Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PGH Book #2: Building a Better Robot

The second book in my 2012 Pittsburgh canon was an exciting purchase. It's about a subculture based in music (my favorite kind of nonfiction). It's about Pittsburgh, and a place I'd been! And, perhaps most important, it was written by a friend, Andy Mulkerin.

Go! Andy!

Any semblance of good musical taste that I may have is thanks to a boy I dated when I was in high school. He made me mixtapes (yes - actual tapes!) that were full of songs and sounds I'd never heard before, but that I quickly fell in love with. On occasion I'd go with him to shows, which is how I'd been to the Mr. Roboto Project before. He came over to pick me up, and when my parents asked him where he was taking me he said, "Wilkinsburg." Their faces turned white, but they let me go anyway - and thank goodness, because that night I was introduced to a band that is still one of my most favorite bands. (There was even a story about that Weakerthans show included in the oral history section.)

This was a really great read. I loved learning more about a place I only knew on the surface. Of getting a glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes. I saw only a handful of shows there, but for others this place was a home. It's a great little subset of Pittsburgh.

"People often focused on what you couldn't do there. I think they missed the point of what you could do there. You could form your own band and book your own shows there. You could run for the board of directors. It was an empty room that you could create something in if you chose."

The end of the book listed all of the documented/known Mr. Roboto Project shows over the course of the first ten years. I'd like to highlight a few.

9/22/2000: My first introduction to The Weakerthans. Also still listen to Elliott quite often.

2/23/2001: Was definitely at this show.

This one is for Boston friends. I was always very proud of the whole Girl Talk is from Pittsburgh thing.

So, another month is coming to a close. Let's check in and see how I'm doing with my other resolutions...

Sadly, I did not volunteer this month. But I did get in touch with BikePGH regarding Bike to Work Day in May.

But I have been going gangbusters on my third resolution to try new things! Just off the top of my head, the following were firsts for me in February: high tea service at The Inn on Negley, South Side Soup Contest, Construction Junction (post to come, I think), Screen printing!, hosted my first proper dance night (Confetti w/ Cousin Mike), celebrated Phil Collins Day properly, went to the new Mr. Roboto Project location, and probably some other things I'm forgetting. I'm making progress!

I announced my fourth resolution, to finish something, at the end of January. I'm happy to report that a few days ago I surpassed both 300 miles biked and $300 raised! Pedal for Pennies is something I'm really excited about. I've been planning ways to celebrate throughout the year with friends and family. If you'd like to learn more or make a pledge, please visit Pedal for Pennies.

February was not my most productive month blog-wise, but I expect that with March will come slightly better weather and increasingly longer days. During the time I haven't been adventuring, I have been creating, and will hopefully be re-launching my stitching/crafting side-project in the spring. Exciting things are coming. Soon, there will be green.

Happy Leap Day!

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