February 1st, 2004.

Got to go out and see a show tonight. Finally. For the first time in forever, I got to go see music and not play myself.

Did that sentence make sense? I assure you it did.

Anywho, tonight Heather picked me up from Amy’s new house and took me out to the Vault to see the Dreamscapes Project. Now, of course, there was the business side – we’re playing there next week, and we passed out flyers and put up posters and whatnot – but it was awesome to go some place and … well, I’d never say that I don’t like being the centre of attention – but I didn’t have to be “on”, which was really pleasant.

The Dreamscapes Project was incredible, as usual. Again, the band is just carried by Keith’s stage presence… well, floor presence tonight. Keith has the energy, and the sheer charisma, as well as the business acumen to REALLY be a rockstar. I was watching him tonight – and there’s part of me that feels very aware of watching him pull strings. There are these visible actions, almost scripted for the sake of the audience – but then tonight especially – I was thinking how I wish I could think things through like he does. He knows what he wants, and methodically he figures out how to make that thing happen. I Love chatting with Keith online, and just imagining the wheels turning in his head.

We also met another act, Infuseon, who met my heavy metal needs. They did a spectacular cover of Tool’s “Sober” and Jimmie’s Chicken Shack’s “Dropping Anchor”. I wish I could’ve opened up and really thrashed aboot in a pleasantly active fashion, but … alas, I am just too reserved.

February 17th, 2004.

We checked out the Funk Box last night. Awesome. I know where I want to play. Somehow, we’re going to go play the Funk Box. Angie Aparo’s going to be there… we want to be there… we want to get into the Funk Box.

Last Tuesday, the Hippodrome opened in Baltimore. We played at the Vault again, in an attempt to draw people in there....
Last Tuesday, the Hippodrome opened in Baltimore. We played at the Vault again, in an attempt to draw people in there….
Jack's opened up the windows, and now he can admire his domain.
Jack’s opened up the windows, and now he can admire his domain.

The Funk Box, once upon a time, was the 8×10 – a well-known venue with weird interior visibility issues, kind of okay sound, and really decent name recognition…

We played to Janna, and (above) Anika and Tony. Literally - the audience was three people. The only people for the whole night. Luckily, they Loved us. They are the only ones to have heard our cover of "Killing in the Name Of" by Rage Against the Machine. Whee!!!
We played to Janna, and (above) Anika and Tony. Literally – the audience was three people. The only people for the whole night. Luckily, they Loved us. They are the only ones to have heard our cover of “Killing in the Name Of” by Rage Against the Machine. Whee!!!
It's kind of nice being able to see out of the Vault now, but I'm worried about what the owner's going to have to face now with vandalism and the upped possibility of break-ins and theft.
It’s kind of nice being able to see out of the Vault now, but I’m worried about what the owner’s going to have to face now with vandalism and the upped possibility of break-ins and theft.

Their open mic was popular enough that people would line up outside for two hours before doors opened – musicians lined up in the cold, sort of making friends, and then finally rushing the guy who opens the door – cajoling frozen fingers to sign names on the list… I did it a couple of times, but I have no memory of why. I don’t remember it being THAT cool – but there was a sense of community – perhaps just because we were pulled together by our outdoor angst…

DCF 1.0
We met with Brian Gundersdorf of We're About 9 recently to talk different business strategies. Very useful. Unfortunately, the Jahva House was where we met, and though the furniture is much the same, the upstairs kiddie lounge and anti-furniture-movin warnings are a bit different.
We met with Brian Gundersdorf of We’re About 9 recently to talk different business strategies. Very useful. Unfortunately, the Jahva House was where we met, and though the furniture is much the same, the upstairs kiddie lounge and anti-furniture-movin warnings are a bit different.
DCF 1.0
DCF 1.0
I wondered what the Funk Box would be like – and that was the purpose of last night – go check it out. We were scouts. (yes, I know that when I fill the space with text or whatever, that it can get a bit confusing… and so I introduce a new style tonight – CaptionText! whee!!!)

Anywho, the Funk Box is beautiful. Awesome sound, awesome space, awesome stage, awesome fries. I was very happy. We ran into a lot of people I knew from Ellicott City and my time in Baltimore, and met a lot of new people. It looks like it’ll be a very fun place to just hang out – even better to play.

This past Saturday, we played at Zig's with the Dreamscapes Project. I don't know if I've got space for all that went wrong that night. Maybe I'll write about it later. If I have nightmares and then just can't back to sleep without talking about it... erf.
This past Saturday, we played at Zig’s with the Dreamscapes Project. I don’t know if I’ve got space for all that went wrong that night. Maybe I’ll write about it later. If I have nightmares and then just can’t back to sleep without talking about it… erf.
They auctioned off their single fans for Valentine's Day. Made themselves a good amount of money towards the new album, mostly off of a trio of lesbians that were "sold" in one lot at the very end.
They auctioned off their single fans for Valentine’s Day. Made themselves a good amount of money towards the new album, mostly off of a trio of lesbians that were “sold” in one lot at the very end.
Ben at Zig's, waving money aboot. I have no doubt that these are ill-gotten gains.
Ben at Zig’s, waving money aboot. I have no doubt that these are ill-gotten gains.

May 21st, 2004. 3.12am

SO sleepy. And of course, sleep eludes me. My brain is too whirly-full of fur and fuzz and thoughts. Dressing up as Marilyn Monroe, cicadas, a woman from tonight’s show, Nefrit’s rhythms, Keith’s banter… Keith’s hair, plans and schedules and the spectacular complexity of Life.

Nefrit El-Or at Jammin Java.
Nefrit El-Or at Jammin Java.

Life. Don’t talk to me about Life.

Tonight’s gig at Jammin Java was scrumptious. It left Heather and I in a lot of pain, but it was worth it. We got a decent response to our performance (and I saw a couple of faces that I wasn’t expecting, but was really glad to see – Ari: thanks for your table-full of creatures… and Cox? Thanks for your heads.

Brennan was filling my skull with dreams and possibilities, and now my inner gears won’t stop mulling and churning and burning the mindnight oil.

Sara brought us cicadas, and Keith cut his hair. And Nefrit El-Or continues to make my interior rhythms whirl to different dances. I can never sleep after her shows, and I have no place to retreat to and play guitar till the sun comes up. No place to let it out.

My head is full and pounding and I never know how to just
shut
it
down.

Also, I am CONVINCED that when they fixed my laptop, they installed an upgraded, and more difficult, version of Solitaire. I haven’t won a game since I got it back. CURSE the insomnia that has allowed me to discover this treachery!

January 17th, 2005.

Tired, unable to sleep. Uninterested in sleep. Heather and I have been on this stupid schedule for so long – 5am is when I get interested in bed – that it’s just hard to contemplate heading up earlier. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to go to sleep.

We had a bunch of people over tonight – just to hang out and watch the Lord of the Rings. We “only” got through the first two movies, but had an awesome time. I miss Living at the Mirkwood House in Kensington and having big movie parties. Not really as much of an option when you don’t have your own place – but I crave it. I Loved the fact that we just hung out for a couple of hours. The “party” started at noon and we didn’t watch a thing till about 3. Just a really good feeling – and a chance to bond with a couple of people that I haven’t had much of a chance to bond with.

Chris and Joylene (of the Chris and Joylene Show) and Jeff and his wife (of Symbiont – “his wife” simply because she’s not in the band and therefore not quite in the public eye and I KNOW I put plenty of names in here that aren’t but they’re closer into the ilyAIMY circle and… whatever…) showed, and I was slightly weirded out by the fact that the majority of the night was spent with a majority of married people.

The Marrieds.

How odd.

Later that same day… 
Ok, Heather and I have GOT to get back on a human sleep schedule. Went to bed at 7am and got up at 2pm. I guess we’re both just a bit panicky about money at the moment. There’s some cool things on the horizon, but there are bills much closer. Wondering if this summer will be the summer of hedonistic festival going, and then this Fall we’ll both go get day jobs for a couple of months. I don’t really want to do that.

Working on the artwork for Myxomatosis Took Its Toll. Heather drew him. I skinned him.
Working on the artwork for Myxomatosis Took Its Toll. Heather drew him. I skinned him.

Last night I read a movie review for something called “Sideways”. Something about wine-tasting that looked very much NOT to be my taste. There is a point to this despite that – the leading character is called a “failed writer”. I started thinking about that term – wondering when you go from calling yourself a “writer”, waiting for your break, waiting for that letter that says your work will be printed to accepting the title “failed writer”. If Heather or I ever quit for a moment, does that make us “failed musicians”? Or for that matter, does that make me a “failed artist” or Heather a “failed journalist”?

I’ve heard the term “failed writer” before, and I don’t think I’d ever given it too much thought – and for good reason – it seems to be a term that doesn’t really mean anything. If the person still writes, than they’re still a writer… and if they’ve gone on to soemthing else, they’ve gone on to something else.

So odd…. so tired. Where’s our management? I just want someone else to take over somedays. Most days.

Heather fixing her hair.
Heather fixing her hair.
DCF 1.0

Heather and I have an interesting work rhythm. Sometimes I’m the really productive one, never setting things down, constantly thinking, constantly doing this, that or the other – and sometimes it’s Heather. At the moment it’s Heather. It seems rare that we’re both in that zone at the same time. Things have just sort of settled that way.

ilyAIMY at College Perk.
The Dreamscapes Project at College Perk. More accurately: Of the Dreamscapes Project: Keith's hair and sitting in WITH the Dreamscapes Project, hand drummer extraordinaire, Phil.
The Dreamscapes Project at College Perk. More accurately: Of the Dreamscapes Project: Keith’s hair and sitting in WITH the Dreamscapes Project, hand drummer extraordinaire, Phil.
ilyAIMY at the Vault.
ilyAIMY at the Vault.
My night at the Vault.
My night at the Vault.
My night at the Vault.
My night at the Vault.

February 21st, 2005.

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.

Mara got some great shots of us and then the Dreamscapes Project at Jammin Java.
Mara got some great shots of us and then the Dreamscapes Project at Jammin Java.
ilyAIMY at Jammin Java for our CD release.
ilyAIMY at Jammin Java for our CD release.

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.

Sharif sleeping IN his keyboard case at College Perk.
Sharif sleeping IN his keyboard case at College Perk.
Shane, I don't know if you're still collecting shots of bathrooms, but here's one from the bathroom in Jammin Java's green room.
Shane, I don’t know if you’re still collecting shots of bathrooms, but here’s one from the bathroom in Jammin Java’s green room.

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.

And then watch cartoons!