| Sunday August 20, 2006
Congratulations Phyllis & Flash!
First off, I want to send my well-wishes to my second cousin (?) Phyllis. She and her long time beau Flash apparently decided to take off and get married while no one was looking. I've always liked her style and consider her one of the only non-immediate family members of mine that I've always been proud of. I've got a feeling this announcement would tickle my Dad, too!
Here's to a long, happy union!
Obviously, this word was delivered to me by my Grandmother during our morning conversation. And it is good news. In odder news, apparently my Grandmother went out to dinner the last two nights in a row. It may not sound like much to you but it's huge for me. She sounds a lot better too. Communication with other humans can do that I guess! Friday night she went out with a friend and last night she went out with (ahem) a gentleman.
Rock on, Grandma! I'm glad she had some company for a change.
Frank came over in the afternoon. We didn't even pick up instruments. We listened to some music and I tried to get my head in a pre-pre-production space and get his opinions on sonics. I want the next record to reflect us all better...and be even more commercial...with no artistic compromise. How 'bout that?
Frank really seemed to dig a new band called Gosling. I also think they're great. Check 'em out if you're feeling adventurous. They're like if Jellyfish and Dramarama got together to jam with Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show on vocals. Cool stuff. I think I converted him to Peeping Tom also (another one of the best albums of the year).
I also couldn't let him leave without experience a taste of the Star Wars Holiday Special. You all must see just how truly OFF entertainment can be.
Oh yeah - and I can't tell you the hows and wherefores but I've been leaked a copy of the upcoming Paul Stanley solo album. It'll be out October 24. I'll try to give it a spin tomorrow. I'm intrigued to hear it but I'd be lying if I said I had a good feeling about it!
Amanda and I had a nice evening walk and finished off the night by watching The Aristocrats. Oof - what disturbing images that movie can plant. It's definitely NOT recommended for the faint of heart.
| Saturday August 19, 2006
I decided to take a little time to breathe today. I didn't get much of anything done that matters. Amanda and I did go see Snakes On A Plane. I know, I know! Amanda really, really wanted to go see it. I've never seen a movie with more spontaneous applause from the crowd. It was definitely a communal experience. You need to see this one in a crowded theater to get the full effect. It was alright. I don't know if I really liked it or really hated it. That's an odd feeling. Amanda's not as confused. She loved it. I do recommend seeing it for the experience. Then maybe you can let me know if this is a sign of the end times or just good ol' fashioned Hollywood taken to the nth degree.
We wound up eating at Ryan's tonight. Believe it or not, it was more than dinner...it was fun. Our server Dennis and I got into a music trivia challenge! He had a hard time stumping me but he did manage to toss a few that I couldn't hit. After a while, we figured we'd better get out of there before we got him in trouble.
When I got home, I had heard from Frank. Maybe I was wrong to have worried. Maybe he just needed this week. He may have a job in this area. He's coming for an interview next week. If he gets it, we'll be a lot closer to back on track.
Amanda and I wrapped the night up by watching The Ultimate Event. It was a 1988 concert by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Liza Minnelli. Amanda thought Liza was best. I thought Sammy was best and everyone in that venue thought Frank was best. It was a nice change of pace for the boots and a great way to wind down the evening.
| Friday August 18, 2006
Yep, I edited and uploaded today. And then a very, very strange thing happened. My edits of both Carlos and Brad somehow disappeared from my computer. I wondered if it was a virus or something but none showed up in a check. Thank God I got 'em all uploaded to the server first! Maybe I can just re-download 'em from there instead of re-editing them all! What a freak thing!
There was also a story on Pete Best in this week's hard copy of Pollstar that used my pic. Apparently, the venue was fined for some version of "disturbing the peace" and it made the national trade papers. Glad I could provide a pic!
I also heard from Joe wanting to know what's going on this weekend. I couldn't tell him. I still haven't heard from Frank!
Thursday August 17, 2006
Carlos Mencia, Brad Williams and some other guy...
I found out that one of my best friends siblings is in the hospital today. Get well soon, Sandy! I'm thinking of you.
My own life's starting to get busy again. You'll see what I mean over the next couple of weeks.
Today, I went to the first class of the semester for the Music Business class at UGA. Man, has it blown up. There's was nowhere to sit! I had to stand in the wings. As always, I was blown away by the talent and history in the room. Jason, Amantha and Phil Walden, Jr. were there to announce a memorial for their father that's to benefit the class. Also there was super-manager Charlie Brusco, the head of New West Records, Randall Bramlett and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. I can't say the lecture was as great as some that I heard last year but just being back in that class is getting me stoked for what's to come!
Unfortunately, I had to drive the truck today. Fortunately, it got me to and from downtown. Still, it was on its last legs at the end of both halves of the trip. Plus, I didn't run the air conditioner and was drained by the time I was done.
I caught up with Amanda at home, we grabbed dinner at Piccadilly and went right back to campus. Tonight, UGA is hosting their "Welcome Back Dawgs" celebration and they had Carlos Mencia (from Comedy Central's Mind Of Mencia) as the main attraction. When I got there, Carlos and his co-star Brad Williams were there signing for fans already! I wish I'd have gotten there before gates opened to get some portraits 'cause it obviously wasn't gonna happen now that he was signing for every person in sight. I was impressed by his willingness to spend one-on-one time with every person there. I truly believe that makes the difference in careers. Before Carlos went on, I introduced myself to him, Brad and Joey the tour manager. They were all helpful and let me do whatever I needed.
I'll admit that when I first saw his TV show, I didn't get Mencia. He grew on me eventually and now, I'm a passive fan. He and I agree about most things and its good to hear somebody getting things out in the open that should've never been anywhere else.
By the way, his and Brad's sets were friggin' hilarious...especially when they were just riffing off of one another or the crowd.
After the show, Brad and Carlos hung out more, signing and taking pics with everyone who didn't get it done before hand. One by one, the crowd wandered out. We wound up getting home a little after midnight.
Thanks to everyone at the University Union, Hanna, Carlos, Brad, Joey and anyone else I may be forgetting. It was a fun night.
Maybe we'll catch up again in Atlanta in a couple of months.
| Wednesday August 16, 2006
Elvis Presley died 29 years ago.
He, unfortunately, has not come back.
I do believe that the world is a poorer place than if he had made it 'til today. Seriously...he's an easy target (no pun intended?) and he can be polarizing but he deserves his legend.
Oh, and speaking of reviews, original Darling Tom Bavis wrote a review of the Pete Best show from a couple of weeks ago for Flagpole. It came out today and I supplied the pic. See, we still make a good team.
They also used a couple of my candids of The Whigs in the print issue. You can see one of 'em along with an interview by music editor Chris Hassiotis by clicking here. It's funny, when I took the pics, their lead singer Parker said "I don't think Flagpole likes us" when I told 'em I needed to get some portraits. I flippantly said, "Nah, you just need some good pics taken of you." I was kidding. I wonder if they remembered that when they get a cover story less than a month after I took the shots!
On the band front, I got a call from Joe today. He was just checking in. I appreciate that. On the other hand, I haven't heard from Frank still. I'm beginning to get worried...
In the evening, I had a meeting with Kevin who called me Monday night. We sat outside the Starbucks on College Avenue and discussed music, our philosophies and where we stand. We've got enough common ground to go forward if he's feeling brave. He's not shy and I appreciate that. I got a CD to him. He's supposed to call me back by the end of the week with word on what he thinks about it all. I'll look forward to the call.
When I got back, I got word that "Towel Cape Song" and "Colors In Black & White" had been forwarded up the chain for a potential licensing deal. Again - I'll believe when I see it but the word is good.
| Tuesday August 15, 2006
I got some more CD reviews done today and went off to Flagpole to pick up my check pile which this time actually amounted to something!
I also got asked to come out Thursday for the first day of the UGA Music Business Class for fall quarter. I'm set to cover Carlos Mencia's UGA performance that evening, too. So this week is shaping up to be fairly busy.
In the evening, I got together with Aaron and Jerry. They've got their little rehearsal room set up now. I brought my Hamer and my really old bass. It was kind of strange. We wound up "jamming" through a bunch of their numbers. I told 'em that the only songs that stuck with me from their demo disc were the more "pop" songs. Aaron told me that he prefers the more progressive heavy stuff. Honestly, I don't know how this will work but as long as we can be open about it, it just might. Considering the difficulty (and lack of obvious hooks) in their songs, I think I did well. I played bass while Jerry played guitar and Aaron played drums for most of it. Both of them played guitar and Jerry and I switched from guitar to bass back and forth (during Zeppelin's "The Rover", we switched mid-song). But as I said, it was mostly their stuff. I tried to pull out "Burning Down Yesterday" but like with a lot of my songs, it's hard to explain it without either dictating or playing a recording. I ditched quickly and told them I'd rather just got through theirs. These guys are both incredible musicians and I like 'em both. The potential problem is that, to me, a lot of their songs are more math than feel. Maybe that's only my opinion but my opinion is really all that matters when it comes to my decision on being a part of the project. I would love to see what fresh stuff the 3 of us could come up with. Neither their back catalog NOR mine interests me in working with them. I'm going to try and acquaint myself with the handful of their songs that we did get through. If I don't feel like I have anything of value that I can add to them or vice versa, what's the point? I still think we can make something different and cool if we just bite the bullet and do it.
When I got home, Amanda and I finished up watching the Star Wars Holiday Special. The second half was at least as perplexing as the first half. Han Solo was just WAAAAAAYYYYYY too lovey-dovey with Chewy and Leia singing was nearly terrifying. My jaw was literally dropped for the whole surreal trip to Life Day. I will never be the same. And I'm afraid I will HAVE to see this again to make sure it was as warped as I remember it. This is quite possibly the most twisted thing I have EVER seen!
If you're interested in delving further into the strangest "entertainment" ever designed for mass consumption, click here for a chapter by chapter analysis. This says it all much better than I can and I agree with pretty much everything here!
After the love fest of the ending, Amanda promised to never express her feelings or tell people how she feels about them again. That is the real power of this special!
Just one more round, friend.
So it's goodnight, friend.
So say goodnight, friend.
Just one more dance, friend.
You're such a dear, friend.
Goodnight but not...
Monday August 14, 2006
We got a potentially huge show offer today. As with all things in "the industry", I'll believe it when I see it but if it happens, it'll be by far the biggest thing I've ever been invited to play. It'll also pay handsomely for a 30-45 minute set. I wish I could give more details but as with all of these potentially big things, I have to keep it under wraps until the "i's" are dotted. Wish us luck, though. If it comes through, it WILL be a major turning point!
I tried to call Frank about it but couldn't get him on the phone. I left a message for him to call back but I haven't heard back yet.
You all know how frustrated I am with the band right now. I am still hopeful and excited from a creative standpoint (thanks to Joe). But not being able to stay in touch and contact is slowly helping to suck the life out. We're at a turning point either way. Within the next month, I believe we'll know whether there's a future for the Darlings or if a new project is in order. I'm exploring all options but the one I want is a rejuvenated version of this band.
Onto other things - I finally heard from my Retna contact today. She's checking into a few things for me. Coincidentally, I finally got a check from 'em today too. I'm still not confident enough to start giving 'em all my latest again. We'll see. At least this was a start to getting that back on the right track. They still have the majority of my back catalog and exclusives so there's still plenty for them to work with there.
In the evening, Amanda and I started to watch the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. I can't put into words how this made me feel. Click on that link for a full description of the thing.
Amanda laughed so hard at the "dialogue" for the first 10 minutes that she couldn't breathe. I was trying hard not to throw things. It sounded like people moving chairs across the floor in an acoustically poor restaurant. Here's a bit of dialogue from Chewbacca's son Lumpy, his wife Malla and his father Itchy (I'm not making those names up.)
Lumpy : Haaaaarnk! Hooo hrrrrnk!
Malla : Snort snrrnnk! Hrrrrrung!
Itchy : Hrunk hrunk hrunk hooot!
I believe my life is going to be terminally marked by the incident of seeing this. I couldn't look away. I came to the conclusion that NOTHING MADE SENSE IN THE '70s. Even worse was the fact that I liked the song in the "Wookiee porn segment". This thing was so conflicting. Keep in mind that I'm not a Star Wars fan and never have been. I just wanted to check out a cultural anomaly from the '70s. Since I'm interested in pop culture, I obviously can't ignore Star Wars. I've seen all the movies and thought only The Empire Strikes Back and Episode 3 even had the right to exist. And I didn't really like them!
Honestly, I prefer this special to the movies because it's just so OFF!
About an hour into it (yes, it's nearly as long as the original Star Wars movie), I got a phone call. 'Twas a guy named Kevin. He plays bass and he's got a drumming friend looking for a band. He talked a good game and we sounded thoroughly and completely compatible. I set up a face-to-face with him for Wednesday night. We'll see...
I also rescheduled Wednesday's rehearsal with Jerry and Aaron for tomorrow night.
Just before bed, we watched another intriguing installment of Gene Simmons' Family Jewels on A & E. Yes, I admit it. And I liked it.