Hehe – just something worth mentioning – went to see Aoutar, which I may or may not be spelling correctly, at the College Perk. Decent enough show – they need a bass player desperately, methinks. A very cool, middle-eastern type sound.
Anywho – I stepped outside to call my parents, and on the way back in, two guys were standing in the doorway. I nodded to one of them, paused, said “Excuse me” at which point they apologized and stepped out of the way.
And on my way into the crowded room, I heard something that made me grin:
“Dude, you know who that IS?”
“That’s the lead singer from ilyAIMY!!!”
“Oh shit. Really? I feel so stupid!”
In other randomness – my Father has this inventor friend named, unpretentiously, John Smith. I don’t know precisely what he does, but I’ve always gotten the impression that he’s paid to sit around and think… to fiddle and tinker… to create. I’ve mostly known his work to deal with stereoscopic images, and every once in a while my Dad gets a phone call. I haven’t heard it in years, but I’d recognize John’s thin, wispy voice in an instant.
So today’s random phone call could’ve included a dirty joke, or he could be calling my Dad’s attention to some article in some obscure magazine – but today he’s asking if anyone knows what that page is called at the beginning of a book, where there sits nothing but a quote, or perhaps a piece of poetry… not a dedication – but some sort of artistic introductory summing up…
No idea – John goes on to tell my dad about how he’s linked up two computer monitors, showing and running the same application, but with a slight offset to create a stereo (3D) image… and that’s not enough, so he’s hooked up ANOTHER keyboard so someone else can manipulate the same thing. He can now view 3D images, and even DRAW in three dimensions.
This morning started with a jumo. I’m not quite sure how it happened visually – reflections and blurs and half-remembered dreams conspired to rearrange my view of the side of Heather’s head into Brennan staring wide-eyed at me from across the pillow.
I jerked away and things resolved into Heather’s earings. Not quite sure what happened there. Very disturbing.
So much happened yesterday. Unbelievable amounts of stuff. There are SO many pictures. Today I’m sitting happily in my orange pants, half-heartedly watching some Cameron Diaz movie and organizing photographs.
Last night, after watching Aoutar, we went back to my parents’ house to crash. Then we ventured forth into the world, slowly – the bright lights of the shining sun certainly somewhat discouraging ME from emergence. But my mom made me scrambled eggs the way she used to (with cream cheese), and that was reason enough to regain consciousness.
So, my mom went out to weed the garden, my dad lamented about his computer, Heather slept, and I played games until about 1 when my dad tried to get us to go out to the woods for a walk. He had the right idea – the weather really was perfect yesterday… perfect for frog hunting!
And THAT, my friends, is where our story begins.
We’re sitting on the Lloydholme back porch. Heather’s writing poetry, and I’m writing letters and Journal entries. Worrying that yesterday has produced ten pages of pictures. I’m reading emails from new fans – newcomers to the ilyAIMYite fold. The listeners of the Folk Art Cafe are more vocal than most… and I have a tonne of what can only be described as “fan mail” floating through my inbox.
I feel exhausted, and happy, and good. The theramin thrum of the cicada song continues unabated, and I’m hoping for a thunderstorm before the evening’s out.
Last night’s Folk Art Cafe gig was a success. Sort of a success. I’m not being a good independent musician, and we forgot to put out a tip jar and advertise it’s presence.
I thought about it once, and then didn’t think about it again. My fault entirely. But it’s not something that I can do again. Gas prices are beginning to legitimately scare me, and I don’t think people are taking it seriously. I mean – we’ve all grown up groaning about fluxes in the price of gas. Ten cents here, twenty cents there – but I’ve been reading newspaper articles about the reality of $3.00 a gallon gas.
Now, I’m sure our two European fans are reading that and scoffing – but for us that’s about a 200% increase, and that’s a huge number. I’ve been budgeting for gas for a while – and overbudgeting, to make sure we don’t fall short. You know, it’s always a nice surprise when you realize you have more money than you thought. But here we’ve gone from $1.80/gallon being a “high” estimate of the cost of gas to $2.05/gallon being woefully inadequate. With the majority of our expenses being car-related, I’m worried that we’re about to see our expenses effectively double without any possibility of something similar happening with our income. That’s really frightening. How to we like the idea of small independent artists effectively being eliminated by something as stupid as the rising price of gasoline?
And so we come to the hope of finding alternatives… but what are they? There are conversion kits – good for converting your DIESEL vehicle to run on vegetable oil. Heather’s looking at getting a hybrid, if the settlement for the accident ever comes through – but the chances of THAT kind of money falling into our laps, I think, is slim to zero.
The way our world works… it makes sense to me in one way, but… it’s so spectacularly short-sighted. The Baltimore Sun writes something to the effect that it’s not that the price of gas is getting excessively high, but that the price of gas HAD been too low. This front-page article goes on to assert that this is actually a good, thing – that there is always the possibility that the thinning supply of oil is actually a percursor of a shortage – not caused by supply and demand or those pesky brown-skinned AY RABS that we’re all supposed to hate… but caused by the very real fact that the planet may be drained of this not-very-renewable resource.
And so, the Sun asserts – running out is a good thing, as this will teach us the value of conservation.
That’s excellent ladies and gentlemen – but while we’re learning that lesson, how are we getting to work? How are we making our plastics and latex and rubbers? Hehe – we’re all stuck at home with nothing to do and no condoms. THAT will teach us our lesson, won’t it? I’m not a doom-sayer – but I also wonder how much warning there would be… or if the pumps would just go dry one day, and since the government of the United States (and as far as I know, just about every other government as well) hasn’t exactly placed a high-priority on alternative fuel sources, and in most cases, has actively discouraged it’s exploration… well, what happens?
I don’t know, it’s an awful lot like a man taking his sixty foot ladder, chucking it down a dark hole, and hopping down after it. Plus or minus surviving the fall, it’s hit or miss whether or not that ladder’s going to get him back into the light again.
And so… here we are… I can worry about it – and it would certainly be impolitic to purchase a Humvee at this moment in time. Perhaps you place solar panels on your house, but they haven’t been good for much other than heating water up till now. You could vote for the politician that is interested in green sources of energy… but when it comes down to it, we’ve built a system where money talks, and little else has any sort of voice whatsoever.
So we nabbed two and made a run for it.
Buy the hybrids? There are like… four on the market. There will be another four next year perhaps… but there isn’t much to choose from, and the current nine month waiting period (shouldn’t that be signal enough that these are in demand and that supply should follow? or is that waiting list why car companies feel so confident charging $10k+ for a two door compact car?) is reason enough for most consumers to turn their eyeballs elsewhere.
Perhaps you purchase the diesel vehicle and buy the conversion kit. That sounds very viable, and the more reading I do, the more it seems smart. Am I ready to start asking at the back of restaraunts for their left over cooking oil? Not, I think, until I’ve met someone who runs one of these cars and they show me their modus operandi. My ideal world, right now – would be to get a diesel VW Westfalia, perhaps – get the conversion kit, and have at the world…. but at the moment, this is all just dreamin.
Random note – Heather just caugnt me a ligntning bug. She demands that it LIGHT UP NOW!! Hrm – she just brought me a chocolate covered banana. She’s dangerously close to being sweet, and I’m naturally suspicious.
Cursed June. Yesterday I had allergies, band practice, and an open mic, and I’ve learned some important lessons.
1) Band practice is very important, but I’m really having so much fun with the threesome right now, that all I can think ALL through band practice is “mmmm…. threesome”… which isn’t something that should slip out into the microphone, because everyone gets all weird and thinks I’m talking about sex.
2) Don’t take drugs from the drummer. I was under the influence of something vicious last night, in the form of an antihistimine. I was still sort of high when we got back to the house. I’m not sure if I played really, really fast, or if I was percieving the world as running very, verrry, slooooow.
3) A lesson that I really should’ve learned by now – never judge an open mic until you actually play it. Alfred had asked us to come out and play the Sly Fox Pub last night – normally this thing takes place outside on their massive deck, but last night it was drizzly and dribbly with occasional damp, so the whole thing was moved into this very tiny, very Annapolitan space underground, where it was hot, and muggy, and nasty, and moist.
There was us, the host, and two other performers, and Alfred had wandered off, and we were up next (old friend Leigh, from the Year of the Rabbit was one of the other actually play it. Alfred had asked us to come out and play the Sly Fox Pub last night – normally this thing takes place outside on their massive deck, but last night it was drizzly and dribbly with occassional damp, so the whole thing was moved into this very tiny, very Annapolitan space underground, where it was hot, and muggy, and nasty, and moist.
There was us, the host, and two other performers, and Alfred had wandered off, and we were up next (old friend Leigh, from the Year of the Rabbit was one of the other performers) and these two hippie-ish looking creatures have wandered it and are looking all around for someone – and they just looked too much like Alfredians to NOT be – so I started talking to them… one was this very cute percussionist, and the other started getting into the metaphysics of creativity. I apologized for my total inability to follow, and blamed it on Alfred’s antihistimines. We played fast and sweated profusely, and blew the room away, and the owner asked what we did with our Saturdays. Score for us.
Last night was just… unimaginably wonderful. Dan Blakeslee was Audrey’s RA in our freshman year of college, and I spent so much time over there, he might as well have been my RA too. He was a beautiful, crooning voice ricocheting off the Commons walls, a spectacular fixture of the stairwells, inspiring us to open our windows and open our ears. I was still fresh to acoustic music – Whitney had stopped off after the Indigo Girls and Simon and Garfunkle. Audrey was working me over with folk recordings, but Dan was on the landing outside sparkling and generating light.
Maybe two weeks ago, Dan called me out of the blue to tell me that he was dropping in for a bit – so we set him up a show at the only place I know that will give me the time I want at the last minute – the Folk Art Cafe.
Great show. Dan was exhausted from working on bike ramps all day, and spent the whole set-up hour + passed out on the couch. It was cute. Having got fed up with the sound system, we ended up just playing acoustic, which worked out pretty well, +/- the whole piano volume issue.
Jason wearing one of Heather’s keys, and enjoying it profusely, apparently.
I don’t know that I can really effectively describe what it was like. Dan was my idol in college, one of my original inspirations. I know I have a bad habit of getting mushy on stage, so I avoided talking too much about it. But knowing that Ali sort of views us that way, I had to talk to her about it – I wanted to pass some of that feeling along. Let her know that I was burning right then.
I had a dream the other night with the full awareness that my Father had died. Previous dreams involved just having him in the background, like he always was… then progressed to dreams where the cancer was some sort of mistake, and he was going to be fine, and then dreams where he was still alive, but sick again, and the whole process was just about to begin again, but this time we knew the hopelessness, the helplessness, and the inevitable outcome..
The other night in Disputanta, VA, staying with Chelsea and Beau, I dreamt that I was standing in the hallway at my mom’s house, and that I glimpsed my dad sitting in a chair in the Living room (a chair, bright yellow and long since disposed of in the real world). He was almost solid, and though he motioned me closer, I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I don’t remember being shocked in the dream, and I remember telling other people about the vision, and them telling me that it was a good thing. I think my brother could see him too. I woke up confused and feeling comforted that this was confirmation of the existance of some sort of afterlife, a promise of continuation – until I remembered that we’d thrown at the chair and realized that it was a dream. That sort of threw me. I’ve been feeling a little off ever since, I suppose.
Friday morning we got up and drove from Disputanta to Carrboro, North Carolina where they were in the midst of an Art Walk. Open shops and open doors. Carrboro is a strange little college town with poorly defined boundaries and murals on every available flat surface. Heather, of course, had nothing to worry about, but I had the fear that if i stood still for any length of time, someone would come out of the woodwork and art me up.
All of our Northern North Carolina friends came out and represented at the Open Eye (Cafe of the Dark Lord), and in honour of Sauron (the logo for the Open Eye looks very much like the Eye), I even sang a special version of “the Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton”. Hail Sauron. A special thank you to Russ and his wife (the nail queen!) for coming out, and on top of everything else, mentioning us in a drum circle to a local duo, Alison and Darren. On Russ’ advice, they looked me up, and Darren is slowly working his way through learning Deep in the AM. He seemed thrilled to actually watch us play – their enthusiasm just lit up the room.
Then our host for the night, Jamie, also brought out a bunch of friends. All in all, we had a pretty decent crowd. Jonathan Byrd (who’d we met at the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival a couple days previous) even walked in. Go fig. Oh he of the beautiful CD designs.
After the gig, we went back to Jamie’s and just shot the shit with her and her friends till about 3am. I like the feeling that we restore a little youth to everyone we visit – allowing them to relive the college days of late night roommate conversations. It’s something that we all seem to miss, that sense of comeraderie. Apparently, having roommates just isn’t adult anymore, but it’s something we all regret losing, to some extent at least. I think the ideal marriage would have a lot of roommatish traits… 2am hour-long conversations held sitting in a doorjam because you’ve passed on the way to the bathroom.
Hehe – we just passed “The Lost Sock” laundromat…. and a “waterfowl impoundment area”. Don’t know about all that.
We’re travelling slowly down route 1 near the southern edge of North Carolina. Construction and detours have us lead astray, but not for long. We found my father along the road along the way.
We returned to the Old Bowie Town Grille last night and though onstage I was happy with myself, offstage I was displeased. I was funny and charming and played guitar like a motherfuckin’ FIRE (or does he say riot? I’ve never looked it up) – off stage I was VERY aware of having just screwed up a bunch of lyrics (like my old self) and even lost my place in a couple of songs (once cause I was misdirected, twice cause I lost count and thrice cause I WAS RIGHT but everyone else did something else!) and was bitter and tired and potentially snappish.
I hope I wasn’t snappish.
We were filming, and there’s a WHOLE additional level of angst when you’re trying to not only make your hands go and your mouth go and breathe appropriately and run sound and think “what’s next?” and not trip over anything and then ADD looking cool and make sure you’re emotive and how’s my hair?!?!
Yeah, it’s a lot. And for many, many years I’ve generally thought I’m a fun stage performer, but when you’ve got to actually THINK about it? Good lord – it can ALL go to Hell.
No, really… go to HELL!
I think that though it probably wasn’t a great show, we PUT ON a great show – which is a weird distinction, perhaps – but what I mean by that is that I think the audience had a great time, and we did very well financially – and the venue was very happy and wants us back as soon as we’re able – but I don’t know how much of the video’s going to be a great application piece and I was heartily aware of every missed lyric, sloppy chord and missed note.
And of course the sad part about having put a lot of energy into filming it – that means you can’t help but heartily critique. THAT’S going to be interesting.
So – in any case, I’ve got a couple of other things that I kind of want to gripe about, but I shouldn’t because I’m genuinely trying to project less negativity.
So what I REALLY should say is I had a funny interaction at Safeway with a sidling woman who commiserated with me about our collective lack of interest in the Sports Ball and our distress over how it seems to impair the faculties of those around us.