| Sunday April 4, 2004
First off...I owe a huge apology to Mike Rietveld. Apparently, he thought we may still have been coming up to do the video shoot this weekend. Sorry. I tried to call earlier in the week but the phone wouldn't let me leave a message. Then I just got so swamped I never got a chance to try again. I was hoping you'd check up here in the diary if you were worried! Again, sorry. I won't let it happen again.
On to today's events. I could really do without this time change! I got up and talked to my Grandmother for about an hour today. It was good to hear that a whole crew of my family members went over yesterday and did yardwork and a whole bunch of other stuff for her. That's more like family!
Frank and I then worked up our parts on "Worms On The Pavement" and "Colors In Black & White" before rushing off to another 3-hour rehearsal at Nuci's Space. Really, we just ran through all 17 songs that we know twice. It was especially tough on me and Tom trying to jump right in on the high vocals of "If You Want To Go." Whew! But we made it through okay overall. It's obvious that all of us work better on cruise control. As soon as any of us think, we seem to overthink, causing little glitches. I still say we're doing good to have 17 songs down in just a handful of practices.
There's even a slight chance we may be making a last minute, first appearance in Columbia, SC in a little less than two weeks. The scary thing is that with Easter and other stuff, we may not be able to rehearse again before this potential show. I'd just as soon wait a little longer but even I admit that we're getting to the point where we need to just jump in! We've got to go out and screw up a few times in front of people to really find who we are and what we do. It's definitely coming together and I can't wait to work in the new material.
Yep...it'll be 22 songs (and some pretty difficult ones to boot) in 7 or so rehearsals.
John Lennon once said you need 100 hours of practice for every one hour on stage. It looks like we'll be going up with less than 20. I find that prospect scary indeed!
Now...I'm going to collapse for the evening!
| Saturday April 3, 2004
Andy on the UGA campus.
Well, where do I begin? Okay...I saw Andy (Star Zero, Q-Sign) Ainsworth's new band Gbanjah do their first public performance at a little after 2 in the afternoon yesterday on the University Of Georgia campus. It's interesting hearing Andy's style meshed in with more world-based-music. Gbanjah's got a great voice and the songs are coming together well it seems. A lot of 'em have been improved greatly from the demo CD I heard. My personal favorite was called "Bridge To Cross." It's all feel. Good stuff. They have a handful of other potential single type songs too. I'd loosely call their sound a cross between Tracy Chapman and Lenny Kravitz. Maybe we can do a show with them sometime.
On to today. Frank got here a little after lunch and we went straight to rehearsal for a 3-hour run through. We got through everything okay. For some reason, we even pulled out "A Hard Day's Night" for old time's sake. Don't expect to ever hear it live except in a great pinch. In addition to the usual 16 songs, we fumbled with Dramarama's "Haven't Got A Clue," Wings' "Let Me Roll It," Cheap Trick's "Downed" and a few others. Tom even took the lead vocal on "Behind Blue Eyes." They were pretty atrocious but we're still feeling this whole thing out.
After rehearsal, we convened back at my place. I debuted "Colors In Black & White" and "Worms On The Pavement" for 'em. Tom seemed to prefer A while Frank seemed to prefer B. We also tried to figure out a way to revive Q-Sign's "Something Unseen," but haven't worked that out yet.
Amanda got back from her call back for that movie audition and we all went to TransMet again to split another Hungry Sasquatch. At dinner we discussed and went back and forth. For the next rehearsal, we are to know these covers inside and out. Supersuckers' "Creepy Jackalope Eye," Dramarama's "Haven't Got A Clue," and Jeff Buckley's "Jewel Box." Who knows if we'll be able to pull 'em off, but we're sure gonna try.
Afterwards, we wandered around taking in a nice spring evening in Athens. On the corner of Lumpkin and Clayton, there were some Christians protesting general "sin" with picket signs ("Sodomy: It's To Die For") while taking jibes and general ill will from the frat boys gathered to see Kinchafoonee next door at Georgia Theatre. My favorite quote: "You're not even sober when you're sober. You're drunk on the cares of the world." Tom looked at me and said, "He's right about that."
| Friday April 2, 2004
Happy Friday to ya. Today I get to see the nicest guy I've ever been in a band with do his first ever performance with his new band Gbanjah. It's at the Tate Center on the UGA campus at 2 pm. What a strange way to have a first show. Who knows? Maybe we'll follow in their footsteps.
Well, I finished up "Worms On The Pavement" last night. I can't believe I actually wound up using that title. It was a bit of a challenge. I can't believe that less than a day ago neither "Colors In Black & White" nor "Worms On The Pavement" existed. So for fun's sake, I 've posted both of the less than 24-hour demos up in the RARITIES section. Check 'em out. I don't know if I'm onto something of a sound that fits me and the band and uses our influences tastefully or if I've finally slipped too far out of the range of comprehension. I don't care. I like 'em. It's gonna be rough working out those vocal parts but we can and will. Other than that, these are going to be fun to play live.
And remember a few weeks back, I said I felt the songwriting well filling up again? It's overflowing now. Thanks to the new band, I haven't felt this inspired since the early days of Q-Sign. The cool thing is that both of these newbies coulda been done by Q-Sign. Since Q-Sign is still (before this line up) my favorite band I've ever been in, that's a really cool thing. Just wait 'til we get these songs in a real studio!
It's also nice to have a supportive outlet for stuff that's not as obvious. I don't feel like I have to do anything other than what I'm inspired to do now. That leads to a lot more creativity and excitement. Before, if I used a diminished chord, there were frowns all around. That's not at all conducive to being interesting in anyway. That's probably why I hardly ever wrote anything new for the last few projects. Jeez, if I even used a word like "negativity" in a song, I was actually accused of trying too hard to use "big words." Nevermind that I write lyrics exactly like I speak! Ask anyone that knows me. Of course, if you're reading this, you already know it.
Oh well...back to work. Hope the rest of the day goes well! It's not even 9 am so I'm not really qualified to write about 4-2 yet but I may not have time the rest of the day.
| Thursday April 1, 2004
It's been a very busy day. In fact, I don't really have time to write about it. I woke up today with a song in my head. I had it tracked (in demo form, of course) by a little after noon. It's called "Colors In Black & White." It doesn't have a chorus or any real hook but I like it. While it sounds absolutely nothing like it now, in my dream, I was spying on the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the studio for some reason and "Colors In Black & White" is what they were playing. I even kept the lyrics that I could remember. The rest I just ad libbed.
I dream songs all the time. I've heard The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and all the greats do songs they never did. I can never capture them once I wake up, though. I believe I've only caught 3 of them. "(I'm Glad) I'm Not Me," "Goldmine" and now "Colors In Black & White."
After I finished that, I went ahead and did an instrumental demo of "Worms On The Pavement" so we can start trying to work those new songs into the set. By the end of the night, I had the vocal written and finished, too!
My new 2X teleconverter also came today. I've got to send the 1.4 back to KEH. It worked great but it didn't get enough distance. The Beyonce picture you see below was shot with the 1.4 but the 2X will basically turn my 200mm lens into a 400mm. Duh, that's why it's called 2X. Of course, it'll also cut my light in half. There's always something.
Oh well, back to work. It's almost 7 p.m. and I wanted to finish up a vocal on one more demo before I quit for the night so I can just jump on reviews in the morning before I go see Andy's band play at 2!
And how could I forget the big news in my house. Pinchy's back! Yes, the wondrous music producing crustacean had a successful molt and is back up in the world. Unfortunately, Harry's not been happy to see him as he's used to being the big guy now. Pinchy's had to flick him a few times. Can't we all just get along?
Happy Birthday, Kathee.
| Wednesday March 31, 2004
And another catch up day.
Well, I've been cleared to photograph The Darkness next week in Atlanta. You have no idea how excited I am about that. They are just the right amount of stupid to appeal to me. I'm sure they'll be a blast to shoot. The show was supposed to be at the Cotton Club but they had to move to The Tabernacle due to demand. That's a huge deal. The Tabernacle's like 13 times the size of the Cotton Club.
I've also been cleared to shoot Aerosmith and Cheap Trick the next night at Philips Arena. Cheap Trick aren't nearly as good an opener as they are a headliner but they've always been one of my favorite groups - incredibly underrated. I know it's partially because of some of the schmaltz they released in the late '80s, but 5 iffy years of a nearly 30 year career is nothing to complain about. Aerosmith, of course, usually totally destroys their openers. The only exceptions I've seen have been Kid Rock (who held his own, no pun intended) and KISS, who was equal one time and actually beat Aerosmith the second time.
I've spent the day today trying to recover data from a disc I accidentally overwrote. I think those files are long gone but I'm going to try a little more before I give up.
Also - the video shoot has been postponed. There's no way around it. It crept up too fast and we hadn't worked out enough details yet. I'd rather wait and do it right than rush into it and screw it up. It was a difficult time for some of the people involved anyway. I'm hoping we can instead go for an industrial strength 2-day rehearsal that'll clear up any loose ends and get us ready to begin playing.
Ready or not...
So March is over, eh? Let's take a look back at who I photographed this past month! Here goes and in no particular order.
The Von Bondies, Maroon 5, Melbourne, Bette Midler, Story Of The Year, Hoobastank, P.O.D., Linkin Park, Primus, Guster, John Mayer, Second Shift, The Living End, Jet, The Vines, Dodger, Skye Sweetnam, Britney Spears, Missy Elliott, Tamia, Rachel Yamagata, Wheat, Liz Phair, Beyonce and Alicia Keys.
Some of those already seem like years ago.
Not a bad list for one month. Wonder what April will bring...
Can't even begin to ponder the summer. It's gonna be a big 'un.
| Tuesday March 30, 2004
Today is another catch up day. Gotta invoice some people, make equipment exchanges, request for shows coming up and maybe even do some reviews. I've also got to start putting in some serious thought regarding this video stuff we're trying to do this weekend. I haven't had time to think about it yet. It's gonna be frenzied but as long as we get something usable, it'll be okay.
I heard from Andy Ainsworth (guitarist extraordinare from Q-Sign, Star Zero). He's playing in Athens this Friday afternoon at 2 on the UGA Campus with Gbanjah, his new band. I've got to try to get out there and check 'em out. Andy had asked me to play with them, too, but my schedule's obviously insane right now and the extra travel would've just been too much. They do have some cool songs and I can't wait to hear 'em fleshed out. I hope we can do some shows together soon! That would be killer.
Off to work.
|Monday March 29, 2004||
Edited pictures all day long today. Bleccchhh. How I hate that part of the gig. For 12 hours straight, I stared at files and tried to maximize impact and minimize size. In the evening I spoke to Sean from TVT about the Sevendust pictures of mine that they're using for their DVD/CD package (coming 5/4). It looks like they've figured it out and I hope that we've reached a mutually beneficial agreement. The packaging sounds really cool. From what I'm hearing, they're going to have Sevendust trading cards made out of some of the pics I took. How cool is that? I can't wait to see it!
Back to more depressing territory, today is the six month mark of my Dad's death. I think it's the first Monday the 29th since that day. It hurts...a lot. Today, the ringing of the phone scares me.
Luckily, no bad news came.