Sunday March 21, 2004

 


As I said yesterday, here's to new beginnings. Amanda came out to rehearsal and took the first shots of the band. Click here or on the pic to the left to see more, Seymour. Of course, if you want to see them all, you'll have to go check out the BAND shots, the LIVE shots and the PRESS shots. A little work is good for ya.

So...let's ketchup. Frank came up in the early afternoon on Saturday and we were supposed to do "detail work." You know, work out little transitions and the like. We wound up writing a brand new song in about an hour. The working title is "Worms On The Pavement." Don't worry, you'll never hear it that way. That's just a tentative name until we write lyrics. Working titles from the past include "See Sharp Minor" (Give Up Town), "Granny's Song" (Save It For Another Day) "Low Independence" (Down) and the like. It's a pretty rocking song. Very melodic and tense, too. Me likey. When Frank brought it in it was a dreamy little haunting piece. I hijacked, though, much in the same way that I hijacked our other joint composition, "The Towel Cape Song."

Saturday night, Frank and Amanda and I went to TransMet for dinner and then just listened to music 'til bed...and just for the record, I felt better than in at least a month.

As for Sunday's rehearsal, it was weird. I just wasn't feeling it. I don't think I put in my best performance. I was a bit wired or something. Don't get me wrong, it was a perfectly good rehearsal. We added "Give Up Town" kind of against my wishes. Tom wants to give it a shot. According to Frank, it's one of his brother's favorite songs of all time by anyone. What a high compliment! So I'm doing it for Max.

We went through the ten song potential opening set twice. The first time, it was a bit rough. My voice is still not up to standards. Maybe that's part of the reason why I was a bit down. Who knows? After the initial ten, we ran through the other five that we have. "It's Never The Same" may be replaced with "Worms On The Pavement" if I can get some lyrics to it. I don't know about the other guys, but I don't enjoy playing that one nearly as much as the others.

The second set was much better. Somehow, my energy level went up and the songs all came across better. I just needed to put some eyebrows on it, I guess. "Fake it 'til you make it."

Overall, I'm still satisfied - which is a minor miracle. In 3 rehearsals we have 15 songs ready to go. I look forward to seeing the guys and hanging out as much as playing and we're connecting and gelling long before we should be. Let's hope this is a long productive ride.

Now we're going to start adding in a handful of covers. We each made CD's for each others of songs we'd love to do. There's over 50 candidates. All interesting, varied and pretty freakin' cool if I do say so. Let the weeding begin.

Spring has sprung.


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Saturday March 20, 2004

 

 


I swear, I can't sleep when I'm able to. I was up today by 7 a.m. That's alright. I'm okay. It's just strange. All I wanted was sleep for so long and I've been able to get it all week and I just get up early and get to work. I guess that's just the way I work. So...it's 9:30 on a Saturday morning and I'm listening to early Drive-By Truckers stuff (currently "18 Wheels Of Love").

At least I finally got in touch with Frank last night. He called and said he's coming up today and staying through for rehearsal tomorrow. So today we'll do detail work and sketch out some ideas for new material. That way, he can go home and I'll be able to flesh it out and finish 'em up. That's the way "The Towel Cape Song" came to be. Frank wrote about 70% of the music, I added a few transitional phrases and wrote the lyrics. I can't wait to hear material written for this line up. We've also come up with a slew of super cool cover choices for this band. These are songs that other bands I've been in could've never pulled off for one reason or another. Usually because the other bands I've been in insisted on being a jukebox when they've chosen covers. This lineup's just trying to do really cool songs that fit us and that we can really make our own. That's a whole different thing.

So basically, from writing here so early, I can't tell you what's going to happen today. Will we go to the big peace march in Athens? Will we write a new masterpiece? Will we put each other in headlocks? Will we guzzle cough syrup 'til we lose consciousness?

All these questions will be answered (actually, they probably won't) tomorrow, the first day of spring 2004.

Here's to new beginnings...and goodbyes.


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Friday March 19, 2004

 


No complaints today as I'm feeling stronger and stronger! When I get my voice back the rest of the way, I'll be ready to go!

For those of you who read my entry re: the hilarious website Engrish,
here's something along the same lines. Back when I was in Star Zero, an Italian magazine called SLAM! reviewed the Star Zero demo called Burning Down Yesterday and the solo compilation The Best Of Chris McKay. Today, I stumbled across a link to the site translated (poorly) into English. I find it absolutely mind boggling. Check it out at SLAM!, and scroll down the page until you come across Star Zero and Chris McKay. Maybe it's only funny if you're the victim of it, but it still makes me smile.

Here are some quotes in case the link doesn't work. And I quote:

"Chris McKay is not other that the chitarrista of the Star Zero that with this "The Best of Chris McKay" discosta remarkablly from the hard rock of its band, proposing a heavy rock much more searched and little orecchiabile, a mix between KING' S X, JANE' s ADDICTION and VAN HALEN .
The album has of ups and downs the considerable ones making to prefer me in the long run brani of impact like the party rock of "Everyday", the enlivened "Why the Fly" and the sturdy "Weed On The Beach". Far from negligible also "Scared Of Myself" with the guitar of McKay in Association of Bologna, the funkeggiante "On The Other Side" with a bottom much PEPPERS and danced BEATLES - IANA "If The Morning Ever Comes". "

WHHHHAAAAAA?????

My favorite..."Weed On The Beach"!!! The guy mixed up "Weed 'Em And Reap" and "Walk On The Beach" to create the title of a lost Jimmy Buffett classic. Although "guitar of McKay in Association of Bologna" and "with a bottom much PEPPERS and danced BEATLES" is pretty killer, too.

I finished editing pics for Concert Shots today. So I'm caught up for the first time in ages. I still have a handful of reviews to write but the pics are done 'til I take some more next week. It's a nice thing for a change. I guess that's something good about time off.

Tonight, I plan on doing nothing (again). Tomorrow, I'm still hoping that Frank will come up and we can get back to work. The problem is, I've been having an impossible time contacting him and I can't find his email address either. It's imperative that we get together this weekend whether or not I can hit the notes. I've got too many opportunities that are presenting themselves all of a sudden and I want to take them for once! Most of them, I haven't even told the guys about yet. I'll pass on the word as soon as any of it becomes reality. Wish us luck (we need it)!

Oh...and here's something that needs to be seen even if we don't want to. See for yourself. Just click here. Remember, it's up to all of us to change this.


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Thursday March 18, 2004

 


...Aaaaannnnnd. I'm back.

So what's happening with you today? I feel pretty sure that I'm getting better. I was feeling a lot better yesterday (for evidence, I offer my rambling entry below) and Amanda and I went out to dinner to celebrate St. Pat's and my healing. Unfortunately, within a few hours, I was suffering through the worst migraine-like-thing of my life. It killed me 'til about 1 a.m. I can't even describe it. I'm hoping that was the final misery before the rising. Y'know, I don't know about you but (for me) things always seem to be at their worst before they level out. For what it's worth, the cough's almost gone completely now...of course, my voice still isn't up to par, but I'm working on it.

That's my health whine for today.

The other major news in my world is that I had to drop more money into photography. I had to buy a better lens / teleconverter configuration. The camera I have now is great, but the lenses - not so much. It was like buying a Les Paul and playing it through an answering machine speaker. I hate spending the money, though, I've got to tell you. It'll take several months to work this one off (at least) but every time I make an investment, it seems to pay for itself in due time. With that faith, I jump in (again) head first.

Nothing more new to say. I hope all of you are doing okay.

'Til tomorrow...


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Wednesday March 17, 2004

 


Good morning and happy St. Pat's! I'm writing early today just because I wanna. Just found out my latest Big Show column ran in today's Flagpole. This particular column has reviews of MxPx, Sugarcult, From Autumn To Ashes, Colin Hay, Pat Dinizio and Rod Stewart. Of course, if you've been keeping up with Concert Shots, you read those reviews weeks ago. If not, here's the column as Flagpole publishes it (a little edited). Maybe that'll give you a clue as to how far behind writing, shooting and publishing can be sometimes. Coincidentally, a jump shot that I took of Marco 72 from Sugarcult is one of the two featured pictures today on Pollstar. If you go to the page today, it'll be the one up...if it's not, it'll be one of Cyndi Lauper and that one ain't mine. If you refresh the page mine'll come up. Or you can just go to the photo page and see it there. When it rains, it pours...I also just got a copy of the teen magazine J-14 in the mail with a picture I took of Fefe Dobson in it. It's the first teeny bopper magazine to use any of my work. It's funny seeing a shot of mine with a quote over it about what the performer thinks of "boys."

Anyway - on to the day. I am currently not wearing any green (well, except the green in my eyes) and not planning on going anywhere due to my self-imposed week long house arrest.

As much as it freaks me out to say it (the time, not the fact), 9 years ago today I met an Irishman. His name was Tom O'Gorman and he'd only been in the U.S. for a week or so. It was coincidence that McKay and O'Gorman met at Jittery Joe's on St. Pat's but never overlooked (notice the Nt. Wgt. # on the front of the Q-Sign album). Well, we got together and within a couple of days we wrote "Emotions To Free," "7 Hours," "Pepper," "Twist", "Scared Of Myself" and a handful of others. Within two weeks we had written almost the enitre Earth Loops Album. Tom and I worked together for the better part of 3 years and wrote a lot of my favorite songs that I've ever been a part of. Oh...if only "Something Unseen" had been recorded. Maybe one day I'll be able to resurrect that one like I've recently done with "Down," "Taking Its Toll" and "(Save It For) Another Day" which were also Q-Sign tracks. It's really a shame that he and I couldn't keep it together. We were the perfect musical foils and combination of yin / yang. The problem was that his yin and my yang couldn't put up with but so much of each other. Live and learn, though. If I ever get the chance, I'd love to write some more with him. I believe he'd love the new line up of musicians I have for the band. Last time I heard from him was about 2 years ago. The very week that I started performing a couple of those songs again I got an out of the blue email from him. He was in Bangkok, Thailand. Yep...that's definitely trouble in the brewing. I hope he's not UNDER a jail somewhere there. If you ever run across this, Tom, shoot me an email. I'd love to catch up.

As an aside, I just noticed when I put the link to "Down" that the song has reached it's highest chart position to date today - fittingly on our anniversary - at GarageBand.com. This isn't the superior Q-Sign version with Tom on vocals but I think my home recording does it justice. What do you think?

I'm thinking of all the rest of the Q-Sign vets today, too. Andy, Mike, Dave, Christine, Brian, Ken and even Greg Davis (who recorded us). Also - can't forget Amanda who bankrolled it!

Happy St. Patricks Day to you...and cheers.

"These things I take along..."

"Safe home."


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Tuesday March 16, 2004

 


A little better and more of it (sorry, I've been regularly visiting www.engrish.com on my breaks all day and my language may be more off than usual).

Believe it or not, I actually updated Concert Shots again today. That's a new record - 2 times in 4 days. I might even update it again within the next week. (I don't handle down time well. Gotta stay busy!)

Other than that, I just made some contact with publicists and answered email that I hadn't had the time to reply to before now. Of course, Britney Spears' publicist "never received" my last request to cover her show so I had to resubmit my info. I hope my friends at Clear Channel and the venue will put in a good word for me. Otherwise, I don't get to cover one of the biggest tours of the year...well, 'til Madonna heads up this summer (don't tell anyone I told ya).

Spent last night lazily watching shows I've got on DVD. For some reason, ever since my childhood, I've loved WKRP In Cincinnati. It's got some of the most non-logical humor ever conceived for a hit TV show. Me being the interminable geek I am, I bought bootleg mpeg files of all 90 episodes (for $50) and lovingly transferred these crappy copies ripped from TV to about 30 DVD's. Yes, I love it that much. It just relaxes me. My brain is stupid. It thinks that those people are my friends. Besides, music copyrights will always keep that show from being released officially so I've got to get it however I can...and that's what I did. So I watched an episode of that.

My other nerd-geek favorite show is The Twilight Zone. For years when I was growing up, it was on every night at 11. It's funny watching it now. The shows are either ridiculous in their naivete and political slant or incredible timeless and more poignant than ever. Last night I watched the episode "Probe 9, Over And Out." For it's time (Nov. 20, 1963 - a few days before JFK's murder), it was absolutely mind blowing. Now, it's been ripped off so many times, it's predictable. I choose to see it like it's the first time.

Somehow, I think a show that suggested the possibility that Adam and Eve is fable would be hard pressed to air. The fact that Serling dressed it up in Sci-Fi and got it on the air in '63 is absolutely amazing to me.

Ack...I'm babbling. That means nothing's going on and that hopefully things are going a little better.

Oh...I put up a couple of new distractions today, too. See if you can figure out which ones are new!


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Monday March 15, 2004  

Still improving with nooooo medication. Of course, I've improved and backslid several times over the past month but I'm happy with this bit of progress anyway. Unfortunately, I'm not allowing myself (and Amanda isn't allowing it either) to go see N.E.R.D. and Black Eyed Peas tonight. BEP is incredible live and I haven't seen NERD in a while so I'm going to hate missing it. I've got to relax, though, and get everything under control. I've got to be ready when festival season kicks in a few weeks from now! I can't wait for warm weather again (notice I didn't say HOT - even though I prefer that to COLD).

Now I'm just doing my standard updating. I've got to go ahead and get some more reviews written and get Concert Shots ahead of itself for once. In other words, just another boring Monday...


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