New Video – Pythagoras Switch

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“Pythagoras Switch” was inspired by and created for the newly completed sci-fi epic Project London, an utterly unique, globally crowd-sourced movie that will – so it is said – eat your planet. Check out their Kickstarter and nab your copy, along with the graphic novel, prequel novella, movie art and of course the soundtrack album, which contains a whole bunch of HAD tunes, including this exclusive track.

Pythagoras Switch is also now available at iTunes, Amazon and other fine retailers.

Lyrics:

A twist of the dial, a turn of the screw
For traveling through time, for lacing up your shoe
For crunching all these numbers and triggering a nuclear reaction

A pull of the lever, a turn of the key
It starts whistling Ulysses just as sweet as you please
putting all the little microprocessors to sleep yeah
This contraption

10,000 fireflies gave their tiny little lives
To illuminate the great revolution
21 guns in the Arizona sun gonna shine

Is it gonna play us like a video game?
Gonna run us over like a southbound train?
Don’t know what to make of it can’t explain
Can’t explain it

Are they using it for measuring the weather in space?
Removing all the bothersome portions of your face?
Or to devastate the nation yeah lay it all to waste
In half a second?

An American invention built with Japanese parts
It works underwater, it glows in the dark
You can put it all together but you can’t take it apart yeah
This contraption

10,000 fireflies gave their tiny little lives
To illuminate the great revolution
21 guns in the Arizona sun gonna shine

Is it gonna play us like a video game?
Gonna run us over like a southbound train?
Don’t know what to make of it can’t explain
Can’t explain it

Music, sweet music, there was music everywhere!

I got invited to the Gregory Alan Isakov show at the Triple Door last night and went having never heard of him or any of his music. I went to hang with my good friend and because I trust his taste in music. Plus, it’s the Triple Door – can’t go wrong there really. I am so very glad I got to go.

Jeffrey Foucault opened, he and his guitar. His performance alone was worth the trip. He’s a soulful cowboy from western Mass. Great voice and great pickin’.

I now know Gregory Alan Isakov is a South African-American singer-songwriter from Colorado, by way of Johannesburg and Philadelphia. His rustic-folksy-Dylanesque songs were beautifully performed on cello, violin, drums and Gregory’s guitar. All were excellent players and have an obvious kinship.

I found myself inspired and wishing I could slip up on stage – not even to play, really – just to be in the middle of the sounds, to absorb it more fully. We were a mere 10 ft from the stage. I could have taken a few small steps and been lost.

Song ideas, paintings and hobo vacations were my daydreams while listening. A sign of a very good show in my book. I miss making music and am very much looking forward to getting back in the studio with the boys of Half Acre Day.

Busking in Ballard

Today we went to the Ballard Market to do a little street performancin’. A gas, that was. The rain stayed pretty much away and we played for as long as my voice held out. I think my lymph nodes are swollen. Do these look swollen to you guys? [picture removed by administrator]

Anyway, we in HAD love the Busk. We just strip everything down to the minimum. Marty and I have our flat-tops and capos, MC has his acoustic bass, Paul carries his mandolin, a flute, a saw and the one clamp-on tuner we all pass around. We all have built-in vocal cords.

It’s Dusty, however, who has the real thing going on. Just a hi hat, snare, a small crash cymbal and various little clinks and clunks. He carries some of this in a beige suitcase, which he uses for the kick drum. He plays the whole thing with brushes. It sounds perfect and looks perfect. In fact, today Dusty proudly displayed the initials “HAD” on the front of the suitcase, carefully applied using strips of electrical tape, giving the letters this Irony Maiden aura. He said he was up all night doing this, but MC and I didn’t believe him.

We’re thinking about taking this busking thing up a notch. With basically a full acoustic band going, if you want anyone to hear you, you gotta sing really loud. Since none of us is a particularly loud singer, but we kind of like the idea of remaining truly unplugged, we’re thinking some kind megaphone-based vocal amplification system. We’ve been talking this over, and the image forming in my head is ridiculously awesome. Like Dr. Seuss meets Dr. Who.

So we played all the HAD tunes we could pull from our heads (we forgot the list in the car, wouldn’t you know it). Amazingly, we collectively remembered everything in our current live rotation. Everything, that is, except for our old paranoia anthem “Alias,” which we always forget for some reason – probably some kind of memory-erasing experiment by the CIA.

Still, it turned out real good, all in all. CDs went away, people were kind and generous and we made a whole bunch of super cool new friends.

Typical of us, we didn’t take a single picture. But there was a generous fellow with really expensive-looking camera taking some snaps… I didn’t catch his name, but if you’re out there, my friend, and you’d care to share some of those shots with us, please let us know!

Show Recap – Bombs Away Cafe in Corvallis, OR

Things didn’t look good when we rolled up to the venue last night. For starters, looks like Bombs Away is in the middle of a major rebranding. As a result, the cool, edgy look of their website was belied by signage that looks like it was conceived in the coke-fueled throes of 1984. But hey, baby steps. The tagline on the sign said “A Funky Tacqueria.” We all agreed that Bombs Away is not the best name for a cafe serving this type of cuisine, though it’s worth pointing out that the food was sublime, and even with my rather sensitive digestive system, there was no call to arm the emergency torpedoes. I’m sure you’re all relieved. Would’ve added a level of morbid interest to the show, though.

Sign in CorvallisQuick tangent: signage in general in Corvallis is lacking. I’m not sure how you miss a typo like the one on the left, but this one must’ve been made around quitting time, what with that inexplicable capital “O” in “COrvallis.”

Because as a teenager I was convicted of stealing a much smaller green street-corner sign (a great embarrassing story I should tell you sometime), I have an estimated figure in mind as to the cost of a sign like this. Suffice to say it’s enough for the city to decide that remaking the sign would be an unpopular burden on taxpayers.

"SORRY" signBut I digress. Actually, I’m not quite done digressing.This was the prominent welcome on the door of the place next door to Bombs Away. I think if you’re going to establish a business relationship with foot traffic, you should always start the conversation with an all-caps, meticulously applied and permanent apology. Clearly they have no intention of accepting cards in the near future. And they’re probably not really sorry. Then again, Corvallis is a college town. I guess I might not accept their cards, either.

Oddly enough, the apologetic welcome was repeated when we arrived at the venue. The absent owner, who booked us the show and currently resides in New Mexico, sent his apologies for booking us on a night that was ostensibly doomed from the start. It didn’t sound good: a lot of kids skipped town that day to go home and see Mom, and the venue had had a huge blowout the night before, historically a harbinger of a slow night after. All this and the fact that Corvallis had no idea who we are, save for a few months in rotation on the college station – at least a year ago.

So there it was… We were to be the proverbial tree falling in the forest for the evening. When we started the first set, the room was peopled only with the staff and the band. But hey, HAD are pros, man. We came to do a job and had an agreed-upon guarantee to earn. We launched it like we were playing for a roomful of adoring fans.

Amazingly, it paid off… or something did. We slowly gained a respectable audience throughout the evening until the dance floor was jumpin’, everyone jitterbuggin’ like the dickens (isn’t that how the kids say it nowadays?), and all of us having a damn good time. All in all, a successful gig when we least expected it.

Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the KOA, designated kampfire time had expired, seriously crippling our man-bonding for the evening. After a well-earned, lentern-lit beer, we turned in.

Now, our whirlwind 30-hour tour over, we’re back home where the babies are cryin’, and that’s just fine.

Kampout

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We made it to the Albany, OR KOA. We’re really roughing it here, in a site way in the back, with no power and much greater susceptibility to werewolf attacks than those RVs over there. Kandy Kampers.

On the way here, we stopped a a Dairy Queen in Canby at my behest, citing my now two days gone birthday as the impetus for going about six miles put of the way. I have no regrets. The dairy queen was very good.

So yeah! Gonna kill a few hours here, then off to Bombs Away to kill it there. :D

Busted in Portland!

20120512-143500.jpgWe are officially one of those unsavory traveling musician troupes who come Rollin into town only to get rolled out by the authorities. Park rangers came and shut us down, issuing a written warning about conducting business on park grounds. We were prepared for that. Because its Portland.

On to Corvallis!

Road Trippin’!

Tomorrow AM we hit it for Corvallis, OR! Playing a two-hour set at Bombs Away Cafe on Saturday night. We hear tell this is a great venue. Looking forward to some seriously unstoppable juggernautin’!

The weather is supposed to be B-U-T-full! We’re stopping off in Portland to busk at the market. That’s where the real dough is. When the weather is good we move tons more CDs and get more bread than we ever see at a club show, where people tend to blow all their cash on booze, hookers and/or French fries.

After the show we’re retiring to our KOA digs a few miles away. Kamping is kool. We cook meat and swap stories and play music ’round the fire and toast marshmallows and cry together. We synchronize our manstrual periods and thus strengthen the bonds that bind us lo these many years.

I’m bringing a camera and I’m bloody well gonna use it. We’ll document our Van Adventure as it happens, at least as much as internet access will allow.

Till then!