Friday, September 29, 2006

Hotti Biscotti OM 1

This past wensday, th 27th o' septembr, George and I returnd to a bar we always seem to like for som inexplicbl reasn cald Hotti Biscotti. This time, it was for th opn mic. Finaly, a group of peple who seem to enjoy my music! It felt so marvlus, durng th quiet parts of my song, to hear th sound of a room actuly lisnng to me! Ther wern't many peple ther, maybe a dozn (a slo nyt, I was told), but they wer good peple. On our way out, folks talkd to us, introduced themselvs, and told us they liked it. Th one womn in th place said "We like yr animl songs," and I said, "O, thank u, I'v got lots mor!" She said she has a frend with a song about a bumblbe, and I said I'v got a song about a moth and a song about a ladybug, but at present, no bumblbe.

My litl set:

.. e blu apratus
.. 5 songs of fish
.. chupacabra
.. cal it Home

George and I intend to return.


I'v had a weird week of sleep. Last nyt, visitng Tiffany, I cudn't sleep until aftr she and Jordan had gotn up at 7:00 AM this mornng to leve for scool. I'm prety sur I slept wel aftr 7, tho. Now it's 10, and th dog woke me up with barkng. I havn't figurd out wat I'm doing yet, but I wantd to post about Hotti Biscotti befor I forgot. It's temptng to go bak to sleep, but I may try to stay up and get som stuf don.

Chicago continus to be decent. I pikd up som paperwork for teachng yestrday, as wel as thre new teas (including my first Lapsang Souchong not from th Daily Grind). I had good moments with th trains and buses.

I may try to rite songs today (I'v had som sucess with that lately), paticulrly som 'stelr songs,' my incomplete musicl ovrview of th birth & deth of stars. I cud also do som aly serchs for couchs (on bike) and read (The Tao of Physics, a great litl book I found at th exlnt Myopic Books in my neibrhood for $2.95). Wile I'm at th computer, ther ar som things I cud reserch, like furnitur on Craigslist and how one becoms a DJ on one of th fabulus colej-based radio stations in Chicago (we hav at least four of them, but perhaps only thre that George and I can get at our location). I cud make myself rite constraind poems. . . . And of corse, now that I'v got mor paperwork for teachng, I cud work on that today, as wel. It's only thre pajes (one of wich I need to send to Potsdam).

And it's suny today! Maybe I'l play som mando on th street!

(Soonr or later, I'm going to by a rak/basket for my bike so that I can cary my mando on it without caryng it on my bak. I'v ben putng off spendng th mony.)

Those ar th kinds of sily things I can pondr this paticulr friday morn.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nim on Milwaukee av

Inspired by th syt of a felo sitng on th sidewalk of W Milwaukee av in th Wicker Park neibrhood, playng banjo and didgeridoo at th same time, I set out one monday ago (two days ago, on septembr 25) to play Nim near that very spot and se wat coms of it.

I didn't play a long set, but I enjoyd it mor. I made $3 this time!

.. stelr nursery
.. Deenmark
.. lov song 5
.. vejtbls u'v nevr herd of
.. 2G's
.. e blu apratus
.. cal it Home > hulo, wil u be my Sheep? [special gest: Fred]

Ryt as I startd 'cal it Home', a jentlmn named Fred hapnd along and decided to join in. His instrumnt of choice: a trafic cone, thru wich he voclized, by wich I mean he seemd to be speakng in tongs. We playd a litl duet togethr. His styl seemd to alienate folks; I didn't make any dolrs during this part of th sho. He seemd to be havng a mysterius dialog (or trialog) with himself.

Out litl duet came to an end wen two police oficrs on bikes startd circlng us on th sidewalk. We stopd and talkd to them. They askd our names and wat we wer doing, and I thot for sure they'd tel us to go home or that we needd to get a street performr permit. But they just introduced themselvs and wound up chatng away with this felo named Fred about his tatoos, and prety soon they left. It seemd like a triky litl way to get us to stop without being a-holes about it. I felt prety weirdd out by it.

Fred's frends wandrd by, and I met his frend Michael and som othr folks. Fred and Michael invited me to play music with them somtime, and I make it a policy nevr to resist a weird music experience. I gave them CDs and my fone numbr, so perhaps I wil do som jamng with Fred and Michael.


I'v not ben doing to much to promote my music lately. Tonyt, howevr, George and I plan to hed to Hotti Biscotti, a great litl dive bar on th west side, to chek out their opn mic. And that reminds me that I hav an email adress in my walet of a gy who dos bookng at a great club near our neibrhood. I think I'm going to start lookng for "shos" by oferng my services as filr between bands. Aftr al, Nodal Nim is realy easy to set up, and I can play a set of prety much any length. Wile I'm here at a computr (at Tiffany's apartmnt), I'l drop that gy a mesaj.

Becky came to visit from Beloit, Wisconsin this past weekend, and we had plenty o' fun. Her frend Russell came by a cupl times, and Tiffany and Jordan met us for dinr once. We mostly hung around th apartmnt. It was nice to finaly hav gests.

I may hav ritn som songs, but I'm not sure. I'l let u no wen I figur it out.

I'm planng to start th certification process today for teachng and/or substitute teachng. I hav my resume, I hav my academic transcript, and I hav directions to th ofice. First I hav to get off my botm and ride my bike south. I'v ben prety darn lazy this week, and I think I need to chanj that.

Much lov,

Nim on Michigan av

Two mondays ago, on septembr 18, I playd a set of songs on Michigan av, a busy street downtown, in front of th Art Institute. I made $1.03. I found it jenrly unsatisfyng and frustrating, but here's th set:

.. Pablo
.. lov song 5
.. th slipry toad
.. stelr nursery
.. brown dwarf
.. hulo, wil u be my Sheep?
.. cal it Home
.. e blu apratus
.. troglodyt
.. great Pan is ded
.. sience
.. 2G's
.. 25% mor monstr
.. cmene
.. safety in numbrs
.. lov song 6
.. in my poket

Friday, September 15, 2006

earwax bike grind demo flesh PAIN

In Chicago, I continu to exist, as dos George, as do Tiffany and Jordan and Sparky and Vega and varius rodents (th hamstr: Snowflake; th mice: Cho, Fatty Nine-toes, and, um, anothr mouse whos name I forget).

(Those ar Tiffany and Jordan's pets, not mine -- George and I stil don't evn hav a couch.)

But th latest news is that George got a job yestrday! He's workng at a hip litl joint cald Earwax Cafe, wich not only acts as a restrant and cofee shop, but also a video rentl place. Yestrday, he was hired and workd his first shift, and today he works his secnd. Yay!

He's gona make me look bad, tho, as I continu to sleep in 'til 3 PM and do nothng al day.

Altho I do hav a plan of action for getng a job now. I sent a request for my academic transcript, wich I can use to easyly obtain a substitute teachng certificat that's good for 90 days. I'v also ben told that ther's a shortaj of music teachrs in Chicago, paticulrly at th elementry levl. So once I'm in th systm, I myt not hav much trubl getng employd doing wat I [probly] lov.

I'v ben in no hury, tho.

Also exiting: I got a bike! O, it's so neat! It's a rasbery-colord vintaj Schwinn in quite good shape. I got a nice new [expensiv] lok for it, so I'v ben riding it around town as I do my erands (som of wich I invent just for an excuse to ride). It has reflectrs and lyts hookd up to a jenratr, and this neat mechnism that alows it to coast like twice as long as othr bikes (good for lazy, unalthletic me). It just needs a rak with a nice deep basket for my mandolin, and then I am al set!

In music news, George recently freed som live Nim audio from his computer: my secnd set at th Daily Grind gig I shared with him. He had recordd his own set and acidently left th "tape" runng. It's not th hyest quality thing, but neithr was Nodal Nim at Hurley's. In fact, it may hav ben one of th best gigs I playd, and I'm luky to hav it now. I havn't decided wethr I'l start selng it, but I'm sur I wil stop selng Hurley's, wich is prety inferior to just about anything I cud record now.

Wat I wil sel, for now at least, is an 8-song CD cald "a wee mix, a demo", wich servs as a cheap samplr of wat I do for "fans" and for bookng peple. Wen I start lookng for gigs, this is wat I wil giv store ownrs. So far, ther's only one place I'v seen that I'v actuly wantd to play at, and th last time I was ther, th ownr wasn't in. So they sit in my mando bag, waitng. . . .

Th trak list:

NODAL NIM - a wee mix, a demo.
all songs by Nodal Nim

1 .. th posm [words: J. Coolidge, previusly relesed on mini-CD]
2 .. vejtbls u'v nevr herd of [live at th Grind, previusly unrelesed]
3 .. lov song 5 [accordion: Nathan Stodola]
4 .. Maroon Dots [also live at th Grind, previusly unrelesed]
5 .. 25% mor monstr [also with Nathan]
6 .. hulo, wil u be my Sheep? [djembe: Dave Shaver; previusly in a NNRS episode]
7 .. jingl jingl [a new and very sily song providing contact info for bookng peple]
8 .. e blu apratus [e.gtr: Nick Borden; e.bass: Oliver Mehner; keys: Teo Acosta; also previusly in a NNRS episode]
special thanks: George Fero [for providing files and helpng with recordng and mixng.]

And, perhaps mor exitingly, I finishd mixng THRESHOLD OF PAIN's secnd albm, entitled rotng flesh, and wil soon be mailng out copys to th thre othr curent membrs of said band. For those who don't no, THRESHOLD OF PAIN is a colabration between Amy th Flaherty, Scotthew th Marshall, and that wich one dos cal "Lucretia" from time to time. (Our first albm was without th Marshall, and containd th Borden of Nick as special gest. Our line-up is kind of flexbl.)

Rotng flesh contains 19 briliant songs, evokes myriad uncomfortbl emotions, and chalenjs th patience of evryone evrywher. Most peple arn't redy for this. I no I'm not.

George apears to be our bigest fan! Yay George!

Let's se, wat els. . . ther's a world music festvl going on this week and next, and I'm plang to go to se lots of fre mind-blowng stuf from al ovr. (It's good to be unemployd!) Today, I wil probly chek out -- wel, I don't no yet. Today is up in th air. It's miraculus, by th way, that I'm awake now. Usualy, I sleep for many, many mor ours than this. I wil desire cofee to maintain this state.

Shiva is awsom. So is Ra and Charon. I was thinkng last nyt about how I want to create my own mythology (wat fun!), and then remembrd that I alredy startd to (se th Rocket Ship Reader). I'd like to get bak to that somtime. . . .


Time to start th day. Best lov to al folks,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Phyllis' Musical Inn OM 1

Tusday nyt, George and I venturd out again, this time to a relaxng bar cald Phyllis' Musical Inn. We got ther erly.

I synd up. Twenty minuts aftr startng time, wen th host finaly took th staje, th list included only me. Aparently, th opn mic is intendd just for comedians (stranj, wen u remembr th name of th place), but th host needd peple to play. So aftr telng som jokes and making fun of th opn mic in jenrl, th host welcomd me to th staje.

I playd:

.. 5 songs of fish
.. 25% mor monstr
.. sience
.. Pablo [request from George]
.. vejtbls u'v nevr herd of

George and I didn't stik around much longr aftr that.

Subterranean OM 1

Ther exists a rathr "hip" litl bar on North av, not far from my new place in Chicago, and evry wensday, they host an od litl opn mic. Two days ago, I chekd it out.

Most of th performrs did th acustic gitar thing, but with th aded plesur of playng with a decent and frendly house drumr. I noticed ryt away that th crowd seemd prety receptiv and nice, compared to th othr opn mics I'v ben to around town, so I got exited about playng. Howevr, I made th mistake of waitng too long to syn up, and I wound up 8th on th list, imediatly foloing a very drol and iritating soul singr. Th good crowd shufld out (presumably to avoid being iritated), and wen I went up to play, only th drunks remaind. Th house drumr took a break to play chess (aftr I'd finaly decided to play with him and had pikd stranj-drumr-frendly songs). So it apeard to be just me and bar peple.

I playd:

.. th slipry toad
.. brown dwarf
.. hulo, wil u be my Sheep?

Then th host, Ciso, insistd on an encor:

.. e blu apratus

Th crowd proved not so bad aftr al. Ciso realy liked it and said somthing like, "That's probly th only song I'l evr hear about a brown dwarf star!" So I was feelng ok, but stil disapointd that a hole bunch of neat-lookng peple had left. I told George I was ready to go, so George hit th bathroom. Ciso came ovr and askd to se and play my mandolin. He seemd like a decent felo, so I felt hapy to oblije.

Aftr Ciso figurd out a few mando cords, he askd, "Say, wud u mind if I playd a song on yr mandolin?" Being a conjenial chap myself, I said, "Sure!" Soon George came by, said, "Ready to go?" and I had to say, "Uh, not quite."

Ciso playd "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls," and did a real decent job of it. He wound up playng two mor songs on my mando, and it was lots of fun to wach. So George and I got som amusement out of it, but now we wer ready to go again, wen Ciso returnd th instrument and said, "How'd u like to play with this guy I no?"

Havng a few drinks in me and tryng to be frendly, I said yes.

So somhow, I found myself onstaje with th house drumr, a bass playr, and two reggae-rappers, who wer frestylng (for quite a long time) to th strains of my blu-green mandolin. I havn't playd with anyone lately, and I'v nevr playd anything hip-hop-esq, so I was sort of in panic-mode th hole time. Nonthless, it startd and endd, and I don't think I made a complete fool of myself. George was delytd by th hole thing. I was confused.

'Twas a good nyt.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006


Nice electric mando.

new house

George and I movd in last friday, and we'v ben slowly making our place on N Wood st feel mor and mor like a home. We like it ther. Our furnitur at this point consists of two air matreses (one brot from Troy by each of us) and thre chairs: a beach chair (that George brot), a simpl old woodn chair (wich I found in an aly on satrday), and a roly desk chair (wich I found in anothr aly on sunday). Yestrday was monday, labr day, and I didn't find any chairs. Once we get ourselvs a couch, som end tabls, bookshelvs, CD shelvs, and dresrs, things may start to feel ordrly.

Today, u'd find me bak at Tiffany's apartmnt playng with her intrnet wile she's out and George out in our neibrhood lookng for a barista job in a cafe. I think he's lookng for a place that's like th Daily Grind but not. As for me, I havn't figurd out wat I'm doing for a job yet at al. Th lengthy process for becomng a Chicago substitute teachr intimidates me. I gess I want to do it, but it wil take a long long time, and durng that time, it seems likely I'd run out of mony fast. So I wondr about a job "in th meantime". Of corse, th Daily Grind was suposd to be "in th meantime" for me in Troy . . .

Maybe I cud wait tables. I hav experience.

I got prety frustrated last nyt walkng around West Town, my greatr neibrhood, lookng at peple and places. I kept thinkng things like, "I feel like a space alien. Wat am I doing in th Midwest? Wher ar th peple that ar like me? Wy dos evryone here look so norml and cliche? This is a city, dosn't that mean peple shud be intrestng and difrent? Sho me th weirdos! Wud any of these peple undrstand me or giv a crap if I startd talkng to them? Wud any of them hav anything intrestng to say to me? How com nobody cares wen I play at opn mics? Wil anybody in this city get me? Wher is my 'crowd'?"

And so on.

I gess I think that evrywher I go. Potsdam was prety awful for that. U'd think I'd be used to being an outsider by now. I hope I meet up with som weirdos soon.

Also, I'm not a very good juj of peple. I'm lookng at folks on th street and making obnoxius asumptions about them. Who nos wat these peple ar realy al about wen u get to no them.

Ther's an experimentl jaz band playng tonyt at Hotti Biscotti, a bar I like on Fullerton av. Maybe I'l go. As always, if I don't go out, I'l nevr get a chance to meet somone.

Aftr grumblng about for a wile last nyt, I came here to Tiffany's house, and that was nice. I'm glad she's here. I gess that's th hole point of this mov.