cf etiquette special: requests

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under what circumstances are requests acceptable?

legendary jim ruiz
: requests are always acceptable because if you say “what do you guys want to hear?” you will get 7 different answers and you can just play what you want. it is kind of meaningless, because if you wait long enough, eventually someone will request something you want or remember how to play.

carrie sleater-kinney: I suppose they are always acceptable, whether or not they will get granted is another issue. we seem to get a lot of birthday requests, as if being born on that day gives one the inherent right to have a song played especially for them. I always feel like we are playing on a cruise ship or in a hotel lounge when we cater to requests. every time I say “this next number goes out to…..” I see my future flash before my eyes.

john true love always: requests are always acceptable in the realm of “popular music.” aren’t you lucky if people even know the name of one of your crappy songs?

sam quasi: half the time the requests are already on the set list anyway, so go ahead & scream it out. then there’s the person who screams out the most obscure song in the catalog, to show off the arcanity of their knowledge. that’s fine too.

rob tender trap: it’s not very nice, because it’s nearly always for a song you’re going to play anyway, or for a song that you really didn’t want in the setlist.

stuart moxham: not something I’ve ever had to deal with, thankfully, as I can’t remember much beyond the current set. it would be nice to know that anyone actually knew your stuff. ymg always had exactly the same set because the drum machine was on a tape. even so someone had to remind us what was next once….

john phosphene: if the request is for a much loved song, then fine. if the request is “get off: you’re crap!”, that might be different…

james +/- versus: requests are always acceptable if they are requests for your music. but when people request covers, geez louise that curdles my milk.

alan low: we usually welcome requests, but it’s nice to get through maybe a half dozen songs before people ask.

jennifer o’connor: acceptable. I don’t think that means the musician will play the song necessarily but it’s cool that someone likes it enough to ask for it to be played.

daniel handler: people who shout requests at me should understand that I’m not actually a member of the magnetic fields and so I have no decision-making power, although sometimes I also would like to hear “100,000 fireflies.”

claudia the magnetic fields: in our group there is no circumstance in which it’s acceptable.

jeff aden: they are acceptable. the band can just say “no” if they don’t wanna play something. it’s a little annoying, but you’re not gonna be able to keep lameness out of a rock venue crowded with drunk people.

clarissa cf: if it’s a song that the artist might reasonably be expected to know and be willing to play, absolutely — those can work out really well. joke requests suck, as do repeatedly bellowed demands when you know full well we heard you the first time.

ld flare: if you’re a really old has-been on a “greatest hits” package tour, perhaps, and some devout fan pleads for an obscure b-side from your italian-only ep or something… otherwise, I think not.

mike yesenosky: if the request is one of your songs or if you’re a cover band, I see no problem with it. if someone asks for another band’s music and you’re an original band, not only is the audience member rude, but you should probably look in the mirror and figure out how to make your own material more interesting.

robert tono-bungay: where people have spontaneously yelled out for songs my band has written, I’ve been very, very pleased by that. I do it myself from time to time so to me it’s ok. it’s also acceptable if you are yo la tengo, and it’s new-wave karaoke night.

david huon/driving past: requests are fine, but not requests for bullshit we hate.

ben town and country: they are always acceptable—whether the band is going to be willing to oblige the request is the real question.

 

 

cf etiquette poll: the guest list

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in what circumstances do you feel it’s okay to ask to be on a friend’s band’s guest list?

claudia the magnetic fields: dating them helps. second best is knowing that they don’t have too many people on the list already. after that, you should be very polite in asking and prepared to pay.

liz clayton: I have small means, and thus, little shame.

james +/- versus: 1. you’re poor and a good friend. 2. you don’t ask every time. 3. you helped them out in some way. 4. you’re poor.

matt shinkansen: guest-lists are un-socialist. everyone should pay.

mike yesenosky: I think you should wait until it’s offered. are you really supporting the band if you won’t pay to see them? I guess the only time it’s ok to ask is if you can’t afford to go and you know they will be allowed a large list. you know, you could offer to help if you really want to not pay. bands could always use someone to load equipment or sell merch.

carrie sleater-kinney: I ask to be on if I have repeatedly put them our guest list or if the show is sold out. I don’t ask if it’s a benefit or if my friends are on tour.

daniel handler: if I’m broke and they’re really my friends.

jennifer o’connor: I always try to pay if possible, because I think it’s important to support working musicians you like in a monetary way so they can continue to do what they do…especially if they are your friends.

david huon/driving past: it’s good anytime, because they want you there but they don’t want you to pay. I’d put the world on my guest list, if I could. if only I could.

robert tono-bungay: under the circumstance that I desperately must get in, I’m feeling brazen enough to ask, and that I have an aching need to be able to lord this singular gift of favor over everyone else at the door who’s patiently waiting on line to pay. or, if it’s any show at the bowery ballroom.

lisa cf: if you see that person’s band quite a bit and usually pay, then it’s fine to ask for a freebie. or if you’ve done them a favor recently.

isaac cf: it’s always ok, I didn’t spend the last 15 years languishing in indie squalor and subsisting on instant ramen so I can pay to see quasi. that’s right janet, I’m talking to you!

andrew eggs / talk it: I try to stay off guest lists unless I’m working or I don’t want to see the band in the first place. I usually ask my friends to take me off their lists. unless they get big, at which point all bets are off. watch your deli tray, too! me hungry!

clarissa cf: I have a job; I can pay my way. if they offer, I’ll say yes.but it is not nice to ask for a present.

jeff aden: you know, I used to be really insecure about asking to be on the guestlist. then I realized that I never get mad at people who ask to be on our list, so I’ve sort of gotten over it. if they don’t have room, they’ll say no. but it’s not like they’ll be pissed at you for asking.

dickon fosca: if it’s a small gig, the band have day jobs and the door price is cheaper than buying a couple of drinks, I think it’s fair enough to pay one’s way in. if the show is a big venue and the band are drinking nectar from the navels of brewer street rent boys between songs, I only go if I can get in free. basic robin hood tactics, really. if the show is sold out and the only way of getting in is by being on the list, then that’s fair enough too.

terry dot dash: I usually just say “look, you know I’m there for you… you know I’m out there flyin’ the flag for you guys 24-7 so how ’bout it? what’s it’s gonna take to get my name on that list? and while we’re on the subject, what dy’a think about a plus-one scenario? c’mon, don’t put me on there all by my lonesome — I got needs.”

stuart moxham: any. also always insist on free copies of new records if they have the need to tell you of them!

don smith: if it’s a local band, it’s not ok to ask to get put on the band’s guest list in most cases. the only cases where this is not true are if financial disasters preclude this or if the band owes you money. otherwise it’s up to the band to invite you on their list — it’s their list and their decision. if you have an interview with a touring band then you can ask them for plus ones. if you have an interview with a local band then you should bring them a gift rather than asking to get into their show. if you are assigned the interview by your editor then you can ask the band for a guest list, even if they are local, by explaining that it’s your editor’s idea. under no circumstances are you ever allowed to ask to get on the band’s guest list for the purpose of freelance photography. if the band is from out of town and their label has more than one paid employee you are allowed to ask the band’s label for anything, including posters and advance cassettes. if you are planning to bootleg the show, meticulously write down the songs played, take pictures and think about the show for days afterward you are permitted to ask to get on the guest list and ask the singer for a kiss. the band in turn, is allowed to press charges.

ld flare: I don’t usually—as a writer I’d rather just call the club or the pr people.

tracy dreamy: most of the time I am organizing the gig… and when I’m not, I don’t feel too bad about asking. if I feel it’s not right then I buy the ticket or I don’t go

Photograph: gail o

cf etiquette special: chatting during the opening act

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if you go to see a band in a small space, and the opening act is boring, is it okay to chat?

jennifer o’connor: no.

don smith: I still remember a drunken kelly young from death worm radio yelling at the great plains when they played with beat happening at d.c. space to shut the hell up when the aging replacements-era indie rockers tried to make a go of it about 18 months after their last point of relevancy. the crowd was talking amongst themselves and the band clearly was making no impact on them, but at that heckling comment they seemed really hurt and confused, barely able to muster “what is this, new york?” they quickly played “why do punk rock guys go out with new wave girls” and left the stage. in the end I felt really sad for them, even if they had totally missed the boat musically and bored us to tears. up until that point I had never considered that the band wasn’t onstage in a cone of silence, unaffected by the audience’s reaction. but still, they were doing material appropriate for 1986 and here it was 1988. ron house redeemed himself for the four-eyed posse crowd with thomas jefferson slave apartments.

matt shinkansen: it’s fine to chat if you’re bored but, as a courtesy, you should include the band in the conversation. ask them what chord they’re playing and stuff like that. suggest more interesting open-string variations etc.

david huon/driving past: it’s ok to chat whether they’re boring or brilliant. chat is grouse!

lisa cf: not right in front, where people are trying to listen. this is why more clubs should have an in-and-out policy.

tracy dreamy: no, it’s about respect. go next door, or if you must say a few words, keep it brief and the volume down.

ld flare: only if you don’t know them. if you do know them, it’s absolutely unforgiveable.

mac of oxford: no, shut the fuck up, you may find them “boring” but elsewhere others may be straining to hear that boredom.

clarissa cf: if the policy of the space is that you can’t leave and come back in, be discreet (at the back of the room, very quietly). otherwise, leave and come back in. you’ve paid your money, which gives you some rights, but there is the matter of simple politeness to the people who do want to hear the band.

mike yesenosky: out of respect for the people in the opening act, who might be decent human beings even if they don’t make music you like, no. at least they are doing something productive with their time. keeping your mouth shut for 45 minutes shouldn’t be that big of an ordeal for an adult. plus there are probably people in the room who are enjoying them and didn’t pay to hear you chatting.

stuart moxham: yes, ’cause they’ll improve (or quit.)

robert tono-bungay: interesting. it might be a matter of degree: a word or two here or there, y’know, I don’t think you can help that. although I don’t think it’s ever “ok to chat”, to really go at it. I mean, you whip out a cell phone, everyone thinks you’re a creep; but you do the same thing with a live person standing next to you and that’s ok? on the other hand, a large background murmur DOES send a perhaps valuable message to those in the midst of performance that they might should, y’know, rethink things. and it doesn’t have to be a small place either — I saw portishead at the hammersmith and it was as if someone had drawn this “line of yak” right at the mixing console. everything from the board on up was rapt attention, and from the board on back the place sounded like a broadway theater lobby during intermission. tell you one thing — you sure could tell who paid to get in and who didn’t! CF

how many of the things you have to say cannot wait? do you usually stay toward the back or by the bar so as not to disturb people who came to hear the music?

lisa cf: catty comments about band cannot wait. spotting someone’s ex in a crowd cannot wait. if you are about to faint or vomit, that can’t wait. everything else can.

david huon/driving past: everything that comes into my head cannot wait, because I’ll lose it if I don’t say it straight away. if I don’t lose the truth of it, I’ll lose the appropriate, spontaneous form of it, it won’t be convincing anymore.

liz clayton: I was once at a show at a very small venue and it so happened that a friend of mine, who had just returned from an eventful trip with her husband, was there. while we shouldn’t have been talking, I didn’t shush her when she started to tell me how she was probably about to get divorced, because it seemed pretty important. in between songs, the performer, who was a friend of mine, said “have you ever been performing a song at a quiet club and you’re really getting pissed off because you can hear someone talking and you look over to find the person and it’s someone you’ve been friends with for years?” and gave me a look of death. ouch!

don smith: you are laying a lot of the blame for this talking at the feet of the audience. did you ever giggle, pass notes, or doodle during high school classes? why would you divert your attention from the teacher and perhaps inhibit the other children from learning? because ya get bored and you want to gossip. or were you the kid who tsk-tsked the talkers? and besides, who said that every band is good? the venue’s architecture allows this behavior. the new 9:30 club has a second level and easy-to-access spaces that would allow for conversations during lulls in band’s sets, both the old and new black cats have a wide area in the back for conversations. if I came to a show with friends or came to see bands that I don’t really like just to hang out with friends then the bands need to move me to keep my attention, but that’s what I paid them to do when I walked in the door. another problem which you address is the inappropriate booking of bands into certain spaces. on the east coast the major venues for bands, even indie pop or quiet acoustic bands where songwriting is key, are rock clubs and bars completely inappropriate for such quiet and introspective music. I have seen such mismatched shows before and the crowd can get annoyed that people are talking and drinking in the very bar they went to see quiet library music. the bar patrons probably share the ill feelings about the people who aren’t partying it up in the bar they went to. I would think that if a band is quiet or plays lyrical music where people want to hear the words, the last place that they should play is a bar. that’s why art gallery shows exist. in the end gail, I beseech you, don’t be a playa hata.

tracy dreamy: mostly my words can wait — unless there is a fire or other emergency that I must warn people of.

matt shinkansen: no, because it disturbs the people trying to order drinks. bands have to compete with the bar, and one of them’s bound to lose out — it’s basic darwinism.

robert tono-bungay: I kind of never converse during someone’s set, at least I try not to. I just feel like I want to concentrate on what these bands worked hard (presumably) on presenting. and anyway, I think more people can attribute whatever hearing loss they may have to getting their earholes screamed into at close range than getting a buttload of skronk from some PA.

ld flare: I use sign language or write notes in lipstick on cocktail napkins. CF

originally published in chickfactor 15’s special etiquette poll section.

cf etiquette poll: floor sitting

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when, if ever, is floor sitting acceptable at shows?

 

liz clayton: floor-sitters: please, no lollipops.

dickon fosca: only if such people reserve the right not to mind when I trip over them.

daniel handler: floor sitting is only ok in some sort of hostage situation. I don’t care how mellow the band is—I’m not sitting on the floor. do the words “dry clean only” mean nothing to you people?

matt shinkansen: absolutely never ever. this is hippy talk, and I’m with cartman when it comes to hippies. I’m with cartman when it comes to most things, actually. I used to want to be lisa simpson, now I want to be eric cartman. what does that prove? what’s happening to me?  who are all you people? incidentally, out of curiosity, I just looked up “hippy” in the dictionary. one of the definitions is “having prominent hips.”

ld flare: I wouldn’t really, ever—but mostly because I value my trousers.

alex chicks on speed: when the music requires it! sometimes it’s cool to sit and listen and lie on the floor and sleep a bit, ambient music requires this.

lisa cf: never never never unless you are outside.

claudia the magnetic fields: we asked the entire audience of the great american music hall to sit on the floor during the first half of 69 love songs, and they did, all 500 of them, laughing. but then they got annoyed and rose for the second half. we thought we were doing them a favor but they weren’t comfortable.

david huon/driving past: it’s always acceptable, if it’s doable.

andrew eggs / talk it: imagine all the gross stuff on your average city street. dog urine, frozen spit, god-knows-what. we all walk on it, and then we go into clubs and track this mélange onto their floors, which then develop an overlay of beer and cigarette ash. if you plop your butt down on this surface, please don’t shake my hand.

mac of oxford: never, it’s a fire hazard.

don smith: floor sitting is only acceptable when miss julie asks you to sit in a semi-circle for storytime. or if you’re passed out

tracy dreamy: I think it’s okay.

clarissa cf: if it makes things easier to see and does not disturb the vibe of the show (e.g. if the artists are also sitting), I’m all for it.

john phosphene: nothing wrong with floor sitting. the pastels lead the way on that one, as far as my gig-going is concerned and it can bring a really nice atmosphere. I once saw someone crowd-surf at a pastels show: they landed right in front of aggi! somehow, it just didn’t fit!!

james +/- versus: it’s only acceptable if there are seats already and people want to scoot in front of the first row of seats, but don’t want to block the first row’s view…

mike yesenosky: you can sit at the band’s request. sitting between sets is also ok. you stand for someone you respect in all other situations, and if you just shelled out money to see an artist, you respect them. so stand up.

robert tono-bungay: the floor should be relatively free of sticky residues.

this poll originally appeared in chickfactor 15’s cf etiquette special section. photo of liz clayton by gail o’hara.

 

cf poll: the musical taste of your offspring

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describe your kid’s/kids’ taste in music.

alicia the aislers set / magic trick: well, she is very moved by music. her current favorites are journey, katy perry, elvis presley, david bowie. she’ll occasionally ask for alice cooper, the ramones, joan jett, stevie nicks, the grease soundtrack. her first vinyl lp that she would put on and dance to was steely dan. she knows what’s good when she hears it. nothing but honesty from that kid! if it’s a bad song on the radio, she’s like “turn this off! put on some journey!!!”

jessica would-be-goods: bowie, t rex, early elvis costello, classic disney songs (e.g. “everybody wants to be a cat” and “I wanna be like you”) — and the would-be-goods, which is very touching. she used to threaten to kill me if I told any of her friends I was in a band but now she thinks it’s OK and even plays them our music.

mark teenbeat/unrest: one likes lady gaga and the other classical music, though they won’t complain when the kinks are on the hi-fi.

corin tucker: it’s ever changing, but this week it’s skrillex and deadmau5.

dawn cf / agoraphone: it’s a strange mix. folk music of all sorts: woody guthrie, pete seeger, fairport convention, laura viers. then wild flag, ramones, and the fave david bowie (mostly ziggy stardust). I can’t really explain it.

daniel handler: otto started out loving late-period kraftwerk, went through a beatles phase, is now a big fan of stars, metric and (not my fault) chromeo.

andrew eggs/talk it: my oldest son likes music with loud guitars and melodies. he loves melodic punk music like strike anywhere as well as airborne toxic event and stuff that comes on DC101. my younger son’s two favorite songs are “donald where’s your troosers [sic]” and “tie me kangaroo down,” so he’s harder to classify. sometimes he requests music with “people screaming.”

claudia the magnetic fields: I think at this age, the parents dictate that. my friends keep telling me to play her shonen knife or the ramones, or other upbeat punk music. and she does respond well to that. she also seems to love rihanna, from her outbreak of dancing in restaurants to her. but at home we play pretty much peaceful folksy kids records, elizabeth mitchell, putumayo collections, dan zanes, some other kids records like wiggleworms, a bit of latin female vocalists like cesaria evora, some country female singers, some classical, some joni, etc. I think if I were a jazz fan, eve would probably be into jazz right now. she just attaches on to whatever’s playing, including dancing to embarrassing electronics that make little songs.

matt lorelei: ursula likes the family cat, vince guaraldi, polyrock, and burl ives. stephen’s son niko has a brazilian nanny so he’s listening to and digging os mutantes quite a bit.

kim baxter: his current favorites are vampire weekend and the english beat. I play nick drake in his room every night as he’s going to bed but the other night he asked for jeremy enigk instead.

kelly velocity girl: whatever it is they like, they listen to incessantly. here is the honest to god play count from itunes for the past few months from songs the girls picked themselves:

“goody two shoes” – adam ant 146 plays

“sensible”- small factory 154 plays

“dancing queen” – abba 192 plays

“choco la la la” – mr. g 137 plays

“crystal days” – echo & the bunnymen 140 plays

“under the rotunda” – the lucksmiths 138 plays

“suggestions” – small factory 105 plays

“do they know it’s christmas” – band aid 169 plays

“the ramblin’ rover” – silly wizard 146 plays

when they’re born one thinks please let them like good music. when they do they listen to music, good/bad/indifferent it is with such repetition that one prays please let them take up literature.

pete paphides: our 11-year-old is obsessed with coldplay. which is fine. I’d rather not have “edgy” children. she also loves goldfrapp. the 8-year-old is partial to dexys’ too ry-aye album.

gordon the fan modine: my littlest is always turing the radio up and bobbing his head no matter the genre. his older brother can’t get enough rick james.

mike black tambourine / manatee: theo’s gone through a few phases, getting really into one band of genre for a while and then moving on, though he always likes the old stuff too. the first music I think he stated a strong affinity for was jazz, specifically late 50s/60s hard-bop. then he went on a beatles jag, concurrent big troubles and teenage fanclub crazes, and has more recently moved on to punk rock, which he will happily state is the best music and that he’ll “love punk music forever” and “funky” music like james brown and the meters. a chip off the kid frostbite block, I’d say!

bridget st john: definitely in spirit and in desire to play different instruments. she has a great feeling for and love of music. and is an extraordinary poet and writer.

tim dagger: the beatles.

photograph of alicia the aislers set by tae won yu. 

cf poll: have your kids inherited your musical genes?

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have your kids inherited your musical genes?

claudia the magnetic fields: eve is definitely musical. she was singing in tune along with records (or with me) at 6 months old. she sits and listens to albums in a way that people watch TV. she just sits on the couch and stares off, clearly trying to understand how songs go. she also retains melodies that she has only heard once. this was amusingly demonstrated when I took her to a christmas lightshow event which featured a parody of toto’s “africa.” within minutes, she was walking down the street singing the hook intro line to that song, and now she still sings it. ¶ the thing that she appears to have also inherited is my uninhibited attitude toward singing. while occasionally she drops to a self-conscious whisper when asked to perform a song (lately it is “rain rain, go away”), I frequently witness her singing quite proudly to herself on buses and subways. story songs, where she processes events of the day, or memories, or sensory experiences in a sort of abstract melody.

corin tucker: my son definitely has some musical talent, and my daughter loves to sing as well.

kim baxter: yes, he loves playing music, dancing, learning the lyrics to songs, and making up his own songs.

daniel handler: no, but he has my wife’s sense of rhythm, and you can keep your dirty jokes to yourself, buster.

jessica would-be-goods: my daughter taught herself to play the guitar (aged about 12) by listening to early bowie songs and has a lovely singing voice.

matt lorelei: ursula certainly likes to make noise. she’s finally embraced dancing so we have dance party before bath time complete with shakers, drum, sleigh bells, and glockenspiel.

bridget st john: definitely in spirit and in desire to play different instruments. she has a great feeling for and love of music. and is an extraordinary poet and writer.

kelly velocity girl: the youngest certainly has inherited the show(off)manship gene. I know there is a slumberland supergroup in all of these kids somewhere.

alicia the aislers set / magic trick: yes, she is insane! she has the most incredible ear.  ever since she was really small, she could sing songs, with melody lines, in the key that she originally heard it, by memory! my grandma was a music teacher, and always thought that I had perfect pitch as a kid. sometimes I think that about lida. she’s playing a lot of piano right now. recently learned “home sweet home” by the crew…

andrew eggs/talk it: if they do I will strongly discourage them.

mike black tambourine / manatee: so far theo hasn’t shown much interest in making music, but he definitely likes listening to it and can be quite opinionated. he’s a quite a good listener, picking out lyrics I never even noticed (sometimes not a good thing) and learning his subgenres with some accuracy—punk, funk, ska, etc.

gordon the fan modine: they both sing little ditties all the time. it’s wonderful.

tim dagger: sophia has rhythm and loves playing instruments (she was recently spotted banging away on stew and jen’s mini drum kit in their house).

photograph of claudia by gail o’hara. 

cf poll: how has your munchkin(s) affected your musical career?

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how have your offspring affected your musical career?

jessica would-be-goods: what career?

stephen the real tuesday weld: “dad, is this your music?”“YES!” “it’s not very good, is it?”

kim baxter: after having our son, it was definitely a struggle trying to figure out how and when to play music. but since my husband and I are both musicians, it was a no brainer that we had to figure out a way to keep playing. we’re both happiest when playing, recording, and touring, and we wanted our son (who’s now 3) to see us working really hard at doing something that we love.

corin tucker: it’s tricky to tour when you have young kids. mine are both in school now so we’ll see if it’s any easier.

gordon the fan modine: made it necessary.

matt lorelei: well, stephen and I have toddlers so being away from home to tour isn’t really an option. but that’s ok since touring is sort of a drag anyway. it mainly makes logistics difficult. but on the other hand…

kelly velocity girl: they’ve actually encouraged me to play again. my oldest constantly begs me to play guitar, showing the complete lack of a critical faculty in this regards on her part. when I do play she prefers only the strumming songs, none of this fancy dancy finger picking slow sappy nonsense thank you very much. total rockist.

daniel handler: fun to have a kid at soundcheck.

claudia the magnetic fields: the birth of my daughter two years ago has affected absolutely every aspect of my life. I solo parent a two and a half year old, which means that my brain is almost constantly fogged in and I have limited free time. so the music management work that I used to rip through in a week, now can take me months. emails are dropped, calls not responded to. ¶ we took her on the road in 2012 for nearly 9 weeks. it was ridiculously intense. there was a lot that was fun and joyful, but I can’t say I’d want to do it again, at least not with that aged a person. just the 24 airplane flights alone with an 18 to 20 month old spinning around on my lap was enough to wipe me out. not to mention all the cars and trains and new hotels each day, constant moving and rushing about. ¶ musically speaking, I find myself newly engaged in singing and playing instruments. she inspires me to engage creatively more, building and drawing things, reading books aloud, singing songs together. and I purchase a lot of kids albums and kid-friendly folksy or pop albums. so perhaps the great upside to this relationship is that I have a newfound curiosity in the musical world and in my musical self, which perhaps I had lost sight of.

mike black tambourine / manatee: not much, since I don’t have one. I still have a band (manatee) and manage to write and rehearse once a week, and play some shows here and there. theo is actually a bit of a fan of manatee and has come to a few of our gigs, which is quite fun.

andrew eggs/talk it: it is just the greatest thrill when your kids like a song you wrote. sometimes I hear my oldest son singing the melody of one of a song by my new band and it’s just the coolest thing.

bridget st john: I’ve written children’s songs I probably would not have otherwise written. I gladly put my career on major hold to raise her. she is trying to help me get more involved with all that current technology can provide to help my career.

alicia the aislers set / magic trick: well, I was skeptical at first and didn’t fully absorb that it would really affect things on such a drastic level. I remember seeing rose melberg when I was pregnant and she was like, yeah, the first three years it’s pretty impossible to do much else. I was like, nawww!, I can do it!! and then, low and behold, things were much harder to balance. I just wasn’t physically able to tour or get enough hours to give as much of myself to music. I was able to record with still flyin, which I was grateful for, as it was such a large band that they weren’t necessarily depending on me to tour or whatever. I was super stoked for the support I got from them in that I was able to take lida on tour for two weeks when she was 1 1/2. that was awesome. these days I have a new band called magic trick, and we just released our second record. I’m not able to go on all the tours. it’s financially and family-wise not the easiest thing to do to pack up and leave for 3-4 weeks at a time. but tim, my bandmate, is awesome in that we knew this from the beginning. and we started off working together primarily in the studio. we didn’t envision a band, that tours, etc. they are actually out on tour now across the states touring with father john misty, with a friend sitting in for me. and that’s ok. it’s my choice.  I do the west coast shows, local stuff. lord knows I’ve spent enough time on the road.  (I’ll pass on the boredom of soundcheck, ha ha). it’s just not worth it for me to miss my daughter for that whole time. I find real satisfaction in the studio and local shows. the occasional adventure, like with the aislers set, or something, is cool, but I feel like I am much more able to prioritize in a healthy way. sometimes, like now, I miss them (the band), but until we as musicians can actually support a family on touring, etc. that’s just not gonna be a possibility. at the same time, sometimes playing a show or something, there are those transcendent moments when I feel like this (music) is what I should be doing all the time. it’s what I’m good at.

photo of jessica griffin of would-be-goods, london, 2001, by gail o’hara.

cf poll: what dish do you wish you could re-create at home?

cannanes

what meal do you wish you could re-create at home?

fran cannane: really great curries especially those from malabar restaurant crows nest in sydney. (listen to a new cannanes tune, “bumper,” from their forthcoming small batch EP out on march 19)

corin tucker: japanese traditional udon soup. I’ve tried making it at home but there’s a lot of expertise there.

james dump/yo la tengo: cookie puss. (yo la tengo has an ace new album out called fade; two dump LPs are being reissued this spring on morr music)

kim baxter: conveyor belt sushi with the conveyor belt coming out of the kitchen into the dining room. (kim baxter’s latest album comes out march 15 on blue vinyl; her band is touring europe in april)

daniel handler: cruda at esca.

stephin the magnetic fields: the tomato cobbler at mary mac’s tea room in atlanta, GA. I bought the cookbook, but I can barely boil water.

rachel blumberg: I once had these tomatoes at a venue in italy. the tomatoes were the reddest red I’ve ever seen. they were grown in the volcanic loam on the side of mt. etna in sicily. they were served with fresh basil and olive oil. it was amazing. so good it made me weep. we had that with the most amazing bread and there were mushrooms too, sauteed in garlic and wonderful wine. it was all so simple and perfect. the only way I could ever recreate it would be to transport those tomatoes through a portal. I dream about those tomatoes. (rachel, who is interviewed in the latest chickfactor paper issue, has a new shop here)

gordon the fan modine: coal-fired pizza. (fan modine have a new one out this year)

hannah grass widow: pierogis.

joe pines / foxgloves: a steak that stephen wood would consider worth eating.

matt lorelei: I’ve been trying to re-create tartine bakery’s sourdough bread at home. getting close.

ian musical chairs: burekas!

tim dagger: that pasta/sausage with vodka sauce at la buca in portland.

bridget st john: a meal made entirely of ‘raw’ food.

pete paphides: a generic chinese beef curry like the ones you get at take-aways; a lamb balti like the ones you get at brilliant birmingham balti houses. once in a while, a big mac.

gail cf: everything on the menu at angelica kitchen (I have come close to mastering the miso tahini spread, soba sensation and noodle salads) and the mushroom ale pie at mildreds.

cf poll: what drink goes with what album?

chickfactor-cocktail-1

what drink goes with what album? (question by daniel handler)

gail cf: veuve clicquot goes with everything. I would imagine the special 20th anniversary “chickfactor” cocktail, created by the acclaimed booze handler daniel searing (from such bands as big jesus trash can, the saturday people and glo-worm), would go nicely with the chickfactor mixtape (pictured below).

daniel handler: rye neat, fire! you liked me five minutes ago

delmonico served up followed by bottle of chianti, divine comedy, casanova

chartreuse martini, st. etienne the sound of water

constantly warmed-up highball, the clash sandinista!

empty out the cabinet and experiment with weird liqueurs, 69 love songs

I could play this all night. and have.

stephen the real tuesday weld: tea, with anything.

james dump/yo la tengo: coffee and/or seltzer pair perfectly with all records.

stephin the magnetic fields: still trying to figure that out.

corin tucker: for me it was whiskey and “my aim is true” by elvis costello. these days it is kombucha and fiona apple.

the legendary jim ruiz: gary mcfarland’s “soft samba” album is best enjoyed with the soft samba coctail. pour two ounces of dry (fino) spanish sherry over two ice cubes in an old fashioned glass. add half an ounce of tropical fruit juice or pineapple juice. add a dash of angostura bitters.

gordon the fan modine: J&B scotch and soda and the kingston trio’s “goin’ places” will take you somewhere pretty specific.

matt lorelei: a shandy for smiley smile. or maybe a dolores park swizzle with st. george’s absinthe (rum, lime, maraschino, absinthe, bitters).

bridget st john: a good red wine goes with most albums in my collection!

fran cannane: red wine goes with all cannanes albums…increasing in price and quality over the years.

joe pines / foxgloves: red wine with loveless, early-evening white wine with bryter later, late-night whiskey with magnetic fields’ distortion, tea and panettone with u2’s war, tea and a biscuit with reading, writing & arithmetic, hot chocolate with deacon blue’s oooh las vegas.

kelly velocity girl:
heavenly vs satan – heavenly
harviestoun bitter & twisted
playing lightly, stinging ever so slightly. best ingested on a mild early summer afternoon.

“strawberry wine” – my bloody valentine
jj prum wehlener sonnenuhr riesling kabinett (cool vintage please)
while the title seems to beg some fruitified concoction, let the mild sweetness and filigreed acidity take you where you need to go. for the spring time please.

suburban light – the clientele
jw lees moonraker
a gentle warm up after “the football crowds have all gone home”. is there is a bit of mist on a late fall afternoon? check.

for if you cannot fly – small factory
corpse reviver #2
turns winter into summer. the punch bowl serves a as suitable object to jump off of when in the throes of pop ecstasy.

photograph of the chickfactor cocktail by daniel searing.

 

cf food poll: what is in your rider?

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-4-43-01-pm

rachel blumberg: common items on most riders for tours I’ve been a part of include synergy kombucha, emergen-c, hummus, tofurkey, veggie tray. very healthy. matt had one dill pickle on his rider. maybe to make sure people are paying attention to detail, sort of like the brown m&ms.

corin tucker: coconut water. the young people like it.

hannah grass widow: lily is gluten free. so lots of rice cakes, hummus, veggies. also cider instead of beer.

stephen the real tuesday weld: absinthe, water, grapes, the times.

bridget st john: water backstage and onstage. a good red wine for after I play. only vegetarian food – light and lots of green! 2 direct boxes. a piano if possible. 2 guitar stands (if I am away from home and cannot pack them to fly).

stephin the magnetic fields: hummus…which I can no longer tolerate the sight of.

gordon the fan modine: chartreuse but nobody takes us seriously. or is frightened of what would happen.

james dump/yo la tengo: office supplies, local yellow pages, shoelaces, old newspapers, champagne.

matt lorelei: ho ho ho. good one, gail. um, “please pay us”?

darren hanlon: lundberg santa fe BBQ rice chips and a map to the nearest pinball machine (both requests have only been fulfilled once).

jennifer o’connor: amstel light and seltzer.

daniel handler: water, coke, uniball pens.

fran cannane: anything we can get.

joe pines / foxgloves: microbrewery-quality lager and a copy of the london review of books signed by robert forster. if every other band soundchecking has 6 members or more, then better add a copy of the cantos of ezra pound.

photo of rachel by gail o’hara.