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Sunday March 26, 2006

 

 

 

I can't believe I slept for 11 hours last night / this morning. I haven't slept that long in AT LEAST a year. Must've been the TransMet induced food coma. The weirdest thing is that I don't feel rested because of it...just groggy. Figures, dunnit? Apparently Mike sat awake watching House Of 1000 Corpses. He told me he's seen it "about a thousand times." So I told him he ought to know each corpse individually by now.

While I still slept, Amanda was out running errands and by the time I got up and about, she'd put Mike to work too! He wound up fixing our laundry closet doors. Good thing 'cause I sure ain't handy enough to do it!

We tried to grab a quick lunch on the way to rehearsal only to find that the Wendy's across the street has suddenly been shuttered and abandoned! Since nothing else was convenient, we wound up running late. That's why we always play for 2, not 1. We just can't make it by 1. To doubly prove it, Frank was late too. By the time we got started, 3/4 of our first our was already gone. We drilled "Siren" a few more times before getting into the catalog. Those endings on "It's Never The Same" and "You Don't Know Me" are still not where they should be. And Mike's hearing has been so damaged that it's really starting to effect everything. I keep trying to tell him AND Frank to protect themselves but they always find a reason not to. It's crazy, too. My hearing's damaged but at least I do my best to protect them. I can't imagine that I'd hear much of anything by now if I didn't 'cause we are friggin' loud!

All in all, this wasn't a great rehearsal and neither was yesterday but it was rehearsal and it was progress. We just need to be able to play much more than we do. It's driving me crazy 'cause I know what we're capable of. And while this is musically the most solid band I've ever been in, we could do so much more with just a LITTLE more effort and time.

Oh yeah - and our founding drummer Tom was across the hall with another band. It looked like a getting acquainted kind of deal as I noticed members leaving with copies of C'mon, Accept Your Joy. I waved to Tom but I don't know if he saw me. He didn't acknowledge if he did. It's so weird. I wanted to go talk to him. I keep thinking that's my friend but the last two little tense times we've talked, it's definitely felt like the feeling wasn't mutual. So I let it stand today. I hope he's doing well and he's out and playing soon. He needs to be. He has endless potential if he could remove a couple of obstacles that he has the ultimate control over. And I still hate that he's not still in the band. Of course, at this point, we've evolved differently than we would've for the last 6 months so I don't think there's a place left for him now. And that feels a bit sad. But at least I know it's that way because we're progressing. And I can't wait to be performing a whole slew of new songs! It will happen soon. "Waiting For The Siren" is only the first one to escape.

By the time I got home I was drained and out of it. I spoke to my Grandmother for a while and wound down with my usual (when possible - and it usually is these days) Sunday night FOX lineup.

Goodnight. Must rest.

 

 


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Saturday March 25, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today, Mike came up so we could try and knock a little of the rust off before next weekend's "Return Of The Critical Darlings" gig. I felt we were mediocre the last time we opened for Sun Domingo and I want to at least be up to our old standard this time. We got together in the afternoon and started by working up the brand new one "Waiting For The Siren." I was surprised at how quickly it seemed to gel. It fell right into the place and the guitar tone that I thought would be too thin seemed to work perfectly! Odd but cool. After we ran through it twice and tidied up a couple of things, Todd Cash showed up. He's thinking about sitting in with us for a few songs next week. It's cool with me. I have an open invitation to him and Andy Ainsworth to sit in whenever they want. Todd was the original bass player for the band that became Star Zero. He also played in the studio only side project called The Last Band On Earth with me, Andy, Donnie Young and (sometimes) Robert Zimmerman. As such, Todd was the original bass player on "Sometimes I'm Sam". When he sits in now, he plays rhythm guitar and sings. Unfortunately, we weren't exactly tight so we had to keep running through stuff. Then endings of "You Don't Know Me" and the new ending of "It's Never The Same" just weren't quite cutting it today. Still, I knew this was meant and needed for rust removal. To that end, Mike's staying over tonight so we can do another full rehearsal tomorrow. Here's hoping we can pull this off. Today's feeling a bit iffy. Frank even broke a string today. Ah, there's so many little things. Still, it was good to be playing anyway. Oh yeah - and we're adding in "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" (the Prince song) as one of our regular covers to play irregularly. I still need to work out a lead for the ending but I was surprised how well this fell together. Of course, Star Zero played it and we even did it at our CD release party back in October but all of those times have been with Andy on lead guitar. Now I'm jumping up. We also got "Creepy Jackalope Eye" a bit tighter and nearly ready to be re-added.

In the evening, Mike, Amanda, Frank, Mollie and I went out to TransMet. It wasn't as communal as the old days, I tell you. Everyone had to get something different. Pretty soon we'll all need separate managers, too, I imagine. (Kidding...I hope).

Then Mike came back with us and we played music and a bit of the Dark Side Of Oz in 5.1 before crashing about 11.

 


 

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Friday March 24, 2006
 

Me and Adrian Belew. Is it just me or does it look like he's about to climb a tower with a high powered rifle? Oh well - he couldn't have been much cooler to us.

 

Tonight Amanda and I went out to the other side of Athens to see one of the best guitarists alive. The first time I saw Adrian Belew, he was the sideman for David Bowie. He's also made King Crimson worthwhile for the last couple of decades as well as contributed heavily to the legends of Frank Zappa and Nine Inch Nails. This show was at one of the nicest venues in Athens (with the worst lighting!). Amanda and I were supposed to meet up with Keith Perissi and crew for dinner but he wound up working late so it was down to us to grab a bite. I don't think I've ever sat in a venue / restaraunt and eaten while a performer was on. It was kind of weird. I didn't even try to take photos 'til near the end of the set. The lights were so bad, it was kind of pointless. I figured I needed to get SOMETHING, though. So I took a few redlight shots around the time he launched into King Crimson's "Three Of A Perfect Pair." Other highlights included "Thela Hun Ginjeet", "Young Lions" and "Elephant Talk". I just love those Crimson gems...especially "Three." Of course, the musicianship was absolutely stellar and stunning. Enough to drop jaws but not mind-numbing in the way that so much "math rock" and progressive music can be. Adrian hasn't forgotten about things like hooks. And he made me want to flip my tremolo backwards and make rhino noises. Just what we need, eh? After the show, Adrian hung out by the bar so I got the first pic of me with a celebrity in nearly 2 years. I think the last one I got was of me with Chris Stein from Blondie. We discussed playing very tiny checkers on my shoes. Amanda got a set list signed. We were home by 11:30.


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Thursday March 23, 2006

 

 

 


I'm also proud that I've gotten Athens so much national coverage lately. Ben Harper, Drive-By Truckers with Dave Schools and Elefant are in Pollstar, Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker in Country Weekly and all of those shows took place in Athens. And that's just been in the past couple of weeks. But now I'm ready to get back to rock and roll. I wanna play. I'm ready to roll...


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Wednesday March 22, 2006

 

 


You know, photography's doing okay again lately. Too bad the payday is so far behind the workdates. I lost so much work at the end of last summer due to my Grandmother's injury and hospital stay that I still haven't caught up. Since I've managed to get published in the likes of Rolling Stone, Spin, Blender, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Country Weekly, etc, it's harder for me to feel like I've accomplished something. But here's a good one that makes me feel even better. I'm happy to add Vogue Magazine to my resume. To top it off, it's Vogue Paris! How cool is that? It's a pic of The Strokes of course.


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Tuesday March 21, 2006

Tony Arata and Mike Dekle have class.

 

 

 


Today the music business class at UGA had a "half-round" with country songwriters Tony Arata and Mike Dekle. The most notable song from Tony is "The Dance" by Garth Brooks and Mike's had hits for the last 25 years or so including Kenny Rogers' "Scarlet Fever" and a brand new song called "Size Matters" (can't remember the artist). I must say, their lecture was inspiring in just hearing how long they had to work to break through. But they finally did and they did it big.

After class, I went to pick up Prince's new one 3121. I felt like I had to get it today. I just had a feeling. You've heard me ramble about it here already. Guess what? While it's not a slam dunk, it's the first album by Prince I want to listen to over and over for at least the last 10 years. And it's the first one that he's put out that I like every song on (more or less) since Parade. It's good to hear him get back to being who he is instead of who he's been (ahem) coached to be.

 


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Monday March 20, 2006

 

 


A big chunk of today was spent updating the last week or so's diary. I also worked on some reviews and such. I'm so regularly behind these days that I've forgotten what it's like to be up to date. I am trying, though.

To hear Amanda tell it, it's the first day of spring today. I like my seasons to change on the 21st, so I'll call it spring tomorrow.

Click here for last week with Ray Davies and Motley Crue.


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