Acorn Girl

Bag of potato chips on blue sofa by curb along Culver Road in Rochester, New York
Bag of potato chips on blue sofa by curb along Culver Road in Rochester, New York

We tell how humid it is by how easily our front door closes. When we’re home we keep it locked but slightly ajar so we can get in without a key. A gentle tug closes it part way, the bugs stay out and we have easy access. When the humidity is really low the damn thing closes behind us. It was really low today, a perfect day for a walk to the beach. And once there we walked out the pier. We are headed back to Spain to complete our walk and we have just started to ramp up our milage.

We had dinner with friends last night. The youngest in our midst was an old friend’s son. He was playing country blues on a three quarter size guitar when we arrived. I went to high school with his father and he has been dead for quite some time now. We are still friends with his wife, Chuck’s “Acorn Girl.” I was struck by how much the son reminded me of his father. I wasn’t expecting it for some reason. I thought his father was truly one of a kind. I think he would be so proud of his son.

Here is one of Chuck Cuminale’s songs, “Acorn Girl,” as performed by Pete LaBonne.


Give The Bass Player Some

Ken Frank on bass
Ken Frank on bass

We had our second Margaret Explosion rehearsal last night in preparation for this upcoming WXXI Sound Stage thing. I am beginning to see way we never rehearse. It gets complicated. Trying to play a song better than it was the first time is next to impossible but if you’re gonna try you need to discuss a few things. We started with a few nice jams and then played our set. Since we generally arrange songs as we play them we found ourselves offering opinions as to what would make these prearranged songs better. It would help if I could play better, I know that. The band works like magic and if you know the trick, its not magic. It’s a delicate thing. I was really happy when rehearsal was over.

Today I kept thinking how lucky I am to play with such amazing musicians. Peggi tosses off creative, original melodies as naturally as she smiles. Bob has a world of sounds and at his fingertips and the musical ability to express any emotion. Ken is the best bass player in the world. Rock solid when he wants to be yet as wild, inventive and musically adventurous as anyone I’ve met.

The Poet ((Chuck Cuminale) from the "Community Icons" series by Paul Dodd. Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high, 1989
The Poet ((Chuck Cuminale) from the “Community Icons” series by Paul Dodd. Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high, 1989. Ken Frank is shown in silhouette.

I guess the first time we met Ken was when our bands played together at Scorgies. He was in 5 Star Buffalo and I was in Personal Effects. They blew us away. Ken wound up in Colorblind James after Bernie Heveron (former Personal Effects bass player) left and I painted Ken behind Chuck when I did my “Local Icons” series in the eighties.

I checked in on a few of my favorite blogs today and found a great interview with Angel Corpus Christi by the Next Big Thing. Lloyd Mintern used a live Margaret Explosion track as a backing track to a video of his photos. Frank Paolo described his cancer diagnosis and Kevin Patrick started a column on Alan Vega that found its way to local dinosaur rock station, WCMF, Roger McCall’s murder and even mentioned a band we were in a long time ago. The links in the right column should take you there.

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Body Parts Found In Chicago

Watkins & The Rapiers performing live at WXXI
Watkins & The Rapiers performing live on WXXI’s Sound Stage

We went to the old Rohrbach’s location in the basement of the German House in Rochester’s South Wedge last night. Watkins & The Rapiers were playing there surrounded by TV sets tuned to various stations. “Body Parts Found In Chicago” was displayed the the bottom of the screen on Fox News. I couldn’t tell what we were looking at. We went out with our neighbor, Rick, and he ordered a pitcher of beer. We ran into Bob Mahoney and Jan Marshall and had a nice time chatting while the Regan brothers sang their super catchy songs and select covers like Ricky Nelson’s “Travelin’ Man” and Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece”. I slept like a baby and woke up with “Even on Christmas Day He Wore Black” stuck in my head. Peggi said she was singing “Mighty Nice of you to Treat Colorblind This Way” and they didn’t even do that one.

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