We heard Jack Schaefer, bass clarinet player with Margaret Explosion and guitar player with Hookface, was playing keyboards with Nod at the Bug Jar on Friday so that went on the calendar. The only question was what time would they go on. They cram so many bands on in one night these days and I think there were four on tap for Friday. We’ve gone out to see Nod before and had to leave before they went on. They certainly didn’t need Jack (I wouldn’t mess with their off-kilter angularity) but it was great to hear him with the band.
My high school classmate, Mike Allen, has been out of commission for a few years now. He called to invite us to a rare gig at the Clarissa Street Lounge, an early gig because, as we found out, the club turns into a dancehall later on. The bar was stocked with Guinness and Red Stripe so I’m guessing it is heavy on reggae. Mike was in good form and the band, mostly Eastman dudes, were real, so-to-be pros.
So, downtown with a void to fill before Nod, we stopped into RoCo and spent some time with the new show. While I was watching a video about Richard Hirsch, the “mentor” in the Makers & Mentors theme, Bleu took Peggi in the office to see if she could fix a coding problem they have been wrestling with, positioning photos in a slider Plug-in on the home page of their WordPress site. No luck there.
We still had a half hour to kill so we stopped in the Little to check out the band in the Café. Hard to believe but it was another Americana band. This stuff is like measles, something you thought was eradicated years ago.
It is still possible to round up enough energy to leave the house at ten thirty or quarter to eleven at night. Nod does not play that often these days and they were splitting a bill with The Fox Sisters at Skylark Lounge. It was a bit like the old days there. We met Rick Cona and his girlfriend at the door. Rick was the original guitarist in the Chesterfield Kings and we had just seen Greg Prevost at Spevak’s Xmas party.
This week’s New York Times Magazine had an article about Rochester’s Lydia Lunch in the Magazine section and they quoted Greg talking about Lydia as a customer of the House of Guitars where he worked before she left town. The two surviving founders of the Bug Jar were there and Mark Bradley was playing sax with the Fox Sisters. We played pinball between sets and had a good time. Nod sounded great. The trio is incredibly rhythmic and unique as hell and that’s why we love them. Fox Sisters looked and sounded like the Dap Kings without Sharon Jones.
Jimy Chambers was one of the original members of Mercury Rev and his new band, Odiorne, played at Monty’s Krown last night with Small Smalls and NOD. We studied the poster for the gig and determined Nod was going on first. Odiorne was in the biggest type and both they and the Small Smalls were from Buffalo and Nod was listed last in small type. We got to the club about a quarter to eleven and before paying our paltry three dollar cover we asked the doorman if Nod had played yet. He said, “Nope, they’re up first and should be starting any minute.”
Monty’s is a classic rock and roll dive. It smells like cigarettes even though smoking in bars was banned years ago. Ted Williams was still there but this is no longer “the literary bar.” We ordered a pint and found Nod, now just a three piece, sitting at a table. We shot the shit for a bit and learned they were going to be last on the bill. They should be the headliners. They have everything I like in a rock band. They’re gnarly and rough, loose and danceable, and their songs get stuck in your head like a pop song. We had a long day and had to pack it in during Odiorne’s set so we missed Nod.
“World Still Wants You” by Nod fron “Tree Stuff & Lightning”.
Can’t remember how I first came across Milton Rogovin’s Buffalo photos. They really hit home with me and I painted a picture of Rogovin and his wife, Anne, in 2003. The Pyramid Art Gallery hosted a traveling show of his work around that time and I met him there and gave him a print of my painting. His wife had just died at that point and now Milton is dead at 101. There’s a nice slideshow of his photos on the Times’ site.
We took Sam Jones out to the Apple Store on Saturday before Steve Jobs announced his decision to step down for a bit. Sam was wearing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt and his Buffalo Bills jacket. His iPad kept trying to restart while he was using it. The store was mobbed and we waited in line to make an appointment with a genius. Sam gave the woman in a blue shirt his email address and about five minutes later a friendly guy in a blue shirt came over to help us. He scrolled through Sam’s ten pages of game app icons and said, “This looks like it’s been dropped.” Sam said, “Oh yeah. I’ve dropped it a bunch of times.” I cringed but the Apple guy smiled and said. “Breakage isn’t covered in your warranty but I’ll see what I can do.” Sam walked out with a new iPad.
I’m definitely a long time Apple fanboy. When my father bought his Mac II in the late eighties we used to go over there to set type and we eventually bought our own Mac II. We’ve probably had one of almost every model they’ve made since. Well I guess we never had a “toilet seat” and we don’t have an Airbook and we don’t have an iPhone but I wouldn’t leave home without my iTouch. Just by looking at Steve Jobs I would say he has a lot to do with their elegantly designed products. I don’t get that confident feeling by looking at the other execs. I hope he gets well soon.
Nod doesn’t play out that often and I was bummed that we missed them on Saturday at Abilene.
Steve Lippincott who runs the EarCandy Archive in Portland is doing a profile of Rochester bands in the eighties so I spent some time this weekend putting together cd versions of a few of Personal Effect’s old albums for him. We did a compilation in November for the Scorgies reunion but that was just a smattering of songs from the various vinyl releases.
Bob Martin carved out the perfect bass boast eq curve for the songs from “90 Days in the Planetarium” lp and I wanted to use it on the whole cd but I couldn’t fine the settings in CuBase. I called Bob and he had me set up an AIM account so he could take control of my computer from his house. While we were on the phone I watched as he searched my computer for the old files and set me up through iChat.
Joe Sorriero emailed us and asked if we wanted to do gig with Nod at the Bug Jar. It sounded like fun so I replied without much thought and then mentioned the gig to Peggi. She read the email and pointed out that Joe was asking “Personal Effects” to play. I didn’t catch that. I thought he was asking “Margaret Explosion” to play with them since we had recently played together together at Abilene. I guess we could handle it.
I digitized all our cds and and I rely on the mp3 tags for liner notes but this song that Peggi and I have fallen in love with was only marked “nod4”. So I dug out all the cds and spot checked the songs trying to identify this thing. I finally determined it is from their most recent cd entitled, “Tree Stuff & Lightning”. I think Chris Schepp gave me a copy of it before it was released so never got the right tags. Peggi wants the lyrics to this so I thought I would post it here and see what happens.
“World Still Wants You” by Nod from “Tree Stuff & Lightning”.
Nine o’clock tonight if all goes well Margaret Explosion will be the first band to play upstairs at Abilene. It’s cozy up there with a small bar and and some funky portrait paintings. There is a small stage near the front that looks out over the street and, compared to downstairs, you can almost hear a pin drop. Nod plays downstairs when we’re done. We are long time Nod fanatics and are looking forward to this gig.
There’s Nod right in the middle of Frank DeBlase’s “View From The Pit” show at Record Archive
Record Archive was hopping last night. There were about twenty five skateboarders out front on the unseasonably warm night. Inside Alanya offered us a can of ice cold Rolling Rock and Dick Storms had Nino’s pizza laid out on the table. It was hard to get an unobstructed view of Frank‘s photos. I centered my shot around Nod so I didn’t get Joan Jett or Ivy. There are hundred photos in this show and the prints were selling fast. So you better get over there before all the good ones are gone.
We go to a lot of local art openings but I’m willing to bet this fellow art aficionado goes to all the art openings. I usually see him chowing down at the refreshments table but last night he was checking out the Sam van Aken’s “Audition” at RoCo on East Avenue. His outfit was nicely cordinated with he work last night. Chas Davis had some nice big Paul Jenkins like paintings in the back room.
I had a hard time starting our chainsaw and I pulled the rope so many times that I broke it. I took the case apart and got at the spring where the rope is supposed to start. I was trying to thread what was left of the rope back into the tiny hole when our neighbor, Leo spotted me out front and stopped by to see what I was up to. He said he had some new rope so we went down to his basement to cut off a piece. I got all put back together and cranked away but still couldn’t start it. Rick from across was walking his dogs and he stopped by to say hi. He told me it might be the spark plug so I took the top off and removed the spark plug so I could sand the point. I was still trying to start the damn thing when Jared, our neighbor from down the street, walked by and got involved. He suggested that I clean the air filter and then spray some Quick Start fluid in there. We walked down to his house to get the spray can. Jared determined that it was flooded and I probably flooded the thing at the start by pumping that prime button too much. It finally started but my arm was sore as can be. I only had a few minutes to saw before John Gilmore and Bob Mahoney stopped by for dinner.
We all headed out later to see/hear the Varnish Cooks at Abilene. Too bad the bands have to play insde in this weather. It is almost impossible to hear the band or juke box when the small bar is as crowded as it was last night but it was still fun. Danny took us upstairs for a quick tour of the swanky lounge up there. I tried talking him in to letting Margaret Explosion play up there when we split the night with Nod on Thanksgivig weekend.
As we packed up our equipment at the Little tonight, Ken Frank and I had a good discussion about Captain Beefheart. Is it a good discussion when the other party says stuff that you agree with? Kinda saves you from wagging your tongue? Not always. But that was the case tonight. I know it is possible to have really good discussions with Martin Edic and not agree with anything he says.
Mick Sarubbi recorded the band in mono and of course with the recording equipment equipment there it didn’t sound as good as it did last week when only a handful of people were there.
We did a song as a nod to Terje Rydal and Crazy Horse last week and plan to put it on our upcoming cd, Live Dive. Speaking of Nod, Joe or Brian is trying to get a gig at Abeline with Nod and Margaret Explosion before the weather changes or has it already changed?
We stopped in on the Dave Cross family benefit at the German House last night and walked in just as Phil Marshall was ending his set. We heard he did a great version of “September Song” and told a few stories about Dave who recently died of a brain tumor. Phil played in a version of Coffee with Dave and they did a cover of a Raymond Scott tune that wound up on a European compilation. They played a gig at the Bottom Line in New York and Dave was smoking joints all the way down there. Phil said he was pissed that they were jeopardizing the performance but it came off flawlessly and Phil learned some sort of lesson from this.
Nod took the stage next and the sound was big. Chris Schepp made it bigger on magical keyboards. Peggi wanted to dance but didn’t. The only ones up close were the little kids playing on the dance floor. Nod has a new cd coming out in a few weeks. Chris was excited about the art work he did for the package. He recycled some commercial piece that he originally did for Dick Poole’s agency.
We were standing with Martin Edic during Nod and it was impossible to talk. He appeared in Peggi’s dream last night offering some advice on a dispute we were having with some neighbors in Mexico. I guess we had bought some beachfront property in Cozumel or Playa del Carmen and strangers were swimming in our pool. We were considering building a wall. Martin offered his advice and Peggi wrote him a check for $500.
After Nod, we walked down to Tap & Mallet and had a pint of McBane’s Bitter. I checked in on the paintings I have there. The place was packed. We chatted with Joe Tunis and Chris Reeg who had just finished their “Deciduous vs Conifer” gig at House of Hamez and then called it a night.
As we were leaving town to celebrate Peggi’s birthday on Friday we got an email about a a Nod show at Monty’s Krown. Nod shows are kind of rare these days and we were bummed that we would have to miss this one. Chris Schepp (see Chris’s reviews of Pete LaBonne) is playing keyboards with them now and we haven’t seen him with the band yet. Frank De Blase interviewed Nod for “City Newspaper” this week and he asked them what they had that wasn’t being offered. Joe Sorriero (guitar and voacals) answered, “Just a lack of freedom. Sometimes you see music and wonder, “Why doesn’t this person explode in some manner now?” Or “Why isn’t there one part that’s just off-kilter or wacky before coming back to the song?”
These few sentences perfectly describe Nod’s indescribable music. They have released a few cds on Steve Shelley’s “Smells Like Records”. 4D did the scan of Sue Stanton’s needlework for the cover of the cd shown here. Joe and Sue got hitched this summer and Tim and and Brian (Nod’s bass player and drummer) did a Nod tune during the outdoor ceremony. I’m looking forward to hearing the whole threesome with keyboard next time.