Monday, October 18, 2004


so i took 3 days off to travel up to lakewood/cleveland for recycled rainbow 9. i left thursday and got back a few hours ago. alas, i took no photos nor video on this vacation.

i got into lakewood around 7 local time. connie had already arrived at the hotel by that time. mostly we relaxed for the evening, though we took a brief drive to get dinner and ended up getting stromboli from some place on detroit called the pizza pan.

friday afternoon we took a scenic drive through downtown cleveland on our way to empirial sound to hopefully get my cd players repaired. drive 1 of my decks had been giving me problems for months, to the point that drive 1 was totally unusable. empsound is the closest authorized numark service center i've found, & i didn't want to mess with shipping my decks to numark and waiting for them to come back. the place itself is overflowing with gear; amps and assorted electronics are piled everywhere, to the point that it's tough to walk around in the place. but i talked to walt (the specialist in such matters) & he agreed to take a look & get them fixed by monday if possible.

on the way home we had a nice vietnamese meal at someplace at around w 56th & detroit. i don't remember the name, but the curry was good.

a couple hours later walt called from empirical sound to tell me that my drive 1 was actually spinning backward! he'd even swapped drives 1 & 2, and the drive in slot 1 still spun counterclockwise. so he told me he would have to replace the control board & quoted me a price of about $300. i wasn't pleased, but i did desperately need the work done, so i gave him the okay to do the work.

we went to the rr house around 8pm, expecting the place to already be bustling, but it turns out we were the first to arrive. others slowly filtered in after us & we worked for a bit. the music in the basement got started very late. johnny la rock "set up" for hours in a fashion that strongly reminded me of WRP: johnny la rock himself behind a control deck a la matt the pm, bantering constantly (& with vocal fx) with mush mouth (who admittedly was not so reminiscent of pimpdaddysupreme). eventually they played their set and it was good: nice beats and interesting composition work (& not totally unlike WRP, either).

by this point it was already quite late, and connie was getting a bit tired & really wanted to try out a cafe we'd found called dianna's. dianna's was just your typical pancake house, packed with people who'd just left the bars. not all that different from the place called "my friends" where we'd been so many times on previous visits.

saturday afternoon, we hooked with tfy at bent crayon to do some record shopping. bent crayon's selection is terrific, but the place is horribly cluttered & disorganized. records are stacked horizontally on top of other shelves of records; in some places the piles are so deep that you couldn't reasonably even go through the whole pile, let alone look at the records trapped in the shelf underneath them. still, everybody found stuff to buy; i personally spent abour $240 there.

connie & i had wanted to grab sushi afterward at sakura, a local japanese joint that isn't up to connie's usual standards but is pretty decent for sushi in the midwest. but we had sucked up so much time shopping at bent crayon that we wouldn't have time left to finish our costumes before going to rr. so instead we went to schlotsky's on the condition that we would have time to eat at sakura the following day. we grabbed our sandwiches to go & spent some time in the hotel room with our needles & thread putting our costumes together.

the theme was classic literature & we had the idea to do a "couple costume" where our costumes complemented each other to form one greater theme. we decided to do the sound & the fury so i dressed as "the sound" (as in puget sound) in bluish aquatic-looking clothes with foliage around me: i had to sew some big fake leaves and cat-tails to my shorts, which was awkward & uncomfortable (not to mention very cold, since the weather was unusually chilly this week). connie dressed up as a "fury", one of the kindly ones of greek mythology who would haunt those who spilled the blood of their kin. she had a slowing dress, snakes in her hair, and wings (the wings were awkward & uncomfortable in much the same way as my foliage).

we arrived right at 7, when i was supposed to go on, but already the event was more than an hour behind schedule & the record exchange (thursday club in dj form) was still setting up. this is pretty much noise djing: thick and loud, with very little recognizable.

i played next (using every man's gear, since mine was obviously still in the shop), mixing random noises & beats with some codename kids next door, some presidential debate stuff, a bit of psalty, & other random stuff. i didn't think it was among my best performances, but if/when i hear the recording i might decide i love it.

tfy was supposed to go on next but wasn't quite ready, so instead up next was a performance by tropic (formerly known as nagoya math journal) in the garage. first they did a performance piece about the tower of babel, repeatedly retelling the story while the language they used progressively deteriorated into slang, then incoherence. next up was the story of abraham preparing to sacrifice his son isaac's life at the lord's request: abraham spent several minutes elaborately binding isaac while isaac asked dejected questions about why life seemed to be heading in the wrong direction. it was good but i was cold.

then tfy did it in the basement with the laptop, kaoss pad, and the thrift store turntables. it was a noisy yet subtle performance of dsp delay effects and literature records. one of the performance requirements for rr9 was that all performances should deal with the event's theme at least briefly: i rather doubt everyone followed this rule but tfy went above & beyond.

things didn't quite progress in the order currently listed on the site, so forgive me if i misremember the sequence of events here... did the volta sound play next? if they didn't, let's pretend they did. the volta sound is some kind of psychedelic rock band. friends & loyal readers will know i can be a tremendous snob regarding rock music, & the volta sound is not the kind of band i go to rr events to see, so connie & i decided to make an important run to the car around this time (because of weather conditions and our somewhat skimpy cotumes, walking those 15 houses to my car was a bit of a chore).

up next, i guess, was the electric grandmother. remember that old tv movie the electric grandmother about an adroid grandmother? (apparently the movie was based on "i sing the body electric" by ray bradbury.) what kind of act would name itself after that movie? an act that's obsessed with '80s tv, obviously. the electric grandmother (the performer) sings silly songs, most of which are about '80s sitcoms, over beats that are one step above wesley willis. there's also a slideshow, so when the electric grandmother is singing about how kirk cameron sucked after he went hardcore christian, sure enough, there is a big cheesy photo of kirk cameron on the screen next to him. fun stuff, & a nice change of pace that i'm quite glad i got to see, but after awhile the schtick starts to lose its oomph. it would work better if the set were shorter.

i guess this was when we did "a little deaf", a ritual where we go outside & toss around glowing stuff in complete silence for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. these rituals seem to grow harder to control... it took several minutes for everyone to get outside & quiet down, & it was pretty cold out by this point. then the ritual started & i immediately got hit in the face by a glowing ring; it knocked me in my glasses & for a minute or two i was convinced it had knocked them onto the ground as i searched around frantically to find them. eventually i realized they were still on my face. regardless, i for one think the little deaf ritual has jumped the shark. it's past its prime, so let's come up with something new next time.

then came leia alligator's puppet show. she told the familiar fables of the three wolves & how the elephant got its nose, leia style. this is the second of her puppet shows i've seen and both times i felt a bit sorry for her because the crowd was unbelievably rowdy boths times. some audience participation is expected, and i appreciate friendly heckling as much as anybody, but when the show can't go on because it seems like half the crowd is heckling, something has gone wrong. still, leia put on an admirable & enjoyable performance for the circumstances. and much of the heckling, as rude as it may have been, was pretty funny.

we were at least 3 hours behind by now, as the black fives performed in the basement. quahogs played with a baby monitor, reading literature and generating feedback, while gabe busted out the beats: nice hard sophisticated beats, just the way i like 'em. very good. we ran out to the car after their set so i could trade gabe a copy of true data for a couple copies of the black fives/fudgie & fufu split 7".

when we returned, the damn weiner kids had started playing. the damn weiner kids consist of leia alligator, dirt goddess, and i guess hetmana (she at least participated at times). first they rocked out tearing a bunch of paper in front of microphones, creating a thick stew of tearing sounds & shakers. then they went into a technopop hip hop number, then a more ambient piece with ocean sounds, flute, and poetry... very enjoyable. but by now it was 4am & connie was passing out, so we went back to the hotel & missed the remaining acts for the evening.

sunday we slept late, then went for a relaxing sushi meal at sakura. not perfect, but fun. since connie lives in san francisco she's surrounded by some of the best, freshest sushi in the country, but for me, living in the midwest with only a few sushi-eating friends, it's still a treat. then back to the hotel to pack a bit & watch some more tv until it was time to meet up again at the rr house & caravan to the wruw studio for the press the button radio show.

we ended up following ryan from thursday club to the studio; ryan takes a far simpler path than every man, but his turn signals are messed up so he was occasionally hard to follow. i can now make it 99% of the way to the studio without assistance.

i still didn't have my cd players back, so for the radio show i just plugged in my kp2 and plugged in some headphones to use as a microphone (i also hooked in a portable cd player, but i didn't even use it). the first half hour of the show was chaos, everyone fighting to be heard, so we then started performing in 3-person shifts of 15 minutes apiece. i thought it turned out well. i had some good moments on the mic, including a series of pitch-shifted "boom selecta" ad libs that seemed to be crowd pleasers.

wruw had probably a dozen crates of records they were getting rid of, so i went to town & grabbed a ridiculously thick pile of crap. i don't expect to really enjoy many of the records i got, but they were free and might be useful, so hell, i stocked up.

after the show, connie & i went to the gold coast cafe, yet another nondescript pancake house within a few blocks of w 117 & detroit.

only a few hours sleep before we had to get up so i could take connie to the airport. we said our tortured goodbyes & i was off to empirical sound to pick up my cd players. it rained my entire drive home, so that sucked, but mercifully it didn't start until i had left empirical sound & stopped by the time i got home.

so good times, good music, tender moments with my girlfriend... & i got much-needed, if pricey, repairs to my performance rig. the full stAllio! live rig will be in full effect this halloween baby!

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