Blogging activity has been light. I’ve been awfully busy for a guy who’s out of work – job-hunting for my next programming gig, and various other things. It’s been pretty frustrating and tiring.

Got out and played a show last night though, at the Flipside in Ottumwa. Flipside is a piercing shop that also carries local artwork and music and a few used books and records, and has shows a couple times a month. It’s run by Josh “Spooty” Bolinger, who you may have seen playing in Zach’s Amazing Head Wound or The Eggnogs in the past, or more recently in Pants Are Overrated.

Raynaroo opened the show with pretty songs in a folky vibe. She reminds me a bit of the character Marzipan from Homestar Runner. Must have been the song about growing strawberries. Troy of She Swings, She Sways played upright bass with her. I first met Troy way back when, when No Consensus played in Ottumwa for the first time and he was in Yellow 5 with Sam and they were on the bill.

I had kind of a rough set, broke a string early on so I had to switch to my backup guitar, my odd attempts at jokes didn’t get much for laughs, but then afterward folks kept telling me how much they loved it.

Beati Paoli played a rocking set of their otherworldly phrasing, nasally crooning, and psychedelic odd guitar chords. I don’t think there’s another band I’ve heard that’s quite like them musically, but occasionally Slovenly came to mind. I have to remember to grab a copy of their CD when I get a chance.

While loading in before the show I had looked over the CDs and was surprised to see a CD-R reissue of Unisex’s 1993 cassette “Hold Your Breath.” Oddly/coincidentally enough, I stumbled across that cassette in my house a couple weeks ago and realized for the first time that bassist Andy may have been the same Andy of Captain 3 Leg and Mortville Records, who I met at the same No Consensus/Yellow 5 show I mentioned earlier. We’d somehow got into a conversation about noisecore and Sockeye, then later I found out his label was reissuing Sockeye stuff, for which I was grateful and picked up copies of both those CDs. Plus he mailed me a Krautrock mix tape once, and by some means I also ended up with several Captain 3 Leg cassettes and a compilation he put out. I don’t remember if I’d gotten into Captain 3 Leg before or after this chance meeting, but I do know that back around ‘93-‘94 I was a big enough fan of that Unisex tape, which I had purchased from the “Local Artists” display at Co-Op Records in Cedar Falls, that I stole a unisex restroom sign from a Kum & Go to hang on my wall. But it only recently occurred to me that it might be the same Andy. And sure enough, the reissue CD-Rs, packed full of alternate versions and bonus material, were on Mortville. I decided that I couldn’t live with myself if I passed this one up, so I spent the $3 and got myself one. It provided the perfect entertainment for the drive home. I was singing along and everything.

Sold a couple CDs, made gas money, and got to hang with J-Sun and Jawsh a bit, meet Andy Ruble, and get a quesadilla from a taco truck up the street before the show. Worth the five hours of driving? Yeah, I think so.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Upon further reflection, a memory surfaces that it was in fact my friend Jeremy, also an occasional listener to “Hold Your Breath,” who actually stole the restroom sign. I was with him at the time, and it was my wall it ended up hanging up on, but he actually did the deed of nabbing it off the door and walking out of the store with it.

Charlie Schiz

Charlie Schiz
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. I've been weird all my life. It's my time to shine.

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