Sunday February 18, 2007

 

 

 

Wow! I'm tired but today but feel remarkably okay considering how crazy yesterday was. Andy stuck around for most of the day with me and Amanda. I made him some copies of a few boots of mine that he wanted to check out. After he left, I began editing pics of Luke from last night but didn't get too much done before tiredness sunk in. Amanda and I wound down a hectic weekend with the Sunday night FOX lineup which is always a good thing.

 


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Saturday February 17, 2007

Luke Bryan turns his back on the sold out Athens crowd to flash me his "Capitol smile."


What a long but adventurous day! It's the first time I've done this much since last year. I must be about better or I'd have never been able to get through. Andy showed up just after lunch. It was so good to see him again. For the most bizarre coincidence, I got a phone call from Tom O'Gorman. This is the third one since the disbanding of Q-Sign so it's very rare. It seemed extra cool since Andy was here. And he hasn't been up in almost two years. As Tom said, "the planets really aligned today." Then it was off to the rehearsal. I hated having to drag Andy out for that but at least I'd get to pick his brain on his thoughts about Josh and Joe. Practice was alright for the most part. It was about what you'd expect from a band that's only been together once or twice. It might've been more than that except that "An Uncertain Flight" was a disaster. Frank couldn't remember his part at all. I tried the acoustic and it didn't sound right. It was just bad. I love this song acoustically but I just don't feel it any other way. Me being me, I had a few choice words to say. I meant nothing personal but there really was no excuse for the screwups. Besides if Josh is going to be in the band, he's certainly going to hear me rant on occasion. For his part, he held up fine. Still, considering how rarely we've gotten together, we did very well. Afterwards, Andy told me that he wonders if Josh can take how intense we get in rehearsal. My feeling is that Josh is tough. If I'm gauging him right, he can handle it and he can dish it out when necessary. That's one of the reasons he got the gig. We don't need any shrinking violets in the band.

Frank went out with me and Andy afterwards. It was good. Amanda was closing out her play with a sold-out finale at the UGA Chapel so it was just us guys. We hung out for awhile then went for dinner at Johnny Carino's. They drank a lot, I ate a lot and we all talked a lot. There was some Star Zero talk since we're all veterans but there was a lot more talk about NOW which is also cool.

At about 10:30 Andy and I headed out to the Georgia Theatre for tonight's shoot with Luke Bryan. Again, I hated dragging Andy around but he seemed to enjoy it. We lucked out and got a great free parking spot. Then we headed on out to the bus. We got the green light and sat there with Luke Bryan, his band, his Mom, the promoter and the crew. They were all SO nice to us. They couldn't have done more to make my job as easy as possible. There was some fun conversation which would now and then get broken up by an old friend making his way onto the bus. I felt bad for one guy who grew up as Luke's neighbor. He wanted to see the show but didn't find out until last minute. Luke and his Mom wanted so bad to get him in but the sold out show had a closed guest list and NO ONE could add anyone else. I don't know about Andy but I felt conspicuous that we could get in and an old family friend couldn't.

Just before we took off to go inside, I said to Luke (instead of "break a leg"), "break a string." He smiled and Andy and I went on in. Man, the place was jam packed. Not long after, the show started. I was impressed right off. Yeah, it's modern country and there's nothing that special about it but it's good. And Luke's an engaging performer, too. I had only intended to stay long enough to get pics but I wound up staying the whole night and shooting the whole show from every angle (including on the stage). Oh - and remember how I said "break a string"? Well, he did that about 5 songs into the show. He didn't have a back up guitar. Like a pro, he killed time until the opening act brought his guitar to him. Another 5 or 6 songs later and he broke a string on that one, too. One of the times I was onstage with him. I wonder if I blushed when he looked back at me. What are the odds? At least he smiled. So yeah - I'm not saying "break a string" anymore. Of course, Luke survived this tragedy too. I hung out with his Mom again for part of the show. She's a cool one, lemme tell you. The whole thing was full of good vibes. It made me remember how cool my job can be. After the show, Andy and I went out to the bus to congratulate Luke on a successful show. He seemed genuinely thankful. I didn't get out of there without a hug from his Mom, too. They really know how to make you feel like part of the family. That's a good sign. So when Luke's debut Capitol single "All My Friends Say" is released in a couple of weeks, remember that I told you about him. I think that song's gonna be big. If it is, that "Capitol smile" (as his band teases) is going to be around for awhile.

 


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Friday February 16, 2007
 

 

 


Hmmmm...

Well, we were supposed to practice tonight but it was cancelled due to an event at Nuci's. That's frustrating. On top of that, Amanda's out at the play again so I'm alone with the boredom again. At least I found out that my old guitar partner Andy Ainsworth (Q-Sign, Star Zero) is coming up for the first time in nearly 2 years to spend the night tomorrow. Too bad we'll be running around like crazy as practice is not only moved to tomorrow but I got hooked up to photo country up 'n' comer Luke Bryan at his sold out show tomorrow at the Georgia Theatre. It's pretty crazy. I got recommended by several and it's difficult dealing with it all. I'm a bit stressed. I hope I can handle it with rehearsal, Andy, etc. It'll definitely be the test to see if I'm back on my feet.

I tried to relax tonight in preparation for tomorrow's craziness so I put together my very own Purple Rain 25th Anniversary Edition (2009) on my VS-880. What's so special about it you might ask? Well, I managed to incorporate the b-sides, 12-inch versions and other artist tracks (The Time, Appolonia, Dez Dickerson) into a super cool double-CD. I'm quite proud of it. It was nearly impossible to find Dez Dickerson's "Modernaire" but I eventually got it. And to hear "Darling Nikki" segue into "God" (as originally intended) is super cool. The highlight for me is the extended "Computer Blue" with a whole bunch of stuff I'd never heard. Man, this thing rocks!


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Thursday February 15, 2007

Amanda helps raise nearly $ 11,000 for charity by screaming profanely in a church!

ROCK!

 


I got right on the mixing this morning. I spent a lot more time than usual but think I finally got a satisfactory mix of my version of "17 Days". I left some things way too loud and a few kind of buried. It was intentional.

I also caught up the diary again but didn't post it until I connect with a few other people about the band news. I'd rather tell them personally than have 'em see it here. Therefore, the diary gets delayed yet again.

Well, tonight was the night for Amanda. I went to see her at the University Of Georgia Chapel performing in the Vagina Monologues (I know, I know). I thought I'd be much more uncomfortable out in that crowd alone but the show was entertaining enough that I felt okay after the first few minutes. I may have been the only lone male in that church. The show alternated between hilarious and horrifyingly depressing. Luckily, the fun side triumphed in the end. The 67-year old dominatrix was probably the biggest surprise! I wonder how often that church has hosted something like that! It's funny, I can't even type the name of the monologue that Amanda did in this diary without violating the terms of my server. Let's just say that it involved "reclaiming" and it ain't even listed in the Wikipedia description. At the end of the play, it was announced that they had raised $10,700 already to benefit Project Safe. I couldn't have been prouder of Amanda. She did great and had the whole room shouting along with her! I'm especially proud that she worked around the fact that she's still on crutches and wound up incorporating no standing into her bit. She did good. She'll be performing it again for the next 2 days.

When we got home I had a pair of messages waiting for me. One was from my Mom letting me know that peanut butter can apparently kill you these days and the other was from super-photog Rick Diamond letting me know about a potential job this weekend at the Georgia Theatre.

We shall see which bit of info winds up being more important.

 


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Wednesday February 14, 2007

 

 

 


Happy Valentine's Day!

Thanks to Amanda being gone, I spent my holiday more or less alone. We did get a quick food court dinner before she had to take off. I used the evening to finish up tracking my version of Prince's "17 Days". I'm really happy with the way it came out. I believe I kept enough of Prince's sound (the looped percussion, the tambourine, the flanged bass, the harmonies) and added in my guitar harmonies, strumming style and overall mix sound to come up with what I think is a fun hybrid. I'm enjoying it anyway. Hopefully, you will too.

My Mom called tonight, too. It's the first time I've heard from her in a while. It was good talking to her. She's been very busy lately and I'm thankful that she took the time to give me a call today.


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Tuesday February 13, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hmmmm...

Is this a sign of things to come?

I woke up to an email request from Rock 105 in Chattanooga. This one's specifically due to Josh being in the band now. Thanks to him, there's also talk of us playing in Oxford, Mississippi for the first time. It'll be another month or so until we're ready but I cannot wait to get back out there.

I guess it'll soon be time to start actively looking...

I spent a chunk of my day letting the other drummers that auditioned know that we've decided on going with Josh. I hated letting 'em know. I liked so many of them.

In the evening, Frank came over for a little while. I was in a Prince kick and was about to start tracking a for-fun-cover of his '84 b-side "17 Days" which has been stuck in my head lately for some reason. I picked up a guitar and started jamming it. When I listened to the original, I found I was in a completely different key and that I'd added some new progressions. I think my version was pretty cool. Frank didn't stay too long and when he took off, I tracked the music for the song. I'm liking it. I'll be posting it here when I get the chance and I'd love your feedback.

Needless to say, Amanda wasn't around again due to her work on the play. I miss her but at least I'm getting some stuff done (whether or not it's stuff that matters).


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Monday February 12, 2007

 

 

 


I didn't get much sleep last night and got up early. I felt pretty rough all day and didn't get much done. But it's still a day of progress as today was my first day without caffeine in a month and a half. It also sucks that I'm alone tonight. Amanda's in what she calls "Hellweek". That's where she has to rehearse every night for a play on the week that its to take place. That where we are now. I wound up watching 24 without her and taping it so she could see it later. I was bored. After that, I watched the KISS Stock episode of Family Guy. I got a kick out of it but for the record, the Paul Lynde Halloween Special was in '76, not '75 as the quiz on the show claimed. So there.

Click here for last week with Dierks Bentley, CCR (No, the other one!), and a lot of work from the Critical Darlings. This may be the time!

 


 

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