Sunday November 27, 2005



It's happened again. That song that formed last night from the middle 8 of another new tune has grown. When I got up today, the first verse of lyrics and a partial chorus was waiting for me. The working title is now "Said And Done (Morning's Over)" and it may be the album closer...except for the planned coda and reprise of the revised "If You Want To Go."

Today wasn't too much interesting as it's a travelling day. I went over and ate lunch at my Grandmother's before hitting the road. We got in to Athens about twilight. Then we did a little grocery shopping and topped the night off by watching the FOX lineup with our dear crustacean friends.

Tomorrow - serious work must begin again.

And for those of you who want to be WAAAAAY ahead of the curve. The working order for the next album (at the moment) is...

1. If You Want...
2. Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something
3. Dancing In The Park (Working Title)
4. Where Are They Now? (Working Title)
5. Give Up Town
6. Navigating Your Sweater (Working Title)
7. Everybody's Trying
8. Skyward
9. Worms On The Pavement
10. Wide Bicycle
11. Said And Done (Morning's Over) (Working Title)
12. ...To Go

Several may change. I'd really like to find homes for "Goodbye Tuesday" and "It's Never The Same". I'm also hoping that another DeFreese / McKay newbie called "Sadder Day" will work its way in. If they do, "Skyward" will probably be the first song cut. Who knows how it's going to pan out. It may be another year before we can even begin real work on it. I hope not. I'd like to begin tracking it around the time that it gets warm in '06. And what about live favorites like "You Don't Know Me" and "This Is The Night The World Changes"? Maybe a between albums EP is in order. We'll see...




Saturday November 26, 2005







The flood continues today. When I was showering in the a.m., an entire verse and part of a chorus came into my head for my favorite new song. Right now, the working title is "Dancing In The Park" but that may or may not change. The last thing I want to hear is a bunch of Springsteen references for the rest of my life. And if this song comes together like it is so far, I believe I'll be playing this one for as long as I'm playing. It segues straight into "Where Are They Now" (working title), which segues straight into "Give Up Town" which segues straight into "Navigating Your Sweater" (working title). And it's all seamless. Oh and "Dancing In The Park" comes straight out of "Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something" which may come out a revised "If You Want To Go". Oooohhh...this is gonna be fun. And that's just the first half.

In the afternoon, I went back over to my Grandmother's. I'm glad to say she put me to work cleaning out one of her closets. I'm always much happier to work over there than to just talk about what needs to be done. It really just needed re-arranging so it wasn't that big a deal. I had hoped that today Mike and I could get together to practice and maybe even begin tentative work on some of the new material. It didn't happen. Not only that but the CD that I had made him of the non-album tracks got lost. So now we have to back track on those. That means I won't feel comfortable reviving "You Don't Know Me" for next Friday's show after all. Oh well - coulda been a doozy. Hopefully, we'll have it re-ready for Atlanta on the 10th.

For dinner, Amanda and I hooked up with Lori, Shawn, True and Lauryn at our usual hometown restaraunt, Lugoff House Of Pizza (aka LHOP). It may not sound all that appetizing but lemme tell you, it's absolutely a paradise for me. The best greasy, unhealthy, delicious food I know. Plus, I'm just plain nostalgic for it.

While I was there, I ran into Ms. Shuler who was not only my English teacher in two different schools, she wound up an assistant principal. She was always so helpful to me. She went above and beyond and nurtured me as much as she could. As most of you know, I have no respect for the public education system. It totally neglected me during my time there. Ms. Shuler was one of the few wonderful exceptions. It was great to see her again. I was glad to tell her that I'm doing the exact same things I was doing in high school with the same people...just further along.

While in there, I also ran into Todd Osteen. He was a friend from high school. We shared a love of ze rock'n'roll. It's been a long time...

Oh - continuing old home week, I also saw a middle-school friend named Tina Sellers. There are so many people I'd just as soon never see again. Luckily, I'm only running into the ones I LIKE seeing on this trip. Something else to be thankful for, I guess.

After dinner, we reconvened back at the Young's. Amanda and Lori hung out while Shawn and I ripped apart the UK Music Hall Of Fame Inductions on VH-1. Mike came over and joined in, too. He also did some work on my amp to get it back in running condition before next weekend.

Just before bed, I picked up the guitar again. Wouldn't you know it? The middle 8 from "Where Are They Now?" transformed itself into yet another song. Now the second half of the next album is starting to coalesce.





Friday November 25, 2005



Started today like I ended yesterday. With ideas flooding around and starting to hit the strings. I can't lie. I'm much more excited about these songs and the way they're laying out. They're fitting together so perfectly. Even the old rock songs like "Give Up Town" and "Someone's Trying To Tell Us Something" are fitting beautifully with the super melodic power pop songs that Frank and I have been putting together. I finally even found a way to work in "Wide Bicycle." I haven't been able to get "Goodbye Tuesday" in naturally yet but I'm hoping it'll eventually reveal itself like all of these others have. I'm proud of C'mon, Accept Your Joy but this new batch is IT. The hard thing is sitting on 'em 'til the time is right for unveiling.

In the afternoon, Amanda and I went and did some Black Friday shopping. And guess what...there were no unruly crowds or anything. It was perfectly easy. Of course, it was the afternoon before we got there. No 5 a.m. for me, please! Since our Christmas shopping is pretty much done, though, I just got myself a great deal on a tertiary backup hard drive. My secondary is full. This new one should last about 5 years. At least 3...

Then I went to Grandma's to help her with some errands. Amanda dropped me off. Then I had to "convince" Grandma to get up and go. She's getting into a bad state again now that everyone's gotten over the novelty of her being hurt. She's not fine. She's just better. And she's very, very depressed at the way she's been treated. She's still better than she was just before she got hurt but she's sliding fast. And it's heartbreaking for me to see. Especially when it would only take a few minutes here and there from the people who claim to care about her but clearly don't. A few minutes is literally all it would take to let her know that they were thinking of her (if they were). That would make a world of difference.

I wasn't going to let her sit there and rot with me in town. I had to push awfully hard but I finally got her up, dressed and out the door. We went and did the garbage run, picked up meds and then she acquiesced to go do a little Christmas shopping. Her budget's so limited this year. It really was hard to find anything. We did manage to get a couple of things and I got HER present from me and Amanda. I hope she likes it. By the time we finished, I was tired. I'm sure she was, too. But you know what? She seemed 100% better. That's what I'm talking about.

Dusk was falling when Amanda and her Dad picked me up to get back to their place for their day late Thanksgiving celebration. I hadn't made it by the cemetary today and I wasn't about to break my streak of going on every complete day I'm in town. By the time we got out there, it was pitch black. All the little lanterns that family and friends had left on graves cast a peaceful (if painful) glow across the cemetary.

Then it was on to Amanda's family Thanksgiving. 'Twas another delicious meal. Then Amanda's Mom decided she wanted to watch the Young Frankenstein DVD which I borrowed from Benji. Amanda's Dad didn't make it too far before he went on back to bed. So the three of us finished it out.




Thursday November 24, 2005



I spent the first half of the day doing the Thanksgiving thing and the second half wishing I still had a second half. I went way out to an area called Cusack's Crossroads in Florence County, South Carolina. It's the Pee Dee region, farm country. It's all fields to this day. This is where my entire family comes from. I'm only one generation removed from it. Amanda was thrilled with all the cotton ready to be harvested. It's a good crop this year. She had a yen to go pick up a cotton bush and confiscate it. But we didn't.

My Mom and Vern, my Sister and her brood, my Aunt and Uncle with their children and other halves were all there. I did miss seeing my Aunt Louise but she got invited out to another celebration. It was also ashame that my Brother and April couldn't make it out. Still, we made the best of it. After a great Thanksgiving dinner (that's lunch to you Yankees), I spent some time with the Greylings. That's what I dubbed the nearly identical Australian shepherds that are part of the pet menagerie. It was such a beautiful, warm day. I actually got down and played with the dogs. We played chase and every now and then I'd wrestle and tumble with them. To my surprise, they tired out before me!

Then my nephew Robbie and I decided to jump a ditch seven feet deep by about seven feet wide. Well, he decided. I joined in. Amanda tried to talk me out of doing something so stupid - especially since there were some bricks, a stream of water and pointy things growing near the bottom. She failed. I jumped and I made it. Repeatedly. It was fun. I still feel like a kid on occasion. This was one of them.

Unfortunately, the fun was short lived. I had to get back to my Grandmother's. She declined to come with to Florence because she had some others that said they were coming. Plus, she knew that I'd be over there as soon as Florence was done anyway. Amanda and I got back over there only to find that my Grandmother's family had let her down yet again. I wasn't surprised. In fact, I told her that it would happen. She said I was just being negative. Nope. They're just too easy to predict. It's like being related to Murphy's Law sometime. If only I was Chris Murphy, things would make a lot more sense.

Amanda and I stayed around for a while. Since Grandma had no Thanksgiving dinner to account for, I was trying to get her to go out to one of the few restaraunts that were open. She refused. She "didn't feel like it". So I wound up at Shoney's for my Thanksgiving supper. Hmmm...yeah. Again, this wouldn't be so if my Dad was around. I'm so proud that I'm not any of my other family members. I'm even more thankful that I wasn't cursed to be from any other branch of my family tree. That may sound cold to the outsider but you must realize that I've done everything in my power to support these people only to be stabbed repeatedly by them from the time I was a child. They never got it. Some of us grew up. Some of us got stupider. I guess your opinion of who did which depends on which side you were born on. I was born on the right side...but left handed. Take that as you will.

Luckily, my Mom's family sent back food for my Grandmother. So she did have something. It's still no less of a shame. I just hope my Dad's side realize that their children and grandchildren are still learning by their example.

I wound up back at Amanda's parents' house with my Hamer in hand (but not plugged in). Ideas were flooding in. Arrangement ideas and middle 8's and segues...the next record is quite likely to be one long piece that moves like the first few songs on the current record but even more extreme. A rock opera if you will - just with no defined story line.



Wednesday November 23, 2005






It's a hurry up and wait day. First I have to hurry up and get a few things finished. Then if I get done in time, I've gotta wait to hit the road back home. And then that drive always feels like a wait...or did I mean weight? Either way I guess...

Oh yeah - as a tip off to you peeps, I'm starting to do reviews again - look for 'em starting early next week. The first one will earn something tangible for the first 2 interested parties. Let's just call it a reward for your patience.

Speaking of reviews, we got a new one in on C'mon, Accept Your Joy today, click on the blue here to read it. By jove, I think we've got another thumbs up. ROCK!

So what am I listening to today...

My favorite so far (today) has been the Cheap Trick 1979 boot. It was recorded on 6-16 in Chicago and has much better energy than Budokan which came out about a year before. It's still before Dream Police so the set list is largely the same, but this is better in energy. Plus, it's got "Top Of The World", "Elo Kiddies," "Stiff Competition" and others that were left off of the original Budokan.

Right now I'm listening to Robert Plant doing "Trampled Underfoot" from a Marquee Club performance in 1988. It was one of his first shows with a new band. It's cool hearing him throw the riff of "Heartbreaker" into the middle of a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Dimples." This one was much better than I thought it would be.

That's it. Now I've got to go prepare to hit the highway back to South Carolina. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.



Tuesday November 22, 2005





More of the same today. Now that my pics have been uploaded to Retna from the last week, I can kind of kick back and just do a little here and there until we head home tomorrow. Then after Thanksgiving, I've really got to get back to it. Especially with the new material, I've got some I'm super-proud of, I want to get it out and airable.

Today's download rave is...hmmm...what...there's been so much. Today I'll choose The Who at Charlton Athletic Field in '74. It actually has cuts in it and the performance doesn't come close to the '70 or '79 but it does have Keith Moon doing "Bell Boy" live. That's worth something, right?

On the way back from running errands, we saw Tom and Julia on the street. We stopped. They waved and kept going...



Monday November 21, 2005




Hello, hello!

I'm still download crazy right now. I'm still on a high from the great stuff I've gotten. Today I've been digging into a soundboard recording of Fleetwood Mac from early in the Rumours tour. It's cool 'cause while they play a hefty chunk of it, they still don't quite have the pacing right. Heck - they don't even do "Don't Stop." I guess it wasn't a hit yet. It's also the first show to ever end with "Songbird." Before it, Christine announces "We've never done this before and we might not ever do it again." When I saw them for the first time on the reunion tour in '97, they were STILL doing it. Oddly, though, this is a band version with bass and guitar. Enough about that, if you don't know the stuff you won't find it all that interesting anyway.

Here's something for you to delve through, though.

Concert Shots has been updated. I got all 4 shows from August posted. I can't believe I went to only 4 shows in August but with my Grandmother's health that month, that's the way it panned out. Usually my Augusts contain a show at least every day or two. Oh well, you've got new pics to peruse of Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Alice Cooper, Toby Keith, Lee Ann Womack, Shooter Jennings and Foreigner. So there.

Speaking of Alice Cooper, I got a copy of his DVD Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper today. It was filmed during the 1973 Billion Dollar Babies tour. I never even knew the group did a live video, much less a "feature film." We watched it tonight and let me tell you, Alice pushed the envelope further than I realized! In fact, there was stuff straight out of Marilyn Manson's show in there. The show was pretty cool (even if Alice's voice was typically shot) but the "storyline" was the capper for me. There was pseudo-story line about a German director chasing the band across America. It made little sense but was delightful in its poorly shot, Benny Hill / Python / 3 Stooges way. It was definitely worth the $7 I spent on it.

Amanda and I were sitting on the floor watching it when she suddenly brushed something with her hand. She told me to turn on the light. When I did, there was...wait for it...wait for it...A SCORPION on the floor! It was quite cute actually, about an inch from stinger to claws but's a SCORPION IN THE HOUSE! We don't live in Arizona? Yikes. He was cute, Amanda saved him but man, I betcha he coulda caused a pain. Your terrible-in-a-delightful-way movie watching shouldn't be interrupted by a scorpion in Georgia!

Click here for last week with U2, Bright Eyes and media, media, media!