Gig Archives: 2001


(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Saturday, January 13th, 2001
Debut show of Robot Arm, which is the brainchild of Mat and Chris from Ninewood. These two guys recorded a shitload of improvs as many as three years ago with random other people (including myself and many others). Supposedly a CD compiling the best of these recordings will come out this year. In the meantime, due to a last-minute cancellation at the Port Lite club in Oakland (ghasp), they decided to throw together a Robot Arm show with no promo or nothin'. So I got the invite, and couldn't resist. We headlined on a Saturday night after two pop bands (some co-ed band and the fast-pop Little John). Then we played like a spewing volcano, forcing everybody out of the place. It was Mat and Chris on drums and bass, me on Nord Lead, Dren on guitar, and Brian (who I just met that evening) also on guitar. What a blast, except the power to my Nord kept going in and out during the entire set, but that lent even more of a random edge to things. "Behold Robot Arm," read an unfulred banner behind Mat. Indeed.
Saturday, January 20th, 2001
We played a headlining spot of four bands as part of a benefit for Afghani women at the Tuva Space in Berkeley/Oakland (3192 Adeline). I never been there before - a cozy, groovy performace space. Kinda packed and hard to load in our stuff, though. First off was Zeek Sheck and her freaky cronies. She just played laptop and harmonica this time around - no drums like a previous show of hers I caught at the Paradise. Second was some trio including Henry Kaiser. During that set Frank and I split to go to the Nursery to pick up CDs to sell. Hung out there for a while chatting with Dan and Brook as Frank made a bacon sandwich and chai. Back to the venue, only then realizing Frank was too busy eating to remember to grab CDs. Oh well. Like we'd sell any. Perfectly missed the Kaiser set. Third was Faun Fables. Dawn and Nils were in top form tonight, feeding off the energy of the crowd (I never heard "Transit Rider" get such a laugh reaction from an audience - I always thought of it as a dismal song). Then we had to follow that. As of last night Kenseth started his sabbatical away from music, and Graham couldn't make it, so it was just Frank, Eli, Mitch, and me. Keepin' it real. Ended up being one of best shows since before the Fall '00 tour. Between the late hour, BART stopping, and the fact that nobody likes us, the placed thinned out throughout the course of our fusion odyssey. Still felt good about the show, and still made it home at a decent hour (around 12:30am).
Friday, January 26th, 2001
@ Meow Meow in Portland, OR with the Francis Farmer Gals and the Nearly Deads (check out this tour story for more details.)
Saturday, January 27th, 2001
@ the Breakroom in Seattle, WA with Maria Mabra, Ponticello and Blue Collar Love (check out this tour story for more details.)
Sunday, January 28th, 2001
@ the Matrix in Chehalis, WA Louis Panush and Hot Carl (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, February 23rd, 2001
Our big CD release party for All my Waking Moments in a Jar. There was a lot of pressure building up to this point, mostly involving band logistics like assembling CDs, getting T-shirts printed, etc. But everything worked out much, much better than expected. We had a great turnout, thanks to the various draws from the many acts. Wesley Willis was a hoot - he set up off stage and kept the crowd entertained between long set changes. The wonderful Red Bennies made their Bay Area debut in fine form, rocking the crowd into a furor. Then we played, featuring mostly songs from the new CD, including a perfect lounge ballad version of "Resigned" with Jenya on bass and me on piano. Also had the debut of our brand new tune "Lifespan" which the sound guy raved about after the show. And I mustn't forget that we pulled off our first segue ever ("Breathe Deep" going into "Mountain"). Then Sleepytime Gorilla Museum destroyed the crowd with their special brain-melting recipe, and I haven't seen that big a mosh pit at an art-rock show in a long time.
Saturday, March 3rd, 2001
@ Kilby Court in Salt Lake City, UT with Cobra, Sikhara, and the Red Bennies (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, March 8th, 2001
Another show at the Bottom of the Hill in SF. The amorphous lineup tonight was me, Frank, Eli, and Graham. We actually rehearsed a couple of times and came up with "heads" or at list riffs to play with if need be. Frank expressed concern that our draw would be slim tonight, and his nightmare became reality. Opening up the set was Wadsworth, touring from Portland - a bunch of funny guys and a fun band. Then we played to about 30-40 people. Typical loud set - nothing to write home about. Then Bluebeard - hyperrock from dudes I've seen around the music scene for a while but never heard. Too bad about the lame draw, especially since Frank and I had a sold out crowd here the other day with our other bands. Funny note - Scott from Sikhara, now bumming around SF instead of SLC, popped in with Camille (sp?) - the old, old bass player for Uz Jsme Doma touring around as well with his latest freakout thang. The experimental-indie-rock touring world is a small one, indeed.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2001
@ the Rainbow in Seattle, WA with two funk bands (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, March 23rd, 2001
@ Medicine Hat in Portland, OR with Cosmos Group and the Opera Cycle (check out this tour story for more details.)
Saturday, March 24th, 2001
@ Meow Meow in Portland, OR with a million other bands (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, April 5th, 2001
@ Ya'Buts in Salt Lake City, UT (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, April 6th, 2001
@ 15th Street Tavern in Denver, CO (check out this tour story for more details.)
Saturday, April 7th, 2001
@ the Hurricane in Kansas City, MO (check out this tour story for more details.)
Sunday, April 8th, 2001
@ Fireside Bowl in Chicago, IL (check out this tour story for more details.)
Monday, April 9th, 2001
@ El Mocambo in Torono, ON (check out this tour story for more details.)
Wednesday, April 11th, 2001
@ T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge, MA (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, April 12th, 2001
@ played live on the air at WFMU (in NJ) (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, April 12th, 2001
@ Brownie's in New York, NY (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, April 13th, 2001
@ Prodigal Son in Hyannis, MA (check out this tour story for more details.)
Sunday, April 15th, 2001
@ Ottobar in Baltimore, MA (check out this tour story for more details.)
Tuesday, April 17th, 2001
@ the Boro Bar and Grill in Murfreesboro, TN (check out this tour story for more details.)
Wednesday, April 18th, 2001
@ A.R.K. in New Orleans, LA (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, April 19th, 2001
@ Mary Jane's in Houston, TX (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, April 20th, 2001
@ Red Eyed Fly's in Austin, TX (check out this tour story for more details.)
Saturday, April 21st, 2001
@ Medicine Hall in Norman, OK (check out this tour story for more details.)
Sunday, May 6th, 2001
@ the Casbah in San Diego, CA (check out this tour story for more details.)
Tuesday, May 8th, 2001
@ Solar Cult Gallery in Tucson, AZ (check out this tour story for more details.)
Wednesday, May 9th, 2001
@ 33 Degrees (in-store) in Austin, TX (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, May 10th, 2001
@ Red Eye Fly's in Austin, TX (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, May 11th, 2001
@ Rubber Gloves in Denton, TX (check out this tour story for more details.)
Saturday, May 12th, 2001
@ Medicine Hall in Norman, OK (check out this tour story for more details.)
Sunday, May 13th, 2001
@ Hurricane in Kansas City, MO (check out this tour story for more details.)
Monday, May 14th, 2001
@ 15th Street Tavern in Denver, CO (check out this tour story for more details.)
Tuesday, May 15th, 2001
@ Ya'buts in Salt Lake City, UT (check out this tour story for more details.)
Wednesday, May 16th, 2001
@ the Zephyr in Reno, NV (check out this tour story for more details.)
Sunday, May 20th, 2001
We played a barbecue show at the Bottom of the Hill with the same trio lineup as the tour. This was kind of a "welcome back" show as well as a "goodbye improv" show. We arrived way too early, eventually took our time soundchecking, and then chowing down on some amazing all-you-can-eat vittles. Project: Pimento played first, a lounge/cover band featuring a missing bass player and somebody who could actually play the theremin. Good stuff, but totally not a good opening band for us. They drew some well dressed lounge types who fled during our set. I believed we played quite well, especially considering I was still physically and mentally recovering from the tour, and haven't touched my bass since the Reno show. The Portlanders from Wadsworth were in town on tour and all stopped by. Speaking of Portland: Julie, who put us up during our last tour up there, also appeared at random during some days off in SF before moving to Big Sur. Trance/Hardcore Ybo Ybo had half their members detained before leaving Japan, yet they still embarked on this tour with a last-minute surrogate American drummer. No offense to the new guy, but I felt myself wishing they had their regular lineup. What a weird collection of music. Good crowd for a Sunday. And thus marks the beginning of the end of the marriage between Species Being and improvisation.
Friday, August 24th, 2001
A benefit show at the Starry Plough for Mark Growden who needs money to bring his broken down bus which is still in LA. Lots of solo acts before the Tiger Lillies did a surprise guest segment, and then the Electric Pinata played a full headlining set. I was one of the many entertaining solo acts that started the evening. Others included Gobo Yaya, Deep Fried Happy Family, and Brian Kenney-Fresno, as well as short films here and there. I felt my slot was poorly rehearsed yet well received. Lots of people there who never saw me play solo. So be it. My little sister was in town and she got to see me play in some form or another. After the festivities ended, I had to house Brian who was up from Fresno only for the evening but was locked out of the Nursery so he needed a place to crash. We talked Warr guitar.
Saturday, September 15th, 2001
with Dropsy:
I wouldn't call this the Dropsy debut show. Dave called it the "beta test." It was Alex's birthday, so two of his bands played (us and Six-Eyed Columbia), as well as Mega Mousse, at his warehouse performance space on Piedmont Avenue. We only had six songs ready ("Sign the Bill," "Shiny Scenery," "Level Below," "Altimeter," "Throw Me," and "Hole in the World") and we are still missing saxophone. Nevertheless, it was fun to give this new band a whirl and present "things to come" to various friends and strangers who attended. I hung out a while after playing, enjoying the other two bands who rocked the house in their own special ways.
Saturday, October 27th, 2001
Wow! The first Mumble & Peg show in over half a year! We played last after about 11 other acts as part of the annual "Murder Ballads" benefit show to raise money to fund musical therapy programs in schools. As usual, this happened at the Starry Plough in Berkeley, and it was packed. The general idea was for each band to play songs about murder and death and misery and whatnot. Other acts included, Thom Moore, Tommy Carnes, Hoarhound, Ramona the Pest (doing some outstanding Black Sabbath covers), Bitesize, and Noe Venable Trio, and more..

Now.. we haven't played together as a band in a long time, and Erik has been down on music in general (aggravated by his job where he's booking tours for several better-funded and better-promoted bands). So we've were quite uninspired to put our little set together. We started with our only original murder song, "Mirrorface," followed by a Melvins like rendition of the Police classic "Murder by Numbers," segue-ing into the perfect Shellac number "Prayer to God," and then finishing with the Idiot Flesh opus "Teen Devil Worshipper." Despite Erik's complaints about having to perform earlier, his histrionics were unparalleled and the crowd (which withstood the high volume) asked for more, so we encored with the old standy, "Hangman."

It ended up being a fun show - all bands kept to the schedule, bless their many hearts, so we got on fairly early. Jenya's costume was a hit (she recycled her Little Dead Riding Hood outfit from a couple years ago but now had all-white contacts which freaked everybody out). My costume was stupid - a ghoulish doctor with a bloody hospital shirt. Erik dressed up as the keyboard player for the Faint.

Despite the fun, it remains to be seen whether or not this was the last Mumble & Peg show. There's not a lot of inspiration right now, though there is talk of continuing as a trio under a different name, just to give ourselves a "clean slate."


Monday, December 31st, 2001
with Dropsy:
I'm only calling this a show because I haven't been doing much else, performance-wise. Beth & Eli were having a New Year's Eve talent show at their house. Before splitting early to go to another party where Jenya had to play drums, me, Dave, and Alex played a couple Dropsy tunes as a trio. Unrehearsed and silly. Both songs were in C minor and the E-flat below middle C was missing on the piano. I survived.

back home