Smile Politely

What’s in your bag, C-U? Musician edition, part one

Welcome to another installment of “What’s in your bag, C-U?” This time we ask three local musicians to empty our their bags and pockets for the world to see. Stay tuned for more, as we’ll have other installments of the series, musicians and not.

Darwin Keup

You may have seen Keup around town. I know I have — tall, big beard, interesting clothing. You know, real hip. I had never talked to him though. We went into my office to empty out his bag. I have a kids basketball game in the room. As soon as he saw it he started playing. While I arranged his stuff, he played, and we talked. It was really nice. Nicer than I had thought. He was very open and friendly. Since the shoot I’ve seen him on the street. He always says hi now, which is really nice. 

  1. Macbook Pro, 2009, brand new solid state HD. Jolly Roger Skateboarder sticker, “got it just because it says don’t trust whitey.”

  2. Notebook filled with every song on bass that he over learned from Resinator, Our lady, Hank., The Maness Brothers.

  3. “I think Walt Witman is one of the best American poets. I try to read out of it every day.”

  4. Check from Pizza M.

  5. Miller Lite beer, “to drink later in the park.”

  6. Contigo water bottle from the lost and found at Flying Machine, “Nobody ever claimed it.”

  7. Bolo tie “when you’ve got to look important.”

  8. Trifold wallet. “I’ve had it for eight years. It’s got three dollars and a card to ‘Weed World Candies’ in it.”

  9. iPhone 5 with a cracked back.

  10. $1.50 in quarters for laundry

  11. Bass picks: “I work at the Guitar Center so I get them from there.”

  12. 64gb thumb drive. “Mostly right now it’s rough drafts for flyers, songs and some pictures.”

  13. Spare glasses case with spare glasses and another nerd strap.

  14. King sized sharpie. “Because if you’re going to use a sharpie, use a big one.”

  15. Blue Bic.

  16. Keys: Planet Fitness, Magic Hat Brewing company bottle opener.

  17. Hitter box “Allin1e. Stores everything you need.”

  18. Macbook charger.

  19. Nerd strap. “I’ve worn it so long I am used to it. And it really helps keep your glasses on when you’re rocking out or working or whatever.”

  20. “5 ft speaker cable belongs to Matt Maly owes me money for.”

  21. Dark Matter hat, coffee company out of Chicago.

  22. Watch “that may or may not be stolen from Old Navy.”

Charlie Harris, Bones Jugs N Harmony

I met Harris at Flying Coffee Machine before noon on a Sunday. He had just came in from the road and was happy to empy his bag for me. As we sorted he talked about each item. He seems to be a very thoughtful person, more so than you may think. But not so much that he is too far out. He seems grounded. Much of what he carries is modest and utilitarian but much of it carried more than utility and more so symbolism. 

  1. North Face backpack: “Found it at thrift store for two dollars.”

  2. Bag of bones. “We have for sale at the shows for $15-35. They’re designed distributed from a designer in St. Louis.”

  3. Water bottle: “Filled with water.”

  4. Jug: “This is the jug I mostly play. Cody plays it as well. It’s from the Birmingham Alabama. We have 5 jugs in the band but this one is the cutest.”

  5. Frisbees: “The larger one is for spinning and other human tricks. The smaller ones are for golf–putting and approach both from Kansas City at a BBQ place that’s also a gas station. We try and do all the golf courses we can on tour. My best score is a dirty seven.”

  6. Journal: “To do list, notes, song lyrics. Tickets and receipts.

  7. More bones:  “these are performance bones. Triwood and bone bones. They’re apart of the Charlie Harris signature series.”

  8. iPhone 4s with a Handmade wallet case from Chicago: “I keep it in my back pocket or in bag.”

  9. Keys.

  10. Ring: “My Dad bought this ring at a craft fair before I was born. I think it is Jasper. It was fitted for someone else but it fits me too. Plus its got bone trim. Its like it was meant for me.”

  11. Sunglasses: “These were free. I don’t buy sunglasses because I loose them and break them.”

  12. Harmonica. Key of A.

  13. Toothbrush and paste.

  14. Hand cream from a shop in Boulder.

  15. Merlin’s beard wax: “We hooked up at the Made Fest in Champaign last year. They supply us with wax now.”

  16. Banjo capo.

  17. Wad of cash: “This is from tips. Normally we don’t get cash like this. All of the money we get usually goes back into the band’s fund.”

  18. Microphone: “You never know who’s using the mic before. I’m kinda nasty with the mic.”

  19. Tuning fork at A440.

  20. Tambourine. Tie dye.

  21. Hat: “Got it from my grandpa. Waterproof straw and holds it form. Have some nice hats but this one the most durable reliable and stylish.”

  22. Underwater camera: “It was birthday last week and we went to Kickapoo landing. Hung out on the river. Tube rides. I haven’t developed it yet.”

  23. Tonal harmony book: “Learning this book… It’s more like osmosis.”

Emily Otnes, Tara Terra

I met Otnes at Flying Coffee Machine as well. Otnes was the best dressed of the three musicians (although Keup’s “nerd strap” and Harris’s straw hat comes close). She wore a white dress and a red hat. She really stood out from the crowd. What interested me most about Otnes was all of her souvenirs from her most recent trip. The receipts, cough drops, tickets — it was like a living travel journal. 

1. Cafe Bom Bon: “It’s really sweet.”

2. “Check from my gig today at the Champaign Public Library.”

3. Set list from the show today: “A lot of new stuff from the upcoming album this fall.”

4. Receipt from Bayside Market: “It’s like a Whole Foods store in California. I got a ginger beer.”

5. Receipt from County Market: “I went shopping for new apartment.”

6. Receipt from Forever 21: “I went on a shopping spree today.”

7. Cepacol wrapper: “Shit flavored.”

8. Capo.

9. Spirit boarding pass from a recent trip to California.

10. Hat: “This is me trying to be fashionable. My band mate Rachel had one like this. So I got a red one.”

11. Best crab place ever: “We got two king crabs on the last day of vacation. I actually wore the bib.”

12. Ping pong ball: “I was in the gaslamp district at a bar and played pong there. I didn’t win and I accidentally stole the ball.”

13. iPhone 5s: “My background is a picture of me and my boyfriend.”

14. Broken purse fixed with a hair tie. From forever 21 as well.

15. San Diego zoo: “My favorite animal there was the snow leopard.”

16. Orange lipstick: “I wear it all of the time.”

17. Complimentary hotel lotion.

18. Wallet from Forever 21. 

New tattoo from New Life Tattoos in Champaign.

The broken purse fixed with a hair tie. 

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