Wednesday, September 07, 2005 at 14:18:38 (EDT)

Know when to fold em

Merzbow telecommutes too!

Merzbow was loud. Even with my earplugs in, my ears were still ringing afterwards. He also kind of went on a bit too long. When you're watching noise music, you can't dance and also you fear walking away because you never know when something really cool is about to happen. Still, we left before his set ended, having watched several other pure noise acts (Double Leopards and a Jim O'Rourke project which was fun stuff), plus the Yes-meets-Boston antics of Circle. So we were beat and had to go home. Of course, Merzbow gets to sit throughout his sets, so he was probably not as tired at the end of it. Whenever that was. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty awesome. But you know ... short attention spans are tough to break.

In other news, can anybody help me idenitfy this bike?

Zack and Abby picked it up at a yard sale this past weekend, but the insignia is confusing. It seems to be mimicking the Raleigh heron logo, but our evidence proves that it was not manufactured in the UK. More details here.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005 at 15:28:45 (EDT)

Baby, the gravy's run out
Among other things, I rode my bike to Manhattan to put up some flyers for our show tomorrow. As I was tooling up Ave B, I heard this sound like somebody dropping a crate of bottles off a roof.

This is why you shouldn't open your door into traffic. Or drive in Manhattan at all, for that matter.

Later I went to see a show at Pratt:

Then James came to visit and we shoe shopping at Century 21, just like real men.

Then we had a Bring Your Own Pet party.

Much debate ensued over the origin of a certain cheese-flavored snack food.

And some other stuff happened that was not photographed, but I can't prove that. Suffice it to say there will be more pics of bicycles in the near future. See Motico tomorrow night at The Delancey!!

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Thursday, September 01, 2005 at 12:32:42 (EDT)

Why can't we be friends?

Yikes, my cat just caught a pigeon on the roof. Even though it's Mr Bones who spends hours on end trying to catch one of the animals that come to the bird feeder outside my window, he's never caught anything (unless you count the already-dead mice and birds that Freddie leaves on our back porch). Decatur, on the other hand, seemed to have a symbiotic relationship with the birds and squirrels. She's small enough not to be considered much of a threat by the wild animals, often sitting together with only one wary eye on her.

But like the story of the frog and the scorpion, Decatur is still a predatory animal, one attracted by quick movement and feathers. Anyway, I hear this rustling, fumbling sound outside and I look out and see what appears to be a cat trying to ride a pigeon. She got all four feet on it, and every time it struggles she pounces on it again. There's not much I can do, what with the bars on the windows and all, but I manage to distract her by yelling at her so the pigeon is able to fly away. Now Decatur has redoubled her efforts, strutting around the roof like a show horse. This is only the second time I've ever seen her really catch something; the last time, things didn't end so well for her intended prey:

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Thursday, September 01, 2005 at 11:16:15 (EDT)

They drive me crazy
First of all, the New Orleans situation is pretty overwhelming. It's not enough that so many people have been flooded out of their homes, not enough they don't have any place to go except for stadiums, but then they gotta deal with looters and shootings as well. I hope the few people I know down there are all right. It's still early enough, but I'm getting mildly freaked to say the least. CNN has a Safe List for people to post their names if they're okay. Right now, it's really short, but I expect to increase exponentially soon.

At least our show was a nice distraction from the madness in the south. The bill we signed onto the other night provided us an opportunity to feel like the most pedestrian act of the night for once. Normally, I feel like our band will be misunderstood because we're doing maybe something that a lot of other bands aren't doing. What that is, I'm not totally sure, yet I believe it to be true. Anyway, this wasn't the case the other night at the Knitting Factory. We opened to the show to a few onlookers (thanks for coming out dudes!) in what may have been a display of Loudest Drums Ever. Something about the construction of the room made Buzz's drumming so thunderous, I could barely hear my guitar at times. Maybe it has something to do with the Old Office's recent renovation which has turned it from the red-headed stepchild of the Knit into a red-walled grotto. There's more room to the side now, giving patrons the option of completely ignoring the bands altogether.

Brian Dewan played his accordion, favoring nonthreatening melodies with highly threatening lyrics. It wasn't until he did his song about the Kennedy family that I remembered I had actually seen him before at a Ukelele Fest a couple years ago. Definitely a character; I fear getting on his bad side.

Julz A rocked the internal accordion mic, managing to pull off squeezebox-based rap. I didn't think it could be done, but he done it, all right. It helped he was a really good accordionist, something that never ceases to amaze me. Not only hip hop, he also played a couple of covers od Led Zepplin and Jimi Hendrix. He ran his box through a Whammy pedal and a wah pedal, which I've never seen anyone do before. I was surprised he wasn't familiar with Langhorne Slim, who, although very different in style, would be a fantastic double bill I think. Also, Julz should get a gig playing with Baby Dayliner, but maybe I just think that because they both use preprogrammed beats. Still, I'd go see that in a second.

Last up with Inner Princess, whose press materials led me to believe they may have been gay Japanese men. They turned out to be 3 lesbian women playing hilarious punk. The drummer played standing up, flailing like a muppet on strings. They were really good, but I want to see them in a venue that has a more elaborate sound system for the full effect. Although it's been upgraded recently, the PA situation in the Old Office is still largely lacking.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 13:30:16 (EDT)

This time you win
If you haven't already heard, my band Motico is performing tonight at the venerable Knitting Factory. Some of you may recall that we have before played this house, way back when we first started playing live shows. Of course, in that instance we were playing the Main Stage; this time we're playing The Old Office, in the basement. We're more comfortable in basements anyway, since that's where we spend most of our time anyway. Tonight's gig is sort of a warm-up for us, to get back in the habit of playing out. Starting in September, expect lots more Motico in the flesh, as we are working on several more dates. But if you can make it tonight, we'd surely appreciate it, and will no doubt return the favor in some inestimable way in the near future. We have some new songs to play, and frankly, it's been so long since we'd played out even our old songs will seem like the first time again.

  • What: Motico, mofos!
  • Where: Knitting Factory Old Office (bottom of the staircase), 74 Leonard Street, Manhattan
  • When: 8:00PM (we're first, no lie this time!)
  • Why: Because we like you

The show tonight also includes the incredible accordion hip-hop (yeah you heard me) of Julz A, the stupefying sounds of TMBG collaborator Brian Dewan, and the inexplicable rock of Inner Princess. Thanks to Chamisa Mesa Mike for putting us in touch with these weirdos!

To stay abreast of the next Motico shows, sign up on our mailing list.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 13:13:59 (EDT)

Green grow the rushes
When I first moved to this town, nigh on to 5 years ago, I purchased a houseplant called a "Beehive." I don't know what the plant's real name is, but it consists of tiny leaves growing on vine-like stems that hang over the planter. When I first bought it, the leaves were so dense that the overall effect was of one big fuzzy ball, rather beehive-like in shape. When I moved into my current house, I left the plant on the back patio, where it froze to death. Since then it's never been the same. It returns to life every summer, however. Winters are hard on it, as I never get enough light in my room, so it usually gives up the ghost and appears to be quite dead until summer returns and I can put it in the back yard. It's pleasing that it returns into being every year, but this year it has other plans: Franchising.

Here's the plant as is usually appears during the summer months:

I've been leaving it on the little sidewalk in my back yard, moving it every so often as the position of the sun changes throughout the season. And every time I move it, I realized it was leaving a little of itself behind.

It first set up shop along the back of the yard. As you can see, it's doing very well.

Then I left it on the grassy part of the yard, where it wasted no time.

I moved it further towards the house (this was more recent so you see it hasn't had as much time to grow).

And I picked it up today to find a new outlet taking shape. Clearly this plant means to leave its mark on the world. I really wish I had a picture of what the plant looks like during the winter; it's pretty pathetic. Few people who see it believe that there is any living material in the seemingly barren landscape of the flowerpot. But it keeps coming back, even though another winter is always approaching. There's probably some kind of life lesson here, but let's side-step that and credit it to my superior gardening skills. There's some more summery pix over on Flickr.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 12:30:27 (EDT)

What you're selling I'm not buying
Hmmm, could my MTA pictogram editing possibly be less entertaining than I thought? Of course not, I'm a brilliant modern satirist, and you love these little flights of fancy. Yes.

So another week goes by and it looks like I've again been shafted by a certain free weekly newspaper. They've printed none of my work for the past 3 weeks (and because I took a week off before that, it's now been a full month without any music previews from moi). So when you go this long without getting something published, is it fair to assume my input is no longer needed? It sure would be nice if somebody would at least clue me in then, tell me to stop submitting stuff! But of course I hear nothing, except that the paper has recently replaced its Senior Editor, probably against her will. For those who don't know, you can read all my articles on my music site. The new one's about The Choke, a band you will most certainly be hearing about in the future.

I'm dreading the conversation with my editor (and I hesitate to say 'my'). I'm gonna ask if I should bother to write any more blurbs, and he's gonna say "Oh sure, keep sending stuff, but until you write better about better bands, yours will be the last stuff printed." Okay, maybe I'm no Lester Bangs, but the stuff I write is good enough for little band previews, right? I kinda hate the idea when people think of me as some kind of natural resource, an unending font of whatever they need, which they can take or leave at their discretion. That pisses me off.

But don't fear, my minions. Even if I never write another piece, this will in no way hamper my show-going, which has pretty much become pathological at this point. But you know, a good pathological.

Speaking of Good Pathological, Motico shows are on the horizon. Just a reminder, we're playing the Death Disco show at The Delancey on Wednesday, September 7th. The show is at 8:00 and it is of course free. Please try to make it to this, but if you can't ... well, we're playing the Knitting Factory a week before on August 30th), also and 8:00 show. But the Death Disco show is free, so you might want to take that into consideration as well.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 16:42:33 (EDT)

Clock watchers, old timers, window shoppers
Okay, one more. I think this is more correct, n'est-ce pas?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 11:40:14 (EDT)

There is no turning back - on the run
So Saturday night started off as one big bust after another. We went to Southpaw (again!) to see The Forms and possibly The Choke (who had signed on in place of the execrable Gil Mantera's Party Dream, and then cancelled themselves at the last minute), only to realize when we got there at 10 that the show had actually been an all-ages affair, meaning the show had started early and was by then pretty much over. We made plans with Zack & Abby to go check out K2's new DUMBO loft and maybe crash his neighbor's party. So we decided to pick up some beer while on 5th Ave, since provisions are scarce around Fulton Ferry.

We could not find beer. Well we finally found a bodega that sold beer, but they had crap, mostly single bottles. We assumed we could do better so we took a cab over to the joint. The cab ride was a lot more expensive than I feel it should have been considering our proximity to the bridge, and due to the number of winding, one-way streets we had to flee to cab at some point and just walk. We looked around for beer, but even with K2 using the internet to determine the location of beer, we could not find any place that was open (note to prospective bodega owners: open a cheap 24-hour place in DUMBO and retire in 5 years).

We made it to K2's bachelor pad, wherein Jeannie immediately tripped over a speaker wire and went down hard. I suspect she was injured more than she let on, but at least there was alcohol to soothe the pain. But for how long? We went to the neighbor's party with less than a 6 pack in our hands. K2 had just returned from Ukraine and brought a bunch of bottles of cheap flavored vodka, but I feared consuming much of that. But Alex from The Forms was on his way, so we convinced him (thanks, dude) to pick up some beer which saw us through the remainder of the evening.

The party was quite a lot of fun, considering that we were totally uninvited and didn't know anybody. The apartment was magnificent, a huge loft, super-decorated with paper lanterns, fake novelty mushrooms, black lights, swooping draperies, a trapeze bar (yep!). Previous tenants had built a stage at the far end of the room, not just a riser but an honest-to-god stage, nearly 3 feet high with stage lights and tons of musical instruments. The bedroom we visited is a whole other story, mere words cannot hope to describe it. Sadly, I had left my camera batteries at home in the charger, so I was without my usual blogger photo recourse. I tried to quell my desire to photograph everything by using my cameraphone, but man that thing sucks, especially in the dim light of a party. Useless.

Lucky for you guys, there's a whole little video documentary about the apartment and the dudes who live there. The apartment is home to the band Nova Clutch, who were out on tour, so we didn't actually meet them. But somebody made this little doc and it pretty much covers all the highlights of the loft, including the elegant display of some New Kids on the Block platinum records that Winkel bought for $20 at a thrift shop. Hangin' tough!

So the weird thing was, despite all the trouble in starting our evening, when we left we just walked a couple blocks to the York Street F train, which showed up quickly and were home in like 15 minutes.

Give my taxes back

Speaking of the MTA, has anybody else felt that their little construction guy icon seems to be inspired by the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles "Mosh Zone" pictogram?

I submit they join forces:

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