MC Chris (Hesch from Sealab 2021? MC Pee Pants from Aqua Teen Hunger Force?) played the Ottobar back home in Baltimore last night. Damn the distance.
Interesting conversations tonight of physics and quantum theory. I get to look smart because I know how stars work. There’s something inside of me that says there must be truth buried inside the vast concepts of how fusion functions. There must be something greater in being able to see the edge of the universe, its beginnings and its end… It’s always been horrifying to me that I can’t see it. I know it’s there, but I can’t grasp it. It’s like seeing the Washington Monument in DC. You know it’s GOT to be important. It’s too big, too otherwise functionless NOT to be important. But I don’t have a plaque, and my brain’s just not big enough to comprehend what’s behind the special powers of hydrogen and the fact that water doesn’t compress and the fact everything works in JUST THAT way.
And of course, if it DIDN’T work in JUST that way, I wouldn’t be here contemplating it, so there’s nothing really that coincidental or world shattering about it, is there?
Last night, the evening was capped off with “skitter skitter skitter… thwump” – and it was almost the worst sound imaginable to our tired ears.
Yesterday, we wandered the streets of Wilmington. We were planning to visit Jack the Antique Store Cat – we’d only seen him sleeping through panes of glass on previous visits, and we’d planned to finally go there during business hours and maybe… poke him or something. Much to our dismay, there was nothing there but scraps of paper and a poorly swept, emptied storefront, and a series of 1863 encyclopedias fading on the bare concrete floor.
Later, we pulled double duty, hitting up Laura McLean’s open mic at the Water Street Cafe, and then running over to the Rusty Nail to advertise for our Friday night show.
Despite Jack’s absence, the night started out promising enough. Water Street had great food and a semi-packed room. It was cool to see Laura play her own set, rather than hidden behind Someone’s Sister. You don’t see a lot of strong female blues players – blues vocalists yes – but Laura’s pretty unique.
Unfortuantely, wandering over to the Rusty Nail was a bit discouraging. I hate playing smokey bars. I hate smelling the heat and the smell of alcohol pouring off of people.
There’s a hopelessness to people that spend all of their time in these places, and it’s strange the way they can latch on to us sometimes. You don’t know what to make of people in these dens, and you never seem to see them at their best. We came away depressed and tired. I haven’t been sleeping well, and I was ready to just collapse.
And so Heather stepped in dog shit.
And then there was the sound… “skitter skitter skitter… thwump”. Heather and I had been talking over the night in the kitchen, comiserating. There was a pause in
the conversation during which we heard the unique sound of dog toenails on hardwood floors. Heather and I, our eyes locked – and then came the thump.
“You know what that was, don’t you? That was Jessie jumping on our bed!”
Heather and I disentangled and chased that smelly beagle off our pillow. I mean, you could HEAR Jessie sighting her opportunity and running for all she was worth for our helpless, dogless bed.
Heather spritzed the bed with a bit of perfume, yet we knew in our hearts that the bed had been beagled.
Friday night was our last night in Wilmington. We played the Rusty Nail, and the Nail dripped sex – and yet surprisingly… we did none of the dripping. I mean, yeah, Heather was hot and all… and as usual you couldn’t walk five slippery feet for females salivating over my luscious denim-clad posterior (yeah… you know it’s true)… the star of the night was a mysterious, dimly-lit woman in a short skirt who danced through our set and… well… I can legitimately blame ANY missed lyrics on her curving silhouette.
As the night progressed, she grew more and more inspired – treating her partner to a floorshow that I was helpless to tear my eyes away from. Despite the distraction, we played hard LONG into the night – the show started before 10 and we closed the place out, ending our set at 2 in the morning. I felt bad at the end of the set, because she was doing quite the rhythmic lap dance and we reached the end of the song before he was… done. At that point I had to get off the stage and at LEAST… well, apologize.
Mike and Missy Loved our set – Mike went so far as to say it was the best Live show he’d ever seen. She sparkles and he exudes “friendly” and as I’m talking to the fine, fine married couple, I notice their tattooed rings. Apparently, Mike is in the military and was deployed as an electrical engineer to Bosnia shortly after they were married. His job meant it would be hazardous to wear his marriage ring for about 11 hours out of every day, and they went in for these barbed-wire-esque twining leaf tattoo rings to replace their more traditional bands. I’d never seen anything like it, and in truth, though the symbolism of the untarnishing, eternal golden ring appeals to me – the idea of the commitment behind something that you’ve grafted eternally on to your skin appeals to me even more. If all marriages required laser surgery to get out of, perhaps people would take them a bit more seriously.
Missy then decided to show me more of her tattoos. I had noticed the edge of a serpent peeking between the intriguing shirt/skirt gap, but I wasn’t prepared to see it go…. err…. down. Anywho, I was glad Mike seemed fine with it all, and in any case I managed to get away before she gave me any lip.
It was a great night, and I only regret that it hadn’t been a full band show.
Anywho, I know that Annette Warner tunes into the Journal every once in a while, so I figure I’ll thank her here for her assistance with this run – both with booking the Folks Cafe and for helping us tweak the sound on Friday night… even though the latter mostly consisted of flailing… the point is is that it was DIRECTED flailing!
Last night we played the Open Eye Cafe (also known as the Cafe of Sauron) and had a very good last night in North Carolina. Good show, good response. Russ showed up from the Six String Cafe and his wife turns out to own a cosmetics salon of some sort… she has access to the Good Stuff. I’m saying that I’ve finally found a NAIL supplier!!!
Suffice it to say – at the moment we’re back in Maryland and I’m soooo glad to be done with the driving for right now.
Yes… Heather, I know. I’m sorry… I’m soooo glad to be done with being in the CAR for right now.
Today was my thirtieth birthday. I didn’t think I wanted to mention that in the Journal – I don’t like acknowledging my age, but I guess to avoid it is cowardly.
It sounds the beginning of middle-age. “Don’t trust anyone over 30”, that sort of thing. I had a small randomly informal gathering over at Rowan’s house. Heather cooked dinner, and Liz made devilled eggs, and Rick and Audrey came over – I haven’t seen them in ages. All in all, I nice little (so nice for little!) gathering.
And whenever I get down on it being another year, I think of what Chris (of the Chris and Joylene Show) told me – “You’re thirty and you’ve got a great girlfriend, you’re doing what you want to do, and you’ve got all your hair. You win!” I like that. I like it a lot.
Well, I am sorry that there haven’t been a lot of posts recently – and it’s not because we’ve been home and there’s nothing happening. I guess a lot of what’s happening though, it isn’t really Journal stuff. Whether it’s the private romantic adventures of Valentine’s Day or the more intense struggles going on around me, it’s stuff for my friends and family, and not really something I want to share on a big public forum.
At the moment, Heather and I are hanging out in the DC Metropolitan area, bouncing between my parents’ house and Rowan’s place and College Perk. We’ve been working on new promotionals, the new studio album, booking for the spring and summer… all sorts of stuff on the ilyAIMY front, and then the rest of our Lives is being hungrily devoured by the aforementioned friends and family. I Love it. I’m exhausted, but it almost feels like a vacation, just to be able to see certain people…
The mysterious box – we passed this on the Beltway and we have no idea what could’ve been in it. We fear it may have been a mysterious Ark. Or something.
Monday night was Valentine’s Day… Tuesday morning we got up (late) and slowly made our way over to Rowan’s place to have a band meeting.
Now, with previous incarnations, there seemed to be many band meetings – every practice turned into vast discussion, but Heather and I are ALWAYS talking business, and I think we’re so focused on what the two of us want and plan and desire that we often forget that we should really be including Rowan and Sharif in the process. Monday night we corrected that. There was a lot of “what do you want” and “how do you feel”… budgeting and scheduling and idea-flinging. All of it was really positive, and most of it was exactly what I thought, it’s just that I wanted everything said outloud.
Basically, yup, we all want to be rockstars. Something like that.
We started working out our ideas for the new studio album, started working out the tracklist and the physical way that we’re going to pull it all off. Heather and I sometimes forget how hard it can be to integrate people’s work and school schedules into things – for us it’s pretty much “are we booked? Nope? Ok.”
It was a good meeting, though we never got around to playing any music, I think we were all kind of relieved just to sort of hang out and bounce ideas off of one another.
So – can we raise the funds to do a studio album? And past that, can we find the time to do it this spring? I’m hopeful but a little bit frightened. We’ll see how things work out. We try our hardest, and then try a little bit harder, and then we look around to see where we’ve gotten.
Yesterday just seemed a ball of endless stress, endless lateness, endless falling behind. I bought a Breedlove from Rowan at the House of Musical Traditions… normally purchasing a guitar is a process of falling in Love and finding the money – but this was much more a matter of me having fallen in Love with a type of guitar (Breedlove dreadnoughts) and then trying to make a decision from the creatures available on the rack. It was a pretty arduous process which actually culminated in Rowan blindfolding me and handing guitars to me and having me play them.
Using that process I’ve ended up purchasing a gorgeous rosewood Breedlove AD25 which we then took to play out at Steve Key’s Stella’s singer/songwriter showcase in Alexandria, VA. There I was so rattled by its sound that we quite failed to make a very impressive showing of ourselves.
At this point, I could include some angst about music world politics and about some of the things that are REALLY exhausting me right now, but… I can’t, because that wouldn’t be… “wise”. Politically. Yeah – this is the side of my profession that I really despise.
And yet, was that different in any job I’ve held? At the Science Centre there were still people you couldn’t screw with, and working as a teacher there certainly was a Way The World Worked…. at Glovia there were internal politics that I was thankfully shielded from by the twin angels of Jerry and distance. (yeah, definately the first time Jerry’s every been referred to as an angel, as I’m sure he’d agree)… I even managed to piss off people at Borders by being too outspoken – to the point that rather than allow my CD to get up on the “Local Artists” racks, the manager suddenly decided that his was the one store that wasn’t going to carry such a section.
Power and the abuse thereof. People speaking and people not being able to take criticism. Yeah, I’m probably included in that.
Ok – I’m done bitching – and in case there’s ANY confusion on this, go see my Musicians Resource Page on Corky’s – I just don’t want anyone ELSE to get offended by my non-specificity since I’m just tired of it. I’m writing too much as it is, which is the danger of having this delightful little precipice. I through myself headfirst of the ledge of my Journal all the time.
So – we’re going to get out of here and go play the Austin Grill (thank you Steve Key for handing that one to us). Let’s go bury ourselves in our trade.
Heather’s taken on my parents’ house. Well… the Living room. She Loves projects and is having a ball sorting and moving and shifting stuff. The record so far is a piece of paper from 1989.
So, I’m folding Myxomatosis Took Its Toll (the booklet sort of neccessitates that we make it by hand) and Heather’s sorting and the cats are Loving the new places discovered/uncovered and we’re both watching old Disney movies. My Dad comes in and out as he’s been sleeping poorly and totally fails to be enthralled by either the Jungle Book OR Beauty and the Beast.
Sigh – anywho, it’s 3.04am and I’m sleepy. We played the Austin Grill tonight and it was the first time I think ANY singer/songwriter has actually caught the attention of any sizable portion of that room. It’s good to be recognized by the bartender and to see that the staff are glad to have us back. A guy came out to see us after having caught us on a local access cable show and so by drips and drabs we slowly work our way up in the world. Free food ALWAYS makes me feel like we’re up and coming.
Outside there’s the gentle patter of unidentified precipitation. It’s supposed to snow, but it looks like rain, but it has a solid sound when it strikes the earth. It’s cold outside, but it’s that cloud-covered cold which sort of feels like the first couple of moments getting under the blankets in bed – shockingly frigid but with an enclosed feeling of security and impending warmth. The sound is one of my favourites, and it’s intimately associated with the security of home.
I don’t have much that triggers “home” anymore, but that sound does me good.
Last night we played Jammin Java in Vienna, VA – it was nominally a CD release for “Myxomatosis Took Its Toll”, but I haven’t made that big of a deal about it until I’ve got a better feel for how people respond to this rather indie-flavoured release.
The show itself was good, high-energy – just the sort of thing that we tried to capture with the new CD, but as seems our habit at Jammin Java, frought with technical difficulties. Heather’s guitar had been giving us angst, and just when we get THAT fixed, her cable fritzes out… but it meant that we got to hear her play Keith’s (of the Dreamscapes Project) 12-string Rainsong. The audience (me included… cause I may play along with Heather’s songs, but I Love listening) was pretty enraptured by the 12-string sound. It really added some flavour to Illinois is Overflowing and In the Water. Heather said she was a little panicky, but it didn’t show.
After the gig we sauntered over to the College Perk and just hung out. A good night all around – reminding me of college, in the Gatehouse at 3am with people gathering and playing music till dawn. Dan Zimmerman broke out his made-out-of-Legos mini-bass, Sharif brought in his keyboard, Rowan and Heather and I played guitars – we lead the room through a Mountain Goat medley, and wandered through some Dan songs and some Nine Inch Nails and all sorts of things. Very relaxed, flirting with the idea of Truth or Dare Jenga.
I turned in at around 4.30 after padding around the coffeehouse in stocking feet for a couple of hours. Shane from Philadelphia had come down for the weekend with his friend Jason, and we played pool for a while till I absolutely couldn’t focus on the world anymore.
I Love sleepovers. Shane, Jason, Heather, Rowan (on the floor), Brennan, Tori, Sharif (who slept in his case)… it’s a shame Amy and Alli didn’t stay… I Love the gathering and the leisurely morning grunting. Even waiting for the bathroom has it’s charm when there’s no urgency. Tori made cookies and we all made inane conversation. It was a good weekend.
Monday is ugly and roaring, and I know that it brings work for our friends… I weep for them.
Well, I’m not really sure what happened to the text that had been here before. It wandered off and got a drink, perhaps. Vanished into the dark depths of silicon memory, overwritten by something, somehow. Sorry about that.
Heather and I are snowed in at my parents’ house, trying to help my Dad where we can, even if it’s just emptying the dishwasher or (in Heather’s case) rearranging furniture. My Life is oddly like a movie at the moment, and I’m not quite sure how to deal with it. Mostly, my brain just feels slightly fuzzy, not really on top of what’s happening. Maybe it’s all the cat hair, or the discovery of sweaters long-lost in my parents’ basement, resurrected but not dedusted, clogging my mind and my hair and my nose with long-hidden dust.
It’s cold outside, cold and wet – like being immersed in a dog’s nose? Perhaps. Unfortunately, it’s always so very hard to focus here, I’m amazed by Heather’s ability to bury herself in her work, vanishing from the world. I’m just caught in between. I’m tired, but I can’t sleep, and I want to focus, but my brain just won’t be brought to bear. That’s probably how I deleted the text that was here in the first place. I just want to curl up and be warm! Just for a little while. It would be nice to resurrect the fireplace.
At the moment, my mom’s watching some underwater Australian SCUBA cop drama. In Australia, aparently they don’t have “bikers”, they have “bikeys” (no, I’m not sure how the SCUBA divers are going after big guys on bikes – the image of men in flippers yelling “oy mate!” comes to mind). Unless I’m just mis-hearing them. I don’t think I could take a Hell’s Angel seriously if he was a “bikey”. They’d have Bikey Boots. Hee! Ah – and they’re not a Biker Gang, it’s a Bikey Mob.
I’ve been spending a lot of time wandering my parents’ basement, taking photographs of my old environment. Lots of things that won’t mean a thing to others, but that act as triggers for my head.