Poison River Station, day 1122

The first Acoustic Pita show took place yesterday, at the Garage Club, Rishon Lezion. We thought that we'll be slightly off-stream, mostly due to the texts, but we found ourselves serving as the big mainstream point of the evening, due to an excessive amount of distortion on behalf of the other bands. Here's a short summary of A Day In A Life Of A Rock Band:

16:00 Pita arrives at zero ground, thus proving that three persons, two guitars, half a set of drums and an upright bass can all be carried by a single Mazda.
16:01 Meeting the persons in charge, plus a member or two of the other bands performing tonight. Pita Guitarist suffers culture shock.
16:02 Pita members find out that ballance procedure for the other bands, due to start 14:00, has not, in fact, started.
16:05 Pita decides to go and grab a bite. Pita Guitarist suffers gastronomical shock caused by a Rishon Falafel.
17:30 Pita returns from grabbing a bite, only to find that ballance is still delayed, mostly due to a burned guitar amplifier. Pita Guitarist suffers combat shock due to overusage of distortion.
18:00 Sleep on benches and chairs.
19:00 A replacement amplifier has not yet arrived. Pita decides to have some fun, and performs the whole show REALLY unplugged, for all the available crowd (1 soundman, 1 organizer, 1 club owner, 2 waitresses, 5 members of other bands and one or two innocent civilians).
19:20 Replacement amplified arrives. Noisy ballance for other bands. Pita members help with guitar sound. Pita Guitarist wishes he was dead.
19:30 Pita leader cuts other ballances short and takes control over the stage.
19:45 Pita ballance is over. Sleep.
21:00 People start arriving.
22:05 Start of the Ambrosia event. First artist on stage.
22:40 Pita on stage. A very warm welcome.
23:05 Pita show over. A very interesting procedure of dragging an upright bass through the crowd with only slight injuries. Pita Guitarist is shocked to find out he's no longer in shock.
23:20 Pita leader receives the Ambrosia "Best Track Of The Year" Award for his Funkapella piece "We Are The Funkapella". He's quit surprised by it. An amusing "thank you" speach, shouted over a very loud playback of the very song in question.
23:40 Pita interviewed by a TV team from The Guy Pinness(?) Show, in what might turn out to be the most horrific interview ever given in the history of Israeli Rock. It included, among other things: A Science Fiction Story, Some Musicians' Jokes, A Faked Fight, Over Ideology, Between Drummer and Leader, A Suspects' Lineup, A Faked Band Split-Up, An Improvised Stand-Up Show, Some Sing-Along and not even the Slightest Mention of Politics.
23:30 Pita Gonna Eat A Pizza.
00:45 Pita Members Go Home. Pita Guitarist shocked by having survived the whole day.

Note: BurgerRanch Rulez!

Poison River Station, day 1111

HOW TO BEHAVE IN A STYLISH RESTAURANT
————————————-

A short list summarizing briefly only the essisntial parts of a crash course given on said subject.
Instructor: K
Student: Your Humble

Viola:

1. Don't Pick Your Nose
2. Don't Play with the Silverware
3. Don't Eat with your Hands
4. Don't Play with Your Nose
5. Don't Belch
6. Don't Stare Longingly at the Kitchen's Door
7. Don't Stare Longingly at Other People's Food
8. Don't Stare Longingly at waitresses with food trays
9. Don't Scratch Your Nose
10. DON'T STARE AT WAITRESSES, I said!
11. Don't Lick your fingers
12. Don't Lick the plates
13. Don't Pass Your Fingers Over The Plates In Order To Lick The Sauce Off Them
14. Don't Blow Off Your Nose
15. Will You Stop Messing With Your Bloody Nose?
16. Don't Pick At Your Teeth Noisily With A Toothpick
17. Don't Steel More Toothpicks After I Took Your Noisy Toothpick Away
18. Do Not Write Funny Stuff Beside Your Autograph On The Credit Card Bill
19. What Did I Say About Belching? WHAT Did I Say?!
20. LEAVE YOUR NOSE ALONE! YOU'RE EMBARRASSING ME!

————————————-

Grades:
Behaviour: F
Understanding Of Orally Given Material: F
Final Exam: F
Effort: D minus (student stopped belching momentarily at some point)
Total Evaluation: Instructor failed to calculate, went to bed with a belly ache instead

Poison River Station, day 1098

K's parents are moving soon to a new house. They use the opportunity in order to get rid of much stuff accumulated over the years. Which is how I came to be the proud owner of a two-stories organ, straight from the happy 80's!
Joy! Joy!
I tried to find information about the thing on the net, but failed. It was manufactured by a firm called "Webo Electronics", and the model is called "Princess" (or so I figured out, reading the hand-writting information on a plate at the back of the machine). Anything? Anyone?
I almost broke my back lifting the thing to the station, despite the help supplied by a friend recruited by K for the purpose.
I need a name for it.
I'm now thinkin of recording a 70's progressive album using it. I mean, it sounds THAT retro.

Getting a new instrument is always a please. When it's for free.

Poison River Station, day 1090

First, as promised – the NEW, SECRET, BOOTLEG recording of the new pita group, a part of the new show – Pita unPlugged. Recorded during a rehearsal last thursday, here's Dark Side of the Sun!
(Asaf – Acoustic Guitar, Idan – Drums & Backing Vocals, Your Humble – Lead Vocal & Upright Bass)

And shows there will be too. Two 20 minutes shows (about four songs each) will take place next month:
10/3/2002 – Part of the first Ambrosia Night – the Pita will be the first of the 3 groups performing. This will take place at a place called "The Garage" in Rishon LeZion.
31/3/2002 – A special guest performance at the opening ceremony of Fantasy.Con 2002 – a fantasy convention organized by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. This happy occasion will happen at the Mofet Hall in Ramat Gan.

So, all in all, a busy month awaits us.

Oh, and the big K made the most delicious cake on the face of the earth, but we ate it all. You don't really want to hear about is, you see, for it was SUCH a lovely cake, t'was, it tasted of… something… like… amazing… and…
Yes. Well. T'was an amazing cake, and now it is over. OVER, I say! I will now get on with my LIFE.

Poison River Station, day 1050

Today saw the first rehearsal of Pita mark II. Since the original band members – Oded and Yaron – live now abroad, new players had to be recruited. They are: Idan (who worked with me on the sound of the Pita Album) on drums and Asaf (who never heard of the Pita before) on guitar.
Our first goal – an acoustic show at the coming FantasyCon (Fantasy Convention. Good name, eh?)
Acoustic means – Idan on drums, either with brushes or with a mutes snare, Asaf on an acoustic guitar, and your humble servant on the Upright Bass, which is known in some parts as a "Contrabass".

We had a lovely first rehearsal today at the Nir Space Station, then, most of which was spent on studio setup, for we're gonna try and record some of the acoustic versions. Pita Unplugged…

My back seems not to like the prospect of Upright Bass playing. It decided to go on strike, which means there's a doctor in my very near future, including a (rather painless) injection and a (rather painful) fee.

There goes the price of art.

Poison River Station, dat 1042

Houston, We Have A Morris! I repeat, We Have A Morris!

The solution was so brilliantly simple that it took almost 5 months to find.
(For those of you who are not updated regarding the Pita Project – some of my previous entries can help, plus a glance at the Official Pita Site: http://www.upita.org)

ANYWAY, the part of Morris was given to Adi, who is also a player in HABIMA), and who was supposed to do the part of Yohai, the Radio Announcer. The Yohai part was given to the newest member of our team, Tommy Q, who has a reach history of radio broadcasting at GALATZ.
Adi was tested yesterday, less than an hour after appearing in a very serious drama at HABIMA (he invited K and myself – ach, the benefits of employing serious actors…) – and he was absolutely brilliant. We are very satisfied. We hope to have sample recordings online as soon as possible.

And so we are all set up. Recordings will soon start, and there'll be great rejoicing!
Meanwhile, Ophir is working on the special FX, and your humble servant is trying to re-create the band, with other people, so that we can have a short, unplugged show at the opening event of FantasyCon2002 – a fantasy convention.

Today a weird videoclip of the Pita was broadcasted at the new Channel 10. They told me it turned out quite pulpy, which is both good and bad. When I see I'll report. Probbaly also put online.

(!Poison River Station, day 1030 (still

Been to two shows by frieds of mine:
Sunday saw "Synedrion", a "70's" Progressive Rock Band, which once recorded a semi-album at the Nir Space Station. I enjoyed that show immensly, and the music is really recommended (try http://planet.nana.co.il/sanedrin/ , which includes two tracks from said recording).
Monday was Paula's turn. A singer I first met at Rimon, she recruited a great gang of players and gave a good show, though the style is not exactly my cuppa tea. K says that she tries very hard to be Tory Amos. Me, I never listen to such stuff, so I wouldn't know. But they players were really very good.

Enough! What am I doing here, writing in the Journal like that?! Off to work, to rest!

Poison River Station, day 1030

I've got the feeling that my fascinating recent entries (Radio, TV and Washing Machines) weren't read by anyone because I put backwards dates on'em. Serves to show me. At least I now rest assured that history is already written. Maybe someone will discover them in a thousand years and wonder what on earth (or alpha centaury) a "Washing Machine" might be.

Our household now includes:
K, who cooks and dresses everyone
Myself, in charge of music creation and eating
Garfield, who has slept near K for some 14 years, and is now sleeping between us
Herbie, the Furry Fish, already a TV star despite his young age
Nala, the Lioness, who keeps track of everything

It seems that, regarding the three last occupants, K's imagination is quite more developed than mine, and a good deal more pervert. You don't really want me to tell you. Trust me on that one.

Poison River Station, day 1026

…continued!

Pita went studio on tuesday, 14:00. The original Pita players were equally spread betweeen the US and UK, so stunts had to be recruited. Final team: Idan (who also mixed the Pita Album with me) on drums, Udi (who had nothing to do with the Pita previously, and was recruited hurriedly at the last moment) on guitar, and your humble servant. A special team member was added at the last moment – K volunteered to do the styling.
We didn't have to actually play – it was all done using a playback. We just had to look as if we're playing.
And so the big day arrived. K and I spent the morning roaming through various toy shops, then picked up Iddan and arrived at the studio a bit early, equipped with:
* 1 Time Machine (suspiciously looking JUST like an old boiler-timer – but witha dial and a RED button!)
* 1 Furry Fish (those are quite rare in Israeli toy shops – I don't know why)
* 4 Small transparent rubber balls, with little fishies inside
* An unknown number of plastic bath toys, among them two fishies, one sea-horse and some unidentified creatures
* A huge amount of plastic cups
There were also various unique clothing gear, of which I prefer not to talk, having not even the slightest idea how to begin describing them.
Arrive we did, and were immediately stowed in a medium sized waiting room, along with the members of the other bands scheduled to get pictured that day. Despite their obvious lack of an SF concept, they managed to look quite weird without trying much. Some of them seemed to be the victims of a horrible radiation accident, while others were simply gazing at us and humming.
Makeup procedure went quite well for everyone, until the third band arrived. "Makeup? We don't need no stinking makeup!"
"Please," said the poor girl whos job it was, "it's my job!"
"No thank you!"
"But I MUST do it! It's in my contract!"
And so on, until one of them, at last, volunteered to get painted and thus finished it.

The show itself was quite weird. I will not repeat here the concept (which I never fully grasped), but the host seemed to be just like a character taken from our own radio-play, and the interview went accordingly.
The first take of the clip got us by surprise – they simply started playing the song. It took Udi (guitar), who learned the song some 10 minutes earlier, some 5 seconds to grasp that he was actually supposed to look as if he was playing. Since the beginning of the song is guitar-only, I bet it looked quite funny. However, we had great fun: The Furry Fish flew fairly far, falling fiercly to & fro. The Plastic Cups were Planted Cunningly upon Potted Concussion instruments, Plainly Corrodable setup Providing Clear and Present Chance of Pleasurable Cup dropping. The Bath Toys Turned Beautifully Bright The Task Brought Before The Band. Time Tinkerer, Time Toy, Turned Time, This Time, This Time, Time Turned, Toy Time, Tinkerer Time.

So pictured it was (twice), and stuff flew in the air, and I managed to convince the programme editor (who turned out to be a fan of ours) to edit it my way (I hope she does). And K told me I was making too many faces (which was true), and nobody told Idan anything about his frightening torn jeans (which is also true), and Udi's hat fit just THAT way (he wore my old sunglasses), and my coat was thrown out of the set by a maddened K (I wore HER sunglasses), and everybody were fairly happy.

And then I remember that I was actually very sick, and spent the next week in bed. Which is also true.

Poison River Station, day 1023

And so we found ourselves, the fellowship of four, listening to the horrible countdown while the TV camera got closer and closer… but let us start from the beginning.
Some time ago a radio broadcaster called Dado Milman got his hands on a copy of "The Universe In A Pita". He liked it very much, and promised to broadcast songs from it in his programme – "Cannot Sleep" at Galatz (Tel Aviv: 104FM; rest of country: dunno). He actually played one of the songs ("Ectoplasma") even before talking to me – and talk to me he did. He told me that he wants us also to appear in a TV show he's working for, in the new commercial channel (channel 10 or something of the sort – I still don't have a TV here so I wouldn't know). He talked of a short interview and a "videoclip" that would be made of a selected songwhich will also be played in his radio programme continuosly.
I agreed majestically for all of this, convinced Dado that the selected song should be "My Uncle Bought Me A Time Machine" (instead of "Ectoplasma"), and waited patiently for the next radio prog (every thursday, 02:00). Me and H, the Pita script writer, sat at his place for three hours and listened to Josy Katz talking – for that particular programme contained just about nothing else.
I was somewhat pissed off by this. I called Dado and explained that people who promise me things had better keep their promises else I ain't gonna talk to them again – you getting my drift, sire? He got it. Big promises were made, and I set to re-master all the Pita material in order to have it ready for next thursday.
First, Idan and I spent a saturday improving all the Pita mixes. Then all was ready for mastering, which was done done at Nathan Cohen's place the next tuesday. Unfortunately, after all the effort it was still unfinished, and Ectoplasma turned out to be problematic and had to be re-mixed. Alas – a software update I've made several days earlier killed all my mix data. Despite everything I got some more Nathan Time on thursday, only several hours before the deadline. It was a crazy day – driving to and from Nathan (we did crazy things to Ectoplasma in order to fix it), playing at a rehearsal stuck most inconveniently in between everything else, doing a bit of work for the firm and some other stuff. I got home at about midnight, had the CDs ready for Dado at about half past one, and arrived at the radio station exactly three minutes before two in the morning.
At which time I was told that six people were shot by a terrorist in Hadera, and thus there would be no programme.
Theer must be a lesson hiding in here somewhere, though I can't figure out what it might be.

To be continued…

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