How does Abilene get to have bands outside every night of the week in downtown Rochester? I’m not complaining, I’m just wondering. When New Math rehearsed in the Cox building on Saint Paul, we would get complaints from people all over downtown. Maybe it was our music. Anyway I’m happy to listen to bands out back at Abilene’s and I can only guess that there is just nobody around in this part of town to complain.
Nobody that is, except the NV clubgoers and the over the top securtity team from the hip hop club around the corner. These guys look like the Guardia Civil in Franco’s day. White chunky skinheads with pirate style hats, radios and handcuffs hanging off their belts. There were about fifteen of them out in front of Abilene the other night. I didn’t know whether to feel safe or be afraid.
I didn’t come up with that word but I am living the concept. Today we did a little bit of 4D work, and then a few home repairs, took a walk in the woods and a swim at the pool. We’re watching our neighbor’s cat while they are on a real vacation so we just raided their movie collection to top it all off.
It has rained a lot up near Lake Ontario. We have had some rain everyday for the last few weeks. The frogs are digging this weather, the mushrooms too. We have a bright red mushroom in our backyard and some funky things out front. We took a walk in the woods and found all these exotic formations.
We were going to go down to New York and then we decided to go up to the mountains but we didn’t leave on Saturday so we talked about leaving on Sunday and then we decided to stay right here instead. Peggi suggested pitching a tent in the back yard. We might do that. There’s too much rigmarole involved with trying to get out of town. It’s much easier to stay right here.
Last night was First Friday again and Dick Storms had an art opening at his store, Record Archive. The whole store has always been like a funky art piece but for this occasion he set aside some wall space on the ramp that leads to the vinyl pit to show his rock artwork for bands in the late sixties and early seventies. Dick did the lightshow for Quicksilver Messenger Service back in the day. The photo above shows Dick’s album cover art for the Rochester band, Rain. It is a three color silkscreen sticker that the band stuck on the lp and on surfaces all over town. Hermie from the Bug Jar was at the opening and he said his sister had one of these records. Dick’s art work is is comfortable like Robert Crumb or late Philip Guston. His daughter, Margaret, helped hang the show. It should be be up for a month or so.
Over at RoCo we fell for the the three guys from Syracuse, Avalanche Collective, who set up camp in empty urban lots and videotape their adventures. The photo above, of the three of them, was lit by the car batteries in their wagon.
It has been total Julia immersion for us working on Julia Nunes’s web site. She’s had thousands of hits while we set the thing. People were signing her guest book as we were installing it. We worked until six or so and then we headed down to the pool. It was beautiful there and relaxing. We watched for John Gilmore to drive by and when he did we went home to meet him for dinner. We ate on the deck and headed off to see Julia at Alilene. She was great. She did this song about breaking up with her boyfriend that had the line, “I’m going out to get my mind off you”. It was like an Irish drinking song.
I couldn’t hear her talking between songs (and that’s my favorite part) so I said, “louder”. I was standing next to Dick Storms and he seconded my suggestion, “This is an older crowd. We’re all deaf in here.”
I went up to Julia on her break and waited for an opening to say hi. She was surrounded by admirers. I said, “Hi Julia. I just thought I would say hi. I’m Paul” and she looked at me and smiled sarcastically sweet and went on talking to her friends. I had to interrupt her again to say, “Paul from the website.” And she asked if Debbie was around but she meant Peggi. So we met. We love Julia.
I managed to ride my bike home from Wegmans this morning with a pretty big watermelon under my arm. I made a fruit salad and we slugged it out in 4D’s office. Skipped the pool today and tried to make some progress on a few web sites. We talked about driving down to NYC this weekend and then we considered heading up to the mountains but we didn’t make any big decisions. Peggi made pesto for dinner and we got back to work.
We were planning on hearing Frank De Blase’s talk at the George Eastman House tonight. “Peel and Squeal Appeal” Va va voom! Beach bunnies, bathing beauties, hotrod honeys—Frank De Blase goes beyond the norm to photograph the female form but work comes first.
Margaret Explosion had a gig tonight at the Little Theatre Cafe and Peggi and I were running late, I should say later than usual. We should have been playing by the time we got there but no big deal. Peggi’s sister left LA yesterday, just before the earthquake, to spend some time with her mom so they both showed up for the gig and we started talking. I went up to sit down and play and I realized that I had forgotten my sticks. That’s pretty bad. The band started without me and I went home to pick them up. I took my espresso along for the ride.
Peggi and I had been playing in the basement the night before and I found the sticks in a dark spot. I headed back to the Little and ran into Mike Allen at the door. He was in my class at RL and we chatted for a bit while the band played without a drummer. They sounded pretty good.
The really weird thing is I had the first page of a pdf of scans of our yearbook open on my computer at home and Mike was one of the people on that first page. He was reminding me that his brother was the drummer in the “Root of All Evil”, a band that I used to see all the time at Panorama Bowl. And they played our high school as well but it was always more fun over at Panorama Bowl. They covered the bowling lanes with plywood and about every twenty minutes a fight would break out on the dance floor. Most of the bands of that day covered the Rascals and Smokey, Mitch Ryder and even Barbara Lewis’s “Hello Stranger”.
I volunteered to make the little badges that people wear at the reunion. That’s my favorite part, looking at the old photos. Here’s a photo of Frank Paolo, who was also in my class, in a post he sent out to our class.
It seemed everybody was making a big deal about the New Yorker cartoon with the Obamas burning the flag. They could just have easily been disposing of the sacred flag in the proper manner. When Jeff Munson and I were leaving the VFW (beersRcheap) last night we spotted this odd deposit box for flags. We had never seen one before. It looks like someone has defaced a US Mailbox and then written this note on the side reminding people to not put their brand new flags in here.
How did they get away with both of these things? And thirdly, according to usa-flag-site.org “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”. I will have to add this photo to my “Funky Signs” section.
When I was in the country band, “The On-Fours’, we played the Elks Clubs, Moose Lodges, Eagle’s Clubs, American Legions and VFWs in all those southern Indiana towns. The VFWs were the darkest and the smokiest and there was the least amout of dancing in there. I did drum duty in this band for a couple of years. Dave Mahoney took my place when we moved to Rochester.
4D Advertising is surly the only design company still doing sheet music in Rochester, New York. Tony Stortini brought two new songs over this morning for us to do cover illustrations for. The first, is an old world, romantic number for violin and piano is called “Hearts of Gold” and the other, a lively number for piano and horns, is called “Tippy Tap Joe”. That one is dedicated to Tony’s brother Nunzio who loved to dance the Jitterbug. Tony wrote the music and had someone from the Eastman School of Music transcribe it on his computer. Once it was transcribed this guy had his computer play it back like only a machine can and then he burned these two songs to a cd. The sound is something like the carousal at Sea Breeze.
I had a meeting tonight with the committee that is working on our high school reunion. We met at the VFW in Fairport where we will be having the event. Someone from our class is a member here. The place is comfortable and funky. We’ll rock this place.
We read the paper on the deck, worked in the yard, swam at the pool, played horseshoes and had dinner across the street at Rick and Monica’s. Rick cooked salmon on cedar planks and he made rice with cilantro and lime. We brought the salad. Monica made a blueberry pie. I told Rick that I had lost my jackknife. (I think it was at the theater during Hellboy) He went upstairs and came down with a black Swiss Army knife with the Kodak logo on it that he bought at the garage sale they had at our house after the previous owner died. He gave it to me so it is back where it belongs. We played with Rick’s new iPod Touch. I previewed some of our recent web pages. It was a perfect Sunday. Now I ‘m boning up on best web practices at Apple’s site. Gotta make sure our pages work on all of Apple’s hot new devices.
We started last evening at the Village Gate with extreme entertainment from Watkins and the Rapiers who were playing outdoors on the patio. We had planned to meet Rick and Monica there for a bite to eat but we got there too late for that and they didn’t seem to mind. Rick had already celebrated his last day at work with his fellow employees and then met Monica there. He asked if I could drive his car home so he could keep celebrating.
After their set Peggi and I headed over to the Public Market for Latin Night. They had a great turnout, mostly Puerto Ricans and us. Unless I’m missing something, Puerto Ricans do a lot better job of mixing the races than we do.
Our final stop of the evening was Abilene where a band with a lot of horns and no vocalist was playing on the back deck. Peggi and I both ordered a Scottish style ale in a can called “Old Chub” and talked to a Ron Stackman who had just returned from Stockholm. He told us he had seen Patti Smith perform there and she played the worst clarinet he had ever heard. We headed back to the Village Gate to pick up Ricks car. It is a stick shift Subaru and it was a lot of fun to drive. I followed Peggi home down Culver. It took me about half the trip to find the volume control for the stereo so I could turn it down. Rick likes Americana singer songwriter stuff. I this one lyric stuck with me. She went to school while I hung around. I ain’t never gonna leave my home town”. I was thinking of me and Peggi.
We did a little yard work today, mostly cleaning up after ourselves, and opened the windows so we could hear our stereo in the back yard. It rained for bit so I cme in to work on some web pages. I called Bill Jones for tech support. I’ve been doing this since the day I met him back at Publisher’s Workshop. I will never catch up to Bill.
Party Shuffle in iTunes was cookin’. The eighteen minute “Little House I Used To Live In’ from 1969’s Burnt Weenie Sandwich came up with Sugercane Harris’s violin solo. I remember learning the Art Tripp drum parts with Brad Fox. And then I remembered that someone broke in to the house Dave Mahoney and I lived in while we were out tripping somewhere in Bloomington. When we got back the stereo was gone along with our copy of “Burnt Weenie” which we left on the turntable. Th empty album jacket was still there. And then I put it all together that that was “the little house I used to live in”. This place was tiny. It was the size of single car garage. The bed was in the living room. There was tiny kitchen, just big enough to make peanut butter sandwiches and Progresso Minestrone soup, and a shower.
“American Gangster”, from Netflix, is waiting for us in the living room.
The whole time we were working on the stone wall out back I kept looking at the other end of our yard where, according to the neighbors, some Bosnians rebuilt the stone wall before we moved in. I can’t imagine how they did this but it puts our efforts to shame.
Rich and Andrea gave me a green, long sleeve t-shirt that had “Treehugger” written on the front. I wore it to Abeline on Olga’s birthday. Bobby Henrie & The Goners were playing. I was talking to Hermie from the Bug Jar and some guy came up to me and said, “You don’t have to wear that shirt. I could have spotted you a mile away”. He laughed and I laughed but it seemed kind of odd. And then a woman standing nearby said, “I am a treehugger. Have you ever hugged a tree?” I said no but I actually have. It was in jest but I remember the feeling.
When we were at Peggi’s high school reunion a few weeks ago two people told us we looked organic. This seemed sort of odd to us. We had never heard anyone refer to people as “organic”. Peggi wondered if it was the lack of hair dye or make-up and I thought maybe it was my shirt not being tucked in. But we really have no idea.
We finished our stone wall this evening. We started this project back in May. A few weeks went by when we were unable to get out there but it was a bigger project than we realized. Fitting the stones so they don’t wobble, keeping the two over one and one over two rule in mind, checking the level from time to time and just lifting these things only to find one in every five or so fit was a lot. It kind of looks like a mad man did it. But hey, it’s organic.
We’ve had over four inches of rain this week and that’s about all anyone around here can talk about. At least that is case with our neighbors. We haven’t left the hood in a while. We took a walk down Hoffman to see how “the fool on the hill” made out with all the rain. He was out in the road at the bottom of his driveway shoveling mud. Why the town ever gave that guy the green light to build on that steep slope is still a mystery.
It’s not not like it has been raining all the time, it has all come in these incredible tropical like downpours accompanied with thunder and lightning. We’ve lost power twice. We woke up to thunder this morning around three and shut the computers down ourselves before they got spiked.
We spent the day constructing Julia Nunes’ website layout at HostBaby (sister company to CD Baby). They have a easy access admin panel and all sorts of snippets with easy ways for novices to update their site without wrecking it in their basic package. And then they offer the possibility of a full access site with the snippets. They even have a friendly, knowledgeable help staff. Pretty impressive.
Bob Russell emailed from the Little Theater Cafe wanting to know if we wanted to play next Wednesday so I guess we have a date in the near future. I just set my drums up here for the first time since our WXXI gig. Peggi and I might play later tonight. I’m going to add that date to the Margo site when I finish this. Is it ok if I talk to myself here? I’ve sort of made a resolution to not put up any new pages until the section I’m posting to gets reworked from html to php. Eventually the whole Refrigerator site will be php pages with includes for the header with a navigation menu that I can update in one document and have it fed to the whole site. I am completely backlogged with stuff to post to the site and I can’t see updating only to have to rework those pages down the road.
So I created a new php index page for the Refrigerator and uploaded it. Peggi modified the .htaccess file to redirect301 the old index.html links to index.php. The only things in the menu are the few sections that I have reworked.
Peggi’s sister is coming into town next week to spend some time with her mom so Peggi and I are planning a trip to NYC. Another getaway idea is going up to Pete and Shelley’s place in the mountains. We met them twenty years ago on 8.8.88 at their “Digital Breakdown Party”, the day that Pete imaginged all tose old alrm clocks with flipping numbers relaxed and sat at 88:88. Maybe we can do both trips.
I don’t like comic books (except for Mad Magazine) or Science Fiction or action flics so what in the world was I doing watching a Cuban cigar smoking, Mexican beer drinking, red, over-sized, Shrek-like, action figure in the lead role of Guillermo del Toro’s really loud new movie? And was that Iggy Pop as Price Nuada? We liked Pan’s Labyrinth and Martin told us we should see this movie in the theater so we did. The air conditioned theater seemed like a perfect summer night destination.
We were in day three of our slow mo summer thing, deliberately skipping bands that people recommend, not answering the home line, scratching things off the To Do list, reading on the porch and doing everything in our power to sloww the summer down. We just got an invite to Janet Marshall’s summer party on August 2nd. The sound of “August” already scares me. We’re lying so low we haven’t even been to the pool in three days except to to check the chemicals.
I felt relieved when the ten minutes of three column credits started. I was really curious about who the Special Makeup Effects and Animatronics Crew was and the Prosthetic Makeup Artists did such an amazing job. I would like to hire the Seamstress Supervisor of Creature Suit Seaming Department for a little project I’m working on at 4D. And I was really surprised that Barry Manilow didn’t write that damn song (“Can’t Smile Without You”) that was featured in this new age classic.
We checked the movie line up at nearby theaters from our new Firefox “add on” to our igoogle home page. We considered “Mama Mia” but the previews were pretty bad. The previews for “wall e” looked good but it had already started at Culver Ridge so we went across the street to our neighbors to see what they had. They are in the NetFlix plan that gives them three movies at a time. We only have one at a time and ours is in transit. We came home with “The Dead Girl”, a dark mystery from 2006, which hopefully hit the spot.
We started Saturday by eating cherries and reading Thursday’s and Friday’s New York Times on the deck. It seemed like a nice day even though they were calling for a thunderstorm so we decided to mix mortar and grout the cracks between the stones that we had reset under our deck. Everything was going along fine. iTunes was doing a great job with the party shuffle. I mixed a small batch of mortar and we used it up in a few minutes. I mixed a big batch in a five gallon bucket and I had just spread it all out when the rain came, more rain than we have had all summer. We tried putting a tarp over the job site but everything was already under water. It dried out in an hour or so and Peggi sponged off the stones. The mortar looks ok. Whether its strength was compromised by all that water or not, we will find out.
There is something to be said for a hard day’s work of manual labor. Something like, “We’re tired”.
I checked the link in Andrea’s comment to my “demand destruction” post (below) and found the grizzly pope talking the same thread. “Pope Benedict XVI says insatiable consumption scarring planet”. So I guess I’ll give that a rest and let him bang his head against the wall.
We kind of played hooky today and didn’t do all that much 4D activity. We worked on our stone wall project out back and then went down to the pool for a dip.
It is Peggi’s mom’s birthday so we scooped her up and brought her over to our house for dinner. Sparky stopped by and we sat on the deck for while. We sang Happy Birthday and Sparky launched right into a second verse that none of us had ever heard before. It had something to do with a thousand good cheers, a thousand beers, getting plastered and a line where he would have said bastard but he didn’t and everyone laughed instead. I had marinated chicken all afternoon and we cooked it in the backyard. Peggi made an angel food cake and put fresh strawberries on it with three candles and three little plastic ballerinas.
This all sounds pretty mundane and that’s the way we like it. In fact we were talking about tying to slow the summer down even more.
What a relief. We may be turning the corner and it never felt so good. Economic theory holds that prices can only rise so high before customers are no longer willing to pay for a product, a phenomenon called “demand destruction”.
So the phenomenon has a name and now it needs momentum. Oil is only the beginning. We need demand destruction across the board before we consume ourselves.