Sunday April 30, 2006




What can I say? Today was all about rehearsal. Since we haven't been doing it and we have a show next Friday, I took advantage of today. When Mike managed to catch Frank and get him pinned down for a date, I scheduled a 4-hour practice. So from 2-6, that's what we did.

The first hour was working out the songs we'd never ever rehearsed. I was pleasantly surprised at how they worked on first try. "If I Could (I Guess I Should" and "Happy Here & Now" both came together pretty fast. And they're not easy. That was inspiring. Then when went through the last addition, "Waiting For The Siren." It was still there.

Then it was off through as many of the arsenal songs as we could do. It was exhausting. I was still a little weak from yesterday but the adrenaline of playing got me through it. At one point, Mike was so worn out, he was collapsed behind his kit. I remained upright even though I felt like joining him a few times.

This should be the golden days for us. Frank has finally come into his own as a bass player. He's playing tough, finessed lines and he's doing 'em well. If we could get together more, we'd be untouchable. This is truly our musical peak. I've always had to write down to ability before. With Mike, he can play anything I can come up with. Now Frank's pretty close too. And for the first time in my life, anything I can conceive of and compose, it seems I can do it. That's so freeing. I really wish we could be out there more as a band. We have the ability now...if we only had the time.

When we were done, Mike and I rummaged through some CD's that Nuci's had on sale for 50 cents a bag (for 5 friggin CD's - that's a dime a piece). We chipped in for one that had a killer disco collection. Mike got that one. If he listens to it, maybe he'll even make more use of that four-on-the-floor we're utilizing so much these days. Meanwhile, I got Van Hunt's CD. I saw him at On The Bricks a couple of years ago (opening for Kanye West) and he was great. His music is somewhere in between Lenny Kravitz and Prince - except maybe a tad more mainstream (re: less psychedelic).

I grooved to that CD on the way home. I needed the groove 'cause the weakness from my temporary sickness caught up with me by the time I got back. I loaded the stuff back in and sacked out again. This time I know I'm just tired and still dealing with the remnants of yesterday and 4 solid hours of rock and roll.

Tomorrow - I should be back on track!





Saturday April 29, 2006








Okay - this sucks. I'm sick. It's been a while. I've felt bad a few times this year but not flat-out sick. Today I am. Seriously. I just got sicker and sicker over night. By daylight I was gone. What's really bad is that I'm alone all day because Amanda has a shoot.

I wound up laying on the couch drinking Gatorade all day. That's about all I had the strength to do. Amanda and I had planned to go out to dinner tonight and I was determined to go if at all possible.

So I dragged over to Johnny Carino's with her. I chose there 'cause it's so close. It wound up being a great choice. I told Amanda that I believe this sickness serves a purpose for me. It reminds me just how helpless one can be when sick. Why would I need to be reminded? Because my Grandmother's stuck alone and down most days. I'm concerned and scared for her but this is a way of reminding me of just how hopeless it can feel. At least I knew Amanda was coming home in a few hours. To consider being alone and miserable all the time is just so heartbreaking. My Grandmother is tough. But even the toughest can only stand so much.

Funnily enough - not long after this realization, I started feeling much, much better. It was a great dinner. I was still not strong but I wasn't nearly as week. Earlier today I was wondering if I'd have to pull the plug on our only rehearsal tomorrow. I was very upset over it. With a little company and dinner, I'm hopeful and ready to go.

If only my Grandmother had a little company and a good dinner more often, I believe she'd be a lot better...






Friday April 28, 2006



Last night, I had some communication with the band. Since Frank's been on the road working and Mike's so far away, it really has been difficult. Still - just hearing that they're interested in rehearsing was enough to inspire me to finish the song formerly known as "Navigating Your Sweater". Now it's called "Something Real." It's cool to have so many new songs that Frank and I have written together. I wound turning it musically into a combination of The Stones' "Under My Thumb" and Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" least my interpretation of it. This one might be a great show opener. I can't believe I've written so many songs that I love lately. I've never had that happen. I usually write about 8 a year that I feel are strong enough for the band to learn and we wind up recording about 3 of those. Since January, I've completed 6 songs that are easily among the best I've ever done. I'm so excited to share 'em. I just hope other people like 'em too. I think I'm at my peak musically right now. I want to capture all that I can while I can. I just wish the band was able to keep up and do it but the logistics of life are really getting in the way. Still - it's not going to stop me from pushing for it. I won't get it all but I'll get some. And that's better than most people can ever hope for.

While I was looking for a spot on my nearly full hard drive to record "Something Real" I stumbled across yet another super cool idea. The tentative title is "I Believe In Everything." I wrote it the day I heard the new Prince album (3/21). Amanda heard me noodling it and made me record it. Now I'm glad she did. She did the same thing with "Down". I didn't think it was good enough to save. Then it wound up being my favorite song I'd ever written for years. Maybe this one'll be up there one of these days. Gotta finish it first, I guess. I still have to finish the only unfinished DeFreese / McKay song too. It's called "Sadder Day". That'll make - what - 7 in the last couple of months? And all of them are album worthy. Most of them could even be singles if the planets align properly.

And speaking of planets aligning...

Do you remember that whole thing about how I'm trying to tidy up the details on the band's (and my other) music publishing? Well - to do it properly, we needed to get Tom O'Gorman (Q-Sign singer and co-writer of a lot of songs including "Taking Its Toll", "Phony", etc.). I've been trying to find him online for years. I never had any luck. The last time I heard from him was during the Star Zero days. He was in Bangkok then. Well - Amanda managed to track him down with less than an hour's work. She tracked him through the email at his mother's inn over in Kinsale, Ireland. He's now working at an ad agency in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). In the email, he described it as "like Miami with Camels". Ah - I miss the guy. I'd love to work with him again. If you read this diary often, you've heard me mention him many times. Maybe we should reform Q-Sign or something. The commute from Athens to Dubai can't be THAT much worse than the ones we've already got, can it?

Yeah - that's gonna happen...

Still, it's good just to know that he's still floating around out there. Maybe someday?

Good feelings from cyber-reunions aside, in the evening I started feeling kind of bad. By bedtime I had a slight migraine and felt weak. It only got worse...



Thursday April 27, 2006




Ah, Neil Young. Like all great artists, he can be totally frustrating. Still, I admire him for doing it his way whether he's right or wrong. He lost Amanda with Greendale. And I thought the album sucked compared to the live versions. Still - the new quickly recorded at released Living With War may go a long way toward making amends with us. Canadian-born or not, the man is right. And hey - how can anyone criticize him for not being American born? After all, it was American born people who got us into this mess in the first place. And I repeat one more time for all of you who voted for Bush in '00 and even more loudly for those diluted enough to do it '04:


I wish I could take some pleasure in a lot of the Bushies realizing now just how wrong they were. Of course, now it's too late. No one can solve the problems created by these last 6 years. Now all we can do is hope to find someone who can make it the most bearable.

Anyway - Neil Young has released a full-on protest album. He wrote and recorded it in a few days of frustration. You'll be able to download it next week but you can stream the whole thing for free at his site. Click here to listen. Here are the lyrics to the one you're going to hear about on the news.

Let's Impeach The President (Neil Young - 2006)

"Let's impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door

He's the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war

Let's impeach the president for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
Breaking every law in the country
By tapping our computers and telephones

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees
Would New Orleans have been safer that way?
Sheltered by our government's protection
Or was someone just not home that day?

Let's impeach the president
For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected

Thank god he's cracking down on steroids
Since he sold his old baseball team
There's lot of people looking at big trouble
But of course the president is clean

Thank God"




Wednesday April 26, 2006



Today I've just been trying to catch up. And it ain't easy at this point. I got a lot of last week's diary done but not enough to post it. It's just crazy right now.

The only thing that I know I got done outright was ABC @ ATL for Flagpole but at least it's something.



Tuesday April 25, 2006

Michelle Roche gives good PR...




It's kind of sad. I was just getting used to it being a regular thing.

Today was the final lecture for me to photograph for the Music Business class at UGA. Michelle Roche communicated the difficulties, benefits and fun of working publicity. She almost had me convinced that we need an outside publicist. But then I remembered that we've managed to pull a lot of press on our own! What we need is radio promotion!

If I really felt the band wasn't in flux right now, I'd be all over it. Or if they'd offer to help pay for it. I think it would make a huge difference to us. I just can't afford to do it on my own right now...



Monday April 24, 2006



Well, I guess it's obvious that I spent my day today editing all of my photos from the weekend. I also spent a chunk of it going back and forth with Miranda Lambert's publicist on approvals for the pics I took of her last Thursday. Apparently, Miranda's mom didn't like the clothes she was wearing at the show (including a shirt that said "I'm the one your mama warned you about it"). She also said her jeans were "unflattering". The publicist went to bat for me and managed to get something done to make it worth my while. Of the 32 pics I submitted for approval - exactly 1 got approved. And you can see it in last Thursday's listing. Thanks, Kathy for getting that one approved. I appreciate all the trouble you went through for me.

Honestly, though, I don't understand that mentality. Miranda may be the next big thing but it won't last if the word doesn't stay out. And if they're making it hard for media to cover her, the media will always choose to cover somebody easier to deal with.

Do you think it's a coincidence that Madonna has no photo agreement? Or Shania Twain? Or Paul McCartney? Hmmm....

I got the pic of Miranda out to Retna pretty quickly at least. Uploading one shot doesn't exactly take that long. I also got all the 3 Rivers shots up within a few hours.


Last week had class, 3 Rivers, Shooter Jennings and raspberry moonshine.