Today is my birthday! So I’m posting this recording of Kepi Ghoulie playing his “Happy Birthday” song that I forgot to post on my brother’s birthday.
Allan came to visit Washington, D.C., for Thanksgiving, and then we got to see Kepi with the Mean Jeans as his backing band at Comet Ping Pong in December. It was a hella Sac throwback. Since the last time I saw Kepi was an acoustic show, nice and mellow, it was a jolt to see him thrashing around on stage. The birthday song was for one of the Mean Jean Moms, who all live in the D.C. suburbs.
They played another one of our favorites (though I still prefer the Kirsty MacColl version on my favorite mixtape Allan made for our parents), “A New England.”
Any advice on stupid, irresponsible things I should do in the last year of my twenties?
My phone is running low on memory, so I dumped out all the little snippets of sound I captured using the Mini Recorder Free app. Among the rejects was a guy asking everyone waiting to sell their clothes at a consignment store if they would be interested in joining his modeling agency—everyone except me.
But a few of the pieces made it into this silly one-minute collage. You’ll hear:
A little doot doot song I made during a commercial break in Sacramento
Two women on a spirited rant on the P6 bus in D.C.
Canadian geese and some other bird at the National Arboretum
The first time I got to see the Groovie Ghoulies, after years of admiring their cartoon album covers in my brother’s room, I was underage and alone at Old Ironsides. It was one of those Sunday early shows, and I was on a mission from my high school newspaper: set up an interview for my local music column.
Roach agreed, without consulting the rest of the band, without realizing they would be in Europe or something when I needed to do the interview. Thinking I was justified because my subjects flaked, I didn’t turn in anything for the paper that month, and it was my first lesson in missing publication deadlines.
Anyways, I feel like I partly made up for it last weekend when Kepi Ghoulie, along with Kevin Seconds, totally killed it at the Rock & Roll Hotel in D.C. After the show, I told him I’m from Sacramento too, and he gave me a double high-five. As Ian pointed out, he proceeded to interview me, about my neighborhood and my internship and where I’m going next.
The Sacto pop punk scene, my first live music love! I hope he keeps making music for the next 27 years, and maybe one day I’ll get my interview.
Last week I visited my alma maters, UC Davis and the UC Davis Gamelan Ensemble. I was hoping to practice along with the group, but instead I played the spectator — for the first time! — at their end-of-quarter performance.
Ian Martyn led the first group singing this song, “Warung Pojok.” Director Henry Spiller explained: “The song is actually about the corner food stall. Warung is the place you go to eat really, really really, cheap, student-type foods. The lyrics are talking about how delicious the food is and how sweet the coffee is. The only thing sweeter than the coffee is the waitress.
“So it’s just Ian’s kind of song,” he joked.
I continued my classically Davis day with an underground stop at KDVS, dinner at Delta of Venus and the monthly Sick Spits open mic poetry and comedy night.
I walked in just in time for Sacto pseudo-celeb Random Abiladeze, who has recently changed his name to Rasar. He tried out some new material a cappella, and I tried out mashing it up with the gamelan’s “Solontongan” recorded earlier in the day:
The 2012 KDVS Fundraiser is this week, with DJs doing crazy things on their shows so that you’ll donate money and we can stay on the air.
So far, one of my favorite moments of the week has been a live in-studio performance on “The Creaking Hinge.” Some DJs named themselves Clementine & the Tween Sensations and sang this original song, “Sunshine & Pink Lemonade.”
If you want to support kids doing cool shit on the airwaves, independent media providing alternative music, opinions and news, non-commercial freeform radio, local and underground musicians getting representation, and me and my friends, donate to KDVS!
Our fundraiser goes until Sunday at midnight. Our $64,000 goal will make up 2/3 of the annual operating budget, keep the university off our back and ensure that we stay a vital resource for the Davis community and beyond. Donations are tax-deductible and you get to pick out sweet premium gift packages.
Here’s one I recommend: For only $10, you can get this local music compilation my best buddy Craig curated. He used a couple of my live recordings from this blog, by Oh Foot and MLE.
featuring exclusive, unreleased, in-studio, or live recordings from artists working in the Davis/Sacramento area. eclecticism via pop/punk/folk/bluegrass/experimental/etc.
For my 10th birthday, I got an acoustic guitar. It was 3/4-sized with nylon strings, and even though it wasn’t like my brother’s friends’ electrics, I still felt pretty cool.
My parents signed me up for lessons at The Fifth String, and on the first day I learned the “Come As You Are” riff. (I think the second week I started learning “Particle Man,” my favorite song at the time.)
After a few months, my teacher set me up to record on her 4-track. I was so nervous that I could hear my heartbeat in the headphones and I was sure it would record that too.
I unearthed the cassette last week while sorting through all my stuff in preparation for moving. The tracklist cracked me up: 1) Amazing Grace instrumental 2) Star Wars Main Theme 3) Amazing Grace
(I’m pretty sure I say “wrench” because no one wrote out the words for me.)
I’ve been having trouble posting because I’m still basking in the glory of last Fourth of July weekend, with the best friends and non-audio adventures. But we fit an amazing show in there too, featuring K Records founder Calvin Johnson, Joey Casio and my boy Appetite at the Robot Rocket Residence in Davis.
Teddy Briggs debuted a new full band for this show, with Carson McWhirter, Jesse Phillips, Addison Quarles and Sam Coe, and they frickin’ held it down. Here’s “Warn Me Right”:
Teddy was the first person to give me a lesson in audio editing, back when he was the KDVS production director and I was a lowly new DJ. We use Adobe Audition at the station, but I’ve grown to prefer Audacity in all its open-source jankiness.
The show also happened to be a going-away party of sorts for me. Thanks especially to Craig and Sally for making that happen, Teddy for his sweet pre-show dedication, and a dozen KDVS volunteers for letting me ride atop the KDVS billboard as they marched it to its new home!