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We got some blog love yesterday for our show in Portland, ME last Saturday from our friend over at L’Esprit d’Escalier. I know she’s a hard sell on this whole music thing, so it’s good to see that we succeeded in impressing her. I have to warn you that the post isn’t all about us, and though she she seems to be doing really well, contains a personal story that might bum you out a bit. The author writes really well about the whole thing, and the comment calling it “black comedy” is dead on it.* Have a read, because she writes good.
*As in, “the only good rapper is one that’s dead. On it.” (As if Prince would know…)
And she takes a good photo. Here is the one from her blog (clickable):
We had a great show last night at Oliver’s/ Cask ‘n Flagon. Many thanks to Shred, Nils, Sevi D & The Wilds, The Effective Dose and The Grey Area for making it a fun night. Also, thanks to all of you folks who came out. You guys are the best.
I’m planning a longer post to put up later today, so check back for that. Remember to come see us tomorrow in Portland, ME if you are in the area.
Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. I’m pretty under the weather and have had to use every ounce of strength for work and some behind the scenes Miss Fairchild stuff. Let me remind you that we have a huge show in Boston on February 26th at Oliver’s/Cask ‘n Flagon and another in Portland on February 28th at Empire Dine & Dance.
Here’s a fun photo in the meantime:
(Photo by Jodie Goodnough)
Also: thanks for all the kind birthday notes last week. Y’all are the best.
I’ve got a few posts in the works with some writing, including more catchphrases, record reviews, and interviews, but I’m hard at work on our, you know, music, before I head to the day job today, so I’m going to leave you with this video of the band playing “Your Hair” live in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago.
Just a note to Boston folks: we have a huge show coming up at Oliver’s/Cask ‘n Flagon on Thursday, February 26th. We really hope that you’ll figure out a way to be there. It’s our first big show in Boston in a loooong time, since we’ve been hiding out in the woodshed for a while. I’m positive that you will not be disappointed if you see your way down to the venue. More details to follow, but put that in your calendar!
Okay! That’s more like it. I’ve been trying to post this video all day, and am glad to say: yay! Thanks to Sammy Bananas for not only taking the video, but for compressing, uploading, and, uh… CO-WRITING IT!
Hooray for telling it like it is, btwd.
One other thing did happen last night that I didn’t mention in the gig recap. Sammy Bananas was so proud of this moment, and I was lucky enough to get a front row seat for the whole thing. It’s a two-parter.
When we saw Apple Betty for the first time a few years back, one of the songs they played was called “Sweatpant Boner“. You Apple Betty fans out there will know the one. Well, about three quarters of the way through their set, Sam decided to be “that guy” and run up to the stage yelling “Sweatpant Boner!” by way of requesting the song. Wrall had already decided not to that guy, and I just figured they’d play it when they felt like it. Sam was committed though, and went for it.
The show continued and finally Kerri announced that their last song had arrived. It was not “Sweatpant Boner,” although there was always a chance for an encore. Here’s where it gets good…
We’re all familiar with the concept of the slow clap, right? One person starts clapping really slowly, and people join in so that everyone is clapping at the same time. The clap speeds up until everyone is applauding wildly. Here’s a slow clap montage for those of you who are still unfamiliar:
Well, Sam started a slow clap* right then and there. He was clapping so hard that my hands hurt. And then I joined, and then the woman next to me. And then others. In slow motion, I watched as the biggest grin he’s ever made spread across his face. Just as the applause reached its apex, he yelled, “Yes! I’ve always wanted to do that!” Kudos, Sammy.
The band had heard enough. Waving down the applause, they launched into a rousing rendition of “Sweatpant Boner” that would make the most awkward intimate moment proud.
*Slow clap not to be confused with Slap Chop.
We had a fantastic show with Apple Betty* last night. Yes, there was snow, but that didn’t stop people from turning out in droves. The Quincunx and the The Big Disappointments opened and I would say that the night was anything but a disappointment. Let’s attempt to recap the experience…
*I’ve blogged about Apple Betty before, but here’s a little info to get you reminded, or started if you are just getting hip to this blog. The Phoenix says that they are “maybe Boston’s most unapologetic of ham-fisted basement power chord rock-and-roll outfits.” I say: they are fun, they write really catchy songs and they perform the hell out of them. They are hired.
Let’s start things off with a blog post from yesterday that was neither completed or posted, to set the scene for the rest of the day:
“It is 5am and unfortunately, I am awake.
“I am awake because I have to be at the day job for two hours this morning, from six until eight. I’m not particularly happy about this, because I only went to sleep two and a half hours ago, when we stopped working for the night. By the time I’m done with the day job, Sam and Wrall’s day will not have even begun, but I will already have been awake longer than I slept. It’s been too early for an hour already, and my guess is that it will still be too early an hour from now.”
Indeed, when I arrived home, I woke up the guys and our collective day began: Coffee, breakfast, personal maintenance, the whole bit. Before too long, we were full steam ahead on preparations for the show. Because we all live so far from one another these days, making changes to our live show takes a certain amount of creativity. It’s strange to say it, but less than rehearsing new material, we often only have opportunity to think about it. First, one of us will imagine a tiny tweak to a tune, or even a major modification to the material as a whole. Then, the idea is presented to someone else in the group. Most of the time, the two people involved in the last step are myself and Wrall. Third, we have to implement these changes on a technical level, making sure that everything is possible with the gear and adjust as necessary. Finally, we present the idea to the rest of the group.
Sometimes, the next step is playing the material. That scenario only comes to pass if we are lucky enough to have time and space to rehearse. Yesterday, the next step was sitting in the car with a handful of recordings, pretending to play the music. I was pretty wired from lack of sleep and excitement for the show to be bouncing off the walls anyway, so you can imagine what happened next. Let’s put it this way : I was in a large van filled with friends, singing and air playing my guitar, keyboard and flute parts, while we “practiced” new changes and transitions. All this, while people walked past in a near blizzard. Good times.
We’ve been lately thinking about foreign lands, so we arrived with bags packed, ready to take off. By the looks of things, Apple Betty felt the same:
Well, that’s a good sign.
While we were unpacking our things, a man from the Middle East walked through and there was a very distinctive, and fairly loud “woof!” I ignored it, thinking that I had missed whatever preceded and inspired such a sound. Sammy, having seen that this was just a guy walking through barking, was less nonchalant. His eyes grew wide. “Did anybody else just hear that?” he whispered.
A moment later, the man came through again, and sure enough, “woof!”
“Okay, that really happened.”
Our friend Ricardo approached, “are you guys talking about what I think you’re talking about?” We all agreed that this was pretty strange. Somebody suggested that the man may have been using a little device on a keychain* to make the sound. Either way, we were all sure that there was a bark, and it was not at anyone in particular.
*Much like the Mr. T. sound effects keychain that says “I pity the fool!” and “I don’t need no has been messin’ in my corner!” (Actually, I don’t think it says the last one. I just used to say that a lot…)
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I was really wired. So I howled, “ar, ar, awoooooooo!”
Immediately, we heard, from around the corner where the man disappeared, a fight between a dog and a. “Woof! Meow! Ruff! Ruff! Hissss!” We all looked around in disbelief. Laughter ensued. The man emerged from the back and said, “it’s the voices inside fighting.” I’m ninety-three percent sure that I didn’t hallucinate any of this.
The dogs and cats only came out during Apple Betty’s soundcheck, thank goodness. Despite my bouncing off the walls, everything went very smoothly.
I believe I have given the surprise away already, but we did have a special guest performer at this show. Here he is arriving:
Looking hipper than ever in his mustachioed Saturday best, Sammy Bananas took Boston by storm last night, by stepping to the mic, saxophone in tow. I admit that some folks didn’t even know that he wasn’t supposed to be there, let alone know that they should have been surprised he was. If that makes any sense. In any event, we were not surprised that he killed it in his guest spot. And we’re happy to report that he took some video of the show, too. We’ll post that up here later in the week.
What else? Right, the show. The show was fantastic. We were very well received, so THANK YOU CAMBRIDGE! Y’all really stepped up in a major way last night, supporting Apple Betty on their big night, and us on ours. I hope you all bought Apple Betty’s CD. Thank you to Apple Betty for having us at the show and for your kind words.*
*Something like “Thank you to Miss Fairchild for melting the snow.”
Before I leave you on this Sunday morning, I have to shout out some people that we met. We talked about memory. You all study it and know how it works. You tell me that I have a good parietal memory, but maybe not such a great temporal memory. We’ll talk more about that later. In the meantime, thanks for coming to all of you: Audrey, Terri, Ehrin, Katie, Ben, Sam and Peter. I hope you guys had fun and that the birthday party was great, Sam. Let’s make Boston fun!
Here’s a funny story from the weekend…
So, I’ve been wanting a burberry scarf for a while. Why exactly I want one I can’t really say. They are fairly cliche, though I had no idea how cliche until our weekend jaunt to Nantucket. Waiting to get on the boat yesterday, we saw three people in a row wearing them, and these people weren’t even traveling together.
Despite this fact, I’m still interested. I actually think there is something useful about a cliche if you can pull it off. Frequently, we use them without thinking, but with some amount of awareness, a good cliche is just an effective metaphor.
(This actually reminds me of this week’s SNL, where in a parody of Plaxico Burress, Keenan Thompson said “It brings new meaning to the phrase ‘shooting yourself in the foot’,” and Seth Meyers corrected, “that’s actually the original meaning of the phrase.”)
So, yes, a bad cliche is pretty bad, but a good Burberry scarf is pretty good, and so sometime in the past few weeks I set my sights on one. For you fashion gurus out there, I am, indeed, referring to the classic haymarket check from English fashion house Burberry. Maybe if I call it a haymarket check scarf it won’t be so cliche?
Anyhow, I might just did get myself a scarf this weekend, and here’s how it may have happened:
Most of us know Nantucket as a destination island, a “playground for the rich and famous,” made into a popular place for the rich and powerful to have their trophy homes. It wasn’t always so. Sure, there was wealth, but it wasn’t quite so flaunted.
When Daddy Wrall and myself were growing up on Nantucket, there was a mix of the local and the well-to-do, respectively clad in their dungarees and Burberry. On Stroll weekend they would bump elbows at the Chicken Box because that’s the place to get down. Nowadays, there is a newer element in the very-well-to-do, very well known and totally done up, for all the world to see. I’m talking about the celebrity rich.
Events like the Nantucket Film Festival and political fundraisers for the Clintons and John Kerry have attracted more recognizable celebrity faces than ever before, and wouldn’t it fit that some of them would discover the Homemade Superstardom of Nantucket’s “ultra-original” pop group, Miss Fairchild.
(Ultra original according to Nantucket’s local paper, The Inquirer & Mirror.)
So why wouldn’t Katherine Heigl show up? Even I, who have never seen the show, know that her character is being killed off on Gray’s Anatomy. Heck, I don’t even know if that’s how to spell the show’s name.
Anyhow, why wouldn’t she be at the Box on Saturday night, drinking a Stella Artois and sporting a Haymarket check, er… Burberry scarf. And why wouldn’t she trade that scarf to the handsome flute player for a Miss Fairchild tattoo (photo above.)
I see no reason, dear friends, why it couldn’t have happened just like that. And that’ll work for me.