Tag Archives: music

30 Day Photo Meme – Day 10

Day 10- Your music collection

There are several boxes of tapes that you can kind of see and I think there is another red box full of tapes.

Day 11- Your bookshelf
Day 12- Your mode of transportation
Day 13- Something you don’t leave the house without
Day 14- Something that makes you happy
Day 15- An old photo of you
Day 16- The view out your front door
Day 17- What’s in your bag/purse/pockets
Day 18- Where you work/go to school
Day 19- Something you love
Day 20- Your mailbox
Day 21- A photo you are proud of
Day 22- Something you cooked
Day 23- Your desk or work area
Day 24- Something important to you
Day 25- Graffiti you have seen
Day 26- Something you do everyday
Day 27- Your favorite place
Day 28- A favorite piece of clothing
Day 29- Something you like
Day 30- A photo of you today


This is what I am doing Wednesday. The first open planning meeting for the 2011 Portland Zine Symposium at the IPRC and then the Tagalongs shows at Backspace. You are invited to both.

The Copy Scams in ones and zeroes

Remember how this summer I wrote about how we started a silly band called the Copy Scams all about zines? and We wrote 4 lo-fi pop punk songs, recorded, and played a show in 3 weeks?  Well, Paul digitized it and we have it on the internets if you would like to listen digitally to our songs about excuses as to why the zines is late, stealing photocopies, lists of things we like and hate and the 24 hour zine challege:


It’s been awhile…

Let’s see, what I have I been up to?

I got a space phone! Ok, not a space phone but it is an HTC Incredible and it is, incredible. I like to say that it is made of Unicorn horns and rainbows. It can do all sorts of neat stuff and it takes amazing photos for a camera phone.

My friend Steve from Rum Lad zine came through town with his band and then took a 3 day Greyhound trip back to Portland when dour was over! Oh, the dirty dog. Oh the stories he has told.  He’s been here a week and is going to be staying with us until the zine symposium and after that we leave on our zine tour. I set him up at what used to be my shipping table and he has spent the days drawing as I have been catching up on button orders. It has been nice to have an officemate. We can complain and/or laugh about e-mails and whatnot. We have been joking that we are in the Brain-Lad office! This is what I see when I look over from my desk:

Steve is so metal that he can't stop making horns with his hand!

Sometimes when I look over I see this:

OJ has been stealing Steve's chair a lot.

Steve, Paul, Marc and  I have started a zine band! We are called the Copy Scams and we hope to play at least one show. We have the skeletons of 3 songs and lyrics for 1.5. The last time I sang in public was with Paul at the Powell’s reading and before that was when I was in a band 10 years ago. This should be… interesting.

I think I made about 3,000 buttons in the past week and still got up to the Riverhouse twice to see my mom and swim! The weather has finally been warm enough. My friend Tiphanie was in town for the last trip and we took the neighbor’s inflatable boat as far as we could walk up stream and went down the river. It was super fun!

I’ve also been putting a lot of time into organizing the Portland Zine Symposium. We are having 2 meeting a week now. Let me know if you are going to be in town because we need lots of volunteers! We also need workshop leaders and people who want to put panels together. Please check out the site if you want to help out.

Another thing that is symposium related is the 24 Hour Zine Challenge! The Portland Zine Symposium and the IPRC are hosting a 24 hour zine event at the IPRC! This is a fund raiser for the Portland Zine Symposium and we are asking people to sponsor zine creators in their endeavor to create a zine in 24 hours! I will be hosting the event as the IPRC staff member but I am also a participant! I would love love love it if you would sponsor me. You only have to pay up if I finish the zine in 24 hours, And, as my mother who is sponsoring me said, It’s a pretty good bet that I will. If you donate $20 to the Portland Zine Symposium by sponsoring me you will receive a copy of my zine! So, if you want a copy of this exclusive limited print run Alex Wrekk zine AND you would like to help support the Portland Zine Symposium GO HERE.

Another project I’m working on is  the Zines On Toast tour! We have most of our dates confirmed, a poster almost done and press release almost ready to go out! I’ll be posting dates soon. We are starting the tour right after the Symposium and heading north then south then east. Stay tuned!

So, on Friday my sister, Paul and I went to see the Swingin Utters. It was one of those “old Time’s sake” sort of things but somehow by the end of it I had been elbowed in the head by a skinhead and had blood pouring down my face. out of 18 years of going to show these are the three injuries I have incurred: 1) my nose broken at a Swinging Utters show around 98 or 99. 2) a sprained ankle at a Bouncing Souls show that my sister had also asked me to go to for “Old time’s sake” 3) A split forehead from this recent Swinging Utters show.

From this I have learned three things, I won’t be going to any more shows that my sister wants to go to, The Swinging Utters are dangerous for me, and I’m getting old. I figure after 18 years of shows and dancing in pits that if that’s all I had hurt then I’m ahead of the curve.

Facial scars build character right? Actually everyone who has seen it thinks it's pretty cool. I'm sure it will fade, but it's wicked!

I’m going to see if Paul made fire on the grill to cook food yet. Grilled tofu, corn on the cob and various grilled veggies are in the future!

Wow, this quickly went where I didn’t expect it…

Ok, so, writing this went completely in a different direction than what I intended…

When I was younger I used to be afraid of of being forgotten. I worried that I would flow in and out of the lives of people without leaving a mark or imprint on their memory. Which is sort of ironic because my parents’ named me Sunshine and I have been told that’s a hard name to forget, mainly because there are so many damn songs with my name in it and that weather forecasters are even fond of reminding those that would rather not remember.

Now that I’m older I find worrying about being forgotten is silly and that the people who flow in and out of your lives do so for a reason and those moments and that time and space are the more crucial part, the parts of the story to pay attention to. This led me to worrying about being misunderstood in those crucial bits. The first time around that Paul and I were together he used to joke that I was too afraid of being misunderstood. He was right. He even mentioned it in a Downers song way after we had broken up the first time.

The Downers- Staring at you

(or listen to the song at Last fm if you would rather)

“Words are never enough to explain anything and even if they were I would still feel the same.”

I knew when I first heard it that song was about me and my stupid need to explain and understand everything.

This flowed into my next relationship with the man described simply as “J” in my recent zines.  After several years in that relationship I would come to understand that “J” was emotionally abusive. I was thinking the other day about this intersection of me coming into a relationship wanting to explain everything, wanting to understand everything and being met with “J” telling me that I didn’t make sense, that my ideas were flawed, that I was crazy and insecure because of wanting to explain everything. It took me years to realize that the reason”J” thought I was broken was because I didn’t see things like him. I guess that was one of the most important lessons I learned.

Actually, it is a lesson I have had to work through a few times: Sometimes my sanity is more important that making someone else happy and that I can’t please every one. I can’t fit into their boxes and sometimes it is ok to walk away from things and give up trying to explain myself or trying understand another person. All you can do is either accept someone as they are in relation to your boundaries.

Ah, boundaries, something else I have struggled with. I have struggled with this mainly because I can be ridiculously flexible. The gray area between what I absolutely do want and what I absolutely don’t want can be monstrous and, in the past, easily manipulated and abused. In recent years I have firmed these up a bit and made them a bit more visible to the people around me which has been helpful for the most part and sometimes frustrating at others.

that wasn’t really where I wanted to go with this…

I wanted to post Paul’s song Staring at you because it is one of my favorites that he has written… and not just because I know it was about me. I also wanted to write about the soundtrack to my latest zine and how Paul has coaxed me into writing songs with him. Which is pushing a different sort of boundary but in a good way. It pushes the boundary of my insecurities. I have always been intimidated by Paul’s perfect pitch and great rhythm,  curious about music but not wanting to actually learn to play an instrument as past attempts have ended in failure. Music is really important to Paul and he suggested I write words and he writes music and then we both sing… which I also find intimidating.

Paul wrote a song called There’s A Lot In Life You Can’t Explain and had me sing back up vocals after drinking a few beers (you can fit There’s a lot in life you can’t explain here as the last song) then before my big autumn trip we sat down to work on lyrics for another song. The concept was our first date. See, this gets me back to the not wanting to be misunderstood bit. I fear that the song would sound disjointed if you didn’t really know what our first date was. It also makes me realize that I left a few details out of the zine.

Alex Wrekk and Paul Burke-Phoenix lights on the piano sounds so sad…

Ok, so on our first date we watched the Opera Carmen, went back to Paul’s house and listened to Frank Sinatra and then fell asleep listening to Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell on the night of the Pheonix Lights. There were these damn loud birds with a nest in the bush by his window that were really loud but his housemate’s skate ramp was louder so we made jokes about feeling sorry for the birds having to live with a skate ramp in their back yard. That’s me explaing things too much, sorry about that.

Paul played all the instruments and just had to wait for me to get home and drink enough liquid courage to get me into the basement studio to hit the Tascam 4-track.  Paul was really stoked on the lo-fi-ness of the air organ recording: right into his computer mic in our dining room with people walking around.

Paul has been working on re-recording some songs and finding an order for them for the soundtrack. Most of it will be the stuff that was on the preview CD but there will be a few more songs added. We were thinking of pressing CDs but seems that most people just want the digital files so we are going to set it up as a setlist you can download instead.

In the end, I had a lot of fun working with Paul. It wasn’t as intimidating as I thought and I think we are going to continue to write more songs together.

Adventure at our house!

It has still been a busy week of work for me. I’m looking forward to a few days up at the Riverhouse with my family next week.

The other night Paul looked out the front door to see if Jackie wanted to come in. Jackie was sitting on the porch bench looking at something in the yard and took off after it then pulled what Paull called “the Han Solo” and quickly ran back, between Paul’s legs and into the house. Then Paul realized that Jackie was fleeing from a raccoon! So, Paul chased after it yelling “OI!” and it ran up our tree. Once it was safely in the tree I sat and stared at the viscous cuteness from the ground.

We wondered if it was the same one we saw in the spring and it seems to sort of confirm out suspicions that OJ was attacked by a raccoon and that is what  caused his to get 20 stitches and a cone collar. Boo on raccoons! Leave the cats of the neighborhood alone!

Paul and I spent several hours reorganizing our records last night after he gave me a gift of a first pressing The Cure Disintegration on vinyl!

This is me being very happy!

I totally had that album cover as a poster over my bed when I was in Jr. High!

We had some serious discussion about how to organize the records because some people you think of their first name first and last name last. Like David Bowie. We put him in B but Elliot Smith went in E. There are many records that get played more often that others and always end up in the last two out of the 8 expedit cubbies. I think this time we are really going to try to keep them organzined!

Crappy laptop camera photo of our work in progress.

Right now paul is in the basement with DJ housemate Dan and their friend making a weird clash of analog and elctronic music full of a distorted bass that is shaking the foundations of my house. I’m feeling like making a mixed drink by muddling that the pear that has been sitting on my counter but I don’t feel like drinking a mixed drink. I think I’ll stick to this Egyptian Licorice tea while I finish roasting up some coffee. My friend Jess wants so for her dad but he likes coffee that tastes like ashes. it’s a shame really. Then I might just take James up on taking me to a movie tonight.

I Am My Kat plays tonight at the Know…

Paul’s band I Am My Kat is playing a show tonight at The Know (2026 NE Alberta St) I know that it is St. Patrick’s day and maybe you want to avoid the bar idiots but it should be fun.

I Am My Kat plays at about 8ish so get there and let’s hang out.

I’ll write more about the (un)Conference soon.

A Quick note…

Tonight one of Paul‘s bands, Molly Bang, are play at The Know on NE Alberta, show starts at 8.

I guess it is also Last Thursday on Alberta. I haven’t even been on Alberta for the artwalk since last summer… actually, it’s not usually my thing but I’m going anyway. Come and keep me company!

gardening, beer, and karaoke and songs that touch your heart

I slacked on my work yesterday after coming back from the post office but I have and good reason… False Spring! The sun was out and the weather was in the mid 50’s. The irises are starting to shoot up as well as the bulbs. I trimmed up some bushes, transplanted some plants, put some plants in pots to give away, pulled weeds, and even read a zine while sitting in the sun with Marc’s cats, OJ and Jackie. I also smashed a finger, that wasn’t fun.

Toward the end of my day someone came to pick up some custom buttons while my hands were inches deep in the roots of a violet plant. The buttons were for somoeone in a beer competition…. and the person who picked the buttons up bround me a half gallon jug of beer! What a perefect payment and a great way to end my work day! I think the beer was an amber and it was really drinkably smooth with a nice malt base and very balanced.

Then Paul and I made a vegan mushroom alfredo sauce with penne while listening to records starting with Jane’s Addiciton- Nothing’s Shocking. The alfredo sauce is really rich and I made with a coconut milk base. I hadn’t made it for awhile so I’m glad I remembered the recipe. Paul made the garlic bread my favorite way: margarine, Vegenaise, fresh chopped garlic and parsley. Seriously, Vegenaise makes everything yummy! The beer went really well with the meal too. Then we worked on our crosswords puzzles while continuing our late 80’s early 90’s alterna-rock with Jesus and Mary Chain, Love & Rockets and Nine Inch Nails-Pretty hate Machine. ha!

What I really wanted to write about was karaoke. Last night I went to the Alibi with Marc and LillyMonster. I needed to get out of the house and they invited me. Let me make something perfectly clear, I don’t sing karaoke, ever. end of story. See, I have this thing. I will never do karaoke. I know it is all fun and no one cares blah blah blah. But here’s the deal: I have sang in real bands and when you are in a band everyone has a chance of messing up. When you are singing karaoke the one messing up is you. I can’t wrap my brain around that to make it alright.

Last night I got made fun of  for scouring through the song book by band in alphabetical order. Most of  the bands and singers I had never heard of and definitely none that I would want to sing to a room of drunk strangers. Sure, I have a soft spot in my heart for a few things like Meatloaf (yes, Meatloaf) ABBA and Willie Nelson but I jsut couldn’t see myself singing any songs by them in front of people. It made me realize some things.

One, I’m sort of a snob. and two, I have spent many years living in a pop culture vacuum. I stopped listening to FM music radio in 1992 so I don’t know any of the popular songs and even when I did listen to the top-40 radio it was the “modern rock” or “college rock” station. As I put it to them last night I was already too-cool-for-skool by jr. high in the late 80’s and made fun of people who listened to the New Kids on The Block, and Milly Vanilli. I don’t have those strings of nostalgia attached to them that would make me want to share it with others.

The songs that I have those connections to aren’t going to be in that book. I won’t find The Cure-Jumping Someone Ele’s train, Joy Division-Transmisison, Bad Religion-You, Tilt- Suspended, Dead Milkment-born to Love Vocanoes, or Discount-Fixing Rubble Building Us. Those songs just aren’t going to be there. Because of that  I guess I just don’t see the point. I’d rather be good at making zines and solving crossword puzzles. I’ll leave the singing up to people who enjoy it like Paul… except for the one time he coaxed me into singing back up vocals on the very last song here… cause there’s a lot in life you can’t explain.

Eat it!

Ok, off to go polish my workshop notes or the Etsy Workshop I’m teaching at the IPRC tonight.