...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mini-Tour Epic Epoch

Time is inexplicably contracting and expanding! Ain't it?

It seems like a full-on epoch since Friday when we played in Alameda. And then there was the gig three days later in Albany on Monday (which was actually a century ago). It's only Thursday, and not even one week has yet elapsed since Friday's gig--and yet...it's a millennium.

That gig (at the Ivy Room) had a casualty: my old keyboard, alas! It had just come home from the shop with all the broken notes playing & working beautifully again and thus, with a new lease on life. But the last note of the last song of the set (I was a little rough) was too much for the circuits. So, today it was off to Haight- Ashbury Music Center with it for their qualified folks to look under the hood and see what can be done. It gets great mileage--but the carburetor is all squee.

So we journey to Berkeley for the 3rd and final show of the EAST BAY MINI-TOUR with the newer keyboard--though I had sworn I would no longer gig with it (on account of all the dangers involved to a keyboard's well-being whilst gigging with True Margrit) But hey, what can we do? It would be hard-to-well-nigh-impossible to do a True Margrit show without a pianotype instrument, for god's sake!

We arrive at the venue (Epic Arts Studios) and the door is locked tight. Gary & Chris are looking woozy & overly peckish, so off they go for a bite at The Starry Plough. Once access to the venue is possible, our co-stars for the evening, Christina Kowalchuk and Amy MacCalin, generously & gamely help me drag gear up the spiral stair. Sweet! The interior of the Epic Arts Studios is very red. I like it-- it is so very warm & soothing. And homey--cuz there are paintings everywhere which is like home to me cuz I live with the fabulous painter, David Gremard Romero. And it is homey cuz it is wee. The singers get to play virtually (as Christina points out) in our audience's lap. That's homey too, if you think about it.

Amy starts off the night singing a set of lovely tunes--and though she complained about having laryngitis, it is not getting in her way, no sirree. Christina gets up for her set & informs the crowd that this is her first gig. She then proceeds to bound effortlessly through a terrific set of her own tunes. When we are up for our set, the crowd gives love, eggs us on, and works as hard as us making the whole night super-duper cool.

But it went by so damned fast...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Everything is Frodo

After a long recording session it's best to go to the movies to clear the brain of song detritus. Today we catch two flicks: the "Constant Gardener" (amazing, brilliant, devastating--catch it at the theatre if you can) and "Everything is Illuminated" which has the ever-illuminated Elijah Wood portraying Jonathon--and a great score which feaures Marc Ribot cranking out some smoking guitar. I haven't read Jonathon Safran Foer's novel, so I can't speak to what sort of job was done of adaptifying it from the world of words to that cinematic medium of visual theatrics known as film. But it is a compelling tale to be sure. And what's more, I will tell you this: Frodo, I mean Elijah/Jonathon undertakes a great journey and is entrusted with a ring. There is a terrible war that the characters struggle to make sense of. At the denoument, as our misfit Elijah/ Jonathon prepares to board his ship, I mean train, he kisses Sam, I mean Sammy on the forehead. As the credits roll I feel so very melancholy. Hey now! Sam will miss you.

But in real life Elijah Wood is doing cool things like photography, and starting a hip record label, and not heading off to a super-exclusive and remote Elvish spa. Maybe we should send him SEAWORTHY...if someone had his number we could give him a ring.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Very Novel

Tonight Gary & I pop across the (thankfully) miraculously still-intact Bay Bridge and ride on in to Alameda for a True Margrit duo gig on a bill with Judea Eden, Amy Meyers and Groovy Judy. The venue is this cool bookstore called Spellbinding Tales Books. By the time we arrive, Sarah (who drove over alone), has already found several novels to purchase, and she is pleased to find more & peruse the wares. Meawhile, we musicians play our own sets and sit in on each others' sets--cuz you just can't be on stage too much.

As we play & sing, the super-attentive crowd sends back all kinds of love that is spread about quite uniformly so that a warm fuzzy feeling is thoroughly manifest in every nook & cranny of the room. Many Cds are bought-- which means those lucky folk who splash out can go home with a little bit of the lovely night to enjoy over & over again, and the bands can enjoy a little cash to toast the gig. The novel ritual called rock is thus enacted. In the town of Alameda it is enacted, and in Rome, and in Poughkeepsie, and your hometown too, my dears.

Monday we will enact it again in Albany (California) at the Ivy Room. That's where we are booked--how novel.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

12 Galaxies, Twenty Minute Loop...and other lucky numbers

It's been 4 weeks and 4 days since we got back from the tour. My cats have six nipples. True Margrit has 12 appearances coming up in October/November. Today at Absolutely True Sound there were two recording sessions. And now I am 80% fried. I do in fact have 400,00 things to try to remember to do tomorrow. I try to write three lists. The phone rings 4 times--I catch it but the battery runs out--twice. Some button I inadvertently pushed on it seven months ago has caused all the messages in the caller ID display to be in French. Right now the phone beeps every five seconds and its screen is flashing the warning; "PILE FAIBLE" --which means the battery is low--feeble, perhaps (peut-etre).

I need two things: a hamburger and rock.. and you know: dreams do come true. Sarah takes me out for a burger. God bless her. Thrice.

...And then I pop on over to 12 Galaxies and catch a Twenty Minute Loop set. That's the rock.

Oh god! If you like popsongs with eerie melodies and delicious two-part harmony, you must hear this Bay Area quintet. They have clever twists, surprising turns, and cool changes, all delivered with the raw brute force of pure rock that isn't scared to part the clouds to let out whispered lines of sweetness... well, it's all here.

At one point mid-set, singer/synthesist Kelly Atkins asks the crowd, "Are we too loud?"

We in the crowd look dumbly at her.

Nobody answers--cuz it would be hard to say, caught in this spell as we are. It is a bit loud, it's true-- but a good loud that smarts in a good way, kind of like when you've been walking a long time and you are thirsty and warm and chilly drops of sudden rain feel good on your face.

Monday, October 17, 2005

It's De lovely, it's De Young

If you think about it, the cyber-fun of the past week--in the sense that extremes always lead to their opposites-- was bound to lead to a night-time peregrination to Golden Gate Park.

The original plan was to go hear Chris McGrew --the fab drummer for Griddle and sometimes True Margrit--playing at Skip's on Cortland with Jason Overton. We pop up to Bernal Hill--and, no, that is definitely not Chris on drums. Oh well. Sarah & I head home where our roomies say they have heard through the grapevine (actually, it was mentioned in the NEW YORKER), that the brand-newly rebuilt & tricked-out version of the De Young Museum is to be open to the public for 32 straight hours with FREE ADMISSION.

It's only 10 pm, so we figure we have a few hours to spare. So we wander up to Medjool at 22nd and Mission for the Litquake After-Party which required invitations (and we had them there invites, cuz Sarah is cool). But the event itself, when we arrive is less glamourous than it sounded and seems to be winding down. Nonetheless, Litquake is a very cool event with its books & authors-driven-Mission-District-Pub-Crawl. We hang for a bit & people-watch, but we soon feel the urge come over us to see the art that is waiting in the park. We call Gary & he is anointed designated driver for the escapade.

Gary zips us up to the Sunset District & finds a miraculous parking place on 9th ave. As we head into the park, crowds are heading the opposite direction (uh-oh)...And as we turn onto Hagawira Tea Garden Drive, it's hard to say what is more spectacular: the almost-full moon, or the huge mass of folks waiting in line and milling about goodnaturedly, or the De Young itself. It's a crazy, coppery, structure with nervy angles and corruscation, and a tower that looks like a hallucination. We are quite simply transfixed by this new landmark, lit up as it is in the night.

We run into our pal Scott Goff who informs us that although it's 1:30 am, the end of the line is at the Panhandle (over half a mile and possibly three hours away). There is a sweet odor of marijauna in the crisp air and the sense that nobody is going home anytime soon. We peer into one window and there's a DJ spinning to a crowd of writhing dancers under strobe lights and art installations. In another window we see some of the lucky ones inside playing with a touch-screen display of virtually-rotateable ancient art. Gary points out that it is a mere step away from holographic projections. Yes. Very 21st century.

We walk around the perimeter and stand under the crazy-angled tower. Gazing upwards past the jaggedy planes of the walls I can see stars and the moon, and all around me are upturned faces of San Franciscans enjoying the wee hours of this Saturday night and their new museum. So we'll come back another day to see the inside. This is more than enough.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Seaworthy added to Bandtrax Podcast

Indeed it's happening fast- and Seaworthy is still 3 weeks away from the official release!

Deliver Me and Hours In Reverse (Deja Vu) are on the new edition ("Chicks Rule") of the Bandtrax podcast. Click here to listen (13:32 into the MP3), then leave a comment for Renamarie and Canis Lupus.

Also just added- True on Jamie Whitaker's Somacast #41- from right here on Potrero Hill! It's right at the top of the show- Check it out and let him know you're listening!

Really, feedback to the folks who are playing us on podcasts, internet radio, college radio, in stores, at CD Baby... it all feeds, goes around, creates a buzz and is good for us all- not just the players, but the listeners and music in general as well. The music goes 'round and 'round, and it comes out here...

(PS- our good pals Griddle, who will be playing with us at the Seaworthy Record Release Party at the Red Devil Lounge on November 10th, have just gotten another spin on Ken Clark's Seattle And Beyond #56, which has been so cool to True Margrit.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Open the Podcast Bay Door --and other songs

Yesterday we got some very lovely glowing comments from radio station dj Alan Haber of WEBR in Virginia who checked out SEAWORTHY on CD Baby. We will be getting airplay in Virginia! (more details when it happens)

Oh--this instant cyber gratification!

( I don't mean internet porn)

But it's quick ain't it? We have music that folk from all around this big ol' juicy globe can taste & test as though they were enjoying a remote buffet of so many melodic appetizers and tapas.

I (for example) can (and do) write something in this here blog. It's posted in mere nano-seconds... comments fly, tears (of joy and mirth, hopefully) are shed. Or someone goes to CD Baby and orders SEAWORTHY. It arrives at their doorstep with alacrity. They write a review ...I read it from the comfort of my own loft... But, wait! Is it it too fast? Will the novelty wear off? Will we become ever so jaded? Will the pod bay door remain closed? Will we require itty bitty chips to be burrowed under our epidermis to make like synapses and be swifter yet than thought itself? Will my mac develop sentience and start eyeing my sandwich and snag it with a mysterious robot arm before I get to eat some damned lunch...

...naw. it's cool.

oh podcast oh blog
but--do you miss riding your hog?
Used to rassle bear
Now you go to work in your underwear
gazing at the computer
that's how you hooked up with your suitor
who asked you out in an email
it's great when there's no way to fail
cuz it's hard to be very blue
in a world you can always undo

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Podcast Page

ADDED 10/11/06:
Bryce from Suffering From Sanity played Vanity Loves Company on show #25 (45:10 into the show, show title Not-So-Instant-Replay). He had previously featured Vanity on show #8 (12:22 in). There's some nice quality melodic/indie kinda stuff on this diverse podcast from Seattle, so listen up!

That Blue Jeans Guy (from Bay City MI) played True on his show #34 (14:37 into his show). As Margrit has noted, we seem to be quite popular in the cosmopolitan northern Midwest!

Charles from The Multiple Sclerosis Blog Podcast, a show "by and for people with MS" netcasting from New Jersey played Losing Face By Degrees on show #27, "Links and Daisychansaws" (19:35 into the netcast).

Back in June, the Razing Giants Podcast played Members Only on show #31, "What's The Frequency, Kenneth" (22:44 in) . Razing Giants is a bi-weekly podcast "featuring the best music and the best bands you’ve never heard…but should."

This one is a little unusual, even in the "world of niches" that is the demographic makeup of Podcast audiences: Cast-On is "a podcast about knitting and life," hosted by Brenda Dayne. It's a very entertaining half-hour, and the folks who produced the opening have obviously absorbed a fair amount of Firesign Theater records in their past... In episode #25, "Unforced Perspective" Brenda featured Vanity Loves Company (16:42 into the show).

We've shown up a few times on webm-japan [podcasting]. Back in April they did a show featuring Deliver Me (9:32), and a few months before they played Everyone Wins (9:15). It's hard to tell what these guys are about (unless anyone can translate the mostly spoken-word podcast for us), but they sound like they're having fun!

Rubyfruit Radio, a podshow dedicated to playing "only the best podsafe female artists" included Vanity Loves Company in episode #41 (at 23:52 in). Many more great female rockers are featured in this podcast from Georgia.

Borderline, podcasting from Lincoln, NE, features Danni, Lynn and Neil as they talk about pop culture, politics, interview our friends and argue inane topics while drinking, and reviewing, some tasty cocktails. They recently featured Deliver Me on episode #52 (30:00 into the show). Very tasty indeed. This show is a real hoot!

DigiVegas Indie Podcast rolled the dice and came up Losing Face By Degrees. Host Paulie writes:
Great song, Margrit. I like the \"fifth king\" line. Card playing and Vegas kinda go together. I also like the \"tasting labels but not the wine\" line too. A lot of folks tend to show off like that in this town. Being from San Francisco, you might be familiar with the grocery store Trader Joes? \"Three Buck Chuck\" is one of my favorite labels. Overstock wine at a super-cheap price. You never know what each bottle is going to have in it, but that\'s half the fun! -Paulie
The Unharshed Mellow, a Pennsylvania show with a
fun cross genre format that really lets you feel like you are hanging out listening to some new tunes with old friends Addie & Suess, delivered Deliver Me on show #24: "The Girly Show" (52:45 in).

ADDED 2/8/06:
Guitar Chasers Media played True on it's podcast of Jan. 21st at 15:50 into the show.

ADDED 2/2/06:
Josh Pape of Base20 out of England played From Another Zone on his show #8 (at 18:28 in).

ADDED 1/28/06:
Ken Clark of Seattle & Beyond continues to give Seaworthy great support- he played Members Only on:
show # 60 (32:14 in), then most recently on
show #66 played Hours In Reverse (Deja Vu) (37:49 in).

Ken has been a big booster for Seaworthy since before it came out, and his Pacific Northwest oriented Podcast is consistently one of the best out there- you should subscribe and give Seattle & Beyond a listen!

webm-japan played Everyone Wins on their podcast of 11/11/05. Got to love their theme song!

ADDED 10/24/05:
Tiny Binary Life played Vanity Loves Company on Show #13, right at the top of the show. Thanks, Petey Wee!

ADDED 10/15/05:
Deliver Me and Hours In Reverse (Deja Vu) are on the new edition ("Chicks Rule") of the Bandtrax podcast. Click here to listen (13:32 into the MP3), then leave a comment for Renamarie and Canis Lupus.

Also just added- True on Jamie Whitaker's Somacast #41- from right here on Potrero Hill! It's right at the top of the show- Check it out and let him know you're listening!


Happy to report that Seaworthy has been getting play on a number of Podcasts.

1st on the bandwagon was Ken Clark of Seattle And Beyond, who plays a wide variety of artists from Vancouver down through the Bay Area (he has also played Griddle a few times). Ken gave us great support during and after our recent Pacific NW tour, playing us on shows:

#47- Vanity Loves Company (19:48 into the show)
#48- Electricity (00:00 in)
#49- Electricity (21:14 in)
#50- Nothing (and CD giveaway) (00:00 in)
#53- From Another Zone (and CD giveaway) (00:00 in)

Be sure to give Ken's shows a listen. He's always playing great new bands and releases.

Deliver Me was played on the Scents of Magic podcast, and most recently, Seth Goldin played Members Only on Radio Gold #10 (51:15 in).

All this even before the official CD Release Party (Nov. 10th at the Red Devil Lounge with guests Fred, Griddle and Brian Kenney Fresno)! Support your local (and not-so-local) podcasters!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dali Parton

No True Margit gigs today--but the music plays on and on. Chris Dingman is here at Absolutely True Sound working on his excellent CD of excellent songs. But I gotta call it & skedaddle at 4 pm....and why?

DOLLY PARTON is playing at the Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park!

...and I say: yee haw

Sarah, David & I drive up to the Richmond district and circle the avenues. NOWHERE TO PARK & WE ARE MISSING DOLLY!

Sarah keeps threatening to drop us off and find us later. NO! We three are a team. Dolly together or not at all! We finally find a spot right on Fulton & 40th---kinda far from the frontlines. But just then along comes the 5 Fulton bus & we hop on. We get off at 30th Ave and, lo! we can hear Dolly Parton laughing! We run in to the park. It is a massive crush of humans. We climb up the side of a hill and kneel under the eucalypti. We get the occasional glimpse of her sequins sparkling bluely through the leaves. There are folk clinging from trees, lined up against the chainlink fence, folk lighting up sweet smelling cigarettes.

Dolly comments, "Why, there's so much pot smoke I'm getting high up here!" She introduces their closing song, IMAGINE (her new single)."If only the world could get along the way we are here today--maybe they all need to smoke more dope!"

Dolly's talking about smoking weed. She's singing IMAGINE ! The late afternoon sunlight slants sideways across Speedway Meadow over a mass of arms waving to the rhythm of Lennon's lyrics. Tears somehow collect near my eyeballs.

This is not exactly the girl I remember from growing up in east Tennessee...that was Dolly from the Cas Walker Show and such. She was always a firecracker of course. She always had that great laugh...

& Now she's our Golden Gate Park Dolly! Surreal! Wonderful! Dolly--I hardly know thee. You rock my world.