Dave Sellitto's Sound Check Dave is very talented guitarist and songwriter. All the music you hear here is freestyle, Dave is backed up here by Steven Pepe on Piano, Frank Cavallo on drums, Rob Carey on the harp, and myself on the bass.
The Post Modern Folk Revolution Sorry only half the set, listen to the pandemonium as is starts to rain! This is a great group, they were battleing rain thier whole performance, and we screwed up and did not taple the second part!
The Humans The Shurtman brothers are a very hard working and tuneful duo has made many cds and performed hundreds of show, as fixture in the NYC antifolk scene.
The Chruch Of Manlove The brainchild of my future bro in law, Keith Carney, The Church of Manlove is a celebration of men for men. Features Keith, Chris Shavio on bass, Nick Putpura on gte, Steve Pepe on guitar, Frank on Drums, and me on guitar.
"A W E, that's you and me..."- The Church of Manlove
We worked since the spring getting our yard in order. This summer I have dug a hole in the back, behind the hedge line, and have made a dog poop composter. If there is one product with produce here in abundance, its dog shit. So I got myself a poop bucket, a shit stick, a shit shovel, and my dog dirt hole, behind the treeline. Twice a week, I walk thru the yard, poop hunting. I will fill up my bucket, add some water and "environmentally friendly" septic solution and pour the poop water mixture down the poop shoot. Weeks past dog waste is usally a stinky paste like brown slop, and it stinks real bad. But our grass has never been greener.
So after I'm done poop hunting I mow the grass, which takes some time, huntdown additional previously missed poops, and add that to the poop slop mixture behind the tree line.
Our yard is looking pretty great these days, despite its basic ghetto old chair appearence. Nadine uncle has been giving us hostas for a number of years, so we have quite a nice garden of giant blooming plants. The ivy is really starting to cover the walls, and the hedge/poop shoot barrier is also getting very full. We have come into the possesion in the last few years of various old paving blocks, either for free or next to free on Craigs List, so we now have a modest little crooked patio (less grass to mow!) and a little path. We got a bunch of free mulch and dirt from the dump this year, so things are really looking rustic.
Amidst my chore I became a little upset.There was a big corporate sponsored rock festival happening here on SI, called "Rock The Harbor" that was being finaced by the new catering hall at Snug Harbor (who closed down our favorite summer time brunch spot, Cafe Botanica), A bunch of my friends were going to be performing, but Tryptophan was never asked, I guess we never got in good with Ben Johnson, the SI Advance AWE section music writer (who I met the a few days ago and seem allright) who picked the acts, so we were overlooked, nothing new for this band. I wrote some cranky and sarcastic letters, bitched, moaned, cleaned up poop, got published as a lead letter. See previous blog entry.
After 15 years of playing the small and ever shrinking alternative scene here on Staten Island, I feel some entitlement, but obviously in a broke ass, zero economy tiny scene, that don't mean shit, and is an outrageous joke. Nobody much loved me 15 years ago, and it remains true today. They dont call me Manbaby for nothing. I have allways been some kinda background lurker of little influence to what is hot at the moment. Thank god Nick and Frank, and now Steve, have some sense of understanding, but other peoples indifference is a rough thing to hit you in the face year after year. You take your shots, lay low, and hope for some more time, another song, another practice, another show. You build some lasting friendships, people come and go with the weather.
So I talked to the band and Nadine, we all decided, why not, lets have a show, an alternate party for us "old timers" and outcasts, others that were also not asked to be involved with big corporate festival, yet were still people we were close with, played with for years, and all very valid artists. Plus, with a number of other musical festivals happening on Staten Island that day, it sure felt like it was going to be a historical day in local entertainment, whatever that is worth. We all wanted to take part, doing what we love, playing music and having fun.
This turned out to be a controversialdecision. I realized right off the bat there would be insulted parties (I didnt know who yet though), and called the show "We Harbor No Ill Will". We put a snarling german shepard on the flyer (in tribute to our pup Roxy), and eventually added an Ikan kitty too, to soften the message.
We subsequently took a lot of flack for this decision, as previously mentioned some friends in bands and dj's thought we were doing this to try to screw them up.
None of this was helped by the fact that I asked Terrible Tim to play, a local songwriter with a locally famous cable access show, who known for his funny and crass styles, mocking songs and generally distubtive, but often funny behavior at local open mikes. Tim on his own accord proceeded to redub the show "The Ill Will Show" and go on a posting rampage savaging and mocking both Ben Johnson, for not letting him play the corporate festival; and my old friend and open mike host Jay Miller. Things got so bad, Jay condemned the party, and branded us all homophobes, implied I was intolerant to black people, seemingly because Tim wrote a song depecting Jay as a sexually active gay man, in very vulgar language. That da-da-da-da is infectious!
Tim often substituting names of people he has singled out as worthy for his tunes, be they people at open mike or cable access he has befriended or been rolled over by. He can verbally depict people in very graphic situations, all the while with a tuneful yodal. I think more often then not Tim hits it right out of the park, and while he is not someone I am close with, I find him a very entertaining songwriter, who parody while twisted and dark, evokes Frank Zappa, Daniel Johnston and The Dead Kennedys all at once.Tim is he is known to say, gets no love. Early on I asked Tim to tone it down a bit, and he was quite sure no one takes him seriously, its all a supposed to be funny and he brings it 100%, and "thats what you sign up for". So I got out of his way.
Also slighted were some of my friends in The Wahoo Skiffle Crazies, (SI only jugband!) who spoke out against me and even created artwork mocking my show. I think it was all in good fun, but its hard to be sure. Several other friends told me straight outI was a dick. My intention was to harbor no ill will, and I proceed to get more ill will then anyone. I set myself up for this I realize, but with artists wanting to be a part of it our little party, there was no turning back.
I clung to the notion, that nothing we were going to here in my yard would have an effect on a show that potentially was going to draw thousands of people. Everyone I know who was invloved with the show the signled the promoters were hoping for the big numbers. I knew that with the exception of Nadine and the other guys in the band, NO ONE invloved that was going to come here was likely going to the big show anyways. I did not expect more then 40 people total, and in the end that what we got, including the bands.
We had no effect on the festival except to give something to rally against by some festival participants. The primary complaint was that we were insulting everyone because we were not going to attend and support the big show, but also bring ruin upon it, by holding "competive" show. We charged no money, ran no advertising, printed zero flyers. Tim put out a lot of materials thru his show, and on the web, and in the end that brought T2, Ed Droogie (local SI personalites), and some girlfriends.
So I get the bands, make a schedule, recruit my old enigneer buddy Alex to come help do sound and record the show. We battle the rain, some artists get bumped including Tim, when it starts to pour for a second time. We managed to move the party down to Martini Red, Manny granted Dog & Pony a spot. I got warm greetings all around, and proceeded to get shit faced drunk.
No matter what the detractors said, in the end, we all had a great time, created some lasting art and memories. It was worth every minute.
I want to thank all the people who came or offered understanding, Manny for the drinks. Big up to Mcallen and the Dog & Pony dudes who were absolutely great!