Gig Archives: 2004

(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004
We started the year with a Wednesday night at the Hemlock in SF, opening up for the Mitch Marcus Quintet. We expected a meager crowd, and we got one, but at least a good number of friends showed up to fill the tiny room. Good sets by both bands, too. I drank a beer before the set and so I was relaxed enough to play the songs live again. And we managed to make it through the debut of "Jerk" in one piece, despite trainwrecking it twice during soundcheck. We did manage to trainwreck "Trail Mix" and had to stop after about 10 measures and start again. First time ever that this band had to stop a song in mid-flight.
Saturday, January 17th, 2004
Immediately following the previous gig we played at the Starry Plough on Saturday. All warmed up we performed quite well and to a nice, full house. The Mass destroyed everyone after we played, and the evening closed with the grand return of Spezza Rotto. The evening was well-stocked with enough odd time signatures to feed a family of five for months. Went home after the show and stayed up till 3:00am with Jenya and my brother discussing politics.
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004
We headed into San Francisco yet again to play Kimo's in the middle of the week. The first band was a no-show. The second band, while being the best band we played with at Kimo's so far, we're the complete diametric opposite of what we do. So as soon as we started playing, all their friends and fans fled for their lives. That left a meager crowd, but we played a good show until Alex broke a string and had no spares. A short 25 minute set, and then we went on home.
Friday, March 5th, 2004
I played the Metro in downtown Oakland with both these bands. This was my first double-duty gig in many years. I had tons of material rolling around my head before the show began. 3PC went on first. I had a break in the form of the the Scott Hill Group who played second (and were wonderful), and then finally I reappeared playing with Research and Development. I was pretty beat after that. I'm getting old.
Sunday, March 14th, 2004
Finally I got the call to do my solo act again by none other than the improvisational comedy troupe, the Frookies. How random! How fun! I parked my keyboard and self in the corner in front of the stage at the Climate Theatre in SF and did two short sets of my funnier tunes (which the tiny packed house seemed to enjoy) and then the Frookies did their on-the-spot comedy creation, using some of my lyrical content as fodder. Hope to do that again sometime.
Friday, March 19th, 2004
The scene: Bimbo's (SF). After almost four years I suddenly found myself playing keyboards with Casino Royale again! So I had to relearn all that material and then some to play in front of high-payin' crowd at Bimbo's. It was a benefit show for KDFC, a classical radio station, so the opening act was the neo-classical, string-oriented group of sisters called The Ahn Trio. They played for two hours to a packed house quietly watching from their tables. Then they cleared away the tables to make room on the dance floor for our two hour set. Kind of a weird match, but people were still sweatin' and shakin' until we wrapped up around 12:30am. I hurried home after the gig as I had to wake up in five hours to drive to LA for Jenya's cousin's wedding.
Thursday, March 25th, 2004
Guitarist Steve Kirk was nominated for an award at the 2nd annual GANG awards for his original music in a video game (the game being "Voodoo Vince" for the Xbox). As part of the lavish ceremony held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose he got to perform some selections live. The band was Steve, me on bass, John Hanes, Tom Yoder, Chris Grady, Larry de la Cruz, and Casey Filson. The music was actually quite complicated, but we nailed it. In the front row watching us play was none other than Dweezil Zappa. He was going to perform as well, but right after we played, me, Tom, and Jenya (who was one of but a few women at the entire event) snuck out and headed home. I'm still getting over a cold, after all.
Saturday, March 27th, 2004
On Saturday, March 27th, Three Piece Combo played the Starry Plough opening up for Whore who was having their CD release party that evening. So it was a big ol' party. I think we played as good as we ever have, as we've been working on these same songs for a long time. Anyway, after all that Mark Growden closed the show and I sat in on bass (cramming in the material the day before) as Seth the usual bass player couldn't make the gig. So once again I did double duty this month. That cold is still lingering, and the hectic schedule isn't helping.
Sunday, March 28th, 2004
Actually, it was with the Mumps, which is a spinoff of this band. There is some crossover, but the Mumps is more of a psychedelic band, slamming through things like "Insence and Peppermints" or Pink Floyd's "Bike." We actually played at the grand opening of the new San Francisco Jewish Community Center. So it was a weird crowd. There was a lot of security outside as we loaded in - a sign of the times.
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004
On Saturday, April 3rd, we packed up and headed up to Santa Rosa to play a gig at a bar/restaurant called Michelle's. I believe this was my first ever show in the actual town of Santa Rosa. Nat and others are from around these parts, so there was a good crowd of friends and whatnot. Mac still lives in Santa Rosa, but ironically he couldn't make this one R&D gig in his own home town. Instead a former sax player from way long ago, Brendan, stepped right in and laid down the tenor parts. That's how ancient some of these songs are. The stage was just barely the size of a drum riser, and the rest of us had to stand on the very sticky floor. We played first, followed by Pistola, which I only then discovered was the new name of the band Three Speed Kill Toy which Three Piece Combo played with last summer. In fact, this was their first show since that one. Closing the evening was good ol' Whore, rocking out well into the evening. On the drive back home Kevin and I ranted about how MTV destroyed everything. It sucks being a musical purist in this day and age. Thanks to daylight savings time I didn't get to bed until after 4:00am.
Friday, April 9th, 2004
The night before I left for a week-long vacation in New York. We dished out two whole sets of R&D music for the late night dinner crowd at the Connecticut Yankee in San Francisco. It was quite a test of endurance and sight-reading ability. And somehow we managed to cram all seven of us (including new percussionist Smitty) onto the tiny stage.
Sunday, April 25th, 2004
I love Dan's music, and once again I found myself relearning a whole bunch of it on an entirely different instrument. This time I was playing bass guitar (and bass synth). Fair enough - his stuff is fun to wrap your brain around again and again. The band played at the Jazz House in Berkeley. It was a smaller version of the ensemble (only 11 people - me, Jenya, Spangler, Shiurba, Wold, Rosenberg, Albee, Yoder, Ingalls, Bruckmann, and Plonsey) but plenty loud enough to clobber that tiny (hot) room. Lots of cute, weird vamps surrounding bizarre ensemble tunes nestled within.
Saturday, May 1st, 2004
Who would have thought that E is for Elephant would play again? Well, I guess lots of people. But it's been a while - like 4 years - since their last show, and they just released a double CD of old tunes recorded 10 years ago. Wow. I was planning on going to see the big reunion show anyway, but R&D got the nod to open the gig, and we did so with glee. It was at the Starry Plough, of course, and it was just us two bands, so we played a 50-60 minute set and didn't feel so bad about playing a long encore tune since the crowd pleaded for it. That was nice. And Elephant was truly awesome. We did the chair dance and everything, just like the old days..
Friday, May 7th, 2004
On Friday, May 7th, we were back at Bimbo's in SF co-headlining with Dick Bright's SRO. Even though there were 12 of us (including dancers) we got the small dressing room. That's because the other act had over 20 people. I'm not complaining though - we got free pizza, salad, nuts, candy and drinks. It was kind of a loose night - I didn't have a monitor wedge, Susan had other commitments and showed up three songs into the set, we had two trumpet subs, etc. But people were dancin' and sweatin' and havin' a grand ol' time out there. I was exhausted so I snuck out right after we played and managed to get home by 11:00pm.
Sunday, May 9th, 2004
A special Mother's Day treat for any mothers who wanted to show up to a bar in the Tenderloin on a Sunday night. On May 9th I belched forth some funny songs once again in support of the Frookies. I did two short sets of laugh-inducing tunes, and they did two insane sets of hilarious improvisational comedy. The event was at the Edinburgh Castle in SF. I don't think they upgraded the sound board or lights since I last stepped foot in this bar 7 years ago. Breakers kept going out as we tried turning on random lights while setting up the stage ourselves.
Friday, May 21st, 2004
We played the grand ol' Great American Music Hall in SF opening up for the infamous Super Diamond. While frantically loading in (Lisabell and I rode together and got stuck in traffic on the bridge) the door was held open for me by none other than Vince Littleton. Vince and I used to play together in the Stevie Blacke Band ten years ago - he's playing in Super Diamond these days. Unfortunately in the chaos we didn't get a chance to catch up. I set up and sound checked and wolfed down my free dinner in the dressing room and put on my new duds (which I bought this morning) and hopped on stage. It was a rocker set since we only had 45 minutes and neither regular trumpet players made the gig. In fact, Jab filled in on horn - the first time we played together since the old Herb days. It was whirlwind crazy and then we threw our equipment in cases and into our cars and sped over to the next gig...
Friday, May 21st, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
With The Fuxedos:
Later in the evening most of the Casino Royale members flew over to the Odeon Bar. Lisabell ran in and right onto stage to finish the set singing with Project Pimento while I searched for parking a mile away. The place was packed - almost as many people that were at the Great American Music Hall. It was a crazy evening - the theme being "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Other acts included the burlesque dancing of Kitty Kitty Bang Bang and an interesting fellow whose name I forget who had a strip tease/pogo stick act. The Fuxedos sets were intense. Basically it's like Casino Royale on speed and acid. I was boiling on stage in my tuxedo costume. People dug it. We actually did two sets and had a guest singer, Mr. Lucky who handed me a score to "Moon River" and we hit it right there on stage. The place was still pumpin' when we wrapped up around 2:00am. PAR-TAY!
Saturday, May 22nd, 2004
The following day we were back at the Great American Music Hall. It was a two-night "engagement" I guess. This time we weren't so rushed as we were already soundchecked - just loaded my gear up on stage, plug in, played a few chords, then got my free dinner and headed downstairs. Had more time to catch up with Vince a bit before gettin' on stage and laying down another rockin' set like last night. And once again had to blow outta there once we were finished to play another gig elsewhere...
Saturday, May 22nd, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
I arrived earlier to the warehouse on 423 Tehama before everyone else to hang out with Jai Young who was also performing tonight. First time I ever saw him do the DJ Jai Young Kim thing and it was sublime. Jesse Quattro joined in on vocals halfway into his set. Then it was Fuxedos time again. This set was a bit mellower than last night. The crowd wasn't as drunk. Wes managed to survive without a bass drum pedal the whole set. We played until 2:00am. Oy. What a crazy couple of days.
Saturday, June 19th, 2004
We played a wedding in Mill Valley. Wes and I got there four hours early to load in before everybody arrived for the ceremony. So we had to kill major time in that quaint part of Marin County, marvelling at the super cheap parking meters and super expensive deli food around the corner. Finally we played and it was your usual good time. We had a bunch of subs this gig, including my old housemate Vicky on bass and Tom Griesser on saxophone. Tom played on the Dropsy CD but I still never met him until today.
Saturday, June 19th, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
That same evening most of us sped over the Golden Gate bridge to get to the Mission and play at the Odeon with The Fuxedos one more time. I drove with Danny, who was practicing the vocal parts for my tune "Influx Positron" in between getting calls from people at the club wondering where we were. Loaded in, found parking nearby, ate a taco at Cancun, and then hit the stage. One of the opening acts cancelled, so it was just Salane and Friends before us. She wrapped up and we had a blast going completely nuts on stage. I gave Salane a ride home (she happens to live in my old apartment) since her car broke down on the way to the gig.
Friday, July 16th, 2004
Seattle "summer tour" 2004: Today was the first gig of the Summer '04 Casino Royale Seattle tour, as well as my birthday. We flew into SeaTac airport at 9:30am, and had a gig in Westlake Park downtown at noon. So we were a bit rushed checking into the hotel and all that, but everything was cool. We played outside under a tent as part of the "Out to Lunch" Summer Concert Series. Hundreds of people hung out and watched, some even dancing (and almost stealing the show). 'Twas a great show to kick off the trip, and we had the rest of the night free to party hearty. Ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory nearby where the wait staff sang "Happy Birthday" in my honor.
Saturday, July 17th, 2004
Seattle "summer tour" 2004: Headed down to Renton to perform another outdoor gig. A large crowd gathered in some quad downtown to see a screening of the flick "The Princess Bride" on an inflatable screen, and we were the entertainment as the sun set and night fell. There were lots of kids dancing to our stuff. We had to rent our own keyboards and drums for this gig - in the shuffle we forgot to get a drum stool, so Wes had to play sitting on a cooler full of ice and soda. During the course of the 90-minute show one monitor blew out, and then the other one, rendering my keyboards completely inaudible on stage. So I was flying blind until the end of the show, but whatever.
Sunday, July 18th, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
Seattle "summer tour" 2004: Since Casino Royale had the night off, we headed to the Experience Music Project. They had an open mike in the Liquid Lounge, so we signed up for a ten minute slot. So in between what was mostly solo singer/songwriters and blues bands we kinda stood out a bit. It went by too fast, but Danny still mustered enough energy to get the point across, finishing with a handstand on a table in front, knocking a glass over in the process. Susan also played a solo set, so everybody got to perform on the night off.
Monday, July 19th, 2004
Seattle "summer tour" 2004: Tonight was the main gig of the whole trip - we were playing the after party for the National Governor's Association Conference. The event happened to also be at the Experience Music Project (this time in the more lavish Sky Church). Since this conference contained a majority of this nation's governors, the security was pretty high. In fact, somebody messed up my badge so they had to run a second background check on me before I could enter. In the dressing room we were fed burritos and churros. Mmmm. We blazed through three long sets padded with material I learned about an hour earlier. As far as governor sightings, Gov. Locke gave a speech in the middle of the first set, and Gov. Rendell got up and danced during the fast numbers. This was the last gig with Danny - he had to head back to SF in the morning.
Tuesday, July 20th, 2004
with Susan Z:
Seattle "summer tour" 2004: Tonight we took the form of Susan Z and her backing band. We learned a bunch of her tunes back at the hotel, had dinner, and then headed to the Tractor Tavern to play. Local singer/songwriters Susan Robkin and Kellee Bradley opened up with their bands - lots of great singing and playing all around. Susan R's keyboardist David let me borrow his rig, including a very fun organ emulator which was a blast to play. I need to get me one of those. We did throw a couple Casino Royale covers in the set for good measure.
Wednesday, July 21st, 2004
Seattle "summer tour" 2004: One last show before we skipped town. It was yet another outdoor gig, this time in a mall parking lot right next to the largest Crate & Barrel I've ever seen. The tent over the band was hardly big enough. Luckily Dan had the brilliant idea to mount an umbrella (which he had) onto a boom stand right off the stage. That prevented me from totally baking under the otherwise unobstructed sun for two hours straight. Filling in for Danny was Paul from the Dudley Manlove Quartet, and he did wonderfully. The set ended at 8:15pm, and our flight back to Oakland was at 9:30. So after the final note we lept into waiting cars and sped to the airport, rushed through check-in, plowed through security, and ran to our gate with time to spare. Phew! On the plane the nice stewardess figured out we were a band and treated us like VIPs, giving us free drinks and everything. What a trip.
Friday, July 23rd, 2004
Again we played at the Connecticut Yankee in SF to a small crowd for free food. It was the first time in months all seven of us were together in the same room, so it ended up being a glorified rehearsal in front of people. In a magnificent display of sparks an outlet fizzled near the stage and a breaker blew. That delayed the proceedings for a while. Joe and Smitty did a Metaman set in between our two abbreviated sets.
Friday, July 30th, 2004
The following Friday we played at the Jupiter in Berkeley. Playing the Jupiter is usually a good gig, and this was no exception, though it had some hairy moments. There was an opening band that went on too long. After they finished Nat realized he left his bass head at the space. But we couldn't leave as the opening band now parked us in and were taking forever to load out. I had to drive to the space myself and get the missing gear, which left me no time to set up, or even warm up before we started. So the first set was iffy - I was out of tune and my tone was crappy, but the second and third sets made up for that. Joe couldn't make the gig, but Mike Mellender sat in on trumpet and guitar on select choice tunes. There was a full house, and they dug it, and even my old friend Linda showed up, so we caught up on old times in between sets and after everything ended.
Friday, August 6th, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
We were back at the Odeon, this time headlining an evening with "Last Tango in Paris" as the theme. Danny served baguettes and butter to all the bar patrons. An authentic French tango trio opened up, along with other burlesque acts we worked with before. We did two sets of material we all knew without having to rehearse. We also tried "Influx Positron" again but it was a mess as Scrote broke a string as we started, and I forgot to give Dan (who was in town this weekend so he was able to make this gig) the score so he had to make up parts on the spot. Oh well. Closing the wild evening was a short performance by Rubberboy whose contortions were beyond disturbing. He could squeeze his whole body through a tennis racket, for example.
Saturday, August 7th, 2004
After much talk, this band (built around all of Steve Lew's short and crazy ICS tunes) finally played again. This was their second gig, first with me. I played keyboards and guitar. We opened the show at the good ol' Starry Plough. We shocked and delighted and I had a blast playing this fun and insanely complicated music. Following us were the wonderful Invincible Czars from Austin. They rocked, and even boldly covered a Mr. Bungle tune without falling flat. And closing the evening was my favorite E is for Elephant who, now having played several recent gigs, really kicked everyone's ass. They closed with my favorite tune "Matrix Labyrinth" which I haven't heard since they played it at the Cocodrie back in like 1998. What an evening!
Friday, August 20th, 2004
This was the first of three bands that I'll perform with this evening, breaking my previous record of two bands in one night. It was Friday, August 20th. Anyway.. Apparently Cisco is one of the few dot-coms that still can throw big parties. As part of a multi-day event, we performed an hour set on the main stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. It was a great gig. Carpooled with Lisabell, and we managed to get a spot on the street nearby. I didn't have to bring any equipment which made my life easier, but I only had a few minutes on stage to figure out the sounds on the keyboards. It didn't help the one keyboard assigned to me had a broken headphone jack. And a few minutes before start time I discovered it also had a broken G# key. So I had the soundperson turn on another keyboard for songs with G#-friendly key signatures. We also didn't get a soundcheck, so it was a little rough on stage. The placed filled up with a thousand dot-commers who seemed more interested in the various random modern dance acts on other stages (or dangling from the ceiling), or the girls of Kitty Kitty Bang Bang dancing on our stage. Fair enough. It was all over by 9:00 and we flew back to the east bay. I dropped Lisabell off and headed to the next venue..
Friday, August 20th, 2004
Continuing on with the saga: I flew to the Starry Plough in time to catch most of Pistola's set as I wheeled in my gear and greeted various people in the small crowd. Unlike the gig I just played in SF, the crowd was tiny and the pay will be basically nothing, but I got to play original material and play it loud. 3PC went on next, and I was already warmed up and ready to go, so I had a blast. We debuted "No Meal" which left Nic and Mike rubbing their heads trying to figure out what the hell time signature it's in. I was all jazzed that surviving a third set this evening wasn't that far out of the question. R&D closed the night with an hour long foray into our newer material. We were hoping to have the new CD done by tonight but it just didn't happen. So be it. It was Jake's last show with the band (going off to grad school) and so the focus was more on that. He took some long solos and barked at the crowd between songs because nobody was dancing.
Tuesday, August 24th, 2004
On Tuesday, August 24th, I did a couple more mini-sets of funny solo material as warm up for the improvisational comedy of the Frookies. There was a good little crowd there at the 50 Mason Lounge in SF, as it was probably the Frookie's last show (due to pregnancy, members moving out of town or on with their lives, etc.). For some reason, I threw in many songs that weren't overtly humorous, or even humorous at all (things like "Lifespan" or "Well"). But that's what I really do, so whatever.
Monday, August 30th, 2004
On Monday, August 30th, the Cisco party (see above) was still going on, but tonight was the final night. But this time it was at Fort Mason in SF and man they totally decked that entire building out. Classic arcade games lined the halls, along with multiple billiard/ping-pong/foosball tables, tables and tables full of delicious foods, several open bars, an ongoing pyrotechnic show, and finally the stage all the way at the end. It was madness! Joining us tonight for the first few songs was Burt Bacharach's keyboardist and musical director Rob Shrock. So he knew the songs pretty well. I just laid back and did some string pads and electric piano parts underneath on a secondary keyboard, but then took over when we got to the non-Bacharach songs.
Wednesday, September 1st, 2004
A sudden secret show! Well, not so secret - just organized at the very last minute. It was a casual mid-week party at the Fishtank. We opened up with what was basically a real rough rehearsal in front of a good showing friends and fans. Kept it short as following us was an all-star jam of Scrote, Myles Boisen, Adam Theis, and Earl Harvin. Lots of beer, chattin' with various members of the scene, and crazy music.
Saturday, September 18th, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
This time the theme was the high-budget porn flick "Caligula," so we all had to wear togas. It took me 20 minutes to figure out how to put it on. Okay. It was Saturday night, and once again we were at the Odeon. Not sure why we keep getting invited back as we're obnoxious and loud as fuck. So loud that the neighbors upstairs were pouring water through the cracks in the ceiling, which then dripped down all over the bar. There was more confrontation that evening as well - somebody in the audience stole Danny's baby-on-a-stick and wouldn't give it back. This led to some tense moments on stage but eventually it all worked out. Opening the evening were various random acts like Ted Schram, Omnivorous Sencillium, and Spider Compass Good Crime Band. The last of those bands I once played a JOB gig with back in the day. Funny.
Sunday, September 19th, 2004
Had a wedding in Saratoga. Oddly enough the happy couple saw us in Renton back in July and based on that we got this gig. It was a great venue for a wedding. I spent a few moments alone in the nearby woods catching dead bay leaves as early autumn winds coaxed them off their branches. After being fed well we played two really fun sets, and they were a great crowd. Danny got an adorable little girl to dance along with everyone else. It was super cute.
Thursday, September 23rd, 2004
On Thursday, September 23rd played what I thought would be a regular ol' corporate gig but instead it was almost like Burning Man II. It was a big party thrown by PeopleSoft on Treasure Island. They basically took over the whole island, and there were three separate stages, with various bands performing simultaneously on each. Other acts that evening included more famous bands like Train and even Kool & the Gang. Yep, they played "Jungle Boogie" and everything. It was nutz. There were carnival rides, endless supplies of free food and alcohol, air hockey tables, a miniature golf course, an ice skating rink, a batting cage, a volleyball court, a mini rock climbing gym, boats sailing around the island with large sails with the company logo on them. The people attending this shindig arrived in 150 charter buses. I'm guessing they spent a bit of money on this thing. Anyway.. we played a two hour set, including some new tunes we learned just the other night, then spent an hour in a daze wondering around the whole complex wondering how in hell that got all this together just for one crazy evening.
Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
Here we go again with another double duty night. And on a Wednesday evening no less. There was some fund raiser (something having to do with the BBC) at SF MOMA which we were playing. Actually, it was a small version of the band, with just Susan and Lisabell singing, Jamison on sax, me on keyboards and guitar, Wes on drums, and Vicky on bass. Since we were down a singer we had to pull out some random songs me and Vicky were weak on to flesh out the set. But it ended up being okay, even though I had to cover all the missing instruments on keyboards, making up parts on the spot. At least we were just in the corner not being paid very much attention too. Our "dressing room" was actually the cafe, with the big windows so everyone could look in and see us get into our secret agent clothes. They served us sushi for dinner, which was nice, except I hate sushi. The gig started and ended earlier than expected, which was great as it afforded me extra time to drive back home to Oakland, change out of my sweaty clothes and into more rock band threads, and head back to the Mission in SF for the next gig.
Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
(continued from above) - I got to El Rio around 9:00pm, which gave me enough time to load in, find parking, get some yummy tacos and horchata at Cancun, and get back in the club in time for the first band (Sunfire Pleasure) to finish and I caught green party hero and former SF mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez give a speech about changing our election system to ranked voting (which was what this show was a benefit for). Then Chemystry Set went on. All the bands tonight were of the sort-of-hippie-jam-band variety, including us. Mac and I used our beer tickets and watched some baseball on the television as their set wrapped up. Then we played. Of course, being a school night, the crowd thinned by the time we got on, but at least the woman who disrupted the RNC during Bush's speech was there talking about her experience with that, so that kept people around while we set up. The people who stuck around really dug it. What an evening! Got home and went to bed at 1:30am, which sucked as Jenya had to get up at 3:00am. Talk about opposite schedules!
Saturday, October 9th, 2004
We played yet another benefit/fund raiser for some unknown organization. At least I knew they weren't right wingers or white supremacists as they cheered during the set when one of the head cheeses asked the crowd "Who's for Kerry?" Anyway, it was an interesting endeavor as Scrote switched to bass for the gig, making room for Steve Kirk to sub on guitar. Steve did a great job nailing the tunes as he was called in pretty much last minute (since Scrote was unable to find a bass sub). By the way, I had to bring my bass rig for him to borrow, along with my keyboards and other crap. And I was gardening that whole afternoon in the hot sun. Talk about low blood sugar after all that exercise! So when we got free buffet for dinner, I went back twice to fill up my plate.
Sunday, October 10th, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
This was a last minute gig Danny threw together. It was at the Hush Hush Lounge in SF. To get to this gig I crossed the Bay Bridge for the sixth time in five consecutive days. It was only me, Danny and Jamison. Nobody else could make the gig. So I took the opportunity to get out my old JOB ya-yas by playing drums and keyboards and sometimes even doing bass parts by singing through a whammy pedal (which sent my voice down an octave). So we did a surprising job of fleshing out the whole sound picture (along with Jamison playing sax and random percussion). We were second of four bands. The first was the young and odd yet charming Breezy Day's Band with only 10 minutes of material. Then us. Then Skullcaster which I really liked - one guy making a lot of noise with random medical equipment going through various effects pedals. Then finally yet another Grux creation called Commode Minstrels in Bullface blew everybody out of the club with their loud assault of what-the-hell. On the way home I got more tacos y horchata at Cancun. I love that fucking place.
Sunday, October 17th, 2004
We had another private party to play. This time we performed for about a thousand emergency room physicians in one of the large Marriott ballrooms deep in the bowels underneath the hotel. Did you know how much of the underground south of Market in SF is actually part of the Marriott? The loading dock into the gig was actually two stories underground below the Metreon. Finding this was hard, but loading in was easy, the gig was fun, and we were fed well. We had to stretch some of the first set tunes a bit, which meant extra keyboard solos for me. Unfortunately I had a blown monitor so the crackling, distorted piano and organ sounds raping my right ear made it difficult to "get inside" the music. Loading out was a true Spinal Tap moment.
Saturday, October 30th, 2004
Played another gig at the Jupiter in Berkeley. There was a Cal game going on at the same time which made parking difficult, but we still had a good crowd, especially after the game ended. Being the day before halloween, we dressed up. We were supposed to all go as republicans, but only a few actually did. I just wore my "American Nukem Corporation" t-shirt which looks pretty damn republican. Played three really strong sets. Sounded much better than last time we were there (especially since I wasn't going through the blown Marshall amp).
Friday, November 5th, 2004
I drove way out of town to play a gig. It was at Angel's Hacienda - a ranch in the middle of nowhere between the tiny towns of Copperopolis and Angel's Camp. It took me three and a half hours to get there thanks to traffic all the way to Stockton. It was actually just 6 of us tonight (me, Scrote, Jamison, Danny, and first time subs Bert (from Baby Snufkin) on bass and John Hanes on drums). The party was held by, and the theme was country/western. They had a mechanical bull and everything. Not sure what they were gonna do with us - a 60's cover band - but they were an awesome crowd. We were loud, and they were dancing like fiends. They even got so worked up they burned a life-size cardboard John Wayne. We played two sets, and they wanted to pay for us to play more. Instead, we hooked up the stereo to Bert's bass rig and let everyone play DJ until 3:00am. Partied until 3:00am with this crazy crowd of world-wide bicycle tour guides. A lot of them were Canadian and full of wonder about America's general inability to think reasonably and show compassion towards the whole human race. I offered no answers nor apologies. We stayed the night in a hotel in Angel's Camp, and enjoyed a tasty brunch of waffles and eggs the next morning before heading back to Oakland.
Friday, November 19th, 2004
Back to the Starry Plough! On Friday, November 19th, we had the middle slot there with Unpronounceable opening it up and Chemystry Set closing it down. It was kind of a weird gig in that Mac nor Joe could make it. In fact, Joe became a dad two days earlier (and mom Laura and baby Anna were doing just fine). So once again Mike Mellender sat in on guitar/trumpet for half the tunes. The rest we managed to squeak through with just 33% the normal amount of horns.
Friday, December 3rd, 2004
We shlepped all the way down to Monterey to play a corporate gig for Coast Auto Insurance. Got lost downtown trying to read the impossible-to-find street signs. Had to load up to the ballroom on the 10th floor, then find parking, etc. Not too bad, considering. Got a free meal in the restaurant downstairs. Spit roasted chicken for me. Played two long sets starting at 9:00pm. The crowd was appreciative but not really all that keen on dancing. Fair enough. I dug into the leftover desserts after we wrapped up at midnight. It was a fast ride back to Oakland but still didn't get home until after 3:00am. Ugh.
Saturday, December 4th, 2004
The next night we had a gig playing for what I'm guessing were a large team of future olympic equestrians. Or something like that. It was in the imperial ballroom of the SF Hilton downtown. We were fed well beforehand via a buffet set up in our dressing room. Finally, I was smart enough to bring ziplock bags for leftovers, but they removed the food trays while we were on stage. Nothing but cookies when we returned. It was a good show Despite most of the crowd being 16 year olds pleading for us to play something far more recent that 60's pop hits, they happily danced all night. This'll be our last gig this year. The economy totally sucks - no christmas parties or new years eve gigs ever came to fruition.
Friday, December 10th, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
On Friday, December 10th, we played the Odeon once again. The lineup was slightly different - me, Danny, Scrote, Dan, and filling in for Wes was none other than Jon Curtis himself. We ran the tunes a night before. It was a low key gig this time (as low key as these gigs can get). The only other act ended up being Comic Book Opera. Other bands were last-minute cancellations. So be it. The people who came got sufficiently freaked out, and I got my two tacos at Cancun before we played. Yum!
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004
with The Fuxedos:
On Wednesday, December 22nd, The Fuxedos played somewhere else - the Elbo Room. This was actually my first time ever playing this club. It was a benefit for the SF JCC - half the proceeds went towards buying new music equipment for the kids. It was a weird lineup. It was us playing first (and third) with !Tang and the Latrells playing second and fourth, respectively. Since the other bands were funky, their draw was flummoxed by what we were doing: Me on drums, keyboards, and singing bass parts simultaneously, Jamison on reeds and percussion and random vocals, and Danny being Danny. It was a hoot, actually, especially after !Tang played their set and the crowd was larger and pumped up from dancing. Then they had to deal with us. Mwha ha ha ha.
Friday, December 31st, 2004
with myself and Jenya:
Just to make this any even 52 this year, I'm gonna call this one a gig. Jenya and I worked up a rather sad rendition of OutKast's "Hey Ya" for Beth and Eli's New Year's Eve talent show party. We sang dour vocal harmonies while I played piano and Jenya played guitar. It was a hit. Nobody really pays attention to the lyrics of that song - but they are really depressing, actually.

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