my hand, trying to encourage the patrons to buy another round. I like to play at places that feature music and have alcohol, rather than the other way around.

So – IF he remembers our name – and IF he passes our information to Budweiser – and IF Budweiser agrees and decides that we are “Real Music” worthy of being backed by Bud… well, I don’t know what exactly I would think of that. But it’s a moral dilemma that I wouldn’t mind having.

Heather got up and sang "Little Wing" with the Chunky Uncle people and was simply incredible. Sigh... their lead singer/guitarist is sort of like a god. A little dark-haired god with a teeny goatee. Maybe a guitar playing satyr with his knees knocked around the other way?
Heather got up and sang “Little Wing” with the Chunky Uncle people and was simply incredible. Sigh… their lead singer/guitarist is sort of like a god. A little dark-haired god with a teeny goatee. Maybe a guitar playing satyr with his knees knocked around the other way?

April 9th, 2004.

As if rockstars didn't have enough problems. After updating the website at the College Perk, we came back outside to find Pookie drinking out of our divet.
As if rockstars didn’t have enough problems. After updating the website at the College Perk, we came back outside to find Pookie drinking out of our divet. [unfortunately, activities like this eventually led to Pookie’s demise… cute now… apparently someone pulled out onto Route 1 with him on their roof. Sigh. Hindsight. – rob 12/27/17]
When we crash with certain friends, it’s like being a house guest. We get fed and we’re handed towels and everything is very pleasant – other places… it’s like a sleep-over. We stay up all night talking about random crap or playing video games and watching really God-awful television.

Currently we’re at Sharif’s house. It’s been Splinter Cell and House of 1000 Corpses and playing music in his bedroom and sleeping on the couch. Tis joy.

Oh, and working on a new cover. Saturday’s going to be… interesting for all those Brittney fans out there.

April 10th, 2004.

I haven’t looked forward to anything as much as I’ve been looking forward totonight’s show in quite a while. Sharif and I have been just sort of jamming around on and off for about two days now, and – it reminds me of being in high school, when I had first discovered bass guitar – how I’d just keep playing and keep playing and something NEW kept coming out of my fingers.

btw – I’ve ripped down most of the website’s menu (in case you haven’t noticed) – all the material exists up there but I want to figure out a better way of organizing everything, cause I’ve gotten a couple of complaints recently about how confusing it is to navigate… work work work.

Thursday night we hit up the New Deal Cafe open mic - Alex Colvin was there and got some backup from the Greenbelt Jazz Trio (they had a specific name, but I don't remember it...) and Ace's music suddenly found it's niche. It's the way he ought to sound ALL the time.
Thursday night we hit up the New Deal Cafe open mic – Alex Colvin was there and got some backup from the Greenbelt Jazz Trio (they had a specific name, but I don’t remember it…) and Ace’s music suddenly found it’s niche. It’s the way he ought to sound ALL the time.

April 11th, 2004.

The morning after. We played College Perk last night, and I hadn’t looked forward to anything quite like I’d been looking forward to this gig in quite a while. We played with Dan Zimmerman – which is always fun, we played at the College Perk – which is always fun, we played some old tunes that we haven’t played in forever (bRIDGE and Spine among others) – which is always refreshing, and a new cover (Toxic by Britney Spears) – to keep out cultural awareness honed.

We also tried a bizarre set-up which, although I don’t regret it… and it was also a lot of fun and all… I don’t think I’d do it again.

The College Perk Coffeehouse. Last night was actually the first anniversary of Chris' purchase of the place, and it was kind of an honour to play. College Park has been begging to have a good coffeehouse music venue like the Perk open for years - ever since the Planet X closed. The pathetic excuses for coffeehouses (such as the Java Head) that have existed between now and then...well... let's just hope Chris keeps the Perk afloat.
The College Perk Coffeehouse. Last night was actually the first anniversary of Chris’ purchase of the place, and it was kind of an honour to play. College Park has been begging to have a good coffeehouse music venue like the Perk open for years – ever since the Planet X closed. The pathetic excuses for coffeehouses (such as the Java Head) that have existed between now and then…well… let’s just hope Chris keeps the Perk afloat.
Brian and Sharif, preparing to skin a Cat before the gig. Really, we were all just very happy to see her.
Brian and Sharif, preparing to skin a Cat before the gig. Really, we were all just very happy to see her.

So, I’m not quite sure who forwarded the idea… I think someone blamed it on Sharif, but I know I really encouraged it by mentioning that I’d tried it before at the Rabbit – but somewhere while waiting around for Dan and Heather to get to the Perk, Brennan and Sharif and I got it into our heads that it would be a good idea to set up in the round… but in reverse.

So we wired three PAs and a guitar amp together, grabbed a corner for each of us, put all the couches in the centre of the main room facing outwards, and set ourselves up surrounding the audience. Which meant that we were really mobile, and could face one another, which I really liked, but it meant that actual sound balance was sort of Hellish to control, and that Brennan, acting as soundSlave for the night, got a lot of excercise running from one corner of the room to the other. In extreme cases, we were leaping over people and climbing over couches to get from one corner of the room to the next. Yessss … chaos.

Throughout the night, we had a lot of sit-in musicians, including JR Robusto (seen here blessing my guitar with his talents)...
Throughout the night, we had a lot of sit-in musicians, including JR Robusto (seen here blessing my guitar with his talents)…
And Brennan Kuhns, the genius behind the strange wiring together of the soundsystem for the evening - also played bass for some of Dan Zimmerman's song.
And Brennan Kuhns, the genius behind the strange wiring together of the soundsystem for the evening – also played bass for some of Dan Zimmerman’s song.
So, in this picture, for example - we have me in one corner, Rowan playing bones in the next corner, and Heather singing and playing guitar and playing djembe in the next corner we had Sharif playing electric guitar, bass and piano. Of course, since Rowan is in Dan's corner, Dan went over and took Sharif's bass and sat in in HIS corner... and that just leads to no good. I think if we hadn't been staying with Sharif tonight, he would've gone home with Dan. You know... corners and stuff. And in the middle...? Bunnneeee!!
So, in this picture, for example – we have me in one corner, Rowan playing bones in the next corner, and Heather singing and playing guitar and playing djembe in the next corner we had Sharif playing electric guitar, bass and piano. Of course, since Rowan is in Dan’s corner, Dan went over and took Sharif’s bass and sat in in HIS corner… and that just leads to no good. I think if we hadn’t been staying with Sharif tonight, he would’ve gone home with Dan. You know… corners and stuff. And in the middle…? Bunnneeee!!

April 17th, 2004.

I’m getting roadsick. Not, as the word may imply, sick of the road, but rather following the nomenclature of the word “homesick”. Missing the road.

Next week we head out again, thank goodness, lest I go stir crazy. I’ve caught my inner-monologue plotting destruction and mischeif, and I’m afraid that those around me don’t really understand the difference between MY plotting and that of my inner monologue. It’s two totally different things.

Still, they’d all be in trouble if I could hang from the ceiling from my nails, skittering noisilessly across the lamps and down the walls and then LEAPING on HAPLESS HEADS!!!

But again, I stress, that this is just my inner monologue, and has nothing to do with me.

Heather’s been really nastily sick, and could be relied upon to supply Jiffy Lube for their lubricatory supplies if she were so called upon.

I swear, snot needs to be harnessed, much like lightning and fire and the power of Asian grandmothers – it needs to be turned to good use. And when you catch a cold or something that substantially ups your production, you get sent off to the snot farms, where they plug your nostrils with little suction hoses.

The sound would be unsavoury, but the good to mankind and the environment would be incalculable. I’m not really sure where mucous falls on various viscosity and pH and Stuff charts, but I’m sure it could replace motor oil, or on the opposite side of the spectrum: glue. Of course, then we’d have to find a use for all of our ground up dead cow parts, but I’m sure McDonalds can use them for something.

Well, I can hear Jason yelling “RAAAAAHB!!!” – so I think I’ll change the subject. – Went to see Kill Bill Vol. 2 last night, which was most spectacular. I heard a couple of

Heather's lil brother, Justin, playing dress-up. I didn't get a picture of the dress, but he swears it's all for a school project.
Heather’s lil brother, Justin, playing dress-up. I didn’t get a picture of the dress, but he swears it’s all for a school project.
New promo materials we're making for a limited run... happy ink jet printer!
New promo materials we’re making for a limited run… happy ink jet printer!
And the new album!
And the new album!

people mutter that it wasn’t as good as the first one, which, from a strictly action point of view, was true – but there was PLOT!!! And… something so very rare in a Tarantino flick – GOOD PLOT!!!

Well worth seeing, really.

Anywho, went with a bunch of friends to the sold-out premiere, and you’d think that all the people that go to a sold-out opening night will be hard-core fans… having watched the first one at least twice and have been waiting with baited breath (what does that MEAN really?) for this second and final installment…

But noooo… there were people who exclaimed with surprise and annoyance when the Bride’s name was bleeped out (just like in the first movie) – but perhaps this was explicable, in that we’d had quite the technical difficulties, with the film itself starting about 15 minutes late, and then once it finally got rolling, we got treated to the VERY DISTURBING image of Uma Thurman hanging upside down on the screen before us, speaking backwards… till they rethreaded the projector the RIGHT way.

Uma Thurman speaking backwards is just… queer.

Anywho, note to self – get other people to say fucked up stuff, because the quote page is getting one-sided, what with Ray constantly pinning me down and writing my own quotes on my arms so I have no excuse not to upload them.

Pling. Gonna go watch JR.