chirosinger and I wandered out of her house around 3. We headed to her guitar’s chiropractor since he needed some adjusting (just not enough pickup).
I got to play a wonderful bouzouki. I need a bouzouki. Really, seriously, I need a bouzouki. Someone buy me one.
I’m sitting here and listening to Adam Stemple play his song Bastard. This is the guitar lesson for the afternoon. I’ll talk about last night’s later. His CD Three Solid Blows To The Head was probably my favorite CD that I bought on the 12 cons in 12 months tour. As a solo performer, there are few I have ever seen who can compare. It’s gonna be a good hour.
So we got to the con, I headed off for some supper and then came back and wandered around for a bit. I tracked down barondave for a run through for the Shockwave opening sketch.
Needless to say, Harlan Ellison took over opening ceremonies, and the sketch never happened. One of the nice things about being in the ill-fated opening sketch is that I got to sit down front so I was inside the blast radius. I have not laughed so much in ages and he noticed. Call it silly, but being pointed out by a person such as Harlan Ellison for getting his jokes does feed the ego. I’m hard to out-reference (he did many times, but less than not). That and consider the wildly politically incorrect sense of humor that I was given by my theatre professor, burlesque fan father, well, I had a good time. He asked several times if there was anyone he hadn’t offended. I was definitely in that list.
It was so good to see Riverfolk again. It’s been too long. It was a wonderful show with quite a few songs I had not heard before. For some reason Chirosinger was extra bouncy, I don't know why.
The music circle was a blast, even if Prince Tisanne let me down on the first song (he goes back in the shop Monday, the nut is still too tight). I played (if I remember correctly, which I probably don’t)
Only Coffee House
Low Self Esteem
How Can I Miss You?
I got to sit right next to Howie Harrison, which explains guitar lesson number one. He hurt me severely during How Can I Miss You by singing Jingle Bells as a harmony during the first verse, I went right into tigertoy mode, but got out of it and went on with the song. He sang a wonderful country harmony during the choruses.
I didn't get his name, but the guy with the resonator was a particular favorite as was the guy with the electric piano.
I wandered back to St Paul around 2am. Much sleep was needed
I got there not too long before Adam Stemple's set. As usual Adam made me feel inferior as a guitar player in a really wonderful way. As usual he was playful and a ton of fun. He ended his set out at the grand piano in the lobby for a wonderful version of Black On Black at the request of guppiecat. At some point later we had a chance to chat for a minute and my stories about playing music with Moose And Squirrel got a big smile.
Howard Ashby Kranz was the real find of the weekend for me. I bought one CD, I would have bought more if I had the cash, but one was what I could afford. He is a brilliant songwriter (filk people will know him best from Nate's version of Catseye, one of my favorite of his songs, sorry though Nate, his version was better) and a great performer.
I wandered out of the music room for a bit, and got caught up in the Harlan Ellison show again. I don't remember what the panel was about, but I don't think that it really mattered.
I did get back to see Howie Harrison. I have never seen him play an entire set, just songs here and there in music circles. He did mostly covers (which bummed me out, but he does anything so well) and closed the show with The Reincarnation Song. So on that ...
Howie and Harlan had met at some point. This is truly a match made in hell. Just imagine it, these two minds destroying everything in their wake. It was deadly. But ... Harlan had never heard the Reincarnation Song. So Howie made him come up and sit next to him. I have never seen a human being laugh so much without exploding. Later in the weekend Harlan described their encounters as "his George Burns to my Jack Benny, I laugh at everything he says". Howie gave him a signed CD that said "To Harlan, didn't we fuck at Woodstock?" You can hear Howie tell the story sometime, I wouldn't do it justice.
I gather that Howie did the song two other times through the weekend, all at the request of Harlan.
I went off to dinner with chasophonic, bonz_lizard and chirosinger. Got back and spaced off watching Doug Wickstrom's set. He was the fiddle player ... right ??? I wanted to see his show.
David Perry was too loud for me, so I sat out in the hall and heard it there. I do have to say, being the music snob that I am, that his reworking of Robbie Fulks was, well ... not that good. I liked the rest that heard though.
Nate and Louie put on a great set. It was interesting hearing Catseye twice in a day. After that I was uncertain which version I liked better.
The circle started. Here is a rough memory of what I did, because one moment blurs the rest out for me.
Need - at the request of guppiecat, even if it wasn't the song he wanted ... we still don't know which song it was that he wanted.
Rockaway Beach - (The Ramones) which led to the strangest thing ever said in a Ramones song, "ok, play the blues" to the guy with the resonator who also played harmonica
Gun Sale At The Church (Buddy Blue)
Yesterday Is Here (Tom Waits)
Don't Go Home (might have done that friday night)
In Crosby Park - Does anyone know the name of the Bodhran player, I really do want him on my next CD on this song? Between him and Andy it was perfect.
Pine City Motel Blues - Once again Andy tore it up.
And ... somewhere in the middle of all that, the highlight of my playing career.
Hides - The perfect version. Andy on fiddle, Doug (if indeed he was the fiddle player) throwing in some gypsy riffs, Nate on bass (perfect) and three drummers. Drummers in a song circle can be problematic. They are either great, or ... not. There were THREE drummers (started with 4 but one ended up not playing much) and they followed every mood change, every tempo change everything ... perfectly. I think we went on for about 10 minutes. It is this sort of minute that a musician lives for. When a bunch of players take a song places that I could never have dreamed it could have gone. Thank you one and all.
I had to get up and out of the room, I was so worked up after that. I would have spent the next several songs talking as much as one of the other musicians.
The rest of the night is a blur. After that what really matters? It was perfect.
I got back to C's around 3:30 and got some sleep.
Got up too early and went off with C for some breakfast at my favorite greasy spoon.
I got back to the hotel for more of the Harlan show and hung out for awhile. I planned on leaving but I wanted to say goodbye to Nate and Louie so I waited till closing ceremonies were done.
I'm glad I did. Harlan told a wildly funny joke, one of, if not the best, best shaggy dog story I have ever heard.
I was standing in the back of the room waiting for folks to clear out and a guy stopped in front of me and asked "did you get that joke?" I said I did. "I didn't, what was the point of it?"
And that was the perfect end for a perfect weekend.
I did go to Boheme sunday night.
Color Of Your Eyes
Don't Go Home
Bang My Bald Spot
Low Self Esteem
I was the only person signed up, so I told Pete to tell me when to quit. He told me one more after BMBS. I walked by to say goodbye and he said "you were done weren't you, just running on adrenaline?" He knows me well enough to know that I couldn't have played another good note. Oh, and a young woman laughed at everything I said, except the stuff that wasn't funny. Thanks.
I think I covered everything, can anyone think of anything else, oh ... and how was your weekend?