August 12th, 2012

old gm building

blissful cessation

On Friday evening I went to Jazzy Veggie, a 100% vegan restaurant that I only just learned about. The food was *excellent*. I had something new that isn't on the printed menu yet--a sandwich called the "Ol' Western" that consists of a vegan sausage with barbecue sauce, mushrooms and onions on a toasted hoagie bun. It was the best sandwich I have ever had.

I spent Saturday morning at the library going through the building permit index to find all of the still-existant nineteenth century buildings on Michigan Avenue in Corktown. I eventually want to catalog the whole neighborhood, but I think the commercial buildings are a good place to start. Coincidentally, one of the building permits (for the current site of the Maltese Benevolent Society) was issued on the same day as the next house I'm researching (1394 Pine Street) and they were right next to each other in the index.

Last night, of course, was the release party for Zelda and the Unibrows' new EP, Blissful Cessation (iTunes link). The only people I knew who showed up who I don't know through Joe were Sarah and my mom. But then again, I met almost everybody I know through Joe, so that's probably not a meaningful observation. I could probably say I know Jeff through Laurel, but since he's part of the group, I don't think he counts as a non-Joe guest. Matt made pancakes (in reference to one of our song lyrics), and my mom also brought food. Annie D. manned the merchandise table.

As usual (by which I mean for only the fourth time in my entire life) there was some awkwardness in being more of a recording/production group as opposed to a "band" at a release party, since there wasn't a "performance". The party was at Salt & Cedar, and the album played out of speakers in the back room. If a song had a video, that video was projected onto one of the walls--otherwise, just an image of the album cover was projected. Included in the loop were the rough cuts of the videos for the orchestral versions of Pluffart and Recordare.

This just bewildered some guests. Some greaseball who didn't know I was in the group started complaining to me about how "confused" he was and asked what I thought of "this stuff". I said, "I think it all sucks!" He told me, "I thought there would be a band here. I was ready to rock out!" I replied, "Oh, is that what the flyer said?" (Hint: it didn't.) Dude, there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of "bands" out there. Can you enjoy something different for once?

Of course, the evening was overwhelmingly positive. I think most people enjoyed the music. The orchestral version of Recordare made my mom cry, and seeing the video made me wish I could write exclusively orchestral music. Joe really, really wishes that I *did* want to play live music, and one of these years I will have to give in. For that to happen, we will probably have to write an album that is *intended* to be played live by us and no more than two other musicians. Maybe granting Joe's wish will help make up for kicking him out of his house...