Sunday March 11, 2007




This morning I got up only slightly out of whack due to the early Daylight Savings Time change. Of course, Amanda had plans for me and I was running a bit late. After my chat with Grandma, I had to get ready to go see Black Snake Moan with her. It was quite strange going to see that movie at 1 pm on a Sunday afternoon. I figured I'd hate it. I was wrong. There was nothing life altering about it but it was a good ol' fashion ROCK 'N' ROLL movie. And by ROCK 'N' ROLL, I mean the movie's attitude. If you don't believe me, just watch the scene of Samuel L. Jackson performing "Stack O' Lee" in the bar scene near the end. That may have all been acting but that performance and the audience reaction is what rock's supposed to feel like. The only strike against the movie that I wound up having was Justin Timberlake. He plays the boyfriend of Christina Ricci's character. He only shows up at the beginning and end but he's just not that good. It's weird. His acting was perfectly acceptable during the parts where he was really upset or had a reason to be overly dramatic. He sucked in the parts where he was relaxed. Very odd. Christina Ricci was right on for that part, too. She made a potentially exploitative part almost excusable. But hey, it wouldn't really be ROCK 'N' ROLL without some (ahem) gratuity.

Not long after I got back, Frank and Joe came over. We wound up watching a VHS that Joe brought about Deep Purple. It was cool to sit around and talk with the guys. We've decided that we need a rockumentary of our own. Hmmmm....

They both also let me know that they saw one of my images of R.E.M. in the Athens Banner-Herald. It's another one that I took last September at the band's surprise reunion at the 40 Watt. This is not the first time that paper has used my images without asking. I've got to look into it. If R.E.M. sent them the pic, I'll let it slide.

Oh and it looks like The Critical Darlings first live date is in. April 14 should be the day. We'll be doing a gig at Little Kings in Athens. It's semi-low key and there's no big stage or P.A. but it should be a great way to begin again.

"So let's begin again..."





Saturday March 10, 2007

Cool! I made one of the Pictures Of The Week at Rolling Stone!


Well, I woke up to bad news today. It seems as if Brad Delp, one of the best lead singers of all time died yesterday. That sucks. At least I got to see him and photograph him one time. Too bad it was before I really knew what I was doing. Dems de breaks I guess. If they'd only done "Feelin' Satisfied", I would've considered it a perfect concert from a set list standpoint. And if you're wondering, yes, he did hit the high notes in "More Than A Feeling" perfectly. I was impressed.

Oh, the things I've seen and heard at Chastain Park! And I was supposed to spend one more night with Boston there this summer...

The only other thing worth mentioning today is good news. There was yet another Rolling Stone feature on My Morning Jacket to one of my photos today. In fact, this wasn't even about the band as much as the picture! One of my backstage shots of the guys made Rolling Stone's Pictures Of The Week / The Week In Rock feature.

That made me feel a little better but it doesn't mean that I made it through the day without getting in the car and driving while listening to Boston's "Don't Look Back."

I'll leave you today with the lyrics to "More Than A Feeling." It may be obvious but many times, that's the best way to go. This song will always hold a special place for me. It's one of those songs that I feel like I was born knowing and has taken me off to that magical place more times than I can recall.

"I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away...

...So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
as clear as the sun in the summer sky...

It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to
play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
'till I see Marianne walk away...

When I'm tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day
and dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away.
She slipped away. She slipped away.

It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to
play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming...




Friday March 9, 2007



I got a lot more stuff done today including the bigger part of the next Concert Shots update. I also did some boring stuff like clearing hard drive and backup drive space. It's tedious but necessary. Speaking of space, I went out to Best Buy today to pick up some CDR's and DVD-R's. I couldn't resist buying Borat. For some reason, Joe's evisceration of it last night at rehearsal (I can't believe just how much he hated it) only made me want to see it again more. So I bought it. It'll make a good family movie to watch with Amanda's Dad the next time we go home. And while impulse purchases are rare for me, I couldn't resist when I saw a 2GB compact flash card for $39. That's a ridiculous deal. So I bought that too! Now I should be set on camera cards for a while. Now if I could get one more of those super hard to find rechargeable Nikon D-200 batteries, I'd feel okay about where I stand from a photography angle (for a while).

In the evening, Amanda rented Madea's Family Reunion to get a feel for Tyler Perry's work. She's considering auditioning for one of his upcoming projects. Neither of us realized that it was merely a film of a live stage play and neither of us were really in the mood for that so we gave up after about a half-hour. We wound up instead watching the Borat deleted scenes. They were mildly amusing but it was very clear why those scenes were cut out.



Thursday March 8, 2007

Here's a photograph of our prom photo. (Yes, it's a pic of a pic!)



Today was a slightly more relaxed than the last couple of days. I even went out to get copies of Amanda's and my prom pic made. I forgot how crappy scanners are. It's been so long since I've done anything outside of the digital realm. Still, I got a couple extras in case something happens to the original.

In the evening, the band got back together. Frank was late (again). He had warned us that he would have trouble getting there as early as we had to do it (due to a cross-booking by Nuci's) but still, by the time Frank got there, Joe, Josh and I were feeling defeated and down about it. Joe seemed to be taking it especially hard. I must say that as excited as I am about the lineup, the songs, the performance, the sound and virtually everything about the band, the logistical practice problems are taking a bit of a toll on me. I believe it's doing the same to Joe. Still, when Frank showed up (with a little less than an hour's worth of time to go), the heavens parted, the proverbial sun shone in and we tore that little room apart. I know I've said it over and over but I cannot believe how much the new boys are adding. "Sadder Day" was especially potent despite Frank breaking a bass string. Any one who's heard the demo is going to be surprised at the life taken on by that song when it's done live.

At the end of practice, Joe and Josh got on me a bit about not having any confirmed dates coming up. Well, fine. I vow to have a few dates added as soon as possible and dates (hopefully) coming out of our ears by the summer.

I wonder if they've ever heard the old adage "Be careful what you wish for."



Wednesday March 7, 2007

Rolling Stone says it, therefore it's got to be true...right?


Well, I got my pictures from last night edited but couldn't get them uploaded. Luckily, I'd already made an appointment with Charter after the video upload problems from the weekend. Not long after I finished editing, a couple of techs came out. They worked on my system (mostly outdoors) for nearly 2 hours. When they finished, it still wasn't pristine but it was moving well enough. I got my pics uploaded to WireImage by about 3:30. Click here to see what I posted.

At about 5 o'clock, I was doing a little surfin' to celebrate my ability to do so when I wound up at Imagine my surprise to see a photo of mine from last night as the cover shot on the home page. Jeez, that was fast. They had that pic up there within 2 hours of me making it available. It was headlined "My Morning Jacket Gives Georgia World's Best Prom". Well, that's cool. I clicked on it to see that they'd actually posted a a live review of the show. Yes, it was this cool. By the way, does a picture that I took being seen on the cover of the Rolling Stone online edition count as being "On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone"? It is the 21st century after all. Either way, it's cool!

So there you go, Amanda. I didn't take you to the high school problem back in South Carolina because I had to wait to take you to the World's Best Prom, as you so well deserve!

In spite of the exhaustion from last night, Amanda and I went out for a walk around the neighborhood for the first time in waaaaayyyy too long. It was just what we needed. I can't wait for Spring to get here in full bloom! It's been a long winter.



Tuesday March 6, 2007

Ah, prom night in Athens...

So who played your prom? We had some band called My Morning Jacket.







Cool. The videos are all up now. I got "Scared Of Myself", "Give Up Town" and "Waiting For The Siren" up. Check 'em out and fer God's sake, make some comments. Lemme know whatcha think, would ya? I can see that some people are checking 'em out already. I hope you like and I hope to post many more soon.

Also on the band front, it looks like there's a good chance we'll be playing on May 11 at Tasty World. If it happens, it'll be Nuci's related and should be a fun night. I'm also going to try and get us some other dates next week. I'm hoping to have a few announced soon so we can get out of this self-imposed hibernation and go blow some heads off. With Josh and Joe up there beside me and Frank, we will.

Today was centered around tonight. I got a lot of things caught up and even managed to salvage that recording of my cover of Prince's "17 Days". I'll be posting it here soon. I know there are quite a few of you that probably won't like it but I enjoy it. It may be my favorite home recording ever. Whichever side of the argument you stand on, I can justify it to you by saying two things.

1) It was simply fun, no pressure and me following my inspiration. I think it translates.

2) It's all my fault, don't blame the band. I'm the only one responsible and I'm the only one on it!

Soon after I saved "17 Days", Amanda got in from her class. She reminded me that we didn't have much time. Luckily, I had already spent a little time deciding what to wear. For us, it's prom night. I never took her when we were in high school. Luckily, the boys in My Morning Jacket are helping me set things right by throwing their very own prom at the 40 Watt Club. Amanda dug out her actual prom dress, and I found some semi-tacky (OK, totally tacky) but suitable clothes and we were off.

The theme of the prom was "Oh, What A Night Under The Sea". To get in, you were "required" to wear either suitable prom-wear, undersea costumes or (for some reason) something futuristic. Soon after I got there, Velena called me back to do the trade shot. I passed opening act Follow The Train. I'm pretty sure one of 'em was dressed as a lobster. This was definitely an event. The guys in My Morning Jacket were totally cool and decked out in extremely bright tuxes. They posed with Barrie and Velena, then let me get a few shots of just the band. After a few other niceties, I was back out in the main room.

I was quite surprised at how many people took this opportunity to go all out. It really did look like a prom! I kept running into a lot of great friends and trying to catch up as well as I could.

It was great seeing Sibley, Rich, Daniel, Alec, Craig and whoever else I'm forgetting right in this instant. The weirdest moment for me came when someone walked right past Peter Buck and Patterson Hood and came over to me and said "I can't believe that you're here". He said he had the Darlings CD and wanted to know why we hadn't been playing. I told him, we chatted for a while and he flat-out called himself a fan. I thanked him for coming over and saying that. It helps me realize that getting this boat back afloat means something to someone other than me!

I was also blown away when Patterson Hood broke away from Pete Buck and came over to speak to me. It's been 2 years since we've seen each other and honestly, I didn't think he'd remember me by now. We caught up for a few minutes and discussed how obliging the Athens crowd can be. I promised him that I would come out to one of the Truckers' special acoustic shows at the end of April. I hope I can. It should be fun. It's been too long.

The most pleasant surprise, however, was running into Mary Katherine. I bet it's been close to 2 years since we've seen each other. She's Tom Bavis' sister-in-law and she used to come to nearly every show. Heck, she was almost the original bass player. She's living in North Carolina now so seeing her was a totally happy moment for me. When she thanked me for this journal, I was even happier. You see, she's been going through some rough stuff over the last year and she said that reading this journal helps her. I can't say how much that means to me. Most of the time, I just think of it as a megalomaniacal rant about nothing and most of the time, that's probably what it is. I'm glad that every once in awhile, it reaches someone in a way that helps them get through the day. I'm blown away by that. Thanks, Mary Katherine. And by the way, I'm excited about your CD too!

Somewhere amongst all of this, Mary Katherine and Amanda were drafted by Velena to hand out slices of absolutely delicious coconut cake! Then Amanda and I got our official prom picture taken. And thanks to Barrie and Velena, we even had our little homemade corsages on. They were from the same batch that My Morning Jacket wore!

Oh yeah, and speaking of My Morning Jacket, they played some music too. They opened with "Oh, What A Night" before tearing through their own stuff. And you know what? I really, really liked MMJ tonight. The last time I saw them, I found them monotonous and boring but hey, My Morning Jacket reconsidered. They were excellent tonight and not at ALL what I expected.

So yeah - my prom rocked. Seriously. I hope Amanda got some enjoyment out of it, too. We did get a couple of super-cool souvenir cups and a nice pic in a custom booklet that even had a sea horse on it.

And how can you complain about that?



Monday March 5, 2007




I'm still trying to post vids . I got "Goodbye Tuesday" up before the system crashed this time. I'd still like to put up "Give Up Town" and "Waiting For The Siren". Click here to see what's ready for your viewing!

I spent a chunk of day on the phone with Charter trying to fix their stupid problems. For all that we're paying them, I want what we're paying for. Right now (again), we're NOT GETTING IT! My upload speed should be around 500 kps. Right now, I'm averaging about 30. That just times things out and gives me an error message. It's driving me crazy. And my surfing / download speed is bouncing between the low side of normal and a bad dial up. It's inexcusable.

At least the night made up for it. We went out to Nuci's and got all 4 of us together again. Josh went the extra distance to apologize for not making it out Saturday. He didn't have to do that and it's appreciated. Once we got going, it was great. We're definitely becoming a band. We're not there yet but we're close. There were problems and Joe was having an off-night but it was still solid enough to be super inspiring. "Give Up Town" was especially potent. We're ready to start booking now. We also tweaked the set list a little more. As we neared completion, Josh remarked that he felt that THIS was the list. I tend to agree.

Click here for last week with Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson and more band updates!