Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rescue piano

Today I worked on a piano that my customer found abandoned at the curb. (Not the one above.) After only two and a half hours, I had it working and in tune with itself (though a half step flat from the universe). Hooray!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Child Shall Lead Them

Today I watched part of A Child Shall Lead Them, Dave MacDonald's mini-revue which I'll be playing three performances of. It features Elaine Lord, the self-proclaimed "greatest drummer in the world"! (She is actually pretty great, having played on Broadway and all over the country.)

More Goat Roast pictures

Goat Roast T-shirt

At the Goat Roast, Howard Koons provided fabric pens to color the design. Several people added flames under the goat.
People wore nametags that stated where and when they served in the Peace Corps. This guy's nametag said
Name: LUKE
Years: 2009-2014 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Deja vroom

A sports car rally started in front of Espresso Metro today. The smell of some of the cars reminded me of the Jaguar that Jon had in high school.  Hal reminisced about a Volvo and MG that he used to have. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sacramento Bagel Boys is back!

It has new owners but the same product. Please go buy some of their bagels.
They are on Folsom near 65th Street. Right next door to Giovanni's Pizza which is also excellent (but in no danger of closing).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Buddy Harpham tribute

Today I played at the Elks Lodge for Buddy Harpham's tribute concert. A truly once-in-a-lifetime congregation. I also met Buddy's current girlfriend, the famous Dolores of "Frank and Dolores' Dance and Accordion Studio", which I used to drive by all the time. Dolores taught Elaine Lord to dance, and Frank taught her the accordion. 

The final Goat Roast design

...with additional color and typography from Howard Koons, the host.
His wife will be silkscreening the design on T shirts that people bring.

Scooter club at Espresso Metro

A scooter club met at Espresso Metro (for a cigarette break, apparently) before roaring off somewhere. 
Joan greeted me with her usual "Hello, Mark Stivers." I commented that she always calls me by my full name while I don't even know her last name. After she left, Paul Basye explained to me that she had had her name legally changed to "Joan."  Her driver's license has her down as just "Joan." 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Video at Macau

Our Peace Corps group went to the Macau restaurant this month which is about a mile from our house. They have Portuguese/Chinese food. A lot of deep-fried organ meats, but you can also get fresh seafood at bargain prices. 

MIke Nelson

Today I rehearsed with Mike Nelson for a set we are going to do at the Fox & Goose on May 14. We are going to have guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard plus two women singing backup. It's all his original songs.  Should be good!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm in the Humor Times

I finally got a cartoon (no idea which one) in the Humor Times, a Sacramento publication openly based on Funny Times, the Cleveland paper that has been publishing me for years.  It used to be a freebie, but I think it is now available by subscription only. 

This is from the Puddingstone website



        Rich O'Day (seen on the left behind me) is a composer who wanted to have several of his songs recorded. He has a fine baby grand piano in his living room, so it was decided that we would do the session at his home. I arrived at 10AM for the 12 noon session and set up the mobile recording rig. The musicians arrived and began running through the songs. The players were; Mark Stivers (piano) Valerie Marston (vocals) Ron Jones (drums) and Shelley Denny (bass) The arrangement for the first song was discussed, worked out and we would began recording. We worked through and recorded three songs in just two hours.  Valerie will come to the studio for a vocal session on Wednesday evening (as we had decided to have her just record scratch vocals) and I will mix and master the tracks soon after. It was a delightful day and we all enjoyed ourselves at the in-home session. In many instances, I have found that to record in someone's home yields very good tracks as the atmosphere is always very relaxed. Here is a rough mix.     3-30-09

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Gibson/Baldwin Les Paul piano

It has guitar pegs for fallboard knobs, except that someone stole four of them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The phone pool at Trader Joe's

I went to Trader Joe's today and at the checkout, the cashier said the employees had a pool on how many people were going to call and ask if they were open (it being Easter). He bet on 77 but thought that would be low. It was only 10 and already 23 people had called. The woman in front of me said, "I'm going to go home and call the store." The cashier said, "Maybe I should call up one of the other stores."

The Class

We went to see The Class at the Tower Theatre yesterday. I expected it to be thought-provoking, but I didn't expect it to be so entertaining and funny. Every teacher, parent, and teenager should see it. It got a 92 out of 100 on Metacritic; read the reviews here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Calling up the past

This phone booth from 1968 was part of an art project. It still has the 1968 phone book in it so if you grew up in Sacramento you can look up your dead relatives.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A nice poster at Espresso Metro

Marking his territory

Someone left his underwear, along with a black sock, in the ground cover on the north side of our front yard. Definitely not mine.
It reminds me when during my semester in Rome, one of my classmates used to find handkerchiefs on street corners that men had masturbated into, along with the pornography they used. He would wash the handkerchiefs and use them in collages, which he called "Masculine Napkins."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Garage indicator in my customer's house

This tiki mask has two red lights in the eyes which indicate when the two garage doors (hidden from the front hall) are open (off) or closed (on). Clever!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pruning the orange tree

I pruned back the orange tree, trying only to cut what was above the roof and the walkway. There's an enormous green pile in the gutter now, though the tree looks pretty much the same. 

Tiniest cymbal ever

Friday, April 03, 2009

Union Jack

At the Fox & Goose pub, you can pick up the expatriate tabloid Union Jack. It makes Great Britain seem like a small town in Vermont.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Old Japanese arrangements

Today the Ron Davis band played some arrangements that were written in Japan in 1960. This one is for the old Gershwin tune "Sambody Lover Me."