Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Chicago, August 19th
We didn't write for a while. I guess it has something to do with the feeling that the tour is somehow dying out, or to be more precise: It seems that we are sliding slowly into a more recognizable realm, where the people we meet and the roads we drive on are familiar again.
Completing the tour's loop we are heading back: back to the Midwest, back to Chicago (and eventually Minnesota), getting closer and closer every day to lifting off (back) to Europe.
Since our last shows have been more spread out, we had some time to think about Controllar's future and what are the next steps to follow. We haven't come to a final conclusion, but we are looking into the different possibilities and eagerly discussing them in every free moment. We are excited about this band. Controllar was so well received, much more than any of us expected. We want to go places with this project and we have some great ideas on how to keep developing it. We are very proud of Controllar and of ourselves for making it what it is.
That's a good thing.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Monkeytown and the town of monkeys
In this strange calm (the eye of the storm) we tried to process all the universes and microcosmos that we've passed through. In such a city as New York, its only possible to bite off a little tiny piece and chew on that for a while. So we did.
And now we're leaving again, heading back towards Philadelphia, in order to turn around and come back here in two weeks. The wear of traveling like this is starting to show, though we're still going full steam and loving every glimpse we get into all these worlds one have to see, and eat.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Audience is needed
So- we need reservations, which means- we need audience, which means: we need your help.
We want people to come and see that gig since it's going to be a sweet one: we will be playing in a great location and back to back with the local duo project She keeps bees, who makes some fantastic stuff.
So if you're in town, or know someone who's around and loves heart crunching electronics and vocals, let them know that we and she keeps bees will be playing our hearts out for them tomorrow night. here are the juicy details:
58 N 3rd St
(btw. Kent & Wythe)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
From 20:30 on
Telephone number for reservations: 718.384.1369
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The cold Tom and I royally exchanged in DC is almost gone by now, but tissue papers and cough suppressants are still populating many corners of the fantastic Harlem loft we're staying in. (Speaking of the loft, on the left is a picture we took from the roof).
We haven't been on the back of a motorcycle for 3 days now. 3 full days that our trusty vehicle is balanced on the wide sidewalk, well covered and left alone. We too are left alone. for the first time in three weeks it's only us two, not even a motorcycle seat away from one another.
We've been walking around town, cooking our own meals, watching films (a stash of Almodovar dvd's was found in the loft.) we've been taking showers, talking and drinking wine. We stopped, just for a little. and we like it.
Friday, August 1, 2008
After a day of walking around the city of taxation without representation in the sweltering heat and ninety percent humidity, the feeling was one of understanding. After foraging through all the jagged, struggling, persevering cities which bid us welcome we found ourselves face to face with the symbols of American culture. Walking from the Lincoln memorial, to the Washington monument, past the Vietnam Memorial and the new WWII memorial, I couldn't help but marvel at feelings invoked in myself, the french family standing next to me, and the group of 100 Koreans as we all stood there together watching the Washington monument and the dome of capitol hill in the background.
In spite of the stalinesque WWII monument (built in 2004!?) the smell of recession lurks even here, and the further away from Constitution park we walked, the more Washington DC began to look like many of the cities we've been to.
By the time we got to U street where we were to play in the Velvet lounge, we were very much at home in the familiar dingy street where the empty lots and tattoo parlors take up the space between the bars, and the cars alternate between massive SUV's with gold rims and 24 inch subs and rusty honda accords with loud (missing?) mufflers.
As we began to set up for the evening it seemed that the lineup had changed from an experimental electronic evening, to a local death-metal show with us and one other noise art duo to bring variety to the stage. Unfortunately, in the small-time circuit which we find ourselves, this isn't the first time its happened; earlier experience has taught us that in this predicament we should not play after the death metal- if for no other reason than to spare the 4 people who came to see us. After arranging to play first, we had the luxury of a sound check (probably the only real benefit of being the opening act.) While still configuring the mysteries of the current PA system, we were called downstairs by the bouncer, claiming there is someone here to see a certain Tommy...
It was Michelle. All the way from Minneapolis. Apparently, my sister has just left her comfortable predictable life to pursue an opportunity in the equestrian world of Virginia and happened to be close enough to DC to surprise us! All of these things together held the promise of a truly unique event.
As we crawled to the small stage on the second floor, most of the metalheads quietly drifted downstairs to the bar to wait for the real music. But as our first song filled the PA with heavy distortion, the hall began to fill. By the time we quoted Kurt Kobain's "but I can't see you every night..." everyone from the bar was upstairs again. As the last bass note ended, a thick infinite silence filled the space; no one knew what to do, or what had just happened. Slowly, someone in the back began to clap. More people joined in. we couldn't see their faces, but we could hear them. someone whooped. We realized at once that our little oiled machine is working, even in the face of the long haired, short lived mosh pit lovers. By the time we finished our set with I can't deny it, there was a pulsating unity of everyone in the club, lots of moving heads and hips, and an overall slightly pop drunk joy.
Later, packing and taking turns keeping an eye on our merch table, we were still surprised to see t-shirts & buttons finding their new homes in DC. Lots of people came to congratulate us and tell us what they thought, what it meant to them, express their frustration that we had no Cd's and promise to stay in touch.
At 3am, we rolled into a kebab joint down the street from the Velvet and filled up on a strange mix of Mediterranean goods. We quietly walked into Tamar & Uri's studio. We slept deeply, dreaming that we too had a long dark hair, an old slayer T shirt and a secret love of pop music.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The providence phoenix
-- 8 days a week--
hooks, sparks, mockery, a last hurrah, and green Art
_by Jim Macnie
A wash of eerie synth mixes with a heartbeat pulse, and then a man and woman begin to exchange lines: "If you want to get rich/put your suit on every day/ smile all the way/ count your coins at night/ listen to all they say/ keep your fear at bay/'cause your a rat in a maze." [sic] The Amsterdam-based duo Controllar
- singer Anat Spiegel and laptop jock Thomas Myrmel - are a hoot. Imagine 'Everything But the Girl' as an evil, experimental empire, and you have something to chew on. They're a part of an all-electronic night at AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence. Sacred Objects, Banter/3.1, and Jasali plug in starting at 9pm | $6 | 401.831.9327 | as220.org
Alive, Kicking, Kambucha drinking
1. Yes indeed, we have neglected the Internet kingdom. for some reason or another, our last adventures took place in areas deprived of the simple pleasures of the world wide web. but now we're back and in Providence RI, where the weather is clear after yesterday's thunder storm.
2. We know we should post something about the shows. We're working on it together since writing about music and this sort of experience is somehow difficult for us. our backstage monologues will soon find their way to the blog.
3. A bad word about Boston: we were put down by the constant rain and fog that cradled the city from the moment we've arrived till the moment we left. Amanda was good to us, but Boston seemed to keep laughing at our faces and peeing on our heads, forcing us into Starbucks against our will and allowing our first bad show to take place.
4. A good word about Boston: we went whale watching. After sailing into the ocean for an hour and a half we ended up seeing three of the most amazing animals on earth: two fully grown whales and one baby whale. The latter instantly became the ship's favorite by providing all the goods one wet human can wish for: flapping his fins, rolling around and jumping in the air. We even managed to see his rock like head sticking out the water and looking straight at us tiny foggy humans.
5. Southington, CT: Don't go there. really. But if you do, please stop in the New Hawaii. These guys make fantastic house shows to a great crowd. Special thanks to Florida= death and to migs, who sacrificed his sanctuary bedroom for us out-of-towners.
We've been performing. Playing in all sorts of places with all sorts of different people. Its been a magical pleasure to see the great diversity that exists between all the neighborhoods, tied together in this crazy love for music. We've had shows for 3 people including the bartender, and we've had shows for 200 people dancing and jumping and loving our sound. there's been dark lit holes in walls, and massive stage bars where shows don't start until past midnight. there's been more local beers each with its own secret taste, and no wine. 4 bands in an evening, from all corners of this nation, and beyond. punk followed by accordion, folk together with hip-hop. everyone searching. something like a shadow and that all undulating bodies pulsing in way that goes beyond hearing, reaching into the depths of feeling (where those of us who care, use ear plugs to go deeper). everyone plays. even those who don't, play. and love for sound, need for expression, late night conversations that almost capture the meaning of life then drip through your fingers as the sun rises, shooting purle, yellow and orange through the storm clouds that kept everyone at the show, never daring the thunder and lightening that is brought on by all the noise, yes noise, organized and flowing through some channels that end of up being people. we have been honored to know some amazing people, who cease to be people on stage, like we cease to be on stage, then its just sound and experience- everyone having their own which is in part to the collective, the blanket, clouds blowing storms away, and the heavy humidity of the daylight returns to rush us onto the next night, the next venue, the others finding their own way through this tangled mess of music and life.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Where the rivers meet
The town itself is a relic to times America has seen pass. the empty shells of factories, and mansions adorn the hillsides. Hillsides that not only add to the charm, (coming from a town in the flattest, lowest part of the world- this alone is highly attractive.) but also divide the city into neighborhoods which are as unique and diverse as any city can claim.
There's the University, with its cathedral of education towering higher than the catholic cathedral nearby, and a huge student body which is active in the arts as well as leading in sciences. A student body which is also active politically, looking for change.
On the other side of the city in the Mexican ward streets, the empty buildings which are rented for a song, have started to attract artists away from the over saturated epicenters of american life. The strange combination of low income families, spotted with a few high end liberal lofts, and motivated artists has created a beautiful cohesion full of small communal gardens (with more vegetables than anyone can eat), a co-op run local cafe which has neighborhood potluck with local jazz musicians and a high-school artist exhibiting her work.
In this world, where the empty space encourages anyone to do something, to start anything, and every initiative is a welcome addition the fast growing diversity which has already started here, one feels that anything is possible.
To sum up, although we were only able to be here for a short while, we cannot deny the inspiration that these wonderful people were for us. From the frozen compost (a perfect solution for city dwellers!) to the vegetable garden, we've learned and shared some amazing things. With a special thanks to Danny and Phil, and cafe Beleza, we're on way to Youngstown OH to the Cedar lounge. And we hope to see you all there.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
note: Mexican Town, the high bridge to canada, smooth concrete freeways,
and everyone should read
the chronicles from Bob Dylan
(thanks a million times jim)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Good night and Good luck
We're going to sleep now, then get up and get on the road to Detroit.
Last words: everyone should stop at hot Doug's for a hot dog. tomorrow.
Monday, July 14, 2008
We love it because the Elastic arts foundation, where we saw a really nice concert last night, is located inside a Chinese restaurant. Now that's what I call Elastic.
So we went to listen to some local music, starting with the mellow folk of Tim Lowly and ending with the electric eccentricity of Aaron Ackerson . As one can expect, it was a radical night where boys who were dressed like girls, water that tasted like beer and a bike mechanic who swore she will never fix bikes again were all mashed into one.
Before Lowly we saw two nameless folk/ dramatic song acts, both good, and both highly populated with nice looking girls. ( I specifically liked the amazingly beautiful cello player, who had a dance solo in the middle of a ballad. random, but she pulled it off.) In the middle of Lowly's set we had to leave so we can arrive on time to the town hall bar and see Ackerson. Lowly concentrated minimal folk is probably as far as can be from the mic ripping, keytar (yes, keytar) kicking and "keep god out of Canada" of Ackerson. It was a blast.
when we came back to Ethan's house and found Boo the cat lying in our bed we realized we just found yet another reason to love Chicago. yes.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Woody Guthrie says:
woody guthrie once said,
"I hate a song that makes you think that you're not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you're just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you're too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I'm out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I'm out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you're built, I'm out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quite singing my own kind of songs and too sing the kind that knocks you down still further and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your song books are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow."
Madison- Chicago and a cat with a cone
Good morning. we've been happily experimenting with some schedule twitching: going to bed at 3am and getting up at 12pm. It's going pretty smoothly, even for Thomas, who just left Ethan's apartment to go and get us some coffee. We're in Chicago. Ethan is our amazing host whom we met last night for the first time.
Madison was lovely. We had a magnificent crowd of 8 people who came to see us at the annex. It was a stormy night and Joe white played on some plastic buckets. I had a double espresso vodka. A guy with thousand dollars cash in his pocket bought 4 of our T shirts.
We had a good time.
After the gig we drove through the rain to lovely Erica's house of charms, where we slept and had coffee and saw all the gadgets her roommate Jonah is working on.
Then We were on the motorcycle again, taking off our leather jackets at any chance we got. Erica told us that the roads in Wisconsin are so good because of all the milk farms. She said they had to make roads that will allow easy milk transportation. I like that thought. and I like the roads, too.
Tonight we will be playing at Lilly's bar, but Tom just came back with some coffee, so more updates later.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Getting on the Road
But no, this is the first entry. So we're in a beautiful spot next to Luck WI (perhaps hard to believe, but if you don't believe me, google map it.) and on our way to our first road show in Madison WI tonight at the Annex. Everything seems to fit on the motorcycle, but just barely, and we're excited to be on the road!!