Tag Archives: snake suspenderz

the end of an era…

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at micro$hit, we also played in a band called PropellerHeads (this was before the software called Reason, which was originally made by a company called “Propellerheads” came to be), and, using different instruments, the same people (me, hobbit, and malcolm “malcat” atterbury) were also in a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.

i wonder what i will do next?

something, i hope. 😒

190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair
190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair

bleh

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.

bleh.

blue moon

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.

Snake Suspenderz at The Blue Moon tavern in the University District
Snake Suspenderz at The Blue Moon tavern in the University District

i figured that if it cost me $20 to make sure that i never see her again, it was probably worth it.

sigh, i guess i’d better update this thing again…

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.

rehearsal season

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. 😑

sickness and depression

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…

plotz

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…

grumph

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.

so far…

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.

arf…

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! 😕

flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness

stuff & nonsense

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.

now that things are…

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. 😉

growl

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… πŸ˜›

but if you thought that, you would be wrong… AGAIN… πŸ˜›

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. 😑

ketchup

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.

phgnaw… 8P

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. πŸ˜›

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 consistently SCREW 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… πŸ˜›

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? πŸ˜›

bluh

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.

SACBO, OCF et cetera

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 14th 16th 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.

meh

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… 😎

bleh

the days keep going by.

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… πŸ˜‰ 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… πŸ˜› 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.

misc.

i panicked

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?

sibelius

the software, not the composer…

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. 😎

snake suspenderz

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.

it's still there... 8/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… 😐

update

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…moe brought home a dead hummingbird

⥣ .333333333333333333333333333333333333…

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.

pzfthqgler

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… 😐

grawlf…

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. 😎

date: up

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…

paeudt

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. πŸ˜‰

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!!)

music, video

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. 😎

stuff

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… πŸ˜‰

hoorumph

yay! we’re going to be busking at the ballard sunday market tomorrow! πŸ™‚

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. 😐

tubaaaaaa! 8)

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)

interesting

i recently found out that the person known as John Michael Greer, the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and reputed to be one of 21st Century America’s most noted occultists, is the same john michael greer with whom i went to college, between 1979 and 1981. i wonder if the way i feel about this is anything like the people who were personal friends of aleister crowley felt… i wonder if it’s even appropriate to feel this way.

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. πŸ˜‰

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…

dammit drew…

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? πŸ™

DEAD PEOPLE 8(

UPDATE:

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 Beefcake were dead at the scene.

the back of schmootzi the clod's headsalamandir & schmoozti the clod

it’s even more unnerving, because snake suspenderz is supposed to play at cafe racer on friday… πŸ™

aaaaaand, that’s a wrap!

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…

spoons… i don’t have them… πŸ˜•

today is the first day…

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.

okay, here it is, all at once…

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

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

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

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

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

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

the first of december

a year ago, paddy was still alive and i was getting ready for a litter of new puppies. now, paddy is dead, the litter is gone except for one huge monstrostity of a dog who is now as big plus half as his mother, but is STILL digging random holes in the back yard… πŸ˜›

the 4th anniversary of this blog was yesterday. also, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the death of sri daya mata.

there’s still a week to go before the panto, this year, unlike last year when it was this week. i thank GAWD that we’re waiting an extra week this year, because in spite of the fact that we wrote it ourselves, we’re still not quite “up to speed” with the “new, improved” peter pan — it’s still the same basic story that we took to OCF over the summer, but there are several new “twists” to the plot that make the whole thing more understandable and flow easier. as far as i can tell, we do, indeed, have all of the music at this point, including a “patter song” á la Gilbert & Sullivan, which should make the show a good deal more entertaining than it was this summer.

the fremont phil is playing for the traditional, annual lighting of lenin tomorrow, and snake suspenderz is playing for the drawing jam at the gage art academy on saturday.

鮭汁

鮭汁

so i’ve been feeling really subdued since being cracked last week… despite the fact that it didn’t really affect me that much, and i recovered quickly and completely with no more hassle and upset than the crack caused itself, i just haven’t felt like communicating that much.

we have only just gotten started with the panto rehearsals, although my understanding is that the players have actually been working separately for some time. we’ve only got a few weeks before the show goes live, and it has been almost completely rewritten between OCF and now, so it would really be good if things were moving somewhat more quickly, but i imagine it will all work out in the end.

snake suspenderz has a gig at mosaic coffee house on friday, which nobody remembered until i made some comment about a week ago that i had this gig on my schedule… and, at first, it was dismissed as a hallucination until hobbit realised that he had, in fact, scheduled the gig. we were doing really well, had a whole bunch of gigs in a row there for a while, and were making regular money busking, but recently it’s gone downhill, and we haven’t even rehearsed since the middle of last month.

the sousa bash went off without a hitch, and the sousa band is now officially on vacation until spring, with the exception of the phinney ridge holiday festival, which i’m not sure i’m going to this year, because it is REALLY crowded.

busking

hat formerly belonging to Jon H. Stebbinsi got up at an unreasonably early hour this morning and went down to the FSM to busk.

while there, i found one of the vendors had a hat for sale for $10, that i couldn’t resist. it’s not a costume hat, it’s a real, authentic, merchant marine hat, that probably belonged to an officer. inside the hat was a little printed card that said “Return this Bernard Cap to:” that had the name, address and phone number of someone who was completely unknown to the person from whom i bought the hat.

i googled the name, and came up with some confusing results. googling for Jon H. Stebbins – the name as it is actually written on the card – gets no results, but it asks if i meant to type “John H. Stebbins” and gives a lot of nautical and marine references for that spelling. the one, glaring exception to this is the record of the courts opinion in reference to the case of U.S. versus Stebbins, from 2005, in which John H. Stebbins, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, raped his 6-year-old daughter, was convicted in a military court, and was sentenced to life without parole, plus a $75,000 fine. the opinion of the court was that he deserved everything he got…

however, if i just google Jon Stebbins, the first results i get have to do with the author of the book Dennis Wilson, The Real Beach Boy, The Lost Beach Boy and other classics…

i’m not sure either one of these is the Jon H. Stebbins that previously owned my hat, but if that’s the sort of people i’m going to find when i search for him, i think i’ll give it a miss…

it’s a cool hat, though… 8)

busking went really well, despite the fact that we were a trio (sketch had another engagement). we got a lot of really positive feedback from the people in charge, and made a fair amount of money at the same time. i could get used to this… 8)

classic picture

from 1201 3rd ave suite 2200
snake suspenderz played a 90-minute gig at Davis Wright Tremaine law office, on 3rd avenue in downtown seattle the other night. it was kinda weird, because there were a huge crowd of people, but they were not listening to us… seriously, we got more compliments from the wait-staff that were hired caterers than we got from the law-office-related people, and we didn’t get that many compliments from the caterers… it’s really strange to not get confirmation that we’re doing a good job… they paid us $400 in advance, and from what little i gathered, they were more than satisfied with the job that we did, but they didn’t say anything specific, and they didn’t say they were going to hire us again… which the guy whose party we played at last week, did…

the law offices occupied at least 5 floors of the office building, but we played in the entrance lobby on the 22nd floor, which had a classic view of the sound, and i couldn’t resist taking a few pictures… πŸ˜‰