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would you like to swing on a star

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[16 Oct 2005|12:31am]

well, it's been a while. it's that time of year again, when, being more confined to indoor territory, and prone to reflection, i resuscitate the ol' LJ.

and life is good indeed.

i'll leave it at that for now. the rest will fill itself in over time.
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[24 Jul 2005|02:54pm]
he'll be raising hell in heaven
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axe sharing [03 Jun 2005|01:29am]
i played this guy's accordion last night in a jam session.

it was a good night.
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melodication [29 May 2005|02:53pm]
[ mood | enthralled ]

yesterday i got this melodica at a ridiculously low price at the music store around the corner from me. i don't know why they were selling it for so cheap; i've usually seen thing like this for somewhere between $100-150, but i got it, case, extra mouthpiece, and all for $55! i spent a few hours jamming on it yesterday and i am extremely pleased. i've been playing it so that the keyboard sits flat in front of me and i'm blowing the air into a tube to make the sound. it's a completely different way of playing for me and i'm psyched to be exploring new skill sets. playing the accordion, i'm used to a vertically-oriented keyboard (i am *not* one of those people who played the piano first, i really just know accordion, so the flat keyboard is pretty weird to me). i'm also not used to playing a wind instrument, so the fact that i have to actually use my breath to make the sound is really interesting. the sound comes from a different place, too--more out in the ether, as opposed to playing accordion, when the sound radiates directly into my torso and i feel it as much, if not more, than i hear it. so far, playing the melodica directly into the mouthpiece, so that i'm holding it up like a clarinet or something, is the most challenging. but for some of the songs we play, i think it actually works better to play the melodica than the accordion. most of the instrument seems so unnecessary now, since i mostly use the right hand anyway, so melodica just seems so much simpler. don't get me wrong, accordion is still my primary instrument and obsession but as far as this band is concerned i don't need to play it on every single song. the sound is practically identical anyway. in fact, if i only played melodica it would make touring a whole lot easier. but then i guess there's the question of micing it... i wonder if i could get a pickup installed and run it through an amp?

speaking of amps, i have to get one. i was going to ask for one for my birthday, but i guess i'll have to ask for it as an early present if our tour is going to be early august (my birthday is late august).

it's cool, though, i like having the casual distance of having the keyboard flat in front of me for certain songs. for the songs i'm more emotionally invested in i can play it through the direct mouthpiece. when i hold it up, i can either have it down in front of me like an accordion, straight out in front of me like a trumpet, or if i'm improvising, i can do all kinds of weird things with it like hold it against my body.

the melodica keyboard also has more of a range than my accordion keyboard, which is nice. it goes a whole octave lower.

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[28 May 2005|12:17am]
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concert update [16 May 2005|05:50pm]
wanted to update about last week's show....

les georges leningrad/hawnay troof/stereo total, at TT the Bear's, thursday 5/12

we walked in to les georges leningrad. they were by far the best part of the show. they're this really out trio from france... they play electro/dnb-sounding stuff, but their whole act is really crazy. they switched around a bit, as far as who was playing what, but they seemed at their best when one guy was playing drums, the other synth, and the chick was on vocals. the chick was a really natural frontwoman... but she was so crazy! her expressions, her movements, were all just bizarre and defy description. she was not traditionally attractive, and she didn't try to be... she was what the dutch would call 'lekker lelijk,' which describes the phenomenon of things that are so ugly that they become attractive, or perhaps it more accurately means the phenomenon of ugly retro things that become fashionable. not that this girl was SO ugly... but whatever, it totally worked for her. she was wearing a blue-green lacy dress that was also 'lekker lelijk', and the two guys were each wearing crazy masks. they were totally captivating and unexpectedly original.

then came on hawnay troof... ay ay ay. this guy was one of the biggest poseurs i've seen in a while. i hated everything about him: his costume (a cream colored pinstripe suit and a fake porn-star mustache), the way he interacted with the crowd (which was to shriek at the top of his lungs while spouting off self-flattering BS) and his music (pre-recorded tracks over which he screamed bad rhymes while jumping around like a crazed banshee). some people can pull this off. hawnay troof was not of them. at some point, we couldn't take anymore and decided to leave the stage area for the rest of his set. bleh.

then, there was the much-anticipated stereo total. when we saw them in st. petersburg, russia, A. and i both agreed that they were one of the most fun and dynamic performances that either of us had seen... in fact, we decided that if we ever got married, we'd ask them to play at our wedding. well, after thursday's shoddy performance, that bubble was burst. it was a huge letdown. right off the bat, they opened with a song (the first track off their new album) that had pre-recorded tracks of françoise speaking. she was sitting right there on stage and couldn't say those lines herself?! i was left wondering for the entire rest of the song how much of it was actually being performed live at all. there were other moments when the two of them were not even doing anything! i was especially disappointed by françoise... she seems to have lost her spark. she really lacked charisma this time. also, when she performed the english version of j'aime l'amour à trois, she had to read the words from off a piece of paper! hello, you presumably have the CD, can't you memorize your own lyrics? brezel göring was as charismatic as ever, but he also fucked up a few times... there were about 4 songs which started with the pre-recorded tracks and then stopped after the intros. yeah, that happened *four* times! man. but the worst part is that they have totally embraced hawnay troof... they even had him come onstage for a couple of songs that he ruined more than the band did. i hope that this does not signal the new, lame, stereo total.... please let it be just a phase! i hope that we just caught them on a really bad night, and that françoise kicks her downers, and that they both come to their senses and stop balling hawnay troof and realize what a lame-o wanker he is.
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[05 May 2005|12:25am]
all day today i was doing battle with the avocado. yes, last night's avocado. my stomach was fucked up all day to the point where i ate nothing all day after some dried papaya in the morning right when i got to work. it was all downhill from there. i was in the bathroom many times today. i felt pretty okay, though, considering. i felt fairly energetic and stable otherwise, or at least, the situation didn't sap me of my energy too much. i didn;t ever feel weak or dizzy or anything from n ot eating... that is, until towards the end of gogol bordello's set. what fucking nuts they were! that was the most high-intensity, raucous, frenetic show i've seen in a while, and i've seen some pretty intense shows lately. ay ay ay! it was way more energetic overall than the locust/fantomas show, i'm sure at least partially because it was downstairs at the middle east and not at the roxy. not that the downstairs middle east is such a great place to see bands, but i *much* prefer it to the roxy as far as the vibe goes. the roxy is too big and corporately edgy. way too many security guards and $5 glasses of juice. not a comfortable place at all. but the vibe tonight, at the middle east, was great. i had to ease into it a bit. we started off at the front, which quickly got moshy, so we backed off a bit and stood at the edge of the moshiness for a few songs before we headed back. then we gradually worked our way up again and danced a bit. but man, it was such a sustained frenzy. it was pretty inspiring to see a band like that. i actually made it pretty far into it before starting to feel dizzy and overstimulated. seriously, that band is over the top...
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5% Dixie?! [25 Apr 2005|10:59pm]

Your Linguistic Profile:

45% General American English

45% Yankee

5% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

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i met malcolm mooney [25 Apr 2005|08:02pm]
so... how often has this happened: you walk into your local weirdo record shop to pick up an album of one of your favorite '70s prog-rock bands, pick out a new one for your collection, and a few minutes later, the lead singer from said band walks in and you start chatting him up without realizing who he is? this has never happened to me, in all my years of buying albums... until today.

Read more...Collapse )
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[17 Apr 2005|12:59pm]
[ mood | boingy ]

so i can officially play the mouth harp now. i have 2 different ones and i can play them both. it's cool to hear the different tones produced by each one.

boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing

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ha! [09 Apr 2005|02:42am]

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.

You're up for just about anything.

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hunh? [28 Mar 2005|03:08pm]
hey, did we just have daylight savings? the clock on my computer is suddenly an hour ahead of the ones on my wall, phone, etc. how come i'm always the last to know about these things?
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blahblahmoremusicstuffblahblah [24 Mar 2005|11:07pm]
i've just been stuffing myself with music. gorging like bonkers on CDs and shows. a sampler:

CDsCollapse )

showsCollapse )
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musical epiphany [16 Mar 2005|09:44pm]
i just discovered a really cool band (that also happens to have accordion).

everyone, say hello to

cerberus shoal.

my listening is thus far restricted to what is on their website. one song is sort-of kraut rock meets tom waits meets a whirling dervish meets noise with electronic blips and bleeps sprinkled on top, with a wacky accordion line weaving throughout the entire thing. another song starts off like a normal indie rock song (think arcade fire) but with a girl singing in a very theatrical falsetto, with these other falsetto voices in the chorus keeping rhythm in the background... then breaks into a slide-whistle punctuated dissonant bridge, then into another part, sort of like a fake show-tune cum carnival with a dissonant accordion and a giy singing this time in an affected basso tenor...

i feel like crying, that's how happy i am that i've found this music.

sadly, they are not on the bill for the rock accordion summit.


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music stuff [14 Mar 2005|11:43pm]
going through my CD collection, trying to put away all the CDs that have been living in books for the past 7 or 8 years.... the amount of mismatches between CD, liner notes, and case is really upsetting me. why is it that the jimi hendrix cases i have do not correspond with the jimi hendrix CDs and/or liner notes??? i know that i'm missing a lot of cases, but i didn't expect to have cases with no CD. and the amount of cases i'm missing also has me pretty distraught. i remember also that my dad told me he got rid of a big box of them that i'd left there, in addition to the ones i'd already gotten rid of. harrumph. the stupid things i did when i had no foresight.

for the first time in my life, i am finally in a position to be able to display all of my CDs (and there are a lot), so this whole case situation is sort of a downer.
(nearly the entire led zeppelin catalogue, no cases. most of my jazz collection, no cases. etc.)

the good news is that i have a lot of intact CDs to sell. which means i will have more money to spend on new CDs. wheeee! i'm compiling a list of things to get. so far i have:

*edgar varèse
*camper van beethoven (on a recommendation from a freelance music journalist new pal)
*naftule brandwein (on a recommendation from cannibal_xklezmer madness</i>
*john zorn: the unknown masada
,,,,but i had a little fun with the tzadik website, and got those 2 along with:
*ruins: symphonica
*marc ribot/shrek: yo! i killed your god.

been on a good-music kick these days. last week andrew got me a live pixies album (BBC sessions) which rules. also, the new fantômas is incredible. more playful and whimsical than their others (though i need to re-listen to those to appreciate the context a little better).

last week andrew & i caught this amazing band, the fully celebrated orchestra. AMAZING!!! they are hands-down the best band i've seen since we moved back to the states. i wasn't prepared for it to be as incredible as it was. it restored my faith in the boston music scene a bit. this thursday i will go to see some of the members of the fully celebrated orchestra play with some other stalwarts of the boston music scene at the zeitgeist--andrew barr from the slip, bob gulotti from the fringe, possibly others. the program was kind of vague.

in a couple of weeks i will head down to providence (locals take note) to check out the rock accordion summit, which i will be reviewing. i'm really excited to get the opportunity to see alec k. redfearn & the eyesores live. i first heard of them almost a year ago, when i was back in the states visiting and looking at amps for my accordion. one of the dudes in the Guitar Center i went to, who was helping me check out amps, happened to work in a studio and happened to have just been recording the album of alec k. redfearn & the eyesores, and told me about them. i checked out their site and heard the sound samples, and was intrigued. then when i moved back to the states and was living right near inman square, like the first weekend i was living there, i noticed that they were playing at the zeitgeist, but didn't make it for whatever reason. i've heard their stuff played on college radio here and i'm into it. so it'll be cool to get to see them finally, and probably meet them as well.

in other good music news..............

.................we are getting the band back together for a summer tour and american re-release of our album!

i am working on redesigning the site and redesigning the album artwork. i can get a good deal on duplication through work, and a good deal on web hosting as well. so convenient.... and i imagine the promotion should be convenient as well. :)
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[14 Mar 2005|12:52am]
okay, it's official:

i am going to interview mike patton.

for real.
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[21 Feb 2005|06:08pm]
don't hate me.


here's another one that i didn't realize had accordion on it. why does this keep happening?

flat earth society. the armstrong mutations.

that's all.
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[20 Feb 2005|09:57pm]
so in other news:

i get to interview fantomas when they come to town in april!

that is way, way too exciting.
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[19 Feb 2005|02:41pm]
okay, last one, i promise.

another one i forgot to add (surely by now you realize how this is possible):

*kocani orkestar, gyspsy mambo.

and another one that i forgot had accordion on it:

*pram, north pole radio station. (it only has accordion on one track.)

there, that's it. i'm done.
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[17 Feb 2005|10:54pm]
okay, i promise that someday, i will update about something other than my collection of accordion music. really.

but not yet.

several new developments in my growing collection occurred recently:

*in the bowels of my computer music, i found 2 albums that i didn't know i had. i'd never heard of the band before, and they didn't show up on my computer's music player in the normal alphabetical list. before i moved, my boyfriend uploaded albums en masse from my roommate bas's collection, so these may be from him. still, though, pretty mysterious as itunes chose not to display them, and it took me poking around in the finder to discover them at all.... and it turns out that they fucking rule! completely up my alley. from the band jaune toujours, i welcome brusk and camping del mundo to my collection!

*welcome, also, to the self-titled album from the claudia quintet, featuring john hollenbeck, drew gress, chris speed, matt moran, and ted reichman on accordion. that's one that my boyfriend had for a while, which he rediscovered and passed along to me.

*a friend of mine recently saw the arcade fire when they came to town. turns out that they have a chick accordionist! so my friend promptly brought over 2 CDs of theirs for me to burn. say hello to their self-titled and to funeral.

*another one i forgot i had that was kicking around on my computer is bistro blue's self-titled. my boss received a promotional copy of it a while back, before he was even my boss, and i fed it to the computer.

*yet another album lurking in the depths of the computer is múm: yesterday was dramatic, today is okay. beautifully and icelandically ambient.

new splurges include:
*la mar enfortunata by oren bloedow & jennifer charles, which also features ted reichman on accordion (other amazing musicians who appear include ben perowsky & jamie saft)

*the warriors, from the cracow klezmer band, which i think may be one of the most beautiful albums i have ever heard in my life.

i am approaching accordion music heaven....
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