Jul 29, 2008

practice/partying hard

That party on Saturday was just absolutely tip top. So amazing in fact that we need two blog posts about it!

We rolled in at about 5pm before even most of the hosts were around and started to set up shop in the backyard. Russ, Steven, Molly and I played through some of the old favorites. If we haven't told you a thousand times already, we're gearing up to do a couple of performances in the relatively near future, so we've been running through a set list lately, but still fishing about for some new gems to add to it. All in all I think I was at the party for something like nine hours. We played music straight through till 1am with only the briefest of pauses around elevenish to run in for food. I was starving and Molly & co. had made the best ever vegetables, and I think it was Eve who made some positively first rate guacamole that had strawberries instead of tomatoes - and I still swear I tasted lavender..

But after a few minutes of stuffing myself with any food within my reach, Russ and I decided that we still just want to play music. And man, we played with everybody and for everybody. We finally met Lana who eventually returned with an incredible orangey-gold sparkling accordion, and I'm still crazy about Hilary's cello. It was great to have Vijay back on violin and towards the end of the night we even had Katie teaching us to play Anyone but You by The Moldy Peaches on ukulele. One of Noah's neighbors came by and had us try to play along with any songs he knew so he could sing. We had a big turnout for Hallelujah and did a pretty good version of Sound of Silence even though we hadn't practiced in a while. Noah, Steven, Hilary and I also performed Wouldn't It Be Nice and God Only Knows even though we'd only really gone through them once a month ago.

And people listened to us! And kept asking who our songs were by, so we kept pointing at Steven and Russ. We were competing for a while with one of the neighbors' opera on blast, but you can't really blame anyone for listening to opera at that volume. There's just something epic about it all that demands it. And another one of the folks that lives in that apartment building out back applauded us at one point. The love was just pouring out from everywhere. One kid said he'd looked us up on MySpace and had even read our blog! and came over to shake our hands! How awesome is that?! Russ and I played him Postcards to Italy since he asked if we knew any Beirut. (Thank you, good sir, if you're reading this. You are awesome. We love you.)

So yes, the party was marvelous, and we can't wait to play for you some time soon! Till then, please say hi :)

Jul 27, 2008

Mosswood Park and house party, 7/26/08

During the afternoon, Russ, Steven, Maya and Hilary played at Mosswood Park. We played "Idea," "Scenic World," "Marcher," and "Sylvia." Practice time was restricted to the number of coins we had to keep our cars from being ticketed.

Afterwards, we moved to Molly/Noah's house. We were joined by Lisa, Molly, Noah, Vijay, Lana and many more partygoers. We played most of our songs, including some we hadn't played for a while, including "Laika" and "In the Backseat." By special request, we played "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "No Woman, No Cry," "Across the Universe," "People Are Strange," and "Hotel California." Steven presented a new song, "Picture." And our cover of "Hallelujah" is sounding quite amazing these days.

Jul 19, 2008

Ohlone Park, North Berkeley

I brought some snacks to celebrate our first practice with Maya's viola and violin and Hilary's cello just like the old days - a sourdough baguette, red grapes and Annie's cashew dip. If any dip will convince people to join our band, it's Annie's. Although I think I ate most of it myself...

In any case, Maya and Hilary are both awesome and we sound really full with very nearly a string quartet. I've been fantasizing about having a cello to fill out our otherwise non-existent low end for ages. Welcome to the crew, guys!

We've never played in Ohlone Park before, but it was great. Lots of people around, but with plenty of space to spread ourselves out and make some noise. We didn't get any more Sparks offerings, but there were a couple of families who paused to listen for a bit.

Angela (and Vijay, Ciana, Russ, Noah, Devin and Lana) couldn't make it because she fractured her foot. Eek! Think good thoughts for her so she can heal and come play with us again soon! Steven, Molly, Maya and Hilary were making some good sounds, though.

Maybe the best part of today was working out the violin bit of Scenic World and playing around with that song. Such good stuff. We're definitely going to be working that one into our regular repertoire, which we will hopefully be showcasing some time in the nearish future - maybe at a park or farmer's market near you!

Jul 13, 2008

Band Practice/Party, 7/12/08

Location: Live Oak Park. Musicians: Lisa, Steven, Angela, Molly, Vijay, Devin. Songs played: "Postcards From Italy," "Mount Wroclai," "Siki Siki Baba," "After Hours," "In the Backseat," "Frankenstein," "Marcher," "Idea," "Twenty-Five." Discussed our band name, show in August.