Monday, February 28, 2011

From the Flaw: (Pretend you're wondering what we've been up to)

Well! We suppose you're wondering what we've been up to...

It's been a long dry spell since the last Flawed email and we hope you've gotten some rest after all the yawning it produced. 

We've been rehearsing like crazy in several undisclosed locations, and think we're finally ready to spring Murphy's Flaw 3.0 on an unsuspecting populace.

We'll be at Jones Coffee Company, 693 S Raymond Ave., PasadenaCA 91105, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 4. This sounds like the perfect Flawed venue: You apparently enter it from an alley and they have a coffee blend named Chuck Roast, after one of the bosses.

Into this heady atmosphere we'll launch the Flaw's latest flavor: "Eclectigrass!"

What is Eclectigrass? We're happy to share the recipe: 
4 pounds bluegrass
1 ounce jazz
2 ounces country 
1 large can of whoo-pee!

Mix thoroughly, let set for six months, top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

Just imported from the green mountains of Los Angeles, where they grow the richest beans, are the Flaw's three newest members:

-- On string bass and occasional banjo, and belting out any tune you can possibly think up: Phil Connery of Valley Village.
-- On lead guitar, vocals and cello (yeah, cello -- can you smell what we're cookin'?), Jeremy Althouse of Los Angeles (not the suburbs but the real city, you wimps).
-- On rhythm guitar and lead vocals and winner of the recent,  semi-secret "Flawditions," Beth Binggeli of Culver City.

The new additions bring the Flaw back to its septet status, (Don't judge us; adults engaging in septets should be no crime.)

We now have a rather stunning (a word that comes up a lot with the Flaw) array of educational achievement in the Flaw: 
  • Two Ph.D.s
  • Three Master's Degrees
  • A composer/arranger of film scores
  • A college kid intent on jazz violin
We might yet save the college kid. As for the others' availability, you can blame the economy.

On that subject, fair warning: The Flaw is brandishing a tip jar on Friday and if you bring only enough money for coffee -- well, you should have thought of that before you left home.

What: Murphy's Flaw reappears (meaning six more weeks of winter)
Where: Jones Coffee Roasting Company 693 S Raymond Ave., PasadenaCA 91105
When: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, March 4, 2011
Why: Why not?
Cost: Freewill Love Offerings in the tip jar

Photo: Like giant planets in the Flawed solar system, band members are thrown together in one of the worst Photoshop collages ever. From left, Beth Binggeli, Phil Connery, Peter Blackwelder, John Bryan, Jeremy Althouse, Dee Farnsworth, Ulrich Sinn.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Riddance from the Flaw: Matt Witler farewell concert -- Coffee Gallery Backstage Tuesday

Dear Patrons of the Arts:

You won't want to miss this one.

We're sending mando whiz Matt Witler off to the wilds of Boston, Mass., to serve a four-year sentence at the Berklee School of Music, where we hope he'll develop a little respect for the five-string banjo.

For the occasion,  Matt's gathered some all-star pickers: Mando master Evan Marshall, plus Matt's buddies Patrick Gunning and Scott Gates. Other special guests are likely to stop by and lend their voices and instruments to the Witlerian cause, and the Flaw will end the night with a parade of their biggest YouTube hits.

The whole evening kicks off at 8 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 17 at Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena. Be sure to call them at (626) 794-2424 to get on the reservation list. It's going to be an outstanding night for roots music lovers!

Just think -- you can say to your grandchildren that you were there the night Matt Witler went off to college. $15 at the door for bragging rights like that -- well, it's a bargain, pure and simple....and a little piece of musical history.

8 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 17, 2010
Coffee Gallery Backstage
2029 N. Lake St.
Altadena, CA 91001
$15 • Call for reservations: (626) 794-2424

Coffee and snacks will be available in the front in exchange for federal reserve notes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's a GIRL, again! Plus gigs at ARC and Pickin' Parlor

Dear Patrons of the Arts:

Our Latest Victim....Vicki Hill

We've been so busy of late we might as well have been practicing. (We weren't, of course.)

Instead, we've been using our time more productively, finding a replacement for mandolin whiz Matt Witler, who's off to college in a matter of months.

If he'd had any regard for the band, he could have just gone to Cal State Northridge as a townie and kept performing with us, as his grade-point average gently drifted down into Academic Probation territory -- a locale which has, over the years, produced an astounding number of bluegrass musicians.

But no, Matt has decided to make something of himself. He's going to Boston, to Berklee School of Music

Where they READ music! Like, right off the paper.

Please, PLEASE stay seated, people; there's nothing to be done about it now. It is what it is; life is about choices.

We're lucky we had Matt long enough to hopefully make him Flawed. It was our task to give the lad the musical equivalent of athlete's foot. You can still function, but you have that burning, itching sensation.

We think -- we hope -- we succeeded.

Matt's departure will leave a sizable hole in our little Flawed band, taking us down to just SIX people, and only one mandolin instead of the usual two.

But we have come across a remarkably Flawed solution: Instead of getting another mandolin player, we picked up a second guitar player who also dabbles in banjo.

We're proud to announce the descent into Murphy's Flaw Purgatory of Vicki Hill, a wonderful singer who is still apparently in shock because she's had four rehearsals and one gig and hasn't quit yet.

Before she comes to her senses, we plan two quick performances to wear her down:

Today, Saturday July 17, at the Midsummer Nights Coffee House at ARC. This is always a hoot -- professional stage, incredible talent and, to cleanse the musical palate, The Flaw about 8 p.m. A $20 donation includes dinner, and an open cash bar, which you'll want to visit both before and after our set. The cause is great and as always in these times, so is the need. We hope to see you there.

Then in two weeks, on Saturday July 31, the triumphant return of the Flaw to Blue Ridge Pickin' Parlor in Granada Hills, complete with the traditional (by now) cobbler between sets. You can find the details here. This one, a massive theatrical effort, is also $20, but hey, there's cobbler.

Best regards,

Murphy's Flaw

"If it's within one fret of the proper note, it's good enough"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Murphys Flaw NOT Playing at Sobriety Checkpoint

Saturday July 10, 2010 2:44 PM PDT
Sobriety Checkpoint
WHAT: Sobriety Checkpoint
WHEN: Sunday, July 11, 2010

5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

WHERE: Manchester Boulevard between Hoover Street and Figueroa Street, which is located within the LAPD’s Southeast Division.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tonight -- Viva Cantina -- Murphy's Flaw -- No audience -- Be part of it!

Murphy's Flaw

is pleased to present

An evening with nobody in particular
Songs We've Never Rehearsed
Played in
Keys We Seldom Use
Instruments that are Probably Not in Tune
in a 
Nearly-Empty Mexican Restaurant

(7:30 p.m. Tonight, Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Blvd., Burbank CA)

Appearing (in order of finding a parking spot)
Dee Farnsworth (mando/vocals)
John Bryan (banjo/guitar/vocals)
Pete Blackwelder (fiddle)
Shaun Garrity (mando, mandola, guitar)
Paul Dorn (bass/vocals)
Jarrett Lesko (mando/guitar/vocals)
Uli Sinn (Dobro/SuperSlider)
Margee Schubert
Cody Bryant
JoEllen Doering
Earl Scruggs
Bela Fleck
Tommy Emmanuel
David Grisman
Tony Rice
Sam Bush
Emmylou Harris
The Infamous Stringdusters
Ernst and Young
Frick and Frack
Smart and Final
The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile
The Board of British Petroleum featuring Tony Hayward
The non-singing waiters of Viva Cantina
Col. Sanders and "The Chicken-Pluckers"
Gov. Mark Sanford and "The Appalachan Trail"

Be there - take up space - order Margaritas - leave us tips!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We Don't Need no Stinkin' Audience!

First of all, Murphys Flaw,* constantly trying to better its string of third-place finishes at Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest, was overly exuberant and mistakenly snagged SECOND PLACE this year.

A tragic first-place finish was averted at the last minute by the insanely talented kids of the Murphy Family Band. We thank them for their valor.

Now that the crowds are gone and the TV trucks have packed up and headed to their next assignments, it's back down to earth for the Flaw, and with it the monthly Flaw gigs at Viva Cantina next to the horse stables at the edge of Burbank. We think we got the gig because we add so much to the, uh, atmosphere.

Next one is Monday, June 10, 2010. From, oh, 7:30-ish until we run out of material; in other words, 7:45 p.m.

A couple of members had the good sense to be out of town, so we invited all our friends to stage an impromptu on-stage jam at Viva Cantina. Some of them may actually show up, pushing the performance all the way to 8 p.m.

Admission is free, but tips will be collected. If that doesn't keep the attendance down, we don't know what will.

The Flaw

*(official motto: "it sounded better at rehearsal")
(unofficial motto: "We had a rehearsal?")

Friday, May 21, 2010