Sunday January 28, 2007

 

 

Let me just say this for those of you who have been wondering and asking.

My resolve was firmed up today about a lot of decisions that need to be made. This is a good thing for the long run. It may be a difficult thing in the mean time. But things need to be decided now. In the words of Tom Petty, "...under my feet, babe, the grass is growing. Yeah, it's time to move on. It's time to get going."

Mike did manage to get here today. We (and by "we" I mean he) worked really hard on trying to fit together live drums with my demo of "An Uncertain Flight." We got nothing to show from it and whatever tracks we use will have to be turned in by the 31st (Wednesday). It was all very frustrating and it felt to me as if simple things were being made hard (if not impossible) given our strict deadline. I hope I'm wrong and it falls together but I don't know...

I guess we'll see.

When Joe and Frank showed up, we did a full band rehearsal of the second album songs. It was slack at best. The arrangements are falling into place but there was nothing else good to say about it. Lack of focus is to blame.

After all of that was over, I found out some terrible, terrible news. My partner for two years in high school broadcasting class and (one of my best high school friends) died at 7:41 Saturday night in Lugoff from malignant melanoma. Steve Berwager was a great friend and one of the few people that I can say never did ANYTHING vengeful or hurtful to anyone the entire time I knew him. He was, simply put, one of the nicest guys I've ever known. Even though I haven't seen him in years, he will be sorely missed. I mean, just knowing that a person so cool was in this world made it a better place.

I think I'm going to have to encode and upload some of the cheesy commercial parody things we did in high school. My commercials all starred Steve. It'll be tough to decide between Vacu-Broom and Zit Away. I'll find something.

I wish we'd have had some time to catch up.

My thoughts are with his family. I'm thinking of you and the Stevester.


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Saturday January 27, 2007

Hmmmm...

Today was supposed to be a big day. It didn't happen. Mike was supposed to come up. We were going to rehearse today and tomorrow for the upcoming recordings and do some home studio work by putting his stuff with mine. In the afternoon, I called him and he wound up having to ditch. He had decent reasons but it kind of sucks because I ditched on my first paying gigs of the month to be totally available.

Oh well!

In a brilliant bit of last minute planning, Amanda went to go see Borat at the dollar theatre. We saw it when it first came out but we've been wanting to check it out again. We invited Joe, his lady April and Frank. For one reason or the other, they all passed.

Amanda and I went out to an evening gorge (at its new location) before heading over to the theatre. Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty terrible by the time of the movie. I really think fluctuating blood sugar levels are affecting me in addition to the other things. Despite the fact that I had to walk out at one point to take pills and splash water in my face, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Unlike other people, when I walked out, I was itching to get back in. Others didn't feel that way. I counted 7 people who walked out angry, disgusted or both. I probably missed a few before I realized they weren't coming back. I wonder if they were so upset because they were offended at the content or if they were offended because they were the people being made to look foolish.

That's the beauty of satire.

 


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Friday January 26, 2007
 

 

 


I'm getting giddy from being so close to caught up. I do apologize for things being relatively low key (re: boring) lately but I've needed the downtime for recovery.

We set up a one-off rehearsal with a drummer named Dave for Monday. I've had some great phone conversations with him and look forward to seeing what he can do. I'm a bit worried that we (the band) aren't going to know the old songs like we should but we'll do what needs to be done and we'll get by.

I was so inspired by the Zappa stuff that I've seen recently that I dug up another of my unseen Zappa DVD's. This one was shot in '74 and broadcast on KCET in Los Angeles. It's the first time I've seen the One Size Fits All band in performance. This is a truly great gig. Just to hear "Inca Roads" live with George Duke on lead vocals is a treat. Don't even get me started on "Room Service". Plus, it's cool to see the band with Napoleon Murphy Brock who I just saw last month with Dweezil at the Zappa Plays Zappa show in Atlanta. On top of that, the show has some trippy animations that predate TOOL by about about 20 years!


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Thursday January 25, 2007

 

 

 

 


After getting a bunch of work done here, I was checking out Scott and Ronit's site. Scott's the guy who did the C'mon, Accept Your Joy cover and his wife Ronit is an amazing artist too. All I can say is WOW! Just look at the work they've done. I'm totally blown away and proud to call 'em both friends. See for yourself!

I've gotta say, I'd be embarrassed for 'em to see the warehouse / abandoned record store that we live in. We're merely functional. At least Amanda insisted on the April Born colored walls. Before that, we were surrounded by dry wall.

Also while checking out friends and family on the net, I came across this video of my brother's band Tykes With Guns. They were like a cross between Moldy Peaches and Tenacious D. You know, a "joke band" that's not a joke. Benji recently posted some videos from their "heyday" up at YouTube. Click here to see my personal favorite vid from them (so far). It's for a tender ballad called "Slut Cat." Lemme tell you (and I paraphrase Benji), there's nothing like being hit in the head by a Nerf football while you rock out yer solo.

Inspired by the rock, tonight Amanda and I watched Iron Maiden's Live After Death video shot in 1985. Woooooohhhhhh! That's what I've gotta say. This one'll rank among my most butt-kicking DVD's ever! Long live Eddie!

YEAH!

We followed that with a DVD of Frank Zappa on Saturday Night Live back in '76. It's cool 'cause not only did it have some super cool performances but it includes the sketches that he was in. "The Killer Trees" may not be the greatest moment of SNL but it definitely had its moments.

"Oh tanenbaum, oh tanenbaum."

 


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Wednesday January 24, 2007

 

 

 


Waaahhhh???

I sold some images though Retna?

Not only did I get an email from Jason Moore (a photog and friend in NC) letting me know that he came across a half-page shot of mine in the current Guitar World of Ben Harper but I got a few hundred bucks in the mail from 'em today! I can't believe Retna's falling back into line. Good! They've got a heck of an archive from me that I can't profit from otherwise.

I'm happy to say that my cash flow problem seems to be turning around (knock on wood). It's a bit ironic that I'm making more while doing less but believe me, I ain't complaining!

Tonight, Joe, Frank and I got together to work on each track from Satisfactionista. Last night I had an idea that I didn't think would actually work but we put into practice and voila! Now it feels like "Tonight Never Happened" is done! We wound up putting the super dissonant, dramatic section from the middle of the unused song "She Walks" and put it in right after the bridge of "Tonight Never Happened" before it returns to the guitar hook. It's beauticious and the harmony that leads into it is especially satisfying! This was a revelation to me. I've always felt like "Tonight" wasn't complete. Now it feels like it is. I don't know whether that part will be on the record (it's so cool that it may be worth extending it by a minute or two) but we'll definitely be doing it that way live.


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Tuesday January 23, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oddly enough, I was looking forward to rehearsal tonight but Joe was feeling a bit under the weather so we cancelled. Instead, I went ahead and did up a demo of "Something Unseen" for the guys. I had to take the only decent board recording of Q-Sign doing it, EQ it, then retrack all of the guitars with tones like the ones on the recording. It was weird but I pulled it off. I can't believe how audacious Q-Sign could be. I mean, we had a 7-minute long epic with no actual lyrics, no firm arrangement and no solo and we pulled it out at our first real Georgia Theatre set. That's crazy! I'm glad we did it now as I have something to work with.

After I finished that demo, I put together CDs of the running order of the songs that I announced last week. There are still no segues on the demos but it does give a bit of the feel and makes it easier for the others to rehearse the new tracks.

Y'know, I thought "Something Unseen" would push the album way longer than I normally like but it comes in around 46 minutes and that's still fine. By the time I get the segues in and such, this should fall just about right. I know a minute may not sound like much to you but it makes a difference to me.

Oh yeah - I also talked to Mike at length today. He may be coming up for album rehearsals this weekend. Meanwhile, we're still talking to a handful of guys with sticks about that permanent live position.


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Monday January 22, 2007

 

 

 


Well, I got another massive chunk of this thing finished and upped today. I'm hoping that when it's finally all caught up, my health will be back up enough to start moving forward instead of merely treading water. I'm feeling stronger every day and I'm putting things in motion. It may not be much but it's happening.

Click here for last week with more rehearsals, a slight relapse and whatever else struck my (not so) fancy.

 


 

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