Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hey, where'd everybody go?

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Center-Cut Ham Dinner Night Slideshow

Everyone should go see David's new solo show at Annex Theatre, "Center-Cut Ham Dinner Night Slideshow". It's like watching Emo Phillips meet Carl Sagan in Terry Gilliam's basement.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And the nominees are...

Say, what do you know? Our own Robertson "Davies" Witmer and John "Hey John" Osebold are nominees for Theatre Puget Sound's 2010 Gregory Awards! They're both up for the Outstanding Music & Sound Design award alongside our pal from Miss Mamie, Brendan Hogan, and "A" sympathizer Matt Starritt.

In the Best Actor category, you'll find our friend and sometimes-narrator/harmonica player Charles "Chuck" Leggitt. West's lighting/video hero L.B. Morse is gunning for the Lighting Design high score, and our former rehearsal space landlord and internet radio booster Scotto Moore is on the list for Outstanding Playwright!

So you see, it really is who you know. Or rather, who we know. But you know us and we know them so okay, it is who you know.

Puzzlingly, West was left off the roster of Outstanding Production nominees this year. I knew we should have called it The Laramie Project...

Good luck Rob & John and also everybody!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nilsson, Nelson, Wilson

Thanks to brother Sean Nelson (religious title), we'll be playing our 8-minute Harry Nilsson medley with him at Rainn Wilson & Friends at the Paramount Theater this Saturday.

I've seen so many shows at the Paramount that I'm giddy as a schoolgirl selling pixie stix to a talking mailbox to be playing there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Dick-Around Gang Gains Bonus Points on Level 5



bonus items:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is this thing on...?

Oh hi!
Bet you thought we had forgotten about this here bloggythinger. Well, the truth is, we almost did. Almost.

And the rehearsal was fun and silly and good and we** remembered that we like playing music and hanging out and dicking around***.

So don't fret, you'll hear more from us soon.
Just hold tight, Sally. Rain's a-comin'...

*Only 5 of us could make it to rehearsal. Come to the show and see if you can spot which ones! (HINT: it won't necessarily be the ones who play better)

**Some of us remembered. I don't know what those other jerks remembered. IF ANYTHING. Amirite??!

***Welcome back from Canada, Evan!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How we spent our summer vacations

Havin' a blast, happened so fast…

Basil did the acting thing in the feature films Grassroots and Knights of Badassdom and on the TNT series "Leverage".

Rob is directing a puppet show called "Frankenocchio".

Evan is touring a fringe show called "The History of Lost and Found"

David is writing a solo show called "Center-Cut Ham Dinner Night Slide Show". (At Annex Theater Nov. 2-17)

John O. is planning a wedding called "Johntana".

John A. is planning a baby called "Monjohn".

Kirk is.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Man Fest Dest

We shot this in Calgary between shows for a production company called (fortuitously enough) "Welcome To The West". Enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pete's eye view of Calgary

Our friend Pete joined us as sound engineer for our trip to Calgary. It turned out to be a challenging and rewarding experience, and he even managed to snap a couple of photos along the way!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunday Night Live!

Don't forget to come on out and join us for Chamber vs. Chamber this Sunday night the 23rd in the super-swanky Fireside room at Seattle's super-swanky Sorrento Hotel. Be warned, however, that only sexy, smart, witty arts-types will be in attendance, so you might want to wear that little number. I think you know which one I mean... **WINNNNK**

And yes, actually, we do put the "dance" in "attendance".

(Facebook event page here, if you're into that kind of thing)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The New York Times has come today

A shout-out from the NYT on our score of The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle.
And I quote:
"In the background, a group of musicians collectively known as Awesome lives up to its name."
So you know, we're huge in New York now, obvys.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post-Mother's Day Discussion

I just thought this picture was awesome.  This is Dare.  She and her sister Emerald and her mom Counsel are artists.  Respect.

Post-show discussion

Like music, talking, listening and drinking? The good folks over at OnePot have invited us over for their upcoming Chamber vs. Chamber music/art/history/ice cream* social event at the Sorrento Hotel's Fireside room on Sunday, May 23rd.

Whether you missed West and want to get a little live taste of the music, or you saw it and want to know more, or you hated it and want an explanation, this behind-the-music event is for you.  It'll be a cool discussion about art, opera, indie music and other heady stuff, led by City Arts editor Mark Baumgarten and West director Matthew Richter. We're joined by our hyper-talented pals Nick Garrison and Sarah Rudinoff, so come join us and bring your party brains!

Go here for more info and ticket link.

*ice cream may not be served.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Calgary is snow

Calgary: Day 2

Some quick things:

Headset mics for (almost) all!

Hot tub curfew is 11pm... uh-huh...

It is not sunny and 75 here. Sorry JZ!

Keep drinking water, we're over 5000 feet above sea level! I don't know what that is in metres, but I'm guessing it's still pretty high. Speaking of pretty high...

... um, nothing. What?

The Marx Bothers performed on this stage, like, 6 or 7 years ago. My timeline might be off there, but probably not.

Me and Evan just Skyped each other in the same room. Yeah, that means what you think.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

pics from WEST

photo credit: me! (David Nixon)
Click on the picture to get a larger version.

Monday, April 26, 2010

WEST Goes East: 1st Dispatch

From our esteemed driver, one-man road-crew, and yard-chicken entrepreneur, John Sutton:

"6 speeding tickets, 1 drunk driving citation, 2 dead deer, a border merry-go-round (canada, america, and canada again), 65 gallons of diesel, and a broken gas pedal later I have arrived in Cranbrook BC. All is on track to meet you in Edmonton by the time you arrive. Fly safe suckers!

Forgot to charge the camera battery so you will have to imagine the wonderful sights...

With love,

p.s. I traded someone's guitar for a sandwich in Idaho and loaded a crate with potatoes I dug up from a field. It snowed here last night. Bring your long underwear!"

More to come, assuming wifi reaches the hot-tub at the rental house.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Wow.  It was February of 2008 that we first started thinking about this show.  It's hard to believe that it's finally happening.  I've been told that tonight's show is already sold out.

UPDATE!!! Maybe tonight's show isn't quite sold out.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 more days until West opens.

Until then, here's some snippets from the actual script:

"...Basil enters out..."

"...Evan enters, puts on his..."

"...John O, still unable to..."

"...John A grabs it, trying to keep..."

"Something catches..."

"They are far too large..."

"...Rob comes up..."

"...David is drawn..."

"...Kirk takes the lead..."

and that's all just the first act!!!

tickets available here

Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 More Days Until West

It's hard to believe that we've been working on this since February 2008.

Get your red hot TICKETS here, before they sell out.

oh, and another teentix interview piece is up. (Has anyone heard of a band called Anchors? Apparently they're one of my favorite bands!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hey, everyone! We're on the teevee on the innernette!

Thanks to Nancy Guppy for the enthusiasm and to Director/Dovetail Jointmaster Matt Richter for sharing his bio-profile-worthiness with us!

Also, if you like using your eyes to look at photos and read words, here are a few of both at the P-I dot com concerning us and our upcoming WTF-ery at On the Boards.


Bonus: Teen Tix Crush of the Month teaser!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cremaster: The Finnegan's Wake of cinema

I spent all afternoon yesterday at SIFF cinema watching the entire Cremaster Cycle with some of my fellow bandmates. I was a virgin, never having seen any of the five episodes of Matthew Barney's sprawling epic. I'm really glad I saw them all in sequence. Cremaster 3, the sprawling central film of the series was made more enjoyable by joining Jen Graves in the back row for something we invented called "wineSlogging". (The Stranger was there to live-Slog during the film, but they were asked to stop because their keyboards were too noisy. So we went to QFC during intermission and procured a nice bottle of French wine, screw-top style). I think that the music by Jonathan Bepler was one of my favorite things, especially in 2 & 4. These movies have it all: cars, bees, bagpipes, buffalo, naked ladies. What more could you want?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Go West; Do not park North

The big day was finally here... we loaded all of our equipment into On the Boards in preparation for the final few weeks of rehearsal before "West" premieres on April 22. I pulled the van up on 1st Ave W (the little cobblestone street in front of the main entrance), and we loaded everything in to the studio. After a quick round of speed dating the lobby, I returned to the van, only to find a parking ticket indicating that the vehicle was 4 feet north of a No Parking sign. Here's a photo of the situation. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday field trip!

Kirk says:
"Hey everybody! Come on along and take a ride with me...


What I remember from today's teentix speed dating session

Anne's been playing violin since she was 5.

Holy Names, Newport, Highline CC, Forest Ridge and a "kinda ghetto" school in Lynnwood.

Where does that 4th wall come from? No really.

I hate They Might Be Giants, but you all seem to like them. So why? Defend them!

Bad High School Prom Photo

How DOES one survive high school?

Evan looks like Nora Ephron.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jeopardy Tuesday

Answer: What everyone should say to you today and every day.

Question: What is, "_____________"?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dizzle Gets Distro

David Russo's feature The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, with a score by us, has officially been picked up for distribution by Tribeca Film, beginning with a video-on-demand platform. This means that, beginning April 21, Dizzle will be available in up to 40 million homes via cable and satellite systems. Big news for a film that premiered in 2009, ran the festival circuit, and got picked up for overseas distribution in the Middle East and Down Under. Congratulations to the tireless Dizzle team.

Here's a link to their Facebook fanpage if you'd like to show your support.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Side Project Alert: Come See Me Dance Tonight (Thursday)

I'll be premiering a new dance piece at the Get Crushed benefit/dance party for Locust.  There'll be a whole bunch of other great stuff, so if you're looking for something to do, come on out!

The Details...
WHEN: Thursday, March 18th.  8pm-Midnight
WHERE: Sole Repair on Pike St.
HOW MUCH: Only $10.    21+
OTHER STUFF:  "music by Ivory in Ice World (dreamy/Mazzy-Star pop), The Witness (Creedence-y/white soul), and DJ Zeke Keeble (locust's resident musician). Art by Ben Beres (of SuttonBeresCuller), Jed Dunkerly and Jason Puccinelli (of PDL), and others. Plus performances by locust, the Can Can Castaways (who are tricking Seattle into watching modern dance every weekend—they're a gateway drug)"  (says The Stranger)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aw man, you shoulda been there

Tonight at rehearsal we nailed down some pretty gnarly three- and four-part harmonies. Seriously, John Ackermann totally schooled us all. Wish I could show you the video but the sound on my camera phone sucks so it wouldn't be worth it.

That concludes this week's episode of  BORING AMAZING STORIES!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The West is Haunted

Backstage at iDiOM in Bellingham
(photo by SoL)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Additional production credits:

Lights: Jaz

Sound: the Creature

Popcorn: Pickford Cinema

Digital Artist: Hal

Catering: Farkler's

Transportation: Vandor

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today Was Banjo Day

Also, if you wanna see a preview of WEST -- that [gargle gargle] we've been talking about for the last 2 years -- here's your last chance until the final version in April at OtB.  This Thursday, Friday and Saturday only.   8pm, at the Idiom Theater in Bellingham.  Only $10!  All ages!
At this event you'll hear all new songs you've never heard of, including:
Queets'adi Ch'as
The Shanghai Grocery
Caterwaul of Stars
The Minutes
Soon Soon
Ocean of Trees
and many times more!

act now and get these ginsu knives, free of charge! 

I sure do love corn chowder.

Oh, also, the Public Market has really good buffalo sandwiches.

Also, everyone should really read this awesome piece by Rebecca Brown on FAILURE.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

shopping list

1. eggs
2. IPA
3. orange juice
4. Archie comics
5. Mint Milano
6. Pico De Gallo
7. carrots & pineapple
8. ice skating lessons
9. saloon sketch
10. 24 karat gold bikini

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chop Suey - 2/6/2010

photos courtesy of Matthew Runkel

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Someone is having a birthday today! And that person is in our band. And that person is in my house. Cheers!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The West at a glance

I just made this my desktop picture.  I thought you might enjoy it too.  The drawing was made by Jed Dunkerley.  The stars were made by God.  Or aliens.

Click to see it larger.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

...aaaaand goodnight


Great to play some songs for the good people at Chop Suey tonight. In case you didn't notice, we had a blast. We haven't played a club show in a while and it was pretty nice to just blaze through some of our oldies and newies. I only screwed up a couple times, but I thought we sounded pretty solid otherwise for a band that never plays shows anymore.
Thanks to Ivory in Ice World (did you give Rob his socks back?).
Thanks to Library Science (Nice computer. You get teh innernetz on that thing? Come on, I kid because I love.).
And thanks to you, the people of the United States for voting for us for most Congressional band of 2009: we are filibuster-proof!

And don't forget to pick up our new gyro of songs when it comes out in septapriltoberween.
And come to our show at On the Boards in April. It's called West. We played some songs from it tonight. You better reconnize.

My wife says I'm filibustering myself so I will now go to bed.
Goodnight Keith Moon!

Friday, February 5, 2010

This Saturday

Just a reminder that this very Saturday, February 6th will be the "Golden Birthday" of "Awesome".

Now a golden birthday is slightly different than other golden things (wedding anniversaries, girls, showers, etc.).  Your golden birthday is when the numeral representing your age in Earth years on this particular birthday is the same numeral that represents the day of the month on which your birthday falls.  So for example, Evan, whose birthday is on February 5th, had his golden birthday when he turned 5.

Here's Evan at Chop Suey in 2007, wearing his "I Got Lucky" t-shirt, and coincidentally catching a pair of lady's undergarments thrown from the audience.  Here's my best guess at what he was thinking:  "You know, the idea of pretty girls throwing their panties at me sounded good in theory, but now that it's happened, I'm wondering just how hygienic this is.  Basil, can you throw me the Band-Hand-Sanitizer?" Photo by Victoria Lahti *.
Knowing Evan, I bet that his golden birthday was quite a party.  That's basically what we're trying to live up to this Saturday at Chop Suey.  We'll be playing with Ivory In Ice World and Library Science.  Fun! Fun!  Fun!  We'll also be debuting three new songs from WEST, the theater thing we've been working on since forever.

(* P.S.  if you're looking for a really full evening, here's what you should do:  Go to the Canoe Club (409 7th Ave S (7th & Jackson in the Int'l District)) at 8pm to see Jose Bold (John O & Kirk!) at the Jacked Camera Benefit show, then come to Chop Suey to see "A" later.  You see, our photographer friend Victoria (see above photo of Evan) had all her camera stuff stolen, and now there's an ALL AGES benefit to help her recoup some of the costs.  It'll be great! There's booze! They're even going to try to auction off some of my paintings.  (Good luck with that!)  Anyway, this is a great cause to help a friend of the band.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Awake for 43 hours

I've been awake for 43 hours.  Everything is a melty marshmellow mushmouth sunday.  The cats are speaking Special English.  It would all be pretty great if it weren't so terrible. I guess that's true of a lot of things.  But here, since you're up with me, here's an animation test I've just rendered:

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Week of Rockumentaries

It started off a week ago last Saturday. Sarah and I watched Anvil: The Story of Anvil. Sort of a heavy metal rags-to-slightly nicer rags story. It was life-affirming, in a lunkheaded kind of way. Then this Saturday we watched 30 Century Man, the story of the amazing Scott Walker, reclusive 60's crooner turned experimental enfant terrible. This one amazed me, as I had only heard of Scott Walker through Kirk. But he was hugely influential, as it turns out.

Then last night, I couldn't sleep, so I watched (thanks to the magic of Netflix streaming) You're Gonna Miss Me, detailing the life and harrowing times of Roky Erickson, the brainchild behind the 13th Floor Elevators (pioneers of garage psychedelia, complete with a jug player!). This one gave me nightmares. It was more a portrait of a family shattered by mental illness than anything else. But now I totally want to start playing the electric jug.

The Annual 4'33"

Kind of the opposite of math rock, despite the numbers in the title...

Every year I teach this Music & Philosophy class, and I perform John Cage's 4'33".  (This year I played it on a cheap kid's keyboard.)  Then we talk about it.  Today's discussion was particularly lively. 
Here's an mp3 of the performance.

We also listened to some Christopher DeLaurenti stuff, including one of his intermission pieces, which is great.

Sometimes teaching is fun.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Music math is hard!

Check it out, math-pop fans! Jose Bold explains some of his compositional figures on LineOut (the Stranger's music blog).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shaping new space

So here's what we were doing when David did what he did that day. Up until last weekend, we've been making our songstuffs and doing our mindjams in a practice space neighboring another space where a band of friendly but possibly deaf older dudes has been trying to learn a thundering version of Purple Haze, probably since the song was new. So it was time to move into a space more conducive to working, thinking, hearing ourselves work and think, and especially not hearing labored classic rock (and the occasional comically lonesome trombone lesson).

Sometimes the universe gets it right, or we create the abundance in our lives, or shit just lines up in a lucky way: a friend of ours with a huge shop (and a band of his own) offered us a rent-share deal we couldn't refuse.

And so we found ourselves in a luxuriously large scene shop with three problems to solve: concrete is bad for feet, sawdust is bad for gear, and cold air is a drag. Witness the solutions as documented by my telephone:

First, we assemble a drop-ceiling/grid...

...which we suspend from the shop ceiling and cover in "clear" plastic.
(This was when David got on the wrong end of a staple gun.)

We hoist the structure up about 9 feet and begin laying floor.
(Hello, walls.)

Basil pauses to invite the viewer to feast his or her eyes on the majesty of a room within a room.

Hey look! Rob's back with some foam and a measuring tape.

A finished floor holding eight relieved knees under four fatigued faces

Suddenly: artmusikspace!

And with that, we have run out of excuses for not finishing West. We even have extra room to move around and stage our unstageable ideas! Access to dangerous power tools for building impossible shapes! And two whole electrical outlets to power it all! Let's remember to turn off that space heater after practice, dudes.

Thanks to Jason and Jed and Bandylegs Johnson for sharing, and to Dubtrain Pete for the floor concept. Let's all get together for beers and hugs soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Song a Day 2009

So, it's a new year. I know, right?

Last year I made 365 pieces of music, one for each day of the year. I've posted a few of them on this blog. Some of them even wandered their way into the "A" oeuvre. Now you can listen to the song I made one year ago today (and for the rest of the year) on my Song a Day blog. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and if you're not careful, you might just learn something.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dirty Dancing: A Review

[What? Shut up! If it has music -- and especially if it has dancing -- then it’s pertinent to this website.]

Now I always knew that this movie was a dance movie, on account of the title. But what I didn’t know until tonight was that it’s also an abortion movie. Its basically Mad Hot Ballroom meets The Cider House Rules. The movie features a pre-nose-job Jennifer Grey as Baby, a rich teen whose family is vacationing at a resort where Johnny (played by the recently deceased Patrick Swayze) is a dance instructor. Johnny teaches Baby how to dance so she can cover for another dancer who needs to get a botched abortion. In the process Baby falls for Johnny and they copulate. He gets fired for it but comes back in the end for a feel good dance party and Baby does a lift.

There were a lot of good dancers (Swayze included), but none of the dancing was good. However, some of the people in the movie could fold themselves in half backwards, with the fold point being in the middle of the back. That’s creepy, but probably helpful in certain situations.

I was surprised when Patrick Swayze suddenly said, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” I knew it was a pop-culture reference, but I guess I’d forgotten it was from this movie. Then I was bugging my wife, “Waitaminute – what does that mean? Was she put in a corner earlier in the movie and I missed it? Is that code for something?”

I found myself thinking: Do these kinds of resorts still exist? I also found myself thinking: I wish I’d gotten to go to Camp Waskowitz. All the 6th graders at Valley View went to Camp Waskowitz, but we moved away in 5th grade, so I never got to go.

In doing my research for this review, I found out that not only was there a sequel (Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights), but a remake of the original is in the works for 2011. The question is, who should play Johnny & Baby?

Here’s some suggestions to get you started:

Harrison Ford & Mena Suvari
Harrison Ford & The Octomom
Eddie Murphy & Eddie Murphy
Patrick Swayze (CG)& Audrey Hepburn (CG)
Alec Guinness (CG) & the blue alien cat-lady from Avatar (real)

Also, the sweet corn chowder from Nana’s Soup House in Fremont is fucking fantastic. I bought a whole tanker of it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winterfest 2009

Thanks to all those who came out to see our shows!

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