Sunday December 12, 2004



I didn't get home from the show 'til about 3 a.m. I didn't get to sleep 'til almost sunrise. So I slept 'til noon. Then got up, did some shopping, edited photos, talked to my Grandmother on the phone and eventually collapsed in front of the TV. Exciting, eh?




Saturday December 11, 2004

Underground again! Tonight, we took on the Washington Street Tavern 10th anniversary party. I think we won!

Today was about tonight. I was a little frustrated to have to load-in and set up all by myself (that won't happen again) but it all worked out okay. All the dirt on our return to the Tavern is just a click away. The Beatles had their Cavern...we've got our Tavern.






Friday December 10, 2004



I wrote 11 CD reviews today. That's a new record for me. I'm doing my entire top 10 for the year as well as a couple of new ones. They'll all be at Concert Shots sometime soon. There's a chance that the premiere issue of Carolina Concerts Magazine may run them. We'll see. I know they'll have one of my Bowie pics in there.

Well, Amanda's been at her retreat since Wednesday but she got back today. I'm more rested than I've been all year. She's exhausted. I'm beginning to sense a possible culprit in my never ending lack of sleep. I guess we'll see tonight.

In the evening, The Darlings and I dropped in on the Flagpole Christmas party. Besides the band I hung out with my buddies Sarah Lee, Mary Katherine, Molly and Amanda. I talked to Jeff Clark, Pete McCommons, Barrie Buck, Brian McCall, Troy Aubrey, Cindy Thompson and a slew of other cool locals.

Now I'm usually not one for parties but I actually had a really good time at this one. It didn't hurt that there was a pinball machine right beside our booth. Molly and I went head to head (or flipper to flipper) in a competition. She's pretty good but I still edged her out. So my reign is still on even though it's been years since I've played. I've got to tell you, if we wind up recording our disc in that building, that machine may well be my refuge during down time.

Show tomorrow...should be scary...we haven't played or even practiced since our last gig almost a month ago.




Thursday December 9, 2004



...and some things never change.

I'm so disgusted this morning. So it's another December 9 and I awake to the news of a musician being murdered. I can't even put into words the fury and anger I feel. I've never been a fan of Dimebag Darrell, Pantera or Damageplan but this is too much. And on that date! Is there some cosmic conspiracy or something? I turned down a couple of opportunities to photograph him and the band earlier this year. They headlined over my old lead singer's band Drowning Pool at Myrtle Beach back in the spring. At least I won't have the guilt of profiting from someone's death.

Rumor is that this was a totally targeted shooting. I guess we'll never know for sure 'cause an Ohio policeman killed the gunman. The guy was aiming for the band in specific. He also took out a few others. I hear that Darrell's brother Vinnie (the drummer) was hit, too, but I think he's alive.

Maybe I'm so affected by this because I could've been hit. Maybe it's that simple. If I would've been there to cover the show, I would've been right there within inches of the shooting. It happened during the first song, after all. I don't know. I'd still be disgusted even if rock shows weren't my livelihood and hobby. No one deserves this treatment.

Remind me to be extra careful on all December 8ths between the hours of 10 and 11 p.m.

In the evening, I ditched on photographing Alicia Keys, Chingy, Good Charlotte and Diana DeGarmoat Philips. Instead, we had a band meeting at TransMet. I never know if these things do any good. I guess we'll see. For what it's worth, I think we'll be a little better focused least for a few weeks.



Wednesday December 8, 2004



It's a strange day. Amanda had to go on a "work retreat" for a few days with the Athens Tech faculty so I'm on my own. It's odd for me 'cause I usually base my schedule around hers. As it is, I can just come and go on a whim. Very odd.

So I went around and tried to do some Christmas shopping. I went to just about every store in town and noticed that the Christmas Sales this year seemed to have actually raised the prices! So I didn't buy anything. I came home and ordered from the internet. If stores want to stay competitive they should at least TRY to be competitive. Geez!

I also did more work on this site. You may not see it yet but I did and you will.

Now - on a serious note. 24 years ago tonight, John Lennon was murdered in New York City. I still can't get through this day without thinking about it. I know he was a flawed person but he is still a hero to me. Without him, my life would be significantly poorer. "Strawberry Fields Forever" is my favorite song of all time. If he was still around, I might have a different favorite.




Tuesday December 7, 2004



I did a whole bunch of catching up on this diary today. That may not sound like much but it's hours worth of work when I get so far behind. I also tried to tie up some loose ends, etc. Other than that, I kind of took it easy.

I've earned it. I spent most of the morning reminiscing on last Sunday's concert by listening to MUSE. I'll even admit to going online and downloading a slew of their songs (and an album) that aren't available in the U.S. I can't say enough about them.

I'm also formulating my top ten lists (CD's and shows) for Flagpole , Concert Shots and beyond. I may even contribute to Carolina Concerts' first print issue. A friend of mine named Doug Shockley is putting it together. My brother Benji writes and shoots for 'em, too. I hope they succeed with the mag beyond their wildest dreams!

In the evening, Amanda and I spent a gloriously boring evening with the TV. That's the first one in ages and we needed it.

Here's my gripe for today.

The GRAMMY nominations. I usually defend them to others complaining but not this year. Why? Nellie McKay. She didn't get a single nomination but Hoobastank is nominated for Song Of The Year? And c'mon, I'm also a Black Eyed Peas fan but really..."Let's Get It Started" is nominated as Record Of The Year? Please!

At least SMiLE got nominated for something (Best Pop Vocals Album). I'm proud of Kanye West. He deserves it. As do The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Los Lonely Boys, Scissor Sisters and Loretta Lynn. But neglecting Nellie is an unpardonable sin. She should've at least been up for Best New Artist (although that is a tough category this year). The stupid thing there is that Maroon 5's album has been out for 2 1/2 years now! C'mon!

And it's also a little sad that Prince has gotten so much recognition for one of the palest, most boring albums of his career. I'm glad he's back however he got it - but outside of "Cinnamon Girl," Musicology is completely overrated.

Prince did put on the best concert of the year hands down. But it won't make my list because he wouldn't allow me to shoot or even take notes at the show. So I decided I would go as a fan and not a journalist. As fans don't write year-end best of columns for publication, you won't see Prince on mine - even though he should be.





Monday December 6, 2004


Again, I'm recuperating from the weekend. I think I may be catching a bit of the cold or whatever it is that people around here have. As many thousands of people as I've come into contact with in the past week, it's not a surprise.

There wasn't much doing today. Yes, yes - there was some more editing and uploading but not as much as usual. I think I've made a decision to ditch the rest of the shows this year and try to relax. I need the time to work on the band anyway. Tom's had a new job and Frank's had his own distractions. We've drifted a bit. And at the worst possible time, too. We're about to record an album starting next month. We should be at our tightest and we're simply not. I still promise that the album will never see the light of day unless it's the best thing I've ever done. It may sound like hype or just hyperbole but I'm absolutely serious.

Check out last week's dirty laundry with Velvet Revolver, Ludacris, Scissor Sisters and The Last Christmas Carol by clicking here.