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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Memoriam, Jason Wertz

We received the shocking news that our friend, Jason Wertz passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago. Jason was the loving partner of our session bassoonist, Ned Howey. Our hearts go out to Ned, Jason's family, my roommate James who was his best friend, and all of Jason's many other friends, clients and admirers.

Jason always seemed like a kind of a post-modern prince to me--a wildly intelligent, witty, charming, prickly, sweet, and complex being whose high standards motivated all around him to just be... well, better. He excelled in his field--architecture--but he was also literate, super-savvy in the ways of pop-culture, and famously fashion-conscious. You definitely felt cool if he complimented something you were wearing.

Jason lived at our loft for a few months when he first moved to San Francisco from New Orleans. I treasure that time I got to know him, and how we bonded over the Simpsons, Lord of the Rings, the absurd cuteness of our cats, Battlestar Galactica, and the hilariousness of the word, "dauphin". I remember him coming home after meeting Ned and how he had a big crush on this tall rehead & how we jokingly conjectured about what the name Ned was short for...Nedward? Or?

I hope Jason won't disapprove of a quote from Hamlet to sum up how sorely we'll miss him:

Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight sweet prince;
and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Of Rock, Brawls & Ladycops

On Saturday, Heather & I head out for a wee hike with Ernest in tow. Heather is driving Andrew's truck, and we get pulled over on account of Andrew's expired tags. The Policewoman is benevolent ( after a very serious show of sternness), and opts not to ticket Heather, but comments that two years is a REALLY long time to let the tags lapse. We sheepishly drive on. Heather calls Andrew to inform him.

We hike through some leafy, mossy, damp, autumnal woods by a creek. Nice.

Later that evening, we arrive at Le Voyeur in Olympia, load in our gear, then hang out in the bar whilst the excellent opening act Press On Randy sets up his laptop, pedals, effects, a Roland 1680 (perhaps), and tinkers & preps. Meanwhile, Halloween is making its presence known.

We go into the Le Voyeur's infamously gritty back room--it's a rectangle of cinderblocks that was decorated, one would guess many decades ago, and now glories in scabrous red & black paint in a generally geometric display of points, triangles, arrows, and shards. For Halloween the room has been desultorily festooned further with white sheets draped here & there--perhaps representing mummy wrappings...(??)

Press On Randydoes an electrifying set & we are all totally mesmerized. I had heard his tunes & loved them online, but live is even better!

Next up is True Margrit! We launch into our best set of the tour (thus far) and receive much love from the locals--which only eggs us on to make more rock harder & louder & funner.

Finally the night is closed out by the uber-talented Paul Mauer who has, possibly, the most hilarious stage banter ever. It would be hard for me to do justice to his voluminous manic vitriol--but suffice it to say, he calls swine flu "hamthrax" and he goes on one tirade that involved great ire at a disgruntled music listener, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and various internal organs....whoa~

Afterwards we hang with the nice Oly folk, sell some CDs, and then load on up the truck. As we walk out into the alley behind Le Voyeur, an octet of young men come bursting out of the back door of a nearby bar. They commence waling on one another with fists and feet--and seem unusually focused on removing each others' garments. We are a little shocked and watch dumbly as this obscure ritual unfolds. The cops arrive in about a minute and break up the bizarre brawl.

We hit the road but barely make it one block before we are pulled over. Of course....the expired tags--oopsie! A cheery but firm policewoman greets us and warns Andrew to take care of his lapsed tags--and lets us go without a ticket.

Phew--ROCK ON!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shooting Pies

In the a.m. after our Cozmic Pizza show, we chat with our hosts--Barb and Marc Time for a spell. Barb rescues feral cats and makes sure they are spayed/neutered. She introduces us to the cats she is feeding and helping. Marc tells us about the Mysterious Case of the Junction City Panty Burglar, and thus edified we hit the none-too-dry road.

Breakfast @ Pioneer Villa, truckstop/restaurant-- many pies, thick bacon.

We sit down at our Pioneer Villa table & Andrew, having missed the pie shoot, inquires if we shot the pies, and it is confirmed-yes, pies shooting has been accomplished. All in a days work.

Through the downpour we zip back up HWY 5 to Washington. After a brief stop at Andrew's house for a very perfunctory cleansing of our travel grime, we hasten to the Vashon Island Ferry at Point Defiance . Just in time we get over to Cafe Luna & have a nice Friday night show with a warm & attentive group of Island folks. We do two massive sets including many songs from SEAWORTHY & THE JUGGLER's PROGRESS. Since there are wee ones there, we gamely attempt the rarely performed, "Duckie Blues". When we announce we have CDs for sale one of the kids runs up to me & asks which CD has that duck song--cute! Well, maybe an online single will have to be recorded one of these days.

Puget Sound --or is it? I just had this perverse thought of claiming that this is a pic of The Riviera--or Guam--or Poughkeepsie. But y'all would see right through that....

ok getting punchy--more tomorry!


Oopsie! In regard to the ps on the previous post:
Koko wasn't Coco she was Koko! AND--she was a lowland gorilla, not a chimp. But still...

Friday, October 23, 2009


Hmmmm. The names of the two most recent venues we've played at start with the letters "co" (that is, the COMET TAVERN in Seattle and COZMIC PIZZA in Eugene. If you splice together two "co"s'like so: "COCO" you get the name of a club in San Francisco that no longer exists ( THE COCO CLUB) where Gary & I used to play with former lineups of the True Margrit band and Andrew used to play with other bands--but we didn't know him yet. But then we met him and the rest is herstory.

Anyhoo, we journeyed up to sexy Seattle on Tuesday for the COMET TAVERN gig. We had some scrumptious fish & chips at Pike Street Fish Fry (I hasten to say they were EVERY BIT as good as the fish & chips I enjoyed in England--just saying...hastily)

Well-fed & greasy we go play our gig and have a rip-roaring time at this venerable dive ( with some excellent acts including the transfixing Motopony

and the sultry Alicia Dara)

After the gig we are.... you guessed it HUNGRY! After all it's been 6 hourse since the fish & chips if you can believe it! SO we head to MONSTER DOG--a Seattle street vendor of the highest caliber!

We are filled with meat and thus fortified can make it home for some shuteye.

Our next gig is in Eugene, Or (who BOOKED this tour...oh I did)

We zip down Highway five and in exactly four hours we are at our next venue COZMIC PIZZA

The angelically-voiced HALIE LOREN
opens the night with a lovely performance. We step up to the stage & do a zippy, sweet, poppin, set & then we head off into the night.

ps--Coco was also the name of that really smart chimp who learned sign language and said really touching & clearly sentient sentiments...just saying.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


YES! The digital release of our album is today: OCTOBER 20th! It's available everywhere that offers music digitally--for example...iTunes! If you want a physical CD with all the pretty artwork, lyrics, liner notes, and suchlike you can Pre-order THE JUGGLER's PROGRESS

Or better yet, come to a gig--we will have CDs at them all , oh yes yes yes (including at our BIG ALBUM LAUNCH LUNCH BBQ matinee at Bottom of the Hill on Sunday November 15th at 1 pm with 20 Minute Loop & Griddle)

And don't worry! January 19th is just around the corner and it is the OFFICIAL regular release/street date. Heehee! Wow, it's fun for us to have all these different special events, dates, and milestones--we hope you enjoy it too. The suspension is killing me!


ps a bit more about Bob's Java Jive

1)Duke Ellington reportedly played there once!
2) At the end of our set someone called out offering to have my children-- ie, a very friendly crowd!
3) The headquarters for Roman Meal Bread is across the street!


... and soon: look out for the True Margrit Cooking show-- a tasty new series...yum.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


So many appetizing sights on Highway 5. ..

We are reunited with Andrew in Tacoma. We hang out. We rehearse. We sleep. We awake. Andrew makes us all delish eggs. We rehearse. It rains. There are sunbreaks (in the pacific Northwest it rains a LOT, so sunbreak is the term used for the short intervals between downpours/ or total overcast).

We suit up for an EVA --uh, I mean for first gig of the tour (at Bob's Java Jive--a bar, improbably enough, in the shape of a coffeepot). We get to the club. It's wonderfully funkily divey with teddy bear lamps, low ceilings covered in paper cutouts of white stars,charming murals/ grafitti, real french fries that come in a MT Rainier-sized mound, and even poptarts! I meet lots of Andrew & Heather's awesome friends. I meet some other friendly souls at the bar. The staff is super-nice & helpful & gracious to us sensitive-souled musician-types. Legend of Bigfoot rocks the house with some reverby majesty. Then we tear through our set with sweaty glee, followed by a super-intense performance by Tacoma buzz-band Motopony.

We come back to the True Margrit/ Honeycomb Hideout & chow on some buttery rye toast. Ahhh. All in a day's work.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Travel Day #1 ( of The Juggler's Progress Tour~)

10 am: More packing of the car.
12:25 pm: travel underway.

We listen to lots of music--the Mono mix of Sgt Pepper ( neat-o!), The Clutter Family's new CD--"It's Not About the Music" ( very funny & good), "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" by Genesis ( LOVE it--haven't heard it in SO long. Peter Gabriel is an international treasure).

Department of New Stuff I Learned from Gary, part one:
The reason Japanese records are more desirable for vinyl collectors: they use "pure" vinyl with less additives which makes the noise floor lower. WOW~ I bet it tastes better too!

Important trivia:
I repeated first grade & then skipped third grade. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Hammer.

MT Shasta snapped from the car!

5:09 pm: The Hi-Lo Cafe in Weed, CA. There be lumberjacks here. We drink some tea.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Food--a love story on the run

As our first tour dates in Washington & Oregon draw near we are looking forward to playing lots of music & meeting lots of people...and to all the FOOD! (in my family when some sibling or parent or aunt or uncle went somewhere exotic the main question was always: "So, what did you have?" meaning: WHAT yummy stuff DID YOU EAT whilst traveling???)

On one of my previous trips to Portland, Oregon, I had a Voodoo Doughnut confection!
(whoa) Be that as it may, the True Margrit tradition I REALLY look forward to is Andrew's bacon fried chicken
(yes--that's fried chicken FRIED IN BACON FAT OH MY GOD)

ALSO! We are playing at not one, but TWO pizza restaurants (COZMIC PIZZA in Eugene, OR on October 22nd & MISSISSIPPI PIZZA PUB in Portland, OR on OCt 30th). I like pizza! Who doesn't? If there are significantly delish eateries in any of the towns/cities we are playing, dear readers, do tell. Peruse OUR TOUR ITINERARY & keep us informed.

ps: As y'all know I was just in the UK & I haven't talked enough about the food there! Britain gets a bad rap on the food front--here's proof that there are delicacies to be had:

These last shots are at Fortnum& Mason--a bit pricey for the average pocket book--but I ate every single free sample they offered--fear not, my friends! xxoo