also --

On a marquee in front of something like an auto body shop on Banksville Road yesterday I saw the following:

Skilling got Layed
Expecting in 20 yrs

It doesn't really make sense, yet I always think things like this are funny because they're usually not actually funny at all, and not that clever, but there's a certain novelty in the concept of using the space where your business is expected to advertise to instead make some sort of political or ethical statement. Even if it's kind of silly and pointless. The guy who runs the self storage place in West Mifflin on Homestead-Duquesne Road has also historically been notable for such things. Here's to more politically-motivated fun on our roadside signs.

turn your free time back into birdwatching

Old Time Relijun, turning fossil fuels back into dinosaurs, bringing the best show I've seen this year. (We're at the halfway mark, is it time to start quantifying our cultural experiences yet?) Arrington does beautiful things with his voice, and I wanted more music (I don't know how long they played, but it mustn't have been too long, as I rarely think bands' sets are too short) but his mouth harp performance at the end capped the set nicely. What was awesome was that he was doing things vocally while he was harping, which I didn't realize a person could do (not that I'm the expert).

I didn't know who most of the people at the show were, which was weird but pretty awesome. Where did they come from, and how did they hear about the show? I should've taken a survey. There was one kid who had to be about 15 who was incredibly stoked on seeing OTR, and stroked Arrington's beard like he was on E or something, and Aaron said that kid is the reason he goes on tour, and I say he's the reason I try to do as many shows as possible all ages.

Right now I just want to go to the woods, or the river or something, and watch birds, and maybe read and write. I've done far too little of this lately. Just as I've done far too little gardening. Our poor little seedling are totally scorched, which I blame on me. Fortunately there are decent places to buy seedlings at this point in the season.


it is what it is

Apologies for my reticence of late. No time for writing when you're doing. I was at Roboto three times this week, once for a show I set up, once for a show I played, and once for a show Emma's band played. I am Robotoed to death. There are a great many things going on this weekend, not the least of which being Old Time Relijun tomorrow at AIR. Vale and Year are releasing another damn album tonight, Gunspiking is having another damn reunion tonight, friends are visiting from other towns. I am getting better at Boggle, with any luck. I hope to see you this weekend.

PS -- I still owe you a play review. It's in the pipes, swear.


old time relijun pittsburgh saturday AND getting to AIR by bus!

So, first of all, a reminder that the Old Time Relijun show is this Saturday, May 27, at AIR. It's at like 7:30 and the lineup is: Natura Nasa - Midnite Snake - Old Time Relijun. It will be an amazing show.

Second of all, I've never seen an account of how to get to AIR by bus, so here goes, courtesy Maya's Buskarma site:

A very close bus stop is East Ohio St. opposite James St. Then you just have to cross East Ohio and walk up James to Foreland (it's the second street up after East Ohio) and go right and AIR is right there, 518 Foreland.

The 54C stops there. Coming from downtown, the 1A, 1D, 1F, and 6A all stop there as well.

Buses are a little bit crazy and go around in circles on the North Side, what with the commons and park and stuff up there, so you have to figure out for yourself when you're actually at the intersection and should get off. Ask your nice bus driver.

This link ought to work; otherwise, go to http://bus.maya.com and search for East Ohio St. OPP James. You'll find what you need to know.


hey columbus

My band is making love to your town tonight. 9:00pm, 369 E 15th Ave, Columbus, OH with Witch Hat and another band I'm blanking on right now but it'll happen and it'll be fun. Come out if you can.

I saw "The Pillowman" last night. It was pretty intense. I'll have more to say about it later, but it didn't disappoint in the sense of McDonagh's dialogue and actual writing being really witty and great. The overarching plot was a little iffy, but I'm not disappointed for having seen it.


panorama obscura

The weather the past few days has been more than vaguely reminiscent of last October/November when I trolled around doing nothing for a long time and listened to Broken Hearts Are Blue a lot and then got a job and was still kinda in a funk. It's weird and kind of frustrating when you realize that intense cloudcover the likes of which we see fairly often here can actually act as a barrier not only between you and the sky but between you and any sort of vision of the future. I honestly can't see past the next day or two when the sun is obscured thusly. Which is sometimes alright, but more often pretty worrisome.

But worry not, I am not depressed in the least. I have amazing friendships right now, and lots of good things on my plate (even if there are so many of these things it's a bit stressful), and I'm taking a personal day Monday to hang out with my mom. That's right. I won't deny it. And my eyelid seems to be flaking and peeling less, which is nice, and the muscles at the crux of my left elbow have been freaking out and spasming for a day or so now but that'll go away eventually.


loose ends

A few things:

- If you have a computer with sound and a few minutes, watch the video for the song "Fingerbangin'," by a band from Philly called Sweatheart. The vid was made by Charlie's roommate Ted, and the song features references to passenger side road head and the phrase "WOOF god damn!"

- There is a flavor of Vitamin Water called "Rescue," which is green tea and chamomile flavored and has B vitamins, which I found in Boston and which was very good and which I've never seen anywhere else. I would like it to appear here soon.

- I had my first communication class last night. I think it'll be nice 'n easy; I just need to not slack. It'll be a funny group, I think -- kids taking summer classes that are really basic low-level courses usually have some amusing reason for being there ("I'm a communication major and I got a C- in this class last time I took it"). We discussed our media choices and half of the class are amusingly devoted Philly and/or Lehigh valley partisans: "I don't read Pittsburgh papers, I like the Morning Call!" "I don't listen to the radio in PITTSBURGH, I like (station X) in Philly!"

- Hopper is in Israel right now. It's interesting. Get over the Merritt stuff and read about her trip.


tour wrapup

Hey all. Sorry for the delay -- the last couple days were mighty busy and I didn't get time to document them. Drat.

The Philly show was fun, even though 80 percent of the people left when we played. What counted was seeing friends and eating veggie crisps and playing with the dog. And those were all accomplished. Also, not having our van jacked.

Arlington was wonderful; Matt's moving out of the house where we played, but the house will remain there, which is nice, because there are big expensive condos going up all around it (see earlier remarks about preservation and development) and the woman who owns that house is a holdout, along with the folks who run the Japanese Auto Shop across the street, which is nested practically inside a brand new condo a la the little house that sits in Bouqet Gardens on Pitt's campus.

The Arlington show was awesome, anyway. A band called Danke, featuring members of Mass Movement of the Moth, headlined and were really good -- my favorite band we played with on tour, with the exception of Belegost. Silly Katie from Del Cielo was there, as were some ex-'burgh friends, and crazy Jesse who is Jo's friend from college and is totally nuts and looks like he's into creatine powder and protein shakes maybe (and is awesome, I might note).

I am tired and now I readjust to working all day instead of sitting in a car, and I try to get rid of this sickness that I haven't shaken for three weeks, and I get back into the groove of knowing what's going on in the world, even though I didn't really miss much, seemingly, in the time I was gone.


tour dates #6/7

So, yesterday in Brooklyn at Northsix with a local band called Hoover Flags, a band called Know Your Enemy, and the Chinese Stars. It was a weird mix of bands, a weird mix of people, and awkward in that there was a really high stage that freaked me out a little. I grew tired of "hanging out" and "talking" and spent some time in the van (finishing my Old Time Relijun flyer and vegging) after we played. Then I got annoyed with a lot of the people at the show, felt like they were worthless, felt in turn like perhaps I myself was worthless, had to drive to the place where we stayed with Jo navigating and we got quite lost and crossed bridges and all sort of nonsense then found the place, pulled into an easy parking spot that we apparently should have been ticketed in, and chilled in an apartment with a projector TV screen (there was a first-person shooter game being played when we arrived).

Today: hopefully maybe meet up with Carly from Slingshot, then off to Philly and maybe the Art Museum? Maybe?


tour date #4/5

Last night was the Boston show, but I was dead tired and feeling under the weather when we got in after the show, and in the morning we didn't have enough time before we shoved off for nine and a half hours of sitting in traffic between Boston and Delaware. The show at Great Scott was fun but tiring and this on and off cold I have was on bigtime. We stayed with Bob and Gina, who were most gracious, and had delicious vegan food close to the venue, and stopped at the co-op down the street before leaving in the morning.

Then we spent the entire day in the car, most of it not really moving, found free wireless for a couple blocks in the Bronx, kept moving and got to the show two and a half hours late, which sucks especially because it was one of the few shows, if not the only, on this tour that had a pretty strict schedule to be followed. The whole show was late, and rushed, but the kids there were really nice and now I dispatch to you from Electric Human Project World Headquarters, Newark, DE. Actually, in an undisclosed location somewhere outside Newark, closer to Wilmington, in the shadow of an Acme grocery store. Seriously. There's a huge glass sliding door next to me and an Acme smiling down on me and I'm about to fall asleep. If you can find me by those directions alone, feel free to come and gaze upon my sleeping body from outside.

Tomorrow we head to Philly to hang out, not play any shows, and see Mono and Pelican at the church. Cool. Seeya!


tour date #3

Dateline: Lewiston, ME. The town looks at bit like Lowell or some other such New England industrial town, with a huge dam and waterfalls that are loud and beautiful at night. We went exploring with our awesome host here and crossed a huge scary railroad trestle bridge right over the dam. We talked a lot about development and historic preservation and taxes and healthcare.

Maine strikes me as being more Canada than USA, which is a-okay by me. The road signs go by miles and kilometers, and there are funny polite signs that say things like "Dim lights when meeting traffic" and "Reduce speed in inclement weather," and there's mandatory healthcare.

Oh yeah, and the show tonight was awesome, just like last night. I had some more equipment issues, but we played well, I thought, to those people who stuck around for us. And some people bought things and took lyric booklets, which rocked.

Tomorrow: Boston. We might chill and check out the falls here again then head toward Massachussetts. Seeya.

tour date #2

Dateline: New Haven, Connecticut.

We're actually in the woods somewhere in Ansonia right now, with our only copy of the van key locked in the van. We'll get that taken care of soon. Last night's show ruled in that we played much better than we did in Bethlehem, and we apparently angered the owner of the bar a great deal. Hopefully the fellow who booked the show didn't get in a lot of trouble over that. I'm still sick and don't really have a voice.

Lewiston, Maine, next. Vegan potluck! Good times!


tour date #1

I dispatch to you from Allentown(?) (somewhere in the Lehigh Valley) where we're staying in a nice house with a dog named for a serial killer. We were offered the room of an absentee 13 year old girl, and are glad we chose to sleep in the computer room instead, as said girl arrived at the house prior to our waking this morning. Also, cat hair is forcing me to take allergy meds that may make me very sleepy very shortly.

Last night's show was fun, if a bit sloppy on our part. Belegost was inspiring. I'll have to do some equipment tune-ups prior to tonight's show in New Haven.



Today is the day we leave to go to other places and play the rock music. I am in no way put together right this morning, but it'll all work out, and I have lots of good feelings to bring with me. I'll try to update y'all when the world allows my laptop to make love to the internet via its wireless hole. A quick update on that tour schedule: May 8 will indeed be in Boston, at Great Scott (in Allston), 18+, 9:00pm, $7.


dream lover

The dreams of late have been stressful, sometimes terrifying. They've ranged from mundane but anxious -- we're in DC on tour and all the gas stations are closing because there's no more gasoline and we pay $150 for a tank of gas to get back to Pennsylvania and $50 for a Sunday paper, just because -- to jarringly frigtening: an elevator dream, which I think I've had for years but never really committed to memory, in which we're going up, somewhere, a few of us people, and all of a sudden we begin to plummet, and we fall and fall and then somehow there's a cushioned landing but now we're trapped in an elevator. And the most disturbing? I'm holding my baby nephew and I up and drop him down the steps on his head, and he ends up being okay but it's too much for me and I run to the corner and start bawling and I'm embarrassed because my family is all around but life's become much too much for me and I can't pretend anymore.

Do you think they mean anything?

here's something to keep you busy

Dusted came out with a new crossword that's actually pretty good. (I'm always suspicious of people trying to write crosswords. This one is impressive, if computer-aided.) I got pretty far, then was having a helluva time with the bottom left corner, then accidentally clicked on a bookmark in my browser and cleared the whole thing and don't feel like retrying right now. But you should.