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  Monday July 16 
Tuesday July 17 
Wednesday July 18 
Thursday July 19 
Friday July 20 
Saturday July 21 
Sunday July 22 
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Monday July 23 
Tuesday July 24 
Wednesday July 25 
Thursday July 26 
Friday July 27 
Saturday July 28 
Sunday July 29 

Monday July 16

A long day of meetings and pre-interview interviews.  Highlights of the day: two rehearsals back to back.

SBRS rehearsal was very productive as we were rolling off of a fun, money-making evening at the Cat Hair House Concert where we raised close to $300 for the Seattle Circle project.   Major progress on two new pieces, one of which turned out to be the arrangement for Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" that TravisH had been working on without knowing it.  The second is a new piece that is based upon an old piece.  

SGC rehearsal was also very productive with the full septet present; tonight we worked primarily on the quiet pieces from our set including Sigh and a Kiss49 Notes, and MaryAn. 

Then, home, straight to bed. 

* * *

Tuesday July 17

More meetings today and homework involving next steps in the pursuit of meaningful work.  A four-hour computer problem ruined my afternoon... need to bring in a professional in the morning. 

* * *

Dinner: SteveB and LisaH with SteveE and LisaW.  Fun conversation and an exploration of the past and its effect on the present.

* * *

Added DavidLV's Quicktime movies of Greenthumb and Beehive to the music page of this site.  Absorbing some less-than-ambiguous-grief for the verbal introduction to Greenthumb.  

In the can of worms department, I was inspired to dig this out of the mailbag: 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <name withheld> 
To: SB
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 9:53 AM
Subject: You want a definition?

Thanks for posting lyrics. 

A definition of a cult: 

1. A system of religious worship. 

2. Obsessive and faddish devotion to a principle or person. 

3. A group of persons sharing such devotion; sect 

-Webster's New Riverside Dictionary 

I have been carrying around a definition of a cult that included all of this plus the important idea that one is brainwashed, coerced to the point that one cannot exercise the right to have an individual opinion, expression, or the will to take a break, or leave. 

So there is one take on the definition of a 'cult."  

One might think I would know better than to even bring this kind of thing up in public, and then mention it again here.  

One might think. 

* * *

Cheerful roving field correspondent, SandraP, reports that Tony Levin's PapaBear is selling the new BPM CD with an amazing cover.  Here is a small excerpt from the cover: 

* * *

Wednesday July 18

This just in:

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joel Palmer" 
To: "SB" 
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2001 2:06 PM
Subject: good show!

Hi, Steve,

I very much enjoyed the Roadshow's performance at the house concert Saturday night. From a technical perspective, you all really embodied (of course) those still-basic principals that Curt had worked with on at a lesson earlier in the day: firm but relaxed! Musically the songs were altogether pleasurable and as an ensemble the parts seamlessly integrated.
One standout piece was Back in NYC, the gentle thrumming of the guitars and your light, straightforward vocal delivery in such contrast to the actual words of Rael's nasty little autobiography. I have a friend who is fanatic about a Canadian outfit that recreates early Genesis shows, The Musical Box
Wondered if that was who you were referring to.

I failed to properly introduce myself Saturday, but next time I will. I'm probably over-intellectualizing, but I don't want to suck up or be seen as sucking up to the GC alumni, though I'd still like to get to know you guys! I've been participating in the Beginner's Circle since April, traveling up from Corvallis, Oregon. I appreciated your story about the cult - isn't that what the "C" in GC stands for? I have to joke about it to my friends and family who otherwise think I'm crazy to travel hundreds of miles for guitar lessons.
Best regards,
Joel Palmer

Context is everything. 

* * *

SBRS rehearsal: more refinement on two new pieces in the works and some clean up of rough spots in the current repertoire.  Much fun watching excerpts from Urgh: A Music War.  

SGC: warming up with Birds of Fire, then construction of a tentative set list for our upcoming Mr. Spots show.  Not quite the right running order, but a step in the right direction.  

* * *

A dark night.

* * *

Thursday July 19

A wonderful excerpt from Curt's diary today:

"The fact that Robert used the term “bright idea” in his diary, regarding a call to me, has caused more than a little chit-chat. Much of it betrays a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of bright ideas. A bright idea may be a bad idea, but not all bad ideas are “bright”. There is a certain quality to bright ideas. There is something genuine behind them. When we are lucky, a bright idea is just so obviously a bad idea that everyone recognizes it immediately, including the person who proposed it. I can’t tell you how often I have recognized the brightness of an idea the very moment I open my mouth and let it fly. 

The real trick about bright ideas, at least in the way that we use the term, is that they are very near to good ideas. 

One very common form, and probably the most easily identified, comes when an individual has a genuine sense of personal necessity or enthusiasm (“I need to get to a Guitar Craft course”) and inadvertently projects that need outward (“The world needs a Guitar Craft course”). Akin to this is the tendency to look at a thing or situation and see the possibilities, and then to jump without taking the necessary intermediate steps. There is a growing force in the form of the Seattle Circle nonprofit corporation, and in the face of that force possibilities present themselves. Some of them are modest. Others are pretty bold. And it was those possibilities that Robert wanted to speak about. Possibilities are real. They are tangible. We can talk about them in the present tense, and it is not an affectation. Until they can be enacted, they remain bright ideas, but they are not to be dismissed. In a sense, we propel ourselves into the future by flirting with bright ideas. That we get stung so often is not surprising."

Great stuff in here.  This is only an excerpt.  Read the whole thing. 

* * *

Perhaps we need a "GC Jargon" definition page so that visitors will have a place to study the subtleties and ironies of the words we use at the times where the irony or 'opposite meaning' is not transmitted (like in diaries, for example, or in public conversations.) 

Areas of recent confusion:
Word Dictionary Definition Common GC Use
helpful help·ful (hĕlpʹfəl) adjective;  Providing assistance; 


Engaging in an act of foisting one's supposed usefulness on a situation where help may not be required.
bright idea synonyms: intelligence, brainwave, bright idea, idea; contrivance: inspiration, brainwave, brainstorm, happy thought, bright idea, right idea, idea An idea of questionable value, driven by enthusiasm, but that may be worthy of consideration if tempered with grounded skepticism and extreme caution.

When our words take on new or ironic meanings from application within a shared  experience, we must remember that the rest of the world does not necessarily pick up on the re-definition that has occurred within the community. 

Don't even get me started on the recent aphorism debates.  

Clearly, ASCII contains no meta-data.

* * *


If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too: 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or being hated don't give way to hating, 
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 
If you can dream-and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim, 
If you can meet Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same: 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: 
If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings, 
And never breathe a word about your loss: 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools; 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
If all men count with you, but none too much: 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! 

 - Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

* * *

Great article in Salon recommended by TravisH on the music biz entitled: What's wrong with the music biz?  

An excerpt:

"Some of that money ends up in the pockets of artists, but most of it goes to Ticketmaster and concert goliath Clear Channel Entertainment, formerly known as SFX Entertainment. 

Clear Channel is busy trying to recoup the $4 billion it spent over the past few years essentially purchasing the American concert business lock, stock and barrel, snatching up concert promoters and venues across the country. Clear Channel, which runs tours by 'N Sync, U2, Destiny's Child and Janet Jackson, sold 35 million concert tickets last year. (The company is also the largest radio station owner in America, with nearly 1,200 signals nationwide.) 

Earlier this year Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays insisted the company's live entertainment division would deliver double-digit growth. Cynics wonder if that growth will come entirely from its service fees. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, a lawn ticket purchased over the phone for the upcoming Barenaked Ladies show at Clear Channel's Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif., had a face value of $14.25. Yet after add-on charges, the ticket actually cost $29.70. That's right, the service fees cost more than the actual ticket."

Travis' summary of the article: 

"You can only feed overpriced shit into the machine for so long before only red ink comes out the other end."

* * *

Friday July 20

SBRS at Starbucks, Bellevue.  A good show, despite the constant background noise.  The place kicked into gear around 9:30 as an attentive and appreciative audience showed up to bob their heads to Beehive and snap their fingers in seven to Back in NYC.  

Old friend to DGM/GC/SC/BTV, Dan Kirkdorfer also showed up after hearing some strangely familiar music pouring into Barnes and Nobel next door where he was innocently browsing.

Great to have LH, PS and SS in the front row cheerleading all evening.  Post-show: much needed dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with the group and manager.   Post-post show: some excellent feedback from the lead cheerleader. 

An evening of good work.

* * *

Speaking of media management problems, I have way too many pictures to deal with.  A few quick snapshots from the Cathair House Concert a couple of weeks ago:

mystery sleeve

rather have some money filling up my jar


* * *

Saturday July 21

Visited a street of someone else's dreams.  Then, absorbing a feeling of complete disgust as we discovered that LH lost her car radio to thieves at a Park-n-Ride.  

* * *

Sunday July 22

A day off. 

* * *


Monday July 23

Business development happening on many fronts.  

* * *

SBRS rehearsal this evening: tightening up some loose ends and then exploration of scaffolding for a new song.

I am unaware of who you are.
I am not aware of what you need.

You are unaware of who I am.
You are not aware of what I need.

SGC rehearsal: a solid run-through for our upcoming Mr. Spots repertoire this Saturday evening.  We found an excellent seating arrangement that builds on the unusual symmetries in our orchestrations.  Also, a new running order is tweaking some of our historical expectations:  

Where it Goes
King for a Day
Cultivating the Beat
49 notes
E-phrygian circulation
Birds of Fire

Sigh and a Kiss
Dm circulation
One of a Thousand Regrets
Mars Effect
Bloed Spoed
Ab circulation

Cultivating the Beat in slot #3 is challenging.  Actually, let's face it: it's all challenging, on many different levels.  After we ran the set, Jax pointed out something about her relationship with Mars Effect.  My (probably skewed) interpretation of what she explained last evening: she has difficulty playing it unless she feels like playing it; something like that.  

This is, perhaps, the most fundamental performance dilemma: how to convincingly play something if our feelings are feeling elsewhere than the music requires?

The standard GC solution: Assume the virtue. Okay, failing that, is there a plan B? 

Highlight of the evening: Bob and Chris have been tearing up the solos on Birds of Fire.  WOW!  

A NON-OPTIONAL INSTRUCTION FOR THE MASSES: Don't miss this group on Saturday night at Mr. Spots.  

* * *

Tuesday July 24

In the good-news-disguised-as-bad-news department: SBRS Kismet show Thursday evening is CANCELLED.  Seems Kismet has changed ownership and they are revamping their live music strategy.  No one in the SBRS org is too disappointed about this.  Kismet was a good stepping stone with some good people working there, but it is not the right venue for us right now.

Looking forward to more house concerts.  Also, perhaps it is time to go for booking and promoting another major show at On the Boards later this fall? 

* * *

Wednesday July 25

Happy birthday TravisH and BerniceS.  Attended two birthday celebrations today.  

* * *

Thursday July 26

Busy as a bee this week, day and night.  Juggling.

* * *

Reminder: no SBRS Kismet show this evening!  Instead, SBRS long rehearsal.  In addition to a nearly complete run-through of working material, a surprise new cover song shows up unexpectedly.  

* * *

Friday July 27

An early-ish meeting for more completion of the past. Then, more homework and business planning in preparation for the rest of the days meetings. 

* * *

Lunch at Shanghai Garden with DanK, TravisM, and CurtG.  Sharing stories about the past, present, and future of our various overlapping purposes and passions.

* * *

Late afternoon and early evening: errands and unconditional support to reduce stresses.  Evening: organizing cables in my closet.   This somehow reduces my own stress.  

Cheerfully embracing the mundane.

* * *

Saturday July 28

Early morning meeting regarding a new potential project.  Then, an afternoon in Gig Harbor celebrating the wedding of a close friend of LH.  SGC at Mr. Spots this evening.

* * *

SGC @ Spots:  Generally, a good show for a great audience.  BillF surprised everyone by flying in from LA for the show.  This septet is beginning to remind me of the power of another septet from twelve years ago.  

Seven is an excellent number of players for a GC performance team.   

* * *

Sunday July 29

A difficult day.  Not really a day "off" by any stretch of the imagination.  Evening: collapse.   

* * *

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-- Dylan Thomas

* * *