Saturday, May 31, 2008

Faves

Favorite memories from last weekend at the Gorge (in no particular order):

(1) Listening to Reggie Watts' hilarious rap called "Fuck Shit Stack".

(2) Chatting with some guy named Chris about how he enjoyed our music for ten minutes before realizing that it was Chris Walla from Death Cab.

(3) Free ice cream. Duh.

(4) Hiding under my keyboard to get out of the rain during "Shape Song".

(5) John O's way-out-west oracle The Quorble.

(6) Jen's delicious 'pookle rolls' (bread with cheese, meat, and veggies baked inside it).

(7) Yellow shirts.

(8) Fleet Foxes.

(9) Weird, dispersed rainbows on the horizon on Saturday.

(10) Every single moment spent on the main stage.

Least favorite memories:

(1) Getting a speeding ticket one hundred yards from the main entrance to the amphitheater.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Sasquatch pics



That's us, dressed in yellow shirts just like the security team.
Photo courtesy of Moxie. Some more HERE thanks to Sarah.


RE: Celebrity Encounters
Okay, so on Sunday, a couple of hours after our set, I find myself in the meal tent in line behind Michael Franti. He'd just played his set, so I said:
"Hey, that was a great set. I was totally on the side of the stage bouncing up and down..."
MF turns around:"Thank you very much. Hey-- weren't you in that first band?"
Me: "Yeah, "Awesome"."
MF: "Yeah, right! You're the banjo player, right?"
Me: "Yeah."
MF: "That was some great stuff. Really interesting sound. What's your name?"
Me: "Uh, David."
MF: "Nice to meet you. I really liked that sound check song too."
Me: "Oh yeah, thanks. We have a lot of instruments to check, so it's, uh, useful to have a song that, uh..."
MF: "Where are you guys from?"
Me: "Seattle."
MF: "Cool."
Me: "Well, anyway, I'm just gonna grab some water here..." and then I cut around him to grab a bottle of water for Jen, sick with the flu, laying in the grass outside near the hospitality yurt.

-David

P.S. Do you have pictures from Sasquatch? We wanna see!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Back from Sasquatch!

The third in a series of posts with "Sasquatch!" in the title.

As you might gather from the photo below, we had a blast-squatch at Sasquatch. Though that glorious sunshine didn't last long into our set. The rain started to spit down about a third of the way through and we all secretly hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of the Sasquatch Hailstorm '06. Or, you know, the thunderstorms that were predicted for that day. 

As it turned out, the rain eased up by the end of our set and everyone was still smiling, both on and off the stage. Exeunt rain for the rest of the day, thankfully.

Many thanks to all our peeps who were front and center and to all the folks under ponchos and garbage bags who stuck out the precipitation to hear us play the brunch slot. 

Thanks to Steve, the stage manager and the Carlson Audio crew for being the exact opposite of surly and mean. And especially for letting our sound guy Kevin shadow them so he could learn how to play a Midas P-85444SX1 v9 SuperTurbo Sound Lever Table (or whatever it's called, Kevin was really excited about it. And thanks to Kevin for making us sound great!)

Thanks to Victoria for the photos - which we will link to or post very soon.
Thanks to Moxie, Sarahalfreda, JBF, MvF and The Britt for the moral support and making us look totally popular. 
Thanks to the Ice Cream Man because, duh. Free ice cream!
Thanks to the blue wristbands for the all-but-The-Cure access.
Thanks to all the folks in other bands, famous and otherwise, for being really cool and making it a welcoming and relaxed environment. 

Thanks to Sasquatch for a well-run festival. Thanks to geology for The Gorge. Thanks to Steve Poole for the beautiful day. 

Happy Memorial Day!

Mainstage at Sasquatch!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Off to Sasquatch!


I got my flashlight, snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen, (sorry Mr. Sun!), snickerdoodles, musical instruments... I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

wheeeeeee!

Friday, May 23, 2008

From my backyard last night

Sarah and I got home from an art show opening in Bellevue last night, and a couple houses down, our neighbors were having a party in their backyard with live music. Here's some of what we heard from our backyard (accompanied by a creepy long-exposure photo that Sarah took while we were listening).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The power of naaah nah nah na-na-na-naaah



Out of interest, I borrowed The McCartney Years from the library -- everything Paul McCartney stuffed into 3 dvds, including footage of a 2004 concert he gave at Glastonbury when he was 62 years old and had acumulated enough wealth to deck the stage with multiple pianos, high-grade teleprompters, several jets of fire, and thunderous explosions of fireworks that would make Zeus pee. But everything -- age and wealth included -- peeled away when he played "Hey, Jude." We ALL know the words, especially during the end-part.

It reminded me of when I was at Easy Street Records and "Yellow Submarine" came on. Every single patron in the store was singing, out loud or to themselves, and some were even dancing. Paul Mac and the Beatles need no extra rah-rah-ing from me, I'm just sayin' that getting the world to sing along unabashedly is an amazing feat, and I'm happy to experience such a thing in my lifetime.

typewriter says...

Checkmate!


















Do. you. want. to. play. a. game?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I See That and Raise You This

It's one thing to graduate from a high-minded art school, but what about blue-collar artists? (There's no answer, but I thought it was pretty interesting, specifically the last third:)

"Take away the time to do something creative, the space to do it in, and the education to even know such things are possible, and you get what we've got now. What passes for American culture."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Or even better....

Read Craig Lucas' fantastic commencement speech on why artists need to ignore critics and just keep doing their art. Inspiring stuff!

An excerpt:
The only people who should be allowed to care, really care, about your awards and raves, besides your agent, manager, accountant and, of course, audiences, are your mom ... and potential dates. If you cling to any of what is said about you -- good or bad -- you're dead. Those are the ones you see on E! stumbling in and out of limousines, showing off their pooter.


And another piece of sage advice:

You want to drink and get laid, and I want that for you, I really do.

And thank YOU most of all, Seattlest!

For finally taking the shot we've left wide open for you (and everyone else) since 2004. 

From their review of the OtB NWNW show:
"... while 'Awesome' was anything but..."
Succinct, swift and bitingly dismissive. Points subtracted for taking so long to grab at such low-hanging fruit, but our name has finally,  finally been used against us. 

It cannot be denied. We got served.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hey Thanks!


...to all who came to see Nighttime Forest Fire at On The Boards this weekend. It was fun.


Next stop: Sasquatch!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Man Talk

Overheard:

[Two hipsters on the sidewalk. A very long pause. Then...]

HIPSTER1: Do you listen to Rush?

HIPSTER2: Holy fuck, yes!


Happy birthday, Doctor

Jen got me a birthday cake.




Luckily, I didn't have to eat it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dear Sun,

Please come back soon. We really really miss you.


























Thanks.

Love,
Your friends in "Awesome" 
and everyone else here who is slowly being murdered by cloudy wet coldness.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Check out the King of Thailand!



I mean, what kind of country has a saxophone player as king? Imagine if ROB was the king of The U.S.A. King Rob. I mean seriously.

I think "Awesome" needs to do some kind of tribute to the King of Thailand. At Sasquatch.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

We Need a New Rehearsal Space!


Goodbye rehearsal space! It's been nice knowing you. We've rehearsed in you for -what? a year or two now? I'll always remember the dankness and the smell. And the terrible tryin-real-hard rock band practicing next door. We called them "Shadow Meat". Also the really sub-par graffiti in the bathroom. Oh well, bon voyage!

Anyway, now we're on the lookout for a new place. Sometime in the next month or two. Do you know of a place? Ideally it would be:
(a) cheap. I dunno what we're paying for a space now. But the less we spend on a practice space, the more we can spend on hookers and blow.
(b) Close to Capitol Hill! Five of us live here, so it'd be awful neat to be close by. But hey, don't sweat it, we'll drive anywhere. Greenhouse gasses you say? Don't make me leave a carbon footprint on your ass!
(c) large enough fit 7 guys and a bazillion instruments.
(d) just for us! Well, we'd be willing to share with another band of course, but it would be super swell if we didn't have to. That's probably hoping for too much though. Does your band need someone to share your practice space with?
(e) a minimum of spiders. And squid. We hate squid.

Anyone? Anyone?

Here's another picture of us in our current space. And a pair of sideburns too! (If the new space doesn't have sideburns, that's okay.) Also -- you can see the infamous Jen Zeyl in the background, so this must have been when we were rehearsing Here's What Happened.

Awwwwww...


My dentist called me this morning to say that they were actually able to do both fillings last Monday, so they don't need me to come in this morning. No more nitrous oxide for me. I was going to try listening to The Soft Bulletin. Oh well. More incentive to eat sugar I guess.

-David

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I love you, Sally

Ever since the renovation and reinvigoration of several Seattle library branches -- including the grand stoner adventure that is the Central Library -- I've been hooked on knowledge! Well, this groovy infection now spreads to Madrona this weekend: On Saturday, knowledge-seekers and free-food-seekers (we are all one) can attend the re-opening of the Madrona-Sally Goldmark branch, named after 1970s Madrona Community Council president...Irma Ringe. The blood-pumping action runs from noon to 4pm at 1134 33rd Ave.

Recent knowledge tools borrowed from the library system:

- Bill Monroe: The Father of Bluegrass
- Quaristice by Autechre - not recommended for your nitrous adventure, David
- Surfer Rosa by The Pixies
- Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Earthlight by Andre Breton
- Live Free or Die Hard

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Music Suggestions?

I'm going back to the dentist on Friday for more nitrous oxide fun.  And I get to bring my iPod and listen to whatever I want.  So what should I listen to? 

-David

Sasquatch! Guide

Pick up the latest issue of Seattle Sound magazine for your guide to Sasquatch! (and check out page 95)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Seis de Mayo!

Since you've no doubt got Mexican-style songs still on the brain after yesterday's festivities, let's all sing along to one of "Awesome"'s favorites:

La Cucaracha!
Translated  from the original Spanish

Okay, everyone turn to page 262 of Jerry Silverman's Folk Song Encyclopedia, Vol. I.
We'll start with the first verse, all together now!
When a fellow loves a maiden/and that maiden doesn't love him,
It's the same as when a bald man/finds a comb upon the highway.
Well, not a connection I would have made, per se. 
But let's try the chorus!
La cucaracha, la cucaracha/doesn't want to travel on,
Because she hasn't, oh no she hasn't/Marihuana for to smoke.
Wha-HAAAAAAT? Jerry Silverman, you subversive stoner devil! 
Let's see what the other verses have in store.
All the maidens are of pure gold/All the married girls are silver;
All the widows are of copper/And old women merely tin.
All right, line up ladies: Gold in front, silver behind them. Copper and tin, I'll totally be calling you later.
My neighbor across the highway/Used to be called Dona Clara,
And if she has not expired/Likely that's her name tomorrow.
Okay, is that not actually hilarious? In like a "dad joke" kinda way?
All the girls up at Las Vegas/Are most awful tall and skinny,
But they're worse for plaintive pleading/Than the souls in Purgatory.
Yeah, Vegas! wooho-! 
Wait, I think there was a moral caution in that verse...
...
...
...Yeah, Vegas! Sing the part about weed again!
All the girls here in the city/Don't know how to give you kisses,
While the ones from Albuquerque/Stretch their necks to avoid misses.
City women = prudes.
Albuquerque women = sluts. 
Check!
One thing makes me laugh most hearty/Pancho Villa with no shirt on,
Now the Carranzistas beat it/Because Villa's men are coming.
Woaahhhhaaaaa hahahaa! 
Pancho Vi...! no shir...! Ha... ! [gasp!]
Then...! [pant!]
Those STUPID Carranzistas...! HA!  Do you GET it?
No shirt!! 
Now here come Villa's men!!!!

Ahh... I laugh most hearty...


And that's some quality sing-along time with La Cucaracha, thanks to our pal Jerry Silverman. 
Thanks Jerry!

Until next time, adios Carranzistas!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nitrous for Cinco de Mayo!


Just got back from the dentist. It's a new dentist. (My old one was very nice, but was getting old and had very shaky hands.) It turns out you can get nitrous for only $30 here! Hell yeah I'll take some nitrous with that filling! They also have a big collection of CDs so you can put on headphones and listen to music while you're high. I took a quick look at their stack and then grabbed Elton John's greatest hits. Then I tell them that I have a really low tolerance for pain, so the more nitrous the better. "Oh, in that case, I'll put it up to 10. If it's too much, just start breathing through your mouth," says the assistant. I make sure to not breathe through my mouth. Also, right after I started breathing it in, I got the idea that I should get my little moleskin notebook and take notes. Of course, I already had the dental dam thing and other various instruments in my mouth, so I had to do a lot of gesturing and miming to get the assistant to go through my coat and find the notebook. Then push play on the CD player and relax. It was so fantastic. Of course, I couldn't see what I was writing in the notebook. I tried to draw a picture of the dentist. You can see the results. I have no idea where the fish came from.

It's a strange thing. Here I am getting totally high in a perfectly legal way right in front of two total strangers. The dentist occasionally messes with me: "Can you open your mouth and we're going to swish you out here. Don't worry, we siphon this right out of an old beer bottle. Just kidding! That's a little nitrous joke, you know."

I'm going back on Friday for some more filling work. I think I might sneak in my digital audio recorder and get a sound recording of it all. Maybe I could turn it into a 12 Minutes Max piece.

Here's another page of free writing I did while in the dentist's chair:


Translation:
"Big bang. then bla bla bla and stuff... bla bla bla and then my parents are under a tarp in 1968, high out of their minds and the rain on that tarp and they're writing with pens, more in love than any pair of fucked up people can be... Black Bart the LSD man... then... me. Next thing you know I'm at the dentist with nitrous. The dentist is telling me I should have put him scuba diving in that school of fish... Jen I love you. I love so so much. Wanna see a movie?"

Down in the lobby of the building where my dentist is, they're giving away free chips and salsa and Mexican soda pops for Cinco de Mayo. Just the thing to grind into my new fillings with my numb face.

-David

Hey, What Did You Do This Weekend?

And can they all start with W?

Watched 30 Rock
Worked on wine options
Washed clothes
Watched rock explode softly
Wished I hadn't drank so much
Watched The Weather Underground
Waited a long time for strawberry pancakes
Went to Stanwood
Worked on feng shui
Walked around in the sun
Watched Carrier
Wondered when David can make that painting because we have a wall aching for it

Yes. Yes, they can. Also, I ate three hot dogs. What about you?

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Discovery

(a piece of music)

INGREDIENTS:

2 violins
2 violinists
4 timpani
2 stools
2 shy children
1 microphone on a stand
30 woodblocks played by MIDI-controlled devices
1 french horn
1 large oxygen cylinder
1 tape recorder
1 giant castle set constructed by Rob Witmer

EXECUTION:

1.) Lights up on 2 violinists, who begin playing a canon duet that grows in complexity and dischord.

2.) 2 shy children peek from behind the curtain. They whisper to each other, continually venturing onstage then retreating backstage as 4 timpani descend from the rafters.

3.) A spotlight bleats on, exhibiting a french horn connected to a large oxygen cylinder. The audience laughs.

4.) The timpani rest silently on the stage floor. The violin duet grows menacing. Giggling from the children backstage.

5.) The audience laughs again, though nothing has happened.

6.) The children reluctantly emerge, each with 2 mallets. One crawls onto a stool placed between 2 of the timpani. The other approaches the microphone stand and spends 1 full minute adjusting the stand height. The child speaks into the microphone: "There were 3 ships. It was raining. No one knew who they were...the men rowing to the shore. It was pretty scary." The child scampers hastily to the second stool positioned behind the other 2 timpani.

7.) An awkward note blurts from the french horn, courtesy of the oxygen tank. No one laughs. The violins stop.

8.) From pure silence, the 2 children begin playing the 4 timpani very tentatively. They have no prior percussive experience. Slowly, they begin to crescendo and play more rapidly.

9.) As the timpani sounds increase, the child's voice is heard as if amplified, though no one stands at the microphone: "There were 3 ships. It was raining. No one knew who they were...the men rowing to the shore."

10.) The french horn blurts out another note. A tape recorder falls from the rafters onstage and smashes into pieces. It still manages to play its tape, though greatly distorted: the sound of audience laughter.

11.) The 2 violinists begin playing again. Suddenly, 30 woodblocks operated by MIDI-controlled devices break into an unbearable cacophony. Over the noisescape, the child's disembodied voice is heard again: "It was pretty scary."

12.) The 4 timpani begin to rise back into the rafters with the 2 children still playing. Once they are out of sight, a massive castle set crashes thunderously onto the stage. All sound stops. Dust clouds swirl. After 10 minutes, the lights begin to fade. It takes half an hour before they reach black.

accordion student of the week


Meet Lucy, from New York. She played the clarinet in grade school, but is now interested in playing the accordion. As you can see, my Petosa accordion was a bit large for her, so I ended up having her play the concertina. Lucy has been busy acting in a play, but she found time to come see "Awesome" last Saturday at Neumo's. Thanks for playing, Lucy!