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

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Pod-casting a wide Internet

The ever-so-cool podcast, SEATTLE and BEyond is at it again! We are getting some podplay from Reverend Ken's show with "HOURS in REVERSE (Deja Vu)" se a t t le and b e y o n d Check out show #66 (jan 19th). Coincidentally, "hours in reverse" is the tune getting airplay over at KMSU. (not to mention it's on Fig's playlist too).

Also... if yer feeling too strapped to buy SEAWORTHY ye can enter the SEATTLE and BEYOND CD GIveaway! If you win you can vote for us as your fave SEATTLE and BEYOND artist and Reverend Ken will do a whole TRUE MARGRIT SHOW! YOW!

Cast on! (widely)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cabin Fever

In some circles, this could be construed as a dull day.

I have to cancel all activities out of the house and stay home and recuperate more, and also try not to work work work. So, I read a bit of Dickens, talk to my Mom, and drink tea. Then I check our sales rank on Amazon a wee bit: that is, many times an hour. All the kids are checking--go on, go on! This is a toe-tapping, rip-snorting, rollercoastering good time--REALLY! We moved 74,000 points closer to #1 and then 5,000 away--all this afternoon. Phew! I need a cigarillo. (Not that I am obsessing on our sales rank or anything). This is more fun than cleaning up that cat vomit, or calling in the refill on a precscription, but not as fun as heating/ eating up matzo ball soup click here for the ancient neo-Tennessee/Califorinia/Hebraic recipe.

Yes, I am still coughing and sniffling, therefore-- a flight of fancy:

Phlegmatic fastidiousness and fustian flattery
foreshadow a faux-pas in finesse

For febrile fowl foisting feathers
Fleece is fine fake fur

& if you have the flu too--stay warm.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More IS better

We have elves. They are cobbling precious little shoes in the wee hours. They are cooking omelletes. They are inventing QUORN. They are doing my laundry. They are tuning pianos. They are playing us on KMSU (see Jan 5th, Jan 17th). They are buying SEAWORTHY on Amazon. They are blogging about us--especially FIG.

Yes. More is better--except when you get the flu and it goes away and you think you are better and then it comes back and you feel feverish and you carry on about elves. (NO, spellchecker not elfs, ELVES.) More elves are better than one elf, cuz then they aren't all alone (plus that's how Professor Tolkien pluralized it--with a v) . Not snippy little Keebler elves , but Elves with a capital E-- immortal, beautiful, perilous. Completely fictional. Or those metaphorical elves who swoop down and make trouble less troublesome, speak sanity when all is ludicrous madness, teach us to love one another and eat QUORN. More of those please--bring them on! More is best. (But nothing is bigger than one).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

When is enough enough?

And who's counting...?! Cuz so much happened today-- ok! let me count the ways!

Not that we sit around and obsess on our sales or anything, but today our rank on Amazon clickety click appears to have leaped up astonishingly quicklike.

Oooooooh. yes.

Could it have something to do with Pandora ( Find music with PANDORA!)which is very cool and seems to be leading and lending ears to SEAWORTHY (?) Or the great gig at Dolores Park Cafe? DPC

Or the ad in Harp magazine...? (our ad is only in the print version)

I dunno....

Also today: the new song "SMOOTH" (inspired by the '70's film "Day of the Dolphin") was knocked into shape so that Amy Meyers and Judea Eden & I can play it at Caffe Trieste on Feb 24th... (with a little help from one of David Gremard's models who... well, you had to be there, but it was a delightful dance).

Amy Meyers
Judea Eden

Pam Delgado came over & sang on some tunes I am recording with Neil Aaron! Pam is in this damn fine band, thank you ma'am

When were done we caught the last third of Grizzly Man which my roommates were watching (OUCH!) and then a game of Scrabble with Phoenix and Scott and then, then? Oh lord when IS ENOUGH ENOUGH????

Well, last and far from least, we are mere hours away from sending off the master to the replication plant for the Crooked Roads CD, HEARTBREAK SAMPLER (recorded right here at Absolutely True Sound!!!)

and well, that is enough for now,,,

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Rock is Thicker than Blood

BY the time we get to Dolores Park Cafe (an hour before showtime) all the tables are filledwith expectant faces except in the back behind the kitchen (or in the basement which isn't really a place to hang--unless you are a keg of beer or a broken mic-stand). There are already folk milling about with their lattes & wine in hand but with no seats, looking as eager as I feel to get music underway. This contingent is growing steadily.

Pam & Jeri deliver a slow-burn set that erupts perfectly in to flame by the end and evokes thunder from the skies. There is then some confusion "onstage" (the designated wee plot of cafe floor where the jamming occurs) as we switch over to the setup for Amy's set. Amy leads us through a particularly rocking set of her tunes (and a cover of "we are family" to which the crowd sings along boisterously). We shuffle the gear around yet again (for the True Margrit set) generating even more confusion. I keep turning up my keys on the PA and Amy accidentally keeps turning the same channel down thinking it is the channel Gary asked her to cut. Due to this mistaken identity, when we launch into "Hours in Reverse (Deja-Vu)", there is no audible piano in the mix and we grind to a halt. But the issue is easily & swiftly remedied, and we presently get down to the business at hand of rocking. IN this packed room of smiling faces singing along, and old friends, and new friends and people out on the street moshing to "True" I am sure I am at the best party in town. After our set I try to scoot my keyboard (still hooked up) off to the side so I can join the Judea Eden band on a few tunes but there is not enough real estate. No room at the Inn. I am sad as I tear down my gear. But it means I can now party with the crowd during Judeas's fabulous, feisty, and fun set. My work here is done.

Later on at home I notice I have acquired new bruises and cuts from various keyboard-related activities. This is just because of all the rock. Blood-- it's a small price to pay for rock.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Gibbous Songwriter

'Tis a day of rain and sun alternating, power breakfasts, rehearsals, sessions, spasmodic songwriting bouts, a gibbous moon, and many snacks of QUORN.

& What is QUORN ? Well you might ask!! A wonder food to which Christina Kowalchuk has introduced us. She has a cool new website: check this out!

Now back to Quorn. It is high protein and delish and non-soy (although I LOVE SOY . LOVE LOVELOVE) I made a mushroom stuffing to eat with QUORN. And it was good. BUT WHAT IS IT???!?!?! I don't rightly know. I do know the QUORN purveyors call it a "mycoprotein" which sounds like it's a fungus and it means it's a cultured type of foodstuff such as yogurt, cheese, or opera patrons.

After a dinner of Quorn, Gary & I drive to a rehearsal with Chris McGrew who is filling in for ANDREW on Friday night's gig. (Chris is in GRIDDLE). We revisit some tunes and have a jolly good time. On the way home we see a very big gibbous moon. I comment, "It looks like an eyepatch" (thinking of pirates,,,albino ones...)

and Gary says, "Someone is sleepy".

Well, well. Maybe that's true... or maybe I am in a gibbous phase, neither waxing nor waning (like the moon or a glass of water--neither halfway nor full...). At any rate, I may need more quorn when I get home.

I tell Gary about The Bookish Gardener who, in her fabulous blog, has listed SEAWORTHY amongst her CAR TUNES !!!

It is grand indeed to picture SEAWORTHY as a soundtrack promoting vitality within vehicles whisking about towns of this great land on important errands, or fun, or playing on IPODS, or radios, and being relished for it the way I like QUORN, for if music is a sustenance--play on!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Margrit's 2005 top eleven (or so) lists

11) Star Wars Episode # Whatever ( OK OK I KNOW! Bilious script, horrid acting--except Ewan MacGregor and Yoda--but it's Star Wars' intro/finale.)
10) King Kong (Too many ripe-for-video-gameland dinosaurs and creepy-crawly exoskeletoned-giant-crab-cockroaches --but, strangely compelling & almost as sad as Brokeback in the impossible love aspect. And it's a heartfelt homage to the original Kong.)
9) Crash (Now, that's some acting)
8) Apres Vous (it's French--love it)
7) Walk the Line (yeee-haw, honey)
6) The Telling Takes me Home (great documentary by Heather Carawan click here to own it!
5) 40 Year Old Virgin (I am not kidding!!)
4 ) Fingersmith (BBC Production--we own it!!!!!!)
3) Walk on Water (rent it!)
2) Constant Gardener ( we should all own it)
1) Brokeback Mountain (simply the best)

TV ...well I don't watch much TV but my faves are these:
4) Henry VIII (BBC)
3) Coupling (BBC version PLEASE!!)
2) SIX FEET UNDER (rest in peace)


(so, some of these were 2004--whatever, I read them this year, ok?)
11) Tolkien and the Great War (you gotta know more about the Professor)
10) Night Watch (I love Sarah Waters --she wrote Fingersmith too!)
9) A Changed Man (hip)
8) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (yes yes me too--and tears were shed)
7) Cloud Atlas (mind blowing)
6) Time Travellers Wife ( cool & astonishingly tearjerking)
5) Egyptologist ( brilliant & so very wrong)
4) The Kite Runner (devastating)
3) Will in the World (best Shakespeare bio EVER)
2) A Private Family Matter by Victor Rivers ( by my brother-in-law!!) click here to own it!
1) BEAUTIFUL JIM KEY by Mim Eichler Rivas (by my SISTER!!) click here to own it!

Best Mountain Climbing Book I read this year (or ever): "TOUCHING THE VOID" by Joe Simpson

Best revisited book of my youth: "God Emperor of Dune" by Frank Herbert

Best new high protein snack: QUORN

Best energy bar: LARA BARS

Favorite snack: CAMBOZOLA with pears. Yum.

Yogi Berra explains jazz

(OK, it ain't really Yogi, but it's funny anyway:)

Interviewer: "What do expect is in store for the future of jazz guitar?"

Yogi: "I'm thinkin' there'll be a group of guys who've never met talkin' about it all the time.."

Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?

Yogi: I can't, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The other half is the part people play while others are playing something they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it's wrong.

Interviewer: I don't understand.

Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it.

Interviewer: Do you understand it?

Yogi: No. That's why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn't know anything about it.

Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?

Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead. Some would kill for it.

Interviewer: What is syncopation?

Yogi: That's when the note that you should hear now happens either before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don't hear notes when they happen because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music can be jazz, but only if they're the same as something different from those other kinds.

Interviewer: Now I really don't understand.

Yogi: I haven't taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that well.

(from Jazz Humor on the All About Jazz site)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

& So on

Feeling like a human again. My roommate's drawing group thought I was hilarious on Nyquil, tottering about mumbling, but I had to confess to them I had no chemical assistance for my behavior over the past few days--just the febrile nature of virulence to enhance reality. ( I was a bit wacky with fever).

Dept of New Reviews:
Amy Lotsberg of Collected Sounds wasn't sure how to categorize SEAWORTHY-- but she likes us she really likes us Collected Sounds

Dept of New Words

Ambidextrose: sweet at using both hands

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Flu Margrit

As the sun creeps toward the horizon a certain virus is singling me out...it says: "Don't call me the common cold--I am so uncommon. Really." I try to take a nap, but ant-tribes brandishing banners are amassing in the foyer. "To Gilroy!" they cry.
But the Garlic Fest is over...now only chocolate eclairs hold sway....eeek. I wake up from this disturbing quasi-dream. Hmmmm... without sleep where do the afflicted congregate? In airport terminals with red watery eyes. In the cineplex with fever-bright fingers picking the popcorn kernels one-by-one. I have a recording session in twenty minutes--oh dang! This cold or flu or whatever it is came on so swift like an anvil or a thunderbolt from the sky. BANG-- like a piano being lowered from an apartment building. LIke the dusk that doth indeed approach now with its wisps of cloud stewed in pink and streetlights popping on across the earth.

History is mine ("No, it's MINE!")

As noted by The Rev. Marc Time, Texas DJ George Gimarc's Post Punk Diary includes 2 entries on our old band, The Jars.

By the way, Marc Time's Sunday Morning Hangover radio show is now being archived for download here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

From the Ashes Rise

And long ago-- in the Year 89 of the Twentienth Century --a less-than-wealthy keyboardist sought a fully-weighted gigging and recording keyboard for all seasons. She scanned the horizon and lo! at a reduced price an insurance adjustor offered an instrument that had somehow survived a client's domestic conflagration. And it was good--with just enough knicks and scratches to be ever-so-slightly rock'n roll.

Soon this keyboard was seen in the scene --although it became gradually unidentifiable as the suburban practice piano it once was. For, over the blemishes and scars, stickers mysteriously blossomed like a strange vinyl crop. And various insignificant moving parts fell away-- for it has been said: who needs knobs!? who needs plastic side panels?! As the keyboard matured & came of age, the keyboardist was strangely moved by its rugged yet classic metal chassis and MIDI features. She found herself inexorably compelled to lie upon it and express her special love . And it was good.

In the Year 2 of the Twenty-First Century the second-to lowest A flat ceased to play. And that was bad. Other random notes began dying, Was this a cry for help? Should the keyboardist stop indulging in this love that dare not speak its name? Such a quandary.

In the Year 5 of the Twenty-First Century the keyboardist took the keyboard in to Haight-Ashbury Music center for repairs. And then: A flat was back! And it was good. But sadly, a month later the power supply failed. Once again Haight-Ashbury Music performed miracles. It was good--but how long could this go on?

Musicians shook their heads and shunned the keyboard & indeed, in the last weeks of Year 5 of the Twenty-First Century (at band practice), sorrow struck--all the E flats up and down the keyboard were silenced. Could this be the end? The keyboardist took the keyboard to a quiet room & let it rest gently on a satin pillow stuffed with vacuum tubes and tuning forks. And on DAY 4 of the Year 6 of the Twenty-First century, LO! All the E flats sounded in a joyous noise unto the Mission district.

Let it be said: the tiniest spark can light up your favorite diode-- again and again.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A very personal New Years greeting from Gary

Had New Year's quietly at home this year (lots of prep to do for tomorrow's New Year's Day brunch, and didn't want to get injuriously drunk) which, instead of twirling a noisemaker, yelling "Happy New Year" to a few friends (and a lot of strangers) and wearing a funny hat, led to the first introspection regarding the outgoing year that I've allowed myself.

As I got the good view of the Wharf's midnight fireworks from my rooftop in the Mission, my first thoughts were for speedy recoveries for family members and friends that are suffering, so they can enjoy the new year with us. (I'll see you in a week, Dad.)

Then thoughts and thanks for all the friends who made 2005 not just bearable, but truly enjoyable and in many ways a watershed year for me artistically. A special shout out, of course, to my friends and bandmates in True Margrit: Margrit, of course, who keeps me interested, and Andrew, who keeps me on my toes; together, we guided and completed Seaworthy, of which we are (I believe) justifiably proud, and for which we had the dream launch gig in November. Also the Griddle boys, Kevin, Kimo, Xifer and Ringo; Turning Violet, when it came to completion in February, was comparable in my mind to the best mixing work I had done since 1990's Out And About with the Gone Jackals. (It certainly helps when the band gives you great material to start with!) Speaking of the Jackals, their successors The Bonedrivers' album, Roadhouse Manifesto, is near completion as well, and will turn many a roots rocker's head; Sally and I also finished The Hard Way, the new CD from Vicious Fish, and we look forward to bringing it to you live in 2006.

Add to these many interesting mastering projects, new (CarneyBallJohnson, Terry Adams & Marshall Allen, Renee Padgett, many others) and old ("lost" albums from Plainsong and Judee Sill, the Flamin' Groovies Sire Records catalog, The Rezillos' Can't Stand The Rezillos- one of my favorite records from the Punk era)- a fairly banner year!

I drank a further toast of 15 year old MacAllen single malt to friends who left San Francisco for points east, north and south, to ply their wares and expand their life experiences; my funny hat is off to you. I miss you dearly and my thoughts are always with you.

As the (pretty darn good) fireworks finished, I thought about the potential for 2006. Personally, I am looking up a bit more often these days; the slate is clean, and there's no better time to make the most of it.

One final thought: let's not forget that 2006 is a congressional election year. Don't let recent minor concessions by that lying, smirking, contemptible power drunk shitbag and his cohorts (made only because 2006 is an election year) make us complacent; we need to turn over every possible seat in the House so we can force checks and balances and oversight back into our government and take back our country.

My personal best wishes for everybody that 2006 brings success, happiness, peace and love.

And a brand new funny hat.