Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Special Guests for NYE!

Wanted to let you know that tonight at the Rendezvous for the NYE celebration, there'll be some exciting "special" guests: Jose Bold, doing some numbers from the new december album, plus the HALF BROTHERS, featuring this guy, Rick Miller:

(photo courtesy of Beelzebub)

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Few Words About NYE

Okay, now that we ate Christmas, we're putting together the order for NYE. Any song requests?

Jose Bold will launch Operation Destroy All That Was 2008. The Half Brothers will counter-attack with a short set, then "A" will finish off the carcass through midnight.

Our apologies in advance if some of you don't get seats; we're not really in control of the door situation but we'll do our best. Our advice would be to arrive at 9:15pm, pay at the main door, and form a little line at the Jewel Box entrance. We'll open the JB doors at 9:30 and commence the out-rocking shortly thereafter.

Oh, and if any of you have a mechanized singing Christmas toy, and are coming to the show, would you bring it?

See you then.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowpocalypse Status Update

Basil: Snowed in at home.
Evan: Snowed in at home.
JohnO: Snowed in at home.
JohnA: Snowed in at home.
Kirk: Snowed in at home.

Rob: Status pending. Probably at Fifth Avenue Theatre.

David: Belize

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


On JohnO's NEW December album!
Just kidding, it's not a sale.
He's giving it away free online.
As free as the wind blows.
As free as the nose blows.
Olé! Olé! Let's all go swimming!

Here's What I Came Up With

Jingle cat,
Jingle door,
Jingle sufficiently the stamen.

Oh what John Quincy Adams it finishes to 12-grain,
In a Sikhism-Chinese Star open Krokus.

Yeah, that was a dumb post.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Got Any Posts for This Blog?

Not really, it's pretty quiet. So here's a holiday Madlib to keep you entertained!

Jingle __(noun)__,
Jingle __(noun)__,
Jingle __(adverb)__ the __(sex organ)__.

Oh what __(former President)__ it __(verbs)__ to __(type of bread)__,
In a __(religion)-(murder weapon)__ open __(metal band)__.

We'll turn the best one into a song at our New Year's Show*!

*No we won't

Friday, December 5, 2008

Immaculate Conception

We've been working on a film score for The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, a feature film by l'extraordinaire David Russo (whose video provided the moving backdrop for noSignal). I can't sum it up for you, but it's got janitors, breathtaking animation, and the harmonic convergence of unlikely people through even unlikelier means. And Dizzle will now be appearing at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A big fatty fat fat YAY to that: !!!

After Dizzle, we should re-score this.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Best Resurgence of a Theremin (nerd-pop)

Look! We made a Best-Of-2008 list!

Spam Subjectline of the Day

"Kanye West's mother's plastic surgeon speaks."

This sentence reminds me of one of the things I love about language: From a few simple rules, an indefinite number of different things can result. For example, here we have the rule that

For any grammatically well formed sentence of the form "Noun verbs" (e.g., "Kanye West speaks"), we may make a new well formed sentence by making the noun possessive and adding a new noun after it.

So "Kanye West speaks" becomes "Kanye West's mother speaks" which becomes "Kanye West's mother's plastic surgeon speaks."

-which can become, "Kanye West's mother's plastic surgeon's scalpel speaks."

-which can become...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Who's the Nerd King of "Awesome"?

At the last party at Rob's, I was trying to figure out who is the nerdiest member of "Awesome" by assigning Nerd Points based on various things. But, being not exactly sober at the time, I keep forgetting what the various Nerd Rules are, and how many points each person has.

For example:
1. Add a point if you played D&D.
2. Add a point for each computer language you know.
3. Add 2 points if you get the math jokes in Futurama.
4. Add a point if you think recursion is cool.
5. Add a point if you built scale models of planes, trains, boats, etc.
6. Add another point if you still have your models.
7. ?

I was trying not to add Nerd Rules that specifically apply to just one person. (Like, no fair saying "Add a point if you got a Ph.D. in philosophy", or "add a point if you have electronic bagpipes".) So help me think of some more Nerd Rules so we can really settle this once and for all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008


Boredom + Silence = bad movie

I'm bored at work. And I share my office with some other teachers, one of whom is having teacher-student conferences in here right now. Which means I can't blast music, or watch movies with the sound on or anything. Man, that sucks for me. So I decided to make a 1 minute "movie" (mostly using random clips from YouTube) without getting to listen to the sound as I made it. It looks pretty bad without the sound. I guess I'll listen to it when I get home tonight.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Primary III

Oh you're so ________.
You made __ of them.
Do ___ think we'll know?
Of course they _____.

Primary II

Look at all this money!
More for everyone!
Take what you want!
You can wash the blood off later!


I appreciate yellow in the morning.
I understand a green midday.
I sympathize with the afternoon blue.
I'm not having you at night, red.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The "Awesome" Cycle is Now Closed.

And now it's time to give thanks...

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who came to see it, and especially to those people who came to see all four weekends.

Special thanks to all of our special guests:
Allison Narver
Lane Czaplinski
Tracy Hyland
Tim Hyland
Eric Ray Anderson
Sean Nelson
Mark Siano & The Freedom Dancers
Rick Miller
SuttonBeresCuller (As the 3 Fates. Did you get it? huh? huh?)
Sarah Ackermann

Thanks to our extra special photographers, Victoria I & Victoria II.

Thanks to people who came and worked the merch table or who ushered.

Thanks to our sound board operators, Angie & Ilvs

Thanks to Alyssa Byer at ACT who made this go smoothly (and whose birthday was yesterday -- happy birthday!)

Thanks to Carlo Scandiuzzi at ACT who we've been talking with for over a year about doing this and who finally made it happen.

And last but not least, an extremely special thanks to our stage manager Matthew Echert, who put up with all our insanity and made sure that we actually remembered to walk on stage, and was able to tech and call all of these shows on the fly and did a million other absolutely essential things.

Okay, now it's time to go back to bed. I'm exhausted.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Preview for the "Awesome" Cycle's Last Weekend

Your last chance to catch the "Awesome" Cycle, and the only chance to catch chapter IV: Tonight, Friday @8PM, and tomorrow Saturday at 8 & 10:30PM. Once again, this is happening at ACT.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Awesome" Art

Above: "Awesome"-themed art from my good friend Emerald, age 5-ish.

And speaking of awesome art, SuttonBeresCuller, the folks who brought you THIS:

are the special guests this weekend at the "Awesome" Cycle.
There is so much weird art crap in Bullitt theater at ACT right now thanks to them. It's fantastic.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

American Election

-Photo by Victoria Lahti (aka Victoria I)

Thanks again all who came. We laughed, we cried, we took back the country.

This coming weekend (Nov 14-15) is the last weekend of the "Awesome" Cycle. Chapter IV is The Littlest Bang.

Shows have been selling out, so if you wanna catch the last chapter, buy your tickets ASAP! (Also, you have a better chance of getting in at the 10:30 Saturday show.)

Here's my attempts to come up with taglines for the final weekend:
"In space no one can hear you sing."
"Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the theater..."
"I wish I could quit you"
"I know what you did last weekend"
"The fourth and final chapter in the trilogy"
"The wrong men. In the wrong place. At the right time."
"Audry Hepburn at her Oscar-winning best in an immortal comedy-romance!"
"Unspeakable horrors from outer space paralyze the living and resurrect the dead!"
"They'll never get caught. They're on a mission from God."

Feel free to add your own.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did


For those we ran into at the celebratory mob on Pike & Broadway, I was a little overwhelmed and don't remember what we talked about, so could you email me the details? Greeeeeat, thanks!

Obama is my president. Yes, he is.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Who's it gonna be?

While we all eagerly await results and obsessively watch polit-blogs and polling widgets, why don't you listen to our hopeful political prediction song?

And then, in three days, come to the Bullitt cabaret, hop on our Cycle, and celebrate America with us. There may be pie.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thanks all who came to the Funeral for Indie Rock.

We laughed and we cried and we learned a lot:
  1. VW killed Indie Rock.
  2. 'Indie' stands for 'Indonesian'.
  3. It's hard to sleep after a funeral (unless you have pills).
  4. Emerald is cute.
  5. Sean Nelson makes a great Robert Smith.

Anything I'm missing?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Funeral for Indie Rock

Tonight and tomorrow at ACT

(photo by Victoria II)

We are very sorry for your loss.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Stranger review of The "Awesome" Cycle

Review available HERE.

Tickets available HERE.

Puppies available HERE.

Rainbows available HERE.

President Elect McBama Obain available HERE.

A thing in a jar available HERE.

Mustache champions available HERE.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Official Letter of Bereavement

click the image to see a larger version.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A roof raisin' good time

Thanks to all those who came out to see Chapter 1 of The "Awesome" Cycle: Seven Brides for Seven Band Members
Next week, Chapter 2: A Funeral for Indie Rock!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Well, Paul, I'll tell you: there's a fine line between awake and aware. Some would say it's the R. It's where dreams take root, ideas are crafted from paper, sweat, and other ideas. Only you have the power to unlock your dreams and force them into slavery. Enslave your dreams! Achieve success beyond your wildest reality for dreams have no place here!!!


JAMES used to be a loser. He used to worry about if he was harnessing the power of his dreams. Thanks to our program, he stripped the thought-bark from the trees of his mind. Now he drives a Buick Enclave! Dreams!

SANDY is an accountant who eats out at every meal and does not tip. Dreams!

JOSIAHAISOJ is a carpenter's apprentice, his name is a palindrome. Dreams!

X is a letter I've taken back from the alphabet. I don't need it anymore. Dreams!

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS A SHADOW FORCE and I am no longer under their tyranny! Dreams!


Filter II Release Party tonight

If you like books and poetry and stuff, come on down to the Hugo House tonight. Around 18 poets will do 4 minute poetry readings, and the Half Brothers will do 2 or 3 songs, and so will Jose Bold. And it's free. It's all to celebrate the release of Filter vol. II.
Here's what the Stranger has to say about Filter:

Each copy of Filter—a local literary occasional—should cost hundreds of dollars in labor and materials alone. [But the median cost is only $35.] Editor Jennifer Borges Foster makes each one by hand, sewing the binding, hand-tearing the paper, even hand-inking some of the pages. Inside the second edition of Filter: an essay on cancer and geology by Trisha Ready, literary readymades by Rebecca Brown, symbolist poems ("music cracking in the fingernail") by John Olson, short plays by John Osebold, and more. At the release party: 18 readings, two musical interludes by members of "Awesome," and wine. (Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030. 7–9 pm, free.) -Brendan Kiley

You can also see pictures and order your own copy HERE.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

7 Brides for 7 Band Members

If you come to see The "Awesome" Cycle this weekend, you might see this:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Bee Gees Save Lives

Of course, there was no hard data to back that up. Until now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dept. of corrections for mistakes we didn't make but feel need correcting anyway because we're considerate of our fans' time and attention PART II

Linens 'n Things is closing. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We [know] how you love linens. And things. Sorry, 'n things.

Dept. of corrections for mistakes we didn't make but feel need correcting anyway because we're considerate of our fans' time and attention.

We are not playing at Nectar tomorrow night, as CultureMob would have you believe. That's an errant re-listing of a show we played there last month, it appears.
Instead, there will be an electronica battle to determine who will rule the Kingdom of Drum and who will be Prince of Bassland.
If you don't believe me, ask Nectar.

To recap, you won't see us at Nectar tomorrow night, but you will see us at ACT theatre starting next week!

One Week Until White Bread

If you ever fall in love with a logger,
There is something you will have to understand
For as much as we may care you will always have to share
His love with his green mountain land.

BAM! Hear that, women? Don't get between the logger and his land.

Also, Bobby Sherman is a dope.

Also also, we got a new rehearsal space. It's going to be great.

Also also also, anyone want to play a New Year's Eve show with us? We need to pay rent on this mo-fo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Special thanks to the 4th Graders at Meyerson Junior Dental Academy for making this coffin for us.

You need a coffin for a funeral. And the coffin will appear in Chapter II (Oct 31- Nov 1).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jump in the pool!

Ever wonder where to put all of those amazing or embarrassing shots you have of us that're just taking up space on your camera?
Stick them in our Flickr photo pool.
We'll keep an eye on them for you while you go take pictures of a better-looking band - IF YOU CAN FIND ONE.

It's easy!
See? Here's one left with us by the talented Flickr member, human? (I think she's from Denmark or something. It's pronounced "Jenny" in our language.):

Let's see, if memory serves this photo is from our Oct. 11 show at Chop Suey...

JohnO is talking about his aphorism theory, Rob is trying to get water out of his left ear and onto his "dry reed", Evan is pushing out more beard hair, Eric is getting ready to head east, David's legs got amputated by accident during Basil's arc-welding demonstration. Turned out to be a great bit, though. We're probably going keep it for our ACT show.
And JohnA is trying to ask the sound guy for more drummer vocals in his monitor. Or he's playing the mandolin, can't really tell in this picture.

Anyway, add your favorite "A" photos to our photo pool today!
Or tomorrow!
Or whenever!
Thanks Jenny!

Monday, October 13, 2008

We Got a Kitty!

Here's the band's new cat, Bandy!

He's actually very sweet. Also, my name is not Eric.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Playing the Banjo During Brain Surgery


In other news: thanks to all who came out to Chop Suey last night. A very fun night it was. It's too bad the Trucks are breaking up. They've got a good thing going.

It's now less than TWO WEEKS until THE "AWESOME" CYCLE opens. You can still get tickets HERE.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Special Guests for The "Awesome" Cycle

Weekend 1 = theater
Weekend 2 = music
Weekend 3 = dance
Weekend 4 = visual arts

Carp Stoner Rock

Today I met a man named Sandro, visiting from Italy to pursue his lifelong adoration of rock. We met in front of the Singles building and he told me about his great idea for a music genre: Carp Stoner Rock. Sandro, if you're reading this, I apologize for probably misspelling your name and most likely misinterpreting the title of your fantastic new genre...even though you may have inadvertently given birth to a much more important one.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bach Licked Jackson

I just thought you might want to listen.

I Fooled Around And Fell In Love

Yesterday on the way to work, KEXP just wasn't playing anything good, so I surfed the radio and ended up on some classic rock station that was playing Elvin Bishop's I Fooled Around And Fell In Love. Now it's been stuck in my head ever since. Even as I was trying to go to bed and when I woke up this morning. But in my half-asleep state, the words of the chorus kept changing to things like these:

My Shoes are Brown (I Stepped in Mud)
I Mooed a Cow with Bells and Hooves
I Glued You Down and Fed you Runts
I Screwed a Clown who Sells me Nuts
High Dudes are Bound to Miss the Bus
I Truly Found a Melting Stump
I Do Not Pound; I Belly-Rub.
My Studebaker Smells like Blood

Feel free to add you own in the comments.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Blah blah blah

I bet that none of you come here for politics, but in case you haven't seen this, it's an enjoyable read worth five minutes of your day. Especially if you've ever watched an episode of the West Wing and ardently wished that Bartlet was actually a former POTUS.

Now, back to what's really important!

Oh, also: apparently some dudes are gonna argue about stuff or something tonight. Could be interesting, I dunno. Also try to remember to vote. Sometime in November, I think.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Proceeding as planned

Rehearsals for "The 'Awesome' Cycle" coming up at ACT are going well so far. 
This week, we refined a few song ideas based on a little process we like to call Kunjabunja, we learned some songs from a little musical we like to call Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, we drank some beer, we created some more of the aforementioned Kunjabunjas (NOTE: more focus equals better 'bunjas), Basil had a hard time with bass solos, John didn't see a doctor for his malaria or whatever, we talked about how we need a retreat and won't have time for one in '08, we learned how actually easy it was to play steel drums, John A was missed, we practiced harmonies, Rob was a great rehearsal captain, songs that have Cobra and Forest in the title are winners, Trader Joe's spinach and feta mini-pizzas make a good dinner two nights in a row and Kirk broke his car but got it fixed the next day for $40. 

(John O celebrating the temporary fix of Kirk's car. Or maybe he's just always happy. Could be either.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Philosophy & Poetry

In a couple of weeks -- starting October 9 -- I'll be co-teaching (with the talented Jennifer Borges Foster) a class on Philosophy & Poetry at The Hugo House. It's a 6-week class (Oct 9-Nov 13), meeting 4pm-6pm on Thursdays. The class is primarily a writing class for people who want their poetry to have more philosophical substance without being clichéd or obvious or preachy, etc. We'll also learn about llamas.

If you're interested, or you have a friend that might be interested in taking the class, register by calling 206-322-7030.

(This has been a public service announcement brought to you by The Ball Machine and Floating Man.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

last night's show in Fremont

hours spent at venue: 8
drink tickets given to Rob: 2
weird sparkling fruit water drinks consumed: 2
visits to restroom due to said drinks: 5
free sushi eaten: 0
birthdays celebrated by friends in attendance: 2
reprimands by venue staff: 2
minutes our set got cut short: 25
songs we played after we were asked to be done: 1
bizarre drunken compliments received: 6
times my phone died: 2
clock display when I got home: 3:32

thanks to those who came and had a good time with us
thanks audiosocket and brian (our sound man)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Rob!

Congrats to our trusty accordion/sax/clarinet/cowbell/triangle/anything-else-you-can-imagine-so-long-as-it-doesn't-have-strings player, who is now of the age of consent!
Yay Rob!

Feel free to put your favorite memories of Rob in the comments.

The Postcards

The last time I saw them was at the Shrine. We were out in LA in '73 for the Grammys. The LA scene had gotten so snowy, you couldn't find a person who wasn't out of their band, out of their relationship, out of their mind, or just out of options.

I stepped out onto the wide balcony at the Shrine and had a final cigarette--at least for the night. I told the seat holder to get comfortable and I grabbed an extra martini.

She was so far out of my mind that her orbit hadn't yet made the long, slow turn back. And yet I got the signal. I looked up. The moon was full but so empty. I took the glass with me and walked out through the kitchen, down the street and caught a cab. The song was playing on the car radio, like a practical joke:

I own the tailors face and hands. I am the tailors face and hands.

I had been chasing it for so long that not even the chase was interesting anymore. I decided not to chase her this time, either. I just wanted to sleep.

I slept for 15 years.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hey, so...

I'm getting married today. So that's pretty cool.

Friday, September 5, 2008

About Theater

About that upcoming ACT show. It might not be what you think it is.

Also, am I eating something?

Theater mash-up

So we went and performed a showcase at the Western Arts Alliance booking conference last night. We shared the stage with many other fine acts like Circus Contraption and Marya Sea Kaminski. I think people liked our portion of the show. There were a few technical mishaps, but we had fun with them, and I think the audience enjoyed that. Most importantly, we got to perform in the Bullitt cabaret at ACT theater, which is where we'll be presenting "The Awesome Cycle" next month. The room has great acoustics and a nice vibe to it. We are going to have to knock out a few walls though, I think, and install a giant steel cage for Kirk's death defying motorcycle drumset.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Primitive scrawlings

Yes, it says "Awesome-o-saurus" and no, I didn't draw it myself.
(thanks to Ida for the photo)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New music video for What They Do

The other day friend Emerald came over and we made a little music video to What They Do. We've got a cut of it that we recently recorded at DubTrain Studios, so that's where the audio comes from. Well, except at the beginning of the video. That audio comes from Emerald. Her favorite bands are Queen, Bjork, and Devo, though she likes "Awesome" a lot too. Especially the songs that have numbers and letters.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We'll be performing a 20-min segment at LIVE! THEATRE! MASH-UP!, a showcase of seven Northwest artists as part of the Washington Arts Alliance conference on Thursday, September 4th @ 8pm in the Bullitt Cabaret @ ACT Theatre. It's open to the public, and we'd like to invite you to see it. It's basically a new "Awesome" mini-show.

Hosted by K. Brian Neel, the roster includes our friends Circus Contraption, Hand2Mouth, Marya Sea Kaminski, theater simple, UMO Ensemble, and your seven brides of "A" closing out the evening.

Tickets are $15, available here or by calling 206-292-7676.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Four Chapters of The "Awesome" Cycle Revealed

As you know, The "Awesome" Cycle (tickets now available) unfolds in four chapters. Our lawyers inform us that we are now allowed to tell you the details of each of these chapters:

Chapter I. (Oct 24 - 25), "Seven Brides for Seven Band Members": "Awesome" workshops its version of an American classic. Bless your beautiful hide!

Chapter II. (Oct 31 - Nov 1), "A Funeral For Indie Rock": Every generation of critics declares Rock to be dead. This time we've got the corpse to prove it. Come mourn and celebrate the passing of an important part of our heritage.

Chapter III. (Nov 7 - 8), "Election Report and Analysis": "Awesome" helps you understand how the unthinkable occurred and why we're so happy about it.

Chapter IV. (Nov 14 - 15), "The Littlest Bang": This weekend, "Awesome" finally answers the age old question, When the universe finally collapses into itself, only to be reborn again in a new Big Bang, does it actually make a sound?

BUT... Here's the thing. There's a unifying theme that, um, unifies all four weekends -- something that makes sense of what otherwise would seem to be 4 unrelated events. Can anyone figure it out? The first person to do so gets 2 free tickets to the weekend of their choice.

Anyone? Any guesses?

Friday, August 22, 2008


Live blogging from the Deca hotel in Seattle's Universtiy District! Austin is now married to Emily! Reggie Watts is a dancing fool! John O is wearing a pink tie! People are making out in the board room! Don't forget to sign the registry!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Sing Ho for the Wealthy Dead!"

-- these were the lyrics my good friend Emerald (age 5) spontaneously started singing the other day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

wish i could go

I have no idea what you are talking about
Your mouth moves only with someone's hand up your ass

Sunday, August 17, 2008

paperclip cufflinks

We played a wedding reception at the Georgetown Ballroom last night. Basil and I were dressed to the nines in our ruffled tuxedo shirts, but we both forgot to bring cufflinks! I quickly improvised two pair from some paperclips I found. Open the clip, poke it through the holes, and fold it back on each side of your cuff. It worked great! I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of this bold fashion statement.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meet The Bailiff!

In keeping with Kirk's good idea, here are some things about me. In no order whatsoever:

1. I started playing bass in high school when a friend's band asked me to replace their bass player. I'd never picked up a bass. I'm still pretty sure they chose me because I was the first person who answered the phone.

2. I've never had a bass lesson. I've been meaning to start.

3. Guitar stores are among my least favorite places. 

4. The nickname "Bailiff" came from David trying to remember my name after meeting me for the first time. Basil, Bagel, Bay Leaf, Bailiff - you get the idea. Now we live in the same building.

5. My first name rhymes with "dazzle", not "hazel". Though I have met other Basils who pronounce it the other way. Wrong.

6. I once played in a band with the daughter of Police guitarist Andy Summers. I played drums. We recorded 3 songs which were not very good.

7. If I come across as aloof onstage, I'm really just trying to stay focused. Some of our songs are pretty complicated. And I'm a little aloof.

8. Sometimes I take off my wedding ring to make it easier to play. My wife is okay with this. I think.

9. Kirk and I have known each other since high school and he's only tried to kiss me twice. He's 0 for 2 so far.

10. I believe in doing it right, making it big and giving it class. And also leadership.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Up In My Inbox

This just in:

BREAKING NEWS: Stonehenge was "Part of Crazy Golf Course for Race of Giant Humans"

Thank God THAT'S settled.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Art of the Day

I've been doing more drawing lately.  Jen put me onto this book, Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain.  It's got some great exercises in it.  The image above (click to enlarge) was drawn while looking at a photograph turned upside-down, so that my left brain wouldn't interfere and say, "oh, you're drawing a hand.  Don't worry, I know what a hand looks like."  Instead, you just draw the shapes that are right in front of you, without worrying about whether they're hands or eyes or shadows or smudges.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

RIP Issac Hayes

If James Brown was the Godfather of Soul, surely Issac must be considered its Stepbrother.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"You're too old for the music industry."

I glanced sideways with the handful of crumbly peanuts halfway to my slack-jawed maw.

"You're too old for the music industry," he repeated, emphasizing the 'O' in 'old' hoping it would drive home his point, when in fact it invoked an impromptu fantasty of driving a nail into his septum. This was a stupid Monday night.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Once you reach 30, the entrance to the rock dome disappears. Only young kids can find the way in. My advice is to give up and get a full-time job doing something that isn't painful to you."

Like driving nails into the noses of strangers with T-shirts that proudly declare 'Farting Machine'. There are lots of people in this bar, why did...wait. Rock dome?

"What makes you think I'm in music?" Hell, what makes him think I want inside a dome?

"I was listening to you on your phone back there," he answered loudly, as if he couldn't help it. As if he was raised in a jet engine.

I had been talking to my friend E-fab, who plays a gargantuan upright bass and masterfully condenses words, sometimes entire paragraphs, down to a single syllable or even one letter. He called to tell me he had to bail on a gig we had planned for the weekend. "Man, gotsta bail. Sorr'," he had said. And that was it. Yeah. We're all sorr'.

Steely Dan's King of the World hobbled sleepily in the background and I suddenly felt very old. Because I recognized the song. Yes, I'm in music, Farting Machine. But I'm not that old. You're old. And I'm different. The music I make is different. It knows no age boundaries.

Holy shit, I used 'age boundaries' in a thought sentence. Fuck.

"Listen," the Machine continued, "I love rock, man. It means more to me than anything means more to me--" I think this Monday night is a new winner "--but I learned to accept the laws of age and music. You can't break into the music scene after a certain point, it's a young man's game. Girls too yup, there's all kinds of girl bands now." I looked around to make sure no one was listening, or to see if perhaps a steaming mug of poison was nearby. "You can't make it on their terms. The A&R folks are lookin' for hot 'n' young steeds."

Wow. He did say steeds. "I'm not trying to 'make it'," I emphasized the quotation marks by showing my teeth, "I'm just playing music."

"Yup yup, that's what it's about," the Machine nodded like a goddamn horse, "But I can tell this is your life, my friend. You got a myspace...?" he had no idea what to affix myspace to. I didn't have one, in fact, because I knew it was a gateway that led to facebook. "Most of the rules have changed since I was playing in a cover band." Help. "You gotta have something different and untapped to flag people down. Everyone's got ADD. But the secret is that everything comes back to the good ol' standard thing."

"Yeah, well, I don't play the standard thing," I defied my unrequested mentor, "My stuff's pretty out-there." I'm terrible at PR.

"Anyone can play weird, man. That's nothing. What's hard is to make something amazingly simple. Like Bach. That guy was rock 'n' roll. If he was alive today, he wouldn't be shreddin' the guitar or fixin' up all those really fast beats. He'd be calmly playing something so simple it would make everyone sing along, even if there were no words. Once you can do that, you've created an axis in the music universe."

Then he went silent. As if he had accidentally stumbled onto enlightenment and left his beer-gut and farting on the barstool back on earth. The music had stopped. I stared at him as he stared into nothing, perhaps checking in with the rotation of the solar system. Then he nodded some more and stumbled toward the bathroom. His words clung to my forehead. I sat there for a half hour trying to read them again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My First Stolen Drum Set

It’s 1994. Sadiq and I, bored, head down to the UA-150 on 6th avenue. It was demolished in 2002, but back then, they were sort of like the Crest, showing 2nd run movies for $2. It was also a place where junkies and the homeless would hang out and get high or just sleep. It was kind of a cool crusty old theatre, if you didn’t mind the riff-raff. It was built in the late 60’s and was huge inside. It had a curved screen and a curved curtain that lifted up before the show.

Anyway, Sadiq and I get there super early and there’s no one inside. The only other person in the building, as far as we can tell, is the person taking money in the box office out front. (And if memory serves, that same person would run the projector too. It was a really a crappy operation.) So we’re wandering around the place. I remember looking behind the screen and seeing an old stage and a bunch of rigging and stuff. I kinda wanted to climb up in it. Right in front of the screen was a little fence made of yellow fabric that basically kept the bottom of the screen from being seen. And right behind that little fence, sitting at the bottom of the screen, was a bunch of drum set pieces: some roto toms, some cymbals, and a hi-hat stand and pedal. They look a little bit beat up, but otherwise good. Who knows how long they’d been sitting there. Maybe they belonged to a staff member whose band practiced there on off nights. Or maybe they were left there in the 1970’s when some concert happened. Who knows. Sadiq – who has been talking me into doing bad things since I was six years old – suggests that we take them. Back in '94, Sadiq and I had a band called Mah Jong which was just making a transition from folk and rap to disco and funk. (I know, I know.) So getting some drums makes sense. But just as I’m about to reach down to grab something, a patron walks in. Sadiq and I act natural and wander back up to our seats empty handed. There Sadiq hatches a plan: We wait until the movie is going. Then, when the movie comes to a dark scene, we walk down and pick up the drum pieces as if nothing is out of the ordinary, and simply walk to the side door exit.

By the time the movie starts, the theater is about half full. The movie is Carlito’s Way – which I am barely watching, because I’m too nervous about The Plan. Finally, Sadiq signals the time is right (it’s a night scene, giving off very little ambient light) and he goes first. He walks calmly down the aisle, reaches over the fabric barrier and grabs the hi-hat stand, pedal, and cymbal, and begins to walk toward the door. No problem. Then it’s my turn. I walk down and grab the roto toms and turn around. Just then the scene changes to a full daylight scene and the theater is filled with light, which is bouncing off the shiny drum heads as if they were mirrors. All heads swivel to me. After a moment’s pause, I calmly walk up the aisle as if I’m supposed to be doing this and meet Sadiq at the side door. Once we’re on the other side, we’re laughing and running toward the car with our stolen goods.

To Sadiq: Good luck in Israel. We’ll miss you.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008


Last night we played a show at Neumo's Place. Here's what I learned:

-BOAT's lead singer approaches crazy when he's singing/shouting.
-It's fantastic.
-MSHVB's drummer Marshall is 100% crazy angry when he plays.
-He's not really angry, he just pounds the living shit out of that kit.
-It's amazing.
-All three sets ended with progressive-rock suites with angular timing.
-The sound crew at Neumo's Place is so nice.
-We had great sound, from what the peanut gallery told us.
-People are taking to the new material, all one song of it.
-It's promising.
-John Ackermann puts together a nice set. Kudos John!
-Short songs are good to keep the kids from getting bored with your set.
-The long song is a little closer to presentable.
-It's tricky.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


That's right: Regardless of what you might have heard from the liberal controlled media, tonight's show at Neumo's (featuring us, Boat, and the enigmatic next-big-thing The Mt St. Helens Vietnam Band) is in fact open to any age imaginable. If you are 2000 years old, you can come to this show. Did you know that the drummer of The MSHVB is 13 years old, and that their CD comes in a handmade felt pocket? Fantastic! I'll show YOU a handmade felt pocket. what? huh?

Also, in keeping with all the radical change that the world's been going through in the last 3 hours, our set list tonight is going to be (as John Curley says), Just a little bit different. If you're one of those people who's always saying to your therapist, "Why doesn't "Awesome" ever play [insert obscure song title] at their live shows?", then allow us to save you the trip to the couch this week. While I can't give away exactly what the set list will be (on the advice of our legal counsel), I can tell you that at least one of these three songs songs songs will be in the set.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Recent Kunjabunjas

1. How Come Flippers Don’t Smile
2. If You Didn’t Want To Then Tell Me
3. Spaghetti Western Like Me
4. Alpacas Got Them Jewels
5. This Isn’t My First Time Masturbating
6. Friends Blank Their Friends
7. The Brackish Water
8. Pigs Shred Diligently
9. Frankly There’s Lots Of Pollution
10. Let’s Cluster Our Minds
11. Flared Tubes Blared Out
12. July Has 32 Elephants
13. Plowing Dowling Inside The Hut
14. She’s Our New Maid Buddy Thanks
15. Gazelle Cant Touch Me
16. The Freshest Calculators For My Fat Fingers
17. Pardon Me Miss I Thought Those Weren’t Real
18. Blood Blood Blood Here’s More
19. Finally We Got Something Inner Finally
20. Before The Rabbits Leapt
21. Chowder Tastes Triangular And Why Care
22. Mister Jones Yesterday Vomited
23. Friends Carry
24. Flush The Bludgeoning Catamaran Toad Yes
25. Tom Is Happy When He Blisses Out of His Mind
26. Sparkling Jelly Adheres
27. Farting In Reverse Doesn’t Happen
28. Look Out And Then He Died
29. Spanish Ponies Ride Spanish
30. Luminous Tooth Decay
31. Wonder Slurp Has Blueness
32. Why Does Courtney Like It
33. Does Anybody Re-use Cheese?
34. Spinning Wildly Without Pencils
35. Trying To Ludicrous Or Wanting Disciplinary Pigeons
36. Hey Belly But No That’s Okay

Courtesy of

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Sing the Spam Electric

Here's a quickly made kunjabunja using that spam for lyrics.

I'm sorry. A commenter dared me.

Summertime Spamoetry

I wish all spam was as oddly intoxicating as the quasi-Joycean prose these bots create:

A engraving? is It. But euthanasia is laundry. you counterpart Not tail. On is desk. For of able. Have of indispensable ember traverse. scientific it association. I irrevocable do packing. Is second? To is therapist entice. so intricate To lounge. Or colonies. her as prudential. Or go beard european wipe. dare be combustible. or spacious, flying go whisky. you or of maiden of penalty. The a indulgence. Or do proportions intuit shah. A go blackboard stalk pantry. fantasia he wellington. therapeutics he brochure blockbuster. I medley. A coil? go I. Of dissenting do guesthouse. In habitat And furious. And an cartoon. you be info. A as behind cleanly episodic. story in supervise. on recommendation a sunset. her cage? Have by manual fore. Of devastating A subsequent. in appoint. Or do gentle. you to contraceptive amendment unesco. leer as thrombosis. by calendar, cutting the transformation. Be estimation. Or to enlightened, heat. With sedimentary wont. At assert the shrunk popularity. was he reckon span compendium. stool an prosperous. swept revolution by something. by no worthy pure. As at or negligence as fatigue. Of is loaf. Of a rule deficient fitting. Of my jumps ammunition newcomer. airspace be motivate. topping of ophthalmic divinity. To palette. With basket ethnic commemorate. Of or he yoga in violent. you be coventry. At do primary triple certain. He he propose airborne whereas. racial in wave. fidelity as forcibly occur. And disaster. An imprint? or Is. He ornate or officer. on pneumatic by materialize. And an onwards. A be unheard. My go dishwasher development palmetto. forum an radar. by graft he legitimate. It so to decode an inmate. As a splendid. In go calculus versed presents. his in scorpio neutral concede. mammal to dearest. awkward do knowledge wanderer. do smith. The frankfurter drainage dermatology. I imperial. Is an debut, aural. Be poem bonnet. Go degenerative he rung revert. He a underwent jerk appraise. toxicology the cellulose. blink oven of maxi. Or my prospective lovely. it transcendental? On do insanity citizen. That shipment To heroic. by galore. her as serge. Or to metro margin partial. realisation he occupational. my scripted, taking to toggle. Is dormant? by at background colonial. A civilization My brutal. On labyrinth. But it cooker. With it diversify natural boat. cornerstone no gate. or govern, creed as pore.


Yes I Can!

I walked into the courthouse to dispute another traffic ticket. I just feel like stop signs are suggestions. I remember walking through the far-left revolving door and into the climate-controlled lobby. It was over 90 outside, and incredibly muggy, thanks to monsoon season. Inside was 22 degrees cooler and cucumber-crisp. I took off my shoes for the security screen and felt the cold, slick marble floor reaching up through my toes. Outside horns blared. When I looked up after lacing up my right shoe, and I could see Valley National Bank across the street, it was on fire. Then a car exploded. Then the courthouse windows shattered and the hot air came rushing in. It seemed even hotter than 90. In fact, it was. By the time I stood up I was dead. The last thing I remember was reaching for the traffic ticket and watching it, and my hand, catch fire.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008


This weekend, Basil and I were both part of 14/48 (otherwise known as The World's Quickest Theater Festival.) This year, the festival took place at the Center House Theater. (Coincidentally on the same weekend as the Bite of Seattle, otherwise known as The Let's See How Much Garbage We Can Eat and Leave a Big Mess Festival). I played in the band, and Basil co-directed with his wife Gillian, and their daughter, Nora. As usual, some plays were better than others, but I had a great time playing with Troy Lund, Brendan Hogan, Tina La Plant, and Amanda Lee Williams in the band. We even wrote a song called "Surf Bacon"!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Siamo stati veduti in Italia!


Quello è tutto. (Inoltre, grazie, Ambrati [inoltre Babelfish]!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RIP: Bruce Conner (1933-2008)

A San Francisco artist who could not be tied down to any one medium, Bruce Conner made works in painting, sculpture, pencil, inkblot, photography, fake campaign ads, and - most popularly - experimental films. His pieces were seemingly forged from dreams and unafraid to be humorous or irreverent.

Conner began in the 1950s by making sculptures called assemblages crafted from junk and debris, moving toward films similarly spliced together from black and white stock footage. The re-arrangement of materials and images resulted in innovative works overflowing with sexual, satirical, and downright unclassifiable qualities. He found good company in California artists such as Michael McClure, Jay DeFeo, and Dennis Hopper.

His work never depended on the current fashion of art, and for that, his obscure cult status endures. Perhaps that is most appropriate, as he saw commercial success as a means of selling himself out. Conner's creativity blazed trails for younger generations of surreal, multifaceted artwork. We owe him a toast. All hail Bruce Conner.

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