Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicken Finds

Our three chickens usually have the run of the back yard and they love digging around for bugs and worms. It's what they do all day really. Since we've had them, it's been kind of nuts seeing how much broken glass and random trash we have buried in our yard. One neighbor actually said our neighborhood used to be a landfill way back when--maybe that's the problem.

Sometimes the chicken's find really rad things like this Dick Tracy badge:

Sometimes the finds aren't so appealing. Last week they dug up a dirty old syringe in one of the flower beds! Thankfully, it was clearly old and not the recent refuse of some neighborhood drug addict. Still disgusting.


Fun Yeti concert

Our friend John Isaacson posted a Feedback of the Fun Yeti concert we went to:

I'm so glad Fun Yeti has started playing again. It really was a fun night.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Update No. 4: Zola Jesus!

I got into the band Zola Jesus because its leader, Nika Roza is in Former Ghosts. My friend Nick and I saw her at the Holocene when she came to town 7-25-10 and I have been dying to mention this amazing concert experience.

I bought the excellent new Zola Jesus Stridulum EP some weeks before the show and so felt fairly prepared.

Zola Jesus makes beautiful, dark, gothy, synth pop. According to her various internet bios, Nika studied opera as a teen, and I think it really shows. I've seen numerous great singers but seldom have had the chance to see someone just belt it on stage.

Luckily, they played all six of the songs I new, plus three amazing others. The band consisted of just Nika and her bandmate, who manned the programming and keyboards. Despite the skeleton crew, Nika had such great stage presence she filled the room, despite her tiny stature.

The concert was very short but Nick and I had no regrets. The music and performance was so emotional we still felt moved afterwards. (***SPOILER ALERT***) She closed her set with the last song on Stridulum "Manifest Destiny." All evening it seemed like Nika had some pent up energy she was dying to release. During this last track she stomped around stage. She kicked a chair over. She grabbed a beer bottle and climbed down into the audience, pushing them away with her body. Finally on the last note of the song she slammed the bottle down on the stage, shattering it to a "million" pieces. In a sense it was a basic sort of stunt, but in the context of the night it felt like an awesome emotional release.

For some reason I was compelled to draw this cartoon after the show:

Anyhow, I was thrilled to learn that Zola Jesus are coming back to town. They'll be playing the Holocene again on September 24th and this time they're bringing a full band. I can't wait to see the show!

Incidentally, I have since bought the 2009 Zola Jesus LP The Spoils and it's also quite good. It's a lot less accessible than their recent material however, making it sometimes better and sometimes worse. They have a new EP coming out October 12:

Here's a video.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Awesome weekend

This Labor Day weekend was so busy for us, but for once it wasn't stressful. The weekend started out with a bang. Friday was Allie's and my 5th year wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going with our friends Graham and Tracy to see Pavement play live at the Edgefield!! We've been fans of Pavement since before their break-up but were never able to see them live--thankfully they've reuinited for one last tour. The show was totally awesome. They opened it with "Gold Soundz," voted by Pitchfork that same day as best song of the 90s. Then it was "Shady Lane," then "Silent Kit," then classic to classic. An amazing night. Here's some video of the night taken by wessenbk and posted to youtube:

We exchanged presents after the show--Allie got me an awesome beer making kit, and my very own copy of my new favorite game Dominion, a strategy based card game my friends and I have been addicted to. Then I stayed up until 1:15 am playing this new Nintendo DS Korg Synthesizer "game" I got.

Saturday we went to the wedding of our awesome friends Theo and Heather. It was another great night with delicious food and good friends. Theo in particular looked completely blissed out by the experience.

Sunday I went to the penultimate Portland Beavers (AAA baseball) game with friends Gariet and Orly. They beat the Las Vegas 51s 6-2, coming off of two terrible losses. The three of us met up with Allie and she made us all a delicious meal of banana pancakes.

Monday we went to another baseball game, the last Beavers game ever. It felt like an historic day and the Beavers did great, winning 6-5 in a dramatic game. We stayed late to run the bases.

Here's the Anniversary card drawing I made for Allie, I actually altered the t-shirt I'm wearing after making this scan, but it's basically the same.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zine Symposium 2010

This last weekend was the annual Portland Zine Symposium and Allie and I tabled there with Guapo for the fourth year in a row. Our experience really began days earlier when we busted our butts finishing zines for the event, as well as reprinting some of our old zines. We also spent a lot of time with good friends Gariet and Orly, helping Orly finish her zine. Friday night we four stayed up until 4am Saturday morning finishing Allie and Orly's zines. It was epic. We started day one of the symposium on only three and a half hours of sleep.

Luckily, the excitement of seeing all our Portland cartoonist and zinester friends and trading our new zines for their new zines, really kept us going. I felt tired but happy all day. Allie had two, and I had four zines for sale. This was only our second year selling our zines. Having more selection really helped sales which in turn made me happy about my zines. Last year I debuted Song Zine #1 and Macky Zine. SZ#1 didn't sell at all and Macky sold less than 10 copies. I felt disappointed. This year, I had 4 and a half different zines. Macky Zine still only sold three copies, but I felt great because my combined sales were 24 zines! SZ#1 had sold zero copies after a year on the Guapo shelves. Song Zine #2 had sold zero copies since hitting the Guapo shelves in February of this year. At the symposium I sold 5 Song Zines! Long story short is that we felt very successful and happy to get our stuff out into the world. Guapo made a satisfying amount of money and we made $104 off of our personal zines.

Here's a picture of Allie and me at our table, taken by zinester and scooterist Karen G.:

Allie's latest zine is She's So Unusual #2 and is about Joan Crawford. My latest zine is called Pet Cemetery: You Were Loved and has 17 obituaries/profiles of all the dead pets I've owned. I made a cheap black and white version of the zine for $2.00 and an expensive color version for $6.00. I wanted to print all the copies in color but couldn't afford the printing cost. Our sales were helped by the fact that the amazing Multnomah County Library bought 6 copies each of our two new zines as well as 6 more of Allie's She's So Unusual #1 (about Cyndi Lauper). They bought Gariet's awesome diary comic Don't Stop Me Now #1 and Orly's hilarious autobio zine Backstage Past #1, so look for all of those soon.

The Symposium ended Sunday and afterwards we went to Backspace for the closing part, where we saw Fun Yeti kick out the jams (band members are friends Gariet, Orly, Jesse, and Shea).

It was such a fun weekend, I can't wait for next year. The event inspired me to get it together and pump out more zines, especially the Beach Boys series I've been struggling with for the last couple years.