Category Archives: sousaphone

okay, here it is, all at once…

because the next few weeks are going to be tremendously busy, and i’m not sure how much time or energy i’m going to have for trendy computer gizmos…

i’m getting ever closer to finishing the repair work on thaddeus’ E-flat sousaphone, for which he intends to give me (on the condition that, when he absolutely NEEDS a tuba, it’s his) a BB-flat tuba that he is in possession of, which used to belong to hokum w. jeebs. i’ve finished the “hard” part, which was actually procuring the correct piece (the “mouth pipe” or “lead pipe” pictured here). the rest of the process, of course, is soldering everything back together… which i have done before, but it was a LOOOOOOOONG time ago, before my injury, and so i’m a little nervous about the whole thing… one of the good things, that i need to remember, is that this is thaddeus’ UGLY E-flat sousaphone, despite the fact that the lead pipe is brand new and shiny, and pretty much anything i do to it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s playable when i get done… and it WILL be playable, i guarantee that… 8)

then, i’ve been working with chris, who owns neighborhood acupuncture, making a business card, and i’ve been going back and forth with him for about a week. he keeps leading me to believe that he’s ready to send it off to get it printed, and then, at the last minute, there are a bunch of minor changes… which wouldn’t be so bad if chris was more accessible by email, but he’s not… he makes changes, and then he might not check his email again until tomorrow… and if he really needed the business cards “last week” (as he assured me, when i asked him), that’s not the way to get it done…

also, while i was in seattle dealing with the illusion that chris’ business cards were ready to send out, my elderly, brain-injured client called me with news that his computer suddenly quit working. from his (hazy, inaccurate) description of what had happened to his computer, i deduced that he was very likely having power supply issues. so when i was done at chris’, i went to capitol hill and took out my client’s power supply which i suspected had gone tits-up, and took it down to RE-PC, where i confirmed that it had, indeed, gone tits-up: the guy plugged it in, listened to the (annoying, high-pitched) noise it was making, and said that it had at least two blown capacitors. so i recycled the old power supply and bought a new one, which i’m going to put in tomorrow, after the snake suspenderz rehearsal.

AND there’s the moisture festival, which starts on thursday. i’m playing 13 performances over 24 days with the fremont phil, and 4 performances during the same period of time, with snake suspenderz, two of which are “fluffing” the crowd pre-show, and two of which are on the stage with the rest of the performers.

so, without further ado, i’m going to morph into my alternate personality, one of the busiest low-brass players on the west coast… 8)

mrph…

today is the flying karamazov brothers show for which i earned free tickets in exchange for playing sousaphone in the parade last saturday. i was hoping to get together with dave cole this evening and discuss where to go with thaddeus’ sousaphone (pictures after most of the duct-tape was removedbleah! πŸ˜› ), but i forgot about the FKB show until this morning… which now means that i won’t get to discuss the sousaphone with someone who actually knows what they’re doing (as compared to me, who theoretically knows what to do with a brass instrument of that size and lack-of-repair) until sunday… probably…

oh well… at least thaddeus isn’t in too much of a hurry to get it back… ’cause if he was, he’d be outta luck…

on the other claw, Big Bois With Poise has an audition for America’s Got Talent on saturday, which is complicated by the fact that one of the big bois currently has a fever and is in bed — probably because of all that rehearsing and filming in the cold, wet, windy weather a few days ago. however, we wouldn’t even have the audition if it weren’t for the filming we did, because our act involves fire, which is forbidden in the ballroom of the downton sheraton hotel (which is where the auditions are being held), so it’s not as bad as it could be.

FKB parade &c.

so i was recruited to play sousaphone for a parade this afternoon, which was to drum up publicity for the Flying Karamazov Brothers shows at ACT theatre starting on february 2nd.

it was rather like the time, a couple of years ago, when i played sousaphone for the fighting instruments of karma and discovered that i knew about ¾ of the people in the band from other places: from bellingham, primarily, but i had played in various different groups with a whole bunch of people who were also in the fighting instruments of karma. i remember thinking, then, and my experience today only solidifies that thought, that this is my karass…

not too bad a karass to be a part of, with the new old time chautaqua, rev. chumleigh, the flying karamazov brothers, cirque de flambe, etc., etc., etc… πŸ˜‰

i have “reading” glasses, and “seeing” glasses, but because of the fact that the lyre for my sousaphone is so close to my face, i can’t even use the “reading” glasses to read the music when i’m playing sousaphone, so i have to not wear any glasses at all, which is fine for reading music that is 6 inches from my face, but lousy for actually seeing were i’m going or what’s around me. apart from blurs, i was totally blind for the parade… they found a 15-foot-tall banner from somewhere which was supposed to be carried in front, but because of the fact that it was 15 feet tall, it didn’t fit on the sidewalk, and they had to carry it in the street.

we went to the pike place market and held up traffic by parading the wrong direction on pike place. then we did a “show” under the clock for about five minutes, while people who looked suspiciously like policemen on bicycles nervously cased the crowd. i saw a whole bunch of photographers taking what appeared to be pictures of me, but because of the fact that i couldn’t actually see, i’m not sure. one thing for sure, i didn’t take any pictures of my own.

after the parade, i picked up a sousaphone from thaddeus, which i’m going to fix in exchange for him giving me (conditionally) a BBb tuba that used to be Hokum’s… and i really hope that i’m actually going to be able to fix that sousaphone, because i really want that tuba, but also because i haven’t actually worked on a brass instrument for quite some time, and i don’t have a lot of dent removal tools. fortunately, the majority of the “fixing” appears to involve soldering braces that have come loose, and/or re-aligning tubing that has come un-aligned… which i think i can do, more or less… fortunately, i’ve got a ringer, in that i’ve got a professional musical instrument repair technician who specialises in low brass to help me if i get stuck.

on my way home, i was driving down I5 north of the west seattle freeway, and i saw a newish honda civic with a license plate that said “GANESA”… the guy obviously wanted my license plate, but i already had it… πŸ˜‰