Oh my dear lord. Why can’t the Funk Box get the right time on their website? HATE!!! Yeah, the owner apologizes profusely, but there’s no way to ever find out how much damage something like that does. Web sites. Pish.
Tonight we brought home a stray. Not a kitten bent on flight and skies, but a fellow rockstar.
Daniel Lee has been on the road for four years – and for the past several months I’ve been hearing about him from Brennan, from Mitzi, from Amy. He’s spectacular, and deserving of a better following than he’s got. But I base that on the fact that his following is made up merely of people that have heard him. I don’t think there’s a human alive that can listen to him and not be moved. He makes me want to set my guitar down and step back from it slowly, nonchalantly… as if to say… who me? I don’t play guitar… why?
He asked me if I wanted to join him on a song – I’m glad I didn’t. I Loved being able to wander the Funk Box open mic and watch people’s reactions. People didn’t even notice me as I moved through the multicoloured light, they were transfixed by Daniel’s ferocious onstage presence.
There was a moment at the end of a song when he brought his fist down to his strings like a death blow. Silencing the feedback like he’d knifed the guitar.
Far better than Jimi Hendrix and his pansy-ass guitar torching.
We played the Funk Box open mic tonight, and by chance ran across Daniel, as well as Prout of Hudson & Prout from Mick O’Shea’s. Prout showed off what he does solo – lots of reverb and spectacular looping tricks… he turned a Howie Day cover into a techno tune worthy of a rave.
But we’ve retired from the muggy Baltimore night and have retreated to the Lloydholme. Daniel’s making three foot tall Love letters with which he plans to woo someone at dawn. Heather and I are reciting Lord of the Rings lines and getting the CDs together and being branded geeks by the Love-lorn Daniel.
And we’re ALL soooo high on marker fumes.
What an amazing night. The Funk Box was worth every moment of angst. What an amazing night. Best gig we’ve ever played, perhaps. Two djembes beat out drum kit any night. And well air-conditioned. Score. I want to play THERE forEVER.
Sitting later that morning, listening to Underfoot with Daniel, we Love to be able to Introduce incredible things to one another.
Rocking out at the Funk Box. I think it was just such a relief after everything that had gone wrong, we really let loose. It was like a soap opera leading up to this gig – both personally and professionally, and then tonnes of things with the Lloydholme (and on top of everything else, David’s truck’s air conditioning just died!)… it was such a relief just to get up there and play. I’m going to have to write it all in the Journal eventually, but I’ll have to exclude names, or SOMETHING… I don’t know. It’s just… so much as to be unbelievable.
I’m still recovering from the sheer power of last night’s gig. Getting to play the songs that MEAN so much to me, rather than just our typical “bar set” was spectacular. The fans and friends who’ve missed that really responded – much flipping, cavorting, and general joy. A good time was had by all. AND we made our quota for the night, so hopefully we’ll be returning in a couple of months.
I’ve got to admit, I don’t even feel tired. At the moment. It’s closing in on 4am, and my mind is whirling. I was exhausted moments ago, but the computer screen perks me up a bit. I AM tired of being up all night (and there’s the balance – I can feel the fatigue creeping in) – I’ve been tossing and turning for days (well, nights) it seems. Since my last Journal entry, perhaps, I’ve been unable to get comfortable, and my brain hasn’t SHUT up to allow me to sleep. I’m lucky, I get to sleep in, but there’s something a WHOLE lot less than satisfactory when you “go to bed” at 2am, but are still fully conscious for sunrise. By the time you wake up, you realize that you’ve spent the past 10 hours in bed or something, but only 3 or 4 actually sleeping. And those hours are fitful, and you wake up with the traffic, and with the birds.
The four-piece act seems to be the new favourite. The sound was crisp, clean, and thunderous when both Rowan AND Heather were on the djembes.
Insomnia is nothing new to me (I know, I know – I can’t really claim “insomnia” if I’m still getting a whole 4 hours). I ALWAYS have trouble falling asleep, always have. I hated having a bed time when I was younger because I knew I’d just lie there in the dark… waiting. My head’s always full of THINGS. I remember I used to lie awake in terror because I didn’t want to be conscious when midnight came. The first time I realized I was going to just HAVE to see the Witching Hour, I covered my head with my pillow so it would look like I was a victim of foul misdeeds. I’m not sure where I got the idea, but I think I spent much of my early childhood believing that the Headless Horseman (as visualized and animated by Walt Disney) would ride out of my closet at 12 o’clock and strike off the heads of whoever he found.
By now, it almost feels like I’ve seen more midnights than noons, and almost ALL of the daybreaks I’ve seen, despite the romance, have been involuntary.
So, tonight my brain has it’s teeth into monetary fears, Living plans, and the Future. I have an insurance bill due at the beginning of next month, and it will scrape me dry.
Now, I’ve been scraped dry before, and I know that I’ll recover. I’m not really afraid of running out of money – because things always seem to work out. I have Gallery moneys coming to me, and uncashed checks, but there’s still that nagging feeling that things are undone, and that I should be doing more. That launches me into wondering if I’m doing the right thing, if there’s any future in what I’m doing. I start thinking about how much I wish I’d never sold my Volkswagon, how nice it would be to have a camper of some sort.
I’ve been looking online, finding prices – and wishing I had a spare couple of thousand dollars. I’d kill for a new Vanagon camper, and seriously maim people for just about anything with a bed in it – as long as it runs, looks like it’ll be running for some time to come, and preferably has air conditioning (cause I’m SPOILED!!!)
It would just be nice to never have to worry about where I was going to sleep ever again, you know? AND my stomach’s bothering me, AND my boxers are riding up, AND my shoulder hurts…. man, moments like this, I wish I could still be in school. I envy Justin his pending departure. I never appreciated it at the time, but MICA was SUCH a haven from the real world.
So tired. The weather is throwing me. The afternoons are looking too much like twilight, and I wake up honestly not knowing whether I am entering the day or leaving it. But hell, I get to wake up in the afternoons, so I suppose I don’t have all that much to complain about.
The Funk Box show was fun, sounded good. Thanks everybody that came out. It was definitely a labor of love, though, because what looked very crowed was actually very much not, and then on top of everything they docked us payment for two more people because they assumed we’d used all 4 of our comp tickets instead of the two we actually used. I’m done being bitchy about that now. Sigh.
I love when people dance and get into stuff. It makes me happy. It makes me feel like I’m giving people something. That people come out to see us still feels like a gift.
So the solo show, looks like it’s going to be awesome. Perhaps so awesome, in fact, that I should have been more bold and opted to host it at a larger venue when I was thinking of places to have it. I figured I wanted it kind of small and casual. I mean, this time WAS supposed to be band vacation, after all. So this thing is supposed to be fun. In thinking of it that way, I completely forgot that lots of other people might think it would be fun, too, and oh, I don’t know … come see it. Duh.
Still, we should all have such problems. Anyone who wants to come, come on down and we’ll make it work. If I can pack the car, I can pack a coffeeshop. Oh, and turns out Brian Gundersdorf of We’re About 9 is doing a solo show the very next night at the old Jahva House in Ellicott City. My first appearance of any kind with ilyAIMY was a couple songs at the Jahva House the last night it was open under that name. So that shows you how new and how old I am to the ilyAIMY tradition. Anywho, Brian’s trying to get them to bring music back there. So why not make a weekend of it, everyone? Solo Shows and Turkey Leftovers Weekend. Brian and I shoud get some joint T-shirts made. Anyone got a solo show on Sunday?
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…
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.
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).
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.