Category: Stories

My Dinner With Joey – A Night With The Pixies

The Pixies have never played in Maine, so when they announced that they were coming, I was excited. My friend Dave goes way back with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. I had seen the Pixies before, but this was my hometown show, and I had a feeling it was going to be special.

“Here Comes Your Ham”

I had done a little catering work with Dave (who owns the Pig Kahuna, best pig roasting in the Northeast BTW), and he had mentioned that he made up a joke band, called the “Pig-sees” and had already re-named a bunch of songs- “Where is My Swine”, and my personal favorite, “Here Comes Your Ham.” I figured now was as good a time as any to see if I could pull it off. Fortunately, since I have a couple instruments at my disposal, I had a feeling I would. It was harder than I had originally thought, just because I’ve never set out to copy something exactly how it was done. Admittedly the effort was somewhat hasty, but Dave loved it.

Listen to Here Comes Your Ham

Lobstah!

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The day of the show came around 10am I get an email asking if I want to have a lobster dinner with the band before the show. Yes. Yes, I would. Not everyone could make it, but Joey wasn’t going to miss out. He arrived around 5:30, bringing our total to 8. Soon, we were enjoying a few pre-lobster drinks. I talked some nerdy guitar stuff with Joey about his equipment, which was awesome. Then Dave mentioned that I was the one who recorded “Here Comes Your Ham.” Joey told me he heard it and liked it, to which I smiled like a buffoon. He said that I took some liberties with the guitar tracks, but overall he liked what I did. He then asked what I had used to record it on. I told him about my modest home recording set up, and mentioned that I probably would have put a little more effort into it if I knew he was going to hear it.

Then he asks “How long did it take you to record it?”
“Roughly three days, on and off.” I reply.
“Oh, we recorded Doolittle in two weeks. No, wait. On second thought make that 11 days.” He says with a big grin. With that the ice was broken, and the rest of the dinner was a smashing success. Dave had enough lobster and steak for everyone to fill up on. Soon enough it was time for the show, which was amazing. If you’ve never seen the Pixies live, you should do it. Enhance any of the photos to see a slideshow from the State Theater show.

The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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Pizza, Magic, and The Pixies watch the Pixies

After the concert, we met up with Joey and David Lovering, the drummer for the band. They had heard about a Pixies tribute that was happening after the show, and wanted to crash it. I couldn’t wait for this, however we “needed” to refuel with some more beers and pizza. During dinner in a relatively empty Pat’s Pizza, David started doing some card tricks for us. He is skilled in the magical arts to say the least, however the hilarity and awesomeness of getting a free magic show from the drummer of one of the most talented and influential bands ever would not hit me till later in the evening.

After dinner, we headed to the bar where the tribute show was happening. It was very busy for a Tuesday night, and it was very interesting to watch half of the Pixies watch a tribute to themselves. It was hard to get a read on how they actually felt about it, but not hard to see how shocked/excited the members of the band were when they realized who had been in attendance. Joey and David chatted with the musicians from the tribute band for a while before we all left. We took some photos together, I got my copy of Doolittle signed, and we were out. As we drove home, I just kept thinking to myself how crazy the past 6 hours had been, and realized that the “Where is My Swine” cover had better be awesome.

The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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HUGE thanks to My friend Dave of the Pig Kahuna and of course Joey and David of the Pixies.

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Why Don’t We Have This?!

So I’m taking out my air conditioner last weekend (yes, I know it’s October, I’ve been busy!) and per usual, it’s a pain. It’s not super heavy but as most people will know who have done this, it is super awkward. I get the thing out and put it on the floor to close the window before my cats get out, and notice my amp sitting near the door. Then it hit me. My moment of genius.  Amps are heavy and awkward, but they are easy to move because of one thing: Handles. I implore you to petition your local congressman, and state senators telling them it’s high time we got handles on our air conditioners. I’m sure the fatcats down on wall street all have handles on their AC units for their servants to remove them. Lets make this happen readers of the Old Port Jingles blog!

Air Conditioner With Amp Handles

Coming next week, I review the Rode NT3 mic. So far, I’m digging it, seems like a pretty nice all purpose condenser.

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USPS, You’re Doing It Wrong

Rain Soaked Wet USPS Package

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Like many of you, I order a lot of stuff online. I’m a big fan of services like amazon, newegg, and ebay because I can get stuff on the cheap. Sometimes I order things and they get shipped in insanely huge boxes, but no harm really comes of that. I read the in August that the United States Postal Service is going through some tough economic times, and is looking to make some cuts. Well USPS, it’s service like this that makes that news no surprise.

It rained pretty much all day yesterday. My bike ride into work was a wet one, and at times throughout the day it was coming down pretty hard. By the time I left for home at 4:00pm, it was still pretty wet out and misting a little. I got home to find some packages had been delivered. At first glance, it looks like a poor job putting the package in the mailbox.

Wet Mail from the USPS

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Upon closer inspection it appears the mailman created a clever rain catcher to collect as much water as possible inside the mailbox. Great technique for outdoor survival, not so much for delivering mail. Mail often contains important documents, electronics, or photos, none of which should be wet. That’s why I have a mailbox. That’s also why I have a side door and an easily accessible and visible shed. At any rate there was another package inside the mailbox, this was also soaked through.

UPS, Doing it Right

How it's done. Click to enlarge.

The same day I got a package delivered from UPS, who is doing it right. This little bag can’t cost them very much, it is extremely thin, but for the purpose of keeping something dry for a few hours, it works great. It’s service like this that will make me think twice before sending anything of value through the mail. Fortunately the things in the mailbox were clothing, but still, had they been books or electronics, it would have been a major first world problem/headache. United States Postal Service, if you’re reading this, please invest in some bags. Or instruct your workers to not do this. I want to like you, I really do. You’ve always been there, but if you keep this up, our relationship isn’t going to last.

For those wondering, I’ve added a “Packages Around Back” note in my mailbox. I hope it works next time it’s raining.

UPDATE:
This arrived yesterday from UPS. I don’t even know what to think.

UPS Hidden Package

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A Year Too Late: Thoughts on the Grateful Dead

Never Saw The Grateful DeadI love the music of the Grateful Dead. That much is plain to see to anyone who knows me. I begun to listen to it when I was around 15. I had purchased Europe ’72 and American Beauty through Colombia house (12 CD’s for a penny, remember that?) on a whim not knowing really what to expect. Soon both albums were a fixture in my home stereo and I had copied them to tape so I could listen to them in my car. Within a few months I was recording the shows on Scarlet Begonias Radio, broadcast on my local radio station. This music was better than anything I had been exposed to. I didn’t realize or understand the concept of improvisation and energy in music until I started picking apart the jams. I know it’s overused, but the music touched me. I wanted more, and surely would experience it live soon.

I was a freshman in high school when I passed up my one and only chance to see the Grateful Dead.

“Hey man, you should come to Highgate with us! We’re leaving Thursday morning.”

“I can’t. The math final is at 2pm.”

A math final. Yeah, I know.

At the time, I wasn’t concerned. I was sure I could see the Dead again. Plus, I had tickets to my first real concert later on that summer, and that would be awesome. It was a HORDE show in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. The date of that show: August 10th, 1995. As much fun as I tried to have, I couldn’t believe I had missed my chance. There was a moment of silence and I came to the bitter realization I missed the bus. The fact that all those people were silent- I couldn’t get over it. I wasn’t the only one who loved this music. This wasn’t even a Dead show, but there were fans here. There were fans everywhere.

I will always feel a tinge of sadness when I think about what I missed out on. Though I try, no amount of Bob, Phil, or Further shows can make up for it. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this. I guess I just felt I wanted to put it out there and maybe hear about others like me, or others who saw them for years. Either way, feel free to comment, so long as it’s positive.

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