Sunday January 16, 2005



Today after talking to my Grandmother, I scampered over to Nuci's Space to begin tracking pre-production stuff with Tom. I'm going to record his drums live, then dub Frank's and my parts over (at home) so that we can get sketches of what we need to improve, change, re-arrange or strengthen once we go into the 4REAL studio next month.

In the evening, I worked very hard on re-cementing my TV-watching skills which have suffered dramatically of late.





Saturday January 15, 2005

Here we are last night delivering our first (and hopefully last) fully mediocre performance.

Alright, well - physically I did okay last night. As far as the band / performance goes, kind of sucked (in my opinion). Most of the people there disagreed with me and thought it was fine. I just know that it wasn't up to our standards and I don't intend to make a habit of this kind of gig.

If you want to read all about it, just click here for the pics, scores and details.

There are more photos from this show under THE BAND and LIVE SHOTS.

On to today which was (as usual) more recovery than anything else. I'm still a little worn out from the medication and illness but I should be pretty much back to normal by the beginning of the week. That makes me happy. It'll be good to run and frolic through the forests again.

This was a terribly boring day. Amanda had a TV show shoot in Atlanta and I just sat around killing time and making plans. It'll help in the long run. It's just so boring I can't even say.

If this shows you how I felt, I spent the better part of the evening making imaginary Beatles albums from the early '70s. I tried to choose singles and album tracks from each solo member (that I thought the others might've approved) to try to make "the lost Beatles" albums. They're pretty good, too. Just not as good as they would be if they were real.

I need to challenge Tom to do his versions of the same just to see how close we are to the same imaginary record. I told you I was a hopeless music geek!




Friday January 14, 2005

's the day. Or well, tonight's the night. Yep, tonight at Washington Street Tavern, I will try to cement my return to playing live. I hope I'm ready. We rehearsed last night and I was definitely not at my best. In fact, we were all rusty since we've hardly played together (except at the rare show) in a couple of months. The segues were particularly off. I hope running through 'em twice last night was enough to get us through tonight. You'll know tomorrow. My main concern is getting myself there and getting through it okay physically. If I can do that, I'll consider it a success. Of course, (you may or may not know that) it's a battle of the bands. I want to win. But as cheesy as it sounds, I'd rather be good in my opinion. Again - we'll see. The full report will be up tomorrow.

One other bit of good news. I just found out that one of my pictures of The Futureheads is in the current issue of People Magazine. That's one of the ones that I've always wanted to be in. So - that's one more to cross off my list. There's only a handful left to go (as far as I'm concerned). As always, I haven't seen it yet myself but someone passed along the info to me. I need to go try to pick up one ASAP.

Ah - now I must collapse and try to conserve strength for tonight.



Thursday January 13, 2005

Today is the "ofiicial" release date of my new solo CD.


Well, here I go again....

January 13 is indeed the official release date of Center Of The Universe. And this is the first mention of it in my diary. I kind of wanted it to be a secret. One year ago today, I released The Towel Cape Album (which by the way is totally out of existence now - except for three copies that are still available at CD Baby) . That little demo album made it possible for the new band to exist.

It just seemed fitting to wind up the solo portion of my musical identity with the last studio recordings that I did before we put The Critical Darlings together. It'll also give us something to market, promote and help spread the word with. I'm thinking of selling them at a discount and donating all of the profits to tsunami relief. I'll figure out the logistics of that and let you know as soon as possible. For now, it'll only be available through me, through shows and through local Athens stores. If you need more info, just drop me a line.

In addition to lil' ol' me, Mike Rietveld plays drums on the lot. Andy Ainsworth (currently of Gbanjah) and Tom O'Gorman make a couple of appearances, too.

Here's the track listing for Center Of The Universe. You can download / listen to the highlighted songs by clicking on them or using the SAVE TARGET AS function:

1. Center Of The Universe
2. I Won't Stand Still
3. Sometimes I'm Sam
4. I'm Gonna Save The World
5. Empty Sea
6. Skyward
7. Always (Will We Be?)
8. Does Anyone Believe Anymore?
9. Go Away

I also added 2 bonus tracks (which are):

10. Scared Of Myself
11. If The Morning Ever Comes

I hope I don't have to do any more solo records for a long, long time. But that's only because I hope the Darlings are out stomping for much further than the eye can see.

You just wait 'til the Darlings record is done. I guarantee that everyone who sees this will be surprised.

Oh yeah - and about the other...still improving, still improving. The true test will be tonight when the band reconvenes for rehearsal.

...and I have returned to Pollstar. One of my pics of Muse is up today. I'm glad I got a shot of 'em published. They're amazing.



Wednesday January 12, 2005



Another day, another doctor's appointment. This is with the one who saved me last week by shooting me with a pain killer and giving me antibiotics. I had to come back in for a C-T scan. Well, there's definitely a kidney stone (on the side that's NOT hurting) but that's not the problem. He seemed to agree that it's an infection (due to the effect the antibiotics have had). Again, things are dramatically better today. It didn't even hurt (too much) to stretch out for the scan.

I even got some work done. You know the solo for "Phony" that I always call the "freakout" section? Well, it won't be anymore. It's set now. So those of you who missed me flying totally by the seat of my pants won't ever see it (at least on that song). I'm really proud of it. It's still over the top enough to horrify most of "the Athens contingent" but I can duplicate it spot-on everytime. When did I become a competent lead guitarist? I'm not sure but it's getting to be pretty cool that I can play what I can think up! My finger's are hurting pretty bad, though. I always have thick callouses from playing but I've played so much over the past few days that horrifying white blisters are beginning to rise. (All in the name of rock and roll, I guess.)

Take a glance to your left. I've decided it's time to get signature picks made. I always break and / or wear out store bought'n ones too fast. This is the back design. The front design's just gonna have this web site address on it. They're only costing me a quarter a piece and they're gonna look kickin'. Maybe I'll pull a Paul Stanley and flick one right in your face one day.

Oh yeah - voila!

Concert Shots has been updated. Go see for yourself. There's some VHS Or Beta and a whole bunch of "the" bands like The Scissor Sisters, The Hives, The Deadly Snakes, The Rogers Sisters, The Whigs, The North Mississippi All Stars and The Drive-By Truckers.



Tuesday January 11, 2005




And we end the birthday section of our program with my brother. Benji rocks. He'll tell you so himself, just click here. Be sure to visit his blog. He updates it once every leap year or so. Anyway - happy birthday, punk.

Back to the same old crud now. I betcha can't guess what I did today. Yep, another doctor's appointment. It was a follow-up with my gp. She said (basically), "nothing's wrong." You should've seen her face when I told her what happened last Friday. She still says she thinks it's "muscular-skeletal." I still say that may be true but there's also an infection. Period. Oh well, as long as it's getting better (and it definitely is), I don't care what anyone says it is. I just want it gone.

I'm a good bit stronger today. We may even make this battle of the bands on Friday. I'm getting more hopeful every day. I have used this time to really get my head together and decide what I want to do and exactly how to make it real. I think I've got a good game plan for '05. So far, everything has fallen into place. The only slow down we've had is this stupid thing I'm dealing with now. This stupid thing has also made me remember to not take for granted the ability to do what I want when I want. If and when I get back to 100%, I'm going to go even harder. Short of something killing me, I'm not going to let anything stop me. I've done that enough in the past. It's not the right way to be for me. I'm going for it.

Today I also redesigned my guitar effect for "Phony". The pedal has been programmed as a wah for that song but I changed it to a whammy that moves up 2 octaves. It'll take some time to get used to. It's hard to use something like that with subtlety and without overdoing it but I'm going to do my best.



Monday January 10, 2005




The birthday parade continues. Now, Rod Stewart's a more difficult one to talk about than Bowie or Presley. While Rod did some of the best rock and roll and singer / songwriter stuff of the '70s and early '80s, he also did some of the worst. Me? I love the Stonesy sounding stuff. Obviously, The Faces rocked. I enjoy the majority of each album up through Tonight I'm Yours. Past there, it gets too spotty. He's written a few good songs since then but it's mostly been him just trying to go with whatever may get him some sales. He's definitely a mercenary. The latest "adventure" is this crooning the standards schmaltz. I understand why he's doing it. After all, it netted him his first pair of platinum albums in a decade. It's still a tragic waste of his talent. He should be on par with The Stones (and could've been). He chose the immediate payoff instead. Still, the times in his catalog that it all came together are still an influence on me.

As for my "situation", I can't believe how many people have contacted me, checked up, given me a quick call or email, offered to bring chicken soup or whatever. I had know idea that I had that many friends. You have no idea how much it means to me. Thank you each and every one.

I'm still improving. I've been through too much over the past week to assume that it's done but ever since beginning the antibiotics there has been steady improvement. They still don't know for sure what it is (more testing in the works for this week) but there's clearly been some sort of infection in the chest wall. I haven't run fever, I'm not contagious, but yikes - when it hits, it's agonizing.

Speaking of which, I had a slight step back today. If you recall, my jury duty was deferred from last week to this. Little did I know that I would be in this shape when they did it. So I got up bright and early, shivered and shook (which caused a lot of pain) and made it to the courthouse by 8:15. I had to tell the judge what was up and that the pain was too distracting to focus. I had to let him know that I was on very heavy medications and that I just couldn't do it. He was very nice. He deferred me again. Unfortunately, he said he couldn't just dismiss me. So - I'll have to go back again. Honestly, as long as I'm feeling better, I'll be happy to do whatever I can. I would've much rather been well and gotten it out of the way this week. Oh well...

I didn't do much today other than that. I'm still in recovery mode so I'm resting as much as anything else.

Click here to review a super-sucky week all the way 'round!