July 10th, 2003

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July 4th Part 1

So before the rains ruined all my plans for today I started on a write up of my end of the Fourth of July Festivities. It's epic. I won't finish. So I'll give it in installments. Here's Wednesday and Thursday (part I).

I need more vacations like this one. I need them often. Hanging out with friends is What It Is All About.

Wednesday - Since I decided to take Thursday off this was the last day of work for me before the vacation. As soon as 5pm rolled around I felt this great weight lifted. Instantly I was more awake, more comfortable. My brain was working better. The fog was gone. I felt good. So I went to the IMC for an evening of routine meetings. I had big plans after the meetings to get a bunch of little stuff done before my vacation but then Sascha wooed me over to the Embassy for the weekly drinking and bullshitting with the neighbors thang (which I rarely go to). And as always it was GREAT. Sure The Asshole showed up and I even had to talk to him for a little bit but he mostly kept to himself and we got to whisper under our breaths to each other about how much we hate him. This guy carries his guitar with him everywhere he goes even though he has alienated everyone so much that he never has gigs anymore. The running gag under our breaths was that he keeps his ego in his guitar case and that actually the guitar case can grow arbitrarily large.

We talked a LOT about the wireless project that night with a bunch of extremely non-technical (but extremely smart and fun to talk to) people. Dave and I were trying to come to a mutual understanding of some obscure protocol details and the non-techs (one of whom calls us "The Node Boys" and I could have sworn she was saying "Gnome Boys") kept asking us questions and so I came up with this analogy for the problem that I ended up repeating about 10 times throughout the night, much to Dave's probable annoyance (as it turned a 10 minute attempt to summarize a technical problem into 3 hours of starting over and retelling the analogy story to each new person whose ears would perk up at our strange discussion).

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Anyway I went home pretty late and ended up doing none of the things I thought I'd do that night (make and distribute posters, send emails, respond to emails, etc). I'd do it the next day. When I got home I ended up being online until VERY LATE chatting and playing Othello with duck2ducks and spillshercoffee and others.

Thursday - Even though I had stuff to do I figured it made sense to sleep in on my day off. I woke up around noon and puttered around a lot. Time just kept passing and one by one I eliminated things that I definitely had to get done that day before I left. I thought maybe I'd take a later train but nope sold out. So Eventually I succumbed to doing nothing and considering my vacation as having truly started (no responsibility until Monday) and I got a ride to the 4pm bus and was on my way.

I read Ecotopia on the bus and napped. It was the first Greyhound ride I've had through the Chicago construction where I didn't wake up with the feeling that the bus was going to crash and we were all going to die.

The bus was about 25 minutes late and I was really worried that Don was sitting there not knowing where I was all that time but it turns out he was exactly as late as I was. He pulled up in front of the bus station as I walked out of the terminal.

Tomorrow: The Chicago Chapter. Later: The Return to Champaign Chapter.
  • Current Mood
    hungry hungry
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Today's frustration.

Dear Channing-Murray Board Members and others,
(please share this email with the other C-M board members)

This is not an official statement from the IMC. This is a statement from me as an individual who has been the IMC's liason to the Channing-Murray since late May.

I am writing to express my great disappointment over the forced immediate resignation of Casey Denton at the Channing-Murray Foundation. Casey was hard working and dedicated to her job, she repeatedly went above and beyond the call of duty in her role as space coordinator. I don't know what kind of misunderstanding precipitated this situation but it is very sad.

I first started working with Casey in late May. The IMC's performance space had just been shut down and we came to the Channing-Murray to reschedule some of our shows. Other venues in town were hard to comunicate with and which offered inflexible terms that made it impossible for us to do shows there. Casey, however, was extremely prompt in communicating with us, extremely flexible in negotiating with us, and just all around extremely nice to work with.

Because Casey treated us so well, we decided to move all of our folk and goth dance shows (9 dates if I recall correctly) to the Channing-Murray. Later we would decide to extend our goth dance shows, schedule some rock shows, and schedule some additional folk and jazz shows. This evening the IMC will be discussing the scheduling of half a dozen or more additional shows and I was hoping we'd be able to schedule them at the Channing-Murray. It is completely unclear to me now what scheduling shows at the Channing-Murray will entail now that Casey is gone.

With Casey's help, the IMC has been able to bring hundreds of new faces into the Channing-Murray, keep it booked on over a dozen summer dates when no one else would likely rent, and rekindle the musical tradition of that space's use.

On June 2nd, the third show the IMC had at the Channing-Murray, the sewage system backed up and the toilets became unusable with over 80 patrons in the space. This was the biggest concert that we would host all season. Casey worked very hard to notify us of this problem before the show, to notify the C-M board and maintenance staff. The problem was still not resolved at show time and disgusting sewage was spilled all over the basement. This was completely unacceptable (holding public assembly in a space with non-functional bathrooms is not only disgusting, it is illegal) and we had to consider pulling out of our contract and canceling future dates unless the problem was resolved before the next show.

Casey advocated for us and a rotorooter was hired, despite initial hessitancy from the board. If it were not for Casey we would have felt helpless. We do not know the Channing-Murray process. We do not know who to talk to to get things done. We are just renters of the space. Any space needs a liason who will advocate for the needs of the renters and Casey did a superb job of that. She stayed in touch, she gave us constant updates, and she got the job done. Because of that we decided not to pull out of our contract and to continue our scheduled dates at the Channing-Murray.

On June 14th, major storms caused flooding in the basement. This time it was not a sewage problem, just a storm water problem. Casey came in to the space hours before show time and personally mopped up the flood water so that the space was usable to us. That was above and beyond her duties and she saved the show. That show went extremely well. Had our staff had to deal with the flood water we never would have gotten the show set up on time and we would have had an angry crowd and angry musicians.

What is to happen now? With Casey's departure, who will make sure the flood water that I'm sure is currently present gets taken care of before our show on Friday night? Who will we meet with to sign the new contracts for new dates of already scheduled shows? Do we have assurance that the space will remain available for shows that we've scheduled but haven't yet had time to sign contracts for? Who do we write checks to? Who do we negotiate with? Who do we contact if there is a problem with the space? Who will be our advocate if we need something to get done? Will renting from the Channing-Murray still be a pleasant and easy experience or will it be tiring and difficult?

I hope that we can still work together. We love the Channing-Murray space. We love the flexibility that you've extended to us. We want to schedule many many dates in the future with you. As a volunteer organization we need to know that this won't be difficult to continue. With Casey we knew that. What will happen now?

Zachary C. Miller
IMC Space Coordinator
IMC Folk Music Coordinator
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Ellen Rosner Trio, Martine Locke, Kate Hathaway

Ellen Rosner Trio, Martine Locke, Kate Hathaway
Friday, July 11th @ 8pm
$8-$15 sliding scale at the door ($10 suggested)

The Channing-Murray (above the Red Herring)
1209 W. Oregon St., Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 344-8820

This is a night of Urban Acoustic. Driving, rocking, bluesy. Not your typical girls with guitars (but then again who is typical these days? That's what's so awesome about contemporary acoustic music!)

We've got a great 3 performer night coming up this Friday at the Channing-Murray, sponsored by the IMC Folk Music Series. Ellen Rosner called me up and told me she was on tour with Martine Locke from Australia and they were dying for a Champaign-Urbana date. I told them our folk fans wouldn't let them down. This is a very grass roots tour, I hope that with just a few days before the show you folks can spread the word far and wide about just how special this one is going to be. It isn't every day you get to hear the Urban Acoustic stylings of an Aussie!

Ellen Rosner is an indie-rocker from Chicago with an acoustic edge. She's as comfortable with a full band in a raucous club as with just her acoustic guitar in a cozy cafe. She's played the IMC several times with her band and solo and she was a featured performer at Grrrlfest last year. This time around she's playing with her trio.

"Chicago's Ellen Rosner has a rocking voice like Chrissie Hynde, and like Hynde, Rosner also has a way with lyrics" - ROCKRGRL, Spring 2003 issue

Born in a caravan park in Australia's Outback, Martine Locke has literally emerged from nowhere. She plays a masterful guitar combined with a captivating voice and witty, acerbic humor. She's opened for Ani Di Franco, Arlo Guthrie and The Cowboy Junkies. She runs her own record label and is independent to the core.

Kate Hathaway is a local singer-songwriter who could easily be touring the country. Her beautiful guitar and lyrics will keep you riveted. She's full of blues and power with a hint of Ani DiFranco. A few years from now when she's wildly famous you can say "I saw her at the Channing-Murray!"

Come to four IMC sponsored folk shows and get your fifth one free.

IMC Shows at the Channing-Murray are all ages, non-smoking, and non-alcoholic.

Take our survey and get a free sampler CD for the folk music series.
  • Current Music
    Kate Hathaway - Red Eyed Toad
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