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Friday, April 16

Termite Cathedrals and The Handsome Family


Take a moment to consider the termite and to ponder the movements of The Handsome Family...
Termite nests are nothing short of works of art. Their soaring spires are constructed with awe-inspiring symmetries. Why these insects build such gorgeous homes is a mystery, especially since termites are completely blind. It's amazing but true: termite nests can rise as high as twenty feet tall. These creatures work relentlessly. Each one carries a single grain of earth coated in saliva. They carefully glue their morsel in place then head down to find another. Considering the small size of termites, such a building is the equivalent of an 180-story skyscraper built by hand, brick by brick— yet termites only live about two years.

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SATURDAY, APRIL 10, THE HANDSOME FAMILY AT LOW SPIRITS2823 2nd Street NW, ABQ, NM, 505-344-9555
With special guests Fast Heart Mart
Doors 7pm, Show starts 9pm sharp.
For tickets and more info: www.lowspiritslive.com

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The inside of a termite's nest is a fancy apartment building. They have everything: larva rooms, fungus production rooms, rooms for hot and cold weather. They even have ventilation systems and emergency exits. The enormous queen has her own bedroom, a dark bower where she grows bigger and bigger. She gives birth to thousands of eggs. She gives birth to her entire world.

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SUNDAY, MAY 23, THE HANDSOME FAMILY AT THE OUTPOST PERFORMANCE SPACE210 Yale SE,  505-268-0044
AMP Concerts and NPR's Art of the Song present...
The Handsome Family in Concert and in Conversation, 7:30pm
featuring a live interview for 'Art of the Song' followed by a performance
For more info. visit www.ampconcerts.org

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Termites seem to have a natural hatred for us. Not only do they attack our houses, but some people also accuse them of eating away the dams around New Orleans right before Katrina hit.  Are termites waging a war against us? Will they win?
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USA TOUR DATES, JUNE 2010
June 11, THE CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER, MINNEAPOLIS
416 Cedar Ave S, MPLS, MN, 612-338-2674, www.thecedar.org

June 12, TBC

June 13, THE OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC, CHICAGO
4544 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL, 773-728-6000, www.oldtownschool.org

June 15, THE MERCURY LOUNGE, NYC
217 East Houston Street, 212-260-4700, www.mercuryloungenyc.com

June 16, THE WORLD CAFÉ LIVE, PHILADELPHIA
3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com

June 17, TBC

June 18, THE IOTA, ARLINGTON, VA
2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA, 703-522-8340, www.iotaclubandcafe.com

June 19, CARRBORO ARTS CENTER, NC
300 East Main Street, Carrboro, NC, 919-929-2787, www.artscenterlive.org

June 20, SNUG HARBOR, CHARLOTTE, NC
1228 Gordon Street, Charlotte, NC, 704-333-9799
www.snugharbor.com

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Although they’re blind, termites navigate the intricate corridors of their world without hesitation. Termites can communicate by banging their heads on the floor of their tunnels. They create vibrations that other termites can both feel and hear. But termites have another, more mysterious way of communicating that is conducted through their queen. Some scientists call it a ‘group soul’.

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EUROPE, JULY-AUGUST, 2010
We have a bunch of dates we're working on for Europe. Only one confirmed so far:

July 25-- TROWBRIDGE VILLAGE PUMP FESTIVAL, Somerset. 
www.trowbridgefestival.co.uk

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Divide a termite’s nest in two in the beginnings stages of its construction. Use a heavy plate of metal so that neither side can hear or feel or smell the presence of the other. When the nest is finished on both sides if you pull out the metal plate you will find that the two disconnected halves of the nest match each other exactly. All the passageways connect perfectly. All rooms on one side are mirrored to the ones on the other. If you kill the queen, however;  all activity immediately stops. Termites that a moment before were busily working now move about aimlessly. Within minutes even the termites at the far edges of the nest are left in total confusion. Even termites isolated by the metal plate are left bewildered.

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"SCATTERED"
We will soon have a new, self-released CD entitled, "Scattered." In the tradition of "Smothered and Covered" it will be a gathering together of various loose tracks, rarities, demos, and covers we've done over the years. We'll be selling it at our shows in June and July/August as well as on our website (www.handsomefamily.com). We'll announce it when it's on sale.

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Creationists often cite the inexplicable perfection of termite nests as proof that an intelligent hand was behind their existence. Scientists think termites build such intricate nests because they’re an aggressive, warring creature and their nests are often under attack. If termite nests are proof of god’s existence then god must be a huge queen pouring eggs forth into the universe. She must guide our every move. If she stops, even for a moment, what will happen to us? What will happen to the world?

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We hope your spring is full of flowers and honey bees. xo Rennie

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