youngraven: (suffer)
We were all of us playing and minding our own business, when...


The large glass jar that we'd been using for tips fell from its perch on the railling by the piano and shattered over the stage floor behind me.

I might have remarked 'aah' at the sound, but mostly I recall Ken's startled face. It was well, startled. John suggested that I check I hadn't got a shard or two of glass embedded in the back of my head. Luckily, I'd managed to escape unscathed. I snapped a photo of some of the resulting debris.

Here, behind this cut. )

Truth be told, I don't know exactly how it happened. Judging by the bits of glass on the piano and John's remark, it must have tipped over, fallen against the piano, and the impact caused it to shatter, rather than it merely dropping to the ground. I didn't see it happen, so it'll remain a mystery.

But it's never a dull moment there, really.
youngraven: (suffer)
Me: /unzips case/ Well, Caitrín - it's time.
Bodhrán: Nrrrrgh
Me: Come on a storín, we've got to play now.
Bodhrán: Cad é? Eff off.
Me: Caitrín, people are watching us - it's only for a few hours.
Bodhrán: Sleepy. 's hot as the divil here.
Me: /frantically tightening head/ Ah, for fuck's sake.
Bodhrán: Perhaps you could pound at your chair instead.

Translation: my bodhrán was loose and floppy and gave me fits for three hours this afternoon. I was spoilt by my previous one, Mallory, who seemed impervious to the air round her. This one...isn't. The slightest hint of damp in the air renders her bleeding unconscious. She's a kangaroo by birth, thus she'd likely be happier in a desert.

Erm...alright, I thought too long about that last bit and now I'm slightly disturbed by it. I mean, I know that many bodhráns are made, in part, out of things that are dead, but...sure, I'm thinking too hard on it now.

At any rate, this was the sort of seisiun in which I confess I breathed a sigh of relief when somebody else made a mistake - safety in numbers sort of thing. I'm coming to internalise that it happens - even to the really experienced players, and nobody's descended from on high to smite them out of existence, so.

So an amusing thing happened today. The seisiun time today was a bit earlier than usual, so as is my wont I'd been fretting about arriving on time. When I'm accustomed to something happening at a specific time, I often fall into a sort of...I don't know how to describe it, but I sort of switch off and let the corpus find its own way there sort of thing. So when something changes, I've really got to pay attention - or at least I convince myself I do. At any rate, when I walked into the pub, I noticed that nobody of us was there but for myself. Ken had warned me that perhaps something could change, and as I'd been out most of last night, I got nervous and phoned him.

Trinity Hall is a noisy place - it merely is. That's part of its character, the noise. The space in front of Trinity Hall is a noisy place as well. Thus, I thought it really unlikely that I'd heard Ken utter the word 'asshole' in the midst of disjointed (again noise and two mobiles) little chat. I thought to myself 'sure, he never said that - 'cos why should he do? I never phoned him to ask an entirely stupid question'. He assured me that nothing had changed, I went back inside, and fought with the WIFI network there for entirely too long.

A few moments later, Ken wanders in under the weight of his gear ('s the trouble with people who play more than one instrument - you've only two hands ever, have you? This shite's bleeding heavy), and I think that perhaps I should be helping him to set us up rather than pissing about on the Internet. So I do.

He pauses for a moment, looks and me and says 'did I say anything...bad to you when you phoned'? I started to laugh and said 'you might have done'. I honestly thought I'd misheard him what with the ambient din (and his usually tidy speech), but no. Something had happened on his drive to the pub that moved him to curse at another driver. He realised when he rang off with me that 'asshole' was the likely the last thing I'd heard him say.

Good times. :D

(Right, so if you know him - don't tell him I wrote about it in my blog, please?)
youngraven: (sprig)
So, [ profile] typsygypsy is for ever making the grandest little signs for us. Am I doing anything creative at all? No. rather I'm doing this:

Sprig's playing...
3 August 2007 (Friday - holy shite, that's tonight!)
8.30pm - 12.30 am
Trinity Hall
5321 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206

And the aformentioned [ profile] typsygypsy and myself will be playing tomorrow night at the Tipperary. Speaking of which, here's what the good people at the Tipp have got to say about that:

Join us as Michelle Feldman & David Lovrien (Gallus), Gypsy Youngraven & Candace Winship (Spriggan) and John Burleson (formerly of Lost Tribe) get together for an evening of celtic music.

The Irish TIMES Band is the brainchild of Jigsaw member Ken Fleming, and its sole purpose is to combine some of the area's best talent to raise money for the Traditional Irish Music Education Society (TIMES), a non-profit organization founded by Fleming that produces the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat in October and other educational programs year-round.

You can still find the Tipperary Inn in its usual corner: 5815 Live Oak St, Dallas 75214

Peace out, slán go foill, and mind the gap (and I'll keep saying it, bedamn. ;))
youngraven: (Mr Shamoose)
...with giving myself a list of topics is that at the time, I'd a clear notion of what I might write about.

Pause for brief, silent lecture against the evils of procrastination.

Ha, I say that, but it really only takes a few moments for me to lose my point on days when my brain has got holes in. At any rate, I'd had something entirely other planned for the previous entry - something that might have even skirted the edges of public introspection (shockhorror). So much for that, eh?

I'll talk about the soiree instead.

Yes, there was one, and yes it was grand. I'll admit to being a bit tired and a bit subdued that night, and then I'll blame that on the steady march of time. By half-eleven that night, I longed to make my exit and crawl into my bed. I think I managed that at last at half three in the morning. I remained remarkably sober, so that goes to show you that it's possible. I don't piss my brains out every time we have a do at Orion Rising.

Pauses to gloat for a moment.

My mates are of the opinion that I do often render myself paralytic, and thus I was given no fewer than six bottles of whiskey as gifts (five bottles of the Black Bush, and one of the Clontarf Single Malt). So, you can imagine my aggravation when, upon waking the next morning, I had five bottles of whiskey. Five. I counted. Now then, had it been that a group of people had taken it upon themselves to open said bottle and put it away amongst the lot of them, sure that would have been no trouble at all - it's why it's there. Only I'd have discovered the remains of that the next day (well, unless the poor bastard was so much in his cups that he buried the evidence in the back garden - I suppose if a still sprouts in the next few months, I'll know that this has what has occurred. Have I mentioned that plants hate me?).

Sure, I had it to spare - this isn't about gluttony at all, rather it's about asking me before collecting up something that was given to me and taking it off home. I'd not have said 'no', only I wasn't given the chance to consider it - and now I'm left to wonder who of them I shouldn't be trusting. Orgh. It's a small thing, really, and I know it.

On a mostly unrelated topic, if you find you've nowhere at all to be on the 11th from 3.00pm until 6.00pm, then you can come and gawk at me at Trinity Hall. I promise I'll not lob a cipín at you (not intentionally, at any rate).


Feb. 5th, 2007 11:27 pm
youngraven: (Default)
Saturday night was Sprig's first show of the new year, and we blew the roof off the place. No lie. We had a fantastic, attentive crowd, and we closed to a full house. Many amongst them were people we knew, but many more weren't - and that's always grand. It isn't as though I dislike playing to my mates - never believe that, but there's a certain sort of gleeful conquest in winning over new people.

Sort of thing. I'm not feeling terribly descriptive at the moment, so this mightn't be as glib and pithy as other posts. Never mind that.

Confucius sez it's time for a cut )

And there it is.

Sprig sez

Dec. 26th, 2006 06:13 pm
youngraven: (sprig)
So, we've got one last hurrah before the end of the year and the month of January, in which we'll likely tie up the last few strings on our (as of yet unnamed) CD.

Your line: Oh, grand! I simply must come out in support - and I'll bring all of my friends. In fact, I'll clone us all first, so there will be twice as many of usa as before.

Our line: Erm...alright, so the cloning bit is slightly alarming - but no matter, here's the where and the when.

Where: Trinity Hall

When:Friday, 29 December 2006
9.00 pm - 12.30am

Trinity Hall's details:
5321 E Mockingbird Ln
Dallas, TX 75206
PH: 214.887.3600

For your perusal, here are a few studio photos - including a shot of my famed glowing gold mic. Unfortunately, the glow can't be seen in the photo, but we all of us know in our hearts that it's there, so it needn't be visible.

I cut because I care. )
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
...I didn't launch my tipper at seisiun this afternoon. Fortunately, I'd got that bit of foolishness out of the way at the studio yesterday. It happened in the middle of a take, of course. A rim shot I thought I had under control snatched the thing out of my hand and flipped it round and round - much like a propellor - before I was able to capture it. I think I rejoined the tune in the middle of the second B. I can't recall whether we've decided that I should re-record that bit.

The seisiun went reasonably well - John dropped his plectrum in the middle of a tune, so perhaps it's catching. He blushed as he bent to fetch it back up, and I think Ken gave him a Look. It's difficult to judge what's on in the mind of Ken, and I think I've decided to stop trying. 'Cos otherwise I'd climb out of my skin - and that wouldn't be a pleasant sight to behold.

And speaking of sights, one sees the most interesting ones through the pub window. Trinity Hall is near to a flash, highly commercial art house cinema (note the irony), and thus all of the flash, highly commercial art house people are wont to buzz about near to the pub's door. This afternoon's offering was an attractive, reasonably fit-looking woman wearing an urban, hip hop-inspired track suit - you know, the sort with words such as 'baby' or 'bling-bling' in arched letters across the back of the trousers. Only this woman's trousers read 'juicy'.


I shudder to think on why anybody might have found that appropriate. Somebody needed to take her aside and explain something vital to her.

I think the next time I'm there, I'll beg Ken to leave the curtains drawn. The windows let in far too much light, and we bodhran players have been known to disintegrate into untidy piles of ash that smell of whiskey (&c.) when exposed to sunlight. Sure, wouldn't that be a loss to the world?

Leaping backwards to Saturday...aside from the bit of spontaneous instrument acrobatics and a vocal re-record that landed squarely on its face (I realised at the first verse that I didn't have any energy to offer it, ah well. Hurrah for lessons learnt.), there were no mishaps to speak of. God's teeth, I hate ending sentences with prepositions (but there it is). I realise that not doing sounds a bit pretentious and affected, but janey it bugs my shite. Grr. (Never mind all of the other grammatical rules that I break with, they're much more like guidelines.) Where was I? Oh yes, in the studio lobbing tippers and yodelling like a drunken rat. We've come down to the last of it. We recorded our last complete piece - the rest of what we do will be smoothing over the remaining rough edges and then tarting the lot of it up - well, within reason. We've sacked the chorus of valkyries - the feathers were making us sneeze and the steely breastplates were intimidating our engineer. So the tarting up will come in the form of (in the words of Daithi Sproule) whatever is tasteful and nice.

We spent the evening with the 24 crowd eating fish and drinking wine and debating Peak Oil. Good times.

So...tomorrow, I think I'll go to the Cor's rehearsal and hover about in the back row, and then Tuesday night is seisiun, Wednesday night I've got a meeting with a vocal/performance coach, and...and I'm really running out of time to smarten up Orion Rising for the annual autumn feasting. Ah well, it'll happen when it does.

Peace out, slan go foill, and mind the gap.
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
...I'll be doing my bit for the cause (and which cause is that, I wonder...) this Sunday from 3.00 pm till 6.00 pm at Trinity Hall. Come out, drink, duck (as I'm wont to launch my tippers whenever I play this seisiun. I think the windows make me nervous), it'll be grand. No honest.

Peace out, slan go foill, and mind the gap,



Oct. 15th, 2006 08:48 pm
youngraven: (sprig)
Well, we made it thro' our Grand Return to Trinity Hall (sure, there's a story there but I'm not for telling it) and the Celtic Heritage Festival - despite that it was pissing with rain all day.

At the end of it all, I'm reasonably certain I've earnt the last bit of dosh towards my new bodhran - whenever that comes to light. I think my current one realises that she's about to be replaced - which would explain why I lost control of her at the end of Friday's last set. No, I didn't lob my tipper - I waited till today to manage that one.

At least it was spectacular.

At any rate, I'm completely fagged, and am thus inclined to babble, so don't expect any of this to make any sense. Ha. I can recall a time (almost) in which I coughed up journal entries for the benefit of myself alone...

So Friday proved a bit of a challenge, because I've been dubbed Office Lackey Extraordinaire. You know, I'm likely misusing the word 'lackey', but for the life of me I can't think of anything better, so you'll have to sort that one out on your own. What it all means is that I've given far too many logical answers to far too many questions that the askers could have worked out on their own. This has the nasty result of making one an Expert and thus in demand. Such was myself at Friday night - much to my chagrin. As I was frantically preparing to scarper for the pub, a woman phones me to ask me to sort out a complaint that she's got with our document management system. 'Cos I had a look on our web site and your name was given as my primary resource for this office.

'Oh, for fuck's sake,' sez I to myself.

I don't recall throwing my lot in for this particular task, and in fact, I think I was told I'd not have to sort out complaints of this nature. But what could I do? Tell her to eff off? Sure, perhaps I could have done. Argh. At any rate, because I'm desperate foolish, I solved her silly difficulty. Serves me right for being at sea as to what is actually on that web site.

So, erm....right - off to the pub. Our sound check was quick and reasonably uneventful. Since Chris plays everything but the found harmonium, our sound checks tend towards the lengthy. Not so Friday night. Of course, we could scarcely hear each other over the ambient roar (at Trinity, the importance is placed on the craic rather than the ceol), but no matter, as we'd expected that.

For all that the craic is revered, we had a really responsive crowd, and that's always grand. No-one could understand a word we said, but frankly, I'm used to that, so. At the end of the night, somebody had twisted a serviette into a rose and had left it in our tip jar. I've still got it in my bodhran case. It's fascinating. I've never seen that done before - well, not exactly that. I'm going to snap photos of it. Perhaps I can do something artistic with them.

Afterwards, we crawlled home. Literally. I had to slap myself a few times to stop me driving off the road.

On to Saturday. Have I got anything remarkable to say about Saturday? Erm...well, our stage had a sharp list to port, which challenged my vertigo to a duel. Oh, and I forgot the reprise to 'Wearing of the Green'. I don't know why, exactly. I'd wandered off in my head someplace. It happens.

Oh! There wasn't any haggis! I'd gone expecting haggis! So very sad. Yes, I'm fond of haggis, and no, it isn't because I feel the need to prove something to the rest of the world.

After our set, we lingered about for Paisley Close's set. Their stage presence is really killer, although how the lead singer could leap about on that stage without falling off her feet is astonishing. Me? I'd be arse over head - even reaching behind myself to fetch up my guitar proved a bit of a challenge.

[ profile] shaddowshoes, myself, [ profile] mishajames, and his fair cailin went for nosh after that, and then we crawlled home again. For a sober weekend, we did a great deal of crawlling.

Which brings us to today. It pissed with rain (I might have mentioned). [ profile] toarthos might have caught his death of cold from playing a seisiun out in the rain (under cover, to be sure, but still in the elements). Our set went reasonably well - it was indoors on a level stage, so our crowd was good. was recorded, so perhaps we'll find ourselves with a few usable tracks. I'd love to have a new demo now as opposed to when the CD is released.

Oh, and we've at last got to meet [ profile] 0ccam and [ profile] frostdancer.
youngraven: (sprig)
Argh. I typed 'shite' as 'shtie' - and then I tried to pronounce 'shtie'.

At any rate...for your reading pleasure, I present a recapitulation of the last two Spriggan announcements. Don't choke on them.

Part the First
If you find you can't wait till the Celtic Heritage Festival to get your Irish on, then fear not (and we mean that - we don't want to frighten or alarm anybody), Spriggan will be playing at Trinity Hall (the delightful Irish pub at Mockingbird Station - ride the rail, it's fun!) this very Friday night.

Yes. Friday, 13 October, from 8.30 pm till 12.30 am.
Trinity Hall Irish Pub - near to the Angelika Theatre at Mockingbird Station

Bring yourselves, a black cat to cross your path, a ladder to step under, and a bit of salt to toss over your shoulder and come out in support of your local Irish scene. For us, every day is St Pat's.

Part the Second
Ah, autumn...the leaves are falling, the days are growing shorter, and
it's still hot as the Inferno. Why is that, you ask? Because this is
Texas, that's why (check the map if you don't believe me - go on).

The good people behind the Celtic Heritage Festival have got a grand
idea as to what to do with the wealth of sunshine - come out and
frolic in it. Yes. we did say 'frolic', and we're not a bit ashamed of
having done. In fact, Spriggan will be frolicking at the Celtic
Heritage Festival. We'll also be playing there, lest you think we've
gone a bit mad.

So, here's the where and when:

Saturday, 13 October, 5.00 p.m. at the FWICA stage
Sunday, 14 October, 3.00 p.m. at the Leland stage

For the rest of the story, you'll have to click this link.

Peace out, slan go foill, and mind the gap.
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
Well, actually it isn't, but it is a show (of sorts) and I am in it (hence the 'Me' bit). If you find yourself with nothing to do this Sunday, and you're within 50 miles of Dallas, then consider Trinity Hall as a destination.

Why? 'Cos I'm playing a seisiun there from 3.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. That's why. How could you miss an opportunity to watch me launch my tipper across the room (and I will, you know, it's become a regular occurrance)?

I'd said other, wittier things, only a power surge seems to have shot the lot. Ah well, eh?

Peace out, slan go foill, and mind the gap (my cousin knows what that means now),

youngraven: (Ja)
Yeh, so I've had fuckall to say for myself for the past few days. Actually, I think I've managed to avoid posting about a goodly part of July. I blame the swiftness of its passing. Seriously, I blinked, and July had gone.

There was one event, however, that I purposely didn't write about - not even where only myself could see it: the pick up band at Trinity Hall. Alright, in absolute fairness, I didn't bollox it. My 'band mates' took no exception to my playing (well, perhaps one of them did, but I'll never know that for certain), the audience took no exception to my playing, the only person who did is the one typing about it on this dodgy old keyboard.

Er - I didn't feel my performance was up to my standards, and sure they're likely too high, but at least these days I've almost got the skill to back up the bravado. Some things do change.

And see there? Now it's all out in the open - I've no need to hide from it. My conscience is clear, well, on this score at least. That murder charge is yet pending.

Shite. Did I say that aloud? Rather, did I type that aloud? (Translation: We've come now to the babbling hour, thus anything goes.)

So, one arrived to one's cave in a foul temper this evening - I think it's the sun shining in my face as I drive home - at least a quarter of my journey home is westward, and at this time of year the sun is just below my visor. Blahblahnatternatter, at any rate, I went for walkies and that brightened my mood. A telephone call asking me to play in this Sunday from the fellow who runs the Trinity seisiun allowed my brightened mood to live.

You know, there's a witty way to say that, only I can't think of it. Bleh.

I was very good tonight: I went for walkies, I did the washing up, I fed [ profile] shaddowshoes, and I made the bed. Hurrah for me. :)
youngraven: (Default)
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed in 1940. Ker-splash. Good-bye, Bridge (ah, wipe the horrified looks from your faces - nobody was killed).

Unlike the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Spriggan didn't come crashing down in a grinding squeal of metal and concrete Friday night. In fact, we blew their gorramned arses out the back bloody wall.

pauses to weep with the Pogues. Christ on a bike, I love angsty, Irish punk. Seriously, we should form a side project and call it Planxty Angsty - that was effing brilliant, [ profile] typsygypsy. And the girl singing here with them (still raving about the Pogues, me) - ah, she's dead. Dead! Isn't that Perfect? I know, I'm horrible - I'll stop now, I swear it. Oish.

God, what was I on about? Right. Trinity Hall. So, we seriously impressed our supporters (of which there were many - I was flattened - and grateful - by the number of people who stepped out for us. Cheers, youse)...whether we impressed the landlord...ah, he's a hard case. So, we might have done or we mightn't have done. I suppose that remains to be seen (lo, the obvious).

We had a bit of trouble with a sudden horrible squeal at the sound check - it silenced the entire bloody room, and the landlord Greatly Dislikes Anything That Silences the Pub. He's all for the craic, himself. [ profile] typsygypsy leant over to me and whispered 'Ee, we're fired'. I thought 'Squeal! Bad! Must hide!'

Everything went rather well, despite shattering all of the jars in the house (we didn't, but God I worried). The lot at Trinity Hall have got a penchant for rebel songs - it's a far cry from the day that Martin would kick you to the kerb for even alluding to the possibility that there might have been perhaps a bit of trouble with the English on the Ould Sod. But...again, it remains to be seen whether they'll have us back or they won't.

BEHAN are grand. No honest, they are - and they're none of them intimidated by their own politics. It made for a pleasant change. Shaddow and I stayed for the rest of their sets (they're amazing to watch - Mike Behan is a frigging Irish trad rock star who looks for all the world like a computer jockey) and then dragged ourselves over to [ profile] crann_ull's house for a bit more craic. My friend [ profile] serenaneres joined us - it was brilliant to have her along. She desperately needs casual mates (it's true, me love).

(I really would dearly love for my file to save now...)

So, at the end of the night, we sat about on [ profile] crann_ull's porch and talked about the scary fellow (henceforth known as MC 900lb Booty Call - would I'd possessed the wit to make that comment at the time) we know who met Gerry Adams. Here's to hoping he didn't leave as lasting an impression on Mr Adams as he did on me. Oish.

So. There 'tis.
youngraven: (ducky)
Spriggan will be opening for BEHAN at Trinity Hall on 4 November. Come out in support of your local Irish music scene - it's better than psychotherapy.

Spriggan and BEHAN
4 November, 2005
8.30pm - 12.30 am

Trinity Hall
5321 E Mockingbird Ln Dallas, TX 75206
PH: 214.887.3600


youngraven: (Default)

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