Friday, June 27, 2008

Sexy Shakespeare

(Second in the series of circulation boosters) If you wish not to visit doctors any more, read this! We offer a perfect way to drive diffidence out of your life forever! Increase your power to bonk with our new improved formula! Your Health is at stake! China rocked by even larger earthquake, Olympics canceled! World's largest cruise ship boasts 5-story atrium and private dance clubs! You need to be ready for the next supervirus! Traffic lights are only a suggestion! When you see someone on the street, punch them in the face and then offer them a bouquet of hamburgers! Math is no longer needed, just look in your heart for the answer! Live music is better experienced when you shave your eyebrows! You can cook batteries! If you don't like a movie, throw fudge at the screen and light your hair on fire! This phone has turned into a snake, and it keeps dialing itself! When the clouds become monsters and attack children, don't look to me for help! I already got the email!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"A" Photo of the Day

"Awesome" the Band, First Photo Shoot
When we were young and short-haired and wet and there were less of us.

Courtesy of our scientologicianist colleagues at buzzlab via the sexy "Awesome" Flickr photo pool.

On The Injured List

Cause: chopping vegetables (chard, to be specific)

Previous Injuries: a mysterious internal infection that rendered the player's left pinky painfully immobilized right before going into the studio to record Beehive Sessions

Prognosis: unable to use left index finger at all for playing in the near future

Gigs in the near future: 2 Half Brothers gigs, 2 Toucans gigs

Nickname: 3-finger Johann

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Well wed, well wed!

Today was the wedding of two good friends: Johnny Kaufmann (who directed noSignal, among many many other things), and Brynn Hambly (production manager for <symphony>, among many many other things). Both of them are such wonderful people. The ceremony was in Volunteer park, and was done in the round. My favorite part was after the vows were said and they just took a moment looking into each other's eyes, totally happy and full of love. I admit it, I totally teared up.

The reception was at a nearby mansion. Drinks were drunk. Emmy, Sarah, and Jen were WASTED! (Jen is reading this over my shoulder and says: "Hey! I wasn't THAT wasted! I drink your milkshake!") It was fucking great. Dinner was et, toasts were made, and then the Half Brothers played. Man, I've never seen people dance so hard to bluegrass music. After that an iPod was plugged into the sound system and I danced to Madonna and George Michaels and I tried (and failed) to remember the Humpty Hump.

Anyway, big congrats to Johnny & Brynn.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday, June 20

Oh, it's Friday again! My turn to blog. Let's see, where do I start.... I like pirates, and ice cream! One of my favorite things about playing in this band are the free haircuts. This weekend I will be stage managing the Rocket stage at the Fremont Fair. Come on by and say hi!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This Blog Kills Fascists

First in my series of post titles to try and increase readership. Also, will try to loop in hot keywords like Obama Anal Celtics Severed Foot Cialis Gaza Tim Russert Mortgage Crisis Facebook Iowa Flooding Offshore Drilling Voyeur Lemonade Stand Scott Baio Amateur Coldplay Beijing Olympics Mark Siano Zimbabwe iTunes Lil Wayne Thong Malfunction Cayman Islands Bad Tomatoes We're Totally Winning That Iraq War Thing Fetish North Korea Birthday Party Hulu Cookout Road Trip Orphans Evite I Totally Love Those Trader Joes Spanikopita Things Elvis Jupiter Island MILF Ed Norton Intelligent Design Bear Stearns Anderson Cooper Lupe Fiasco Asian Electric Cars

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Moog guitar???

(Thanks to Bruce for forwarding this to us)

Read the Wired article about it here.

"Awesome" Beauty Corner

This week - A chocolate face mask! YUM!

Listen, it tones while it moisturizes and it smells fantastic, okay?

UPDATE: If you can't view this through your RSS or other feed, you can see it here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Car-Voice-Bird Chord

I'm sitting outside, in the sun, right outside Gallery 1412, about an hour before our little "experimental music" show was to begin. I close my eyes and listen to everything around me:

A woman speaking with "poetry voice" in the coffee shop, and the two girls trying not to snicker as they sneak out the front door, the station wagon parallel parking next to me, the cranking of a socket wrench by a man working on his bike behind me, tables and chairs being moved aside, people talking about art, jogging shoes trotting by, smokers breathing out, birds twittering.

I'm trying to focus on all the audio that my brain has been trained to filter out, to exclude from my normal listening experience. But there are too many different sounds to pay attention to all at once. I can listen to 3 or 4 at once but then I realize I'm forgetting to hear the bird or the far away traffic. I've heard that the brain can only hold 6 or 7 things in short term memory at one time. I realize that to take it all in, I need to be able to hear the sounds not as multiple simultaneous audio experiences, but as a single audio experience, like a symphony that happens to be made of dozens of instruments, or a chord made of several notes but experienced as a unity, an atom of sound.

So I'm sitting there trying to hear the chord that is formed by birds and cars and ratchets and coughs, a mumble's worth of poetry and my own breathing. What could a unity formed by such disparate elements sound like?

I try to relax. I try to listen without imposing any order on the stream of aural data. It doesn't really work. (Maybe I'm not trying hard enough. Or maybe I need to not-try even harder.) Next I try to organize the sound from low to high: the car motors are the low notes in the chord, the voices are the mid-range notes, and the birds are the high notes. Still I can't hear the unity of it.

Of course maybe all this John Cage-ian experimental avant guard noise-sound stuff -- this idea that we should expand our notion of what sounds count as music -- is all just bullshit. (Why waste your time listening to clanking pipes and air conditioning machines when you can be listening to The Boss or something?) But even if that's right, it shows us something sort of interesting, something in need of an explanation. Namely, that certain sounds have a special privileged status. You can make a chord with a trumpet, melodica, and piano each playing a different note, but you can't make a chord from cars, birds, and human conversation. Why? Why can our minds unify one set of sounds and not another?


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Listen Man


10.) Massive Headache - The Fauntleroys
9.) Havin' a You-Obsession Kinda Week - Slippery Mom Bag
8.) 8 is a 5 again - Lens Cap
7.) Clam Based Furniture - Positive Reinforcement Meeting
6.) D-D-D-Dope! - XAQT
5.) Pregnant Again - Crochet Fatality
4.) This Is Not A Stick Anymore - Jane Crackers
3.) Quality Neckbrace - Serious
2.) It's A Hungry Day - Japanese Clot
1.) Concerto for Oboe and Brain Injury - Buttjoy


5.) Skinny Feeling Blues - RJ and the Tanks
4.) Gorgeous Lady, Where Did You Disappear To? - Pete Caspian
3.) Best Friends Forever - Best Friends Forever
2.) Ooooh! - Sexy Candles
1.) Learning About Stigmata (original cast recording) - book and lyrics by Bob Stopcock


5.) The one where I ask you to build me a deck and you do
4.) The one where I'm sailing a cheeseboat in a chocolate ocean and the moon is out
3.) The one where I am you and dressed sexy
2.) The one where I'm driving on the highway and it becomes a snake and the snake eats my car which is actually a bear with wheels, then we travel through time down the snake's body back to 1940 and make Hitler really fat via the pizza gun in the glove compartment until he turns into a balloon and floats into space but space has a ceiling and he just sits there for decades as I high five myself
1.) The one where I ask you to build me a deck and you do, right on top of the first deck


5.) 0
4.) 2
3.) 8
2.) 0
1.) uh...2 again?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Photo call

Why is this man laughing?

banjo player laughs

Because he's simply delighted that this picture is part of the brand new "Awesome" photo pool on Flickr! Got a photo of us you'd like to share? Funkin' go nuts! We put some up there to get you started, but we know a bunch of you have moremoremore. So do the work for us and throw them in the pool, won't you?
The water's fine and I'm pretty sure Kirk is swimming "commando" again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Listen Dan

You're fantastic. I love what you've done here. Nobody would have thought to carpet the inside of the microwave, and I'll be damned if some of us didn't thought it wasn't a little crazy to not have started up never ending wow wow! Hey guys, it's raining candied dates outside, open your mouths and get out there!!! ZOMG it really exists and its a powerful learning tool so get rRADDDy paddy chayefsky noam chomsky and anna chlumsky youre so clumsy but youll always be my american girl rich and alive with purchasing power so keep spending those dollars and well all be in the big pink and say hi to crazy chester on your way down there but careful these doves are actually hawks its a water landing and this notes for you SPONSORED BY NOBODY AND STOP GIVING ME MIGRAINES

Thursday, June 5, 2008

About a city

I recently re-watched Kurt Cobain: About A Son, a film I recommend. This is not a review (for a good one, read this, written by Sean Nelson), just an excuse to profess that I am a sucker for beautifully-shot footage of Seattle and the mountains, trees, and water bodies wherein it springs to life. In one of the film's many portraits of Seattle locations -- the interior of Elliot Bay Bookstore -- smack dab in the middle of the shot is a poster for a show "Awesome" played in 2005. It's a teeny tiny connection, but it doesn't hurt to see yourself interwoven into the fabric of an area you love through that pretty filter of film...the lay-person's immortality.

Here I am, rock me like a...

Right now I'm in class. My students are taking their final exam, and thank god there's wi-fi. I'm already bored. I ordered some good earplugs. Now what? Maybe I'll give the 5 readers of this blog a Band update.

I. Still jazzed from Sasquatch. Here's Chris Walla watching us play. He doesn't look very happy in this picture. But he said he actually liked it. Hm.

II. Excited about playing the show this Friday (that's tomorrow, for those of you reading this today, and today for those of your reading this tomorrow.) At the Sunset in Ballard. It's a CD release party for The Half Brothers. Jose Bold will open! Yay! (Don't forget to listen to his fantastic latest album.) ALSO! We decided to let Half Brother Rick Miller decide the "Awesome" setlist, so there's a few songs on there we haven't played in a while. AND we'll be debuting a BRAND NEW song called Egg Will Crack.

III. Still recording the newest album, albeit* slowly. So far we've pretty much finished recording The Man With The Bullhorn, What They Do, The Magic Mouth of Geometric Septagrams (or was it Pentagrams?), Away From Me, and Yes/No. We're so busy that we can only go into the recording studio about once a month. We're recording these at Dubtrain Records run by our good friend Pete. This is also where the new Half Brothers album, Half & Half & Half was recorded. It's a really relaxed and fun atmosphere. When we get bored of recording we go play smash 'em up video games in Pete's living room.
* I used to pronounce this word "Al Bay".

IV. This summer! A few shows are lined up, but we've also got a couple band weddings in the works, so no big out of town tours are being scheduled. However, we are working on a new show that hopefully we'll be doing at ACT later in the fall, as a part of their Central Heating Lab program. It's called The "Awesome" Cycle. We've got 4 weekends, and each will be different. That's about all we can say at this point...

V. Longer term stuff... There's an even BIGGER full-scale theatrical/musical piece (if you've seen Delaware or noSignal, you know what we're talking about) that's in the works for fall of '09. But that's very hush-hush.

VI. Things we really need to get working on: (a) t-shirts. Man, we had some for a while there but then we slacked off. We were making them all by hand and that takes time! (b) videos. Why we don't have any videos yet is beyond me. Actually, I know why: again, time. It takes time. Someday some weirdo filmmaker will say, "Okay boys. I've got an idea for a video for your song ____. Just meet me in the woods this Saturday at 9am and I'll take care of the rest." And we'll never be heard from again.

(Hey, speaking of merch: Anyone know anyone that would wanna sit at the merch table and sell CDs for us on Friday? You'd get in free, get free CDs and we'd even pay you, like $25 American.)

That's all I can think of. Any other band members wanna chime in?


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rush Trivia of the Week

(Wherein we discover that "the Motor Law" is not,  as was previously assumed, the Canadian hotel and restaurant tax.)

In honor of their appearance at the Gorge last weekend, here is some important information on one of Rush's more lyrically enigmatic classics (Hint: It's based on a short story about a dystopian future where sports cars are illegal! Chicka-whaaaaaaa??).