Bait The Traps

Dreamland Faces performing upstairs at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York for the opening of the "Extreme Materials II" show
Dreamland Faces performing upstairs at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York for the opening of the “Extreme Materials II” show

It was great playing with Minneapolis’s Dreamland Faces at the Extreme Materials show but because they were playing at the same time as Margaret Explosion we didn’t get to hear much. We chatted before the show and Andy said they were going to do their “dissident stuff”. We heard from others that Karen didn’t sing for some reason. I caught part of one song while we were on break and it didn’t sound dissident to me. It sounded other worldly. Andy’s from Rochester so they’ll be back. With two accordions, two saws, two totally unique voices they are a marvel. Here’s a clip of Andy from Prairie Home Companion.

We have a mouse in our spice cabinet but it’s not going after the spices, it is stripping the labels of the Cream of Tarter and other containers in order to use the paper in it’s nest. That’s not so bad but the droppings are sort of unappetizing. Our cat has been looking at the walls like there is something going on in there so I’m thinking it’s time to bait the traps.

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Rasberries in Leo's garden
Rasberries in Leo’s garden

Winning is not everything but I do wish I could beat my neighbor, Rick, in horseshoes. Not so much for the sake of winning but just to be able to see him with his tail between his legs for a while. Maybe that is the same thing. It felt real good to see the US beat Brazil in the 122’nd minute on a beautiful cross that Rochester’s Abby Wambach nailed with her head. And it was especially nice to watch the game with my mom while sitting in my parent’s living room, a few blocks from Mercy High School, where both Abby and my mom went.

It has become impossible to keep up with the wild raspberries in Leo’s garden although many of the neighbors on our street have been trying. Peggi and Monica both made pies over the weekend. I have seeds stuck between my teeth around the clock. And with this heat the berries will soon shrivel up.

Andy and Karen from Dreamland Faces were in town last week. They dropped off a few of their new 45s at the Bop Shop and our neighbor Rick grabbed one for us. Both sides are in Chinese. Here’s hoping they’ll be here long enough for a gig next month when they return. This is a folk song about pretty girls with long braids. “If you want to marry, don’t wed any other – I want you to marry me. Bring all your money and your little sister, get in the wagon, come with me”

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Progress or Passage

Margaret Explosion at Little Theater Cafe in Rochester, New York
Margaret Explosion at Little Theater Cafe in Rochester, New York

John Gilmore brought a Wegman’s precooked chicken over for dinner last night. We had a salad and some salsa waiting for him but the salsa was too hot for John. We gobbled it all down and raced off to the Little for our last Margaret Explosion gig until November. We’ll use our down time next month to rehearse for the Scorgies Reunion gig. Haven’t touched most of that Personal Effects material in twenty years.

Bob Martin was out of town last night so we played with Jack Schaefer. We got through the night without doing any songs and that is usually a sign that there will be some magic on the recording. Paul Brandwein was there to hear the band and marvel at his art on the walls. We had just seen him at the Billy Bang show on Monday. Mick Sarubbi was there with his mono recording rig set up. That’s his mic in the foreground of this shot. Here’s our recording of one of the tunes from last night. We’ll have to A/B it to Mick’s.

Back home we checked out the photos that John Gilmore took at the Little while iTunes shuffled away in the background. Patsy Cline’s “Does Your Heart Beat For Me?” leveled me for some reason. Does that old stuff really sound better? Is there such a thing as progress or just passage? Like Irene (Palermo) Baurschmidt told me at our reunion, “We’re getting old, Paul”.

Dreamland Faces ignores these issues and plays timeless music. They’ll be playing saw & accordions tomorrow night while Jenn Libby projects some films at the Visual Studies Workshop – 8PM. Pick up a copy of their new BROWN HORN instrumental record while you’re there. I will be entertaining my mother-in-law.

I used the 25 dollar B&N gift certificate that the class gave me for being on the reunion committee to order the Marlene Dumas book, “Measuring Your Own Grave”. The book is a companion piece to her upcoming show at MOMA. She is my favorite living artist.

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Dreamland Faces

Dreamland Faces Poster for Dryden Theater at Geaorge Eastman House in Rochester, NY
Dreamland Faces Poster for Dryden Theater at Geaorge Eastman House in Rochester, NY

Andy McCormick and Karen Majewicz (Dreamland Faces) performed in the dark last night in front of twelve short silent films that had been recently restored by the George Eastman House. Their music was so perfect for these old films that I kept forgetting it was being performed live and that it was not part of the soundtrack. And we were sitting right next to them in the front row. It was a magical night.

Andy plays musical saw, accordion, piano and keyboards and Karen sings like Edith Piaf while playing accordion or piano. They movies included “Mushroom Growing”1915, “How The Cowboy Makes His Lariat” 1917, two sensational “Felix The Cat” movies circa 1925 and “Love, Snow and Ice” 1915, featuring festivities at the famous Ice Palace built in 1898 in Saranac Lake. The complete lineup and a very cool picture of the band is here.

Also in the very cool category would be the John Cassavetes film festival this month at the Dryden.

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