Saint Mark

I stayed home last night 'cause I've been fighting a cold these last few days. Fey Ray is playing The Rendezvous tonight, AND I got tickets to see American Music Club tomorrow! I'm so psyched! Like Wire, this is a band I thought I'd never get to see live, despite catching primary songwriter Mark Eitzel solo a bunch of times. I find it hard to think of another band that has had such an instant and persistant impact on me. AMC demands that you listen -- and that's too much for some people. Many times Stu and I would walk through Belltown, drunk and in need of the comfort sad songs can give. We'd bellow "Apology for an Accident" and listen to Mercury late at night.
It's not unusual to see people crying at an Eitzel gig. Like Morrissey, he has a way of cutting through the bullshit and piercing that ball of disappointment, lonliness and guilt we carry in our souls.
Anyway, I'm gonna be up front, likker'd up and throwing my panties onstage (as we say around here). I hope you can join us!


Currant SCONES (ala the Stacius)

Anika requested that I post the scone recipe I used. As I said before, I modified one for raisin scones I found on Epicurious - but I'm presenting this modded one for you to use or ignore, should you so choose.

4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup currants

1 cup half & half
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon Barenjager honey liquor

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Sift flour (that is, if you have a sifter -- I just used a whisk) sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Add butter (I was a tad short on butter - I didn't have a half-stick so I used about 4 tablespoons oil instead - but there's really no excuse for not having butter. So go out and get some, dammit!) and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drain and stir in currants. Whisk milk, 2 eggs, vanilla and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Gather dough into ball and knead lightly (Actually, I learned from Nigella, that once you can form a ball, you really don't need to knead it that much). Roll out dough on floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness. Using a typical-sized "Don't Mess With Texas" coffee cup (No fancy cookie cutters here -- We're boys!), cut out scones. Gather scraps; reroll and cut out additional scones. Place scones on prepared baking sheets, spacing apart.

Whisk remaining egg and 2 teaspoons water and 1/2 teaspoon honey liquor in small bowl to blend. Brush egg mixture over tops of scones. Bake scones until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer scones to rack and cool slightly. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.) Serve warm with butter and jam or at room temperature.

Makes about 14 scones.
"So, How'd It Go?!"

It was a long day. I got off work at 7AM came home, ate a bit then slept from 11 til 2. Went to Sean's, loaded out the gear and drove the short distance to DMX where we met by Seth's friends in Fort Ancient. They played a half-hour set, then we got up and did four songs. Seth was sick, so we seemed to drag a bit, but I thought we played well.

We then packed up (it was about 5:30) and met at the Crocodile, where we ate dinner and goofed off over beers and cigs. Brundlefly, a young band from Vancouver BC played a really decent set, they reminded me of the Irish band The Frames. Fort Ancient came on again and played their poppy, buzzy music...kind of like Grandaddy fronted by David Bazan of Pedro the Lion.

We got up and proceeded to rock out. Seth started to visibly wilt around the third song, but he got through the set OK. We were energetic, but since it was a mostly empty room, there was no feedback. Still, it was nice to crank up the amps and have some fun -- especially with one of the best soundmen in Seattle behind the board! I had a great time!

Stu, Laurie B., Maria, Neil, Scott, Cindy, Daphne and Troy were there. Thanks guys! You rule!!


So -- we've got two shows today. We're playing a half-hour set at DMX and then we're headlining at the Crocodile Cafe...a place I've only played once, and then it was someone else's music! I'm pretty psyched. I think we'll do well. I just hope it stops raining!
I've got a three day weekend and...Today is Oani's birthday!! I wish I could put into words what that woman means to me. We've shared a lot over the past 12 years and I've watched her go from being a hot little teenager to a single mom to...? Well, that's the beauty of her -- always evolving. I hope she'll be able to make to the show tonight!


Action-Packed (As in "Packed" with "Action").

Right now I am so fucking tired that I wanna kill myself, but I can't get up the energy. And as if to mock me, it is a clear, sunny day out. Yes, spring is right on time if not a little early...not unlike El Stu.
On Thursday, I was visited by Anika. I hadn't seen her since the Amazon 70's Party Frito took me to over a month ago. She'd been visiting her brother in Paris. I was broke so I invited her over for tea and scones. I'd never made scones before and Cindy's attempt a few day ago didn't leave me with much hope, but Anika seems to be the understanding sort. As a precaution, I found a different and highly rated recipe on Epicurious. I figured that I was going to be improvising anyway, due to our rather depleated larder and it turned out I was correct. So...currents (soaked in water) instead of raisins. Half & half in place of cream, oil to make up for the 1/2 stick of butter I didn't have, lemon juice instead of grated lemon peel. I also got a little fancy with the egg wash, adding a tiny amount of honey liquor.
I knew I didn't need to knead the dough to death (Thanks Nigella!) and I got everything in the oven in time. Anika arrived halfway through the baking time and we got to spraffin' while my experiment baked in the oven. Guess what? They turned out! I won't be taking them the Puyallup Fair, but I didn't kill anyone (at least I don't think so). I have decided that I no longer fear baking and need to do it some more...
Anika and I talked about everything. Since we don't know each other that well, there was plenty of ground to cover. We drank tea in big mugs and discuss our jobs, writing, art and finally the Feagle translation of The Illiad, which she inspired me to read. I'm about halfway through.
Too soon, it seemed she had to go. I cleaned up-taunted Cindy for her failure and then hit the hay.
Friday morning, Liz came over and we went to breakfast at The Blue Star. I had something with bacon innit...so my day ended rather well. After she dropped me off I crashed for a bit, then met Matt, Loreilei, Tim, Guy, Matt, Leslie, Ana, Tess and Aaron for some Thai food at Ballet. We had some NSC bidness to discuss, but it wasn't that important...I recall vaguely that I agreed to help move some of our stuff out of Lorelei's basement. She and Guy have a kid on the way, so they'll need all the room they can get!
Stu and X-tina showed up a bit later. They had soem grub then the three of us went to Barca for some drinks and to shoot the shit. X-tina had to be on the plane at 3AM, so it wasn't a very late night. I was grateful, 'cause I was beat. I came home and (a very drunk) Scott called from SXSW. He and Chris K. had gottien into the American Music Club Show and he wanted to rub it in. But he held the phone up for the first song of their set, "Johnny Mathis' Feet". I got all misty-eyed, 'cause I thought I'd never get to hear that one played live, ever. I hung up with him, watched TV then went to sleep.
The following morning Cindy and I went' out to Dim Sum. I had a craving for Hum Bow that would not be denied! Afterward, I called Jay and asked him if we could ride over to Bremerton together. I'd originally intended to ride my bike and take the ferry, but my Swim buddy and I haven't seem much of each other so I figured it'd be fun to ride around. We shot the shit arriving at Jason and Kim's around 3:30. Kim gave me a tour of their very lovely home and I started to make a martini, only to realize they didn't own a shaker. So Jay and I went off to the store and got one and a set of proper martini glasses.
The rest of the heads came rolling in shortly after we got back. There was a TON of food...and booze. Fortunately, I'd eaten enough to filter the alcohol so I didn't get too messed -- which is good, I had most of the raspberry vodka I'd brought myself!
Poor Kimmy didn't fare so well, so I took care of her while she um, cleased herself. After everyone left, Jay and I went over to Patty's. She wanted me to see what she'd done with the place since Chad had moved out. Tracy had come over too and I wound up staying over. I went shopping with the girls the next day then I took the ferry back. I had to take a bus to Jay's to get my bike, then go straight to band practice. I was sweaty, tired and beat. After practice, I got about an hour and a half's sleep, then went to work.
As I was leaving, Cindy mentioned she'd found my motorcycle manual! I'd been looking for it for months!! Somehow it'd wound up under Frito's bed...when I swore it was somewhere in the basement.
I'd been wanted to adjust my suspension for a (heh) stiffer ride - but could'nt figure out how. I'd been on the VDOG forum, but without pictures, I didn't know what to look for. So, when I got home, I got out the toolkit and went to work. The Adjustment took minutes and the ride is so much better now!!
I've got a lot of maintenance to do so, I'm really excited that I've got that book back! I was just about to shell out for a new one!

Fey Ray will be playing The Crocodile Cafe on Thursday with Seth's friends from Brooklyn, the mighty Fort Ancient. Deets on at the Fey Ray website AND Matt and I have been adding content to news sections. I believe an article with the interview with The Stranger's Kathleen Wilson will show up with the new issue on Wednesday. I hope y'all can make it...

Oh yeah. I forgot that today is Tim's birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PROF!!

I'm going to bed.



"The Happiest Place On Earth"

I want to pledge allegiance to the country where I live
I don't want to be ashamed to be American
but opportunity no it doesn't exist
it's the opiate of the populace
we need some harder shit now
the truth is getting around
and each public school is a halfway house
where the huddled masses sober up and up enough?
There's not enough to fatten the cows and feed all of us.
Its just a rationing of luck what can't be bought gets raffled off
oh god good god shed greed on thee,
your shining sea turned a dirty green
from the industry off the shores of new jersey
I got a letter from the army so I think that I'll enlist
I'm not brave or proud of nothing I just want to kill something
too bad that nowadays you just point and click
swing low satellite hot white chariot in the computer's blue glare
the bombs burst in the air
there was a city once now nothing is there
our freedom comes at their expense it makes sense
does it dollars and centers
they're stretching barbed wire across the picket fence
that is surrounding your housing development just in case you lack the confidence
oh god my god give strength to thee
these amber waves purple majesty are nothing but backdrops for Disney
well look up close it is superimposed on a blank blue screen
it is fantasy fucking magical the dreams
float like a chemical through each snapped synapse
our television past that is beautiful
no more no more


Pot, meet kettle.

"One problem is that Chavez has resorted to a "continued erosion, a decay" of the Venezuelan democratic order, rather than an outright rupture contemplated by the Charter, said Hakim, adding that the press is still free in Venezuela and Chavez is not imprisoning political foes."

More Stuff for You to Consider.

As the Emperor tries to convince us that he is not actually disturbing small children and animals with his nekkidness, bombs are going off, despite (or perhaps in spite of) of a new anti-insurgent offensive. And his similarly-unclad henchmen are so full of themselves and misplacing blame they don't even expect anyone to call them on all their bullshit!
However, new tools in the fight against incompetancy, ignorance and half-baked fascism are now available. Is this the petard these fuckers will find themselves hoisted by?
Pixies play Bumbershoot!

So I've gotten about 3 emails about this, so I'm gonna post it here...It confirmed via the Bumbershoot site, so I guess it's really happening!

I'm betting they're hoping to sell out the event early, which would (aside from putting more money in One Reel's coffers) probably give them better bargaining power negotiating for other acts. Personally, I don't know if it's worth it - I tend to avoid huge festivals, the crowds and hassle aren't worth it to me.

Still, it's the muthafuckin' Pixies!!


Others People's Music

You've probably heard the hype, but I don't care if I'm bandwagon-ing. I grabbed a few tracks by Franz Ferdinand and I'm hooked! They've got an interesting sound, part indie, part dance, but not like those so-called 'dancepunk' bands you've been hearing about. It sounds a bit like The Fall at their poppiest, mixed with a little Blondie.
I guess "Take Me Out" is the big single, but I like The Stranglers-like swagger of "Shopping for Blood" and the slacker humor on "Better on Holidays."
This is the next record I buy!
Also, I've been really getting into Interpol's album, which has been out for quite awhile now. Somehow it left me cold before, but now I really like it. TV on the Radio's long player came out this month and Morrissey will be dropping his new record in May. The track titles have me thinking that the Mozzer is out to kick some ass this time!
The American Music Club will be playing The Crocodile Cafe on April 1st. Which is fitting...this is a band I thought I'd never, ever get to see live! Maybe Husker Du will reunite.

Other bands I'm interested in (at the moment):

The Weakerthans
Postal Service
Young People


Got Another One:
Splendid Magazine reviews: Fey Ray: I Wanna Be New & Perfect

I'm glad they like it! It's really interesting to see what people think influences our music. I'm probably the biggest Bowie fan in the band...I don't own any T. Rex and could only name maybe three of their songs. Maybe we'll get around to writing that Wire/Television/Dinosaur Jr./Cars/Mojave 3/Police song that all four of can say, "Ah, now that's IT!!" about.

Anyway...I'm going to collect these at the FR site.
"'Scuse Me While I Geek Out"

Battlestar Galactica greenlighted as weekly series.




March 20th is National Corndog Day! I say we should have a party at Jay's house and make 'em in the deep fryer! WhooHoo!


A Beautiful Day!

The sun is shinin', the birds are chirpin' and I'm in here...broke. Rent, bills and a payment to FR's PR firm decimated my bank account. Ah well.
Actually, I washed and shined the bike, lubed the chain and took her for a short ride. I had to laugh out loud with joy - zipping around the neighborhood. Ah yes, it's glorious!
Cindy's twin sister Kim is coming to visit. Cindy missed her and needed some female companionship...should be fun.

Not much going on, but next week should be interesting...several berfdays and travelling to Bremerton, X-tina's last night in town before she heads off to Alaska, etc.


ABCNEWS.com : Spalding Gray's Body Found in East River


Animated HELLBOY comix!
Another poem (?!) from Free:

Eternallysuspiciousofthestatusquo, Free

Now this is interesting! Brazil becomes the world's breadbasket?! (via The Agonist)
Equal Time

"sophomoric minstrels delighting in their inflated sense of majesty."

(Side note: I've never asked Matt what he was thinking when he wrote the refrain for Ralph Nader, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant to be "hilarious" - I never thought it was. Rather, I took it as a comment on how most of us don't participate in "big isssue" stuff, voting, social justice, civil rights for all citizens, etc. 'cause we just don't have the time.)


Last night, the fellas and I met at Sean's for a little practice before we went down to the radio station.
KEXP is located on Dexter Ave., behind the building that used to a strip club. The building KEXP is in now formally housed KZOK and a country station, but now there's nothing going on outside to indicate anything going there at all.
We buzzed in and started bring our gear into the studio. Aveo had played right before us and they were still loading out. We chatted with them for bit, pretty nice guys. (But nice as The Pale -- who helped us load in!) We met our engineer and the two young punk-rock interns that were helping out. Everyone was really nice and since I'd been on the show before, I wasn't as nervous as I was the first time. Matt had brought some bourbon -- I normally can't drink the stuff, but this was pretty smooth. We passed around the bottle and got set up.
The fellas had suggested that I bring just my amplifier and run directly into the board, but when I got everything set up, I got some really nasty distortion. I switched to the DI box, but couldn't get any bass in the headphone mix despite asking for more bass in the headphones. We ran through our set a couple of times and I couldn't hear myself at all. I finally switched to different set, but they were marginally better.
We had two photographers in the room. One who worked for the station and the other was Seth's friend.
Abe Beeson (our host) came in and asked us some questions. I gotta say he'd done his homework! I thought he asked us some really good questions. I thought he played a pretty good set, although "Ralph Nader" was WAY too fast. Poor Seth looked like he was going to pass out after that one was over.
The show will be archived for 2 weeks and if KEXP likes the results (from a technical standpoint) it may get archived permenantly. Here's the link.

Also, Fey Ray will be playing a David Bowie tribute show on April 17 at The Hideaway. We're doing "Starman", "Look Back in Anger" & "Sound & Vision".


I've been sleeping a lot.

Guess I'm tired!

However, I'd like to wish my beloved Tess a HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY...I'm a day and a dollar short (per usual).

We'll get together tomorrow, I hope!




Old Punks Never Die

1983 Decatur, GA - My neighbor Tommy and I were sitting in his living room listening to records. Tommy pulls out an album with a pink cover.
"Check this out, man!" he crowed.
The needle hit vinyl and a gahdawful racket issued forth.
"That's terrible!" I yelled over the din.
Disappointed, Tommy took the record off.
"What was that?!" I wanted to know.
"Aw, man. That was the Sex Pistols!"
I'd heard of those guys...this was punk rock?!
"Dude, they can't even play their instruments. Put some AC/DC on!"

1988 Seattle, WA - I'm at Derek's house. We've got some friends over. I pull out a cassette and stick it in the player.
"Dudes, check this out!" I crow, pressing play.
"Hunted Down" comes on.
"That's terrible!" Derek yelled over the din.
"What is that?!" He wanted to know.
"Aw, man. That was Soundgarden!" I say, disappointed.
"Dude, you're always listening to that weird shit. Put some Journey on!"

I was imaging a picture on Malcolm McLaren (on his way to bail out Sid Vicious for stabbing his girlfriend Nancy Spungon) this morning and that got me thinking about that afternoon in Tommy's living room. I started surfing around for pictures of all the bands I could think of from '77-'79 and through www.largeheartedboy.com I found some old school punk mp3's to listen to.
Looking at photos of Siouxie and Nancy and Johnny and Darby, I thought about how wild that time must've been. How all these people were trying to forge something new -- even though the their modus was (ironically) rather reactionary. If anything, I believe it was the art/post-punks who actually succeeded (in a very small way), but man -some of those songs I hadn't heard in over a decade, if not longer!
Maybe I've written about it before, but I got "turned on" to punk shortly after I graduated from high school. This guy who was a friend of Derek's (and had moved to California) used to send him mix tapes of the stuff he was into. Derek wasn't interested, I got hold of them. I remember Nick sent one with Black Flag's "American Waste" on it...follow by Motley Crue's "Live Wire". What a revelation! I could see how one informed the other. Both songs were fast and aggro. I immediately started buying cassettes by The Clash, Husker Du, The Sex Pistols, Angry Samoans, Ramones, etc. I watched "Another State of Mind" eagerly.
I was too intimidated to go to shows...that came later. It's funny 'cause I never indentified myself as 'a punk', 'cause ffrankly I thought dressing a certain way to show you were "legit" was kinda silly. I didn't feel I had anything to prove and since my earliest and most profound struggle is to just be me, I wasn't going to take on anyone else's uniform. However, the early 80's was fucked up...but much less so than the naughts have been. The stakes are higher, because enviromental disaster could kill us just as dead as nuclear war...and it's not a question of 'if' but 'when!'
Anyway, I don't know what the point of all this was other than to say it was great crankin' the old tunes. Odd to be nostalgic for something I was never part of. Heh.
I'll have to dig around in my cassette collection and see if there's anything I can rip to the hard drive...wouldn't that be something?


Our First Official Review!

Fey Ray - I Wanna Be New & Perfect (CD, BlueDisguise, Pop)
Smooth and seductive soft melodic pop in the vein of The Lassie Foundation. I Wanna Be New & Perfect is the debut album from Seattle's Fey Rey. With this release, the band has set a high standard for themselves. Despite the fact that their tunes are, for the most part, rather soft and mellow...on many occasions they display a solid sense of power. The band's vocals are most impressive. Wonderfully soft layered harmonies glide over intelligent arrangements to provide danceable yet heavenly pop. This album features super smooth flowing tunes with tons of subtleties adding just the right effect. By combining the best elements of progressive pop from the 1980s, 1990s, and the present...these guys have come up with a winning sound that satisfies. I Wanna Be New & Perfect is certain to hold up to many years of repeated spins. Superb cuts include "Morning Sun," "Reflections on Radicalism In America," "Draw the Curtain," and "No Suicide." (Rating: 5++)

Heh. I love how everyone thinks we're a "pop" band, then we hit 'em right between the eyes with THE ROCK live!
Aftermath and recap

I joined El Stu at the Meridian 16 downtown for the feel-good movie of the year, 21 Grams. I "enjoyed" it -- like Momento, the film jumps back and forth in time, thus challenging your assumptions. Unfortunately, there is no big 'twist' or payoff in the end, and I suspect that had the story been told conventionally, it would hardly be remarkable at all.
As it was, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro and Sean Penn all turned in fine performances. I hope Naomi does a light comedy next 'cause I think she's radiantly beautiful and I'd like to see her not sobbing her guts out or being stalked by ghosts for a change.
After the movie, Stu and I met up with Tess and James at the Baltic Room for a couple of drinks and then went over the Six Arms for dinner. I made it an early night, I had to clean for the party the next day.

On Saturday we all rolled out of bed and Frito and I got to cleaning, as Cindy had a seminar to attend. We made a run to the liquor store and Costco.
People slowly started to trickle in aroung "party o'clock", I was good and lubed by then on raspberry vodka martinis. Laura brought serveral pounds of mussels from Penn Cove, which we boiled in white wine, with onions, garlic and cilantro. They were sweetest, bestest mussels I've ever had! We also had chips, spinach dip, Cheetos (fried), tortilla chips, salsa, rollup sandwiches, cream puffs, two kinds of homebrew, cookies...sigh.
Sensi Pete showed up! I hadn't seen the fucker in yonks! We smoked some cigs and got caught up...(congrats to Monique - sorry I missed the reception, BTW!). Later on, the kids piled into the hotub. Other than some idiot plugging the toliet (quickly fixed - Thanks Neil) we were 'incident free". I didn't get to bed until close to 5AM.

Band practice was mercifully short, though I am intrigued by a new song Matt is working on!

Ugh. Me tired. Back to bed.