Sunday October 3, 2004

 

 


Nothing much today but recovery. Sweet, sweet recovery...and rest.

In the early evening I dug on some Black Box Recorder CD's that I borrowed from Frank. I enjoyed 'em before sitting back on the couch with Amanda and watching Taxi Driver for the first time ever. Not exactly a relaxing movie, but a simple and relaxing evening for sure. Nice.

 


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Saturday October 2, 2004

So...where are these Hamdogs we've heard so much about?

 


Another day, another show. Isn't that the way it should always be? Tonight, we made our Atlanta debut at a place called Mulligan's. It was a weird gig made even weirder by sheer exhaustion. For all the dirt, click here.

Other than that, I spent the day preparing and editing the photos from the night before. So strange (but good strange) to spend time editing pics of my own band!


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Friday October 1, 2004
 

Making the most of a last minute opportunity at the Georgia Theatre in Athens!


So who watched the debates last night? Boy, I'm glad I did. It's the first time I've watched one that held my interest for the duration. I can't believe how out of it our current president seemed. I was also surprised at how strong and knowledgeble Kerry was. Judging by the post debate polls, maybe America has a chance after all!

Anyway - today was an amazing day for me and the band. While I was humbly roaming around town taking care of errands, I got asked if we could fill in as an opening act at the Georgia Theatre tonight. Are you kidding? Opening for Zoso? In a packed room? We'll be there. I was panicked the rest of the day. Everything was just too perfect and easy. To read the complete lowdown, click here. Thanks again to everyone involved in giving us such a major break in Athens!


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Thursday September 30, 2004

 

Sting & Annie Lennox declare their togetherness Thursday night.

 


Back to a work frenzy for Flagpole. It looks like I'm going to be doing a piece on Brian Wilson's "SmiLE" that's due by Tuesday and I've got a slew of pics to send in for other pieces.

Also, I got this site up to date. There are new pictures up in LIVE SHOTS and THE BAND from Tuesday night / Wednesday morning. Check 'em out.

The rest of the day will be boring work.


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Wednesday September 29, 2004

The Critical Darlings return...

 


I started this day in a smokey club waiting to play. This being the 1st anniversary of my Dad's death, I really didn't feel much like performing. I'll choose to think of it as a good distraction. Dwelling on it certainly won't help matters.

At 1:15 a.m., September 29, 2004 - we began again. For the full show review, click here.

Here are a couple of cool things.

My massive Big Show summer wrap up is published in this issue of Flagpole. Check it out by clicking here. (It even goes several weeks past the latest Concert Shots update.)

There was also a very nice mention of me and the band in Threats And Promises (music gossip section of Flagpole). This came as a complete shock to me. Check that out by clicking here and reading the third paragraph!

Also, does anyone else think it's an eerie but comforting coincidence that the paragraph begins "Root For The Home Team" ...and that the publication's issue date is 9/29/04? For those that don't know (the writer Gordon being one that doesn't), I led the people who went to my Dad's funeral in a verse of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" from which that line is taken. Strange...but right.

Ah...there.

So, as you can see, I did my best to distract myself today from the memories of a year ago.

I must admit, I appreciated people checking up on me but felt a bit weird that they were only calling because it was the date that my Dad died. I don't want to acknowledge this day. I want to acknowledge his birthday and Father's Day. As my Dad would've said, today was "just another day."

That being said, I couldn't help but thinking regularly throughout the day what was happening the last time this date hit me.

Frank also helped distract me a bit. He brought the new Interpol CD over (pretty good, maybe better than the first one). Amanda, Frank and I ate lunch together and discussed the show and what should be done with the band in the future.

Unfortunately, I was alone most of the evening. As exhausted as I was, I still wound up staying up until about midnight.

Goodnight and good riddance to another September 29.


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Tuesday September 28, 2004

 


There's so much that I don't even know where to begin so I won't.

I desperately needed a distraction today. It's exactly one calendar year to the day since I last spoke to my Dad. I don't want to think about it. I must prepare for my show tonight. I've got to get my guitars ready to go. I don't have time to be depressed or sidelined.

Sometime in the early afternoon I had an overwhelming desire to go buy Brian Wilson's SmiLE (that's not a typo -that's the way he spells it to differentiate from the aborted one). I'm not going to go into the entire story about why this album is a miracle. Or the story of how it was completed after being abandoned 37 years ago. It doesn't matter.

When I heard Brian was working on it, I thought "Oh no, he's going to ruin the legend." So I wanted to go ahead and have my hopes dashed on the album's release date rather than have expectations that it might be okay.

I put it into the disc player and for the next 47 minutes, I was absolutely and completely blown away. It's beautiful, silly, heartbreaking, ridiculous, overblown, subtle and a sheer and utter masterpiece. I have never been this instantly moved and knocked out by an album...ever. I thought, it must just be a weird mixture of these notes with my biochemistry today. It can't be that good. So I did a search online of initial reviews. Check it out.

"Comparing Smile to pop music is like comparing the poster paint daubings of an infant to the vast canvasses of Velasquez. But Smile stands up with any of the great music of the 20th century. In its interweaved and repeated melodic strands it echoes Prokofiev's Kije Suite.  In its appropriation of American folk it stands up there with the work of Gershwin and Copeland.  In its sheer contemplative beauty it rubs shoulders with Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue. One of the greatest albums of the 21st century."  New Music Express

"There is a remarkable consistency about Smile's complex tapestry of delights. Wilson can rest secure in the knowledge that he's finally delivered the masterpiece that's surely the long playing equal of that still awe inspiring 'Good Vibrations'. Genius? You bet. Brilliant". 
MOJO (4 stars)

"This new studio recording sounds far more timeless, or out of time, than nostalgic. This Smile is beautifully performed and sung [... and] is as organic as Wilson wanted for the original. The music has an originality that sounds remarkable even now. Listening to this piece of genius again reassures me that spending £162 to see all three performances of Smile wasn't so crazy after all."
The Wire

"Handcrafted by a fragile mortal who summoned enough musical genius in his tortured psyche to outwit the demons that crushed him nearly 40 years ago."

- USA Today

"The cumulative effect is almost overwhelming - sad, lush, startling, tragic and beautiful. What's ironic is that it makes far more sense now than it might have done 37 years ago." 
Time Out

"It is, frankly, wonderful. So brimming with ambition and musical intelligence that its timelessness is a given. One of the most creatively accomplished, wonderfully mind-boggling items in the rock canon."
Observer

"Now pop's one true 'great lost masterpiece' has been completed. Only a cloth-eared fool could remain unmoved. And given the album's ambitious theme it's as timely now as it was in 1967."
i-D

"The album is worth the wait - it gives you musical courage. Wilson's an extraordinary writer.  He pushed popular music to whole new levels. It's fantastic."
Roger Daltrey

"Complex and intense but of such beauty, this is as good as we could have hoped for."
Music Week

"Mind-blowing. It unfolds in its original, and never before complete, sequence as a thing of rare beauty and cumulative power. As wondrous and as complex as the claims made on its behalf for all those years."
Observer - Music Monthly

"The breadth of Brian's reference points is similar to the Beatles. They wrote about England and growing up in Liverpool, while he sings about 20th century Americana. They are songs of such pathos and must be among the most beautiful ever written." Peter Blake

"The best psychedelic pop album in the world, bigger than Pet Sounds and maybe the the best ever."
Musik Express Magazine (Germany)six stars (best usually is 5 stars)

"It's a triumph." "Five Stars."

- Rolling Stone Magazine

So it's not just me. I proceeded to listen to it three times back to back to back. It didn't dim. Right now it's number 3 on my list of favorite albums of all time. FYI - there's nothing else in the top ten from the past decade.

I will be listening to this album for the rest of my life and it has changed my perception of my surroundings.

By 9 p.m. I was hanging out at Tasty World waiting for our show to begin...it didn't until the wee hours of the ugliest date I can utter...September 29.


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Monday September 27, 2004

 


Nothing much doing today.

Frank came over in the evening and he and I worked up a set list for the show tomorrow night. After we played through it, we worked on "I'll Be Fine" and "Wide Bicycle."

I updated Concert Shots with text reviews of most of the summer shows. Go back and see for yourself. I added reviews of almost every show from June to August.

Click here to check out last week (including They Might Be Giants).


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