seven performances of the moisture festival later…
the first performance of the moisture festival, i wore my purple suit, with the purple bow tie and the purple tando hat… and the guy who was in the attendent’s booth at the parking garage had a blue beard, and was dressed all in blue. when he saw me, he said “you’re as purple as i am blue!”… he said his name is blue. 😉 i’m taking monique to a moisture festival show on sunday, specifically because i want to see this guy called “the broken juggler” — michael rayner — who, i think, lives in tacoma, and is around 60 years old. he has a regular thing where he posts videos of himself: he has a pillow that has nicholas cage’s face made out of sequins, and, while he’s rocking on a rola-bola, or standing on a spring-loaded wiggle-board, or something like that, he does some sort of complicated juggling thing, or he spins a flaming cheeseburger on a parasol, or he does some fancy flower-stick maneuvers with a tennis racket, or something like that, with one hand, and, with the other hand, he strokes the sequins on the pillow so that nicholas cage’s face appears, and then he throws the nicholas cage pillow over his back, and sinks it in a basketball hoop behind him. 🤣
i’ve got a sousa band rehearsal this evening. first one of the 2023 season. we’re down a tuba player and at least one trombone player – the tuba player and his wife, who plays E♭ saxhorn (it’s a small horn that looks like a baritone, only with a trombone-like bore, and tuned in E♭, so it is between a french horn and a baritone. reads in treble clef. she plays french horn parts, most of the time.) are moving to portugal and the trombone player is moving to italy. i MAY have located one or two other trombone players, which would free me up to play tuba, although i don’t really want to, because i know ALL the trombone parts, but i know NONE of the tuba parts… and tuba is a really important instrument in a large ensemble, which means i am not even the best choice for a replacement tuba player…
i haven’t taken mushrooms for 10 days, and the weather is changing to the kind of weather in which i like to take mushrooms. this year, moe got permits to go and cut firewood in the “campbell-global snoqualmie tree farm”, a huge tract of land northeast of fall city, which, technically, is all private property (unless you have a permit). there are a whole bunch of rules about what you can, and cannot do while accessing their property, and there are even more restrictive rules about who gets a permit, which mean that, if i decide to go there to hike while taking mushrooms, i can’t bring a friend (other than moe, who also has rights to a permit) unless they buy a “day pass” at the perimeter gate, they can’t ride in my car, and they can’t take their own car in to the main parking lot, which is about five miles uphill from the perimeter gate. 😒 but, apart from that, it goes from I5 in the south, all the way up to highway 2, in the north, and it’s probably 25 miles from east to west, and it’s all forest, logging roads, and no civilisation for miles.
before the moisture festival started, i had my first serious fall off my unicycle… but, because of the fact that i had bought safety gear (knee and elbow pads), literally THE DAY BEFORE, and was actually WEARING that safety gear, i didn’t get as injured as i could have. however, i did get a scrape on the side of my left hand, and i bent my glasses to the point where i had to take the lenses out to get them straight-ish… and they’re still not as straight as they were. i’ve got an appointment with a new eye doctor, with my new vision insurance (thanks to moe), on friday.
moe got me a “hindu drum machine” for xmas, and i’ve been playing around with it, but it assumes that you know what you’re doing, and a lot of the labels are in devanagari script… and, while i can read devanagari script, i still don’t know how to make sense of the words that it is trying to convey. don’t get me wrong, it’s an AWESOME gift, and i am going to play the hell out of it, but i’ve got to learn a little bit more about what i’m doing first… not to mention the fact that it doesn’t have a way to hook it up to batteries (yet)…
so, along those same lines, i got an “app” for my “tablet” (it STILL seems really bizarre to me that people say it that way, but… it doesn’t matter) called “iTabla Pandit”, which is, basically, the same “hindu drum machine”, but it’s also got a couple of tambouras and a shruti box, all of the labels are in roman script, there’s an obvious indicator when the taal repeats, and the entire thing is tunable, both individually (you can tune both tambouras separately from the tablas and the shruti box, OR you can tune all of them as a group [which is what i did]).
and it sounds AWESOME with the harmonic flute, by itself, with no electronic help at all… i’m getting ready to test it with electronic “oomph” in the park down the road (because it’s not raining and the sun is out for a change). hopefully something fun will come of it.
ETA – 230208 1500 PDT — yup, it’s a good one… i’ve got to figure out how to run sound from my tablet into my amplifier, but the harmonic flute is quiet enough that i can do without it for outdoor performances. 😉👍👍
with the panto over, there hasn’t been much for me to do, and, because i have been depressed, i have spent a lot of time sitting and doing nothing, because if i get up and do something, something could go wrong, and then the world would have one more reason to hate me, but if i sit and do nothing (these days, twit™ turd™ counts as doing nothing), nothing can go wrong. it’s a lot of… fun? i’d take mushrooms, but the weather has been rainy and cold, and it still gets dark around 5:00.
we tried to go busking last wednesday, but we got there around 10:30 and there was nobody there… probably 5 or 6 vendors where there are usually 50 or 60, and even fewer tourists, at the bridge spot. under the clock there were booths with their chain barricades down, and, while there were people at the fish market, there weren’t any fish on display, and it looked like they were cleaning up to go home. as far as i can tell, it wasn’t any sort of holiday, and nobody that we talked to had any clue why the market was a ghost town.
allegedly, we’re gearing up for the moisture festival. we’re doing the second week, march 23rd through the 26th, 6 shows… but it’s at the broadway performance hall, this year, which doesn’t have parking, which means that there is a very strong probability that i will have to park half a mile away, and hike in with my tuba… plus, my understanding is that the broadway performance hall is a union shop, and i am fairly sure that the moisture festival is NOT a “union shop”, and never has been, so i don’t know how that is going to work. meanwhile, the old palladium is boarded up and has a “for lease” sign on the front. 😞
moe is going to orlando on saturday. we finished with the panto last weekend, and, yesterday, macque tested positive for COVID, which means that he likely was exposed at the panto. moe sez she’s going to wear her mask religiously, except for when she’s drinking water, but… i was potentially exposed to macque, and moe was potentially exposed to me, and nobody will know anything until she’s already in orlando. we’ve arranged for a puppy-sitter to take quill (the new puppy), so that i won’t have to deal with an un-trained seven-month-old puppy, which is a good thing, because i actually have a paying gig on saturday (the day moe leaves for orlando), in georgetown, and, with moe in orlando, a puppy would put a severe strain on my ability to perform successfully.
i harvested around 15 dried grams of wavy caps from my experimental mushroom patch, and, as far as i can tell, the mycelium has grown into the ground, which means a much higher possibility of more wavy caps, if not soon, at least next year. dare i say, this is a long-term project that appears to have gone right, for a change.
blah blah, new year, new me, blah blah blah… 😒 i’ll tell you what: i’m going to do the best that i can NOT to kill myself this year, through direct or indirect action (indirect, in case you’re dense, refers to COVID or something like that). my “new years intention” (because “resolutions” are too restrictive) is less depression.
along those lines, i didn’t get a harvest from my “experimental” mushroom patch last year, but it has developed LOADS of mycelia… now, there’s no GUARANTEE that they’re “the right kind” of mycelia, and, until they start sprouting mushrooms, there will be no way to know for sure, but… it was three unplanted containers of sterile potting soil, covered with a thin layer of wood chips and straw, which i inoculated with mycelia LAST YEAR. i didn’t plant anything else in the containers, and, basically, i have left them alone for a year… apart from watering them occasionally, during the dry months last summer. i don’t KNOW that the mycelia i propagated is the one i’m looking at, but… well… there’s enough mycelia that all i had to do was disturb the top layer of wood chips SLIGHTLY to expose A LOT of mycelium… so there’s always hope…
however, even with auxiliary mushrooms from matrix genetix, the weather has been snowy/rainy/awful enough that it has been difficult to take as much mushrooms as i like, so i’ve been taking “microdoses” that i can’t perceive, but which smooth out the bumps to the point where i’m not snapping at people, complaining about everything, and being a complete recluse… but i’m still not particularly pleasant to be around. 😒
i’ve got to have my car serviced. i’ve been noticing a significant decrease in mileage for the past few months, i may need new tires, and, apparently there are “firmware upgrades” that are only available from the dealer. but the closest hyundai dealer is in renton, and i’ve pretty much burnt my bridges with the renton hyundai dealer years ago. there’s a dealer in auburn, with whom i haven’t burnt as many bridges, and there’s the dealer in puyallup where i bought the car, but this is sunday AND new year’s day, so i’m not even going to be able to call anyone about it until tomorrow. meanwhile, i’ve got to go to costco (tomorrow), and moe is leaving for a week in orlando on the 14th, which, coincidentally, is the same day thaddeus and i have our first paying gig of the year.
i got a “small” package, yesterday, of incense from one of the more reliable US distributors i deal with (“small” meaning only two kilos 😉), delivered by USPS, which was totally saturated, as though it had sat outside in the rain overnight, or something like that — which it certainly did not do outside of my house. 😠 only half a kilo of the two kilos of incense were damaged, and i have notified the shipper, but (once again) it is the new year, which means at least there won’t be anybody there until tomorrow, and i’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it, anyway. 😒
the moisture festival is happening. hooray(?). it’s going to be at the broadway performance hall, a “union shop” — meaning that there are going to be people not associated with the moisture festival doing things like managing the stage, moving sets, setting lights, operating spotlights and other suchlike stuff, and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. i’m kind of wondering how they’re going to deal with the fact that the bands are definitely not union organisations, but, at the same time, it’s for someone else to deal with. 😒 fortunately. 😒
so, i decided to reposition major furniture in my office, to achieve the following results:
i have to figure out how my studio is set up. i originally set it up to use with the piano/synthesizer setup, and i seem to recall doing at least one piece of music in that configuration… and then i set it up some other way, which i don’t remember, and now everything is mixed up and i can’t figure it out, because all of the connections are on the back of the devices, and in order to access the back of the amplifier, i have to move the printer, and stand on a stool, while leaning over the printer, and accessing the back upside down… which isn’t ideal. what i need is the back of everything to be as easily accessible as the front, which means moving stuff around.
in the process of trying to figure out how the studio stuff was hooked up, i thought i had completely disconnected every audio connection from my computer to the amplifier… and yet, i seem to be able to play music from my computer, and hear the sound through the speakers… which would seem to indicate that there is a new/different/as-yet-undiscovered audio connection that i have overlooked somehow… (possibly the HDMI connection from the monitor, but how does it get to the amplifier??? 😕) but, unfortunately, the cables from the computer to the amplifier are accessed from the back, AND under my desk… which is REALLY not ideal… i’ve got to figure that out.
this may involve a trip to ikea and possibly a new desk, as the one that i have is a repurposed ikea table.
the reason i want to figure out how my studio works (again), is because i have recently discovered jamulus, which appears to be an audio interface that is designed to be used over internet. i realise that there’s some pretty hard physical constants that make audio connections… let’s say difficult… over long distances, but, apparently, distances less than 50 miles or so the latency is tolerable, and they get around the rest of it, sketchily, by having everyone listen to the server, and not the actual sound coming out of your instrument, and… well, i haven’t been able to busk the past couple of weeks (HVAC stuff), and i’ve been going nuts, because there are new songs that we’ve been talking about, but we can’t get together and rehearse because i have to be at home to let the workers in… and now i’ve got jamulus installed, and (apparently) working… all i have to do is hook up a microphone, which i do, but… no sound… and thus began the task of figuring out how the studio is set up.
there’s another thing i tried to get set up, but couldn’t, because of a lack of installation instructions. JamStud.io actually advertises “jam online without latency”, despite the fact that, as far as i know, scientists are still stymied by the speed of light 😉 which makes it impossible to have an audio connection without more and more latency as the distance increases… but, hey… if i could get it installed, i might be using that, instead.
i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬
one week of moisture festival down, one fluffing session complete (also, a term used in vaudeville, to describe preparing the awaiting audience outside the theatre for the show they are about to attend: getting them “in the mood”… 😉), and one more week to go… it’s kinda sad that this is probably going to be the last show in the palladium (and, possibly, the last moisture festival, ever), but it’s good that we were the band that had two weeks this year. i realise that i have been complaining, almost every previous year, that other bands were getting more of the limelight, but it’s good that it worked out this way, and i can say that i’ve been a part of the moisture festival ever since the beginning, when we did the show in rev. chumleigh’s tent in downtown fremont…
i’m getting totally fed up with the former owner of our house: ron zeising, general contractor and owner of a “home improvement” business, who thought that, because he was a general contractor, he could make “improvements” on his (now our) house “on the cheap” and skirting (or outright ignoring) building codes. recently (last month?) we paid $6,000 to a HVAC specialist to rip out and replace ALL of the heating ductwork in the house, because poor design (by ron zeising) meant that most of the heat from the very expensive, top of the line furnace (which was one of the selling points of the house), was going into the crawlspace, and the heating bills were through the roof.
of course, ron never had a problem with the heating bills, because, despite the fact that he had an expensive, top of the line furnace AND a heat pump, which provides central air conditioning as well, ron heated the house with the wood stove, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… 🤷
we just had the last workman leave from rebuilding the “retaining wall” under our deck… and it’s a good thing, too, because, if we hadn’t, the deck would have eventually fallen off. now it is a good deal less likely to fall off, but in order to make it secure, it still needs some work: when it was in the process of being built, ron zeising just piled large rocks, bricks (including half of someone’s chimney, and a large cylindrical concrete footer for a post), and random construction rubble, next to the house, covered it with a thin layer of topsoil, and then built a deck over it… concrete pillars, on top of a thin layer of topsoil, and construction rubble… 🙄 it’s as though he thought that, because of the fact that he was a general contractor, nobody would ever question the work that he did, so he just. didn’t. care. 🤬
however, end result: we got a nice, new, secure, sturdy retaining wall, a couple of new raised beds to grow vegetables, and A LOT of new concrete under the deck pillars(!)… 👍 and yet another $6,000 chunk taken out of our checking account. 🙄
i’ve got a zoom class this evening, a telehealth appointment tomorrow, and a moisture festival rehearsal on saturday…
… and my tablet decided to stop charging this morning. 🤬
i got in touch with the technician that replaced the charging port (odd that this seems to happen on an almost yearly basis… odd indeed… 😒), and informed him that it had quit charging again, and he said i should bring it in. so i left an hour earlier than normal, and headed up the east side of the lake to redmond, where the technician confirmed that it was, indeed, a faulty charging port, said that they would fix it on warranty, and ordered the new part. 👍
problem is, i’m fairly sure he DIDN’Talso order a new screen at the same time… and this particular model of ipad is NOTORIOUS for screen breakage when you have to open it up FOR ANYTHING… kinda like they had to do last year (and the year before) when they replaced the charging port. it turned into a two week job, during which time the screen of my tablet was BROKEN, which precluded me from using it for ANYTHING… 😒
and that can’t happen this time, because i have zoom classes, telehealth appointments, and moisture festival rehearsals AND PERFORMANCES in the next three weeks. i can get through the rehearsals and performances with my old-school hard-copy music, and the zoom classes and telehealth appointments THEORETICALLY can take place on my phone, but it will be at least three levels of hassle that i would rather avoid, if i had the choice. 😒
the moisture festival is, tentatively, back on the schedule this year. the phremont fill is taking weeks two and four, the sancapators are taking week one, and i don’t know who is taking week three, but it’s probably the naked truth.
moist fest rehearsals are happening, with a surprisingly large number of “replacement” musicians: euphonium, guitar and flute are all new to the phil this year. guitar has played as a substitute for us in previous moisture festivals, and flute plays for the sancapators, so she’s already familiar with the chaos that usually happens. euphonium is a guy from bellevue who i probably know from high school — he went to samammish at the same time i was at interlake — who just moved back to bellevue a couple years ago, and i recruited him from the sousa band. euphonium’s name is tony, and flute’s name is cate. i don’t remember what guitar’s name is, despite the fact that i’ve met him, and played on the same stage with him, fairly many times in the past. (ETA: it’s chris, which is why i don’t remember it… he just falls into the category of “another chris” and gets promptly forgotten, because there’s another chris in the same band… 😒)
despite our regular guitar, stuart, not being available this year, he’s still the fluffing liason, and he’s already said that i and whoever else i can get to play, are welcome to come in and fluff on april 1st. the pike place market has lifted its mask mandate, which means, when the weather gets nicer, i’m probably going to start busking again. for sure with thaddeus, and i’ve got a fantasy of busking with thaddeus on his “banj-itar” and kiki on her “banjo-lele”… it would be a plethora of not-quite-banjos that would add a lot of extra “oomph” to the group.
i’m slowly rebuilding my music collection. today i added two tom zé albums, from the early 2000s, which are “no longer available” — meaning “the only place to find them is on discogs. one is an album i had pre-cloud-drive-disaster, called “Estudando o Pagode (Na Opereta Segregamulher e Amor)“. the other is one that “just happened” to be available from the same vendor, from two years earlier, in 2003, and it’s called “Imprensa Cantada“. both of them appear in several tom zé anthologies, but the original CDs have artwork that is NOT included in the anthologies, and, especially in the case of tom zé, the graphic artwork is almost as important as the musical artwork in the overall scheme of things. i should be getting another Gogol Bordello CD pretty soon, also
we’re giving away the last piece of ikea furniture that we own, that is NOT shelves, tomorrow… which should be interesting, as we currently have three days worth of snow on the ground, and only a few tire tracks of people driving past our house. it’s the king-size storage bed frame, which means that now we’ve got the adjustable bed frame on the 4-inch legs that it came with (rather than on the 2-inch legs, on top of the storage bed), no storage under the bed (currently), and no headboard (currently). the plan is to get some other form of storage, and a headboard… and, possibly a dresser and nightstand to replace the ones i inherited from my grandparents in 1980-something.
moe is getting “stem cell treatment” on her knees on thursday [UPDATE: WEDNESDAY!!] (hopefully the roads will have cleared enough by then that i can drive out of the neighbourhood). this is to (hopefully) “cure” her bum knees, which currently have no meniscus. if everything goes according to plan, this is going to create “new” padding between the bones in her knee. naturally, “insurance” won’t pay for it, and the only other option — total knee replacement — isn’t happening at the moment because the orthopedist that moe has been seeing is fat-phobic, and won’t operate until she’s lighter than she’s ever been in her adult life. 😒… so the (veterinary) clinic is paying for the whole procedure(!!). alledgedly, it’s going to be a couple of days of being “pretty out of it”, followed by a couple weeks of “light duty”, and then it will develop into an “up to 80% improvement”, which is A LOT better than where she’s been for the past few years.
i’ve managed to stay a lot more insulated from the standard xmas “celebration”, this year, but it’s primarily because of the pandemic, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending any time in the forseeable future, barring a miracle of some sort… and, as we all know, miracles that involve anti-vax mask-holes, and the right-wing, republican’t, fascist, white-supremacist IDIOTS that currently make up slightly less than HALF of the population of this gawd-forsaken wasteland, are, for all practical purposes, totally unheard-of… but, on the plus side, almost complete isolation for the second year in a row, has made it so that i have only had to listen to one, partial rendition of “feliz navidad” this year, so i can’t say that’s all bad.
Symbolic Coach Lines
Economy Whining (or “Economy Whinging” for a more “european” look)
Quipping for Christ
Teachers With Tentacles
Lowest Quality Price Tools
Best Jumbo TV Happiness
Overgrown With Underbrush
Hair Salon and Ankle Clinic
Lowest Price on Pubic Hair
Ceremonial Bread Fights
Rain City Racists
Your Safety is for The Lates
Worship Your Dick
An Imaginary Housing Community
We Make Hydraulic Noises
Bruch, Beeler & Giday, Attorneys at Law
War To Salvation Church
Can I Ask A State Trailer Park?
my harvest is curing, but the trimmings aren’t drying as fast as i would like them to. i’m pretty sure that if i took the screen off of my office window (which i am not currently using anyway), i could speed up the drying process. maybe i’ll do that today.
i went to a concert with moe and her friend lora, a couple days ago. i was chosen at the last minute to substitute for lora’s husband, who said that a concert might jeopardise his recent sobriety (and he was an AWFUL drunk, so i totally agree), and, also, because, that way, i could drive and lora and moe could talk. 😉 it was the first time i have done ANYTHING that “public” in almost two years, and it felt really weird. it felt weird going to the tacoma-dome, and being in the (relatively light) crowd of people getting into the venue… i wore a N95 mask AND my cloth mask, and kept my hands in my pockets as much as possible. it felt weird sitting in the row of seats with a totally strange (masked) woman so close that she was touching my arm, for the two and a half hours of the concert. a majority of the people were wearing masks, but there was also food and drink available, and a significant number of people thought it was “okay” to wear their masks incorrectly (under their nose), which made me feel like they could have easily taken it off and not felt guilty about it. it felt weird, and creepy, and, when i got home, i felt like i had been swimming in other peoples’ cooties. i took a long, hot shower after the show.
the concert was jackson browne and james taylor, with both of whom i am, more or less, unfamiliar. with jackson browne, there were a few songs that, once he started singing, i went “yeah, i know that song” (although there was one that moe said “if you were alive in the ’70s, you know this song”, but i didn’t), and even a couple that i knew most of the lyrics to, but, honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that i was hearing them at a show that featured jackson browne and james taylor, i wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it was a jackson browne song… hell, i was under the impression, prior to the concert, that jackson was a black man, because that’s the way i always imagined him. that’s how ignorant i was. 😕 james taylor was only a little better, in that i knew that he was white, and i knew a few james taylor songs — all of which they played, of course 😒 — but with both of them, i never had time to listen to their songs because they were INTENSELY popular, so much a part of popular culture, and, particularly, because, james taylor was married to carly simon, and was addicted to heroin…
i never had a thing for carly simon, but i figured that if he were that famous on his own, and he was married to carly simon, then i’m guessing there was something more than “love” involved in the process. 😒
besides which, at the time, i was a lot more interested in the music of morton subotnik, arnold schönberg, and karlheinz stockhausen, who were — and are — A LOT more interesting… 😉
but the musicianship was outstanding — james taylor was backed up by steve gadd on drums, and bruce fowler on horns, both of whom played with frank zappa — the music was good, the lyrics were as “woke” as i remembered them to be in the ’70s, and more “woke” and more “blunt” for the newer songs, james taylor is no longer married to carly simon, or addicted to heroin…
but i would still have much preferred to see a concert of music by morton subotnik, arnold schönberg, or karlheinz stockhausen. 😉
they started up my unicycle class again. it meets for the first time on sunday, which is also halloween. i have to figure out a costume in which i can also ride a unicycle… also, now i have a much higher possibility of learning how to turn left before the end of the year.
i ordered two “performance masks” on the 5th of october, and they still haven’t been shipped out… but it’s just as well, because it has been raining a lot, particularly over the past few days. the pond has water in it, again, but it’s still drastically low.
nothing has been happening politically, nothing has been happening socially, nothing has been happening musically, nothing has been happening in regards to the COVID virus… i now have A LOT of “free” time: every other week i have a one-hour appointment with kate, and every week i have my one-hour circus class, but that’s it. 😩
i’ve been spending a lot of time hiking on taylor mountain.
i shipped out two incense orders, today. i’m averaging between two and six orders a month, and, before i got cracked a few months ago, i actually had over a thousand dollars in my bank account… but then i got cracked, and spent it all on replacement hardware and a pile of recovered, possibly useful data.
i have expanded ZIP files for about a tenth of my fonts collection, from the recovered data. mostly TTF files, and just a small fraction of the fonts i used to have. fortunately, my recollection is that my entire >10,000 font library is backed up on CD, somewhere… i’m sifting through the rest of the recovered data slowly, and more or less randomly: it’s totally discouraging to look at this huge pile of recovered data, which took me a couple decades to accumulate, but which is now many, many schrödinger’s cats with random file names, EVERY ONE OF WHICH has to be opened to determine whether or not it’s corrupt, and if it’s not, what general pile it goes in, which all have to be sorted again, later on, and then, probably, sorted at least once more before they’re back in more-or-less the place where they’re supposed to be. 😒
so, it’s something to do, but, literally, i would rather be doing ANYTHING else… 🤬
i ordered some “performance masks” from J.W.Pepper a few weeks ago. they were back-ordered (without my knowledge), and, when i talked to a customer service drone on monday last week, i was assured that they would be shipping out later that week, but i still haven’t seen or heard anything. they’re called “performance” masks, because they look like you’re wearing a mask, but, in reality, the mask has a hole in the front, that your mouthpiece goes through, which makes it practically useless as an actual mask… but the new rule at the market is that the only buskers allowed MUST BE masked, so it’s either wear a “performance” mask, or don’t busk. 😒 but i can’t busk at all, until the “performance” masks are delivered, and, as far as i can tell, at this point, they’re still on back order, and who knows when they’re going to arrive. 😞
i downloaded it today, and listened to it… and it has held up pretty damn well, considering that it was released in 2018… and i REALLY liked this track, number 14, called “Lamentations”…
in the same way, there are also nine albums of music by And More on bandcamp, which i haven’t heard for even longer (why listen to music i made 30 years ago? i just have it because i made it 30 years ago) and that, too, has stood the test of time admirably. the track is called Pfisteria:
i still laugh when i listen to this… 🤣
(that’s how i know it’s finished music, if it makes me laugh… 😉)
i’ve been playing around with “yellofier electrified” on my tablet, for the past few days, and i came up with this vaguely spooky “music box” tune which i really liked:
then, because i didn’t have anything better to do, i exported it from electrified, and imported it into audacity, where i doubled the track, and then set one stereo pair to play back 10% slower than the other stereo pair…
busking. this has been a long time coming. it’s really good to get out and play music for people, and, so far, we’ve been averaging between $15 and $25 apiece for an hour or so of busking. now, instead of howlin’ hobbit and his ukulele, it’s thaddeus and his banjitar — an interesting hybrid, that looks like a banjo, but has six strings and is tuned like a guitar. as i’ve always said, the money is an extra, added bonus, for me, and it’s still true, even after a year and a half… but it’s always nice, and we’ve actually already got one “paying” gig as a result: the pike place market is putting on a “sunset supper”, and is hiring market buskers at $100 apiece for an hour of busking while rich people eat food… that is, most likely, NOT offered to the buskers, but they’re paying $100 apiece, so it’s sort of okay… the BSSB has started rehearsals again, too, which is another bonus. 😉
ripping CDs back into my music collection. i have only gotten the barest of starts sorting the recovery data, in spite of the fact that, in the small print, the data recovery people say that their “free” recovery media (a 1TB hard disk, in my case) only has a warranty of five DAYS — which, to me, says “if you don’t get your data off our recovery media post haste, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll have ANYTHING, regardless of how much you may have paid us.” nevertheless, at this point, i’ve got all of the data that really made a difference (the panchamukhi ganesha from my car, the spreadsheet containing the data for the Incense of the Month Club, and the spreadsheet of blocked-for-spamming IP addresses), and, basically, if i had anything else i need, i don’t remember it, and probably won’t until i need that data again, which will mean that i’m probably going to have to keep going back to the recovery data on occasion, for the rest of my life… however, if i already have freshly ripped .flac files, then, when i finally get around to slogging through the 1TB MESS of recovered data, it will be slightly less of a concern if the archives i got are incomplete or corrupt. this is an ongoing project that is probably going to take several weeks to finish, and while it’s going on, i may not post here, as much.
hiding from the smoke and heat. it hasn’t been as bad as it was a couple years ago, but it’s definitely smoke season. i look out my office window and see orange skys and translucent air, and the AQI is 63, which is firmly in the “yellow” range. busking, yesterday, was an extra bonus, because it was around 10°F cooler at the market than it was at home… it’s 20° cooler than it was in june(!!), but it’s still in the high-90°s, which is extremely rare around here, in my experience. the government climate change investigatory committee just released the first part of their study, a few days ago, and it says what climat change activists have been saying for 30+ years, now, which is, basically, climate change is real, it’s happening, and it was definitely caused by humans… and then, two days later, 7 democrats switched positions, and voted with ALL the republicans, to pass a law making it illegal for the government to EVER ban fracking. 🤬 so, i guess that means that, ultimately, climate change will kill us all, but the rich people are going to die last. 🤬🤬 i have never wanted to, but it’s my impression that, soon, i will have to apologise to ezra for bringing him into a world where he may never reach his full potential, because of the thoughtlessness and carelessness of my immediate ancestors.
hiding from the virus. the delta variant is 1000 times more contagious than the original strain, and they’re saying that recipients of the pfizer vaccine, at least, will have to get a “booster” shot, but they’re not saying when it will be available, or how long we have to wait before getting one. in the mean time, schools have been making masks optional, and reopening, and then closing down again, when 40% of the students get COVID, while the right wing, q-anon devotee, anti-mask, anti-vax, trump morons are dying by the thousands, and STILL ranting their nonsense about it affecting pregnancies, or tracking microchips in the vaccine. there’s an image i saw on twitter that is, basically, a huge banner, strung between two cars, that says they’ll never get the vaccine, and that you’ll have to kill them… the ironic part is that, most likely, we won’t have to kill them, because the virus will do that for us, and we won’t have to do anything. hospitals are failing in missouri, texas, and florida, where the governors are particularly anti-mask and anti-vax, despite the surge in cases, and a vast majority of the fatalities have been people who refused the vaccine. at this rate, we’re going to be dealing with this pandemic for A LOT longer than the 1918 “spanish flu” pandemic, primarily because of STUPID people who won’t get the vaccine or wear masks, on account of their “freedom”. 🤬
sorting through the mess of recovered data is heartbreaking.
i’m finding all sorts of stuff that, once i actually see (or hear) a bit of it, i know exactly what it is, and i’m starting to get things organised enough that, some of the time, i even have a place to put it, once i’ve discovered what it is…
but, then… everything doesn’t come crashing down, but…
i haveHAD a CDR album called “We Bore 2“, which was one of my favourites. it was produced in 2003 by Toast & Jam Records, which has, since, gone out of business, and their web site is now a japanese porn site… it was a “various artists” compilation of electronic, experimental, glitch music, and it was AWESOME!
i found a .RAR archive with the .mp3s for “We Bore 2”, and i was, like, “COOL!”… i expanded the archive, and put it in the place it had been taken from in my collection, and went on to the next archive.
today, for the first time, i actually LISTENED to “We Bore 2″…
yeah, all the tracks are there, but track 1 is NOT what was there the last time i listened to “We Bore 2″… and track 2 is also the same way, to a lesser extent… and track 3 is pretty messed up… and track four is mostly there, except for a patch in the middle which is totally missing… and track 5… and track 7… and track 8… and track 9… 😭
pretty much all of the tracks have something wrong with them…
and i can’t get another copy of the CD, because i originally downloaded it as a .rar file…
and, i’m pretty sure (given the huge quantity of .rar and .zip files that got recovered) that more than a few of them are going to have exactly the same problem. 😭
ETA: all is not lost… well, for “We Bore 2” anyway… it turns out i actually have the original CDR for this album… but i’m fairly sure that is NOT going to be the case with a majority of the .rar and .zip archives i have…
i found sumbunal of my music collection, on a huge stack of CDs and DVDs (possibly two, i haven’t checked thoroughly, yet) which i had stashed in the garage, in a cabinet in front of which i have stacked 4 huge cartons of incense… so, naturally, it was the absolute LAST place i thought to look. this appears to be my music backups from 2002, or thereabouts, until 2016 or 17 — when i “moved everything to the cloud” — which means that the part of my collection that isn’t backed up, is, very likely, music that i have on CD (which i can re-rip, if necessary) or music that was in a .zip or .rar archive… and, strangely enough, not many of the .mp3s that are on the recovery disk actually made it, but there’s probably 90% to 95% of the .zip and .rar archives that appear to have made it through… meaning that, when i opened the archive with ark, it opened and didn’t tell me that the archive was corrupt most of the time… 😕 i don’t completely understand how that happened, but i’ll take it.
and, to be honest, there are more than a few albums where i was able to download all but one track from the backup disk (for whatever reasons), so i’m really glad that i actually have as many CDs as i do, because that makes it a lot easier to go back and re-rip one track from an album.
it’s been more than a month since i played music through my stereo speakers. i spent ALL DAY today, listening to music and uploading gigabytes of music to the new NAS. 👍😉
they’re starting the process of “permitting” buskers at the pike place market (i.e. they’re starting the process by which one applies for a “permit” to be a busker). 😒
because of COVID, they’re not actually allowing buskers at the pike place market… yet… but they’re starting the process of permitting them, so that when they get the okay from the health department, buskers can, officially, “return” to the market. 😒
but, if my memory serves, they’re only allowing tubas on a case-by-case basis, they’re not allowing any other cup-mouthpiece brass instruments of any kind, regardless of how quitely they’re played (but loud, obnoxious, reed-mouthpiece, brass saxophones are perfectly fine), and they’re not allowing ANY electronic amplification of any kind, for any reason. 😒
oh yeah, i forgot… technically, the “official rules” say “MUTED” tubas… i don’t actually own a tuba mute. very few tuba players i know own a tuba mute. tuba mutes can cost $300. i don’t know of a NON-tuba-player who can even describe what a tuba mute looks like… i’m not going to buy a tuba mute just to play at the pike place market. i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. tuba mutes are ridiculous! 🤬
not only that, but i no longer have a busking partner. 👎😒
snow is mostly gone… there’s still some large piles, where whoever it was that ploughed our street piled it up at the head of the road, and in the ditches, but everywhere else, it’s gone.
i had to take a ladder out and climb up to clean out the gutter, in front. it had collected a bunch of tree detritus and, what with all the melting snow, combined with torrential rain, the gutter was totally clogged and overflowing into our driveway… it all ran away from the house, though, and once i cleared the obstruction, the downspout did what it was supposed to do, so that’s good.
i’m the default tuba player for the SANCApators at the moisture festival, this year. the moisture festival was cancelled, at the last minute, last year (because of COVID), and this year, instead of having live performances, they’re releasing some videos of performers that would have been live, except for COVID… and their regular tuba player is ill (no word on whether or not it’s COVID) and can’t make the videos that they asked for from the musicians, so i got tagged. last week i got the parts, and the tracks to play along with, so i practiced for a few days and sent the videos to “doc” sprinsock, so that he can combine them with everyone else’s videos and — hopefully — get some reasonably “together” music out of the whole deal…
but i’m not holding my breath… particularly with the thing that said “Rock” for the style, but the backing track was played as straight as an arrow, with no “swing” or “rock” stylings at all… and that’s what i played, because there was no way to “swing” a part that hadn’t been recorded to “swing”, so… i’m not holding my breath. we’ll see what happens when everybody else’s videos are part of the mix. 😖
no word on the phremont fillharmonic’s addition to the chaos, yet. i contacted kiki last week, and she said she’d heard about it, but is waiting for further instructions from “the powers that be”, whoever that is.
and i think the antidepressant may be working. i’m not sure i agree with georgia doctor, who wanted to boost my prescription back up to the level that was causing me frantic anxiety and restlessness, plus she wanted to add ANOTHER antidepressent — lexapro — to the mix. at the time, i wasn’t sure whether it was working or not, so i said i’d rather wait on the new scrip until i had a better idea of whether the current one was working, and she agreed to hold off… which is good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is reinforcing personal boundaries.
and she had never heard of psilocybin… 🤯
because of her accent, i asked where she’s from, and she said she’s from “africer”… but i can’t imagine a psychiatric nurse-practitioner who has never heard of psilocybin. i said that the “common” name for them is “magic mushrooms”, and she immediately started ranting about heroin and cocaine, and said that it’s possible that they contained psilocybin… 😕
so i still don’t have any solid information about the interaction of bupropion and psilocybin, which is a little scary, but within tolerable limits. and actual mushrooms are still a ways off, yet, so there’s still time to gather more information.
but the fact that there’s some “good” stuff happening in my life seems to indicate that something has changed.
i get my second covid vaccine a week from thursday (210218), but i’m scheduled to play my first concert in a year on saturday the 13th (9:00 pm, streaming to fecesbook, eventually posted on youtube), and, wouldn’t you know it, cliff mass, the only meteorologist moe believes, is predicting 12 inches of snow, starting thursday and lasting AT LEAST through saturday…
and if it snows, it’s almost guaranteed that i won’t be able to make the concert… 😒
a number of things have happened over the past couple of weeks, which disguise whether or not the medication i am taking is actually working. those things are:
the actual innauguration of somebody other than donald j. trump, and his actual leaving of the white house without having to be handcuffed… although i’m still hoping that they’re coming later… because he deserves them. 😒
i actually GOT the first COVID vaccine (before they ran out of doses 😒) on monday, and i have the second dose scheduled for 18th february.
and the fact that i had to rely HEAVILY on my disability weighs heavy on my conscience. if i had NOT emphasised my disability, i would probably not have gotten the vaccine until march or april, and the fact that i got it means that someone else, possibly someone more deserving, did not get it — and won’t until who-knows-when, because they ran out and nobody knows when they’re going to get more. 😒
SANCA opened up for classes! yay! circus! 🤡🎉🎊 i’m getting my regular circus workout again! i had NO IDEA how much that meant to me!
the fact that i got my first covid vaccine makes it more likely that i’m going to go out and do stuff like busk, and… HEY! my friend stuart, the guitar player for the fremont phil, is starting up a monthly “dagger moon” concert, and wants me and my harmonic flute to start the whole thing out. bonus! 👍
i’ve found what appears to be a reliable source of spores. 🍄 i sent away for 6 spore syringes, four 🍄 of cubensis 🍄 🍄 and two 🍄 of cyanescens. 🍄 i hope to be growing my own mushrooms very soon. 🍄🍄🍄
so, i’ve been taking this “medication” that’s “supposed to” inhibit the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine” in my brain — but who knows for sure what it really does… not even dr. akinyele is 100% sure — but which also causes all kinds of wonderful side effects — which were to the point of intolerable until we reduced the dose, and are still perceptible although not as emergent…
seriously… they prescribe a “medication” among whose side effects are ANXIETY, to treat… ANXIETY… next thing they’ll be telling me is that homeopathy works… 🙄
and i can’t tell whether the “anti-depressent” effects of this medication are improving my mood…
or if the external effects of four years of overt #drumpf and a year of hiding out from covid are finally starting to wear off.
i recorded the tuba part for a collaborative effort to create the panto 2020 “Welcome Song”, but since we can’t actually meet to rehearse, we’re recording the parts, which, presumably, will be together enough that they will be able to be combined together, and then emailed to the people who have come to the pantos in the past.
i experienced the clarinet part, and the “click track”, which was kiki playing the song on the ukulele and singing, along with a metronome. without the click track (which, i’m assuming is the ultimate goal), the clarinet part and the tuba part ended up staying together… mostly… and the times when it seemed like we were going to lose the beat, miraculously, found the beat again in a lot less time than it would have taken if we had been in a live rehearsal.
but it’s really weird playing the tuba part without all of the other parts, only knowing that they will be put together at a later date.
there’s a possibility that thaddeus and i are going to resurrect “Heirophany”, which is me playing the harmonic flute and twiddling with electronic gadgets, and thaddeus playing guitar, and twiddling with electronic gadgets. we released a 12 minute long single — with a fantastic cover, which is a picture of a ‘cello on fire 😉👍 — a couple of years ago, and then didn’t do anything else, but, at this point, we can do it “socially distanced”, and i’ve even been thinking of designing a mask for the harmonic flute, anyway, that will make it so that i can play when it’s windy… only, now, it’s so that i can play while i’m masked… and it’s something where we can play for other people, and, potentially, make some money at it at the same time.
#drumpf still hasn’t conceded, and his lawsuits are getting tossed out as fast as he can file ’em, but, ultimately, i think he’s going to try to make an end run around losing the popular vote and the electoral vote by “declaring” the election invalid, refusing to accept the results, and going to the supreme court (which he has stacked with sycophants) to make the final decision. he has made statements within the past 24 hours that include “just get rid of the ballots”, and “there will be no transition”, and “biden can’t enter the white house without proving that his ballots are legal”, which don’t make it sound particularly like he’s intending to go anywhere. and, while i would like nothing better than to watch as he was dragged out by his heels, kicking and screaming like a three-year-old having a tantrum (which, i have no doubt, would happen, if it came to that), i seriously doubt that any president that comes after that would have any chance of pulling the country back together again any time within my lifetime, i don’t care who he is, or how fast he impliments universal health care and universal basic income.
Snake Suspenderz – Even Your Best Friends Won’t Tell You
Snake Suspenderz – Naughty Monkey
Snake Suspenderz – Misery Loves Company
Snake Suspenderz – Say Hello To Mr. Snake
sketch, the drummer for snake suspenderz, died in april of 2019, shortly after the moisture festival, which put an abrupt end to our performances as a band, but there was intense talk of finding another drummer for a few months. a couple of options were tossed about, and one got far enough that we ended up saying that we were going to contact her… but i’m not sure we ever did… i didn’t hear anything about it…
and then COVID happened, and, basically, everything got cancelled, and so nothing was done about it…
and now hobbit has decided that he has to move to kalamazoo, because that’s where his partner, lucifer, has to move, because she has to take care of her mother. lucifer and hobbit both worked at the market, for a large part of their income, and the market has, well… basically, been shut down, except for a VERY few day stall vendors, the high stall vendors, and the restaurants.
even bavarian meats, which has been in the market since before i was born, has closed up shop.
but, because of the fact that hobbit is moving away, there will be no more snake suspenderz, no more peanut envy, no more accidental rhino, and no more busking for me, at all, unless (until?) i can find someone else who plays a treble, chord instrument (strings, keyboard, accordion), who wants a solid bass line… or if i can find places to take my harmonic flute where they won’t chase me away after five minutes… 😢😒
i met hobbit in 1995, when i went to work for micro$lop. he and i were hired helpdesk geeks, and we got together because we also played music… and then it turned out that he and i knew a lot of the same people, and eventually we figured out that, about 15 years before that (1985 or thereabouts), we had been at the same party, at danny shadygrove’s place, and hobbit and my sister (who i didn’t know was there) shared a shower together… at the time we worked at micro$hit, we also played in a band called PropellerHeads (this was before the software called Reason, which was originally made by a company called “Propellerheads” came to be), and, using different instruments, the same people (me, hobbit, and malcolm “malcat” atterbury) were also in a band called Peanut Envy both bands were in existence, more or less, until around 1999, when we all went our separate ways. then hobbit and i met up again in 2004 or so, after my injury, when i started playing with snake suspenderz, an already existing band which was sketch, hobbit, thaddeus and a bass player whose name i don’t remember (because i never actually met him, he had moved away by the time i came on board). i started busking with them shortly afterward. and, when sketch died, hobbit and i resurrected Peanut Envy, and busked as a duo by that name until… march of this year.
both our tests came back negative today, but moe sez that she’s not sure about her test, because she spent A LOT of time around the lady from texas who did test positive, so she’s still wearing a mask around the house, and especially when she’s interacting with me… but i get to sleep in the bed, again, rather than sleeping on the other end of the house, on the couch.
there are 6 english words that contain the letters “M”, “E”, “O”, and “W”. they are:
i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…
Wendy’s House of Pho
War To Salvation Church
Can I ask a state trailer park?
No Tw Eeze About It
AI Pastor At Your Door
Are you happy now?
Of course I’ve had it in the ear before!
i’ve done some more work with this and now it seems to be going more in the direction i was intending… but it’s got a bunch more work done to it, so i would expect it to at least be different than it was before, and, apart from some more glaringly obvious differences, for the most part, it is the same piece of music… and i like that.
Seven Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined (with a subliminal message)
as you can probably tell, instead of being five tracks, it is now seven, and it has had the addition of the subliminal message, which is somewhat more complex than i originally imagined. the seven tracks are “This is the day”, “The problem with growing boys”, “Sing to jeezis”, “WWJD radio”, “It ain’t over yet”, “Veggie tales – the selfish song”, and “I’m a little weenie”.
yes, i was trying to make a statement with the choice of tracks. no, that is not the subliminal message. keep guessing.
all of the tracks are heard forwards, and only once, with the exception of “It ain’t over yet” which is heard once reversed, and once forward, at the same time. all of them have had significant modifications to their pitch, speed, tempo, and/or a combination of those things, in order to fit them within the required parameters.
this is not finished, and it’s sort of not going where i intended, originally, but i like it anyway.
originally, i intended it to be A LOT more chaotic, and incorporate at least twice as many source tracks, and then i intended to put a “subliminal message” into it, which you could only hear if you sped the track up about 500 times, and muted all the other tracks…
and played it backwards…
of course, this would be impossible to do, because of the chaotic nature of sound, and the fact that i intended the subliminal message to be on its own track, and whispered, and then stretched 500 times, which would render it, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as silence…
which would, then, be completely and totally overwhelmed by the absolute chaos of the other tracks.
and what ended up happening, instead, is that the strange stability that is produced by bounded chaotic mixing appeared a lot sooner than i expected, and it sounds completely different than what i had envisioned.
as i said, i like it, but it’s not what i originally set out to create.
and, don’t worry… i haven’t put the subliminal message in yet, so you can relax. 😉
music is frustrating some times, but it never ceases to be fun…
or at least distracting…
anyway, what i’ve got so far is called 200811 Five Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined
which is fine for a “contemporary classical” piece of music, but probably not what this is going to end up being called.
so, i got a bunch of “christian” kiddie records on freecycle. they were actually CDs, but there were about 20 of them, and, usually, i collect these things off freecycle, to protect actual children from having to be brainwashedinfluenced by them. if they’re really awful, or if i think they have useful sound-source material, i rip them, and, then, usually, i shred and/or recycle them.
this is what happens when i think they might “have useful sound-source material”. 😈
this is my current string ball. it’s about 5 years old, and it already looks different because i’ve added string to it. i use a very loose definition of “string”: there’s some metal cable and a fair amount of plastic in there as well… it’s a “string-like” ball, in that regard, but at this point nobody would know unless they actually unwound it… which, under the worst of circumstances, is very unlikely.
in the past, i have been the owner of a couple of string balls that were considerably bigger… one was big enough that, when i was holding it in my lap, you couldn’t see my head. i’m hoping that this one will reach that size, or bigger, eventually. 😉
our new house has a whole bunch of interesting things that were left behind by the previous owners. i get the impression that i would NOT have gotten along with them in the slightest (they were #drumpf-supporters), but this is one of the things they left behind. it’s better that way.
this is my office. it’s also the music room.
this is the music room part. i’ve got my piano and my sythesizer set up, for the first time since i got married (which was 22 years ago), and, because of the fact that i bought a mixer in the interim, i now have it set up so that i can use the synthesizer (a yamaha DX7) as a synthesizer AND as a MIDI-controller. as a MIDI-controller, i’ve got old, familiar Reason on my laptop, and i’ve got a bunch of stuff that’s MIDI-controllable on my tablet, which i haven’t played with at all, because i haven’t had room to set it up. i got the DX7 a SuperMAX+ upgrade a couple of years ago, which was also after the battery died, so i’m going to have to learn how to use it all over again from scratch, and i’ve got to reload all of the stock noises (which i’ve got, thanks to a MIDI-controlled patch library on my laptop), but that’s part of the “fun” of COVID19 lockdown… i’ve got the time to do that sort of thing…
last month i was going crazy, so monique took me to see the National Wild Horses Monument in quincy.
it was on the top of a bluff overlooking the columbia river, in eastern washington.
i don’t know why this photo came out so fuzzy, compared to the other ones… but, unfortunately, it’s the only one i got of this particular milestone, so you might have to squint to see it…
the other day i had occasion to wander through Celebration Park in auburn. when i first lived in auburn, in the early 1970s, what is now celebration park was a huge, essentially vacant lot that had some abandoned businesses on it. nobody wanted it as residential property, because it was in the flight path for the airport. at some point, in the distant past (before 1960) i think the property had been an airfield, or something like that, but, by the time i got there, that was long gone, as well. in the ’90s, when i was in bellingham, the city bought the property and created celebration park, but it still has a lot of the same aspects that made it a vacant lot, including a lot of wooded areas where homeless people camp, and drug addicts shoot up…
which is where i found this… interesting… little tidbit.
on the 4th of july, we went on a road trip, so that the dogs wouldn’t freak out because of all the fireworks. we went through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and saw this waterfall. BOUNDED CHAOTIC MIXING PRODUCES STRANGE STABILITY!
my 60th time around the sun was celebrated on saturday. never, in my wildest imaginations did i ever think i was going to be 60 years old… in fact, my imaginings never exceeded age 40, which means that i’ve been living new and unimagined territory for 20 years now.
we celebrated by having a “gathering” in our back yard. kiki, sasha, stuart, d. barnes and jesse, his son, and hobbit and lucifer, his… partner? i’m not sure exactly what their status is, but they’ve been together for 1719 years or so… and they all brought musical instruments, and we had a “jam session” in the back yard. monique made the german chocolate cake (my favourite), and cupcakes with raspberry butter cream frosting, made with raspberries from our back yard…
it was good to see those folks, after such a long time, and it was really good to play music with them.
* i am MORTIFIED! i read the title as “The Diambola Mikado” and named my piece “The Diambola Mikado…” and then i find out that the name is actually “The Dimbola Mikado”… i’ve already released my mix, and even presented it to mr. phizmiz — who didn’t say anything, which makes me wonder whether he’s just being polite, or whether he didn’t notice… oh GAWD, whatever am i to do??? 😭
still calm, still a few “false positives” which are easily dealt with, and forwardable almost immediately… ‼👍 but no “bitcoin sextortion” spam since 191202… and the record is currently held by 1LfYcbCsssB2niF3VWRBTVZFExzsweyPGQ, who i last heard from on 191127, who spammed me four hundred eighty-seven times…
spam assassin has, apparently, figured out a regex (or something) for capturing bitcoin addresses, so after 191127, there have been no bitcoin sextortion spams that have NOT been labeled as ***SPAM*** by spam assassin, which makes them a lot easier to filter out.
but it’s weird, because, even though it has been almost a week now, waking up in the morning and NOT having two or three DOZEN spam messages to process makes me nervous that something else may be happening to all of those messages, and, potentially, legitimate messages, as well, and i have no clue what may be happening to them, because nobody other than me is even aware of the fact that they’re not there any longer. 😕
we started the panto. it’s Jack and The Beanstalk… i don’t remember whether this is the first panto we did, or the second panto we did, way back when we first started doing pantos, 17 years or so ago… but it’s largely the same script: different actors but the same characters… and no simon, but he hasn’t been involved since he got drunk, did something which he wasn’t supposed to (sexual harrassment? stealing stuff? something that only drunk people do… 😒), and was banned from the palladium, a few years ago. we did the first four of 20 performances, last weekend, and only missed one music cue: half the band started a half a measure before the other half of the band, and none of the singers came in at the right point, but we recognised it almost immediately, and kiki said “wait, can we start that again?” and everybody came in on cue when we tried it again… and there was one place at the end of the panto, where the giant chops down the beanstalk, and the ogress (represented by a puppet) falls from the castle in the sky, along a zip-line, to the back of the palladium. but, this time, the doors to the castle opened, but no ogress came out… so we just continued, where the ogress (this time, the real actor) then “falls” back up to the front of the stage, and has a few lines… and then the puppet ogress decided it was time to fall… 🤣
there’s this guy who makes music that i really like. he goes by Dominic Robertson, or Ergo Phizmiz, and he’s REALLY prolific: he’s got AT LEAST 40 CD-length albums, plus a whole bunch of soundscape/radio-theatre-like stuff, including a 12 hour 45 minute piece called The Faust Cycle which i haven’t listened to in its entirety because… well, it’s 12 hours long…
he wrote me to say that he is “running this radio station at the moment” at Wolverton FM, and wondered if he could broadcast my CD from 2015, I Breathe At It, which i put up on bandcamp and promptly forgot about… 🤩
i didn’t really forget about it, because i always carry a few copies of the physical CD with me, especially when i’m busking, but i forgot i put it on bandcamp, which is, sort of, the way bandcamp is supposed to work… sort of…
the only thing better than writing music and playing it on the radio yourself, is writing music and having it played on the radio by an artist you respect, because he really likes it… 🤩
#drumpf is in the midst of impeachment, but it doesn’t appear to be making a whole lot of difference (thus, the mushrooms), but there have been some good things happening.
i have been getting A LOT of incense orders: 13 since the first of october, compared to 5 or fewer per month from january to september. also, i’ve gotten more orders from england and germany, since the first of october, than i have in the entire year previous. i still don’t entirely know what’s happening, but the end result is that i’ve now got more than $4,000 in my hybrid elephant account… which is somewhat startling…
last weekend, moe and i took a mini-vacation to san diego, for one night. ostensibly, moe had to rack up enough airline miles to qualify for “gold status”, because she has been travelling A LOT recently — mostly because of her newfound notariety as the author of a revolutionary book on animal behaviour — which, naturally, means that i have to stay at home and look after the pets.
seriously, folks… i’m married to a famous author! this week, she’s staying at a hotel in times square! it’s probably about as close to famous as i’m ever going to be! 😎
so moe decided that she would find a pet sitter and we would go off on our own (which i really appreciate). she chose san diego because she has been there before, and i haven’t, but i realised that san diego is the home of not one, but two outlets of the Village Hat Shop, which is where i bought my red fedora, and it is also home to the naval amphibious base coronado, which is a building shaped like a swastika.
i saw where it was when we were flying in, but i didn’t actually see the building because we were at too shallow an angle, and you pretty much have to be directly overhead to actually see that it’s shaped like a swastika…
so we flew to san diego to go hat shopping. i bought a pork pie made out of paper (a paper pork pie), and exhibited a great deal of self restraint becauuse i really wanted to take home about half the shop.
we actually stayed on coronado island
we stayed in a hotel room that is so “far above our station” that i almost got a nosebleed. 😉
and we flew home the next day, which was sunday.
i went busking yesterday, which was good, despite the fact that we only made about $20 a piece for 2 hours of busking. today i took two packages to the post office to ship out, and went to the dispensary, where i spent it all on weed and weed-related products.
and no w m y jmushrooms have kikckedk in ahd i heeed to be g oijn go ut for a wal,,k oris oemething lll…. 😁
and, like magic, the final decision has been made that we are, in fact, NOT going to yakima.
100% guaranteed, no changing our minds this time, no going back, it’s finished, done, over, the decision has been made.
the guy sent us the contract. it doesn’t have any of the changes that we discussed when we were in salem, and he hasn’t even tried to answer any of the questions we had, or addressed any of the demands we made after coming back from salem.
so, we’re not doing the yakima gig.
meanwhile, my compact mic stand arrived, which means that now i can take my tuba, and my rolling tote, and busk, amplified, ANYWHERE, with AC power not required. i can also take my harmonic flute and busk, amplified, ANYWHERE…
my 8’x8′ bright red pop-up canopy arrives tomorrow, and that, combined with the massive quantities of aluminet shade cloth that monique just acquired for me, means that i can set up a rudimentary stage with some protection from the wind and rain.
on the other paw, we had an okay set, and an OUTSTANDING set at the pike place market today. the okay set brought in $9 a piece, and the OUTSTANDING set brought in $29 a piece.
we only did one day’s worth of performing, for twice as much time, when we were in salem, where we brought in over twenty dollars.
i agree with hobbit, that performing for the casino, where deni actually works, would be an outstanding gig, but he’s SO FUCKING DISORGANISED that i doubt it’s ever going to happen in reality.
the word that i just got is that we are, indeed, going to yakima.
i don’t have any more details, yet, however:
1) the guy who complained about us not being colourful enough is eric. eric is the guy we were supposed to contact when we got to salem, but when we got there, and called his number, we were informed that he no longer works for the oregon state fair, and we should call someone else.
2) eric is also the guy who was supposed to be responsible for procuring the signs that didn’t exist at the oregon state fair, a fact which cost us a fair amount in tips that didn’t come in because (as was clearly demonstrated) people didn’t know that we were NOT being paid a substantial amount by the fair to be there and entertain them. to counteract this for yakima, we demanded to be paid $2,000 if yakima had signs, $2,200 if they didn’t have signs, and $2,500 if they said they would put up signs, but don’t actually do it.
3) deni apparently “went to bat” for us, and got us hired in spite of eric’s complaints that we weren’t colourful enough. whether or not this means that the issue of the signs (see item 2) that we put into our list of demands (or, for that matter, ANY of our list of demands) has been met remains to be seen.
part of this is because hobbit is so broke that busking to bring in some money NOW is more important to him than clearing up questions such as this. i trust hobbit — more or less — so i’m fairly sure that he wouldn’t deliberately put me into a situation which, ultimately, would leave me screwed, but, because of the fact that he’s so broke, i can’t be 100% sure, and even if i was 100% sure that hobbit won’t screw me, i still have significant reservations about deni, and i’m actually fairly sure that eric would deliberately do things to fuck with me, knowingly or not, simply because he has done so in the recent past. 🤬
so… whee… we’re going to busk for 10 days in yakima. woo. 😒
hopefully it will be more “productive” than salem was.
i got back from the oregon state fair yesterday. things went as follows:
we left at approximately 10:00 am, the morning of thursday, august 22nd, on our way to salem, oregon. on our way, before we got to the I5-I205 split, just north of vancouver, washington, we stopped to meet deni, the guy who hired us to busk. we picked up a preliminary check for $500, and got some advice concerning our appearances — “shave yer scruff, this is a family-oriented show”, and “be colourful”, were the gist of it. there was no inkling of how absolutely pointless this would be, but we were blissfully ignorant, and pressed on.
we got to the fairgrounds and almost immediately discovered that the guy we had been told (by deni) to contact, was no longer working for the fair, and we should contact another guy, who turned out to be joe, but he wasn’t available, so we proceded to our hotel.
the hotel had two criteria: it had to be “convenient”, and it had to be “cheap”. it was both of those things. we were, literally, less than a mile and a half from the fairgrounds — i walked almost the entire distance the first morning we were there, and didn’t realise it because i decided to go back before the road curved around so that i could see the fairground. it was also “cheap” in that it cost less than $900 for an 11-night stay with two beds… but it wasn’t particularly clean: the kitchenette and the refrigerator had mysteriously consistent yellow stains, the shower-curtain rod looked like someone had tried, and failed, to do pull-ups on it, the shower curtain itself was infested with black mold, the sheets and towels were stained, and the staff that i interacted with, with the exception of the lady who checked us in, and a different lady who checked us out, were surly and inconsistent, yelling at us for smoking on the breezeway outside our room, but smoking, herself, in an area that has a sign designating it as a “no smoking” area. for a hotel that had two criteria, however, it fit the bill adequately, and we didn’t spend much time there, apart from sleeping, anyway.
we were supposed to show up at 10:30 am, friday, for indoctrination an important meeting with joe, where we were going to be shown the fairgrounds, the “green room”, get our ID badges and parking permit, and other important stuff. the GPS told us to take 17th ave. to the “red gate”, but 17th ave. was blocked off with a sign that said “vendors exempt”, and we had been told that we were “vendors”, so i pulled around the barricades and was immediately confronted by a harried woman with blonde hair, who said i couldn’t go that way. i said “we’re vendors”, to which she responded, “you can’t go this way” and proceded to give us directions that took us, essentially “around the block”, so that we were approaching from the other direction. we thought it was a little odd, but we didn’t have our ID badges or parking permit, so i said “fuck it” and drove around the block… and, it turned out, that it was, in fact, to the other end of 17th street, and we encountered the “red gate” almost immediately… but we didn’t have a parking permit, so the drone wouldn’t let us park in the VIP lot, which was where we had been told to park. we parked along the street, and inquired at the “red gate information booth” — it said so, with a big sign that could be seen from the other end of 17th street, which caused similar sorts of confusion for two more days, until i decided not to deal with the situation any longer, and drove around the block without even stopping to discuss the matter with the harried looking woman any longer. eventually, we were told, that 17th street is only one way, during the fair, but there weren’t any signs indicating that, and there were other vehicles travelling the “wrong direction” on 17th, but, apparently, WE were “not supposed to”… which is one of the reasons i gave up trying to get a reason out of anybody…
anyway, we parked, and, eventually, met up with joe and brian, a magician, who had also been hired by deni. there was supposed to be a third guy, pug, but his car had broken down somewhere outside of salem, and he was still trying to get there, so we did the orientation without him. joe piled all of us onto a “gator” — basically a large, motorised, all-terrain tractor/cart thingy — and showed us some places we could, potentially, busk. he also showed us the “green room” which was an unlocked and unguarded room at the back of the stadium, where he said we could store our instruments…
and then he took us back to the red gate, and gave us our parking permit and our ID badges, and set us free to decide where we were going to busk for 4 hours. we decided on the last place we looked at, which was across from a dole whip booth, in a place where, we figured, we would get A LOT of traffic, and we were not disappointed… however it was also right behind the big stadium, and about 50 yards away from another stage — the Spirit of Oregon Stage — both of which had EXTREMELY loud bands at what seemed like random times, sometimes overlapping, and, while we COULD busk there, we, literally, couldn’t be heard most of the time… and that’s not to mention the “Jiggle Foot” devices — enormous, brightly coloured feet, barrels, or logs, in which one puts quarters in order to cause a platform attached to a “magic-fingers”-like thing to jiggle, allegedly “rejuvanating” your feet. we had to do some creative re-imagining of how the jiggle-foot devices were plugged in, in order to have enough power for our amps, and for the jiggle-feet. and then one of them broke: first it jiggled REALLY LOUDLY, and then it stopped working at all, which caused many people to complain about it, which caused the fair security guards to come around, discover our creative re-imagining, and summarily unplug our amps, so that, even when there weren’t bands playing, we couldn’t be heard above the crowd noise.
and then, joe disappeared, and was replaced by britanny, until saturday the 31st, when he showed up again.
somewhere in the chaos, hobbit heard some music that he found familiar, which, it turned out, was being made by a fellow named washboard willie, who hobbit busked with at the pike place market, 30 years ago. every day after that, we were visited by washboard willy and his rig, as they wandered by.
we put up with the noise until sunday the 25th, when we requested a different place to play, as we were pushing what we thought was an 8:30 closing time (which turned out to be incorrect, yet another screw-up), and we had only JUST completed our “contractual obligation” of 4 hours of busking. we were given the opportunity to busk under a tree, in the vicinity of a “dippin’ dots” booth and the booth of a hmong fabric artist, and right under the uphill slope of the northwest terminus for the “fair lift”, the oregon state fair’s answer to the “sky ride” from the washington state fair. there wasn’t quite as large a crowd of people constantly going by, but at least we could play without getting blasted away by disco turned up to 11…
monday the 26th was a lot more relaxed. we had the pop-up, but we didn’t need it, because of the shade from the tree. i asked, and was informed that they “would allow” us to take our instruments on the fair lift, so, tuesday, we did our first set on the fair lift, which was kind of amusing, although it was more than a little cramped.
by wednesday the 28th, it was pretty clear that we weren’t making ANYWHERE NEAR as much in tips as we could have been making at home, at the market, so we made some signs to encourage people. that was when we found out that, in spite of the fact that we had been assured otherwise, and we had actually submitted a “publicity photo” for them, there actually WERE NOT signs at the gates, indicating our presence, and suggesting that people who encountered us give us money in exchange for us entertaining them. the signs that we made, made the difference between $17 total, in tips for 4 hours of performance — which is worse than the worst day i have EVER had at the market, by a long shot — and $97 total, in tips for 4 hours of performance, which is an adequate day at the market for 2 hours of performance… but it still wasn’t a lot, which was really discouraging.
apart from not making very much in tips (a little more than $500 total, for 11 days, which works out to about $5.96 per hour, per person), the rest of the fair was pretty uneventful. we settled into a routine of doing a half hour set, with a half hour break, and then four 45-minute sets separated by half hour breaks, and then finishing with a half hour set around 6:00 pm… except for sunday, the 1st, when we were feeling rested enough that we had decided to play a 7th set, because joe (remember him) had said that we were okay until 8:45, when all the entertainment crew would be required for a fire show… but we had just started the 7th set, at 7:15 pm, when a different guy showed up and said that if we didn’t pack up and load out RIGHT THEN, that we wouldn’t be able to load out until 11:30, because of the fire show…
and, after that, we never saw joe again, so we don’t know why it happened that way… but it was just another frustration that made me VERY glad to get back home.
and then, on monday the 2nd, hobbit started losing it. i am sure he was tired, and fact that he has the worst case of sleep-apnea i have ever heard, AND his diet (which consisted largely of whiskey and cigarettes) probably didn’t help matters, but, during our first set, hobbit started out playing his ukulele and singing, and then sort of faded out, started singing gibberish, and then went to sleep… THREE TIMES!!! the first time, i thought it was kind of an odd thing that i had never seen from hobbit before, but by the third time, i was seriously concerned that he was having a stroke or something, so i flagged down a roving EMT, who put hobbit through his paces, and tested his blood pressure, which was 180/90. there wasn’t much he could do, and by that time, hobbit was complaining he was really okay, so he went away, and came back a couple hours later to check. hobbit really was okay, but i’ve kind of got a short fuse when it comes to potential brain injuries.
by the time tuesday came around, i was really glad to leave our sleazy hotel and get back to my own bed.
and, if everything goes the way i think it will, we (meaning hobbit and i) will do it all again, in yakima, in a couple of weeks…
i’m getting PAID(‼) $825 for oregon and $750 for yakima, plus half of whatever we make passing the hat (because real buskers can actually do that), which we have been recommended to do about every 15 or 20 minutes. we’re working (in oregon) from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm, but they only want 4 to 5 hours of busking in that time period. we have to pay for a hotel room in oregon, but a hotel room is included in yakima.
i got some more mushrooms from macque, and i got a whole bunch of encouragement regarding growing mushrooms from macque (who is, apparently, an expert. who knew?) and from rossi, who is an art cartist and the friend of ranger’s, who i got the mushrooms from last year. i’m taking some to salem. who knows whether or not i will be motivated to use them during the time i’m gone…
in other news, i got a pair of blue sunglasses, because looking at the world through 💩-coloured glasses was making me REALLY depressed, despite how much i liked them — and how many of my clothes matched the 💩-coloured sunglasses… but i really like the blue sunglasses even more, despite the fact that they’re not polarised, which makes driving in the bright sunlight a little difficult.
when it changes to july, we’re going to have to go to OCF and put on something resembling a show for the folks.
usually, by this time, we’ve got a finished script that the cast has been rehearsing for a few weeks, and most of the music, which the band has been rehearsing for a couple of weeks.
this year, they JUST got the script finished a few days ago, they just got their characters a few days ago, they still have to make all of their costumes and props, and the band has NO music — which has to be completely rewritten from scratch, even though we’re doing a panto that we have done in the past, Jack And The Beanstalk.
and, as far as the band goes, as far as i know, we don’t have enough people to make the band more than a rhythm section, and, MAYBE a saxophone, or a bassoon… or, possibly, both…
the only thing i know, for sure, that is already planned and in the works, is a memorial parade for simon… thrill… walking over uneven ground (not even going to try marching) with a tuba, slung from an over-the-shoulder strap while trying to manage music on a lyre… 😒 😟
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.
the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬
seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.
my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.
on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.
and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…
i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒
anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.
when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.
but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:
i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth: ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool! Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas. ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit. Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it. ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”. Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them. ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again! Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊
allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.
there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.
i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…
i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…
although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…
i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…
the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.
so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?
“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg
i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.
although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉
i’m getting closer and closer to divesting myself of all of my web hosting clients. i’m hoping that my last day of hosting anybody except me, and people directly related to me (i.e. my wife and son) will be 190430. i’m still trying to get two domains off my server, and then there will be one, which i don’t know whether they are going to find a new server, or whether they are just going to let it die. either way, it’s SEP and i don’t have to worry about it…
although i am… 😒
we came back from the beach. it rained a lot. i planned on taking mushrooms, but it rained, so i didn’t. i did spent a lot of time sleeping… and other passtimes:
although the dog moved by the time i took the picture…
and, given that it’s the first time that i’ve drawn anything other than doodles since my injury, i kinda like it…
then, we came home, and went to a concert by The University of Washington Harry Partch Ensemble, with authentic Harry Partch instruments:
the instruments are the Cloud Chamber Bowls, the Adapted Viola, the Adapted Guitar III, The Kithara II, the Spoils Of War, the Bass Marimba the Harmonic Canon, the Surrogate Kithara, the Diamond Marimba, the Marimba Eroica, the Koto, and the Chromelodeons I and II
a close-up of the Spoils Of War, with the Cloud Chamber Bowls in the background, and the Diamond Marimba in the foreground
it’s STANDARD NOTATION!!! just sub-scripts and super-scripts to define the microtones and the rythmn… i never would have guessed… but, at the same time, when you’re already working with music that is THAT DIFFERENT from what we, in the west, think of as “normal”, i suppose it’s a lot easier to not have to learn a new way of notating that “abnormal” music, as well…
it turns out that the current Harry Partch Foundation is located at the UW, and all of his instruments are housed there. again, i never would have guessed, but… wow.
i told monique, when we walked into the concert hall, that they had not played a note and i was already ecstatic.
i started my third session of my circus class. it’s a “basic circus skills for handicapped adults” class — mostly people with parkinson’s — but, because of the fact that i took to unicycle, i started a unicycle class, as well: at first, i borrowed a unicycle from one of monique’s co-workers, but it was too short, so i went on craigslist and bought an almost-new, used unicycle, that was exactly the same size wheel but a longer seatpost, that is now my very own, personal unicycle.
i have this vision — my training from the flybottle class would say “fantasy” — of what i want to do with the unicycle: there’s this guy, in portland, who is known as “The Unipiper”. he rides around portland, on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.
i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for a long time. i’ve got all the necessary materials to make a flaming tuba. all i have to do is learn to ride a unicycle, and i can be “The Tubacyclist”.
i hope to be relatively stable on the unicycle by OCF this year. i’m GOING to do this! 🐉
i am done with the moisture festival for another year: 13 shares. we’ll see what a share costs in about a month, but i’m not holding my breath.
during the fremont phil part of the run, i broke my tuba: the mouthpiece receiver came loose, which made playing the instrument sort of interesting, but not absolutely impossible, which is why i took it to the repair shop today, instead of when it happened.
i’m still recovering from the flu. i’ve got a persistent cough which, according to what i’ve read recently, may never go away, although it seems to be, so i don’t know yet.
and, while i was busy with the moisture festival, a subscriber to one of the mailing lists i maintain, who has an email address at micro$awful, unknowingly sent email to the wrong address, and got the mailing list blacklisted from sending to addresses at micro$awful. the host provider’s response to this was to believe micro$awful, and to say that if i don’t move the mailing list to a third-party, commercial SMTP provider, that they were going to refuse to provide service to me any longer. i don’t want to do that, but i am running out of other choices very quickly, and informing micro$awful that their automated blacklister made a mistake is almost impossible. i’m getting really tired of dealing with other peoples’ screw-ups, and, once again, am debating whether or not to just toss all of my “web clients” except for my wife, and just deal with my own domains. it would be so much easier than explaining stuff to people who don’t understand, who don’t pay attention, and who do continue to do the stuff that makes problems happen which i can’t fix.
now that the moisture festival is over, i’ve got a band-mate’s saxophone to work on for a couple days, and moe and i are going to the beach in a week or so. hopefully that will give me the chance to get back to normal for a while. 😒
before = three notebooks and a file folder full of music, weighing approximately 40 to 50 pounds.
after = one 8½"x11½" tablet, weighing approximately 2 pounds.
and ALL of that music takes up only a tiny fraction of my local storage… 292.5MB out of 256GB, so there’s plenty of room for more, as well! 😎
when going places with my tuba and/or my trombone, this is definitely several steps in the right direction! 👍😎
although i’m probably still going to take the big purple notebook (on the bottom of the stack) with me, when i go busking, because when i’m playing for nickels and dimes, i don’t want to have a $1,500 tablet on my music stand where anyone can grab it and run off… 😉
pat robertson should not be allowed to broadcast his hate on national television. it astounds me that he still has a platform… although it astounds me that people still go to church, so maybe i’m the crazy one here… although i would much rather be considered “crazy” than i would to convert to that sex-crazed mainiac’s way of thinking. seriously, i don’t understand why HOMOSEXUALS having sex the way they do threatens anybody, and certainly not to the depths of the fabric of society. the fact is, whether pat robertson likes it or not, people have been “doing sex” the “weird way” since long before pat robertson was around, and they’re not likely to go away just because pat robertson and his ilk somehow get a law passed. people like him would do well to pay attention when someone like, oh, i don’t know, Jesus Christ, maybe, says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
it makes me wonder about the beam in pat robertson’s eye, particularly since he seems to be obsessed with “weird” ways of having sex. it makes me think that he might not be getting enough, himself. 😒
Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex by Rev. Dr. Guido Super DeLuxe, 190226 download here
the fedex package finally arrived, which, of c(o)urse, meant that i went to the fedex distribution centre and forced them to let me have it there, rather than waiting for them to pull their head out of their ass and hire a full time driver who learns where my address is, instead of using a different contractor who doesn’t have the first clue — EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! 😠
anyway, i’ve got it more or less set up. i set it up as a new ipad, rather than transfering all of my old apps to it, which meant that i had — and still have — some finishing touches to add, most notably, the noisepad app, which requires a hard link to itunes in order to upload new sounds, but the version of itunes i have on my ancient macbook pro is several versions out of date and won’t recognise my new equipment, and even if it did, the ipad only has a USB-C plug, and my macbook only has USB-A plugs… so i’m probably going to have to use moe’s machine to get around that.
the big benefit is that i can display full-size, 8½”x11″ pages, which is 90% of my music, and the other 10%, which is more than one 8½”x11″ page, i can get a bluetooth foot-pedal page-turning gadget for about $50.
AND i’ve already got a fairly substantial portion of my music already “on the cloud” — i.e. either dropbox or my own, personal cloud-server — which means that, under the best of circumstances, i won’t even have to load my 256GB disk down with music files… although i might want to keep files on the ipad anyway, just in case i don’t have network connectivity, as i would (not) at the oregon country fair… 😉
and, after all, loading it down with music is the principle reason i bought a huge-ass tablet anyway… 😉
this is my interpretation of the introduction to a cassette by Bob Larson, a toxically obnoxious evangelical so-called “christian” radio preacher who bills himself as “the real exorcist”, with whom i have been interacting, on and off, for the better part of 40 years. he, too, is likely a member of my karass, because, despite my repeated attempts to get him out of my life, he keeps popping up, and i keep responding to him.
this picture was taken by a guy people know as “kurt vonnegut” — because he looks a lot like kurt vonnegut, apparently. i don’t know, because i barely remember the guy who took the picture, i was concentrating on the music so intently. i think his real name is davey, but i’m not sure.
this is the joe desimone bridge at 7:30 in the morning, before anybody gets there. at noon there are, literally, thousands of people passing through this space… and only a tiny fraction of them seem to notice the buskers… 😕
this is what they call the “original” starbucks. it’s not really the original, because the real original is about two blocks away, on western avenue, below and to the south of the joe desimone bridge… but it’s not there any longer, having moved up to pike place in the early ’80s (i think). but they still have the “original” signage and store livery… and, at 7:30 in the morning they have a crowd of 20 or so people inside: the rest of the pike place market, more or less, looks like the previous picture of the joe desimone bridge, but at 7:30 in the morning, the “original” starbucks (which isn’t even the original one) has a crowd. at noon there is a line that stretches down pike place, of people waiting to get into the “original” starbucks…
i’ve been sort of worried about busking with my tuba at the pike place market, because — in the distant past — they have had “problems” with people who were not actual musicians playing trumpets and other loud brass instruments, indiscriminately, with very little skill, and taking no regard for their neighbours. this unfortunate occurrence caused the people in charge (the “Pike Place Development Association” otherwise known as the “PDA”) to completely ban all “brass instruments and horns”…
what they mean, of course, is all brass instruments “with a cup mouthpiece”, because brass instruments with a reed mouthpiece (i.e. saxophones) have been allowed all along… which is REALLY STUPID, because you can make a lot louder, and more unpleasant sounds with a reed than you can with a cup mouthpiece…
which, of course, leads us to the real reason brass instruments are banned, which is because, in the distant past (i.e. before any of the current PDA staff were born), one or two individual people were being SO obnoxious (with their brass, cup-mouthpieced instruments) that the PDA had to do something, but it had to be something that didn’t look like they were targeting one or two individuals, so that they wouldn’t get sued by those individuals when they found out.
it’s kind of like that story about the scientists who were studying group behaviour in monkeys, where they put a monkey in a room with a ladder, and at the top of the ladder was a banana… it turns out that the story is an urban legend, but the concept comes across: now, the 2nd (or 3rd, or 54th, who knows) generation of PDA staff is convinced that anybrasscup-mouthpiece instrument, played by anyone is going to be the equivalant of a marshall stack cranked up to eleven, and totally blow everyone away for half a mile in any direction.
and, it’s my impression that, ever since then, there have been “whingers” among the vendors at the market, particularly on the “Joe Desimone Bridge” section, who — encouraged by the attitude of the 54th (or whatever) generation PDA staff who have never, actually, experienced a loud “brass” instrument — complain to the PDA if someone has an instrument that looks like it’s going to be too loud… which has resulted in the PDA deciding that you simply can’t busk at the bridge spot on saturday — which is the best day for busking — even with instruments which are not banned… 😒
i’ve been busking at the market a few times since i got my permit, but i haven’t busked at the bridge spot, because i’m worried that, despite the fact that the PDA assured me that they are “experimenting” with allowing tubas (no trombones, baritones, or trumpets, though), and they did, actually, sell me a permit despite the fact that i told them i didn’t play anything else that is allowed, one of the whingers on the bridge will take offense at my tuba and i’ll go back to being on the “banned instruments” list again.
that all changed today.
i busked with hobbit for an hour at the bridge this morning. we made $9.50 each (which is not very good), and then we went up to the clock spot and joined jack and dave for another hour, which netted us $35 a piece, which is a lot better.
then, because it was REALLY cold, i decided that i was going to go home. as i was going back to my car, i had to cross the joe desimone bridge, and TWO vendors asked me if i was done playing music. when i said i was, they asked me when i was going to come back…
they want me back! 😎
they don’t like any buskers (particularly the bad ones, which, according to them, are most of them), but they want me back!
and i wasn’t even playing the melody!!
maybe i shouldn’t worry about the whingers on the joe desimone bridge so much any more… 😉
tomorrow is the sousa bash, in the evening. i may go busking in the morning, but i haven’t decided yet… in a way, i really want to get out there and make myself more known to people who might call me for sets later on, but another part of me says that it rained most of the day today, and it’s probably going to rain tomorrow, which can be aleviated by rain-gear, but it also means that there will be fewer suckers paying audience members out there… and tomorrow is the return to standard time, which means that 9:00 am comes at 8:00 tomorrow… or is the other way around… i can never remember, and it always takes me a week or so to adjust, every time. 😕
only a white man could come up with the idea of cutting two inches off of one end of a blanket, sewing it onto the other end, and selling it as a bigger blanket. — some Native American wise guy
🍄 one mushroom today: 14 total. running low. need more…
this “microdosing” is starting to really bug me, in a way. i REALLY want to take 100 mushrooms or more, but i don’t have 100 mushrooms to begin with, and even if i did, i don’t have the time or the setting to be able to take that many without freaking out… i was talking with norma at trolloween about mushrooms, and she was saying that she really doesn’t like feeling “altered”… and i realised that i do, REALLY like feeling “altered”. microdosing does what it’s supposed to do, which has made my life a lot more tolerable recently, but it also reminds me, EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! i do it, that i’m not really doing what i would like to be doing. a trip to the mushroom fields outside of mount vernon may be in order. i literally know where they grow ’em… 😉
busking at the pike place market(!) today. in two hours of playing, i made $55… in ones, fives and quarters. it was a fairly good couple of hours, considering that i only knew three or four of the songs that we played, and was improvising/faking it for the rest of them. i gave my phone number to three “band leaders”, so there’s a pretty good chance i’ll get called again some time soon.
before today, i have never busked with my tuba at the pike place market, because their official policy is “No devices for electronic amplification of any sound are allowed. No horns, brass instruments, or drums are permitted…” which pretty much makes it impossible for me to even think about busking there… but, apparently, they’re “trying out” tubas, because there are a lot of tuba players who objected to their policy. i was one of two tuba players at the market today, and the other guy (conn 15J, 3-valve, B♭, i think his name is jim) was, according to one of the other buskers (he played soprano sax, tap-danced and sang) looking at my tuba like it was a woman… damn right he was looking at my tuba with lust. it’s an instrument to be lusted after, and i’m glad that someone else recognised it for what it is. 😉
and, by the way, soprano sax is not only a “horn” but it is also made of “brass”, and it has been allowed all along. it’s only “horns with cup mouthpieces” that are banned, and it’s ACTUALLY “horns that are played “inconsiderately”, and make problems for the neighbours”… which has come to mean anything that anybody THINKS is too loud, regardless of what the instrument actually sounds like… although, these days, strings and “woodwind” instruments get a pass, and brass instruments (with the exception of tubas, as noted before) are completely banned.
the last time i was permitted to busk at the market was 1982, which was before the current market manager (the one who sold me my current permit) was born. back then, you didn’t have to buy the permit, and there was only one market manager. now there are a bunch of them, and talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing… 🤦 i’m glad i got my permit, but i’m going to leave dealing with the authorities (meaning the market manager(s)) to someone else, because i already don’t like it at all…
i’ve been taking my thurible outside (because, realistically, that’s the only place i can use it without setting off my smoke alarm), drinking beer, smoking pot, listening to frank zappa, and burning frankincense, benzoin and copal resin — rather like the ethiopian family that lived next door to us, where we used to live, in renton, did…
although i’m reasonably sure that the ethiopian family didn’t smoke pot, drink beer, and listen to frank zappa… 😉
but, basically, i really like burning incense, i really like burning frankincense, because it has the scientifically-proven ability to calm my anxiousness, and i really like “sharing” the good smells with my neighbours… whether they like it or not… 😈
which got me to thinking, yesterday…
i also REALLY like playing music for people. particularly, i really like playing my overtone flute at the oregon country fair, where people passing by have the possibility of hearing my music, but not knowing exactly from where it may be coming.
so, i thought, why not combine the two, and put together a “performance” or a “concert”, or something like that, where i set up somewhere, incense the whole place, and play my overtone flute?
it would have to be an outside venue, because nobody would want “concert” like this inside, where it would be extremely likely to set off smoke alarms, but that’s okay, because if it’s outside, there’s more of a possibility that people will experience the scent and not even be able to tell from where it’s coming… possible places are greenlake, volunteer park and gasworks park.
i would probably also want to set up a sign, or something, letting people know what i’m doing… but it would also be interesting to do that sort of thing without any clues, just to see how people might respond…
maque asked me to build a bullroarer. i may have gone a little bit overboard…
i built a 30″ bullroarer. it’s big enough that i had to order special rubber bands to finish it. then, when i realised that i had to wait for the rubber bands to be delivered, i went crazy and spent two days going various places searching for a suitable alternative.
it’s a lot quieter than i expected. i’m going to have to build a smaller one, like this:
i saw the residents a few years ago, at neumo’s on capitol hill. at the time, randy (the lead singer) said that carlos, the drummer, had decided that, after 40 years, the “rock-and-roll” lifestyle wasn’t doing it for him, and he quit, which was why there was only three of them.
they seem to have found a new drummer, as well as a mysterious figure dressed in a cthulhu mask who sat there for the entire show and didn’t do anything.
they did a lot of their “Elvis” and “Two American Composers” songs to the tune of a lot of their “Train Wreck” and “The Ghost of Hope” songs, and there was some weird stuff about dreams with fabulous animated graphics displayed on a huge ball, so that they were even more distorted.
it was REALLY loud, but, unlike most of the other “rock” concerts i have attended, it wasn’t so loud that i couldn’t hear the lyrics (except when they didn’t want me to), and my ears weren’t ringing after the show, which impressed me.
i want a tablet that has a USB interface (or not, depending on its disk size) that is approximately 9″x12″ or thereabouts, on which i can store ALL of my music (and, potentially, music for everyone else in the band, as well). if it has a USB interface, then i can have different bands on different flash drives. if not, different bands go in different directories or suchlike. my understanding is that there is an “automatic page-turning” app that one operates with a remote using their feet, but my impression is that most PDF readers switch pages with a swipe, which is pretty much what i do already, anyway…
that way i won’t have to carry around 40 pounds of music, as well as my tuba, music stand and chair…
the second week of the moisture festival — the one that i played in, with the fremont philharmonic — is over. it went really well, i played a majority of the right notes, didn’t drop my music, or lose tunes, made a majority of my cues, kept ALL of my music in alphabetical order, except for the tunes that were “officially” part of the show, so i could find things instantaneously when things changed abruptly without warning…
which they INEVITABLY do at the moisture festival.
hacki and möppi were there, tom noddy was there, sandy was there, frank olivier was there, peewee and joanne (barry and yvonne, couple #69) were there… i saw people that i only see once a year, at the moisture festival… it was the 15th anniversary of the longest running comedy/varieté showcase IN THE WORLD (and my 15th year as a performer in the moisture festival), and hardly anybody mentioned the fact that the palladium is up for sale, and there’s a possibility that whoever buys it will not honour the contracts that events like the moisture festival (and the panto) have with mike hale… but, at least for now, things are happening in a more or less normal, for the moisture festival, way. who knows what’s going to happen next year… apparently somebody does, but it’s not me, and whoever it is, isn’t saying anything.
i have been following Ranjit Bhatnagar for many years, from his original web site at moonmilk.com, and have succeeded in pulling off a project with him. this is a “distance duet” with me on harmonic flute and ranjit on harmonic bass.
new year blah. had dinner at the akers’, went to bed at 10, and listened to the neighbours blowing stuff up and frightening the animals until two in the morning.
#SCROTUS #drumpf threatening to blow up the world… again… among other, somewhat less horrendous alternatives… blah, blah, blah.
panto blah, sickness blah… i’m actually just starting to feel relatively normal, after having the season’s cold compounded by being around panto people who all have similar colds, for about a month. the panto, itself, is as good a show as we’ve ever done, considering that we’re doing the same show, cinderella, with essentially the same script as the one we did 10 years ago. however, they’ve sold the palladium and nobody’s told me what they’re going to do with the moisture festival, for which they’ve already scheduled the bands: the philharmonic is one of them, snake suspenderz is not. 😕 blah… everybody’s acting as though the moisture festival is happening, but nobody seems to care where it’s theoretically going to happen. it would be great if we could continue using the palladium, but if we’re not, presumably someone has started making arrangements to have it somewhere else.
i’ve wanted one for a long time: pretty much ever since i first read about them on internet, a few years ago. but i’ve never bought one, because it seemed too frivolous… and i’ve read some really negative reviews of them, that made me think they are not very well built, and so forth.
but this a gift, and it is from my lovely wife, so, of course i want it… and, actually, it plays pretty well — for a “novelty” “toy” that doesn’t have notes marked on it… it will definitely be an honoured member of my sound-effects collection, if nothing else… 😊
not only that, but the guy on the package (who, i assume, is Novmichi Tosa, the inventor of the otamatone), is wearing a wrist watch with an old-school telephone dial on it:
i’ve been sick for the past couple of days. i hope i’m going to be well enough to perform in cinderella on saturday, because that’s when it starts. dress rehearsal is tomorrow, and i haven’t even marked all of the sound effects or where to use them, so it’s going to be touch and go. i should be well enough to make rehearsal tomorrow, but i’ve already loaded the first batch of sound effects into my car. i’ve still got a huge box, plus the bell, which has it’s own stand…
i’ve volunteered to play trombone for a SANCApators performance at Teatro ZinZanni in redmond, in february. reheasals start during the run of cinderella, but the sancapators rehearse during the week, and cinderella is on the weekend, so there won’t be any conflict.
#SCROTUS #drumpf just reduced the size of two national monuments, Bear’s Ears, and Escalante, in utah, to about half of their original size. he wants to eliminate all national monuments, completely, and open the areas for oil drilling and mineral exploration. it’s probably illegal, and there’s already at least one lawsuit filed over it, but that won’t stop him from running rough-shod over it while he has the chance. DAPL has already sprung a couple of leaks, and there are lawsuits over that, as well, but you can’t put oil back in the ground, once it has been extracted… and spilled. meanwhile, there’s a rumour that democrats are going to force a vote to impeach him soon, but as long as the republicretins are in the majority, it’s not going to go anywhere. there’s eventually going to be action from special prosecutor mueller – he just subpoenad Deutsche Bank’s records concerning #drumpf’s accounts, and those of his family (although faux/fake news/jay sekulow (of the ACLJ, a “christian” hate-group) says that he hasn’t), which, allegedly, was the line across which, if he stepped, #drumpf had vowed to fire mueller, but it just happened this morning, so there’s no news on whether he will actually follow through. my personal opinion is that, if he fires mueller, i’m going to start fomenting revolution, and i’m not alone. on the other hand, if he doesn’t fire mueller, then he can definitely be more easily impeached, because his criminal activities, not to mention his treason, will be much more obvious… but once #drumpf is impeached, we’re going to have to impeach pence, and ryan, and the whole list of “republicans all the way down” before anything is going to change… and the only other option is for mueller to declare the 2016 election null-and-void, because of #drumpf’s treason and collusion, but, by then, it’ll be too late to do it over… and it’s never been done before, so nobody’s really sure whether or not it even CAN be done…
okay, whenever i get personal email from a “famous artist” who i really admire, i get a little verklempt.
a few years ago, i discovered this really weird, really prolific artist, who called himself Ergo Phizmiz, and, since then, i have accumulated approximately 40 individual downloads from him, all of which i really enjoy.
recently — within the last 6 months or so — he decided that the “Ergo Phizmiz” persona had run its course, and started releasing music under a much more “normal” sounding name, Dominic Robertson. i bought his most recent release, and he wrote me to thank me:
Just a quick note to say thanks very much for buying my recent releases on Bandcamp, most appreciated indeed.
feeling encouraged, i wrote back:
i have 40 downloaded albums by Ergo Phizmiz and/or Dominic Robertson, and i enjoy all of them. 8)
i am a musician as well, and play a variety of different instruments:
i also play with the Fremont Philharmonic, a 9-piece wind band that started out as a circus band, many years ago… but they don’t have anything recorded…
keep making music. it’s the only “real” thing there is! 8)
this was his reply:
Thanks a lot Salamandir. Lovely to meet you, going to put my feet up later and tune into you and your hybrid elephants.
although, to be honest, i probably wouldn’t have paid as much attention to him at first, if he had been dominic robertson… a lot of my initial attraction to him was that he made wonderfully weird music AND was called “Ergo Phizmiz”…
this is the second time i’ve played at the blue moon, and the third time i’ve actually been in the blue moon… the first time i was in there, in the early 1990s, which was before i played there the first time, i went there to meet an old friend, who proceded to borrow $20 from me, and then i never saw her again.
i figured that if it cost me $20 to make sure that i never see her again, it was probably worth it.
not much has been happening, except for the world slowly blowing up because of the inanity of #drumpf.
i’ve finished one week of moisture festival performances, with the phil, and snake suspenderz actually has a rehearsal (our first one in more than a year), on wednesday, three days prior to us going on stage on saturday, for two more moisture festival shows. the moisture festival is over on sunday. i keep wondering why i do this, and i am still wondering why i do this, unlike my previous predicition.
there are a few more snake suspenderz gigs coming up, for a change…
apart from that, it’s pretty much rehearsal season.
i found a new dispensary, fairly close to my house — commencement bay cannabis — which appears to have high quality material for insanely low prices… like, for the price of an ounce in a number of other places i have been to, i can get TWO ounces at CBC. current fave is Cinex.
we’re gearing up for the moisture festival in a couple of weeks. the ballard sedentary sousa band starts rehearsals for the 2017 season tomorrow. we start the season may 28th at the folklife festival. and snake suspenderz has gigs at the moisture festival, a winery in woodinville, and the blue moon in april.
things continue to get orders of magnitude worse in drumpf-land. at this point, if he were to disappear today, we would have approximately 10 years of cleanup to do before the society got back to “normal”… and there’s no way he’s going to “disappear” until at least next year. at this point, there’s an equal chance that he will destroy the world, or i will die before then. 😡
i’ve been “sick or not” for a week now, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. i don’t “feel” sick, but if i don’t take immune boosters and/or if i work too hard i get a sore throat and really congested. it never really comes on strong and takes hold, but it also doesn’t seem to want to go away any time soon. i’ve been taking immune boosters along with my 5HTP, and i can feel it helping, but it’s apparently not enough to make the “sickness or not” go away completely. combine that with depression that has been increasing or decreasing in intensity, but never actually going away, ever since #drumpf was elected, and it makes for a really difficult time merely existing in the world.
i’m playing for a burlesque show at the substation in ballard on march 7th, and then a week of moisture festival performances with the fremont philharmonic starting on march 22nd, plus 2 moisture festival performances by snake suspenderz on april 8th, and a gig with snake suspenderz on march 22nd in woodinville that pays $125 an hour, cash…
but i would still prefer it if i died, or, even better, if everybody else died, except for moe, the fremont philharmonic, snake suspenderz, the people with whom i’m doing the burlesque show, the significant others of the aforementioned people… and, MAYBE a few audience members…
drumpf continues to be a gold-plated asshole. his “muslim/immigrant ban” has been halted, temporarily, but he’s still building a wall, continuing with construction of two major oil pipelines, removing restrictions on coal companies dumping waste into streams, removing the affordable care act, blatantly censoring publically funded government entities like the parks department, the department of agriculture, NASA, and the environmental protection agency, firing people who resist him, and filling all available government positions with his cronies, who he has been encouraging to do similar things. he has gone on record opposing environmental restrictions by saying that his “friends” have businesses and they can’t borrow… 😠
i am getting an upgrade on the hybrid elephant web site. should be ready monday, with no down time. i’m wondering how long i can do this before i have to go out of business. reluctantly, i’ve spent about $1,000 on my web site in around a year, and i am pretty sure the web site hasn’t provided me with a commensurate amount of income. 😒
panto check came in. $100 less than last year. i’m not sure why, but it’s still the single greatest source of income i have for the entire year. next up is moisture festival. i know of at least a week’s worth of performances with the phil, for sure, and i know that snake suspenderz is “in”, but there’s still no clue how many shows, and/or whether or not we’re going to be a “show band”. i really need to find a new band and/or get us playing more frequently. 😐
puppies are still alive. mother (sis) is also still alive. the puppies have turned into alligators, so when they’re not actually feeding, sis has to wear a t-shirt or something to prevent the puppies from biting her tits off. we’re going to either visit, or to pick up a puppy (depending on as yet unknown other circumstances) on the 11th, and if we don’t pick up a puppy at that time, presumably we’re going to pick it up on the 17th… and then moe is going to some conference, somewhere, and i’m going to be left by myself to take care of three adult dogs and one 8-week-old puppy… thrill…
the third of four weeks of panto performances finished today. i’m confident that Rapunzel Stiltskin is the best panto we have done in the fifteen years that we have been doing pantos. we’ve got one more week, four more performances, and it can only get better from here.
i got a kurt weill songbook yesterday, and i intend to write arrangements for the phil, which, hopefully, we can work into moisture festival performances in some way or another. unofficially, we have been offered the second week of performances. once again, unofficially, the “old boy network” is still trying to replace the phil with their buddies, but they still haven’t done more than replace the last two weeks of bands with people who are part of the network, which, strangely enough (because the phil has played every moisture festival since the beginning) doesn’t include the phil. snake suspenderz hasn’t been offered anything, as far as i have heard, which is odd, because the guy who supposedly books music for the festival said that he had more gigs for us… two years ago… needless to say, i am less than enthusiastic about participating in the moisture festival this year.
moe is going to visit the puppies again on friday. at this point, 9 puppies are doing great, and the health of the mother, Sis, is improving massively, although there are still some mysterious deficiencies that are still eluding everyone. at this point, everyone agrees that everyone is going to survive, which is considerably different than the opinion a week and a half ago.
moe’s father died, suddenly, in late october. his funeral was last saturday. some would say “fortunately”, i had two panto performances that day, so i couldn’t go. however, one of the things that was an upshot of moe’s father dying was that moe inherited his piano. so, we now have a fairly decent spinnet piano in our house… or, rather, it will be a fairly decent spinnet piano when we get somebody in to fix the dead keys and clean out the bird-seed and spider-webs. in order to fit it in our house, we had to completely clear out the “office/guest-bedroom” which hasn’t been used as either for a couple of years. the office had a double bed, and a reclining chair that turns into a single bed, along with all of my inventory from hybrid elephant, most of my sound effects (i.e. the ones that i don’t have at the panto currently), a trombone, three trumpets, two soprano clarinets, an alto clarinet, a guitar, a whole bunch of home-made instruments, two huge bags of air-pillow packing materials, a cosco-sized bundle of paper towel rolls, three sleeping bags, and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. we got up fairly early yesterday, cleaned out the room and the hallway leading to it, and then we, along with moe’s step-brother, took delivery of a piano. also, because of the fact that it was superfluous, we freecycled the bed… and then we loaded up the back of moe’s step-brother’s truck and made a dump run with a bunch of brush and old lumber.
initially, i was hesitant about bringing the piano into our house, because i was under the impression that it was one of those upright pianos that you see in old western movies, that people stand, lean on, and put their glasses of beer on top of. this piano is actually about half that size. it’s about 3 feet tall, and 24 inches deep.
so, now, instead of an “office/guest-bedroom”, we have a “music room/guest-bedroom”. i’ve already moved in my bach trombone, my fender-rhodes piano, my DX-7, my E♭ tuba, my Sandviker’s Stradivarius musical saw, and my didjeriflute. the theory is that, eventually, that will be a place where we (meaning moe, too, whether she likes it or not! 😈) can go and IMMEDIATELY play music on a variety of instrumets, and the most preparation we might have to do is take an instrument out of its case. it will also be very beneficial for me, when i am transcribing music and need a keyboard. and, because my laptop is portable, i can easily use it to do all kinds of recording and editing and, using my DX-7 as a MIDI controller, i can even use my laptop as an instrument… 😎
returned from OCF yesterday. logged into farcebook this morning and was immediately confronted with political stupidity and people making fun of human failure. we weren’t able to play at the ritz this year, despite my being in contact with the booker through farcebook for two years now. i’m seriously wondering whether or not this experiment with “social media” is worth the hassle.
however, interestingly, i only went to the ritz twice, because it rained on saturday, but, in spite of not getting booked to play this year, i ended up with three ritz tokens, and actually got to play one song with stuart’s band, choro loco. i played cuica:
i went to OCF last tuesday. the mosquitos were ravenous, and numerous… and HUGE! i got bit a lot tuesday and wednesday. thursday they calmed down a bit, and by friday they were all concentrating on the tens of thousands of other people who had just arrived. wednesday i slept for most of the day, which was luxurious, but somehow i wish there had been more activity.
there weren’t as many pictures, but they were memorable.
there were also a few pictures, not included, of daylight, close-up shots of the pedal-powered scroll saw i want to make.
OCF is fast approaching. today is the 26th of june, and i leave for OCF on the 5th of july. instead of driving, this year i’m getting a ride with michael marconi. the fremont philharmonic has several changes in personnel, and hasn’t had a single rehearsal. allegedly, we’re going to have two rehearsals with the cast members who haven’t already gone to the fair to set things up, and allegedly we’re going to have one or two rehearsals without the cast, presumably to rehearse for the ritz, which we haven’t heard from yet… in fact, i’m going to write to matt now…
i’m really trying not to stress too much about not having any rehearsal, but i guess what i’m saying is that, despite the fact that i know it won’t do any good, i’m stressing about it anyway. i’ve got two new pieces of music out of who knows how many more, and there’s a good chance that we won’t be able to rehearse this, even once, with the entire crew, until thursday evening, before we have to start performing on friday morning. it must be worse for kiki, since she is actually writing the new music. fortunately, it’s for the oregon country fair, so even if we totally screw up, it’s highly likely that nobody will notice.
i’m having the hybrid elephant web site re-designed. i decided that it would take a lot less time for someone who already knows how to use all of the new technology do it than it would for me to learn how to use the technology, and do it myself. it’s still not exactly what i want, but we’ve already put a method of payment in place that doesn’t involve paypal, so that’s a really good trade-off… and, while it is not exactly what i wanted, it largely has all of the things that i want, more or less where i want them, it’s got some really cool new features that i didn’t have in the old site (starting with a SSL certificate, so no more doing business over an unsecure network), it uses wordpress and woo commerce, so it will be really easy to add on to, and it’s going to be A LOT easier to keep up to date, so i won’t have to do this whole thing again in 5 years…
i emailed the band (snake suspenderz) a month ago regarding playing for the party after SACBO was over. all of the band members except hobbit said that they could do it. hobbit wanted to get paid. the people putting on the party said they couldn’t pay, in fact the party was supposed to be a fund raiser (i.e. NOBODY was getting paid).
after going through three weeks of increasingly tense back-and-forth action, we finally agreed, tentatively, to perform at the party, which i announced to the organiser a week ago.
SACBO came around, and the first day (saturday, two days ago) was intermittently rainy and overcast. hobbit showed up for about an hour (long enough to get stoned) and then took off, before the fair was open, without playing anything. sketch didn’t show up at all. thaddeus and i busked, alternately playing swing music a la snake suspenderz, and “experimental” music, with me playing the didjeriflute, and thaddeus playing his guitar with interesting effects pedals. we made around $30 each, which wasn’t that bad.
yesterday was sunny and beautiful. hobbit showed up again, but sketch didn’t show up until almost 2:00. we played, first without sketch and then with him, but not very energetically or enthusiastically, and with considerable breaks between the music. at the end of the day, we had made about $10 each. i donated mine to hobbit, because, three or four years ago, i said that if the “take” from busking was $10 or less, i would donate it all to hobbit, because he needs it more than i do.
and then, hobbit said that he wasn’t going to the party, because he wanted to play with his new video-editing software (which he had been ranting about all day), and sketch said that he wasn’t going to the party, partially because hobbit wasn’t going, and partially because, simply, he “didn’t feel like it”…
which, of course, means that, now, the people who organised the SACBO after-party are pissed off at me, because i promised them a band and then backed out at the last possible moment.
alledgedly, snake suspenderz has another one-hour performance at the château in renton in september, but it was my impression that we have already done all of the château performances, and despite the fact that somebody said they would confirm the dates for me, nobody has yet.
it used to be that snake suspenderz would play, somewhere, even if it was the ballard sunday market, at least twice a month. however, it seems to me as though, ever since hobbit moved to lynnwood (about 10 miles to the north of downtown seattle), it has become more and more difficult to convince him to do anything other than busk at the pike place market, which, of course, i can’t do, because the market doesn’t allow my tuba, because it’s made of brass. i find this odd behaviour for hobbit, primarily because i live 25 to 30 minutes south of downtown seattle, and i’m up there all the time for various different rehearsals and performances, but i’m getting the idea that it’s one of the things that makes hobbit what he is.
it is my distinct impression, at this point, that snake suspenderz may not be a band any longer, and that i should be looking for other people with whom to play music.
thaddeus wants to form an electronic/experimental group with me, which is definitely an interresting concept (i keep thinking that it would also be a good way to entice ken to come down from bellingham and jam with us), but that’s more of a fantasy than anything else at this point, especially since thaddeus is preparing to go on a road-trip to play in Oberon Zell‘s emporium in california (among other places) in a couple weeks.
i am aware of the fact that there are more musicians than the ones that i know, even in seattle… i mean, i know a lot of musicians, but i don’t know all of them, by any stretch of the imagination. what i really need to do is to find a bunch of musicians who all like to play the kind of music i like to play, who also have a desire to play music for other people in exchange for money, and who don’t have the mental/emotional/social difficulties which are way-too-typical of the current batch of musicians i know.
when i logged into my email this morning, one of my messages was from salamandir.bandcamp.com, from a guy named zach lincoln, who was, alledgedly, a “booking representative” from afton. this was the message he sent me:
> I wanted to reach out and see if you’re up to talk about some shows I’m
> putting together. Who’se the best person to contact about booking your
> act? I have a few dates every month around washington, my next open
> date is May 21st.
exciting, right? i have only had this music on bandcamp for a few months, and already i’m getting inquiries from someone who wants to book my act… i should be fired up…
but i’m also suspicious.
so, i wrote him back with a couple of alternate dates (i’m going to orlando on the 23rd, which is cutting it a bit close for my tastes), and i texted thaddeus, who has quite a bit more experience in the business of booking gigs than i do, and asked if he had ever heard of this guy. he said no, but sent me a link that might be appropriate.
zach wrote me back almost immediately with instructions on how to get started with afton, but i read the link that thad texted me first — http://www.wicasta.com/blogs/is-afton-live-a-scam-any-worse-than-venues/ — which, basically, says that if afton isn’t a scam, it is doing a lot of the things real scammers do, and the only way i should sign up for it is if it’s more important to me to play than it is to get paid.
it’s pretty important to me to play music, don’t get me wrong. and, given the choice, i would rather be playing music than just about anything else, pretty much any time, but it really disturbs me to be playing music for free when everybody else around me is getting paid for my playing music. in fact, that is one instance where i would, probably, NOT prefer to be playing music. i know a whole bunch of people, and at least two or three of them would probably come to see me play at a real venue, but if i have to do all of the marketing as well as playing music, then i would much rather do it on my own, than provide money for bookers and venue-owners but not myself, especially when i would be surrounded by other musicians who are in the same boat i am in.
so i wrote back to zach, asking if what i read in the article is true or not. the first response i got, when i was responding to his initial inquiry, came back within 5 minutes of my sending it, but i have now been waiting 4 hours for a response, and it hasn’t come yet… and i get the very strong feeling that it won’t come at all, which is an indication to me that what i read in the article was, in fact, spot on, and zach was hoping that i didn’t know that because it is so exciting to be contacted by someone who wants to book your act…
THEN i started actively poking around to see if i could find out anything more about this guy. conveniently, bandcamp gave me his IP address, so i plugged that in and discovered that zach wrote to me about booking gigs in washington from an IP address that’s located in Maspeth, New York… 😡
afton may or may not be an actual scam, but if it’s not, it sure isn’t trying very hard to differentiate itself from things that are, actually, scams.
that got me wondering… i’m pretty sure he never, actually, listened to any of the music at salamandir.bandcamp.com… i wonder what he would do if i actually showed up for one of his performances and played what i usually play on the didjeriflute…
i’m done playing moisture festival shows with the “show band” for this year. i still have a few other moisture festival related shows coming up as “artists” this year, with snake suspenderz: we’re playing the volunteer party, three “on stage” appearances, and at least one “fluffing” (where we entertain the audience waiting outside the theatre, before the performances start) that are still upcoming.
i’m waiting to see whether or not the band that is taken up the last two weeks of shows as the “show band” is any good before i make a firm decision, but there’s a good chance that i will be bowing out of next year’s moisture festival performances all together, if things don’t work out. i’m just getting way to tired of watching other people become part of the “old boy network” with a fraction of the input that i have made to the festival, when i am not even considered for that network, in spite of the fact that i’ve been in it since the beginning. it’s getting to be the same way with the oregon country fair, as well. i’ve never been a person that appreciates “old boy networks”, and these two things have been grating against that dislike for quite some time now. there are definite advantages to both, but, if not soon, definitely eventually, i’m going to have to bow out of both, because, fundamentally, i dislike the way they take advantage of me without offering sufficient benefits.
at the same time, i want to create a new act for next year’s moisture festival, that is a sextet (or larger group) that plays bach or mozart or something like that, on nose-flutes. so my feelings are definitely conflicted.
i’m well and truly into the midst of rehearsal season: we’ve been rehearsing the fremont philharmonic for 3 weeks for a week of shows at the moisture farcetival, we’ve been rehearsing snake suspenderz for a week for a gig at the château, a recording session with deb seymour(!), three moisture farcetival shows, and a moisture farcetival volunteer party, and next week rehearsals for the sousa band, whose first gig will be while i am in orlando.
and, speaking of orlando, this evening, i made, and paid for, the reservations for my trip from seattle, to orlando, to warrensburg, to seattle between may 23 and june 3. this is the first trip i’ve taken where i’ve had to fly, by myself, for my own enjoyment, in my entire life. i haven’t flown anywhere since the big bois with poise went to san francisco in 2012, and i haven’t been on the east coast since i went to boston when i started at software dot com in 1998… and then i was working (actually, i slept through most of the training classes, because i had stayed up until 4:00 in the morning drinking beer with spods), so i didn’t get the chance to see that much… and this is sort of the opposite corner of the continent…
i guess i’m officially starting to get “excited” about going on this trip…
but the visa signature conceirge service, in the process of giving me options for the trip, gave me the option of flying from orlando to kansas city, by way of… wait for it… seattle. yes, they tried to make what would ordinarily be a 3 hour non-stop flight into an 18 hour trip back home, with a 9 hour layover. really! 😕
in the mid-1980s, i lived in an apartment with randy, who was a david bowie fanatic. i was not, at the time, because i had been brought up listening to jazz, classical, and contemporary classical music, had been heavily involved with jazz, marching and concert bands and orchestras, and, basically, “didn’t have time” to listen to “inferior” music made by “talentless” artists.
but, at the same time, i was also beginning to suspect that everything i had learned about “christianity” was not only false, but that there HAD to be another alternative to what the “christians” were ranting about. i had read some of the works of Aliester Crowley, and been able to make exactly zero sense of it, and started heading for other religions to fill the gaps.
then i heard this song, and a few others like it, and they helped me to realise that sometimes, in order to comprehend the deeper meanings of things, one had to read more than what was on the surface…
panto started yesterday. 4 shows in and it’s already the best show we’ve ever done, despite the fact that the two fairy tales that we mashed up (Hansel & Gretel and Goldilocks & The Three Bears) are not very strong stories in and of themselves. i ordered a metal slide whistle because my PVC one has finally bit the big one. i also sold a single LP album for $200 at discogs.
i got an app for my tablet that will do what i want it to: it’s a drum-pad-sequencer gadget that has a built-in sampler, so i’ll be able to sample a service bell, and a whip, and whatever else i need and have them electronically reproducible on demand. it will do a number of things, including decreasing the amount of crap i’m going to have to haul, be volume-controllable, be fail-safe, and that sort of thing. it probably won’t work so well for the oregon country fair, but that’s a ways down the road yet. it’s kind of amusing to me, primarily because this is very definitely NOT the purpose for which it was intended to be used… but, to quote frank zappa, i, truly, don’t care.
i’ve been taking 5HTP as a mood controller for a couple of months, and it seems to be having some effect. it doesn’t decrease the amount of depression, but it does put me in a space where i can observe the depression, rather than being affected by it… as much… i’m not sure whether this is an improvement or not, but it’s something… interesting, perhaps…
thanksgiving was yesterday. the world is fucked: climate change is upon us, there have been shootings and bombings all over the world (including a new one, today, when a 40ish-year-old, white male shot up a planned parenthood branch), people are getting stupider and they’ve got stellar education in how to do it, because the stupidest ones of all are the ones that they want to elect as the next president… humanity, as a species, is killing itself off in astounding numbers, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. i have never wanted to do it, but i’m afraid i’m going to have to apologise to my son for bringing him into a world that is dead set on destroying itself. yeah, i’ve got good health, good friends, and good eats, but hitler had them too, and so does donald trump. but instead of assuring that everyone can have them, we’re more interested in keeping syrian refugees out of our country and giving people who are truly insane, the power to start the next world war. it’s time for some more realistic holidays that aren’t based on religion, coercion and genocide.
so i’ve got good reason to be depressed.
and, now that “thanksgiving” is past, there’s going to be a headlong dash into the pile of crap that is the most materialistic portion of the entire year, which decreases the probability of my getting any less depressed any time soon a lot more.
i brought home the glass bong that i made in the previous post, and now have two glasses in the annealer, waiting for me to pick them up. 8)
the fremont phil has a gig on friday, which is tomorrow. i’m probably going up to b’ham to visit with kenyth on saturday. maybe coming back saturday, maybe sunday… haven’t decided yet.
saturday is also frank zappa day, and international talk-like-a-pirate day. a week from saturday is festa italiana for the BSSB. the thursday after that (which is the first of october), snake suspenderz has a gig at the chateau retirement center. maybe they’ll remember to pay us this time.
there’s a video that goes here, but it’s taking forever to upload, so i’ll put it in later.
the following is the rant that i’m going to put in the liner notes of the CD… which is why it will probably change at some point in the future.
the harmonic flute is a very simple instrument that makes very, very complex sounds. it was made from a piece of 1-inch PVC tubing that i rescued from a construction site dumpster. i have been playing it for about 35 years. i have taken to calling it a “didjeri-flute” because when people see me playing it, one of the comments i hear most frequently is “didjeridu”… which is not correct (and, at this point, i find it somewhat annoying): it’s a harmonic or “overtone” flute, hornbostel-sachs number 421.111.11:
4 – aerophones
42 – non-free aerophones
421 – edge-blown aerophones
421.1 – flutes without a fipple
421.11 – end-blown flutes
421.111 – individual end-blown flutes
421.111.1 – open, single, end-blown flutes
421.111.11 – without fingerholes
a didjeridu is another very simple instrument, but to make a sound on a didjeridu, you use your lips to buzz into the open end, which causes the vibration in the tube, and use your breath, tongue and voice to modify the vibration. on a harmonic flute, you blow into the open end, which is modified by having a notch carved in it, with a leading edge that has been sharpened, to make the tube vibrate. without question, it is an instrument that requires very precise breath control, but that’s it: there’s no buzzing, and no tongue or voice involved at all. in this recording, the sound of the harmonic flute was fed through a boss digital delay, and a roland cube amplifier. the recording also features a brass temple bell.
the harmonic flute makes different notes based on the harmonic sequence: the first note, or “fundamental” is quiet enough, and hard enough to produce, that i don’t use it on this recording, but i can play it. sometimes it i can play it loud enough that other people can hear it as well. the second note, or “second partial” is an octave higher than the fundamental, and it is heard fairly frequently in this recording. the “third partial” is a perfect fifth above the second partial, the fourth partial is an octave above the second partial, or a perfect fourth above the third partial, and it continues along a known and predictable path from there. there are no holes in the walls of the flute, or “finger holes”, the harmonic flute has two holes, one at either end. the only way to control what note you are playing is to be able to control your breath.
other, similar flutes include the fujara, which is a fipple flute with an air-pipe and fingerholes, the quena, which is shorter, and has fingerholes, and the shakuhachi, which also is shorter, and has fingerholes.
the recording was made in an empty room with solid concrete walls about 1 foot thick, about 20 feet wide by 50 feet long by 15 feet high, with an open door at either end. the entire room, and the surrounding hallways on either end, are completely underground, and buried by 25 feet or so of earth, with bushes and trees on top. the room was one of the gunpowder storage rooms for one of the mortar bunkers at fort worden — (insert historical information about ft. worden here) — now that it is no longer being used for destructive purposes, it has absolutely fantastic accoustics, and i have wanted to record there for many years.
this is an “incomplete” track: it has the front and rear stereo pairs from my recording device, which was right in front of me, but it doesn’t have the front and rear stereo pairs from thaddeus’ device, which was about 10 feet away from me, facing the wall of the room…
however, this is pretty much exactly what i was looking for, and there’s around an hour’s worth of new tracks with which i can play around… 😎
i isolated 10 “good enough” tracks from the raw files, but none of them were more than 6 minutes, and i wanted at least one that was 10 minutes or more, so i’m going back to fort worden next tuesday to try it all again. i’ve also bought a recording device of my own, which should make things more interesting, if nothing else.
i woke up the other day and tried to log in to my email account and discovered that everything was offline, and when i went to the host provider to determine why, i discovered that my account had been suspended because they received a spam complaint about me… except that, when i looked at the complaint they received, i recognised it immediately as one that i had sent to an upstream provider a couple of days before, and what they had done was forward it to the upstream provider on the “From:” line, instead of reading the headers to determine that they were, in fact, the people responsible… and, because of the fact that i NEVER receive spam complaints, they arbitrarily suspended my accounts, instead of reading the headers to determine who was actually responsible. 😕 since then i have received about 10,000 spam messages, in 1000 message increments, from people whose php servers have been compromised such that, simply by reading the headers and knowing where to click, i can actually see the spammers online interface on the compromised server…
but I was the one whose account was suspended for spamming. if it weren’t for the fact that i’m still recovering from my bout of changing host servers every few months, a few years ago, i would seriously consider switching, but… in spite of everything, the host server i currently use has been better than any of the others that i have found, for the price.
i have a gig next saturday with the fremont philharmonic at “dudefest” and another gig on sunday at the peace arch in blaine with the sousa band. i’m probably going to spend sunday night in bellingham… depending…
now that things are in a state which could be referred to as “normal”, if such a concept existed (which it doesn’t, but that’s a discussion for another time), i actually have the time to update this thing…
so, OCF happened: six shows in three days, with the completely predictable “no complete rehearsal, with everybody present, until the opening show”, which went surprisingly well despite everything, and worked out, once again, to be universally applauded as “the best show we’ve ever done”. the saturday that was my “birthday” included playing at the open mike and a show for naked hippies at the ritz, which has some really cool “added extras” this year, including the ability to record our set on professional level equipment, which dramatically increases the probability that there’s actually going to be a CD later in the year… 😉
there are pictures, but they’re still on my phone… and the only real disadvantage this year was the fact that i didn’t get to spend my “birthday” with my sweetie… 😕
immediately upon getting home, however, things took a turn to the chaotic side and that’s what i’m recovering from more than anything… although the fact that i’m coming off a week of unreality at OCF may, at the same time, contribute to my ability to get through the following week of chaos, and, basically, leave me with absolutely no spoons to spare, and in a really, really strange mental state.
i played a gig with snake suspenderz at ida culver house in ravenna, which is right across the street from the former home of a woman i used to work with (which has now been turned into condominiums) who was my supervisor before mike cummings, and i believe her name was laura culver… but i’m not sure, and i’m no longer in contact with anyone who might know… and it’s pointless anyway, because the real point is that the company who engaged us, ERA Living, has, once again, stiffed us in a way that i AM NOT going to allow to happen again: basically, they had me fill out the necessay paperwork back in may, and they STILL haven’t presented a check to me for the performance that happened on thursday… and it’s now saturday… not only that, but when i got there, i was told that we would also be fed, however when we approached the guy who was laying out the food, we were told that we “had to wait until the rest of the guests were served”… and when we finally got done playing, there was no more food. 😠
and that’s not to mention that there were actually two separate groups engaged — “snake suspenderz” and “hobbit and hare” — and they paid us for one hour, in spite of the fact that some of us actually performed for two hours…
and when i approached the lady that had hired us, and said “we didn’t get fed, and we didn’t get paid”, i had to hound her every step, while she tried to sidestep the issue and blame it on everyone else for an extra 30 minutes, before she agreed to go to an ATM and withdraw the money from her personal account.
once again, this is an upscale retirement home in a trendy, gentrified area north of the university district, where the residents have gold-plated nametags, which is run by a corporation that regularly deals in hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least), and they appear to have no regard for the musicians they “hire” to entertain their high-paying residents… they wouldn’t treat a caterer like this… hell, they have a caterer on staff (which didn’t improve his attitude when we wanted to eat, however), but they feel perfectly justified in STIFFING THE BAND, because anybody can blow through a heavy collection of plumbing and make sounds that are acceptable to old people… 😠
and even if (as i was repeatedly assured would happen) the check does arrive on monday, the fact is, i filled out their fecking paperwork IN MAY so that they would be able to present me a check on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and it DIDN’T HAPPEN… AGAIN!! 😠
which leaves us in a difficult position indeed, because the people for whom we are playing both LOVE us, and, decidedly, AREN’T the ones who are (or, apparently, aren’t) paying us. if we refuse to play, the old people suffer… 😕
anyway, the day after, i had my “annual wellness check” with dr. wacka-loon, which went more-or-less as expected, and then we had eleven friends over for “game night”, which, by the time it started i was already out of spoons, and was able to hold on only through liberal application of various mind-altering substances… all of which, surprisingly, are now legal, in spite of everything. 😉
once again, i would like to offer my utmost gratitude to my wife, who made it possible for me to own the awesome music notation software called Sibelius. it has made processes like this take so much less time than doing the same thing “by hand”… and it’s not something that i have to imagine, as i have actually done projects like this “by hand” in the past, and it was so tedious and drawn-out over, literally, months, that i no longer do such projects… conversely, this project in it’s entirety, took 5 weeks to go from “a gleam in my eye” to having finished parts and a recording… and 4 weeks and 5 days of that were waiting for the score to arrive from the publisher. 😎
so, there’s this march in honor of Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment written in 1881 by Thornton Barnes Boyer, which we’ve been trying to play with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band for several years now, and getting nowhere… primarily because of the fact that there are several different “arrangements” of it scattered across the 35-odd musicians in the band, which have several differences which, while not major, definitely mean that playing it as an ensemble is a lot more difficult. and that’s not to mention that it is in the key of E♭ minor (six flats, for those of you who may not know), which, for a community band with players of all abilities, is asking a bit too much…
but that may or may not be the issue, as i discovered at a recent BSSB rehearsal that, in fact, there are two different “arrangements” of Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March just in the trombone section, and that they are enough different that playing the two of them and expecting it to sound even reasonably coherent was impossible, as one of them had the “Trio” in an entirely different key all together.
a little bit of research revealed the fact that there are several different “arrangements”, which include adding harmony and ornamentation to the trio, changing the key of the trio to the relative major, and changing the location of the “Da Capo”, all of which were made long after the original composer, TB Boyer, had passed on, and nobody could decide which of the many different arrangements was “best”. one thing that they all agreed on, however, was that the original piece had been published by J.W.Pepper.
a tiny light bulb appeared over my head, as i realised that i actually own a 100-year-old musical instrument with the J.W.Pepper logo stamped on it, and i actually know where J.W.Pepper has a branch location in tukwilla…
so, i went to J.W.Pepper and asked if they still carried the original version of Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March, not arranged by anyone, and, bob’s-yer-uncle, they have it. not only that, but they have a version of it that has been transcribed for modern instruments, which is really an issue when you realise that what constitutes a concert band has changed pretty dramatically in the past 120 years: no saxhorns, no helicons, no ophecleids, quinticlaves or clavitubes, no serpents, consistent woodwinds, a tuning note that is several cents higher than it was, etc., etc., etc…
however, they sold the publishing rights to some other company, which only prints copies on demand, so i had to wait until they printed a copy… just for meeeeee… 😊
i got it the other day, and entered it into the aforementioned, AWESOME MUSIC NOTATION SOFTWARE (which took all of 5 hours, stretched out over a couple of days) and transposed it down a half-step, into D minor, which only has one flat!
my impression is that it will be much easier to muddle our way through, now that we’ve all got the same arrangement, and it’s in a key that doesn’t twist our brains while we’re trying to learn it… 👍
and, because of the fact that the software also outputs in sound formats, i have been able to hear what it’s going to sound like (more or less) to make sure that all the parts are correct BEFORE i print them and hand them out to people!
so the moisture festival starts this week. i’ve got a sancapators rehearsal on wednesday, and then i play with the sancapators on thursday. then i’ve got a fremont philharmonic rehearsal on saturday. then starting a week from wednesday i play, with snake suspenderz, one show each wednesday, thursday and friday, three shows saturday, two shows sunday and one show monday. then i’ve probably got a fremont phil rehearsal on saturday, april 4th, and on wednesday the 8th i start all over again, with the phil, one show each on wednesday, thursday and friday, three shows saturday, and two shows sunday. my recollection is that last year i got sick on one of the days that i played with the sancapators, and spent the rest of the festival recovering. i’m going to try to avoid that this year, if at all possible.
moe broke a tooth few weeks ago, while she was on her way to las vegas, and then she broke another tooth about a week later, which she had pulled about a week ago, which resulted in dry socket, a very painful condition that i would have preferred she NOT have to suffer. she went to the dentist today to get her crown made, for the original tooth she broke, and she’s got another appointment to have some other work done in a couple of weeks. it makes me really glad that i’ve got indestructable teeth (seriously, ever since i was a kid the dentists i have gone to have shooed me out of their office as quickly as possible so that they can get actual, paying customers in their chairs, and some have been rather obvious and rude about it), but i wish she didn’t have to go through all this, because i know how painful it can be. 😐
i splurged and bought a USB turntable that actually works (compared to the sony turntable that i had, which appeared to work, but didn’t, in some extremely significant ways that weren’t actually evident until almost the end of the project), and re-started on the process of rendering all of the remaining vinyl in the house (which is a surprisingly small amount at this point) into a digital format that can be played on “today’s” devices. i’m rendering the vinyl albums into .flac format, for burning onto CDs, .ogg format for playing on my desktop, and .mp3 format for playing on my phone and tablet… of course i’m also thinking of how this whole project can be monetized once i’m finished with my own projects, because i can’t be the only person with a hoard of obsolete but desirable music… 👿
some jehovah’s witlesses just came by our house. it’s the first active evangelisation attempt we’ve had on the house in a very long time. the last time i was taken off guard and actually took their line of drivel for a minute before i ejected them from the property, but this time i was alerted (thanks to zorah, who barks at anything that moves, so i had to be a little aware, as well), and i met the guy on the front porch and told him that i wasn’t interested in his drivel before he even had the chance to say anything. i went back in the house and, while i watched, four more people in a car drove up, so i went down to the driveway and said, very clearly and slowly, “Tina Chopp is God! Praise her OR DIE!!”… i suppose now they’re going to call the police on me, but it was worth it. 👿
by the way, this post is at least partially because my sister posted that she and her husband are “not very exciting people”… the reason you’re not very exciting people is because you don’t try hard enough… 😛
we had a snake suspenderz gig at the old-folks home in renton this afternoon.
we have actually been hired by this particular old-folks home for four gigs throughout 2015. this is the second one. the third one is in april, and the fourth one is in october.
you would think, because of the fact that THEY KNOW WE’RE COMING, that they could pull their corporate head out of their ass for long enough, as they agreed before the previous performance, to get us FUCKING PAID ON TIME… 😛
but if you thought that, you would be wrong… AGAIN… 😛
and, as we experienced the last time, if we simply refused to play, our audience, which has absolutely no control over the redistribution of wealth, would be the ones who suffer. 😡
monday i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal. tuesday i have a sousa band rehearsal. wednesday i have a fighting instruments of karma rehearsal. thursday i have a snake suspenderz gig. sunday, a week from today, i have a fremont phil gig. wednesday week, i have a fighting instruments of karma rehearsal… then the moisture festival starts…
i was cleaning up in the workshop today and i found the keys to the thule box, which i had to have new ones made several months ago when i wanted to use the thule box for something and couldn’t find the keys. they were sitting on the surface of my secondary workbench, under a massive pile of other projects (at least 5, going back to last summer) which either got abandoned, or the detritus from finishing never got cleaned up. i didn’t finish cleaning up, but i made a significant start. maybe tomorrow.
i’ve got my DX7 on my desk, because i want to work with reason to find some synth voices that i don’t have to tweak, so that the next time i go to bellingham i’ll have something ready to play live. about half of the time that i spent playing music last week was actually tweaking the voices to get something that didn’t sound like it was part of a pop song. i would use the DX7 voices except for the fact that the internal battery is dead, and i have to take the synth completely apart to replace it. fortunately the battery is really common (i have a couple of them that are still in their blister pack), but replacing it is something that i think i want to have help with, much in the same way that i needed help replacing the brake pads in my old car… not that i don’t know how to do it, but someone who knows how to do it to make sure that i don’t do things incorrectly, and to help if something breaks.
this is after taking my piano to bellingham, in the hopes of being able to use that, but one of the first things that was done to it after i left was that one of the tines was broken (number 50) and, until a replacement is found, the piano is currently in storage in the attic, which is doubtless a lot safer place for it than where it was, under the window in my living room.
but, as much as i would like to, the probability that i will be going to bellingham in the next few weeks is low, because of the looming moisture festival and its surrounding chaos.
the moisture festival is approaching at an appalling rate, and i am, once again, playing in three out of the four bands at the palladium: The Fighting Instruments of Karma, Snake Suspenderz and The Fremont Philharmonic. i have rehearsed and/or played with snake suspenderz (or significant portions thereof) and the fremont phil enough recently to know that we’re probably going to do okay, but we could use more rehearsal, and i haven’t played with the FIOK enough to be absolutely certain that we need more rehearsal, but probably aren’t going to get it. i’m still ambivalent about my participation in the moisture festival, but my vocal ranting has been dissipated somewhat by the inclusion of snake suspenderz in the lineup of show bands… but i didn’t donate $100 last year to get a star on the wall, like i did two years ago, and, unless the “stipend” is well above where it was last year, it’s not likely that i’m going to donate this year either.
today has been a banner day for people or robots trying to crack my shit… once again, i will advise you that if you try to login using anything other than the correct username and password, you get two attempts and then you are IP blocked for two weeks. after that, you get two more attempts and then you are blocked for a month. here’s a final hint: the username is NOT admin. 😛
only time will tell, and it’s verging on moisture festival time, so it may be a while before we know for sure… but i found a patch editor for the DX7 that runs on my mac, so, one way or the other, it’s gonna be a fun ride… 😎
so, we went to wilsonville, yesterday, to play for a bunch of shriners. rather predictably, we ROCKED THE HOUSE, which, also rather predictably, resulted in the entire band being, essentially, offered membership in the shriners club.
from what i’ve been able to ascertain from external sources (google), it normally takes an "average" male person about four to eight months to achieve the status of "master mason", which is the requirement for joining the shriners. this is, of course, lacking the essential "recommendation" without which none of this is possible anyway, and it’s definitely a “men only” club, as, as far as i have been able to tell, there aren’t any female masons of any variety – females are not "allowed" to become masons, and have to make due with "The Order of The Eastern Star" or some such other nonsense.
among the "requirements" for becoming a mason of any variety, once we’ve done away with the gender and recommendation requirements, is that one has to believe in a "Supreme Being"…
that’s not a problem for me, but i suspect that it’s a matter which the masons might take exception, given the opportunity… or, at least, the masons with whom i am most immediately familiar, i.e. the "master masons" of the Al Kader shrine center — as an aside, i must notice the distinct similarities between "Al Kader" and "al-Qa’eda"… while they probably think that they are about as far away from the term "terrorism" as one group of people could get, my impression is, whether right or left, an extreme is still an extreme… and, in my opinion, they are, most definitely, extreme, in more than one way.
but, back to the issue at hand…
the requirement that one "believes in a "Supreme Being"" will, i’m fairly certain, begin to rub people the wrong way. i “believe” (have absolute knowlege, which i can’t “share” with anyone, even if i wanted to) in a “Supreme Being” who both exists, and doesn’t exist, at the same time; who is both personally, intimately involved in the minutest details of everyday life, and doesn’t care about you, or me, or the evil that is being done in the world, or anything else… when it can be said to exist at all.
requiring this kind of God to be capable of being labeled “male” or “female” is pointless, meaningless and a waste of time. this kind of God, can (if it can be said to exist at all) be male, female, all-sex and no-sex, all at the same time…
which raises a distinct question when the "Illustrious Chaplain" commenced yesterday evening’s celebration with a prayer to “father god”, which was echoed with vehement reverance by a lady who was standing next to me, who kept saying “praise jeezis” over and over during the prayer…
it is this kind of behaviour which makes me suspicious of the shriners, especially when they make a point of saying things like “While our backgrounds and interests may be diverse, what binds us together are shared values…” there have been too many times in my past where that kind of language meant “what binds us together are shared values, which if you don’t happen to share, in whatever detail, we are bound to make your life more miserable than it already is”…
this was driven home to me when i was thinking about postulating to the clampers, a few years ago, and discovered that, among other things, the people that i would have been forced to hang out with were the most foul-mouthed, disrespectful, low-life, ignorant rednecks i have ever had the pleasure of meeting. while the al kader shriners are definitely not the clampers, or the eagles, it appears to me as though the only significant difference is the amount of money in their checking accounts, and the fact that there are more elected civic officials in the shrine temple than there are in the clamper hall.
okay, so, ASSUMING that we can overcome that hurdle, the first degree is apprentice, which is all about moral character… and if i don’t “believe” in the same kind of “supreme being” that they do, it comes as no surprise that i don’t have the same morals they do… except that i do, for different reasons, which are going to be another big hurdle to overcome. to top it all off, there is a catechism that i am already, really NOT interested in memorising, because, if nothing else, i have limited enough brain-cells as it is, and i’m very likely going to be A LOT more interested in using them for memorising other bits of useless trivia which i’m not going to be able to use in six months. if joining their club with the cool hats means memorising anything i don’t already know, then i’m probably going to give their club with the cool hats a miss. sorry.
so, once again, ASSUMING that we can overcome those hurdles as well (the word that i was given last night is that we could “very easily become shriners”), one of the aims of the organisation is to have a group of people with whom you feel comfortable hanging out. i have that! i don’t need an artificial organisation that claims to be oriented towards the arts and sciences when i am part of an extremely natural, non-organised group of people whose entire livesare a part of the arts and sciences… and i feel comfortable hanging around with them, whereas i’m very definitely NOT comfortable hanging around with a bunch of fat, filthy rich old men, horny, sleazy young men who want to be fat, filthy rich old men when they grow up, and their “ladies”… the reason we ROCKED THE HOUSE last night was because there wasn’t another musician in the house. sure, there were people who had played musical instruments when they were in school, 40 years ago, and people who play musical instruments as a hobby, but there wasn’t a single current member of a band or soloist in the entire house, with the exception of Accidental Rhino. i really don’t want to join a club just so that i can play for their events… my impression is that i wouldn’t get paid as much or as frequently…
honestly, this club with the cool hats doesn’t really have much that attracts me — cool hats and cool jewelry are about it — so why… fucking why am i so drawn to them? 😐
it’s been on my schedule for 6 months or more, but now that i actually know where this gig that we have this weekend (yes, we’ve actually got a gig on valentine’s day) is, i feel a bit more comfortable writing about it…
about… what? six months ago? something like that… anyway, about six months ago, hobbit pinged me and asked me if i was going to be available for a gig in oregon on valentine’s day. i said yes, pencilled it in, and promptly forgot about it until about two weeks ago, when i promptly remembered we had a gig coming up that i didn’t know anything about, and had a minor freak-out… especially because i had somehow gotten the idea that it was near eugene, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, except i didn’t know whether we were planning on spending the night somewhere, or what.
hobbit’s response to my freak-out was to schedule a rehearsal for tomorrow, and a “pre-rehearsal” with me, today, to write out a couple of new charts (because i now legallyown Sibelius!! 😎 ), and during our meeting today he informed me that it is not in eugene, but in wilsonville, which is much closer, at the Al Kader shrine temple.
so i’m spending the day travelling to and from portland to play at a shrine temple on valentine’s day. fortunately, i’ve got a patient and tolerant sweetie who has agreed to go out to dinner with me on friday, in exchange for her going to las vegas for a veterinary conference next week. the shriners are paying us $200 a piece, plus another $50 for gas, and in exchange, we are going to rock their house, figuratively speaking, for three hours.
i’m sort of ambivalent about shriners… they wear cool hats, these particular shriners have excellent taste in music, and my grandfather (who died before i was born) was a shriner at the mohammed temple in peoria, illinois… but i’ve never been one to pay much attention to other people’s “mystic”, quasi-religious rites, and there’s a sheen of “better-than-you” “old-boy’s-network” slime over the whole deal, which is the main thing that caused me not to postulate to the clampers, and has been a major “thing” to get over in the process of going to burning man and OCF as well. as it is, i’ve got plenty of fezzes, most of which are not shrine fezzes (and one which was made by the company that makes shrine regalia, but with no emblems on it), and i plan on supplying fezzes to my fez-less band-mates use… and, maybe, i’ll get a chance to talk to an actual shriner about my grandfather.
in a post called fezorocity and antique brass…, from 100911, i wrote of obtaining an antique tenor horn, around 100 years old, stamped with the J.W. Pepper logo. i actually did some research online and found pictures of similar horns from around the same era.
then, on 120502, i posted a composite photo of me playing three different tubas, one of which was that same horn with the J.W. Pepper logo. at the time i was under the impression that it was more or less a “mid-west” and/or east coast company.
little did i know… 😎
it turns out that there’s a branch of J.W. Pepper in tukwilla, just down the street from ikea. i went in there today and immediately felt like i’d been there all my life… they had racks of catalogued sheet music all over the place, a rack of batons for sale on the desk, and a friendly dog who greeted me at the door.
i ordered a copy of the piano score for Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel, which should be here next week, and i’m going to take the horn with me. 😎
for those of you who may be trying to guess my administrator password, good luck… seriously… you can start with not trying to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, because either one will get you banned for 6 hours (the first time). and it doesn’t matter how many IP addresses you use, you’ll still get banned if you try to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, so you may as well give it up.
they finally got the check to us on saturday, which is sooner than they told us the last time, but four days later than they originally agreed upon. it’s really bizarre, because the audiences love us and ask us when will be the next time we’re coming back, but if the “MAN”agement doesn’t get it together to pay us on time, there aren’t going to be too many more shows like this.
i’m deep into rehearsal season again. the panto starts on 13th december and the fremont philharmonic is playing for the fremont lenin lighting/festivus celebration on 5th december. we’re rehearsing twice a week for the panto, we still haven’t got all the music, or finalised who is going to play (or not) for which shows, i just created yet another “new” mailing list for the players, and, already macque has had to delete one address and add another one because of some fiasco in which he’s involved.
my mother-in-law (who may be reading this) came to visit last week, so that she could accompany moe to the fleetwood mac concert. i’m not a big fleetwood mac fan, so i drove them to the venue and then went to the Poodle Dog, which i used to frequent when i was a cab driver, in the middle-1980s. as far as i could tell, the only thing that has changed about the poodle dog is the computer screens in place of the cash register, and the wide-screen flat-panel televisions in place of the CRT screens above the bar… even the smell was the same. we arranged to go to a friend’s birthday party with the M-I-L, as well, but, as we were on our way out the door to go to the party, she fell and fractured her wrist in three places, causing her and moe to be in the emergency room until 3:00 in the morning. she was wondering why i seemed to be expressing a desire not to be in contact with her, and this is the reason why. she’s way too fragile to be an ongoing part of our (meaning mine and moe’s) life. she’s always going to be moe’s mom, so i’m always going to get along with her, more or less; really, it’s not as though i don’t get along with her, like i don’t get along with my parents, but i also don’t want her to put herself into situations where she’s going to get broken. we’ve experienced enough broken-ness without her adding to the batch.
snake suspenderz did another gig for ERA Living on tuesday. we knew about it several months in advance, and “submitted the appropriate paperwork” so that we would (alledgedly) get paid on the day of the performance.
as is becoming rather common with gigs for ERA Living, we were not paid on the day of performance. they apologised profusely (like they did the last time) and assured us that we would be contacted the next day concerning payment.
we were not contacted. 😛
last night, i wrote a “carefully worded” email to the lady that books these gigs, and told her that, in the future, if we are not paid on the day of the performance, we WILL NOT perform!
this morning my email box is full of apologies from people i don’t even know, and assurances that we should expect a check “early next week”…
my impression is that we submitted the appropriate paperwork A MONTH AGO so that we would get paid on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and this whole business of having to wait another week because they didn’t cut the check on time is HORSESHIT…
ESPECIALLY since they’re not paying us enough anyway… seriously, these gigs are for upscale retirement homes where the residents get gold name-tags, and there are huge fireplaces, libraries, catered food whenever they want, and so forth… they can afford to be paying us $600 for two hours (which is what we ask for, AND GET from other places) out of petty cash, but they only budget $400 for these gigs, and absolutely can’t go any higher…
on top of that, they consistentlySCREW UP and aren’t able to pay us even $400 on the day that we perform, despite the fact that we get everything set up with them a month in advance… 😛
but if we refuse to play, the old folks who make up the audiences get whatever other groups want to bend over for their money, and, honestly, the old folks really enjoy the music we play…
i wonder how many catered dinners they would have if they didn’t pay the caterer the same way they’re not paying the musicians? 😛
i was up until 1:30 this morning… i had a snake suspenderz gig at a benefit for the moisture festival, which didn’t get out until 10:00, which meant that i didn’t get home until about 11:30, and then i spent 2½ hours preparing and uploading a bunch of files for a guy from the moisture festival… i probably didn’t have to stay up that late, but it took me a while to realise that, despite the fact that my computer said that they uploaded almost instantly, they were actually taking a considerable amount of time to upload (because they were actually fairly large files), and i deleted them and started over several times because it was late and i didn’t realise that, in reality, they weren’t uploading instantly.
there were a bunch of chautauquans at the gig last night: stephan freelan (formerly freeman) was the stage manager, and nanda was there — all five of them this time (there were only four of them when we performed on vashon last week). there were a lot more folks there, but stephan and nanda are the only ones whose names i can reliably remember…
moe has been in spokane since wednesday… alledgedly, this is the last of her travelling out of town for a while (she claims that she doesn’t have to travel again until january), which, if it’s true, would be a very good thing indeed.
i went to bellingham saturday, and came back today. there are a number of interesting developments that came about as a result:
apparently there is a “bullet shuttle” that runs from downtown bellingham to downtown seattle and back, that only costs $11… which means that there’s a good chance that i will be taking it to bellingham, and/or whitley will be taking it to seattle more regularly, for the purposes of, basically, getting And More back together. along the same lines, whitley and kamalla have offered to house my keyboards in their house, which means that when i go to bellingham, my keyboards will be set up and ready to go, and when i’m not there, other people will be playing them. the piano (which is missing three tines) has been packed up in a box and sitting behind the couch for about 7 years, and before that it was in a box in the hallway… i haven’t actually had it set up since we moved in to this house… so putting it to good use again is most desirable, and this seems like a prime opportunity.
while i was on my way to bellingham, yesterday, i took sort of a detour through mount vernon, so that i could go by the places i used to live. while i was in mount vernon, it started to rain, and then, quite suddenly, it started to rain so hard that, after slowing down, and slowing down, and turning my windshield wipers to their highest settings, i still could not see, and was forced to take refuge in a parking lot for about half an hour, until the rain let up. as i was pulling out of the parking lot, i saw a building across the street that was, literally, pouring water, tens of gallons a minute, from all of the downspouts… and the streets were flooded in several places, to the point where, when i had to drive through a flooded part, i was concerned because it was over the floorboards of my car… i haven’t seen it rain that much in that short a period of time more than once or twice before in my entire life.
the main reason i went to bellingham in the first place was that kenyth’s 80th birthday was last week, and i went to deliver a birthday present (Operation Mindfuck) on monday. while i was there, i heard that there was going to be a music jam (which is what they’re calling the stairway jam these days), and it was suggested that i come up for it, so i did. another thing that we discussed while i was there was the fact (in my opinion) that kenyth really needs a wikipedia page… a fact that is complicated by the fact that kenyth has kept absolutely ZERO archives of the work that he has done, class notes from classes he has taught, personal correspondence, and that sort of thing, and further complicated by the fact that, to be a wikipedia page that isn’t deleted immediately, a lot of the information posted has to be backed up by stuff that is publically available from internet, which, in this case, would be practically impossible in anything like a realistic way. the upshot is that i am going to help the community of people who want to see this happen, by registering a domain (how about http://KenythFreeman.dance/ or http://JosephPFaddlefum.name/ or something like that? 😉 ) and pointing that domain name towards a blog that i can set up, and then give to the people who actually know what content there is, and can organise it the way it’s supposed to be.
on my way back, today, i mostly took surface streets, and only hit the freeway once or twice. i was north of burlington on what i think was Highway 99, and i found the new location of “The Music Shoppe”, which was a place i worked a couple of times a VERY long time ago: the first time was right after i graduated from the tech school, and ended when i got fired for telling sam, the owner, that the “chemical tank” that he bought, ostensibly to “dip musical instruments”, was full of the chromic acid that he bought and then discovered he couldn’t use because it’s carcinogenic (and, generally, only used as a “bright dip” for brass instruments before they are buffed and refinished), and it was beginning to leak, because it wasn’t really a “chemical tank” but, rather, a stainless steel dairy tank with a bright brass stopper… and the chromic acid was dissolving the bright brass stopper, because, well… chromic acid dissolves brass… 😐
anyway, the second time, he actually subcontracted my musical instrument repair business to repair musical instruments for “The Music Shoppe”, and that ended when he refused to pay me for an instrument that i had fixed, that his customer had refused to pay for. basically i said that, until i got paid i wasn’t going to fix any more instruments for him. he said that he hadn’t paid me because his customer hadn’t paid him, and i pointed out that his customer was HIS customer, and that MY customer was him, but that didn’t seem to make any difference. they apparently moved from their shop in the fountain district in north bellingham, some time in the past, and they are, as of 1st november, moving in to burlington. i left Operation Mindfuck in the front door for them to find when they open up tomorrow. 👿
this is very quickly becoming “an album”… it’s not there yet (i only have 330.3MB on disk, and i want to fill it up, as much as possible, so there’s room for quite a bit more), but what is already there is definitely shaping up in quite a satisfactory way.
because of the fact that i have a backlog of almost-finished, and finished tracks that don’t have a home yet, i actually just added three more tracks to this, which now puts me up to 15… which is still only half of the disk, but this really isn’t about how much stuff is on it so much as it is about the quality of the stuff that’s on it.
i know when i’ve created music that i really like when i don’t even have to be listening to it for it to put a smile on my face… really… and this has the extra, added bonus of, when i am listening to it, i spontaneously erupt in laughter, or experience shivers going up and down my spine.
i’m particularly proud of Lamentations:
which causes me to bounce up and down and emit squeals of evil glee whenever i hear it. it’s an incomprehensible, gnome-like beginning which very quickly devolves into utter senselessness, out of which comes a definite pattern, which, again, fades into gibberish, which slowly resolves into a preacher talking about jerusalem. this is due, in part, to my receiving my complete “Thru The Bible In 5 Years” USB stick, which is packed full of fun noises with which to play around… 😎
yesterday i got up early enough to be in magnolia by 8:00 so that i could sit by the side of the road for three hours while i waited for the magnolia seafair parade to happen around me… with me as the tuba player in the SANCApators. because of the fact that i was the tuba player, there are no pictures — of me or anyone else — that i took, but i’m pretty sure there were pictures taken of me by other folks, because i wore my kilt, a rainbow tie-dyed shirt, my tall hat-of-many-buttons, and my steampunk goggles. carrying an enormous tuba in a parade, dressed in that costume, was definitely an experience… unfortunately it was an experience for everyone else, because i was too busy trying to play the parts and keep more-or-less in line with the six other members of the band… 😐
this is the second seafair related parade that i have participated in this year. i didn’t go to greenwood, because my car isn’t “finished” yet, but i’ve been in chinatown, magnolia, and, in a couple weeks, briar…
next weekend is august 9th, the day that will live in infamy… because i have three different gigs scheduled with three different bands, in three different cities…
i’ve got the festival of the river with the fighting instruments of karma; i’ve got the ballard locks gig with the ballard sedentary sousa band; AND i’ve got the huson’s garden party with the fremont philharmonic… ALL ON THE SAME DAY… 😛
i’m going to make the fighting instruments gig, because they are actually paying the chautaqua $10,000 to do the show, so the chautaqua wants to give them their money’s worth… i may be able to make the garden party, which starts at 7:00, if everything goes as planned and i am able to leave arlington by 6:00, and i encounter no traffic in everett or seattle…
… now i need a place to hide away, oh i believe in yesterday.
i found the web site put up by Dave Gannett, who is my unwitting mentor in all things tuba. dave is the tuba player for Uncle Yoke’s Black Dawgs, a dixieland band from kissimmee florida, the artist behind Tubas From Hell, and one AWESOME tuba player. my first experience seeing him live was at the Friday Harbour Traditional Jazz Festival in 1991, where he played The Flight of The Bumblebee — at the correct speed — on his sousaphone. when he finished the piece, he had it rigged up so that he blew smoke and flames out of his bell on the last note…
i knew i had found a mentor at that moment… 😉
also, two more tracks for The Church of The Pleistocene, thanks to my recent re-acquaintance with Dr. J. Vernon McGee of Thru The Bible Radio Network. i listened to Dr. J. during my ill-fated time as a taxi driver, just before the birth of my son. the main reason i listened to him was because, at the time, taxi cabs only came with AM radios, and the music on AM radio was AWFUL… Dr. J. Vernon McGee wasn’t an awful lot better, but at least i got familiar enough with his distinctive ‘twang’ to make music out of it thirty years later…
we have three snake suspenderz gigs next week. tuesday we have a gig at horizon house, which we played for last year to great acclaim. thursday we have a gig at the university house, wallingford, which doesn’t pay enough and only wants “background music” for their art opening (they could easily afford to pay us twice the amount they are, out of petty cash, considering how swank and regal the place is, but it’s for a friend of a friend, so we can’t really say much). saturday we have SACBO, which is in a new place this year. apparently, in spite of the crowds of people who attend, the fremont solstice fair budget is on the “shoe-string” level, and they decided to use the parking lot that we have been holding SACBO in for the past few years as a “pay-for” concert venue, which means that SACBO has to move to the former sound mind & body parking lot. it’s good because there won’t be the possibility for loud interruptions, like what happened last year, and it’s a nicer location, with more shade, right next to the water.
this year will also be the 14th16th anniversary (this is why my wife is always right and i am always wrong) of our wedding, which now moves into the class of things i have done for the longest amount of time in my life, including smoking cannabis and being a musician.
the fighting instruments of karma (for which i am now, more-or-less, the “official” tuba player) has a parade in which i am actually going to be “marching”, in darrington, on the 4th of july. moe says i “dodged a bullet” because her mom wants us to come down to portland for a barbecue on the 4th. i’m still not totally sure whether moe will attend or not (although i don’t see any reason why not), but at this point, i’m grateful for anything that puts distance between me and moe’s mother.
then OCF happens from july 8th (or 9th, at the latest) until the 14th. we are already scheduled to perform at the ritz, on saturday, 12th july, at 7:30 pm. if you’re interested, and in the area, i encourage you to come: it is, definitely, not to be missed. both kiki and sasha are cast members this year, which means that stuart will be the pro-tem leader of the band, we will have an alternate drummer (possibly) and at least one new player whose name i have seen bandied about in email, but have never actually met. the philharmonic still hasn’t had any rehearsals, and there is no new music, although some is rumoured to exist, at least in kiki’s mind… in other words, we’re coming into OCF with practically no rehearsals at all, and (at this point) no rehearsals with the cast… just like normal… i’m not even 100% sure what show we are doing this year (although i think it might be “Sleeping Beauty”)…
it’s gotten to be so much of a “tradition” that i’m not particularly worried any longer, but it still causes a small amount of stress.
i’m still alive and kicking, however at this point, whenever i think about posting anything the “meh” takes over.
i played for NANDA‘s 10th anniversary in the balloon hangar at ft. worden, which is now called the “McCurdy Pavillion”. 35 years ago, when i first came across it, it was a mouldy, forgotten world war II relic, taken over by the navy, that had been officially abandoned for 10 years or so. it’s amazing what a little bit of paint and a few hundred thousand dollars can do to a place. i spent saturday morning re-visiting the sacred sound-spaces with which i have become so familiar over the past 35 years, played music with members of my karass, and slept in a motorhome in port townsend. if i had my way, i would have spent quite a bit more time exploring the subterranean vaults, but i had to get thaddeus back so that he could take care of his obligations. i noticed, however, that port townsend is a little more than an hour’s drive from here, which (on heavy traffic days) is not that much further than seattle, which has got me wondering why i don’t get out to port townsend more frequently.
along the same lines, i have been in discussion with eben, clayton and andrew (the leader, and the two other tuba players for the fighting instruments of karma, respectively), and it has been more or less decided that i am now the “official” tuba player for the SANCApators. SANCA is a place in georgetown that is most known for its “School Of Flight”, but offers a variety of classes for all levels, including “drop in” classes in trapeze (the idea of which makes me wonder a little). they have classes in a number of pursuits that, i think, would be both fun and “therapeutic”, such as tumbling, acrobatics, juggling and so forth… it would be interesting to take classes there, but i would have to be sure that they knew about my brain injury, and talk with them about how it would be accounted for.
i’ve got 3 snake suspenderz gigs in the next three weeks: one at horizon house, which we played for a couple of years ago, one at university house, wallingford, which i booked in spite of objections from hobbit, and one at SACBO. the day SACBO starts, i am also going to be showing off my art car at the LeMay Automotive Museum with a whole bunch of other “car-tists”.
through sheer, stubborn will and determination, i got the fremont phil booked at the ritz at OCF before OCF, for the first time EVER… now, instead of wondering when we’re going on, and not knowing until 15 minutes before it actually happens (like what happened last year), we know, ahead of time, that we’re going on at 7:00 pm, saturday, 12th july, and OCF hasn’t even started yet! now, insha’llah, barring unforseen (and 51% likely, due to HIF) other circumstances, we actually know when we’re going to be playing at the naked hippie sauna… 😎
i got my computer fixed by the kubuntu gods at Kubuntu Forums, where they are quite a bit better than just about anybody else at diagnosing and helping to fix any problems that one might have with one’s kubuntu system… and, by the way, it wasn’t the video drivers. the people who put together the update packages left out an important part of the desktop manager, and released a new update that had that important part in it the next day… 😉 i suppose that’s what i get for using a free, community-based operating system.
it could be worse. i could be using <shudder> micro$lop…
moe returned very early friday morning, so the doggies have calmed back down to their standard level of chaos.
i’ve got a rehearsal later on this evening with the fremont philharmonic, whose moisture festival dates are april 2nd through april 6th. we’ve only had one rehearsal, we still don’t know exactly who is playing when, and there’s a WHOLE BUNCH of new music that we haven’t learned yet. then i’ve got a rehearsal with the SANCApators (which is eben sprinsock‘s other band) on wednesday. they’ve got two rehearsals, and then i’m playing with them at the moisture festival on march 23rd. then i’ve got a rehearsal with snake suspenderz on thursday. snake suspenderz is playing a private gig at a corporate party on saturday, and a public gig on sunday, at C&P Coffee in west seattle, if you’re interested in seeing us play: we’re doing a special performance with Katy Webber, who is a FANTASTIC jazz singer (who also played the part of Dick Whittington in the most recent panto)… snake suspenderz is also playing as a “pit band” at the moisture festival march 26th through march 30th. i don’t know if we’re going to have any “on stage” performances this year, but even still, i’ve got a total of 19 performances, which should make up for any loss that i experience due to the fact that i’ve gotten paid less per share than last year (grumble, mutter).
i’ve got a whole bunch more moisture festival performances this year than i had last year, and a combination of widely varying circumstances means that they’re actually taking snake suspenderz seriously this year, but if they maintain the new “tradition” of paying a smaller share than they did last year (which started last year), this will probably be the last year that i participate in the moisture festival in the way that i have been for the past ELEVEN YEARS now… 😛 of course i don’t know that they’re going to pay less per share than they did last year, but at this point i don’t trust the board of directors to do anything rational any longer.
and before any of that happens, moe and i are going to heppner oregon again (like we did last year), and after that, we’re going to the ocean for a few days. we’re going to a place that DOES NOT have wifi, so it’s going to mean that we’re going to have to exist for a few days without our smart-phones, or ipads, or laptops… we’re going to have to do with kites, dogs, beach, and each other… like in olden times.
we now have four completed performances of the panto under our belts. it’s going surprisingly well, considering that it’s only the first weekend. our houses have been sparse, but energetic, and i’ve actually got to the point where i’m playing more than 75% of the notes on the piece with which i’ve been having the most difficulty, i.e. the piece that is in the normally-totally-okay key of E♭, but because of the fact that it re-focuses my attention on the two fingers of my right hand (middle and ring fingers) which are the LEAST under my control, since my injury, it is a real challenge… but it’s getting better, because we’re only four performances into the run and i’m already playing >75% of the notes correctly, so i’ll probably have it after a few more performances.
i got out of the palladium shortly after the last performance of the day concluded, and was home by 6:00 pm, when i discovered that i had left my computer glasses at the palladium, so now i’m sitting as far away from the screen as possible, but not so far away that i can’t see the letters i am typing… sasha has my glasses, and i plan on retreiving them tomorrow, but it’s really frustrating typing and reading what i type without my reading glasses… getting old is a drag, sometimes…
moe’s father is in the hospital, and his wife is in montana (or some place like that) helping moe’s half-brother’s wife who has had premature twins recently — the deeper i dive in to the pool, the more moe’s family is like a television situation comedy gone horribly, and irretrievably wrong, really… but my family is not much better, despite (or, because of) the fact that i haven’t communicated with any of them for more than 5 minutes or so in thirty years… but that is a different story, entirely. in any event, moe’s father has nobody else to care for him, and the last i heard, the hospital was giving him a 50% chance, so moe has taken an emergency trip to portland to whip some doctors into shape and get her father’s wife back from wherever it is that she is, so that moe doesn’t have to do it any longer. end result is that i am here taking care of frank, zorah, the parrots and snake on my own, while moe is in portland for an indeterminate period of time.
i’m cold, and i also think that i may be getting a cold, which is not good, because i’ve got important obligations that i’m probably going to have to fulfill, even if i am sick. it may just be that i am still wearing summer-ish clothing and it’s getting to the point where i should probably switch to winter-ish clothing, but i’m too lazy.
the obligations for the next few weeks include: giving rick a ride to the cannabis dispensary (which is usually an “all-day” event, depending on how many dispensaries we visit), a fremont phil gig for a moisture-festival/panto-related performance, the winter panto performances, the lenin lighting, and probably a bunch of other rehearsals, gigs, and what-have-you, that i am forgetting.
we’re well into the fall/winter rehearsal season, but we have only had one panto rehearsal, because all of the music isn’t completed yet. i have two new arrangements for the phil which are ready, however: one is a piano rag by scott joplin called “I Am Thinking Of My Pickaninny Days”, and the other is an arrangement of that piece of music made famous by the bulgarian womens’ radio choir, called “Polegnala e Todora” by philip koutev, which is in 11/16… it’s almost in 3/4 time, but not quite… which may make it a lot more difficult to play, but i’m hoping that we won’t have to get too technical about it. it’s also got a rubato feel about it, that, i’m hoping, will cover for any glaring technical difficulties that we might encounter.
even though i haven’t heard a note of either of them, i’m fairly confident that the arrangements are not going to be the problem once we actually get around to rehearsing them, because i also wrote an arrangement of Drei Equale für Vier Posaunen by beethoven, only four steps lower (so you don’t have to use an alto trombone for the high part), which i tried out with the trombone section from the ballard sedentary sousa band over the weekend. while they were sight-reading, completely unsure of the notes, and not playing with any confidence whatsoever, when they were all playing in the same place, the arrangement stood on its own… completely unlike the previous times i have tried to arrange things, using lilypond, and had significant difficulties getting the right notes to go down on the printed page.
moe has decided that we have to paint and re-carpet the bedroom before our new, king-sized bed arrives, which means that, once again, i am surrounded by boxes, and stacks of stuff, and dressers and suchlike that were in our bedroom. of course, the up side to all this is that, in a couple weeks or so, we will have a freshly, newly-repainted bedroom, with new fixtures, and a new bed… it’ll sort of be like a hotel room, except that we won’t have to go home eventually.
the rat problem is still there. i trapped two rats earlier this week. they go for two or three days without touching the traps, and then there are two in one day… then they go back to not touching them again. these intelligent creatures are being murdered by me, because they are destructive to the way i want to live. i am responsible for the murders of cute, furry, intelligent, rat mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, because i don’t like the fact that they chewed up the pluming under the floor of my house…
no matter how hard i try, i am unable to convince myself that what i am doing is not wrong. 😛
i got this silly little app for my smart phone called Yellofier which is presented by a pair of folks, one of whom is boris blank (of Yello). the app is, basically, a sampler with a bunch of preset effects and a bunch of preset samples, and a sequencer, all of which is obscured by an interesting, quasi-intuitive interface. i’m not sure i’m going to actually use it for anything, although there is already a group that has has released an album using it… or, perhaps, because of that fact… but it’s silly and fun, and it will give me something to do while everybody else is playing angry birds. here is an example of what i’ve been doing so far.
snake suspenderz has been pretty busy recently. we did a wedding, and we did a set for the chateau at valley center, and today we’ve got a moisture festival ( 😐 ) gig. who knows how long it’s going to last this time, but fun is fun, so why not go with it?
quite a number of years ago, i bought a CD of “The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli” subtitled “The Glorious Sound of Brass” by the Philidelphia Brass Ensemble, The Cleveland Brass Ensemble and the Chicago Brass Ensemble. it was, i believe, one of the first purchases i ever made on a, then, brand new service called “amazon”, but the current iteration of that service has no record of my purchasing anything like that, so it might have been some other online service.
i have been playing music by giovanni gabrieli for a long time, and he is one of my favourite brass composers, so i figured that this would be an excellent addition to my music collection. however, when i received the disk in the mail, i put it into my CD player and…
this was before computers had CD players on a regular basis, and the dedicated audio CD player that i had was a sony “diskman” that someone had been throwing away, so i searched around and found another dedicated audio CD player that didn’t have such a sordid background and put the disk in that and…
then i took a closer look at the CD itself. what i found was this TINY inscription that said this disc is designed for use in super audio cd players only on the back of the box.
no problem, i figured. i’ll just put it into my (at the time) “state of the art” work computer (which did have a CD-ROM drive) and it’ll play there… no, i didn’t think i’d copy it into MP3 files, because this was before MP3 files existed.
but i was mistaken. it didn’t play there, either…
but it is gabrieli, and i’m sure the music is SUPERB, so i didn’t send the disk back. i held on to it, on the off chance that, at some point i would run into someone who had a “super audio CD” player.
which brings us to today… close to 15 years later, and i have tried it on every single computer i have owned, and a bunch of other peoples’ equipment, and i have STILL never heard this CD.
i have, since, learned that sony introduced the super audio CD in 1999, and by 2007 it was considered a failure, and not significantly better quality than standard CDs, but that didn’t make the fact that i have this one disk of music that i really like any easier to listen to… or copy into a format that i can listen to — which, i suppose, is what all this copyright/piracy gibberish that i hear bandied about in the news, is all about to begin with…
but, come on… this is all music that was recorded previously — the SACD is a combination of three other 12″ LP records, released between 1955 and 1980 — and i paid for the music… NOT the incomprehensible file format, or whatever it is that makes this particular disk NOT PLAY in the audio equipment that i HAVE. 😐 furthermore, i’m NOT going to buy a SACD player, which are now “audiophile” equipment, and cost anywhere up to three times what they did originally, so that i can play this ONE disk.
bottom line: does somebody out there have a SACD player that i can hook up to my computer, so i can make FLAC copies of the music? i have a digital pre-amp that plugs into my computer and has RCA inputs, and i have RCA cables, so all i need is the player, and you’d be able to get it back after i’m finished… i’d really appreciate it…
i bit the bullet and bought the academic version of sibelius 7… which cost $300, rather than the standard version, which has less capabilities, but costs $700 (a thing which i have yet to figure out, even though the capabilities that the educational version has are useless to me, because it requires that i have a network with at least one other installation of the educational version installed on it).
it actually took me a few days to make it “legal” because of the fact that moe’s WSU email address had been changed (since she graduated… oops!) and we had to work around that until she was able to phone the helpdesk and get things straightened out.
now that it is all legal and everything, i’ve gotta start actually learning how to use it. but it’s easy enough to use that, already, before i’ve even completed one of the FOUR two-hour tutorials it came with(!), i have been able to complete two lead sheets for beatles tunes that i copied from THE BOOK for snake suspenderz, and create a 6-part arrangement of a piano rag by scott joplin for the fremont philharmonic.
i still haven’t realised all of the goodies that this new, legal software holds in store for me, but i think it’s already well on the way to paying me back for the money i spent on it. 😎
i haven’t been writing that much about snake suspenderz recently, because we haven’t been doing that much as a group… except recently.
last night we played for a gay wedding. a couple of years ago, we played for this couple’s 40th anniversary, and, now that they’re actually able to get married (gasp), they wanted us back for their wedding. it was an honour, of course, and the only shame was that they had to live together for 42 years before they were legally able to get married. we got plied with many different varieties of victuals, beer and liquor, played up a storm (literally, not last night, but this morning) and walked away with $200 a piece. now all we have to do is find a gig like that every week, and we’ll be set.
today was the 2nd annual “Day Of Music” at benaroya hall… and the grammatical error that was in the bus tunnel is STILL there. i lived near there in 1998, when it was originally put up, and noticed it then, and sent several letters complaining about their shoddy attempts at proofreading to various different civic groups, but, as is obvious, nobody ever did anything about it, and my tax dollars are still going towards the mis-education of millions of metro riders every year…
but that was then, and this is now. i was given a “discounted” parking pass for the parking garage under benaroya hall, but it was for a “$3 discount” on the, normal $7 parking fee, and i figured that if i get there early and search around a little, there’s a good chance that i can park on the street for free, which i did: i parked four blocks away, on the waterfront, and dragged my tuba uphill six blocks, because there is no wheelchair ramp at the “Waterfront Steps”. it actually wasn’t all that bad, and i figured that i would find another way down later on. i showed up in time to watch the one man band who was on stage ahead of us, and during his time on stage the weather went from dry but cloudy to “car wash” status, and they actually told us that we might be delayed or cancelled, if it got too outrageous… which, of course, it didn’t, but that didn’t prevent me from playing a half-hour set with rain dribbling down my back… and they don’t call upright tubas “rain catchers” for nothing… 😐 and, of course, i wasn’t able to find a way down, so i had to walk three blocks out of my way, in the pouring rain, which, at that point, also included lightning and thunder, to get back to my car.
allegedly we have another gay wedding in tacoma, next month, that also pays us $200 a piece. thaddeus was connected to this gig by an old friend of his who books bands for events. maybe he should… um… i don’t know, let his friend know that WE’RE A BAND THAT NEEDS GIGS or something like that… and then, maybe it won’t have been nine months since our last gig… 😐
okay, i had three gigs in three days with three different… well… iterations of the same band: Accidental Rhino is howlin’ hobbit and two or more other musicians, of which i am, frequently, one. i took monday off (to get caught up with laundry and dishes), and then today i had a rehearsal, tomorrow i’ve got a parade, and thursday i’ve got another gig…
i guess you could say i’ve been pretty busy… i’m certainly going through spoons at a phenomenal rate, although, surprisingly, i haven’t been feeling the lack of them – that much – the past few days. i’ve been really tired and sleeping a lot more than normal, but the fact that i made $300 in three days sort of offsets that.
the potential major blow-up that i’ve been suspecting is around the corner for about 6 months has, miraculously, been put on the back burner AGAIN, which is good from one standpoint, but questionable, at best, from the place where i see it. it’s not that i want this particular blow-up to happen, but my impression is that if it has been put on the back burner again, then it will be that much more spectacular and unpleasant when it finally gets around to happening.
so i realised, with all of the so-called “music” (which includes a lot of what the german people call Sprechstimme that is, very definitely, not what “ordinary people” — like my mother — would call “music” — but i say, forget them anyway) that i have been posting over the past few months, that i have enough “new” material to make a new album.
i even created a rudimentary web site which is eventually going to contain said album, along with my two (three?) other original albums…
eventually, because i still haven’t been able to figure out how to separate my “Saint Fred” stuff from the And More stuff that i already have there…
it’s not there yet, but it will be soon… hopefully as soon as the bandcamp folks get back to me and explain where they screwed up… 😉
how this piece of music came into existence is as much of a story as the music itself.
randy and i had both been working in the Eμ studio for about a year, in 1982, and we were both creating extremely weird music. secretly, i recorded a very long track, in stereo (which, in those days, actually meant two tracks, a left and a right channel) of weird vocalisations made by us while creating other music. i then reversed the track, and recorded it along side the original, which gave me four tracks. then i took all four tracks, reversed them and spliced them on to the end, so it was even longer, and a palindrome. then, i duplicated the process with another long track of miscellaneous rantings, strange noises and other unusual vocal sounds, so that, when i was done, i had 8 tracks of extreme vocal chaos.
when i was satisfied with the level of chaos, i ran the whole thing into the mixer, one track per channel (as usual), although i hooked up the output of the mixer so that, instead of playing only the channel whose “solo” button was depressed, (thus “muting” all of the other channels), the only time it played anything was when the “solo” button for each individual channel was pressed… essentially turning the “solo” buttons on the mixer into a “keyboard” of sorts.
although the “keyboard” was nothing like any ordinary keyboard: from one moment to the next, you couldn’t be sure what sort of noise was going to come out of each particular key: sometimes it would be forwards, sometimes it would be backwards, sometimes it would be screams, other times it would be total silence… multiplied by 8 (which was how many tracks had their “solo” buttons modified).
randy and i then took turns recording entirely new tracks, playing the mixer “keyboard”, to winnow down the chaos to a tolerable level. we each recorded two tracks, and the final track was me playing the “keyboard” forwards for the first half of the track, and then randy playing the “keyboard” backwards for the rest of it.
my impression is that this whole process would be a good deal more difficult these days, because of the limitations of digital mixers, although i could be wrong. my impression is that i hooked up some outputs to some inputs in a way that was allowed because it was an analogue mixer, that aren’t allowed — aren’t even thought of — with digital mixers, although, honestly, my experience with digital mixers is limited.
two ancient pieces of music from 1979, when i was first learning about synthesizers, and the only synthesizers and recording devices available were analogue. these pieces are from an era before cell phones, internet tubes and the evil koch brothers…
although i think that the koch brothers existed, and were even evil at that time, just nobody knew about it yet… and, although the internet did exist, nobody knew about that, either. but i digress. 😎
the first, called Drone Piece Not was created during my first synthesizer class, Electronic Music 101. the instructor was teaching us how to make tape splices, and he instructed a woman in the class to say “I did not do it.” into a microphone. he then demonstrated how to isolate and trim out the word “not”, which made it sound as though the woman had said “I did do it”. when the lecture was over, i picked the word “not” out of the trash and incorporated it into my own piece. this piece of music was recorded in the ARP studio, which was the smaller of the two synthesizer studios. it contained an ARP2600 synthesizer (the same one that is used in the movie “Close Encounters”), a teac quarter-inch/four-track machine and a smallish mixer.
the second piece is called Romance With Gaslamp and it was composed at the end of my first synthesizer class, for my final project. it has an interesting ending, which was brought about by the fact that i learned how to bypass the security alarm in the large synthesizer studio (the Eμ studio, which had an Eμ modular synthesizer which took up an entire wall of the studio, plus teac quarter-inch/half-track and quarter-inch/four-track reel machines, a teac half-inch/eight-track reel machine — the reel of tape for which, i still posess, somewhere — and a teac 8-track stereo mixer. these were relatively high-end machines, at the time). the security alarm was a motion sensor that was mounted near the ceiling, and was bypassed by putting a tape-reel box over the sensor, which meant that i could check out the key, go unlock the lab and then return the key, looking like i only spent 5 minutes in the lab. in reality, i returned the key and then went back to the lab, where i usually stayed until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. i knew (experience is a hard master) that, if i disloged the tape-reel box from where it was precariously hung over the sensor, i had approximately five minutes before the entire neighbourhood would be swarming with rent-a-cop demons, so i actually began using sticky tape to hold the box in place. the evening at the end of Romance With Gaslamp is one of those evenings. i accidentally knocked the box down, and so the piece ended a lot more abruptly than i planned… but after i listened to the mix-down, i decided that it would be a lot more amusing to leave it that way.
i’ve digitised 2½ cassettes by pliny. i don’t get to post any more of them until i get permission from him, ’cause apparently he’s paranoid. oh well… 😎
i’ve got a component-stereo cassette player on freecycle, but i’ve got one person who has expressed interest, so it’s probably already taken.
i’ve got a snake suspenderz performance at a rehab center in burien. it’s a private party, which means that i’ll be paid for it, but i don’t remember how much at this point. it doesn’t really matter anyway, ’cause i’m playing and they’re paying me. 😎
moe and i are going to a performance by ezra in honour of The PHBFH on the 17th. the place is TBA, still, but ezra sez we’re going to get notified by email before the performance, so we can be where it is. i haven’t seen The PHBFH since ezra graduated from college, which was a few years ago, but i’ve never actually talked with him about his mother, so this should be an interesting performance.
the 26th has a performance by the BSSB, but i’ll probably post before then.
oh, i’ve also got another colonoscopy scheduled on the 7th of june, and another snake suspenderz performance on the 14th of june at cafe racer.
also, moe brought home a dead hummingbird… it’s sad that it’s dead, but at the same time, it’s probably the only time i’m going to get to hold a hummingbird in my hand…
pliny is a guy that i have known since he was about 14 or so. he is one of the best wordsmiths i have ever met. he raps in normal conversation without even meaning to. he invented a new art-form, which is called SPLAB.
these tracks were recorded in the late 1980s or early 1990s and have been lost in my box of tapes until today.
i’ve been dinking around with some REALLY ancient sound-recording media, i.e. reels of tape, and cassettes. the younger folks among those reading may remember cassettes, if they are 30-ish or thereabouts, but reel tape stopped being used regularly in about 1990 or so, and the tapes that i’ve been playing with are from the early 1980s… including this track, which has been uploading as i write this, from my mac (on which i am writing this, at this very moment) to my linux server in los angeles, by way of my desktop linux box… because it’s too big to be uploaded in the expected fashion (add media), and, for some unknown reason, the webdav connection on the mac won’t work, but it will on linux…
anyway, what i’m really talking about is this: Home On The Strange, one of the three tracks from my final project in “Music 400 – Electronic Music” at Western Washington University, June 3, 1983
the new orchid spangiafora album has got me inspired… i’ve got a whole bunch of cassette tapes of evangelical preachers ranting about this and that, which have been waiting for me to do something creative with, for quite a long time indeed, and now is the time. Functioning Societies Don’t Do That is a preliminary sketch, based on the source material found here. enjoy it or else… 😎
ETA: i just figured out that, because i posted this on the web, it is now accessible by google, who conveniently gave me this wonderful QR code. because of the fact that i “know what to do” with QR codes, i can now make a meaningless-babble art which, under the right circumstances, will take people to a recording of this, and they won’t have the first clue what has happened…
i remember, a few months ago, i found a QR code posted on a utility pole in some extremely seedy part of downtown seattle. at the time, i didn’t have a QR-code-reader on my phone, but despite that fact, i’m about 90% certain that, if i did, it would take me to some web site for a band, or a porno site, or something like that… this will take people to a place that really will make them wonder… <hee hee hee>
i’ve been noticing a distinctly moldy-like smell the past few days, but i haven’t found the source. then, this morning, moe mentioned that the kitchen floor was feeling a little soft, so i went down and looked, and sure enough, there was a leak in one of the pipes… so i spent $500 on a plumber at 11:30 in the morning on a sunday. he was actually the second plumber i called, because the first one was in church and not answering his cell phone. i know he was in church because his dispatcher told me he was. i guess going to church means that you don’t get paid on a sunday… 😐 the guy who finally came out recommended a complete repiping of the entire house, which would cost around $7,000. the thing is, i don’t know whether this house is worth it or not… after all, it was a “manufactured” (read “mobile”) home, installed in the early 1970s, which is currently under water with its mortgage… 😐
on the plus side, since the plumber went away, there has been a surprisingly dissipated moldy-like smell… and the leaky pipe may also have been the source of the windows sweating so much over the past couple of weeks…
regular fremont phil rehearsals have started. regular ballard sedentary sousa band rehearsals are starting on tuesday. regular snake suspenderz rehearsals haven’t started yet, which is probably not as bad a thing as it seems at this point, but my impression is that they’d better start soon, or we’re going to be in trouble, because we’ve got a number of performances starting in less than a month. next weekend, moe and i are taking a part vacation and part sheepdog trial in heppner, oregon starting friday and ending monday.
i logged into my computer today, and discovered the following email message from r. carey, the artist behind orchid spangiafora:
I recently checked the discogs page for Tin Windows and saw your name listed in the “want this” list. I remember our correspondence from the 1990s and I wanted you to have a copy. I have no idea why Feeding Tube didn’t respond to your email. I’ll have to talk to them and make sure they are getting their mail. I got your post office address from a link on the hybridelephant site. You are (obviously) free to do whatever you like with the five copies, but I thought if you had some extras they might find their way to some interesting people. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
by “new” i assumed it meant “newer than Orchid Spangiafora’s first release”, which was their 1979 album called Flee Pasts Ape Elf — an ASTOUNDING work, which is still one of my all time favourites, but, unfortunately, it has been out of print for a LOOOOONG time.
specifically, the announcement said: “Tin Windows – 7″ vinyl 45 RPM – Available now at Feeding Tube Records, Northampton, MA and at Fusetron, Brooklyn, NY or try Discogs”. so, i emailed “feedingtube at me dot com” with an inquiry, and received no response… after waiting around four weeks, i figured that “new” meant some time before the year 2000, and that it was no longer available. i stopped expecting a response around the new year, and forgot all about it by the end of january. it’s important to remember that i NEVER paid, nor did i give any indication that i was GOING TO pay, and i NEVER gave them my physical address.
today(!) i got a “mystery package” in the mail. it was neither expected nor anticipated. it was addressed to my business address, and had a return address i didn’t recognise. contained within the package were not one, but FIVE copies of “Tin Windows”…
five BRAND NEW, UNPLAYED copies of the 7″ vinyl 45 RPM record…
and it turns out that “new” means april, 2012… meaning that it is, ACTUALLY a completely new release… 😀
i don’t know how they got my address, although it MAY BE because, several years ago (1996? 1997?), i corresponded briefly with the artist behind Orchid Spangiafora, and traded music with him… but if i recall correctly, that was before i had my current email address, and before i moved into my current location — which means that my business address was different, as well…
i re-evaluated my bong-making facility, and modified it somewhat to accomodate some additions to the glass-bottle-drilling area so that i can actually fill the bottles with water while i am drilling them. apparently being full of water “stabilises the bottle on a molecular level” and makes them less likely to break. i haven’t really noticed that much of a difference yet, because i’ve only actually tried it with one bottle, but if i can break fewer bottles than i have been so far, it will be an improvement. i went to another smoke shop yesterday, and they responded positively, but didn’t actually buy anything. they told me to call again today, so i’m going to do that later this afternoon.
we’re gearing up for the moisture festival again. the first rehearsal was supposed to be yesterday, but, typically, it got cancelled at the last moment. the moisture festival will be 10 years old this march, and it’s actually smaller than it was last year. last year we had shows in four different venues, and this year we’re only filling two venues. it makes me wonder what they’re planning on doing with all the $100 “donations” they got last year, that they said were going to make this years’ moisture festival “something really special”… 😐
the fremont phil has 5 days of performances, which is two less than last year, which was three less than the year before… and i’ve heard some “rumblings” from the powers-that-be in the moisture festival that they’re thinking of getting entirely new bands next year… nothing official, at this point, but the fact that it’s out there is something to shudder about.
on the other hand, snake suspenderz is playing (on stage) two nights, on which i am also performing with the phil, AND we’re also “subbing” for stuart’s band, the Super 8s, one night as “the pit band” or “the house band” or whatever you may call it… so that’s something.
rick has been going through hell recently. it started when i dropped him off at the emergency room of good samaritan hospital (the same one i did my rehabilitation in, after my injury). he proceded to almost die and is now recovering at an “assisted living facility” in puyallup: basically it’s one of those “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” places, where 95% of the population is never going to be released… but at the same time, if rick were to be released, the only place he has to go back to is so moldy that it’s very likely toxic, and rick has a self-admitted ambivalence toward living in squalor… i remember thinking, as i was moving the boxes of crap from rick’s storage place to his house, that i could very easily be contributing to a future episode of Hoarders… i want to help, but i’m not sure how much good it will do… 😐 i’ve been taking him to various different doctors’ appointments, when he can’t arrange transportation, but i don’t know how much more i have in me.
moe went to florida for 8 days. i am at home with the doggies. i have a gig tonight, but apart from that, i’m relatively free, if anyone wants to do something… i have a meeting with den some time next week, allegedly, and i’ve got at least one recording session with the players/philharmonic some time soon… once again “alledgedly”…
my friend rick, who i helped move out of his storage locker a few months ago, wasn’t feeling well yesterday, and asked me for a ride to the doctor’s office, and then from there to the hospital, where he checked in for a few days. i haven’t been to valley medical for a while, and i have never been to the new emergency room that they built a couple of years ago. it was interesting to be back at the hospital where i underwent brain surgery, but it was only interesting because it was someone else, and not me…
also, at least part of the reason why i keep doing this is because things change, sometimes dramatically, between when i first hear about it, and when it actually happens. this years’ changes include the fact that snake suspenderz has been tapped for a house-band appearance, and there’s also the possibility of our performing for the volunteer party, as well. i still REALLY wonder what’s going on with the moisture festival, and REALLY wonder why RB is apparently booking acts again (it was my impression that tim had taken that over last year, because of “complaints” about RB’s scheduling fiascos), but i have gone, once again, from wanting to boycott the moisture festival, to probably being okay with it… but, once again, i’m fairly sure that the panto will eclipse the moisture festival as being the most highly paid gig i participate in all year, which was not what i expected to happen with the “world class” comedy/varieté venue in which i have been performing ever since it started, TEN YEARS AGO… 😐
Hybrid Elephant has filled a number of incense orders in the last month, as well as dealt with people who order from outside the US and don’t read the shipping policy. i still haven’t figured out a work-around for it, even though i know one exists, because i haven’t been motivated enough.
there are now reviews for The Fremont Players, thanks to Æther Pie (otherwise known as “Princess Perpetua of Montague”). seriously, simon told me to “pick and choose” some “appropriate quotes” from the reviews, and post them on the web page. because of the fact that i’m doing this with HTML and not PHP, i made the copy changes, and then Æther Pie made the format changes… i’m also making some headway on the James L. Acord Bronze Foundry site, despite their lack of communication. there’s now a static page, and i’ve got a little more than half of the requests they made on the ‘redlines’ that they sent me working… although the other half are either not possible, or possible making more drastic changes in their template than i am comfortable making without some intensive research.
i was given a pair of steampunk goggles by my mother-in-law as a xmas gift this year. they’re made so that i can unscrew the frames surrounding the lenses and remove them… which means that i can replace the lenses with my prescription lenses (i just got new glasses a couple of weeks ago). i was also given a HD-PLC Ethernet Adaptor starter kit, so i now i can wire our entire house for ethernet — most importantly, the workshop, where the wireless adaptor reaches, but the OS9 mac doesn’t want to recognise our 50-character, un-changeable wireless security password. with the HD-PLC ethernet adaptor, i can make an end-run around having to wire separate ethernet cables, and i can move things like our two humongous hard disks out to the workshop, where they won’t take up as much room or accumulate as much stanley-dust as they do inside the house. i was also given a copy of The Practical Pyromaniac… heh heh heh… 👿
we’ve done two weekends of performances of Sleeping Beauty & The Pea, and things are going well, in spite of the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone a couple months ago, and i think i may have done more damage to my brain then i had done when i had my injury… seriously, ONE day of playing the B♭ fingerings, and now i CAN NOT remember the C fingerings… AT. ALL. 😐 strangely enough, apparently the only way around this problem is to NOT think about it, and, as much as possible, NOT look at the music… the problem is that i’ve got three more weekends of panto performances, and two snake suspenderz gigs coming up within the next few weeks, and i’m not sure how i’m going to get through it.
i’ve got a Big Bois With Poise gig on new year’s eve, at the Hale’s Palladium/Moisture Festival Benefit party. because of the fact that we have been on national television twice now, we are billing ourselves as “The World Famous Big Bois With Poise”, and we were actually requested to come and perform for the new year’s party… of course they’re not going to be paying us anything, but we get into the party for free, where everyone else has to pay $50, so it’s an okay deal. because of the fact that we’re going to be performing indoors, we’re doing the “short dudes” act, rather than the “big boys” act — i.e. we’re going to be on “short” buckets, and dressed in diapers and bibs. we’re also going to try to memorise auld lang syne instead of our regular BBWP chant, but i don’t hold out much hope… 😎
this weekend is the start of four weeks of panto performances. tickets are selling out quickly, but if you’re in the area, we are still accepting “friends and family” for the 15th december performances. tickets are available brown paper tickets, and if you choose the 15th performance and enter the code mushy peas you’ll be getting in for no cost.
if you’re not in the area… tough luck. 😉
i played my sousaphone last month for the first time in around a year, and it went fairly well… now, the difficult part, is getting back to playing a C tuba. i thought it was going to be an easy transition, because i went from C to B♭ without any difficulty at all, but the difficult part is going back to C. i played the music for the panto reasonably well this summer, but, despite the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone last month, for one day, remembering the C fingerings is a REAL problem… 😐
and it makes it that much worse that the panto starts this weekend, and goes for four weeks… presumably, i’ll be playing the parts reasonably well by the time it’s done, but — of course — by that time, it’ll be too late. 😐
moe graduated from college on saturday — summa cum laude — and her parents are coming for her reception, which is on the same day that the panto opens, so i’m going not going to be able to make it, but i’m not particularly disappointed, as it will be a party with a whole bunch of people i don’t know, plus monique’s parents.
i’m getting more and more convinced that what i really SHOULD do is drop kubuntu all together, and install debian with KDE. kmail is still doing bizarre, but not really obtrusive things, like “forgetting” my password, and losing mail if i move the folder that it’s in somewhere else. amarok still randomly stops playing occasionally, and crashes rather than shutting down “nicely” EVERY TIME… there are all kinds of minor annoyances that have crept into kubuntu that i strongly suspect would not be there in debian, and with KDE, i wouldn’t have to learn new software. the only thing i’m skeptical about is whether or not i will be able to transfer my mail to the new system, and (once again) whether or not i would be able to get all of my genealogical data back… both of those things are items that i could have the answers to, if i wrote to the appropriate user groups, i just haven’t gotten around to it.
i had two gigs over the weekend: one with snake suspenderz at the gage drawing jam, and one with the sousa band at the phinney holiday festival. the gage was more or less as advertised, i.e. we sat in the back of the room and nobody paid attention to us, but there was no free beer this year. we made $50 a piece (because our drummer was not there). the gig at phinney was more crowded and chaotic than it has been in the past, because they put in an elevator and a fire-escape in the places where we used to fill up the hall, so they had to twist everything ninety degrees, which made the stage about a quarter of the size it used to be…
really, honestly, if they don’t provide us more roomy accomodations next year, i won’t be going. it’s crowded and chaotic enough already, but expecting a 40-piece band to fit in a room that is only big enough for about 75 people, and then cramming 200 more people into the space (most of whom aren’t even attending the concert in the first place), SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK… 😐
i’ve got a new web design client, for whom i’ve also (already) made business cards… and there’s a good chance that i will make at least 4 more business cards for him, and, once he gets is ducks in a row, there’s even a possibility that i will be doing a lot more printing for him as well. at this point, i haven’t done a lot with the web design part of it, in spite of the fact that he paid me what i consider to be A LOT of money up front which i haven’t even come close to spending yet… and it appears as though i may not have to do any of the actual design part of the job anyway. a member of the fremont players does web design “on the side” and knows A LOT more about HTML5 than i do, and, because of the fact that this guy has already paid me what i consider to be A LOT of money, i can actually afford to pay her $20 an hour to do the web design for me. 😎
now that the battle of the computer is fading into the background, i actually have time to rant about other things. there’s still a few things that are wonky about the new operating system: amarok still has problems when i first start it up. it doesn’t show all of the current track’s tags until i “nudge” it a little bit, and when i close it down, i select “File -> Quit” and it quits, but it also shows a crash error shortly afterwards… i’ve tried to report the crash error (because it happenes EVERY time), but they say it’s fixed in the next version… which won’t be available for kubuntu 12.04.1 (Precise Pangolin) but is currently available for kubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) which i am not going to upgrade to, because it is not a “Long Term Support” version… also, for some unknown reason, amarok gives up and has to be restarted. it’s frustrating, but nowhere near as frustrating as playing multiple tracks at the same time, and not stopping when i select “File -> Quit”, which is what it had started doing prior to the system upgrade…
Snake Suspenderz played a gig at Wine World yesterday, as a part of our “official duties” as the “Official SACBO Band”. we played for 3 hours, and got “paid” with pizza, munchies, and all of the wine or beer we could sample. we should definitely play more frequently, but getting the entire band together is a chore i don’t want to undertake myself, because it would get really frustrating, really quickly, and then i wouldn’t want to do it any longer. 😐 we have upcoming shows on 1st december, 2012 at the drawing jam at the gage, and 10th january, 2013 at Smokin’ Pete’s Barbecue, but prior to that, our last gig was in august at the can can, and we haven’t all been in the same room since then, before yesterday…
i’ve got to start notating titles somewhere. i thought of a really good title for something today, and, because of the fact that i didn’t write it down, i don’t remember it any longer. the probability is no better than 50% that i will remember it in the future, so it may be lost. if i had written it down somewhere, it would still be here. 😐
moe has gone to southern oregon for the national sheep-dog handling finals — yes, we have not one, but twochampionship-quality dogs in this house, thanks, in part, to moe, who is the dog-whisperer to dog-whisperers… 😎 (and that guy who is “The Dog Whisperer” really doesn’t know what he’s talking about most of the time… really… you should hear moe rant about how cesar milan is wrecking dogs, when she gets to ranting about him)
but, of course, the down side to all of this, is that moe is gone for a week, and i have to stay here, because i have a performance on saturday and it would be too far to drive back from klamath falls for, especially since we’d either have to take both cars, or i would have to drive from klamath falls to seattle for a 2 hour performance, and then drive back to klamath falls to pick up moe and her dogs and gear… which would be especially important since we just bought a trailer/pop-up-tent/RV-like-thing, and that isn’t going anywhere without a vehicle to tow it.
so, the upshot of the whole deal is that i am alone for a week, with an ancient, decrepit dog, two ancient, decrepit cats, a bird (who is neither ancient nor decrepit), and an ancient, decrepit snake… i guess, since i am verging on ancient and decrepit myself, i’m in good company, but i would really prefer it if i was with moe, or she was with me… there’s nobody but stanley to talk to, and, while some of the things he says are definitely amusing, he doesn’t always respond the way a human being would…
the performance is with the sousa band, at Festa Italiana, and they’re probably going to feed us… which is always the right thing to do for musicians that you hire to come and play for your party… 😉
apart from that, i’m still going back-and-forth with the incense guy from india. everything was going as expected until he quoted me a price that is essentially what i charge my retail customers for what would essentially be a wholesale purchace. when i responded, he didn’t come back with an answer for a few days, and then, this morning, he came back with a response in which he, basically, offered me the same incense for a quarter of the price, but only if i order more than a certain amount of it… which i would do, but i don’t want to seem too eager, because i know that if i can put him off long enough, the price has a very good probability of going down even further… and if not, it will also give me time to build up my bank account to the point where i can actually afford to buy a whole pile of incense from india… 😎
i still haven’t gone out to busk with my didjeri-flute/delay/amp setup yet, but i have been out busking with my tuba at least twice in the past week. a couple of days ago, i went out to the ballard sunday market, ostensibly to play with hobbit, but as we were getting set up, we were joined by julie b. who plays “delicious violin” (really, it says so on her cute little business card), who hobbit knows from the pike place market… and with a very little prompting from hobbit, we played quite acceptably, got a couple of inquiries about whether or not we were available for house parties(!) and made some generous tips for playing for a little less than 2 hours… i get the impression that, with a little more prompting, we could either add a violin to snake suspenderz (on a more-or-less temporary basis) or we could simply bill Accidental Rhino as a separate band and have twice as many gigs… either way is fine with me.
i actually took my art car to the rainier beach artwalk today, which is the first time since i actually put art on it, and i wasn’t planning on doing something else, that i have attended an “art car function” this year… and i was pleasantly surprised to discover that the art-cartists were paid $25 just for being there. 😎 i also brought my didjeri-flute and played for a while… sort of like at burning man, with no expectation of anything other than making weird noises for people. the weather was cooperative, and not windy enough that it was impossible to play, but there was no electricity, so the delay/amplification wasn’t there, and, as a result, i competed with the bands across the street for most of the time i was there.
and, while i’m on the subject, Snake Suspenderz, the Official SACBO Band, is playing at The Can Can in the Pike Place Market, tuesday 9/18 at 7:00. cover is $5.00 and we hope to see a lot of art car people there! 😎 the snake suspenderz site or buy tickets.
but i’m still struggling with a couple of tunes, which i don’t remember, in spite of the fact that i’ve attempted to play them a number of times recently, and vowed to remember what they were… i really need to start writing down stuff like like that, because my memory is CRAP… 😐 and that has been complicated by the fact that my band-mates don’t feel like checking and responding to their emails: there are two days between now and when we play at the can can, i have repeatedly requested a rehearsal, or some busking, or (preferably) both, since wednesday or so, and i have gotten mediocre and lack-lustre responses AT BEST from the other members of my band… and i’m feeling frustrated about it, because my performance is going to suffer if a rehearsal (at least) doesn’t happen before tuesday! 😐
but, back to my didjeri-flute ravings for a moment: i REALLY need to get out to somewhere where there’s a publically-accessible electrical outlet and no wind (the public space at crossroads mall immediately springs to mind. why? i don’t know, but there it is), and see how i do busking on my own. i’ve got to put together a “busking kit” sort of like the one hobbit has, which includes a tip container and a sign indicating that it’s there… i wonder if the broken wire music stand i “donated” to hale’s palladium is still there?
i’m still “brewing” some new art, as well. it may be that it has something to do with my didjeri-flute, but i’m still not sure. 😉
oh yeah, we also rocked their world at cholmondleighland last saturday. we got raving reviews from avner the eccentric who said “If I have a pit, I want you in it!” and said that he’d put in a good word for us with tim at the moisture festival for next year! (WOO HOO!!)
i played with the fremont philharmonic at big red last night, and also played my didjeriflute for a “talent show”. then, this morning, i got up at an unreasonably early hour and went to the ballard sunday market, where i busked with snake suspenderz until noon, whereupon i went to the edmonds city park and played with the ballard sedentary sousa band.
the video is pretty much exactly what i wanted, but i really need to figure out how to work iMovie a little better, because it could be a lot better… i’m not sure if i want to make a separate video explaining how the flute is made and how to play it, or whether i want to re-make the current video with that information included… or even if i actually want to include information about how it is made and how it is played… i mean, i suppose anybody with a little imagination can probably figure those things out, but it’s kinda neat that, as far as i can tell, NOBODY has done this kind of thing, and made a video of it before. 😎
we now have two confirmed cases of kennel cough, and two likely cases of kennel cough. 😐 and this is after having all canids in the house vaccinated against kennel cough. whee… 😐
we also have a small RV (thanks to moe’s mom) which we are going to trade in ASAP, because it looks good, but doesn’t steer very well.
i have a sousa band gig on sunday, at the conservatory at volunteer park, and next week there’s a guy in ballard who wants me to play tuba for a recording that he’s making of a new childrens’ song.
i registered at TubeNet, in the hopes of figuring out whether my new tuba is a 56J or a 5J, but they haven’t confirmed my registration yet, which is kind of a bummer… but eventually i’ll get over it, one way or the other.
moe has gone to san diego for a week, to attend a veterinary assistants conference… which means i have all four dogs to myself for a week… fun…
i don’t mind the dogs as long as someone else takes care of them most of the time (i was raised around dogs from a very early age), but i’ve never liked taking care of them that much… and, with a dog who is a little more than a year old and still very much a puppy (apart from the fact that he is a border collie and currently stands an inch and a half taller than his mother), and another, ancient and decrepit dog who likes to bark, suddenly and loudly, at nothing, for no very obvious reasons, my patience is being severely tried, and moe has only been gone for two days…
i have two gigs on sunday (again), one with the ballard sedentary sousa band (at the ballard locks, at 2:00 pm), and one with snake suspenderz (on mercer island, at 7:00 pm), which means that i’m going to be gone for longer than rye’s bladder will hold out, so moe arranged for some friends to come over and give the doggies some “relief” in the evening… which is absolutely okay with me, given the circumstances.
i had the windows in my car tinted the other day, which is very good, because now, when people are “just walking by” my car, on sunday, instead of being able to look in the car and see my new, fancy tuba in the back, they won’t be able to see anything… however, in the process of applying the tinting film, the guy broke the passenger side rear window… or something, it worked the last time i tried it, but i haven’t used it since i bought the car, which is when i “tested it out” the last time. my impression is that when the previous owner pulled off the not-professionally-installed (i.e. defective) window tinting film, it left a whole bunch of residue which, subsequently, gummed up the motor… anyway, they couldn’t tint that window, because it wouldn’t go up and down, so i took it over to edgewood tire last night, and had them “cut the cable and insert a wooden wedge” to make the window “go up and down” — sort of — but, because of the fact that it was held in place with a wooden wedge, there would have been no point in locking the door, or (for that matter) tinting the windows in the first place, so i ponied up another $250 to fix the window, which leaves me with very little money… but money has been coming in at a surprisingly high rate recently… not very large quantities (with one significant exception), but frequently enough that i’m not too worried about how little money is in my hybrid elephant account at the moment… 😉
the latest And More album is up there for you to download.
there are three more that are essentially ready, and one that hasn’t been ordered yet… and that’s just what i’ve finished. there are easily 20 eighty-minute CDs of stuff that i haven’t got to yet… there’s a 75 minute CD that’s called Aleatoric Glop that are bits that possibly got used in other places, but are unique unto themselves…
yay! we’re going to be busking at the ballard sunday market tomorrow! 🙂
hotmail.com, gmail.com, u.washington.edu and uw.edu have apparemtly decided that messages from the ballard sedentary sousa band mailing list (of which there are 40+ members, many of whom have addresses at the aforementioned servers) are spam… or something… 😐 the evidence i have is all of the hotmail, gmail and UW users mailing me complaining that they aren’t getting any mail from the band (despite quite a few messages being sent over the past couple of weeks), the messages being dropped from the mail queues — no reports have been sent they, and they don’t have anything in their “spam” box — and i’m not getting any feedback from their servers or the administrators thereof to indicate that i (being on the same IP address as sedentarysousa.com) have any problems whatsoever. there’s enough evidence to completly exonorate sedentarysousa.com, and compelling evidence to suggest that there has been a human error (or several of them) somewhere, but nobody’s willing to take the blame, so nothing is going to be done to fix the problem. 😐
we went busking today, which went WAY better than i anticipated. there were even a couple of tunes that i got about halfway through before i realised that i thought i was using the E♭ fingerings (i.e. what would have been the wrong notes), but it sounded right anyway… and then i realised that, if it sounded right,then i probably wasn’t using the E♭ fingerings, at which point i tried to find my place in the music, which i had lost track of making all of these unexpected realisations, and when i couldn’t find my place in the music, i just played what came naturally and it sounded right… so i think i may have found at least part of the right connection which was screwed up when they started messing around inside my skull. 8)
and all of these realisations make me a lot more comfortable about going to OCF. after 7 shows in 3 days, i’ll probably be playing the C tuba as though i had been playing it my entire life… 8)
Hokum W. Jeebs was a friend of mine, who was murdered some time ago. through my relationship with him, and through my relationship with thaddeus, from whom i recieved hokum’s C tuba, i now have a direct relationship with the Bohemian Grove, in monte rio, california.
i don’t know anything about why i have that relationship, or what it means (if anything) to me, but i just realised that the tuba case i got, when i got the tuba, has a shipping label on it, that says “Bohemian Grove, Monte Rio, California – Mr. Stabile”… well, “Mr. Stabile” was hokum’s “mundane” name, and if i’m not mistaken, the bohemian grove is the “oregon country fair” of the male, obscenely rich and powerful of the world…
snake suspenderz has a gig this evening at the horizon house, which is the same place that my elderly, brain injured client lives. i haven’t heard anything from him since a couple of months ago, when there was a problem with his power supply that turned out to be a motherboard issue, and then i stopped hearing from him… so i don’t know whether he got another computer, or what, but he doesn’t know that i’m going to be playing music there this evening, so things might get a little “interesting”…
SACBO is saturday. snake suspenderz is playing, and i may put some more paint on my car, depending on when snake suspenderz decides to show up, and whether or not the weather coöperates. the weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow, so i may paint some more tomorrow, as well.
moe needs my help trimming sheep feet tomorrow… trimming sheep feet? and i’m supposed to be holding the sheep, while she trims their feet… we’ll see how that goes. 😉
snake suspenderz has two gigs on sunday. we play in the early afternoon at the burien wild strawberry festival (which i attended with an art-car caravan, a few years ago, and was witness to the guy selling gold jewelry next to my car getting ripped off by a pre-teenaged doodlehum), and then, in the evening, we play at the can-can, along with the Wanderlust Circus, featuring my friend noah, from portland.
OCF is looming, and we haven’t had even one rehearsal. i don’t even know what play we’re doing… the princess and the pea? rapunzel? rumplestiltskin? a mash-up? this is definitely going to be an interesting year…
schmootzi, joe, and three other people were shot and killed at cafe racer on wednesday.
snake suspenderz was supposed to play at cafe racer this evening… apparently thad has put in a call, but has no response.
which is not particularly surprising, all things considered…
the problem is that i’m a fair distance away, and don’t really want to venture out unless i know there is something happening this evening, because i’ve got to drive to portland and help put on a show tomorrow, for which we have not got the proper permits… 😐
why couldn’t you have chosen some other place and/or time to get killed? 🙁
schmootzi the clod has apparently been shot at cafe racer this morning.
at this point, all i know for sure is that two people are dead and three people were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but the two dead people haven’t been publically identified yet… although rumour has it that it was schmootzi and joe, the bass player for God’s Favourite Beefcakewere dead at the scene.
it’s even more unnerving, because snake suspenderz is supposed to play at cafe racer on friday… 🙁
on the left, i’m playing a B-flat tenor horn, manufactured by John Distin and stamped with the J.W.Pepper logo, from around 1900, in the middle, i’m playing a nominally Elkhorn E-flat tuba that i have no idea when it was made, and on the right, i’m playing a Conn C tuba, made within the past 25 years.
if we had a longer couch, i could probably get in a double-B-flat sousaphone, as well… 8)
i am feeling a good deal better, although i am still not back to 100% health, yet. i still have a lingering cough that comes up at random times, particularly whenever i lie down, but i’m a lot better than i was a week ago.
the brakes in my car have to be replaced, to the tune of $800. moe claims that this car is “nickle-and-dime-ing” me, but the previous car (of which she approved) had already cost me almost $3000 by this point in our relationship, including $1500 for a replacement transmission, and this car has only cost me $450, plus the proposed brake work, and it appears, in spite of the fact that i’ve had to replace the timing belt, and now i have to get all four brakes and wheel bearings replaced, that this is going to continue to be a functional car for a lot longer than the previous one was. and, because of the fact that it’s a honda and not a ford (or whatever the previous car was, i don’t remember), i can actually take it to jack to have the repair work done for (hopefully) cheaper than edgewood tire quoted me. i’m also going to try to enlist the aid of the friend who worked on my brakes the day i had my brain injury (although, again, hopefully, i won’t have another brain injury), which has the definite possibility of saving me a good deal of money.
i got a reply from the incense people regarding the meaning of the word “pieces” and, as i suspected, it was entirely due to the fact that they were translating from hindi to english. if it weren’t for the fact that i have to think about providing at least part of the money for my car, i would already have sent the guy $100 for incense. as soon as i actually get paid for the postcards i made last month, i will probably do that anyway.
we had a recording session with a real, live, professional recording technician, last night, which went outstandingly well, and we’ve got another session with him tomorrow night, which, if it goes half as well as last night’s session did, will make a real, live CD of the fremont philharmonic a lot closer to being actual reality than it has ever been before. also, friday is a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show in olympia, for which i have been recruited as a sousaphone player. it should be fun, if nothing else.
today is may day. everybody go home and don’t work. also, friday is Bongwater Day, for those of you who are interested.
the 9th annual moisture festival is history, and i’m currently wallowing in post-moisture festival exhaustion and depression, but i can’t let that keep me from doing stuff, because there is a lot to be doing…
moe came home yesterday and discovered that the thermostat had gone crazy and it was 91° in the house, which, combined with yesterday’s 60° temperature made it pretty damn toasty in the house, and no matter what she tried, the furnace simply would not shut off… so she killed the electricity, and opened all the windows, which meant that when i got home at 12:30, moe was asleep, having thrown off all the covers, and all the windows were open… which was really confusing, considering the weather the past few days… anyway, this morning i got up and researched getting our thermostat/furnace fixed/replaced. 😐
not only that, but i’ve got a computer to rebuild for my older, brain-injured client, which involves going over to his house and digging through the guts of his old computer to get part numbers, and specs so that when the computer i build for him actually gets to him, it will be compatible with what he’s already got… apparently just replacing the power supply wasn’t good enough. the power supply works, but the computer still doesn’t boot, and the guy who built the old computer says that the mother board is fried. he recommended getting an entirely new computer (starting at around $700) but i figure i can probably get a new mother board for around $250, build the computer around that, and save my (already low- and limited-income) client around $400.
and, i’ve got to go meet with the surly, moody son of the guy who got killed in the auburn top food and drugs last year, because he wants me to design a logo for his car-repair business… which would be fine, except that he wants to get this logo made into a rug, and he wants details about which i know absolutely nothing, so it’s going to be really interesting designing a logo that will both be to his liking, and be able to be made into a carpet… but the fact that i’m going to be doing work for him is good, because it means that i will be able to hit him up for some repairs on my car: the brakes are in need of new shoes, and there’s still this annoying loose-belt sound when i first start up the car in the mornings…
and snake suspenderz is gearing up again: we’ve got a gig at the can can on the 22nd, and, probably, we’re going to be busking at either the ballard or the fremont sunday market on the 15th, plus we’ve got a couple of rehearsals before then…
AND i’ve got a new tuba to figure out, because it is not the same as my old tuba… i imagine that a lot of learning it will be simply playing it and figuring out what the new fingerings feel like, but along with everything else, it’s going to be a major chore…
on the right, my, nominally, Elkhorn three-valve, E-flat tuba, which i have been playing regularly (as in, ‘almost daily’) for 12 years.
on the left, the new-to-me Conn four-valve, C tuba which is my payment for the ugly sousaphone project.
i also got a vincent bach mouthpiece, a hard case, and a soft case. the fact that it is a C tuba is a little bit of a frustration for me, because i thought it was going to be a B-flat tuba, for which i know the “concert-pitch” fingerings… it’s also going to be really confusing being a transposing instrument that is not in E-flat, unless i either get transposed music or… learn the C tuba fingerings…
the thing is, it wouldn’t be SO frustrating for me if it weren’t for the fact that i both knew the C tuba fingerings, and could transpose, on-the-fly, in my head… PRIOR to my brain injury. 😛 that’s one of those bits of information which i am convinced still lives in my brain somewhere, and i just haven’t figured out how to connect to it again. 😐
but i got a real tuba! i’m a real tuba player now! 😀
i’m FINALLY done with the ugly sousaphone! it’s not any less ugly — in fact, it’s significantly more ugly in a lot of ways — but the important part is that it is, now, one contiguous piece of tubing from one end to the other, and it will play and sound more-or-less like a sousaphone is supposed to sound.
i completed the replacement of the lead pipe on the ugly sousaphone. i have yet to replace the water key, and patch the split third-valve upper tubing, but those things shouldn’t take long at all, and then i will be able to deliver the ugly sousaphone to its rightful owner (thaddeus), who will, then, hand over to me the double B-flat tuba seen here… and i will play the HELL out of it! 8)
i was contacted by a person who claims to be my grandfather’s half-sister… but she’s around the same age as me… and for someone who might not be who she says she is, she certainly has an over abundance of trivial information and unimportant, but entirely, independently verified facts about people who would otherwise be completely unknown, so at this point i tend to agree that she’s probably my grandfather’s half-sister… but, because of the fact that my family is all that’s left of a bunch of massively inbred yokels and hillbillies, she hasn’t cleared up any of the “family mysteries”, and, in fact, has come up with several new ones that will, likely, never be completely understood, because they have to do with my family, who, traditionally, ignores, berates, or tries to shout down anybody (like me) who says that the way they live is not the best. rosemary, my great aunt, is also a child of the ’60s, and has a hippy heart, which is probably why she survived this long without doing the traditional family thing and going crazy.
seriously… there’s a family history going back almost 200 years, of family members getting killed or maimed by insane people, some of whom have also been family members… weird… 😐
the moisture festival has been going well, but i haven’t started playing shows "for real" yet, despite the fact that i have already played 6 shows with two different bands… starting on saturday, i have 12 shows over the course of 8 days, with two different bands, so i’m going to be more than ordinarily busy. until then, i’ve got a rehearsal this evening, and a rehearsal tomorrow evening, and probably a rehearsal either wednesday or thursday.
i got the business cards i made for chris, which look astoundingly good, given the fact that the phone number is deliberately off center… supposedly he’s going to get back to me on a postcard, for which i sent out a preliminary draft on tuesday, and talked with him on wendesday, but haven’t heard anything since. i don’t want to hassle him too much, though, because apart from having a more-or-less full time job, he’s also got a new clinic that he’s in the process of opening up… at the same time, this postcard is “time sensitive” at this point, and i don’t want to wait too long, or i won’t be able to get them printed in time.
today is the first day that Snake Suspenderz is performing(!) at the moisture festival(!!). the fact is, i’ve been trying to get Snake Suspenderz into the moisture festival for four years… pretty much ever since i started playing with them… and since i’ve been a part of the moisture festival for nine years (i.e. ever since the beginning), i figured that it wouldn’t be much of a problem to incorporate my cronies into the huge mass of crony-ism that is the moisture festival… but it took my “losing my temper” and sending a ranting email to a couple of people who, presumably, don’t have any more control over who gets into the moisture festival than i do…
it’s another one of those instances that i rant about from time to time, where something that i want to do turns out to be an “old-boys club” and if you’re not associated with one of the “old boys” you CAN NOT get in… i know for a fact that i have ranted at least once in this blog about the oregon country fair, and burning man, both being events that are purposely designed to get people to stay away except under very specific circumstances… which usually involve large quantities of money, or sex (and not the pleasant kind) with the right people, and sometimes both. 😐
nevertheless, apparently my ranting to my peers was enough, and we got scheduled for two “inside” gigs, the first one of which is today, where we appear on stage and play our three-song, 10-minute “mini-set”, and then hang around until the end of the show so we can take a bow with the rest of the performers, and two “fluffer” gigs, where we play for 45 minutes(!) outside the palladium, for the crowds waiting to get in (in other words, “fluffing the crowd”, which is why they’re “fluffer” gigs)…
in other words, we’ve gone from playing no shows, to playing four shows, and two of them are basically us, and a captive audience of people who are already ready for a good time…
i don’t know exactly what i said, or exactly how i said it, that made the difference, but whatever it was, i guess it had the proper effect, because we went from having no appearances to having more appearances than most of the other moisture festival performers, including two 45-minute shows where it’s nothing but us, which is more than most moisture festival performers…
don’t get me wrong, i’m still extremely suspicious of “old-boy clubs” and refuse to get involved with them for the most part, because i dislike nepotism and crony-ism to the extreme, but apparently ranting and losing one’s temper is one of the ways to get things done when one is dealing with such things.
so i’ve put together another And More album, but for a long time (i.e. more than two but not quite three weeks) i have been trying to upload the files to bandcamp, and my browser keeps coming back with a “we’re sorry, but you’re fucked” error, by which the bandcamp people have been stumped.
i finally got it to upload today, from opera on the mac… i tried multiple different combinations of browser and operating system, but apparently i never tried opera on mac… i still don’t know why it wouldn’t upload with any other browser, on either operating system, but now that it’s uploaded, here it is:
i added the last piece, which is the mouthpiece-receiver pipe, to the narrow end of the ugly sousaphone, and cleaned up the tons of old solder left on the instrument. now it’s just a matter of patching the split 3rd valve tube and installing a water key, and it’s a working sousaphone, once again…
i was able to cover the water key hole with my finger, and get the instrument to play… as long as i didn’t use the 3rd valve… 8)