26 September 2009

day 78- name the new song & share Nobel prize with me
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* competition now closed *
145 entries! Thanks everyone for taking part, it was a lot of supersonic fun.
Winner:
  • Black Holes & Broken Hearts (Paul Fletcher)
Runners-up:
  • Einstein's Little Helper (Glen Robins)
  • All that Matters (John A Fotheringham)
  • Masterplan b (Angela)
  • Pretty Accident (Ant Standring)
  • Heaven Knows I'm A Drugster Now (Katie Ken)
  • Cavegirl Theory (Gary S)
A full list w/ all the suggested crazynames is on the drugstore facebook page. I have now deleted all comms. as blog was getting a little heavy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
..."Dear Drugstore Citizens,
As an antidote to the post-gig blues, the colder weather upon us, and to dispel the long unfounded myth of only writing blood-stained, heartbreakin' songs of misery and loss, I've decided to unleash a little tune to lighten-up the mood. It hardly classifies as a b-side, but nevertheless, it cunningly answers some rather tricky questions about the Nature of our Universe.
It is YOUR job to NAME the TRACK.
So, think you can do it? go ahead, drugster, make my day..."
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Black Holes & Broken Hearts - Nobel Prize competition tune

19 September 2009

---------------------------------------------------------------------- day 71- scary monster arrives at the cave
Today, a monster turned up at the cave. It's big, hard-edged, with sharp bits sticking out, and made of cold metal. I'm just sitting here, sipping nescafe, staring at the beast and planning my strategy, my next move.
As a young reckless teenager I was pretty fearless; I look back at some of the stuff I've done with a mixture of trepidation and pride. Crazy stuff. Like hitchhiking the whole coast of Brazil, or taking the doomed 'train of death' into the depths of the desolate Paraguayan countryside. I was only 14 then, and like most people that age, had absolutely no concept of danger, and therefore, no fear. I would ride a noisy Honda 125cc on the motorway between São Paulo and the coast without a helmet, and then swim out into the sea, until I could no longer see the shoreline.
I turned 18 and a string of terrible accidents happened. Like a pack of cards that came tumbling down, one by one. First, I had a serious road crash, as a passenger. Car ended-up upside down and all I remember was that the stereo was still on really loud and I couldn't work out how to switch it off, as the buttons all seemed to be in the wrong place. Soon after that, my young husband died in a similar accident, and that I definitely don't wanna talk about.
A few months later, a best friend died on a motorcycle, on the same road we used to ride together, heading towards the beautiful coast between the north of São Paulo and Rio estates.
That was it, I guess. Pretty much overnight I became someone who's totally scared of things that can move by itself, things with wheels and made of steel.
A year or so later I was given a car. Despite the lessons and instructors that came and went, I never managed to get it out of the garage. Used to sit in the car and burn up the battery just listening to the stereo for hours on end.
Following year, decided that cars were too big for me, bought another bike, but again, couldn't ride it. Had this overwhelming sense that the machine was so much more powerful than myself, I would not be able to control it.
Even cycling, or skateboarding, horse-riding or just a pair of retro 4-wheel-rollies became objects of distrust and fear.
I then came to Europe, grand-tour, backpacking, and it was a relief to discover that you can be motion-scared in a city like London, that has such a comprehensive public transport system. I soon discovered the joys of mini-cabs and only occasionally would miss the ability to just get up and drive somewhere else.
I have no idea why people spend years and money going to university to study psychology, in an attempt to decode and understand the obvious. The answers are always right there, in front of us, hardly need a diploma to work those things out.
So, following my own micro-process of true emancipation, I have now bought a bike. A retro-shopper, for all those emergency rides, when I really need to lose myself in wilderness, with basket attached, for whatever I may find and collect on my adventures.
Sounds ridiculous, but it did cross my mind to get some extra stabilizers, you know the ones, mini-wheels kiddies have on their first bikes. But it then occurred to me that I would be cheating, trying to lean on something and not really confronting the beast.
I have a few pressing challenges ahead of me, and it would be easier to just lean on the things I'm familiar with, but deep inside I know that changes which at first can look terrifying, are more often than not, just what the doctor ordered.
So, from this day forward, no more leaning.
Now, all I have to do, is grab the little beast by its horns, and take it for a ride.
Go girl!
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18 September 2009

day 70- these boots were made for laughing
Following an unusually hearty breakfast in the most agreeable company of Le Agent Gig Provocateur, Mr.Farmer, spent a few hours resetting-up the mini-studio and getting rid of the remainder of the gig's paraphernalia.
I was just about to throw those infamous pair of boots away, when decided to take a quick shot, before sending it to its final destination= the bin. It's often a sign that we are indeed ready to move forward, once the source of pain and disaster, has turned into an item deserving of ridicule and laughter.
So, dear drugsters, it is with a heart filled with light joy and a voice inside now whispering: "beware of the impulse buy, crazy child", that I offer you a close-up of that most unsuitable gig-wear: 2 sizes bigger than my own, bought on Ebay for less than a fiver, and lasted oh...I'd say....half a block before I even got into soundcheck, sent promoter on emergency errand looking for super-glue and depleted the venue and both bands of all available gaffa-tape.
The Dingwalls chapter is now closed.
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10 September 2009

day 62- drugstore re-opens for business
Today, a beautiful sunny afternoon, I have opened-up all the windows and been going 'round the cave collecting little bits and pieces, the left-overs from the Drugstore Gran re-opening. There are unopened cards (a love-letter perhaps, one hopes), half-empty glasses of wine scattered about, setlists, and a variety of post-gig, post-party objects to be inspected, analyzed, digested and then filed or deleted, as appropriate. This morning, spent a decent share of the gig's earnings (probably a very small amount for most, but a minor fortune for miss monteiro), at the local Gardening Center. Not very rock'n'roll, I agree, but as you will see in due time, it makes perfect sense.
My mind is still wheeling 'round the Drugstore Carousel, snapshots of the past month, interweaved with the emotions that culminated at that Dingwalls' dingy stage, on a nondescript monday night.
The evening had been planned to the utmost detail, the band's backstage rider sent with specific instructions for cloudy, non-sparkling lemonade. As we know, no amount of hardcore planning can avoid the inevitable fact that, shit will happen.
Events take a life of their own, there are so many things, so many people involved, that at some point, you just have to let loose of the reigns and hope that everyone's riding roughly in the same direction.
Throughout the process, a variety of unexpected things happened, some were great, others, not quite so. People may find it charming that my brand new pair of boots had to be gaffa-taped down at the venue, or that the band, following a storming argument, managed to lock themselves out of the rehearsal studio. Some of those things, I could have done without, but have learnt that, given enough time, the tragic and the pathetic, will eventually become funny additions to our future memories.
But out of all the crazy, unexpected things that went down, none more so captured the spirit of this band, than the first few anarchic minutes of the gig itself. I forgot to turn the volume of the guitar up and from that moment on, our drugstore was truly re-opened. Shambolic, lovable, crazy and dangerously real. I could talk about the songs, the band, the guests, the fact that Aquamarine was lovely, but the key too low for me (will re-demo it, as I think it's worth the effort), but I don't think I need to. It was a wonderful evening at the drugstore, and both staff and customers alike seem overjoyed with the goods on offer, and I hope will be coming back for more. The amount of post-gig messages received seems to point in that direction.
This Drugstore will remain open, whether we will be able to have the same transcontinental line-up every time it is doubtful, but I am confident that having a little flexibility on that front, will guarantee that we don't have to wait another 7 years for yet another evening of beautiful drugstoreness, or that monteiro's gonna be locked-up, back in the shadows of the cave. I will go back to my demoing-songwriting mode, and will be shortly organising the next drugstore outing. I feel that the Dingwalls gig was just the beginning. By stepping out of the cave I have now planted the seed, you guys supporting us is the water we need to keep going (yes, yes...I know, yet another El Dodgyo metaphor 'springs-up' out of nowhere...- but 'cmon guys, give me a break, having spent past 6 years in the grey slums, and now living in beautiful cave in the heart of leafy kew gardens, got to let me have a bit of green fun!).
So, yep, it's all about seeds and water and little cute flowers that you don't bloody know the name of cropping up and making the whole stinking world a little bit better for it.
Drugstore have something small to offer, probably not terribly valuable to most, but something that is unarguably unique, ourselves.
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pic by John Marshall
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pic by Gary Simpson
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the cave, post-gig gardening center bonanza.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugstore Re-opens for business: video
vid by Michela Volpe
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6 September 2009

day 58- cowboy hats and broken hearts
On the eve of Drugstore's Gran re-opening, I wanted to say a couple of words to everyone who have just been following or taking part, in what's turning-out to be an exciting mini-adventure. Less than a couple of months ago, the cave was still hovering bellow heavy clouds, barely visible. Today it's shimmering, electric. It's been a lot of fun, a lot of craziness, a few stumbles along the way, and some wonderful surprises. (that's when internet went down.... and spent next couple of fun hours talking to BT engineer from Bombay... will post full post-gig-report once bodyparts are fully serviced and put back together)
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the cave, on the eve of the gig...
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