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Sunday May 8, 2005

 

 


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

I've got to wish my Mom all the best on Mother's Day. I've said it before and if I know me, I'll say it again but she's had it rough the last few years. It seems to be levelling off now and prospects are good for the future. All I wish is happiness. And thanks, Mom.

I also have to wish a happy one to my Grandmother who's so important to me. She's always been there and I'll never forget what she's done for and taught me.

And Kathee, I hope you have a great one, too. Oh - and thanks for the strawberries!

Today was fairly boring for me. I made a quick trip to the cemetary and my Grandmother's before Amanda and I went for lunch and on home to Athens.

It was even a relaxing enough night to work in a Twilight Zone.

Changes are coming next week. Let's hope they're good ones...

 


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Saturday May 7, 2005

Mr. & Mrs. McKay made it official in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

 


Today was all about my brother Benji and my suddenly sister-in-law April. They've been together for a long, long time but chose today to make it official. Congratulations to them both and good luck...especially to April. Now she's GOTTA deal with all of us.

I got up this morning and raced over for a quick visit with my Grandmother before getting on the road to the wedding. She was disappointed that she couldn't make it all the way to the beach but sent along her best wishes. Amanda and I were on the road at noon. Since we took a lengthy lunch stop, we didn't make it to the site of the wedding 'til 3:30. The scheduled start time was 4. Surprisingly, we were among the first on the scene. Now, let me say, this was positively the most laid back alledgedly formal affair I've ever been to. Benji wanted people to be comfortable so there were a surprising number of people in shorts and t-shirts. I just didn't feel right doing that so I wore a sport jacket along with my usual get-up. I was more comfortable that way. Amanda was typically fancy as well. About 5 minutes before show time, I was preparing my camera when Benji said, "So...you wanna be best man?" What? It's just five minutes before? Are you nuts? That's not what I said, though. I simply told him that I was there and I'd do whatever he felt I should do. So suddenly, I was the best man and (obviously) couldn't photograph. Amanda grabbed the camera and I told her a few tricks to shoot in the harsh light. About this time, the preacher showed up. He reminded me of the funeral director from WKRP and therefore the "Ferryman's Funeral Home" commercial was unfortunately running through my head as long as this guy was in sight. Soon, the wedding was underway and just as soon it was over. It was a perfectly nice ceremony on an absolutely beautiful late spring day. Of course, I took the camera back then and made April and Benji pose for pictures with basically every person who made that 100 mile (or 300 in the case of us) trek.

After that, we all went to a leisurely dinner. Again...laid back to say the least. There was no dog and pony show here. Actually, there were dogs in the park where it took place - but not a show per se. Unless you count the giant carp, turtles and ducks fighting over bread in the pond. Oh - and there was a snake, too - either a boa or a python. But that's another story...

For some reason, we all split up after the dinner. My Mom, Vern and Robbie took off to go ocean fishing. Benji, April and some friends took off to relax and Amanda and I went to a haunted house at Barefoot Landing with my sister, her husband Dwayne and my neices Nichole and McKayla. The haunted house left a bit to be desired...let's hope it doesn't haunt and warp McKayla who's around 9 months old!

Then Amanda and I hit the road again, back to Camden. We got in sometime around 11 and managed a full night's sleep.


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Friday May 6, 2005
 

 

 

 


Just trying to make up for time lost yesterday before I hit the road. I've got to get back to SC for yet another family wedding. This time, it's my brother's. Of course, he has to make it more difficult by having it at Myrtle Beach (thanks for making it a 300+ mile trip!).

He's been with April for a half zillion years now so I'm sure they know what they're getting into. Well - they're already in it and they have been. All this'll mean is that they can't get out of it without a spousectomy and everyone knows there's only a 50/50 survival rate with that procedure....and with two people having to have it at a time...those odds are not good. I feel like there's no worry here, though. Luckily, April's already become family at this point.

From me, they get every positive wish I can send 'em. And I'll be there to congratulate them in person. I'm proud of 'em both and I hope we're all still together when we're very tiny, grey headed old people.

Alright now, gotta finish tidying and get on the highway...

See you there...


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Thursday May 5, 2005

 


 


Today was one of those "nothing is quite working right days." And by "nothing" I mean the lovely old interwebnet. My professional life basically revolves around my computer and it throws everything into a tailspin when I can't get online...and I couldn't for most of the day today. So I spent a chunk of day trying to arrange my CD wall. Trust me - it's getting to be a friggin' wall. In other words, what a boring day.

One of the few times I could check in with Wire Image, I saw that New Music Express (NME) downloaded, bought and was invoiced for one of my pictures of The Hives. That's huge that it was that fast. Usually a potential buyers views and then sits on 'em for a while, then they download...then a couple of weeks later you either get an "invoiced" or "not used." NME don't play, lemme tell ya. And that's a mag I've always wanted to be in, too, so...good for me!

Oh, and I make a return to the pages (and web site) of Pollstar magazine today. If you wanna check out my pic of Garbage that they used (along with a snarky but funny comment on wardrobe) just look for the pic HERE and click on the size you want for the date 5/5.

You know what's stupid about me? Well, besides that...

Um, when I'm home and can get in bed and sleep - I can't. I can only seem to get rest when I'm totally exhausted. When I'm relatively rested, my body doesn't get that it can be even more rested and I toss and turn all night. So that's what's really stupid...not what you thinking, jackass!

 


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Wednesday May 4, 2005

Chris Cornell & Tom Morello mix it up with Audioslave in ATL last night.

 

 

As you can see from the pic, I did wind up going out to Audioslave last night. It really was a last minute thing (thanks Molly and Holli). The only bad thing about it was no tickets. Amanda and I both like Audioslave so she tagged along just in case we stumbled across some extras. It didn't happen tonight. So I just shot the first 3 and we got out of there. The venue was sold out and hyped. When a little tiny old lady came out into the spotlight there were some confused looks. Then she spoke, "Hi, I'm Mary Morello and I want to introduce the best mother f**king band in the world...AUDIOSLAVE!" The place went crazy, Tom ran out and hugged her and the band laid into "Set It Off" which was followed by "Exploder." So they definitely came out swinging! I've seen 'em a couple of times before so I know it takes 'em a few to really get into it. I would've loved to see the rest of the set. I really would've loved to hear Cornell sing "Killing In The Name Of..." and "Bulls On Parade." And I bet the RATM guys were great on "Outshined" and "Spoonman" (never one of my favorites by Soundgarden). I believe Cornell did a solo acoustic "Black Hole Sun" as well. Add in the Audioslave best of and you have a great set. Wish I coulda seen it! I'll catch 'em next time.

Today, D.A.R.C. had a cancellation so I went into the studio to continue mixing. We worked on "Sometimes I'm Sam" for about 4 hours. I think it's a decent starter mix. I have one huge complaint so far about recording here. I hate the bass tone. The parts are all there and right but we've gotta have a better tone. There's either a) no definition or b) it's not existent. That ain't good enough. I listened back to the previous mixes. Here's what needs to be fixed so far.

"Towel Cape Song" - vocals need to come up across the board - maybe warmed up a tad, acoustic guitar level needs to be raised, left channel electric needs to come down a little...bass is okay on this one.

"I Know Too Much" - bass is totally unacceptable. It's just a fuzzy, non-existent mess. Everything else is just about perfect. Kick may be slightly too boomy.

"Into My View" - cool, cool, cool. Thankfully. Already sounds ready for radio. If I could get Bavis to sign off on it, I'd already be pushing it to local radio to (hopefully) start some pre-interest.

"Sometimes I'm Sam" - bass tone is unacceptable...perhaps just not loud enough. Right room is a bit too much. Fade out guitars need to be separated more.

So even the ones we're "finished" with still have more work to be done. ACK! But I got home in time to go to a nice dinner with Amanda and we had a (relatively) relaxing evening.

Of course, I broke the relaxation to track the rough draft guitar for the first of the coming flood of new songs that I have in the back of my brain. I was noodling yesterday, Amanda liked the noodle so I remembered it and constructed the rest when I sat down for ten minutes with a guitar today. The working title is "I'd Rather Not Say." So look for it to appear (maybe in the summer) at a Tavern near you!

The bonus: I got to chill out with a Twilight Zone in the evening. So what if it was the one with the talking slot machine (The Fever)? It was still better than anything on in '05. And it showed The Flamingo, too - where Amanda and I stayed in '04.

 


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Tuesday May 3, 2005

 

 

 


Still running errands and catching up on real life before the next onslaught begins. I was thinking of covering Audioslave tonight. They're a band I really love - especially live. I put in an initial request but I haven't followed it up and I haven't heard anything. If the local rep emails and let's me know I'm on, I'll go. If not, I'll relax for another night. I'm enjoying not running right now. But I'm getting some new shoes soon - so expect a lot more over the next month or so.

This morning I got the title and tags transferred for my Dad's truck to me. I can't believe it took this long to do it but with all the beaurocracy, that's exactly what happened. Now I own it and it's street legal in GA.

Removing Dad's last tag (no pun intended, Amanda) will be the final step in that process, I guess.

I also picked up the new Nine Inch Nails album (With Teeth) while I was out. When I can get something that I like for $9.99, I try to support it. It was more that worth it. This is the most immediately satisfying release from Trent since Pretty Hate Machine. What I mean by that is that it doesn't take years to digest and dig through. It's good at first listen. It sounds closer to a bridge between the first album and Broken than the follow up to The Fragile. The most surprising thing to me was that there's nothing utterly unlistenable on it. In the past, there was always something incredibly frustrating. The closest here is too long a silence near the end of the title track but when it comes back in, it's worth it. The album is bookended by the most melodic songs NIN has ever done but the balance rocks. I actually got chills on first listen to "You Know What You Are?". Mostly because it made me feel like I did the first time I heard "Wish" or "Down In It" or even "March Of The Pigs" or "We're In This Together." The tour is already sold out. Let's just hope that he can run with the momentum for once in his career. I'll reserve judgement on where this ranks in his work but I will repeat that I haven't been this immediately satisfied with a NIN release since the first one. If you're even a passive fan, you must pick this up.

Right now (partially inspired by listening to the new NIN), I'm listening to New Order's latest. It came out at the end of March. It's actually really good. It sounds just like they always did at their best. Man - there's really a lot of good stuff out there right now. I just wish people were hearing it instead of what's at the top of the charts.

I've also gotta mention the new Billy Idol album. I'm lovin' it, too. I've actually played it repeatedly of late and that's something I hardly ever do these days. When it rocks, it crushes and when it's melodic, it's beautiful and touching. Meanwhile "Plastic Jesus" is hilarious...especially with the drop-in of "Jesus Plastico."

Who'd'a thunk it?

Oh - and Concert Shots is updated. I promise (because I have to) that the next update will be MUCH quicker. Maybe even early next week...'cause I've got to get ahead of things before everything gets crazy again.


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Monday May 2, 2005

 

 


I coulda gone to see The Shins tonight at the 40 Watt. From a business sense, I'm crazy not to go. I could almost definitely get exclusive shots and maybe even a handful of portraits. The show sold out within days of announcement and they're on the upswing. So why am I not there? Honestly, it's mostly 'cause I don't like them. I find them painfully dull. They're the kind of band that people like to like because their friends do. Their best songs are not as good as the worst songs on the most mediocre albums from the past few years. If this offends you, that's not my intent. It's just that I work hard on music. I love it and believe in it in all its magical powers. I find it an insult when someone shovels dirt on a beautiful flame. That's what I think The Shins are doing to good music. I get most bands. I don't get The Shins. But don't think that I'm just not a fan of indie music. I am. On the other side, I don't get Linkin Park either - and they sold over 10 million copies of their last album.

So there.

Instead, I spent the day doing my final fixups for a Concert Shots update which should happen tomorrow. I've basically given up on having any reviews in this one either. It's just been too crazy lately. Now that I'm semi-caught up, I'm planning on doing a little more writing.

 

Click here for last week's much more managable proceedings - and Elvis Costello & The Pickups to boot!


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