RIP, MCA

I’m dismayed. As you may have heard, Adam Yauch of the Beasties is no longer with us. The world has lost a massive talent far too soon.

This was a hell of a guy. By all accounts, he was a kind, gentle spirit – a practicing Buddhist who devoted himself to helping others. He was an amazing songwriter, MC, director, philanthropist, producer and father – a truly exceptional human being who will be sorely missed.

Goodbye, Nathanial Hörnblowér. See you when you come back as whatever you come back as…?

Fell From an Airplane – Video Reboot


If I fell from an airplane
With no parachute or anything
Would I say, oh well, that’s it
And try to make the best
of a hopeless situation?

Flying free till I hit the ground
If there was nobody else around
Would it even make a sound?
Buddy I don’t know
I just don’t know

But it’s not such a long way to fall
When you’re holding onto someone’s hand
I hope you and I can go down together
Like a lullabye

Would I go down swinging with wild abandon
Screaming in tongues till I crash land in a field
Of flowers, sending up showers
Of petals around me?

Or accept my fate with stoic grace
A saintly smile upon my face
Knowing that some things cannot be changed
‘Cause I fell from an airplane

What was that baby doing up there?
Up in a tree fifty feet in the air?
What did you mean when you said
Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye?
Did he survive or did he die?
Did he die?

Did he did he die did he did he die, die

Show Recap – Creedence Tribute at the Sunset

Fantastic time last night! A bevy of visionary local bands gathered together in a great venue, working with unimpeachable source material for a good cause, all in front of a large, loving crowd.

Highlights were too numerous to mention, but I gotta say I haven’t seen that much guitar skill in one place, like, ever. Fogerty is a formidable axe-man, and justice was more than done as guitarist after guitarist pulled out all the double-stops with jaw dropping lixx at every turn. It was a joy to behold.

Tribute shows happen all the time in Seattle. Over the years we’ve participated in tributes to everybody from U2 to Beatles to Bowie (twice), and they consistently stand out as some of my favorite shows. Last night was no exception.

Typically, immediately after you’re invited to play a cover night, you pick the songs you want to do, usually on a first-come, first-served basis. The first ones to go – the signature crowd-pleasers – get snapped up at light speed, forcing the relative late comers to dig deeper and find the sleepers that make the show transcend a greatest-hits compilation.

The unwritten rule is to keep your choices a secret till you play. It adds an air of mystery to the proceedings. For last night’s show, this practice made for an interesting post from Megan Seling on Slog:

“…Half Acre Day play lush pop music with a vintage twist—they’ll no doubt bring out the sunny side of CCR, while alt-country singer Kim Virant’s deeper, dramatic voice would sound perfect on something like “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” Of course, we don’t know who’s singing what—the only way to find out is to show up.”

Megan’s educated guess was solid – I might’ve made the same one if I didn’t have the inside scoop. But it turns out we did “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” along with “I Put a Spell On You” (itself a CCR cover of an awesomely disturbing Screamin’ Jay Hawkins tune) and “Ramble Tamble,” an epic stomper about getting the fuck out cause this place sucks. Kim, on the other hand, kicked particular ass with “Proud Mary,” one of CCR’s more joyous tunes. So yeah… you never know, indeed.

Kudos are due to Gary Reynolds of Electrokitty Studios for putting this show together in spectacular fashion. All this was a benefit for MusiCares, an organization that provides financial assistance for musicians without health insurance.

Stellar work all around, and we’re thrilled to have been a part of it.

Port Townsend Show Just Added Friday, June 8th

Half Acre Day is excited to be spending the weekend of June 8th-10th filming a music video AND to be playing at the Undertown in Port Townsend.
We play the Undertown on Friday, June 8th so come one, come all to beautiful Port Townsend. With it’s sweet salt water air, the fine choices of Undertown’s libation selection, and the divine musical vibes of Half Acre Day, you’re guaranteed to whet at least 3 of your 5 essential senses. It’ll be like a sensory trifecta.

Process, Part II – Proceeding

I’ve been going on about my creative process as it pertains to the band lately, and where ideas come from and how they evolve. I harbor no delusions that hordes of HAD fans are clamoring to know where our ideas come from and where they’re going (though perhaps I should check my email again), but I know I sure as hell find it fascinating.

Anyway, we’ve recently been featuring the new video (an awesome piece of found-art storytelling from our own Dusty Haze) for our 2011 single “Maribelle.” This song serves as a good example of all this idea generation stuff. One night last spring, I picked up a guitar and, after the requisite, absent noodling, spontaneously sang a chorus I’d never heard before, much less sung. In that somewhat eerie moment, it came out pretty much the same as it is now.

"Maribelle" by Matt K.That same night, I got this image in my head, and over the next few weeks, obsessed over the song and drawing this monstrosity on a six-foot tall piece of heavy paper duct taped to the wall of my garage, titling it (what else?) “Maribelle.”

Mind you, I’m not trying to say that I somehow became a magical conduit for some kind of multimedia masterpiece here. I’m actually lousy at gauging how my efforts might hit others’ eyes/ears, and every day I see and hear things that make me envious and incredulous of their creators (often my bandmates). I guess it’s that I look at the Maribelle thing as artistically successful because it reveals something significant to me – something of which I was previously unaware – all without the application of deadly force (which has killed more than one infant idea for me over the years). Of course, it sure don’t hurt that those aforementioned bandmates are so integral to bringing every song to life.

I suppose I’m saying that, for all my talk about process, I still don’t know where a lot of my ideas come from. I know where my shitty ideas come from, i.e. usually laboriously pried from my own stubborn cerebral cortex. But the ideas I like – the all-too-rare ones that seem to cut to the jelly-filled center of things – I don’t really know. Like I said, they’re all scribbled in these battered sketchbooks, but I rarely seem to remember the circumstances under which they were scribbled, and often don’t remember scribbling them at all.

I have to wonder if, like matter and energy, art and ideas can be neither created nor destroyed… if every idea, good or bad, has always existed and always will… if they’re just floating there for the taking, provided you’re open to them. My favorite (and rarest) moments as a songwriter have been the times I’m playing something and listening to it – doing both for the first time, as though I was someone else saying to me, “hey, tell me what you think of this…”

I guess all this is hardly a revolutionary notion, but – as a friend of mine is fond of saying – I like to think about stuff sometimes.

Process, Process

I keep these sketchbooks. I’ve been doing it fairly religiously for about fifteen years, and I wish like hell I’d started sooner. I carry one with me at all times, in case I get THE IDEA. Or an idea. Or even a non-idea.

I used to like drawing stuff from Awake magazine, that hip publication for teens published by the Jehova’s Witnesses. The photography was delightfully strange to me, and the subject matter always cracked me up. Like this poor fellow… “For the social phobic, normal interactions become a nightmarish ordeal,” explained Awake.

In the beginning, I did a lot more drawing… all these cross-hatchy, messy bits of half-connected thoughts. I wanted to be Robert Crumb, minus the T&A and incessant masturbating. I tried my hand at comic strips and panels and odd characters. I kept it next to the bed so that if I woke from weird dream, I could write it down. Over the years, the words started overtaking the pages, for better or worse. A lot of it is nonsense. At some point I discovered automatic writing, where you just write down whatever comes into your head, no matter how insipid. If I was lucky, I’d get all the stupid crap out of the way, and meaningful things would start to emerge, with no more effort than it took to come up with the stupid stuff.

I found this bit of psychosis the other day. I don’t really remember writing it, but I liked it. So I thought I’d share it here:

I have an ant farm. They go about their business everyday, moving bits of soil to and fro. But they have problems, believe you me. Often ants disagree or suffer inner turmoil. When that happens, they pray to me. I try to answer every prayer but there are a lot of them. Anyway, to the ants, I am a god. To those that please me, I show mercy. Those that do not anger me and suffer my wrath.

Sometimes I pick an ant out and put him on my desk. He crawls about, frightened and confused, no knowing what to do. “Silence!” I boom, “Your time has come! What do you have to say for yourself?” If his answer is satisfactory, I place him in a large, clean terrarium, where he will live forever munching on tall, green plants. If his answer is unsatisfactory, I place him in a smaller terrarium, with harsh cement all across the bottom. I shine a hot sunlamp down on the ants in this terrarium, and they have nowhere to hide from the ravenous wasps that hunt them tirelessly. They will cry out to me for help but I will not listen. They should have thought of that before they pissed me off.

Don’t be alarmed. I don’t really have an ant farm, for obvious reasons. I do however, have two children.

Virtually all of the lyrics I’ve written from all of our albums and singles exist in some form in these books, along with the lyrics to songs yet to be made. Since we’re blogging here, I thought It’d be fun to periodically post some pages and bits from these books, and share a bit of our process with those that might be interested. There’s plenty more insipidity where this came from.

Spankin’ New Website!

I figured Easter Sunday’s a great day to launch our new website. And to get back into the blogosphere I’ve been so actively ignoring since November. It’s not that I’m lazy, or that the band has been dormant by any means. We’ve played a bunch of cool shows at places like the Skylark and Columbia City Theater and composed an instrumental track for an upcoming documentary, but you wouldn’t know that looking at our left-for-dead blog. No es bueno. It’s because I’m lazy.

But all that changes now. This site is all souped up to make blogging much easier and more pleasurable, and this time we’re all gonna be jumping in the pool.

So here it is! Let us know whatcha think. I’m gonna go find me some eggs.

HAD Vies for Top Geek Band at Showbox SODO on 11/1/11


Remember that time Mozilla used our song “Multiply” as part of their presentation at the Google I/O Conference? *snort of derision* Kid’s stuff, for babies!

At 8pm on the evening of November 1, the Seattle Interactive Conference – a mecca for socially awkward extroverts far and wide, will be pitting the biggest music nerds in Seatown against one another in the first ever Battle of the Geek Bands at the venerable Showbox SODO. Through an arcane selection process known only to this shadowy organization of geeks, Half Acre Day, along with four other local bands whose members all have toilet paper trailing from the soles of their shoes, have been selected as the aforementioned battle-nerds.

Chosen by such local luminaries as big-butt-liker/non-liar Sir Mix-a-Lot and Chris Ballew and Jason Finn of the Presidents of the United States of America, the winner of this competition will receive a trophy (we envision something in lucite), bragging rights and an as-yet-unspecified Cash Prize (we envision something in the three-figure range… yeah, that’s right… that’s THREE).

Then, at the stroke of 11 on 11/1/11, the Presidents themselves take the stage for their special brand of rollicking, good-time rock ‘n’ roll! It’s all enough to make you wanna cancel your Wizards Club meeting.

Wanna come check this out? For free? We can help you with that – we know people. Just let us know via your preferred communication medium. But you better hurry, space is limited… and there are a LOT of geeks in this town.