Gig Archives: 1998

(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Friday, February 6th, 1998
We played on "Sputnik's Rocket to Stardom" cable access show. I played there before with the U Franklins. Ninewood was doing the show as well so we got to commiserate. They played first after a long ass soundcheck. Then we played after ten minutes of painful feedback before our set. Sounded like total fucking shit. Played two songs - Erik did his usual vague countoff into "Broken" which caused all three of us to enter of three separate beats, and "Except Me" was riddled with distorted guitar squonking. Fucking bullshit. Sputnik himself conducted an interview afterward. We lied a lot about touring.
Saturday, February 7th, 1998
We played at the 916 Peralta warehouse in West Oakland, after the "public" debut of Wintermittens, a neat two guitar and drums band featuring Rick Weldon (of Little My), another guitarist/vocalist Gibbs, and Geoff Soule (of Fuck and Fibulator) on drums. We assembled a bunch of 7" singles before the show as if anyone would buy them. Wintermittens were cool. We played okay except Erik stumbled over a wire at the end of "Bobby Smoove is Dead" and fell on the ground right by my feet. I tried not to laugh. That ended up being our last song for the night.
Sunday, February 22nd, 1998
with JOB:
We played at Beanbenders. Our first show in a while, and with a modicum of press beforehand (which is better than our usual complete lack of press). Opening up was Karen Stackpole's Euphonics, featuring her and her friend Aidian (sp?) on gong, bowls, and the like. The mellow opening set triggered a mellow JOB set. Some interesting moments, especially when yours truly found himself alone on stage at the end scraping a rubber mallet against a beaten pie pan.
Saturday, February 28th, 1998
with JOB:
Not really a public show, but JOB played at our friend (and rehearsal space landlord) Shannon Miller's birthday party in his warehouse-y house. We simply performed where we normally rehearse, so all the equipment was there. Nice and easy. Ended up being a loud jam with Eli Good and Trey Spruance joining us.
Tuesday, March 17th, 1998
with JOB:
JOB celebrated St. Patrick's Day the old fashion way: with lots of wanton chaos and noise. This ended up being one of our best shows, performed live on the radio via the KALX airwaves. Amazing considering I didn't bring any toms, and Mark's amp blew seconds before downbeat. We even conducted a civil interview afterward (i.e., without giddy laughter and goofy commentary about stupid shit), administered by Ben Wallace.
Friday, April 10th, 1998
with Herb:
Herb returns - I'm back on the trumpet train. Played at the Beach Chalet in SF, a new restaurant down the hill from the Cliff House (i.e. near the windmills off the Great Highway). Haven't played with these dudes for a while, so I had to relearn all those songs. But we got fed and paid and it was a hoot.
Thursday, April 16th, 1998
with Fire-Taiko:
Yet another Vaccination Records benefit. And another gig at the Plough. Me and Gene were going to throw together a band to do a cover of the entire song "Bat out of Hell," but this never came to fruition. Instead I helped play some rhythm parts during a fire taiko set organized by Jenya. Lots of lighter fluid on the floor by the end of that set. Not good. Other performances this evening included a gang of loons performing Art Bears covers, and Eskimo playing covers of other VacRec artists.
Thursday, April 23rd, 1998
with JOB:
JOB makes it to the Starry Plough, finally, performing as the middle act between some Grux noise thing and the loud and a huge Moe!kestra. This show was a blast, and we played a nice, short set. Hard to remember, though. Wish we recorded it (but if we did it woulda sucked).
Friday, May 1st, 1998
At the Bottom of the Hill opening for Moxie and Charming Hostess. We didn't put too much effort into this show, since Chuck was out of town this evening. In his place we got our pal Becky to sit in on violin and voice, and we did all the softy numbers. I didn't even bring my own amp - I used Mark Schifferli's tiny GK. Surprisingly low attendance. Oh well.
Saturday, June 6th, 1998
with Herb:
Due to bungled scheduling (not on my part) I landed my first gig playing keyboards with Herb (instead of bass) about 48 hours before the show, meaning I had to learn all those parts lickety split. As always, I did just fine, and the show was at the Hi-Ball Lounge in North Beach. One of those clubs that rock bands never play.
Sunday, June 7th, 1998
The very next day I played a few doors down at some Cafe whose name I can't remember (Grant & Green?). Whatever. One of those five band deals with poetry readings mixed in. Erik's gotten into booking these random things. Another Grux noise project featuring one dude on Optigan and a set by Mike Boner caused us to leave early.
Friday, June 12th, 1998
with Herb:
Playing keyboards again with Herb at another one of those yuppie-or-rich-white-fuck clubs called Coconut Grove off Van Ness in SFWe didn't get dinner, and I only got like $70 for two sets, all of which was spent on towing my car back to the East Bay since the clutch (repaired a week earlier) failed. What a blast. Major props go to Chris Sipe who helped me push my car uphill off the curb (it jetted backward due to the failed clutch when I turned the ignition key) and Tom Yoder for giving me a ride home where I could call AAA.
Saturday, June 13th, 1998
with Herb:
Another Herb show at Jupiter in Berkeley. Getting to really sink my teeth into those keyboard parts with all these shows and shit. I like playing the Jupiter in the summer, outside on the back patio, with some dude running the sound board who, years ago, had some jam band I unceremoniously joined and quit within four days much to his dismay.
Friday, June 19th, 1998
Back at the Stork Club. Whatever.
Saturday, June 20th, 1998
with JOB:
Back at the Starry Plough so soon! And not just that but opening for our SLC compadres Ether. Opening was a duo of Dren and Kris which was half of what was to become Grnd Nat'l Brnds. A powerful JOB set, if I may say so, especially since my drum stool broke right at the beginning, leaving me to balance solely on its spine for the remainder of the set. Whoa.. Whoa..
Friday, June 26th, 1998
Mumble & Peg at the Starry Plough yet again. Man, I'm living at that club. We opened up for two other bands, including the fabulous Ebola Soup and the polymorphic Stikman. I was way into the Ebola Soup set, which cleared the room faster than ever. I don't think they've played since.
Tuesday, June 30th, 1998
Another hard M&P show. Chuck's days with the band at this point were numbered (he's been wanting out for a while yet) so we filled up his schedule with pointless audience-free no-money mid-week gigs on Haight street. What a bummer. Musically, though, I think we sounded great. E is for Elephant was supposed to play this show but bailed. Even more of a bummer. In their place was some pop band called the Sugar Coats.
Friday, July 10th, 1998
For a brief period there was a cool underground "club" called Star Cleaners in the Mission. They got closed down quickly but before they did Mumble & Peg played a show there with four other bands. We played first. A Minor Forest played last. Some friends of Erik's played in one of the middle bands. I left early. I'm lame.
Saturday, July 18th, 1998
Mumble & Peg tours SoCal! You heard right. We took all the equipment we could (bass, guitar, some spare drum parts) in Virginia's car and headed south. This evening we played at the Sacred Grounds in San Pedro with distant brethren Leather Hyman and the Bibs. We borrowed most of their equipment. Rockin' on a coffee buzz. This was the penultimate show with Chuck. Slept that evening at Tony G.'s house.
Sunday, July 19th, 1998
Spent the morning going to Ikea, Tony showing us around some hot spots of LA, hitting an art museum, Chuck and I wading knee-deep in the unbelievably warm Pacific waters, and then destroying the day by playing a shitty show at Al's Bar. Shitty in that we had crappy borrowed equipment, including no amp for Erik's guitar, playing through a terrible PA so we couldn't hear anything on stage. The audience couldn't hear anything either because there was no audience. We played first at this early barbecue thing and hit the road back to Oakland that evening. Goodbye, Chuck.
Saturday, August 22nd, 1998
with JOB:
JOB's triumphant return to the Experimental Media Research Laboratories in Sacramento, and once again playing with SoCal brain-toggle ensemble Instagon. After driving two cars' worth of our shit there, fearing the load-in up three flights of stairs and through thick clouds of cat piss, we found that power just went out on that block, so we loaded in by candlelight. Luckily power returned before the kids split, and we played what I thought was a pretty good set. Not great, but worth the price of admission. Jai Young and I sat in for Instagon's set. Space rock central. Nice to see that whole gang again after so long. Headed back to the Bay Area really late.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 1998
with Herb:
Herb. Jupiter in Berkeley. See previous Herb gig at the Jupiter for details.
Saturday, September 12th, 1998
Since it's really hard to keep a tiny indie label afloat, we had another Vaccination Records benefit. Some cast of characters doing all kinds of goofy shit, but the main thing was there was a formal Mumble & Peg set featuring the debut of our new drummer, Jenya. Actually, she played on the first single, so she's the new old drummer. Hooray, Jenya! Other acts that evening included Ninewood, Rube Waddell, and Frank Pahl.
Monday, September 14th, 1998
with JOB:
JOB on the airwaves once again. This time we drove all the way down to the Los Altos Hills to perform live on KFJC (an amazing college station) and had a well-researched interview to boot. Too bad the set sucked. It's so hard to predict these things. A fun night, anyway. Beautiful campus.
Thursday, September 17th, 1998
with JOB:
JOB hit the Edinburgh castle, thanks to the energy of Frank Grau setting up improv shows at random places. Played with Bilge and Glow. Not very well attended and I was in a bad fucking mood because of all nights for a Monks of Doom reunion, it had to be a night where me and Jai Young (two huge Monks of Doom fans) had to play improv to nobody. I remember screaming the phrase "Why are we here?!" during the set a lot, and that's about it. We did make it out of there in time to see some of the MoD show, though.
Friday, October 2nd, 1998
Mumble & Peg tours the East Coast! Erik was attending a family function in Cape Cod, so he booked a tour around this time. Jenya and I flew out with her drums and my bass, and within hours of arriving in NY, we had to procure my father's jeep and a really shitty bass amp from my friend Eric in NYC. What a nightmare. Anyway, we hit the road the next day from NYC and headed to Boston to play the basement of a drag bar called Jacque's. Took us 90 minutes to find that club though we were only two blocks away, thanks to Boston's completely fucked up one-way street system. The club had no mike stand, Erik's amp blew before we played anything, but we were still able to scrape together enough wires and PA equipment from the club to put on a cute show for Erik's hometown buddies. And the bookers gave us $75 for our troubles. Slept that evening on a cement floor (using our stash of band t-shirts as padding) in some art loft in Cambridge.
Saturday, October 3rd, 1998
Played the Fire and Ice in Northampton, Mass. A quaint cafe/eatery that doesn't pay musicians except in tips left by patrons. Not much of a PA there. So we played a quiet set (preceded by a songer singwriter Matt Turk) and made $14, about $5 of which were donated by the sympathetic club owner. He even jumped our jeep (after I left the lights on). Drove to Cape Cod that evening without a place to sleep. Stayed up all night until we got a hold of Erik's sister and we crashed at her pad.
Sunday, October 4th, 1998
Hangin' in Hyannis. Played a show at some funky art space owned by some funky older hippie dude. Hippie dude recorded the show using his "magic miking technique" with just two mikes aimed in some funny manner going straight into a cassette deck. Erik started with a long solo set for his hometown crew, and then the full band played. This is like the welcome-home-Erik tour and not much else, really.
Wednesday, October 7th, 1998
After many nights off (including one where I missed Dr. Nerve playing at the Knitting Factory because I simply didn't know about it until too late!!) we skipped down to Baltimore to play our only real show of the tour, that being at Ottobar. We played in between a cool three-piece indy pop band and the local crazy costume rockers Rhinovirus, who are all fans of the Vaccination Records scene. I wouldn't say this gig made the tour worthwhile but it saved it from being a complete waste of time. We had a fun night in a new town and hung with some cool people and shopped for records in the morning.
Friday, October 9th, 1998
After a long day of hanging out in NYC (including Erik going off to many record shops and Jenya and I catching a Guv'ner in-store show), we played yet-another-art-space near SoHo run by one of Erik's friends called Collective Unconscious. Some of my homies were at this show, and we played well since we had better equipment at our disposal. This space used to be a brothel, and the bathroom was amazing. There was like this sink with holes in the basin with light shining up from beneath. Cool. That was the last show of the tour. The next day my niece, Lily, was born. Good timing. I'd say this trip was a total bust except it afforded me the opportunity to be with my family during this momentus occasion.
Thursday, November 5th, 1998
Mumble & Peg hits the Hotel Utah in SF! Woo-hoo! Opening up the whole show was Ari Fellows-Mannion doing her first (and quite lovely) solo set ever, and the always pleasant Ramona the Pest. Jenya was deathly ill, barely able to stand, but plowed through our set like a champ. What a trooper!
Friday, November 20th, 1998
Due to a last-minute cancellation we got asked to play at the Starry Plough (again) opening up for local faves Gun & Doll Show. That band seems to have some shit together as far as promotion and that general "professional" attitude.

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