Gig Archives: 2003

(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Friday, February 14th, 2003
with Faun Fables and company:
Dawn McCarthy threw together another annual Valentine's Day show at the Plough, and asked Jenya and I to tag along. There were at least a dozen acts featuring the likes of many Bay Area freaks and normals such as Erik Carter, Noe Venable, Robin Coomer, Mike Pukish, Brian Schacter, a bunch of guys from Nanos Operatta, Joanna Newsom and more. Each little act played a song or two or four - all cover tunes from our respective youths that had to do with our first feelings of love.

I was in three separate acts, the first being a duo with Jenya. She played drums and sang and I played Warr guitar and sang. It was my big public debut on Warr guitar. There was a lot of rehearsing, and all for naught, as I couldn't see the fret dots on stage and was screwing up left and right. At least we went on early so a lot of my friends hadn't showed up yet to witness the carnage. People claimed to have liked it - probably because of the choice of songs in a fast-paced hit-and-run medley, which were:

1. "Love Machine" (The Miracles)
2. "Seaside Rendezvous" (Queen)
3. "How Soon is Now?" (The Smiths)
4. "Wond'ring Aloud" (Jethro Tull)

Unlike me, Jenya was great during our little set, but at least I had the chance to redeem myself by playing in a couple other acts. I backed up Nils Frykdahl on piano (along with Jenya, Dan Rathbun and backup singers Dawn, Jane and Mantra) for his set, which was:

1. "Rich Girl" (Hall & Oates)
2. "More Than a Woman (a.k.a Banana Woman)" (The Bee Gees)

.And I backed up Gene Jun for his long-awaited return to stage, along with Nils, Dan, Chuck Squier, (pretty much an Acid Rain reunion, along with me, Dawn, Jane, and Mantra). His choice of tunes were:

1. "Took The Words Right Out of my Mouth" (Meatloaf)
2. "For Crying Out Loud" (Meatloaf)
3. "Love's No Friend of Mine" (Rainbow)

What an evening! Despite the heavy rain the Starry Plough was packed with fans and performers. It was a blast, and a bunch of us met up again the next day to attend the march on Market Street protesting the potential war in Iraq yet again.. My sign read: "Neuter or spay a Bush today."

Tuesday, April 1st, 2003
with a bunch of random people:

Moe! Staiano put together a "Rock Lotto" as a benefit for the Black Box venue in Oakland. The whole idea was to have a pool of 25 or so musicians be randomly assembled into 5 bands, each of which would come up with 20 minutes of material to play at this show. What a way to spend April Fools Night!

My band contained me (of course), Nils Frykdahl, Gene Jun, Jesse Quattro, and Moe! himself. We called ourselves the Conditionals if only because the lyrics we came up with consisted mostly of if/then statements. I played bass except for one tune where I played drums (and Moe played guitar, and Gene played slap bass). We all sang. All the songs were somewhat orchestrated but really just guided improvs based around separate sections we pieced together during two rehearsals the weekend before the show. The set was something like:

1. "The Conditionals Theme"
2. "Jazz isn't Real"
3. "Rubber"
4. "De Futura (excerpt)" (Magma cover)
5. "Buffalo in Golden Gate Park"

We went on last of all the bands, which featured all kinds of remarkable performances by many friends, almost too many to mention here. I did sit in on one song in Jenya's band (which was "against the rules" but who cares?). It was a cover of Cop Shoot Cop's "Got No Soul." with Jenya tearin' it up on lead vocals and keyboards, Jai Young Kim on bass, and Nat Hawkes on drums, and me filling in on guitar.

There were easily more performers than audience members, but everybody had a lot of fun, and that's what it was really all about.

Monday, May 12th, 2003
with the Moe!Kestra!:
I jumped yet again into the musical fray which is the Moe!Kestra, led by none other than Moe! Staiano himself. It was another guided improv with all of Moe's flailing hand signs and facial contortions. I played guitar this time around, along with 30-40 other people in the scene employing the use of other varieties of musical instruments It all happened at the 21 Grand space in Oakland, which of course isn't at 21 Grand, it's at 449 23rd Street.
Friday, June 27th, 2003
So this was the secret debut of Three Piece Combo, a barely announced gig at the Fishtank in Oakland. The whole point of this show was to dust off all this material and see how we would fare under pressure before the official debut show next week at the Plough.

Alex's housemate Aaron started the evening with a short set of accordian/voice numbers, mostly covers of Dead Kennedy tunes. Then we went on, performing all this material we've been working on for a year for a dozen or so random friends and neighbors. Despite the small turnout we still felt nervous but proved to ourselves that we could get past the jitters and still successfully perform this music

1. "(Deeper into the) Cave"
2. "Number One"
3. "First the Bad News"
4. "Solid Ghost"
5. "Walk it Off"
6. "Arcata Marsh"
7. "Enough"
8. "Paperwork"

And we finished early enough so that all of us could caravan over to the big party down on Magnolia street.

Friday, July 4th, 2003
The official debut of Three Piece Combo happened at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. Not the best night to play a show but we started late enough that the fireworks displays were long done. In fact, after soundcheck Jon, Alex, and I headed up into the hills and watched the Jack London Square fireworks from a good vantage point.

The opening band was My Hero, featuring our friend Stikman in the frontman position. They sounded great, and pulled off a wonderful rendition of Frank Zappa's "Florentine Pogen." After a long set break, we went on, and to a rather nice sized crowd.

1. "(Deeper into the) Cave"
2. "Number One"
3. "First the Bad News"
4. "Solid Ghost"
5. "Walk it Off"
6. "Arcata Marsh"
7. "Enough"
8. "Paperwork"

After the show, people actually signed the mailing list. Wow. I'm in a band now where people want to come back and see us again. Awesome.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2003
Another Fishtank show for 3PC. Opening up the evening were some local friends of ours, Three Speed Kill Toy and Research and Development. We mixed our set up a little bit:

1. "Number One"
2. "Solid Ghost"
3. "Walk it Off"
4. "(Deeper into the) Cave"
5. "Arcata Marsh"
6. "Enough"
7. "First the Bad News"
8. "Paperwork"

During the set we debuted a new feature: "the lighting of the pickle." It's kinda hard to describe it, so I won't even try.

Saturday, August 23rd, 2003
Why not play another show at the Fishtank? I mean, Alex lives there so it's just too convenient. Anyway, it was a trio of trios tonight. First off was Fear of Sleep. I haven't seen those guys play in a long ass time. They had a new song which went triplet-sixteenths-quintuplets. Cool. Then us. I had a pasley shirt on. My brother and younger sister were in the audience. We played the same eight songs (couldn't get the new tune ready in time), but in a new-ish order:

1. "(Deeper into the) Cave"
2. "First the Bad News"
3. "Paperwork"
4. "Solid Ghost"
5. "Walk it Off"
6. "Arcata Marsh"
7. "Solid Ghost"
8. "Number One"

We had fun. Sloppy, but having fun makes us sound better. Following us was Wes and Mellender from Schloss playing with Myles sitting in for Thorn who couldn't make the gig. So it was a weird Schloss-like improv trio, playing heads and other bits from tunes with Myles going nuts on top of it all.

Saturday, October 11th, 2003
Another show with Fear of Sleep and Schloss, this time at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. We played first. The entire Schloss made it this time, but Mellender was injured on tour recently and had to play the entire gig sitting down. Plus, this was their last show ever. Sadness. Anyway, we played the same old set, so I won't bother listing the particular order below. But we did debut "Trail Mix" and surprised ourselves that we made it through the entire song without having to stop.
Sunday, November 2nd, 2003
On November 2nd, we had our big debut in San Francisco on a Monday night at Kimo's. You know going into such an endeavor that it's gonna be a lame gig, and we weren't disappointed. I was probably the oldest person in the entire bar. The opening band were too lame to show up on time, so we played first even though we told people we were going on second. Still the scant few who did arrive caught our most of our set. It was officially our first bad gig. I broke a string at the beginning of "Number One." Alex bass was buzzing in and out during the last few songs due to a failing battery. Jon had a headache. We didn't even bother to hang out to see if we were gonna get paid. I got my two free domestic beers at any rate.

Oh yeah.. we played the exact same set as the last gig.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003
We tried out the Oakland Box Theatre (formerly the Black Box) as a venue to play on a Tuesday night. Kind of a big theatre with boomy acoustics. There were some flaws to the gig (one of Alex's pedals went on the fritz during the first song, for one), but we did fairly well considering. It was actually kinda fun, and we ended up playing to much more than a three-piece audience. Following us was a improv trio featuring local heros Larry Ochs, Chris Brown, and Ches Smith. I miss playing improv. During their whole set I fantasized booking a tour of the east coast with JOB.

And once again we played more or less the exact same set. We'll have some new tunes worked out for the next gig I swear!

Thursday, November 20th, 2003
My big debut with this band, as I recently took over Mike's place on guitar and fought through 7 impossible charts. I was psyched, though a little nervous and therefore my playing was a bit tight-ass until I drank a beer during the set. The SF multi-media duo EarRotator opened up and were quite entertaining, playing along with videos of themselves. But their small crowd left as we started, leaving us almost outnumbering our audience. Oh, well. We'll definitely do better at the next couple of gigs, I'm certain.

The set was: Fully Brachiated, Subtext, Demoncatcher, Vortex, Crumbs, Bromiliad, and Dust to Dust. That was a lot of music.

Saturday, December 20th, 2003
Last show of the year for me, and R&D's second show, this time at the Starry Plough. Sounded pretty good, I think - I got my guitar tone finally done, at least for this band. We attempted the Gabe's new tune - didn't train wreck! Since we were sticking to a short set being the openers, we only did a subset of tunes, all of which somehow contained a guitar solo in some form or another, so I was shredding out solos left and right by the end of the evening. Or at least it felt that way. Following us was My Hero and Lemon LimeLights, but I had to bail out right after our set to attend an ICS listening party.

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