August 14, 2002
Sixth & Grant

Look! It's for rent!

My friends and I tried to rent this house when we were in school in Bloomington in the late '80s. We vaguely knew someone who lived there and even paid a surprise visit early one icy Sunday morning to survey the inside, much to the shock of the sleepy residents. To the best of my recollection, the inside was pretty much your run-of-the mill student housing--we're not talking Architectural Digest here, folks. But you couldn't beat the location, just a few blocks from campus and downtown, and the front porch, and the corner lot. And best of all, it had a steeple!

Alas, it never came to pass. There was some kind of disagreement with the then-caretaker, who lived in a garage out back. A furious telephone argument ensued between one of my friends and the caretaker, and when I came home later that evening the whole tentative arrangement had collapsed. We had to start over and finally took an apartment two blocks north at Eighth and Grant.

A few years later I heard through an aquaintance that another acquaintance claimed the house had "demons in the basement." I never had any evidence of this, but I don't suppose the demons could have made that particular year any worse.

The house is still there, looking almost exactly the same, maybe the better for a coat of paint every now and then.

My roommates and I have dispersed.
I expect the caretaker has dispersed, too.
I don't know where the demons are (if there ever were any). For all I know, they are still there.

Posted at August 14, 2002 10:08 PM

James Combs lived there when he was the drummer for the Peptides. He had his drumkit set up in the room under the steeple. I thought the demons lived in the basement of Dave Dushe and Bob Wagner's place at the other end of the block, and up, on the other side of the poplars.

Posted by: mike on August 14, 2002 11:14 PM

careful, it repeatedly crashed IE 5.2 Mac

I almost went to see James last September when I was in LA but we missed the hookup. He got a big fat love letter in the Weekly here from a record reviewer who went to IU and loved Arson Garden.

Posted by: mike on August 14, 2002 11:16 PM

I do remember something about Bob's house supposedly being haunted, but don't remember details. Maybe by '88 or '89 the demons had moved down the street.

Posted by: Anne on August 15, 2002 08:43 PM

Mike... One Word.


Posted by: Eric Sinclair on August 15, 2002 09:22 PM


I gots to try it still. I have mmmajor UI concerns, which is Netscape's fault; some intrepid macly men have plugged it but to date IE5 remains king o' heap.

Said intrepid folks are the some sorts that raved about Opera for Mac and Omnibrowser too.

Posted by: mike on August 16, 2002 01:58 PM

Gentlemen, please. Back to the subject at hand...demons. Or, Bob. Where were we?

Posted by: Anne on August 16, 2002 05:11 PM

Oh Yes.

Bob. Ethan told me in February 2001 that Mr. Wagner is stil in Baltimore and that he visits NYC sometimes and always looks Ethan up.

see also:

and specifically

but quite importantly

Also Chris and Sabrina are here and well. Chris has implied I may inherit him but I think he's kidding.

He noted that Eric is the single "most respected" person he worked with at UCS, and credited it to Eric's good treatment of others. That sounded right to me.

Posted by: mike on August 19, 2002 02:30 AM



Perhaps the greatest anomaly in the group is Bob "CousCous" Wagner, called by some natives 'the Han Bennik of Hampden.' Wagner is my all time favorite drummer, and a former band mate of mine from previous units, for whom I have unlimited respect. Wagner's background is in heavy metal music, macrobiotic cooking, and the folkways "Corn Goddess" boxed set, but somehow he makes it all swing, or at least unravel unevenly. While Wagner's chops as a jazz and rock drummer are superficially somewhat ill-developed, he is an absolutely  incredible "non-idomatic" original with a sense of time all his own which is simultaneously oddly funny and highly expressive. He seems to play without cycles, adding beats in ever-forward lurching series, perhaps comparably to Indian Tala, if they were encoded in a wind-up dancing monkey with cymbals. His use of found sounds and extended techiques is not demonstration-fetish virtuosity, but it is highly integrated into his playing in a special way, and irresistable. Who else would play an acoustically dead plastic puppy-head with such verve? "Kinetic Poking," "Arhythmic Rumbeling Tumbeling," "Lime Fizz," "Aquatic Pottery-barn," "Hide and Seek," "Poison Chocolate Sampler," I get exhausted trying to give names to all of Bob's great stylistic contributions. With typical modesty, Wagner probably said it best when he said "I come to this country on a bus. Now I play music for mister Rapport."


Posted by: mike on August 19, 2002 02:35 AM

How great! I love a good Krokus T-shirt.

Posted by: Anne on August 19, 2002 08:05 PM

I lived in this house from 1988 to 1989. We begged the owner (Ron?) to live there. He was EXTREMELY creepy and lived in the back "shack"...duh, go figure.

He once skinned a deer in our back yard.

I don't recall any demons in the basement...just Ron. He would always come over and yell at me for having my boyfriend there. Too bad, I didn't have a boyfriend.

I loved the steeple, though.

Posted by: Mary on November 2, 2002 05:56 PM

Really? You might have been the person who got to live there instead of me! I'm certainly glad I missed the deer skinning. Although I still think it is a cute house.

Posted by: Anne on November 4, 2002 08:27 PM
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