Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fabulosa 2011

For the 4th year in a row!

This weekend, I am excited to get out of the city to swim in that lovely lake again and I look forward to some quality "Campfire Jam" time with some of my favorite people.  It feels great fundraising for Power (women's advocacy) and Positive Images (queer youth services).  I love programing the entertainment and am so proud of our offerings each year.  Happy to be producing it as a local for the first time in four years and, as usual, I'm inspired and impressed by my co-producers Dawn and Judea.

This was an early version of the 2011 poster, made before Erase Errata and a few other acts confirmed.  As a collective, we later decided to stop using cursive font and to drop the word "Fest" from our awareness campaigns.  The evolution of Fabulosa continues.  We embrace life's only constant!

I spent a lot of time hanging this on community bulletin boards at coffee shops, co-operative grocery stores,  recorded music stores (a few still exist!), and independent book stores in San Francisco, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa...  Its fun to leave the city to talk to people in these kinds of places about what we're doing.  People are so supportive in the little Sonoma and Marin county communities - lots of love for fundraisers and music and film fests.   People regard philanthropy and the arts as essential to quality living.

We have the property reserved again in July 2012.  I have some acts booked already.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New EE EP Out Now

Erase Errata's new record/digital download is RELEASED! You can buy it now! <--(click)

People ask me for lyrics - here's what I say on this EP:

"Ouija-Boardin'"
Love advice - Love advice
Passions fade, then arise
Can't trust your own judgement
Can't decide
Teen-age love?  Stick with your wife?
Write us in a letter for love advice
Love advice - Love advice
Girls and boys
Idle minds
Situations came together in your life
Tempt the fates with messy lies
Write to me, I'll give you love advice
And, regarding love...
I do what I can to be worthy of love

"Damaged"
Wasted dreams.  Wasted days.  Wasted nights.
Wasted actions.  Wasted ideas.
Baby, your scars, they show, they show
Inside, outside, I know, Baby, I know

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Portland

Sweater Tree

Comics by folksinger/artist Michael Hurley










VW bus with a tie-dyed Ramble-on Rose car bra

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meredith Baxter

Meredith Baxter from Family Ties comes out on the Today Show

pichus

These are some photos I took in Texas with the (not-fancy) camera on my (not-fancy) phone:


 This creature measured 4 inches and hung out on the window the whole week.


My sister's new puppy Cesar weighs less than one pound and was so cute that none of us really got mad about "potty incidents" (shown here with my niece, sister and Santa Bear in background).


Me, just before I drove to Atlanta, TX for Mimmi's funeral.


This is one of many art installations at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, TX.  It is a cow in a space suit holding a Texas flag and some sort of ray gun.  Not pictured, the statue of George Bush Sr, hair and jacket blowing in the wind.


I sat next to a guy named Freddy on the plane from Phoenix to Portland last night.  He's a manager at a contracting company in Salem.  He drives a "Beemer" but has a Lincoln Navigator with a very expensive sound system and 26-inch wheels in his garage for special occasions.  One tire for 26 inch wheels costs $750. He had to loan the Navigator to his ex-wife so she could drive their 2 children (boys aged 7 and 8) around while he was visiting his mother in Mexico.  "The Ex-Wife" cannot drive a stick so she could not drive the "Beemer" while he was gone.  He never takes the Navigator out after 8pm.  I know 2 hours worth of other facts about Freddy but I'll leave it at that.  He was nice and thought it was funny that I bought a beer on the plane.
I DJ tonight at Fame (aka Gay Pizza) at Portsmith Pizza Pub.  I'm going to play Dark Wave and some Southern Hip Hop.  Weird combo, I know.

Friday, November 27, 2009

RIP Mary Margaret Manning, April 19, 1916 - November 27, 2009

I had a feeling Mimmi was going to die last night, and she did.
Yesterday I filled my fireplace mantle with photos of her, Dad, Grandan, Mamaw, Papaw, Aunt Jewel, and other family who've passed, remembering how Dad went around Thanksgiving too...
My mother phoned with the news this morning, and by 9am I'd put a $610 flight and car package on my credit card.
My grandmother made lovely oil and watercolor paintings and was also an incredible seamstress and quilter.  I loved to sit at her supper table, eating slow-cooked southern food.  Each meal was followed by pie or chocolate fudge brownies.  I respected her dignified manor.  She was cool. 
My sister and I spent hot Atlanta, Texas afternoons up in Mimmi and Grandan's pecan tree with nutcrackers - cracking, munching, and singing the latest radio hits together.  It was an old, red clay town - a major stop for the Texas & Pacific Railway until the 1970's (a decade before Walmart's parasitic siege killed a thriving downtown).  I was in Atlanta watching the evening news when it was announced that Elvis Presley died (August 16, 1977).  We'd all seed Elvis in concert the previous fall at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  I looked over at Mimmi, sewing in her rocking chair, shaking her head. "He was young," she said.  I sulked and padded down the hall to her living room to listen to the Blue Hawaii 8 track tape.
Seeing her in the nursing home a few weeks ago was gut-wrenching.  She was at the end of her life.  Up until her 93rd birthday, she was alert and witty, socializing with people in her assisted living community.  But she'd had a couple of hospitalizations in the last year, and lost most of her vision in the last few months.  Now she was slumped in a wheel chair, not recognizing me from moment to moment...  And crying...  It was heartbreaking to see her like this.  I sat with her and held her hand and told her not to worry, that we would finish the quilts and projects she had not been able to finish before losing her sight.  I told her how magical and legendary her chocolate fudge brownies were, and that she had the prettiest eyes I'd ever seen.  I told her I loved her so, so, SO much.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Radio

More Throbbing Gristle Pandora radio here in the office...
In my car, it is a different story.  Portland's All Classical Radio 107.1 has been stimulating, enriching, and generally changing my life for the better from constant listening during my commute and work errands.
I pulled up next to a kid blasting the Alternative station this morning and caught myself thinking, "What a bunch of racket!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

wweeeekkeenndd were-yore

Listening to the Throbbing Gristle station on Pandora.
What a weekend.  It was good... 
The drive to Olympia was memorable.  Getting to play DJ on Tara's I-Pod ruled.  We heard John Cale, John Coltrane, Hall & Oats, Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, Suicide, Kate Bush, Laura Nero...  All the while, Tara was driving in heavy traffic in a torrential downpour.  We all enjoyed singing along to "Kiss On My List" during the Hall & Oats portion of our drive.
Christina, Sarah, Tara, and I met Ted Kwo, who was promoting the show that night, at Quality Burrito for dinner.  We were soon joined by Claudia and Megan.  In addition to really enjoying my burrito, I greatly enjoyed my QB Classic Margarita with salt, sugar and cayenne on the rim.
We were at the Voyeur about 40 minutes before the show started.  Was happy to see Rachael and other familiar faces.  It had been a week since the terrible phone conversation I had with X.  I gave myself a moment alone with a cup of tea to acknowledge "feelings" before I got into "show mode."  "My feelings are still hurt."  "I am relieved at the thought of not being in a position to get my feelings hurt over and over by X in the future."  "I am happy to be out of town."  "I am happy to be playing music with friends."  "I am happy to see bands I like tonight."  "I am happy for this cup of tea."
Though the Voyeur has much less of a sound system than Backspace, as I suspected, all of the bands sounded waaaaay better at the Olympia show.  Wet Hair played an especially good set.  Talk Normal was amazing.  Broken Water were great and had mind-blowing video on the wall behind them during their set.
After the show we had a fun slumber party back at Kwo's place.  Christina was playing unplugged electric guitar on the couch and it sounded so good with the record Kwo had put on.  I drank a Coors Light, made jokes with Kwo, Claudia, and Megan, hung out in the alley with Katherine, and fell asleep on Kwo's couch at 3am or so.
Tara texted at 8:50am that she was on her way to pick me up to go home.  It was her birthday and we were getting an early start so she could go to the woods (and so I could be on time for Pancake Sunday at my house).   I put on my shoes and coat, grabbed my cable and pedal bag, and went out into the rain to wait for her.  We stopped for coffee and tea at a place called Sizizis.  I want the inside of Sizizis to be my bedroom!  Solid, dark oak everything.  I arrived home in time to eat Kaia's delicious buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and a portion of Chelsea's amazing fritata.  Food with friends is the best.
I worked on the music and media room in the basement.  I set up my PA, amps, and a drum kit and organized the stringed instruments and trumpet parts.  Next on the agenda:  move cabinet and TV (thanks Debbie Fox!) into room, acquire shelves to organize pedals and cables, acquire small table to host my tape machine, jam in the basement all winter long...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Talk Normal + Silver Interior = Love

I moved around Backspace several times before I found a good position to hear Talk Normal last night and unfortunately it meant sacrificing being able to actually see the band.  By the time they arrived at their last song (my favorite on the new album) "In A Strange Land," I could hear everything in balance but was standing at the back of the audience, leaning against the computer station.  Hoping the lack of PA/sound person at the Voyeur in Olympia tonight will allow the band to present themselves as they are meant to be heard.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love this band.
I spent the first half of their set just behind drummer Andrya Ambro, who impressed me not only with her brutal, barbaric drumming style but with her hot coal-walker "fancy dance" as she played.  I had the fortunate opportunity of spending time with Andrya prior to the show.  I loved her the moment she let me in Christina's front door:  good energy, tea drinker... Thumbs up.  I was already a huge fan of the band's string-master Sarah Register (despite her faulty claim that she is able to psychically determine if someone is from Texas).
The duo had a cohesive energy live.  They are for real.  Was really psyched to see Sarah's amp set up - she had her guitar going through guitar and bass amps on stage and could kick the output of each one on and off with a pedal.  Smart!
Silver Interior's first live set with Tara on 2nd guitar and percussion was so, so fun.  I have the best time playing with Christina and Tara and feel like we meet on another plane.  Later, hearing the weird sound system issues with the other bands, I was knocked off my cloud a bit, worried that our sound might have been off.
After the show last night I stopped in at Boxxes "Latino Night" briefly for a very bad Patron Cosmo before heading out to The Blue Parrot in St. Johns.  My friend Andrea was bartending.  Tyler and Mesha were saddled up to the bar keeping her company and scores of gay men and the women who love them were keeping her busy with drink orders.  I peaked into the Karaoke room.  People were really happy in there and dancing to all of the singers.  I walked up to the KJ and asked if he had "Erotic City" by Prince.  He put me on stage immediately and it was fun to have a full dance floor while I sang.  Two shows in one night, ha...
I went home around 2:30am and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  I had been up since 7:45am.
Its now almost noon and I'm typing in bed.  Excited to play again tonight.  Excited to see friends in Olympia.  Excited to see Talk Normal again.  Excited.  (Maybe that's the 2 huge glasses of Irish Breakfast tea type-talking?  Nope.  Excited).

Friday, November 20, 2009

YYYYYYYessssss

I'm so excited about tonight.  Friday is the best day in the world.  I love the weekend!  5pm elation is only 6.5 hours away.  I'm going to load gear in to Backspace, jam a set with Christina and Tara (we're called Silver Interior), then watch one of my favorite bands from right now, Talk Normal, jam what I'm hoping is going to be a totally rad set.  Talk Normal are a two-woman dark-wave band from NY.  I've been listening to them at work all week, getting pumped about the show.  I am hoping they have vinyl copies of their new album.  That would rule.  Wow, I wish I drank coffee.  Hope black tea is sufficient in keeping an old man up late!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Violent Acts

Today I heard about the gruesome, despicable murder of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado.  I'm so disgusted that yet another young gay man has been murdered by another violent narcissist.  The murders of James Byrd, Jr. and Matthew Sheppard are fresh on my mind because they were discussed so much last week when the new federal anti-hate crime legislation became official. 
I take measures to feel "safe" in my daily life as an "out" queer person, but news of another horrific murder makes me feel at risk.  It touches a deep childhood fear.  I often feared for my corporal safety when I was growing up.  In my small Texas town, people were not taught to control their tempers.  Husbands beat wives, husbands and wives beat children, children beat each other.  Now, my world feels less-violent, but maybe that's because I live in a city where people are more tolerant of differences, and not in a small town.  Though conflicts can usually be rationally solved (and differences can be calmly respected), violent, narcissistic tempers still produce heinous acts of murder and torture.  The human capacity for violence is vast and scary.
This situation must be so, so heartbreaking for this beautiful young man's family and friends.

New Moon Meditation

Portland was blessed with a bit of blue sky again today!  Seeing the sun peak from behind the clouds provides me with a feeling akin to that special "Friday at 5pm" elation:  I'm alive!  

Was happy to discover the article that Cookie and Becky posted on FB about the new moon.  I find the following quotations from it spinning circles in my head:

"What we clutch tightly, as if our lives depended on it, is often the very thing we've got to let go of."

"It's time to look at associations to see if they're holding you back."

"...surrendering to a deep healing, release, purge of what's become toxic in your life. It's having the courage to look at what needs to go, in order for you to grow."

"What's needed now is a heart open to change, and the willingness to do whatever that takes."

Last night I had a short, highly productive meeting with Sarah G.  I left feeling excited about the Art Party we're going to make happen in Portland starting in February.  So wonderful to connect with other people who are driven by intense creative energy.
This morning Conrad is blasting the Major Lazer album.  Highly motivating.  OK, back to business...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whirlwind Bay Area Weekend Trip Leaves 9-5'er Weary

Erase Errata played another show with Mission of Burma on Saturday at The Independent in San Francisco. Christina and I met up around 10am to head to the Portland airport. Dustin had an amp and guitar to loan for the show so I left home with guitar pedals, a toothbrush and $20.
Christina's gear is specialized and there was concern about how to safely transport her vintage analog synth, modified Casio and other fragile items down for the show. She got a duffel bag from Andy & Bax and wrapped everything in her camping sleep mat for cushion. We risked the odds and checked the bag because the airline counter staff insisted it was too large to carry on. All of the gear arrived intact at the Oakland baggage claim, thankfully.
The show was great. Despite fears that arose about the audio staff's competence when sound checks took really, really long (our band usually takes ten minutes to set levels), the sound was incredible for both bands. Mission of Burma did 2 encores and the quiet, contemplative crowd made up for awkward silence between songs with undivided attention and enthusiastic applause at the end of each song.
The dressing room was stocked with hummus, chips, salsa, fruit, coffee, tea, beer and vodka. Was great to spend time backstage with Ellie, Heath, Bianca and Dustin and, even though the tickets to the show were expensive, I was pleasantly surprised to see Therm and Kim P in the audience (though I fruitlessly searched for them after).  Jael, Courtney, Andy and other friends were also there and made us feel at home while we played.
After the show, we headed to lovely Tara Jepsen's birthday party at Li-Po in Chinatown. Michael Hyde is an excellent DJ and had a dude with a V-Drum set up playing along with the music he was spinning. It made all of his party jams even more percussive and danceable. Great idea! I want to bring him up to Portland to DJ a Casual Encounters or Men's Room. Heath, Ellie and Derrik were really fun to hang out with in the basement of Li-Po, and dancing with Tara, Yirko and Kirk made me happy. The only downer was that, by the time we'd settled the show, loaded out and made it over, there was only half an hour of party left. I would have preferred several hours among that amazing group of people.
Sunday morning came early after such a late night...
Dawn and Judea picked me up at 9am to head to Walker Creek Ranch, the future new home of Fabulosa Fest. The trip took just over an hour, the last half of the drive was on a beautiful, windy, tree-lined road. I was excited to tour the property after hearing those guys excitedly describe it's many perks but had no idea of just how amazing and full of possibilities the place would be: solar power, organic garden to supply the cafeteria kitchen, bunk houses, camping, amphitheater with fire pit, manicured lake with swimming and canoeing, nature hikes aplenty, Miwok grinding rocks, wildlife (we saw a fox, and many deer, wild turkeys, and tree and land rodents) and on and on. I am so so so excited about Fabulosa 2010!
Back in San Francisco, after a late lunch/early dinner recap meeting with Dawn and Judea at Catch (on Market in the Castro) Christina and I met up and caught the BART over to Oakland. Ellie met us at Lake Merritt station and we went to her house for a last bit of chatting before heading to the airport at 5:30. The Raiders game was just letting out (they lost but we still love 'em!) and the highway was aglow with red and white lights as far up the road as I could see and we sat in post-game traffic. We made it to the airport just in time for me to buy a $5 Raiders pennant from the Oakland Fan Store (at gate C22) before stepping on the plane.
Back at my house, Mr. Slivers greeted me with passionate meows at the door and I found Chelsea in her room clipping pictures out of fashion magazines, getting ideas for clothes she planned to make this week. Cute. Still missing Jarrett and Sleep Daddy, but nonetheless, I'm home sweet home, for now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weird Al's Job

Even Vampires keep diaries these days. Why allow my thoughts to only run in troublesome circles inside my head?
I have a beautiful view outside my window at work. I can see the river and the Made In Oregon sign. The trees just outside and across the river are on fire with color now. Rust, Red, Yellow, Orange, Green. Portland is truly beautiful in the Fall.
I went to a cheap department store with Chelsea yesterday and got a warm and waterproof winter coat with a hood, an umbrella, some work-out shorts and a long sleeved work shirt (for under $40!) and feel ready to face the wet onslaught (sort of). I miserably bike commuted 7-15 miles a day through the long winter rain and elements last year. This year I saved up enough money for a down payment on one of the devil's machines (I bought a car!). I've also decided to join a gym for 3 months. Free-weights, cycle, treadmill, sauna. I'm really hoping that all of these preparations make for an OK time through the next 4 months.  Living in Portland is no joke.
I'm excited that Conrad turned me on to Cold Cave.  I like most songs on Love Comes Close and am looking forward to seeing them at Rotture on December 1st.
I'm also waiting to get a copy of the new Gossip record on vinyl since there are tracks on it that are perfect for DJing.  I like mixing "Love Long Distance" with classic minimal disco.

It's fun to make up new words to old tunes.
Each member of Erase Errata took turns making mistakes at the very end of otherwise perfect takes in the studio Sunday.  I tried to ease frustrations with lyrical hammery, creating annoying, Weird Al style versions of Melissa Ethridge, The Police and "Brittney."

I'm very excited about recording with Christina.  KRS will release our 7" (late 2010). The new songs are making me happy!