We celebrated Em’s (site, FAWM) birthday last night with a jam-session food-and-tea party. It was lots of fun, even though I only came for the last hour (finishing up song #8) I also got to meet Matt. He is very cool and beardy and talented. Stefan was doing yoga and being cool, Shane was smiling, and Erin was playing with the guestdog. Lots of fun.
This puts me in an awkwardly possible situation – finish 6 songs by tomorrow at midnight. It can be done. Back to work now – field training for substation entry ^_^
FAWM 2012 Song #8 “Searching To Be Found”
A depressed love ballad sung from the perspective of Doctor Who.
FAWM 2012 Song #7 “Ma Belle Seule” (what I thought was French for “My Beautiful One” but really means something like “all the single ladies” but the piece sounds French so I kept it that way)
This is the first piano piece I’ve ever written. You can look at/read/burn the sheetmusic here.
My friend Erin asked me to join her family on vacation in Maine this week. I saw this wonderful state for the first time in June on my epic road trip with Cara, so I jumped at the chance to come back up and stay in a cabin and work on writing and recording new music for our duet formerly known as The Honey Badgers (side note: we need a new name that isn’t stupid, so let us know if you have any cute suggestions). We left late Thursday evening (after Jefe), and Erin drove through the night until we stopped for sleepin’ in Connecticut. We got up early and her dad drove the rest of the way into Maine. Friday we got to bike around and explore the Boothbay area and eat pizzer and ice cream and drink local beers nom.
Saturday we got up really early (7am in vacation time) and went down to the docks with Erin’s Uncle Ben to fetch his boat. This thing was a fancy 21′ powerboat with a shiny wakeboard tower on top. It didn’t fit in too well with the other wonderful sailboats that surrounded it, but she sure did go fast. We stayed in the tiny bay waterskiing and wakeboarding and waiting for the fog to burn off. It never really did, but we decided to go on a risky island adventure anyway, using my phone GPS to navigate (the captain didn’t have a compass on board >.<).
We went about six miles out to this magical state-owned nature preserve island called Damariscove Island. The caretakers were the only two people who lived there. Apparently they have a non-native European Fire Ant infestation that some unknowing European perhaps brought in on their feet. Sad story. Ants. Honey badgers.
The north side of the island is reserved for birds only (jealous), so we hiked a couple miles on the south side around the freshwater pond. There were lots of ruins from past ages of inhabitants, both people and cows. It was a fishin’ and lobsterin’ base for a while, and before that lots of colonial-type people lived there, and before that some injuns went there to fish occasionally. Anyway, it was beautiful and the hike was nice and there were lots of rocks and berries and sea tomatoes. As we left the harbor to return home, but before I had booted up my gps to check where we were going, the captain (Uncle Ben) somehow got turned around and was heading back towards the island as soon as we had passed the safety buoy that warns of shallow rocky waters. Moments after I realized this and told him, we heard a very nasty sounding crunch come from the propeller hitting a rock shelf. We all winced. The turning maneuver was almost complete, but we started to lose speed. The engine was still running, but we weren’t accelerating. This was bad news since we were starting to drift towards the island and the rocky waters around it. Tom and I started to paddle as Ben dove under to check the propeller. She looked fine, but something in the transmission/drive shaft must have been knocked around because she wasn’t spinnin’ at all. Luckily the tide was going in and pulling us towards the mainland, but we were still six miles out at sea ): View a map down below. Damariscove Island has the marker on it:
Ben called 911 to get the coast guard, but nobody was a dying child, so they only helped us by giving us the Seatow phone number. They charge $250/hr, so we called around to other friendly boat owners. In the end we got picked up by the East Boothbay Harbor Master. That name sounds pretty fancy, but I think he just wanted something to do on a foggy day. They radar’d us and eventually picked us up about about a mile north of where we had originally called for help (the middle star above). The northernmost star on my map (near Squirrel Island teehee) is where a family friend was going to switch off and tow us back to our harbor, but the Harbor Master neglected to tell us that he was bringing us all the way back to his harbor, so our friend made a fruitless dangerous trip out in the fog in vain ): We got back safely to land about three hours after the propeller had failed. The only challenge for me was that nobody had brought food or water on the boat, so by the end we were all dehydrated and hungry. I feel like I always just assume parents/adults are supposed to handle things like that, forgetting that I’m 22. Lesson learned. And we’re all alive.
Anyway, that was a fun adventure.
The rest of our time in Boothbay was spent biking, kayaking, swimming, and eating too much. Most importantly, we got a lot of writing done and some recordings were made. Lots of late night noisemaking, since midday sessions had too many dogs and children barking outside. Hopefully I’ll get some mixes online soon. Pictures below!
And now I’m sitting in the Portland, ME airport. I have to go back into work tomorrow. There was an earthquake in Virginia (not too many power outages to worry about thankfully), so my flight to BWI was delayed and I took an offer to take an even later return flight in exchange for a free round trip to anywhere in the AirTran network yay. That’s like a two for one deal in my mind. Maybe even a three for one deal, since this flight is just one direction. I sort of actually miss Delaware. Maybe I just miss Newark. I think what I’m trying to say is that this might be the longest length of time in which I haven’t been to Deer Park in the past year. Leaving my guitar behind to be driven home later in the week is hard too. Oh white people and their devastating problems.
We made it! delfolk.org updated yesterday and listed The Honey Badgers as winners of the first round of Delmarva Folk Festival’s “Folk Hero” contest. Our friends Salvage Kin also made it (they just finally picked a name, so you should “like” them asap ^_^). This means that we get to perform at the Delmarva Folk Festival Friday, October 7th. We will be competing with five other groups for the winning prize of a Saturday festival performance spot as well as cash and recording and photography time. So…come out and see us again then. Video and audio recordings from the coffeehouse are above. Everyone loved the banana bread and it all got eaten ^_^
Oh, how did we come up with the name? First, who is “us?” I asked my friend Erin to play violin for some Battleshy Youths songs to make them folksier to hopefully try to win the coffeehouse (success) and then I remembered she could sing so…that’s us. Me and Erin. We walked in Saturday night and I signed us up and I said “what should we call ourselves?” Of course Erin is a Youtube enthusiast and responded with “The Honey Badgers” without even hesitating…so that’s what I wrote ^_^ Someone called it bittersweet. My mother called it stupid. She doesn’t like any of my band names. “Battleshy Youths makes you sound like wimps.” But she likes the music and comes to shows (:
Anyway, “The Honey Badgers” is just the duet form of Battleshy Youths. “Michael Natrin” is just the solo form of Battleshy Youths. “Battleshy Youths” is just the full band version of Battleshy Youths. And that’s about it. I think Cara Watson and Danny Hill might be tied for BSY show attendance, which is actually impressive since Danny is a member and Cara is not a member…she is the #1 superfan.
Also, I am pretty sure that Kool-Aid has the greatest recipe ever…”add a cup of sugar, more or less to taste” teehee #sugarrush
Battleshy Youths updates: we have an exciting show planned for this Saturday night at the Wilmington Film Co-op at 2nd and Loma at 6pm. $6 gets you in to see us and The Paper Janes rock out (: We need people to show up, so you should come!
I recently completed a 6-day voyage across/around/up/down the area known as New England. I don’t really know what was so bad about the old England that they had to make this New England, but she is very beautiful, so I will accept it for what it is. We went in with no real plans, but had so much fun. Things Cara and I learned:
no weigh station in north america is open.
hidden driveways are always visible.
shouting “green means go!” every time the ez-pass light or red light changes to green will never cease to amuse me.
hiding under a towel to block reflections on your laptop screen is very effective.
Quebec has close to nothing in English.
Quebec-type Canadians don’t say “Eh.”
Quebec-type Asian-Canadians speak French!
driving like you’re from Jersey is fun.
Bronx pizza is amazing.
Canadian accents > Boston accents > Bronx accents
home is nice.
beds are nice.
Nomnom. Left Newark Monday morning and headed to Connecticut to meet our friend Elizabeth and go to a grocery store. What?
Yes, we were tourists in a grocery store. Stew Leonard‘s is the largest dairy store in the world (arguably). They had lots of animatronics and the whole store was a continuous maze instead of separate aisles. They had delicious free samples everywhere and an incredible variety of any food you could want in the buffet at the end. So exciting ^_^ Got to tour Elizabeth’s beautiful house and meet her parents, then headed northesternly towards the coast. Arrived in Boston, reserved a spot at the open mic at the Cantab Lounge, found a hotel, and headed back to play the open mic. So much fun.
Tuesday we toured the Sam Adams brewery (which was incredible) and ate delicious Irish food and walked wherever we wanted downtown. Then we couched it in Cara’s roommate’s brother Brian’s house next to Boston College yay.
We babysat their son Wednesday morning so that Brian could get some research done and then we headed through Salem (witch hunting) towards Portland, Maine. We set up camp and it looked windy and threateningly rainy, but we headed into town anyway. Played at the Dogfish Bar and Grill open mic (extremely well run and recorded and only one homeless man bothered us) and looked around the city some. Our campsite was on a lake so it was amazing and we cooked s’mores and nommed and there was no rain.
From there we trecked northwest through New Hampshire and Vermont. All the road signs were bilingual, so we expected the transition into French Canada to go smoothly – as soon as we crossed the border, everything was foreign. Completely French. I do not speak or read or care to understand French. Cara knows enough, so we found a bank and converted money and asked Ben to text us a campsite to set up at and we journeyed towards it with a Garmin that pronounces French words about as well as a three year-old Eskimo. Anyway, the deskgirl hostess was really cute and spoke English and we got a campsite, set up, cooked American hot dogs on the fire, and drove into Montreal. I managed to locate the most expensive parking lot in the city, but we didn’t know any better. Walked around the historic areas, through some college campuses, trying to find some Asians speaking French. Success! Then I tried to creepily make us follow college agers so that we could find somewhere to hang out, but they were boring. Most of the bars were fancy and upscale, so we located a sportsbar microbrewery place that looked safe. The hostess said something in French and I said “can we sit at the bar?” Stupid Americans. She understood though and the bartender gave us menus in English ^_^ Their grapefruity seasonal brew was delicious. Cooked more s’mores at camp and slept on Canadian ground.
Friday we packed up and headed towards New York – we crossed at an extremely small border town and got detained, searched, and questioned! That sounds more exciting than it was, but supposedly it was just a normal random inspection. I told them we had no weapons and then the camp hatchet was the first thing they saw in the trunk lols. Anyway, we drove into Vermont eventually, toured Magic Hat (nomnom), and found our friend Kelsey‘s museum. I had neglected to research what this Shelburne Museum was, so I was expecting boring old paintings in a single building. This place was incredible. She got us through the gates with fancy employee guest passes and then she showed us around – there are many many acres of 39 historic buildings, 25 of which had been brought there from far away places. There was a 220-foot steamship chilling in a valley nowhere near water. There was a fully operational printing press, and circus poster exhibits, and old fancy guns, and 3D paper art, and historic merry-go-round horses with original paint…it was amazing. I wish we had had more time there to look around. Kelsey got off work and we drove the scenic route to her apartment in downtown Burlington and unloaded and got changed and walked to Bueno y Sano, which had incredible quesadillas. Then we went to the Champlain Valley Expo and saw The Avett Brothers (the John Oates band opened up). They were so good. I was really happy. Kelsey was much happier. Cara was happy too but not feeling well. Anyway, it was impressive and the Asian cellist was fiddling and it was a ton of fun. Traffic leaving the show wasn’t bad, but I still wish we had a hovercraft. Slept on couches and air mattresses yay.
We woke up and went to the Burlington Farmer’s Market for breakfast and watched the babies play in the fountain and walked around all the vendors. Got some delicious maple “creemies” (soft serve ice cream) and walked down to Lake Champlain (which you can see from Kelsey’s house yay). Fun times. Got on the road by noon and met Denise in the Bronx around 6 for pizza dinner then drove back to Delaware to drop off Cara and then drop off Michael. So much epicness. So much driving. So much memories. So much food. So much awesome.
We aren’t alcoholics, but we did want to tour lots of breweries and taste everything yay
Monday, Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA
Sam Adams Summer Ales
Tuesday, Sam Adams Brewery in Boston, MA (their tour was an hour of amazingness)
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy
Wednesday, Dogfish Bar and Grill in Portland, ME
Smutty Nose Shoals Pale Ales
Thursday, Les 3 Brasseurs in Montreal, QC, CA
Les 3 Brasseurs Summer Ale
Les 3 Brasseurs Amber Passion
Friday, Magic Hat in Burlington, VT
Magic Hat Wacko Summer Ale
Magic Hat #9 Not Quite Pale Ale
Magic Hat Circus Boy Hefeweizen
12 hours of driving back to Newark, DE to enjoy my favorite Yuengeling Lager