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

Thursday, April 27, 2006

oui, aye, yeah, da, YES YES!

You know, one thing I have learned about being a musician is that you sure hear folks saying no all the time--such as: "No we aren't gonna give you a zillion dollar advance and put out your CD out on BMG RECORDS" or "No you can't headline the Peter Gabriel show" (not that I REALLY made plays for those goals--those are just hyperbolic examples my dears). But sometimes the desirable dates and venues in a given music scene can be so sought-after, that even asking for a gig in a cereal box at the corner-store can be challenging.

Well, in Olympia we have been treated real hospitably --and we are out-of-towners! I called up the YES YES ALLIANCE and we booked the show on the spot and I had-- immediately-- a great feeling about this place.

Yes YEs Home page

We arrive early at the lofty space to set up, and from the moment we walk in, the whole evening reminds me of a show in "The Front Room" at my alma mater (the legendary Laurel High School in Knoxville, Tennessee). The funky, artsy, welcoming, anarchic scene is strangely familiar. I almost expect Reese Ingold to walk in and sit down and play some Mozart on the brutalized upright--or for Amira to sweep in and perform an interpretive dance tying the whole night up in a bow.

I come back from my musings and enjoy a short set by Robbie Francis--one baddass piano-player. Then Son performs, who has to be heard to comprehended, but I will just say that you must hide your trash can lids from him. Margaret Rhodes then treats us to a fulfillingly, melancholy set of guitar/voice angst. We play at this point in the lineup, and dear readers, it is always gratifying to see a room of whirling peeps finding the True Margrit groove danceable--cuz it is, it is! After our set the ever-so catchy, psychedelic quartet Feedbackarach plays a stunning set of their dual vocals/dual guitar tuneful mayhem. A thoroughly satisying musical repast.

...and I say yes yes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

RADIO 8 BALL and all

That Andras Jones--he's surreal. He has the wackiest radio show this side of the Mississippi. It's on KAOS in Olympia...

click gently for RADIO 8 BALL

So, today we zip over to THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE ( a green and pleasant land where KAOS exists) so I can set up my keyboard and I do my best to help make the magic of the POP Oracle. It's really something that passes through one, so one can't take credit or props for it. Questions were asked, songs were played (many by me on the piano) and then the lyrics/ etc were analyzed and applied to the questions.

Intriguing, to say the least. I'm proud to be part of it--it's anarchic in a good way. A dry anarchy.

Then-- oh then, my dear readers: Gary & I came back to the Honeycomb Hideout and Andrew had fried up a mess o' chicken in bacon fat. OH LORDY GOD!


and some greens with beans (yum!)
After that repast we were only able to loll weakly on the couch and watch Battlestar Galactica DVDs.

If you see that combo in your future (chicken, pop divination, and sci fi) I can tell you it is good good good.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Puppies and Daisies in the THINK TANK

When I am blue, anxious, or insomniacal, I try to think of comforting images or soothing sensations-- like lying in a field of daisies (but under a big shade tree like an elm or eucalytpus) while puppies romp and a cool breeze is blowing--preferably out of the south/ southwest at 4 knots with a temperature between 64 - 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be moderate--only 79 percent. Or I picture the worst president in history being impeached. That is very heartwarming.

Also soothing are the dulcet tones of the voice of THINK TANK's hostess--Tammy. She let us play live on her cool KAOS radio show today--we had a lovely time--and we were so relaxed! I think we were rather good. Too bad you missed it. (Unless you heard it--then, yay)

In other radio news: our song "Hours in Reverse (Deja Vu)" was played again on April 11th on KMSU in Minnesota.

woo woo KMSU and KAOS!!

We'll be back...(tomorrow) for Radio 8 Ball

gelato, arpeggio, and rigatoni

Saturday, April 22, early evening, finds us in the Fremont district of Seattle at a nifty bar called TosT, where we each order a delicious pizza of our very own. And then we rock. We sell some cds after (and during) our set, and meet some cool folk--including the superfriendly drummer Ben Smith. He is playing two doors down at The Hi Dive for their anniversary shindig, and he is in about 300,000 bands (including but not limited to Heart). Celebs at our show! Other celebs at the show: Heather, Jennie and Pete! Yay.

After we play we go get gelato. Yum. The last tour was about the bacon, this time it's ice cream.

Sunday, April 23, 1:45 pm. We are striving to find a gas station in downtown Seattle. We are a bit low on gas and about to be late for our gig at the Lynnwood Borders. Somehow we fill up the tank, book up the 5 and arrive only 15 minutes late. I do a few new tunes solo ("Cobwebs and Dust" and "The Juggler's Progress") while the guys set up, and then we launch into our current set opener "Killing Time Too Late". This particular Borders has a more open setup than some, and I enjoy hearing our music fill the room unimpeded by tedious walls. Oh hear us people of Borders. We are True Margrit from the land of San Francisco.

Gary & I indulge in a cup of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream after we play. See? It's ice cream.

Department of Best Crowd Feedback at a Borders Books in-store:
" I like that rigatoni--that's what it's called, right? The rigatoni you played on the piano, it's from classical music with the descending line--very nice!"

I truly appreciate this--there really could be no higher compliment than the one that melds music and food together--at last.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

When bad things happen to good people...

Our good friend, comedian (and occasional True Margrit drummer) Kurt Weitzman was mugged the other night outside his home on 3rd street. The goons roughed him up pretty bad (broke his jaw, amongst other indignities), despite the fact that the man has nothing worth stealing (except his jokes...)

Kurt is home and healing and in pretty good spirits ("My jaw hurts and soft food sucks but I will soon be as handsome as ever!"), but like many artists living on the line has little in the way of health insurance- so it's been decided that this May 3rd edition of Kurt's show, Comedy Noir at Studio Z, will be the first of a few benefits. (Click on the flyer to the left to see the lineup for this show.) I know much of the cast, and it should be a REALLY funny night. I urge you to come out, have a good time and help out a friend in need.

There will be other benefits as well- a stand-up night at Club DeLuxe is being planned. Stay tuned!

Vashon Isle and Redmondlandia

Well, it was grand to go back to Cafe Luna again (one of many venues called "Luna this or Luna that" --more on that in the below poem). Sandy, the lovely proprietress, keeps saying she's gonna sell Luna, but we secretly hope not (don't tell). Startin off the show was the duo, Too Cute (aka: Beluga Sally, aka: Amelia's Only Daughters). That was dandy--real nice singin' & pickin yesirree Bob (spelled backwards is: eerrisey boB). We launched into our first set since shooting the Sf Sound TV show on March 29. The rust fell away soon and it felt pretty cool....Also noteworthy: another Tennessee encounter! One of my Mom's old piano students saw my name in the Vashon paper & came by to hear us. Oh, it's a small small small small world....teeny, in fact.

Oh, Lunas
Oh, metaphorically moonlit havens of punks, bohemians, hipsters and hippies
Oh, multiplicity of cafes & clubs referencing Earth's satellite
Oh, how tides of espresso wash upon the jittery shores
Sweeping coffee grounds into sinuous dunes
while beercans clink joyously orbiting the bar
As the gently swaying lines to the women's room
point onward to the next Luna
LUNA! festooned as you are
either with neon or macrame,
Chrome or bamboo
Luna Club
Cafe Luna
Luna Bar
We love you

...And then the next night we played at Borders Books in Redmond, Washington. This particular Borders is quite large--multi-leveled, in fact. It is nestled tenderly within a massive mall-retail-encampment-shopping-casino-compound.
I mean--there are one hell of a lotta shops, restaurants, hotels and such--and retailers I have never heard of before, such as the unfortunately named "COW CHIPS" cookie store).

We set up in the Borders cafe and held forth while shoppers listened-- and some even bought SEAWORTHY or signed up on our email list or got free True Margrit sticker or all three. Gary's "Mocharoon" (some malignantly sweet chocolatey seductive caffeine beverage) spilled and our gear is much stickier now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Our first Tour 2006 press!


Click here for the interview--Molly Gilmore talked to me after I ate a lot of chocolate

We're OFF (in so many ways)

My dear readers, I write to you from a wee bit past the 45th parallell--in other words, closer to the North Pole than the Equator. Is there any chance we will see the northern lights (a.k.a. aurora borealis) ? If you see them, tell them I love them.Yes, we are in Washington state, and our first tour show is TONIGHT at Cafe Luna on Vashon Island.

So much has happened, where to begin?

The last couple of weeks before leaving San Francisco were most eventful-- True Margrit shot a TV show, I sat in on Amy Meyers' AND Judea Eden's TV sets (all of these for the Comcast show SF SOUND--more on that when it airs). In Absolutely True Sound (my recording studio), Neil Aaron's Cd was mixed and tucked into bed (i.e. completed), and then Gary mastered it in his studio (A Hammer Productions). I did some caffienated phone interviews after a sleepless night and much chocolate, and the tour preparations got as feverish as me ( I have a cold), and Gary & I did a duo gig at Hotel Utah, I wrote a new song about 25 century archeologists digging up our 21st century artifacts, and, well, I hope you get the picture. I think there's a springtime induced, sublimating-procreation-for-creative-enterpise sort of zietgeist in the air--cuz after the Neil Aaron Cd was mastered, Gary & I stopped by Robert Prestons's Get Reel Pro studios and the SF band Griddle were in there madly twiddling knobs into the wee hours, finshing up their latest mixes. YOW!

Gary & I arrived in these northern lands last night. It was a particularly gorgeous drive. The rain (and other icier precipitations) dumping on the west coast abated, and we got the glory and trumpets views of the Sierras with snow and the centerpiece thereof, Mt Shasta, looked like a big volcano theme-cake with white icing.

Yum: cake.

I don't know if I have mentioned this fair readers, but whilst booking this tour I experienced enough real-life coincidences and mistaken identity plot twists to fuel a mystery novel. There were a plethora of musicians named Scott who were --or weren't they?-- going to play on bills with us. There were multiple venues called "Mississippi such and such". And I won't even go into the multiplicity of the use of Amelia in band names I have been encoountering in the NW music scene. And in the past week I have also randomly met two people from my hometown, one of whom went to my high school--LAUREL HIGH SCHOOL!!! ( by the way: MARY OLIVER IS GOD) I feel these kinds of happenstance meetings and serendipitous occurrences only show we are on the right track--not to be superstitious, I LOVE SCIENCE, I am from Oak Ridge, Tennessee after all.

But we did see a jet trail from the road yesterday and it pointed: NORTH

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Town Without Pitney...

The week's musical R.I.P. trifecta is complete, with the completely unexpected death at 65 of a true rock n' roll pioneer, the great Gene Pitney. He was in the midst of a U.K. tour.

Yesterday we lost free jazz sax giant Jackie McClean, and earlier in the week we bid farewell to the inventor of The Bakersfield Sound of country music, Buck Owens.

Pioneers and giants, each & every one of them.