Friday, September 24, 2004 at 11:00:12 (EDT)

The city changed and grew without her

Last night was another fine Al Duvall show at The Back Room. He's got a new song about the dim prospects of children born as wards of the state that totally kills. His stuff is always mordant and funny, but never sounds like something written any time in the last 70 years. I suppose that milieu can feel limiting at times, but he produces really great material by staying within its confines. Will Noise Footprint be posting any photos of his set?

Up next was The Jug Addicts (what? no website?), whom I may have seen at that big Jug band thing they had at Southpaw a few weeks ago. But I would think I would have remembered them. They slammed. They did a morose version of "Minnie the Moocher" that is not to be missed. The downside was the fact that there were more people onstage than in the audience. Alas!

In other news, my oldest friend James has just been offered an executive position with his company, but the catch is he'd have to move London for it. There's no bad part of the deal, besides the fact he'd have to leave New York behind. But London is pretty cool, too. I mean, it's not like they're sending him to Akron. But is London cooler than New York? Is London cooler than Tokyo, or Barcelona? I've spent a little time in London and thought it rocked, but given the option of moving there ... I dunno. I sure would hate to leave Brooklyn.

I told him to hold off deciding until November 3rd. Then I may stow along in his luggage.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 12:43:42 (EDT)

Katmandu I'll soon be seeing you
I haven't been posting stuff about politics lately, mostly because if I dwell on any issue for too long these days, it just drives me nuts. And I hate the way the term "political bloggers" has been cropping up in every article I read, no matter if it has to do with something political or not. While I do think a blog is a viable form of political commentary, so far it seems to me the only so-called political bloggers who get any attention are the ones who whine the loudest and say the stupidest things. Extremism is rarely worthwhile but paradoxically the only thing that gets our attention. But then, why would anybody want to read a carefully worded, well-researched blog essay? Bring on the bad plastic surgery!

That said, is anyone else pissed off about Cat stevens getting deported? Or Yusef Islam, or Steven Demeter Georgiou or whatever he wants to call himself ("His momma name him 'Clay,' I'm gone call him 'Clay'"). They say he gave money to Hamas. Even if this is true, is he the only American who supports them? I think not. Looks like another high-profile move, a la Martha Stewart, to get some publicity about how well we are being protected from terrorism. Yes! We deported the guy who wrote fucking "Peace Train"! Now, I don't know if he really did give money to Hamas (he claims he gave only to humanitarian causes), but if they're kicking him for that, then I know of at least one other guy they should look up.

When I still lived in Ohio there was a guy I knew, let's call him Seamus (sorry Buzz), who was born of Irish Catholic stock. Some time during college he learned of Islam and decided to convert. Hey, that's cool. Glad he found meaning in his life. But Seamus got carried away with it. The more he let himself get swept up in Islam, the more fundamentalist he became. He wanted to move to Mecca, something his girlfriend was not pleased about since she'd have to do the whole head-to-toe hijab thing. Seamus also commented loudly and often his desire to join Hamas and, in his words "shoot Jews" to "free Palestine." Thanks to my half-honky side, I usually pass for Whitebread and get to hear such lovely comments first-hand. I never bothered to correct him, that his beef, if any, should have been with the Israeli government, and that his self-righteous rage smacked a little of displacement. He had no other plan for his life, this was the only thing he could think of. Join Hamas. Shoot Jews. Have a Nice Day.

His girlfriend eventually broke up with him, and because I was better friends with her (and didn't particularly want to get shot), I never heard from him again. So, if he's still in the country, don't you think he's a bigger threat than Yusef Islam? I guess as long as he doesn't want to shoot American Jews, he's okay then? Damn, this Patriot Act Stuff is hard.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004 at 15:22:57 (EDT)

Look at that caveman go

We had a great show last night at Lit; a very nice counterpoint to our last show there. I mean, the last show was also good, but almost nobody showed up. This time we had a good-sized crowd (although Pink Sock took the prize for having the largest turnout, more than all 3 other bands put together), and the sound guy was way nicer than the last guy. Now, if I could only figure out why I keep sweating so much.

Doug Keith's First Person to See an Elephant was incredible. He's an amazing guitarist, making really complex finger work seem simple. Every time I see a guitarist of that caliber it make me feel like I'm beating my guitar with a large honeybaked ham.

Our set was a lot of fun, but I managed to break two strings in consecutive songs. And not just the strings I keep on there just for show, like the high E, I broke a D and then an A string. Grrr. I should have known, since I hadn't broken any strings for a couple of weeks. Zack reminded me that I recently purchased a set of strings that are supposed to break less, but I haven't put them on yet as I'm too paranoid that they'll break just as quickly.

After us, Sxip and Adam Matta took the stage and proceeded to blow everyone's mind. Adam does the Human Beatbox thing while Sxip plays several harmonicas (and assorted other instruments) through a slew of pedals with a sound I can only dub THE CRUSHINATOR. He makes his harp sound like a cathedral pipe organ, but also plays with enough clarity to follow the melody. All over Adam's boombastic beat work. It was insane; I want to see them play at Wembley Arena.

I didn't get any photos of Pink Sock, but they were pretty entertaining. I didn't have the guts to ask them about the source of their name, though.

So our first booked show went quite well. I like this idea of getting bands together, I hope there is more of this in Motico's future. We are working to expand our reach lately, as we've begun recording other musicians in our basement "studio" and renting it out as a practice space. Yes, the neighbors love it, but they'll understand once they've heard my 20-minute Powerpoint-based presentation entitled, "Motico: Growing the B(r)and."

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at 12:57:04 (EDT)

Everything's peaches and cream
My overly long and graphics-intensive tale of my trip to Philadelphia is now available.

King Buzzo wants his cheesesteak!

Don't forget! Tonight, after you go to the latest WYSIWYG Blogger reading at PS122 (featuring Monsieur Left-Field Lengua, José Ralat), head over to Lit Lounge at 92 Second Ave (between 5th and 6th streets in Manhattan) for a wild night of chakra-pleasing music and performance. This show has something for everyone: the Palace-Brothers-meets-the-Orb sounds of The First Person to See an Elephant, the fascinating harmonica/human beatbox thrum of Sxip!Matta, and of course the raw sexuality of Motico. Oh and some other band named Pink Sock, who got added against our will by the booking guy. But they could be cool too. But their name does not exactly fill me with confidence.

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Monday, September 20, 2004 at 11:28:29 (EDT)

I guess you're just what I needed
Wow, what a town! Philadelphia is a city I actually like, as it turns out. Despite a rainy Saturday, it was a really fun trip. I have to go into the office soon so I don't have time to recap all of it. Here's a couple of pictures for now:

Adrian and his oldest (and probably tallest) friend Sammy. We stayed with him in South Philadelphia.

There are many old and historically significant buildings, but I dunno what any of them are

The weather was ideal ... eventually

We found time to see some band from Brooklyn

We had cheesesteaks with King Buzzo

We took in some Large Art and saw Sammy's band play

Oh, and we went to the Emmys!

I'll put a full photo gallery up soon, assuming they don't arrest me at my building since it's been over a year since I've actually been in there. I won't bring any nail clippers with me.

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Week of September 19-25, 2004

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