Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another dose of murder, death, and despair for 2010

With the addition of Penelope Houston (a dandy Andy on autoharp) and Melanie DeGiovanni (accordian in mourning), the Happy Clams sneaked into the 9th Annual Murder Ballads Bash as the Wheel of Fortune Studio Orchestra. The name comes from Paul Pot's misconception that there was actually a studio band for the game show instead of a tape.

Our new song, "Nothing I Can Say", was debuted by the orchestra. The song had 7 alternative lyrics (beaten, bludgeoned, drowned, shot, stabbed, strangled, and suffocated) for the death scene. The verse used at the show was determined by having a volunteer spin a wheel of misfortune at the show. Between our two songs we played one round of the game, where the audience guessed the dead singer (Johnny Cash), and then tore into a rendition of Delia's Gone, featuring the Murder Ballads impresario, Val Esway, on triangle. Every good orchestra has a triangle player.

It was an evening of amazing performances featuring the Ukaladies, Val Esway, us, Mississippi Mike Wolf, the Doggie Doors, David C Cooper, the Mighty Lynchpins, the Darling Duo, Goat Fluffer, the Murder Brothers, Hang Jones, and the Flying Telepaths.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paul Pot's Sixth Anniversary Open Mic

Thanks to everybody who came out for the 6th annual open mic at the Missouri Lounge. It was the best one ever! 29 people signed up and played. A lot of fun was had and everybody got a free poster. Special thanks to Allene Rohrer for the really great fuzzy coat.
If you played at the open mic, your name is on this poster. Come by and get one while supplies last. Did anyone take any pictures?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Last night's Happy Clams show with David Matela in Hayward was a lot of fun. His solo guitar sets were amazing. The Clams did two sets and David played with us on about 6 songs. Our two completely different approaches to guitar played against each other well from the raucaus "Killer" (written by Gail and me) on our set to the quiet duet we did together on "Eleanor Rigby." Thanks to everybody who made it out. You know what you are.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Playing with Goat Fluffer and going to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Wow, talk about two different animals! Punkish doom and bluegrass.

We played with Goat Fluffer at the StarryPlough on Sept. 25. Many thanks to those who came out. We did a more rockin' set to suit the occasion. Goat Fluffer lived up to the promised 4 women, 3 bassists, 2 Rachels, 1 drummer and all doom. Orphans of Alien's brand of metal had a more character to it than just being metal. Their guitarist had just left the band so I (Paul Pot) ended up being the only pope of guitar for the evening. Of course, we got very few photos of us, so here is the stage backdrop for those who missed the show or just want to see it again.

I had a great time at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Saw so much to list like Patti Smith, Randy Newman, Ralph Stanley, and about 8other acts. Laughed when Kinky Friedman said, "I never say fuck in front of a C-H-I-L-D." I was disappointed that his bandmember played kazoo as a joke as I take my kazoo very seriously. Oh well.

I am always remiss in updating this blog and apologize for that. I should be more cyber than I tend to be.

Come see us play with David Matela on October 9th in Hayward and/or check out our Wheel of Fortune Studio Orchestra at the Starry Plough 9th Annual Murder Ballads Bash. Wow, two nines in our next two gigs. Any of you numerologists out there know what that means?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Paul Pot Open Mic Flyer Show at Lanesplitter in Berkeley

Thanks to everybody who came out to see over 170 original cartoon drawings by musician and artist Paul Pot, promoting the over 5 year run of his Missouri Lounge Wednesday Night Open Mic in Berkeley and sent weekly to hundreds on his email list or printed as flyers to be thrust into the hands of people on the street, that are on view at Lanesplitter Pizza for the month of April. Pot shots taken at Michael Jackson, religion, baseball, turkeys, politicians, sex, horror movies, making fun of banjos, the world around us, and of course, the music and the people who play it.

Boy that's a mouthful. The opening was on April 6th, but the show is up for all of April (it comes down right before Joe Rut does his show at the Great American Music Hall on April 30th) and Paul Pot will be at Lanesplitter every Tuesday in April, from 7 to 9 pm, if you want to gab.

Joe Rut, Gail, Martha, and Rawbird at the opening. Photos by Clammity Jen

Paul Pot Takes Top Prize at Dead Meat on a Stick

Paul Pot walked off with the top prize at this Easter's 18th annual Dead Meat on a Stick Barbecue and Meat Sculpure contest for his entry, Joan of Arc. Second prize went to Elin for Car Crash (which sped down a ramp and crashed numerous times to the delight of the gathered carnivoires) and third prize went to textile artist Candace Kling and Sara Julesrud for Put Another Shrimp on the Barbie. Joan of Arc was made of a carved, grappa-soaked apple armiture wrapped in pancetta. mmmmmm.

In his acceptance speech, Paul Pot thanked his lord and saviour Jesus Christ, for had he not whispered in Joan of Arc's ear, there would have been no subject for the grand prize, a bronze trophy of a t-bone steak on a cross that the winner keeps in their kitchen for one year (kind of like the America's Cup.)

photos by Clammity Jen

Who pulled the strings at the Festival of the Puppets?

On Sunday, March 28th, the Happy Clams played the Festival of the Puppets at the Stork Club. Also on the bill were Bunny Numpkins & the Kill Blow-Up Reaction, The Clarences, Lance Burden, Trip to Dover (from the UK), the Fightin' Tinnitans, the Bottle Choir, and a performance by Stove that still defies description. Did it turn into the promised puppet orgy? No, not really. In fact, a few puppets, drinking Blue Hawaiians* at the bar, were heard to complain that they were disappointed that not enough of their friends bothered to show. I guess puppets gotta go to work in the morning like most other folks.

Still the Happy Clams were joined by Happy Clem (seen here in the puppet shop pointing out that his foot is still unfinished), who danced the night away and heckled Paul Pot at every turn. Andy DeGiovanni (Extra Action Marching Band, and a real cool mariachi band) guested on trumpet and trombone. The Happy Clams played four new songs: Late Again, Shy (both originals), Porter Wagoner's Rubber Room, and they finished the set, being joined by angels Allene Rohrer (Thread) and Melanie DeGiovanni (Yard Sale, Buckets, Catheads, and that real cool mariachi band), for a final rendition of the Sparks song, The Number One Song in Heaven.

Hopefully, we will have some pics from the show.

* Make a note. Serve Blue Hawaiians if you want lots of puppets at your next party.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yoko Ono at Oakland's Fox Theater 2/23/2010

Gail and Paul went to see Yoko Ono at Oakland's Fox Theater. Gail drove and supplied umbrellas.

Don't worry. Yoko rocks! Son Sean was kinda dorky as bandleader (probably gets that from his dad), but is a fine guitar player, and it was cute how he kept calling her Mom on stage. The "new" Plastic Ono Band (without all the big names from the Brooklyn show) had good drive for the spacey, sweet, and funky numbers.

I liked the bio-film at the beginning. Maybe because it brought back a lot of fond memories, like seeing the "War is Over" billboard at Times Square when I was a teenager. The film showcased her art which was not part of the show, but is part of the whole Yoko thing. Nice to see a shot of her playing with Ornette Coleman. I made it to see the opening act, Deerhoof. They weren't my cup of tea, but it appears that a lot of the people at the show were drinking it in. I totally loved the Yoko show. She did a few songs I didn't know. At least one was from the new CD. There was a lot of incredible warbling. "Death of Samantha" was moving; gotta love those "Chicky babys". Sean backed her up on piano and guitar on some sad and soft songs that she sang beautifully in that childlike, Yoko fashion. Walking on Thin Ice was great. I coulda used more screaming on "Mind Train" but the "Lub Dubs" are always lotsa fun for me. (The "Fly" album is one of my favorites.) The encore of "Fly" with the film (excerpted to show just the naughty bits) was incredible. Sean played some amazing spacey art guitar featuring a call and response with his mom. Though Yoko had it going for "Don't worry Kyoko", the combination of the two bands was a little lackluster for what the three chord song required. It wasn't a good setup for "Give Peace a Chance", updated for today's news but a little slow (maybe because the people who joined her had to read the new lyrics as they sang them.) You gotta hand it to Yoko. She's a wonderful weirdo who remains a positive force without any negativity. Seventy-seven and still going strong. All in all, I had a blast.

Everybody found a little flashlight on their chair for the onochord (1,2,3 flashes for "I love you").

I like my flashlight.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lotsa Fun at Chesters

Thanks to all who came out to my birthday show at Chesters with Dan Lange. Those who came were treated to two fine versions of "In the Pines"-Happy Clam style, fronted by Gail, and a haunting rendition from Dan Lange. Some real happy birthday music for sure.
<-- Big Dan
The Old Speed Limit here would like to send out a special thanks to baker extroadinaire, Sweet Petit Baking and Confections ( for the wonderfully clammy birthday cake. I don't know what I did to deserve it because Paul has been a very bad boy. Just ask anyone there about the song selection.
A big"Happy Birthday" to two of our favorite gals, Clammity Jen (right) and Marianne (left).
If any of you are on Second Life (lord knows I only have time for my first), you can hear Dan sing the blues at one of those virtual blues clubs.