July 13th, 2004.

Disaster comes in threes. Is that what I hear? After a fantastic show at the Vault last Friday, and perhaps too much joy, and too many attractive women dancing on the bar… after more fun than OUGHT to be had at a crab feast… and after the joy that was Damian’s party (Damian from Glovia, Damian made infamous by the Quotes Page)… after all of this, the blade fell.

The laptop is declared dead. Justin’s Imac died. The sink puddles and floods.

The Lloydholme air conditioner dies, the Lloyd grandmother’s chair dies, and Justin’s cell phone died.

The incredible Lea at College Perk.


Symbiont at the Thai Gour.


Heather at the Thai Gour.


Lauren running sound at the Thai Gour. She glared much after this pic.

A flying machine built by kittens.

And now I’m worried about launching into another three. The Funk Box show is beginning to worry me.

Last night, I IMed Josh of September Playground because I wanted to clear a couple of last minute contractual details with him. So, THIS is when it is revealed to me that September Playground has cancelled. He’d discussed that with the booking agent a week and a half ago, and had assumed that this would be passed along in a professional manner.


Amy and I found kittens – they were building a flying machine..

So here I am, seven days before the show – and the VENUE doesn’t even know that September Playground isn’t showing. There’s NO sign of the “headlining act” – some national tour de force that the Funk Box had theoretically insisted on booking – and suddenly we’re the only act on the docket. We don’t have ANYONE communicating with us about this, it’s all pretty damned frustrating. It’s got me really worried for the show.

Does anyone want kittens? I can direct you to these beautiful beasts.

Now, I must admit, I have NO problem with playing the show, and think we could have one Hell of a night even – we’d get to play a full length set and go home satisfied – but what if the venue suddenly decides to cancel (we have a contract guaranteeing us money, but since that amount is based on ticket sales, and we’d have to refund those ticket sales, that truly equates to nothing). If the AGENT chooses to cancel it, we get absolutely nothing nohow anyhow – I’m just… frightened.

And we are just “waiting for a response”. Did I do something bad to our karma recently?

Death.

Perhaps Jeff of Symbiont, or maybe Keith of the Dreamscapes Project… maybe one of THEM like, killed someone, or ran over a kitten… and the Karma Balancer Monks mistook one of them for me, and so I’m getting all of their karmic backwash through a cosmic case of mistaken identity. I wonder how I’d go about fixing that. It would probably involve some truly hideous paperwork.

The shy one.

August 13th, 2004.

Heather is a stormy lady.
Heather is a stormy lady.
I don't remember them having big dinosaurs from when I was working here!
I don’t remember them having big dinosaurs from when I was working here!
Heather lying on the scientific bed of nails.
Heather lying on the scientific bed of nails.
And then I guess the next day we must've gone to the Science Center in Baltimore!
And then I guess the next day we must’ve gone to the Science Center in Baltimore!
Symbiont.
Symbiont.
Symbiont.
Symbiont.
ilyAIMY.
Ha, the audience stretching around at ye olde College Perk.
Ha, the audience stretching around at ye olde College Perk. A bunch of familiar faces… look careful, it’s definitely a SCRATCH not a PICK!!!!
ilyAIMY performing at 8.13.
ilyAIMY performing at 8.13.
Dan Zimmerman.
Dan Zimmerman.
Joe Isaacs!
Joe Isaacs!
Setting up for the 8.13 Festival.
Setting up for the 8.13 Festival.
Not sure how these got missed in the original Journal, but here are photographs from the 8.13 Festival we threw at College Perk in College Park, MD on August 13th, 2004... I bet Brennan was key in organizing it... I just couldn't pass by the photographs and NOT include them!
Not sure how these got missed in the original Journal, but here are photographs from the 8.13 Festival we threw at College Perk in College Park, MD on August 13th, 2004… I bet Brennan was key in organizing it… I just couldn’t pass by the photographs and NOT include them! (oh, and this moth)

August 17th, 2004.

Sleepy robs enjoy the presence of cats. I wish I’d brought my camera in – perhaps I did… I wish I felt like getting up and looking for it. I’m staying with Jeff of Symbiont tonight. His house is a strange mix of beautiful classical furniture and scattered musical equipment, and a white ceramic skull grinning next to the couch. The cat keeps sticking her nose into its eye sockets, and that’s just plain weird, though aesthetically amusing.

Long conversations of music and day dreams and night dreams. Fights and flights of fancy and realizing our true dreams. I had a dream… I saw her die the other day, and I woke up mortified, unable to shake the feeling of what I’d lost. I enjoy talking to Jeff, it’s like staying over at an old friend’s house.

Sepember 24th, 2004.

Well, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m watching MTVs (or is it VH1? Same station anyways) – 22 Greatest Bands. Pretty frequently I’m pretty much just horrified by their decisions. What Oasis and Nine Inch Nails is doing on such a list is beyond me. But I’m being reminded of the greatness of Pearl Jam, No Doubt (but how were they REALLY influential?), Aerosmith, the Smashing Pumpkins.

Jeff and Symbiont's new singer, Karyn Oliver at Corky's in Severna Park. This was a fun night, picked up some new fans, but all in all, the venue itself was kind of a negative experience. But the chemistry between Jeff and Karyn is AWESOME. Finally, I likeee. Karyn has just such an amazing voice - full of passion and joy - and it's the first time I've seen her step from behind her guitar - it was a complete and beautiful transformation. I'm eager to play more gigs with them (yeah, Jeff - I know you read the Journal, hint hint...)
Jeff and Symbiont’s new singer, Karyn Oliver at Corky’s in Severna Park. This was a fun night, picked up some new fans, but all in all, the venue itself was kind of a negative experience. But the chemistry between Jeff and Karyn is AWESOME. Finally, I likeee. Karyn has just such an amazing voice – full of passion and joy – and it’s the first time I’ve seen her step from behind her guitar – it was a complete and beautiful transformation. I’m eager to play more gigs with them (yeah, Jeff – I know you read the Journal, hint hint…)

One of the things that I truly miss from (Green Day is one of the “most influential bands of the 90s?!?) music right now is that chilling, spine-tingling feeling that I used to get as an internal signal that I was listening to something that was TRULY great. It was the feeling of pure connexion washing through my body – and for a while I was fearing that I’d grown out of it or something – that I wasn’t getting that feeling anymore because of a hardened sensibility or something. I was really frightened that I grew up.

PorterDavis!
PorterDavis!
PorterDavis!
PorterDavis!
rob & Liz hanging and chatting in Baltimore.
rob & Liz hanging and chatting in Baltimore.

Thank God that I get it every once in a while – whether from We’re About 9 or from Van Halen’s “Panama”or the shocking contrasts of high to low in the depths of a Smashing Pumpkins guitar solo… it’s just that most modern music sucks so much cock as to be incomprehensible. Oh God, they’re putting Lincoln Park on this list? Off to the bathroom to vomit on the walls, I guess.

October 4th, 2004.

Sleep interrupted by strange and horrible dreams. Heather kept beating me at Parcheesi, and acard game based on Instant Messenger windows. Something about a gig, too, perhaps. But my brain’s too addled to pick it apart from reality.

Today I need to work on Symbiont’s website as well as my own. I’m pretty pissed off about Service Pack Two – as it wipes out ilyAIMY.com’s functionality. I have no idea why – presumably because the frames are set up in Javascript. Death… well, busy day, hoping not TOO many people have downloaded Service Pack 2 yet.

 

November 24th, 2004.

So, don’t I know the rule by now? If you wake up from a bad dream, you never, ever go back to sleep – because the next dream will be worse. By all means, attempt to return to slumber in the case of interrupted dreams of phantasm Lovers, or hit snooze to avoid your mundane employer – but if your dreams are nightmares of horror and distress, don’t let the pillow capture your skull again.

Last night was decent enough – Hell, we played the Funk Box – and that’s always awesome. I didn’t bother to bring my effects pedal because I Love the way my guitar sounds through their sound system. I’m still not sure if it’s the sound guy’s aesthetic or just the way the system’s set up, but some one Loves bass, and I Love it too, and my guitar – and for that matter – my whole band just sounds so MASSIVE and full there. And the audience Loved us. It sounded so large! Imagine my horror when I finally went and looked at the numbers for the night and realized we’d only had a draw of 18! Ouch.

I can tell myself that that’s not too bad for a Tuesday night before Thanksgiving on a week’s notice. But on the otherhand…

A lot of friends in Frederick on Monday night - here's Jeff Gerlach and Karyn Oliver of Symbiont playing with a background of Christmas lights. Hehe... <body bg="xmasLights">
A lot of friends in Frederick on Monday night – here’s Jeff Gerlach and Karyn Oliver of Symbiont playing with a background of Christmas lights. Hehe…
My first real hint of Christmas decorations for the year - other than that stupid frat house in College Park - We played Frederick Coffee Company Monday night, and the place looked like the coffee house personification of Christmas! (my favourite season!)
My first real hint of Christmas decorations for the year – other than that stupid frat house in College Park – We played Frederick Coffee Company Monday night, and the place looked like the coffee house personification of Christmas! (my favourite season!)

But we did well. I’ve really got to thank Liz – she went around pushing the mailing list, and the returns on that were massive. So, thank you thank you Liz, I hope you’ll be willing to do that again. And not that she’ll ever read this, but I also DO have to thank our sometimes agent, Diana of Moore Music, who landed us our Funk Box gigs. I feel bad disappointing her, perhaps. I don’t know how hard she works on getting us gigs – I think we actually tend to be much more of a last-minute choice, it seems. But someday I hope to turn that around.

Andre Cutair at the Frederick Coffee Company - it was cool to have so many friends there that night - Andre I've known since 95 or so - I think I met him through Will Schaff in college, perhaps just around the same time I picked up guitar. His beautiful voice and delicate chords rang through the Frederick night... I was really flattered by how blown-away HE was by our performance. I've always felt that my oldest fans/friends are my most important critics. They are the ones that I've got to keep impressing - "your set was like a sucker punch and this morning i feel moved and humbled. fuck: you guys blew shit up." Sucker punches are ALWAYS good. (don't get any ideas, Heather)
Andre Cutair at the Frederick Coffee Company – it was cool to have so many friends there that night – Andre I’ve known since 95 or so – I think I met him through Will Schaff in college, perhaps just around the same time I picked up guitar. His beautiful voice and delicate chords rang through the Frederick night… I was really flattered by how blown-away HE was by our performance. I’ve always felt that my oldest fans/friends are my most important critics. They are the ones that I’ve got to keep impressing – “your set was like a sucker punch and this morning i feel moved and humbled. fuck: you guys blew shit up.” Sucker punches are ALWAYS good. (don’t get any ideas, Heather)
Lea was the featured performer of Steve Key's Frederick Coffee Company Singer/Songwriter Showcase. I think she'll also be recording one of Steve's songs - I'm not sure of the title - the one that goes "We're just here for the runnin... that's all" - great song. Anywho, she sang it with him Monday night.
Lea was the featured performer of Steve Key’s Frederick Coffee Company Singer/Songwriter Showcase. I think she’ll also be recording one of Steve’s songs – I’m not sure of the title – the one that goes “We’re just here for the runnin… that’s all” – great song. Anywho, she sang it with him Monday night.

And of course, huge thanks to everyone who came out. There’s pictures later on – thanks to my parents for coming out to a smokey bar (I hope you had a good time despite that) and thanks to Heather’s parents for coming out (and Mara for taking pictures… more of those later on).

Lea also counts as an old, old friend. She came to play at MICA perhaps a little before I met Andre, somewhere in my... well, must've been my junior year or so? I later bought my first Takamine because she'd been playing a Takamine Jasmine and I Loved the way she played. An amazing player, she's all beating her poor guitar and slapping it around. Jazzy bassy. Heather's having her "solo" show with Sharif and Amy and asked me if I could have the same sort of set-up who I'd choose... After much thought, and after she told me I couldn't have Eddie Van Halen - I figured I'd want Lea on bass and vocals and Brooke Parkhurst (from Tinsmith) playing banjo and guitar and whistle and her beautiful, beautiful voice.
Lea also counts as an old, old friend. She came to play at MICA perhaps a little before I met Andre, somewhere in my… well, must’ve been my junior year or so? I later bought my first Takamine because she’d been playing a Takamine Jasmine and I Loved the way she played. An amazing player, she’s all beating her poor guitar and slapping it around. Jazzy bassy. Heather’s having her “solo” show with Sharif and Amy and asked me if I could have the same sort of set-up who I’d choose… After much thought, and after she told me I couldn’t have Eddie Van Halen – I figured I’d want Lea on bass and vocals and Brooke Parkhurst (from Tinsmith) playing banjo and guitar and whistle and her beautiful, beautiful voice.

So, a good night on that front. Had an early load-in, which meant an early (and easy) sound check – I like dealing with professionals. i.e. – the other band was on time (despite being from New York!), the venue opened it’s doors to us on time, the sound guy was there on time, we were there on time – professional! Even as the opening band, we got a thorough sound check – everything was smooooth like baby ass. We had time left over to run and get sushi, and that was good too.

Sushi, Funk Box – lots of friends AT the Funk Box… parking ticket. Fucking Hell. Second fucking parking ticket in a week.

But, that won’t get me down.

Because everything was professional, and everything started on time, we got out on time, and I LOVE getting out of a venue at 11pm on a weekday. We got home, I ate lasagna, and eventually turned in. Sleep was long in coming, so I took it out on Heather in the form of a giggling pillow fight. Quite nice. Rambled about quarks and the brush strokes of God to lull her back into complacency, but then fell asleep before I could take advantage of that complacency with another darkness-stealthed night attack.

I woke up this morning at 9.30am. That’s a rarity. Almost an obscenity. I no longer believe in the AM as morning – it’s the second half of night. Rain and mist had filtered the morning light into a grey murk that did nothing to dispel the cobwebs of dreaming. In my head there were still air-raid sirens and destruction.

A (perhaps surprisingly) a-typical dream of science fiction monstrosities had stalked through my head, rampaging over the Earth, destroying cities. I remember that Heather and I were hidden in ruins, watching things disintegrate. Trying to survive a nuclear winter while still justifying the guitars strapped to the top of the car. Moving inland away from where the extra-terrestrial wrought terror lies. Packing friends into the car, rearranging the gig baggage so we can fit four people in the mighty post-Apocolyptic Saturn. (Don’t know why we couldn’t get rid of the gig baggage).

And I woke up out of that to hear the reassuring sound of traffic outside. Muffled by the damp, but amplified in it’s way by the car-tire swishing that I still somehow associate with my Grandmother’s old yellow house on it’s hill in Pennsylvania.

Lulled into a sense of security, I failed to resist the warmth temptation of the bed, rolled over, and dreamt Holocaust dreams.

Living so frequently in a Jewish household, having just been to the Spy Museum where so many exhibits were devoted to the fight against Hitler, having just seen a stage version of Anne Frank’s diary…. maybe these things somehow all coagulated in my head this morning.

Hiding Heather for what seemed like months, and people accusing me of “smelling like a Jew”. I tried to at least walk the streets with Rowan in this modern day version of World War II – but we got thrown out of a pizza joint, the owner yelling that Rowan was “darkening his doorstep” – the police were called and we were running through slush that dragged at our footsteps.

Dressed in rags, there wasn’t much any place to go. Everyone knew. I remember the house being ripped apart, chains and whips. Heather being beaten down in the street and my usually monochromatic dreams took great advantage of the melodramatic red blood on snow imagery.

I finally woke up out of that – everything warm and quiet and serene. Grey outside, still drizzling murk. This time I knew it was time to get the fuck up.

While loading for the Funk Box, I watched this van lose control, swing up on the curb, and ram a fire hydrant. Contrary to the Lethal Weapon movies, water did NOT come shooting out like a geyser, and much to my disappointment, merely gushed and pooled. I haven't called 911 since I worked security at school, I think.
While loading for the Funk Box, I watched this van lose control, swing up on the curb, and ram a fire hydrant. Contrary to the Lethal Weapon movies, water did NOT come shooting out like a geyser, and much to my disappointment, merely gushed and pooled. I haven’t called 911 since I worked security at school, I think.
THIS IS NOT OUR SATURN - merely a photograph taken in sympathy for another Saturn. And then we saw another on route 95 heading towards the Funk Box. SO sad. Saturn should have a recall, replace those corner windows with big steel slabs.
THIS IS NOT OUR SATURN – merely a photograph taken in sympathy for another Saturn. And then we saw another on route 95 heading towards the Funk Box. SO sad. Saturn should have a recall, replace those corner windows with big steel slabs.

April 24th, 2005

Heather wearing her official Firedean sunglasses. I'm hoping that SOMEONE got a shot of Heather and I performing with Fire in the glasses. The actual performance was, perhaps, a bit rough.... but we were, how you say, "styling".
Heather wearing her official Firedean sunglasses. I’m hoping that SOMEONE got a shot of Heather and I performing with Fire in the glasses. The actual performance was, perhaps, a bit rough…. but we were, how you say, “styling”.
Firedean at the New Deal Cafe Crazy Quilt Music Festival.
Firedean at the New Deal Cafe Crazy Quilt Music Festival.

It’s a shame that one of the things that cameras simply can not capture is that gorgeous contrast of grey and green that you get on a day like today.

Rowan setting up at the New Deal Cafe for the Crazy Quilt Music Festival.
Rowan setting up at the New Deal Cafe for the Crazy Quilt Music Festival.

Luckily, we were early enough to play outside. Later in the night, Symbiont moved inside cause it was too cold. Pansies. Wilting pansies, man.
Luckily, we were early enough to play outside. Later in the night, Symbiont moved inside cause it was too cold. Pansies. Wilting pansies, man.

We departed under the omnipresent threat of rain, and continue between concrete barriers that stretch that grey down to the ground. An impatient New York blonde is busily flashing her lights at us from her trendy mini. Presumably she hasn’t noticed the cop behind us yet.

There’s a feeling of levitation, almost. Departing Maryland, and trying to depart all that it holds, if only for a little while. The images from my dreams last night, of medical slabs and cutting, had me lying sleepless till dawn. Through no fault of his own, I think my Father’s got some haunting to do, and it has nothing to do with the way that he Lived.

Pennsylvania is throwning squalls of rain and speeders at us. Heather’s got an Amy disc that’s perfect for the weather, and I’m looking forward to collapsing into the arms of Providence.


Yeah, Pennsylvania just ABOUT drowned us in construction and traffic… on to New Jersey, which Heather introduces with a hearty “welcome to the Land of Smell”! So far so good. The only thing really negative so far has been the God awful font they use on their signs. A little bit of sunshine… unfortunately, no really exciting radio like the stuff we had when we were through last time, returning from Sleepy Hollow.

Our brains are kind of revolting against the idea of how much time has passed since we were last here. It seems like it should’ve been just a couple of weeks ago (wasn’t it JUST January?!?), but we haven’t been along this particular route since December, racing to beat the snow home.

A spider bill found amongst our CD money.
A spider bill found amongst our CD money.

July 13th, 2005.

Tonight we got to play another full-band show. Out under the slowly darkening sky at the Columbia Lake Front for one of Joe Isaacs’ “Music that Matters” showcases. We got to share the stage with Symbiont and Dan Sheer… both of which played in formats that I hadn’t seen before.

First off, Symbiont has a new drummer, who proceeded to be a monster of a rhythm player to back Jeff’s band. Really good sound. The toms went really well with Karyn Oliver’s hips. Good power set.

Dan Sheer had brought along a guitarist/bass player who I’d met before at the Thai Gour Cafe. Great blues player… really good night of a lot of great music.. Awesome night. It was really cool being home – I was surprised because I always think that College Perk is sort of like our homecoming show, and that that’s where we see all of our friends. I forget that I REALLY come out of Ellicott City, and the Jahva House, and that Columbia probably contains a WHOLE lot more of my old, old fans. I saw people tonight who were back from four years of school who didn’t have an album past Strength in Hare. Insanity.


I can’t believe how much time I spend just wasting my Life staring at the ceiling, or staring at the interior of my own eyelids, wishing myself to sleep. I forgot the process of it a long, long time ago, and then made up my own methods to get by. But the self-exhaustion required just can’t be found anymore, and at some point, I’m going to look back on my Life and realize that I’ve wasted days and weeks and inevitably whole years just tryingto fall asleep.

A beetle that Heather and I caught for Amy. He's apparently a male ruddy-brown stag beetle and I'm glad we didn't discover that he had wings until later. It would've freaked me out.Would've upset me. It was bad enough - my mom's reaction to realizing that he Lived in the house was NOT pretty.
A beetle that Heather and I caught for Amy. He’s apparently a male ruddy-brown stag beetle and I’m glad we didn’t discover that he had wings until later. It would’ve freaked me out.Would’ve upset me. It was bad enough – my mom’s reaction to realizing that he Lived in the house was NOT pretty.
He's BEEEYOOOOTIFUL!!!! Liz found one too!
He’s BEEEYOOOOTIFUL!!!! Liz found one too!

Ha, but probably only weeks writing about it.

Rehashing events and Life and the universe and everything, and wondering how I’ve ended up where I’m at, and what branches are extended to me from here.