Asundry thoughts by Stephanie Morgan, the singer for Stephaniesĭd, pop-noir band from Asheville, NC.


The Daze

just home from drive to charlotte. stayed an extra bit, ostensibly to finish the homestudy in a wifi coffee shop of some sort. gps is not working (though the helpful folks at garmin are fixing thru mail for free, those sweeties), so the wifi was a must if i was going to get home (or heaven forbid i could buy a gas station streetmap of charlotte and just do it raw). no coffee shop presented itself directly. was looking for a starbucks (you can always trust a chain to be consistent). found none. it dawned on me that there are ritzy and non-ritzy chain stores, and that i had wandered to that plebian non-starbucks part of town. finally found 'wired coffee espress.' had a thought as i was walking in that, were this an episode of 'the office,' i would find it funny if the character playing me discovered that there was no wifi inside, despite the store's hinting moniker. there would be hilariously irritable banter about the name being pun-ridden but not really pun-ridden at all if the shop didn't make good on the 'wired' part. but turns out they had wifi.

there's nothing i can eat at a coffee shop. i'm not eating gluten and don't drink coffee. i just buy something because i feel bad taking up space otherwise. i got a vanilla italian creme soda, which turns out is full of half & half. i drank one of the halves. instead of finishing the homestudy, i checked email: $10 tickets to anthony hamilton if i buy them today; someone wants to meet me on; update on the new website server migration. battery low. sugar daze. kids assembling for some kind of hip youth group meeting. creme soda to trashcan, back in car. somehow, 3 1/2 hours had passed since i left the family meeting.

the hazy daze fully entered. the 5:30pm, hot, translucent, salivary flux-liquid that oozes over head and faculties and allows no wilful task to be completed, was upon. drove to cramerton, all the way into its 'lovely historic downtown'. under a few bridges. sat in parking lot. changed mind about charming detour. turned round. looked for hwy 321, still routed on googlemaps from when i was wired. squinted to look at street names. swerved. saw signs for I-85 and opted for instead. when there's a sign that says "TO I-85", you can't trust it to mean that I-85 is anywhere within 10 miles of you.

in the maze, found a jack-in-the-box chain . they have sourdough bread (you can always trust a chain to be consistent), and i can eat that (somehow the sourdough enzyme breaks down the gluten... yada yada). plus, breakfast sandwiches served all day. they had the most hilarious banner! "Treat yourself to something special. Not a massage or anything, just what's on the menu." people my age have taken over the advertising business.

made it home. here, i can rely on wifi because i pay dearly for it on a monthly basis. voila: a blog entry.


8:17am - up early to drive to Charlotte for a meeting (one of my a-few-hours-a-month jobs; I do homestudies of families applying to adopt children who are in the custody of Dept. of Social Services). Put on big-girl clothes, kind of. I can never decide. Really I just opted out of anything torn.

Dreamt about singer/songwriter Dar Williams and her song "What do you Hear in these Sounds?". I'd like to meet her (I did briefly once last year when Sid played just before her at Bele Chere fest in Asheville, but we didn't get to talk - that's what I'd want to do - just spend an evening, with some wine).

Mixed 3 new singles yesterday w/ Jeff Knorr at Collapseable Studio/A'ville. He's got great ears for a mix; knows where to put all the sounds. I'm designing new website and the dreamy Chad Pry is going to make it function. Then the singles will be downloadable on a pay-what-you-want basis.

Hot in the house. Too hot to really plug in. Looking forward to the van ride, which is air-conditioned and ipod-ready.

Today: focus.


I did not journal today.

I go to a sewing class on Thursday mornings. It's part of a thing I call "Friend College", where I looked up some continuing ed classes thru the local community college and circled the ones I wanted to take, then emailed a bunch of friends who I thought might have the time to see if they wanted to take any of the classes with me. And several did, so I'm seeing my 3-class schedule as a time to hang out with friends I don't always run into while learning some actual skills. So there was a snow delay today (I do think I saw a flake skimmering across the road) and one of my schoolmates called just after I woke up, asking me if I wanted to meet for breakfast before class. I said 'yes' without hesitation. Friend College rocks, even (and certainly because) of the spontaneous ditching opportunities, one of which I knew would happen this morning because there was clearly not enough time to complete a breakfast outing and get to class on time, even with the delay. Only downside: I did not journal this morning. I always do. Like Peter Gabriel says in that sweet sweet song "In Your Eyes," "It keeps me awake and alive." Hanging out with this particular friend tends to do same. But that's a different story. She doesn't perform the mundanely critical tasks of plugging my left brain to my right, serving up a meticulously detailed schedule for the day, or sitting patiently while I write several times in a row "I don't feel like writing today. I don't feel like writing today. I don't feel like writing today." Actually, I suspect that she might. She's a superb friend. But I wouldn't think of treating her to that narcissistic party over breakfast. Long story short, amidst the serendipity I neglected to hold the narcissistic party at all today. So I feel kind of crazy. Not crazy like "waaaaaaah" but crazy like I just don't know what to do with myself any given second... like I have no focus or purpose. I commit to journaling all days.

Upsides: Fabulous breakfast, reminder of fabulous friend. Cook kissed me on the head. Female cook. Sweetie-pie. Will repeat these upsides any day. And journal later.


Mermaid or Whale? Reposted from my friend Erica Brown

From my friend Erica:

Recently in a large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?" A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.) They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex? Just look at them ... where is IT? Therefore, they don't have kids either. Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends. With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, good grief, look how smart I am!


Dutch Review: Nieue Geluiden


In de bergstad Asheville is Stephaniesid al enkele jaren een gelauwerde en bevreemdende verschijning. Het lokale publiek loopt warm voor de, uit het duo Chuck Lichtenberger (piano) en Stephanie Morgan (zang) gegroeide, band. Stephaniesid mag dan een wake-up call heten voor de plaatselijke scene waar doorgaans de banjo heerst, wij worden regelmatig getrakteerd op dergelijke indierebellie. Dat wil niet zeggen dat de inmiddels volwassen band de moeite niet waard is. Op dit derde album, Warm People, treffen we zeer creatief songschrijverschap en een geëngageerde performance. Door de rijke bezetting kan de band divers klinken, maar ze weten een consistente stijl vast te houden. Ze halen inspiratie bij een uiteenlopende selectie artiesten, waaronder vast Björk, Lamb en Sara Lov, om vervolgens eigenwijze indiepopliedjes op te nemen die zonder probleem een plek tussen het creatievere singer-songwriter werk opeisen. Het betreft hier echter een band die gewoon het oorspronkelijke duo goed aanvoelt. Ze hebben de plezierige neiging om echt mooie muziek te willen maken. Die ligt weliswaar niet altijd even gemakkelijk in het gehoor, maar weet altijd te intrigeren. Op het album is de liefde voor de mens, momenten van ontmoeting en de naïvité van ontdekkingen zeer uitgesproken. Hun muziek imiteert deze houding door de stijlen die als tegenpolen convulsief pulseren. Stephaniesid is soms best aanstekelijk, maar niet alleen vrolijk. Hier zullen ze geen revolutie teweeg brengen. De collage van spiegelende facetten op Warm People is echter een verrassend goede aanvulling op het bestaande indiepop experiment.

English (translated with Google...note: Google is a probably not the best choice for translating this. for pure entertainment only):

In the mountain city of Asheville is Stephaniesid for several years and winning a strange appearance. The local public will warm to, from the duo Chuck Lichtenberger (piano) and Stephanie Morgan (vocals) has grown, band. Stephaniesid may be a wake-up call named for the local scene which usually is the banjo, we are regularly treated to such indierebellie. That does not mean that the now adult belt is not worth the trouble. On this third album, Hot People, we find very creative song writer and a committed performance. The rich diversity of occupation, the band sound, but they know a consistent style to maintain. They get inspiration from a diverse selection of artists, including established Björk, Lamb and Sara Lov, then its own indiepop songs to take place without a problem between the creative singer-songwriter work claim. It is a band that just the original duo feels good. They have the pleasant tendency to really want to make beautiful music. This is admittedly not always easy to interview, but am always intriguing. The album is the love for man, moments of encounter and the discoveries naïvite of very pronounced. Their music imitates this behavior by the styles as opposites convulsief throb. Stephaniesid is sometimes best catchy, but not happy. Here they will not revolution. The collage of mirror facets on Warm People is a surprisingly good complement to the existing indiepop experiment.


On July 4, Written by my father

It's certainly enjoyable to go to a 4th of July celebration, which I did. But then I got to thinking (as did the writer of the above linked article) that most folks spend very little time considering what made/makes America different from nearly every country on earth.

All elected officials, appointees and bureaucrats are servants of the people, and not vice-versa. All kinds of taxes and fees charged by the govt must be approved by the people's representatives and those revenues must be used judiciously and accounted for clearly.

It's not the dirt, or the beautiful scenery, that makes America a better place to live. And it's not the mighty military that actually protects it.

Learning and teaching the principles of true independence and democracy are the key.

David M. Morgan


the northeast, in 12 easy pieces

we did it. toured the northeast with warm people (though we plan to afterbirth the north drive this weekend, returning to MD and DE for festivals... who can resist a festival?... and, who's kidding who, we'll be back up again, given the hospitality that reigned, and the sid discovery of the delights of the power trio... onstage and in the van).

we packed three of us (chuck, me, evan) into a white chevy astrovan (it has been mistaken for a taxi, i.e. "hailed", more than once, despite its non-yellow exterior, but is allowed graces in some parking situations due to its ambiguous identity as a van belonging to some sort of repairman or pest control service). all the equipment fit this time, with no need for a hefty uhaul trailer or its accompanying pickup-and-return hassle. one could sleep in the back, one in the passenger seat. sleep is key.

dc sweet town where we have yet to find a fanbase. are you out there? marcella, kevin, carolina, areesah, raul came out, in true torchbearing fashion. love them. "surprise! arizona" opened. sweetest guys. we'll be back, dc, like it or not!

nyc show #1: brooklyn, southpaw at 8:30, too early for folks to get there. morale check: lowish. we've driven far, and paid a cover to get into the city. no fair. shining faces that made this show worth it: meredith, keith, joe & brian of st. bernadette, courtney & benjamin of kaiser cartel, maggie & doug. we hear st. bernadette rocked it out later. show #2: lower east manhattan, rockwood music hall. utterly silent room. russian bear was playing upon our entrance... amazing. decided to pare down to just their baby grand piano, me on guitar, evan on a couple of drums. amazing show. loved it. needed it. catharsis. jenn, michelle, simon (!!), jacob's friends, a lawyer named harvey, and xylopholks made that tiny room into a little love alarm for sleepy southerners. evan's birthday status and correct trivia answer won him 4 cupcakes, and xylopholks (in cookie monster, chicken, and skunk costumes) brought the house down with their supreme humor and instrumental prowess.

boston evan spotted asheville friends and performing duo speedsquare just past the toll booth. what are the chances? we texted and made rock-n-roll signs out the windows until hugs and omigosh-what-are-the-chances? ensued at the venue. piano-player billy was sick with paranoia and/or swine flu, which he likely gave to evan at that moment. then, oh good god. electric laser people took the stage and led people in their so-fun singalongs and robot stories. jeez, they are a riot and the greatest folks! we played next. what a show! trumpet-playing speedsquarian c scott sat in, as did the ELP folks. ELP-er grant took a phone camera video of it. will try to post somewhere. liz, sofia, chuck's cousins paul and justin, alli, and a good number of robot scientists were in attendance. evan's birthday continued, and drunkenness ensued. returned home to liz's house and its feline inhabitants, 3 being almost too young to exert any gravitational force on the tiny pillow they were gathered upon. evan had found his sleeping partners. all resolved to make this show a yearly may tradition.

portland, me who knew it would be so much like asheville? speedsquare decided to busk there, given the weather's fine nod, so chuck and i danced to their drum-and-piano street show (which rocks in asheville and portland alike). billy was less sick, retrospectively diagnosing himself with the regular flu. lady lamb the beekeeper opened with the sweetest music, and lent us their korg synth when my alesis blew a power supply. they played with us, as did speedsquare... new friends for sure. james and the folks at one longfellow square are great to work with. shelly, rob & robyn from charisma booking and their friends came out. tina & hubby too. i ate breakfast in a very ashevillian kind of place... local 188... they toasted my special bread for me (spelt or gluten-free... the only way i can do it) and made plain eggs and my journal taste like ambrosia.

nashua, nh there's a little warehouse-art space that's working on getting a series going. it's called studio 99, headed by a whip-smart flutist/actress named elise. the space is in a really really old mill where women worked ages ago picking stones out of cotton for textiles. there is soul there. we were to be their second show ever. and we were, minus an audience outside of the organizers. turns out an unknown band from a zillion miles away shouldn't play nashua on a sunday. but let it be known that these folks are the goods, and the room is inspiring, and that scene will grow and grow. hope they'll see fit to have us return.

northampton, ma where our label (nine mile records) lives, until they move to austin in august. the town is the bomb. hip and collegiate with crunchy granola underpinnings and idyllic scenery. celebrated cinco de mayo at mama iguana's with rick of nine mile and potent margaritas... then headed to the elevens to play with spouse (yes... that song is awesome), michael merenda, and surprise guests... members of the young @ heart chorus (, an elderly group of singers who cover the pixies, bon jovi, the ramones, etc. with a great backing band. these folks were awe-inspiring... i filled up my phone with videos and shed a few tears as arthur sang, "it's my life... it's now or never...". rick and wife rebecca played us their music (he's a drummer and she's a singer) for the first time... had no idea it was so good. croony and raw and very real. the kincaids. daughter lily is bounding with energy and reading like a champ at age 4. smart, fun family. rick made us gluten-free blueberry pancakes wed. am. what did we do to deserve?

pittsfield, ma definitely not the best-attended show. but the mission tapas bar wins another award... best.... food.... ever! we were spoiled. poor evan was still sick (did i mention he was sick?). but we did a little sit-down show and got to meet joe (hey joe!) and his sweet sister as well as the great folks who run the place... we hope to stop over again when we're up.

baltimore, md wow did our old friends/fans turn out! after a simultaneous nap-labyrinth period (evan on the nap; chuck and steph on the brick maze at a nearby episcopal church), and subsequently a tasty meal at matsuri (sushi extraordinaire, formerly managed by friend larry george), where we met up with dc friends marcella, raul, areesah, and carolina, we headed to the 8x10 and crammed our stuff into the stairwell to await our designated play time. the place is trying to get an austin city limits-type thing going, so they had 3 cameras on all the bands and did an interview. i didn't like the way the club wanted us to sell merch downstairs, near the bathrooms. and i told them so. we were a little adversarial for a minute when they ranted about the fire code when i put the vinyl up on the edge of the stage for sale. i thought, "what if i put a guitar amp there? less of a fire hazard?" but logic did not prevail. in any case, dancing and friendship ensued, featuring deb, melanie, mama soray (who gave me the greatest homemade shirt), jim hickey (thanks for your exquisitely supportive grassrootsness), justin and brooke, and so many more. they wanted to hear old school stephaniesid (more aptly: Stephanie's Id) songs. so we played "white guys" and whatnot. we will convert them to warm people soon enough!

easton, md immediately we knew there was money involved. the town has an air of dignitaries and summer-homeness. sure enough, we were told that donald rumsfeld and dick cheney used to have houses next to each other (hmm) and julia roberts has a house there... and apparently lots of wealthier-than-average folks do too. and us in our white van, sans polo shirts, strolled in, greeted by bright yellow floral tablecloths and the sound of a latte machine.... and... some pretty nasty rap music on low volume. soon enough, coffee east / nightcat made its nocturnal persona known, and a couple of sweet singer-songwriters opened (oh blonde-haired man, cannot recall your name at the moment, but your first performance was engaging and your friends are lovely). to mark and the folks at mangold entertainment, we look forward to our return on oct. 10. to tom and friends, a hearty hello.

rehoboth beach, de it was a brew pub. probably the best brew pub, as so many friends coveted that we'd be near it, but in any case that whole "transcendent / majestic" thing was hard to deliver in that sort of room. so instead we forewent the majesty for a sort of comedy hour, given the atmosphere and long set, and we managed to connect with several in the room, and even convince a few to buy turntables and the 12" record. couple more converts. the booker is exceedingly nice and for some reason i felt the constant need to punch him in the arm like a little sister. so i did, and he seemed to be a sport. tom and friends, shucks... thanks for driving out. 

drive home=great weather and recent nostalgia for the nice week. thanks to charisma booking for doing what i've never been able to do, and to our old & new fans for loving and loving. for being warm. you know.

still lots more shows to come. let us know if you want us to come to your town. maybe you can help us?