Sunday, October 23, 2005

55 minutes of boredom and despair

followed by 5 minutes of excitement and 5 seconds of elation. I still have goosebumps from the end of the Seahawks game.

Like I said in a previous blog, sometimes it's the little things.

Sweet!!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Hot diggity dog

When I joined the Lunds, Chris gave me about 5 CDs to send out to clubs in Seattle. I sent them to the Croc, Chop Suey, handed one to Neumo's, and a few other places I can't recall. Basically "A" clubs, IMO. Back in the day, you could also throw the Sit n Spin and the I Spy into the mix.

In my other "successful" bands (Ethyl and Starchief), we played at all those clubs, though we were never the "popular" kids. We'd play on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Let me put on my thinking cap. We played the Sit n Spin twice in Ethyl. If I recall, both times were quite fun, but nothing happened (ie: we didn't take that next step to a Friday night gig). Actually, thinking back, I think both SnS gigs were Saturdays...

Anyway, we also played the Crocodile once, on a Thursday, I think. Would've been a good night, except everyone was already partied out as it was January 2. That was fun, too, but, alas, nothing happened after that either.

Well, the other day, I received an email from Pete at the Croc, offering the Lund Bros. a show. Once I got the go ahead from Sean (he goes to night classes), I sent Pete an email back. Sadly, after a day's worth of email checking, I had no response. I called Pete today and as I'm telling him that we're in, I saw on the Croc's site that he'd already listed us for 11/29.

Sweet!

It is a Tuesday and we're playing with a band called Gary Reynolds & the Brides of Obscurity. They seem to have some juice around town, and, judging from their pix, they have the oh-so-important Indie Cred (tm). I might have to get myself some sort of fashionable sport coat. To me, it seems that in Seattle, not only do you have to sound good, you gots to look hip. And what's hipper than a cool sport coat these days?

Not sure why Pete finally looked us up. I'd called him last week and he gave me a stock "don't call us; we'll call you" type response. I'd like to think he'd gotten good word about us from the EMP gig. Maybe I'll ask him when I see him next month.

Indie Cred Here We Come!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Saturday at the EMP

What a cool place to have a gig. Pro all the way around.

We showed up and loaded in. Usually this consists of lugging your gear through the bar, up some stairs, and onto stage. On Saturday, we loaded in with a cart AND an elevator. No one was breathing hard or tired from moving their stuff. Sometimes, it's the little things...

The Liquid Lounge at EMP is definitely the coolest venue I've played before. If you've seen the EMP from the outside, you know it looks odd. Kind of like a big lump of shiny red clay dropped from the sky. Apparently it's supposed to represent Paul Allen's vision of music or something.



Anyway, from the outside, it's huge. From the inside, it's huge. It's like a big, odd shaped warehouse. The Liquid Lounge is on the second floor, tucked into the NE corner of the blob. As you look at where the stage is (it's actually a glorified drum riser), you see the vastness of that particular area of EMP. Hopefully the pictures taken will be sent to me soon. I'll put some up here.

We were scheduled to go on at 10:00, which we thought was second, but ended up being first. No worries. It actually worked out fine. There were many people there. I was responsible for 15 of them, which was great, but I'm a bit disappointed as there probably could've been many more. Oh well...

We soundchecked with a song (Feel), then hung out for an hour while we waited for showtime. I heard from several people that as you walk up to the place, there are speakers outside that broadcast the band's music. Don't know if anyone came in cause they liked what they heard, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Finally, it was showtime. Chris started playing, but it wasn't what was on the set list. He started with Accident, which isn't a big deal, but no one told me. I was able to play along fine, but I like that song later in the set because I like to get a feel for how the PA and monitors sound, as that's a trickier vocal song for me. As it was, I had to bail out on one part, but finished the rest without (hopefully) mangling it.

The rest of the set continued without issue. There were a few flubs here and there, but nothing disastrous. We got appreciative applause after each song, and after our last song, we got the coveted, "ONE MORE SONG" chant. Sadly, the soundman said we'd done our share and we had to vacate the stage.

Afterwards, we had many kudos and compliments. Several people said they wanted to remove the band that followed us and have us play instead. I would've loved to do that, but it wouldn't have been PC, you know?

As it is, we made good strides at that club. Hopefully the booker was impressed with our draw and will have us back again. I'm pretty sure we can draw like that again.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Oh my

# 1. Fly By Night, Church Sessions Video 1975
# 2. Circumstances, Live in Studio 1978
# 3. La Villa Strangiato, Live in Studio 1978
# 4. Farewell to Kings, Live in Studio 1978
# 5. Xanadu, Live in Studio 1978
# 6. Various songs - soundcheck at Ivor Wynne Stadium 1980
# 7. Closer to the Heart, Compilation Video 1977-1977
# 8. Freewill, Performed at the Toronto Rocks/Stones Concert

Anyone know what that is? I'm sure the freaks at the Counterparts message board are filling their pants with glee...

I was just at the Power Windows Rush News site and saw that little tidbit regarding another DVD release by my favorite band, Rush. A double DVD, chronicling their recent R30 tour, which made a stop in Frankfurt, Germany.

The concert DVD is nothing I haven't seen before. I have a bootleg from Radio City Music Hall. I saw them at the White River last summer. Two summers ago, I saw them on the Vapor Trails tour at the Gorge. And, of course, I have the Rush in Rio DVDs, which are of the VT concert. So, the concert DVD? Meh.

But, look at that track listing for DVD #2.

HOLY SHIT!

Let's break it down.

#1. FBN, Church Sessions Video. Church sessions video? Is it an "in the studio" video? Or a performance video? On the RiR DVD, there's an easter egg of the boys playing to a recording of something (it slips my mind at the moment), but I think it's from FBN. And it's COMPLETELY LAME! Shot in the early '70s, before music videos became what they are today, most of the video is a close-up of Geddy's face. Not his hands (which would be more interesting), but his mug. Hmm. Not sure if this video is the same as that, but it may be from the same session.

#2. Circumstances, Live in Studio. Did you hear that sound? That's me changing my shorts. Yes, I shot my load, and we're only 2 tracks in. LIVE IN STUDIO, ladies and gentlemen. The closest I've ever gotten to seeing the Holy Trinity in studio is from the Chronicles DVD where they have the Limelight and Tom Sawyer videos. Here's hoping the Circumstances vid is more documentary style than flashy and clever. This video, my friends, is worth the admission price of the entire DVD set.

#3. La Villa Strangiato, Live in Studio. Did you hear that sound? That's prog rock geeks all around the world changing their shorts. Yes, we shot our loads and we're only 3 tracks in. Will this video show the band nailing this song in one take (as has been stated many times?). Holy cow. I scanned the track list and completely did not register this one. Now, the question is, do I ask for it for Xmas or do I buy it myself in late Nov and get my ass kicked by the wife?

#4. Farewell to Kings, Live in Studio. Again, very cool, but not as epic as the previous two tracks. These late '70s videos should be ultra-vintage, though, with Alex's big ass Gibson hollowbodies (ES65? Jerry?) and Geddy's Rics. Nice...

#5. Xanadu, Live in Studio. SWEET! I'm thinking that this DVD is the band's way of saying thanks to the fans. Fans have been clamoring for some "inside" kind of video/DVD, and I think these are them. The Rio documentary was kind of cool, but these will blow that out of the water.

#6. Various songs-soundcheck. Should be interesting. I have a boot of the boys doing a full concert, rehearsal style, of R30, where it's just them, no crowd. Geddy sings some songs in their entirety, and doesn't sing on others. A very cool boot, which makes me think this video will be cool too, as it's the guys just playing and not performing.

#7. Closer to the Heart compilation. Boring. Though, seeing the guys through the years should be a hoot.

#8. Freewill at the SARS benefit. Boring. I saw this and wasn't too impressed, thought it was on low quality internet feed. Seeing 100000 people in a crowd for the gig sould be cool though.

So now I have a new addition to my Xmas list. For those keeping score, it goes like this.

1. Highly improbable, but it's on the list nonethless:




2. Highly improbable also, but what the hell, while I'm dreaming...



3. And, the Rush DVD.



I suppose I'll be adding more to this list, so keep checking back and start saving your pennies.

Selling a bass cab

Anyone interested? My good ol' Trace-Elliot 1048H 4x10 bass cab for $350 ($400 shipped). I'll miss it, but my back won't. It's also listed at Craigslist.org with pics for the interested few.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Last night's gig

Last week, it was at the Marsbar in Seattle, about 20 minutes from home. Last night, it was at Bob's Java Jive in Tacoma, about 40 minutes from home. And to make things more interesting, the show wasn't starting until 10:00pm. Praise Jesus.

So the drive down was uneventful. I got to BJJ at about 9:30 or so. If you've never seen the Java Jive, here it is:



Only, when I got there, it was dark, wet and kind of scary. I pushed my way in the front door and was immediately greeted by thick smoke, and a dame/broad sitting at the corner of the bar. She had on leopard skin, of course, and looked 10 years older than she probably was. Lucky for us, she was nice.

This place, the Java Jive, is quite small. When you first enter, it's a bar, which can probably seat 15 people. There's a few tables opposite the bar. Getting through is pretty tight. Getting through with a bass cab and gear is tighter.

Passing by the bar and tables brings you to the music room. Immediately to your left is the "stage". By "stage", I mean "area behind the counter". And by "area behind the counter", I mean "it's not really a stage, just a spot where bands play".



It is elevated, though, which makes it ok, unless you're over 6'5", in which case, you'd have to play on your knees.

We were scheduled to go second, with a band called Twink the Wonderkid (featuring a local DJ on bass) going last. No clue who was to play first and it wasn't until about 5 songs into their set that they said their name.

But, they were a 4 piece punk band and they were GREAT. They're called the 4 Easy Pieces and they rocked the Java Jive. The singer/guitarist looked like he could've been an accountant by day, and punk rocker by night. He was clean-cut, but had a super growl. His lead guitarist was great too. Had all the cool punk moves. Each song was a 2:30 punk ditty, 3 chords and a cloud of dust and all that, but they were really fine. If you can catch them, I recommend it.

After 4EP tore down, we set up. Sean's friend Cam showed, plus a few chicks he knows. I didn't send any emails, nor did Chris; we want to do the spam this week for our EMP show. We started off without a setlist. Chris apparently forgot 'em. Whoops. Luckily, he had an old one laying around so we improvised off of that one.

I think we played ok. There were a few clams by yours truly, but overall, it was passable. Luckily (or unluckily) there weren't too many witnesses. One funny thing was that I found out while tearing down was I didn't plug in my 15" cab. I remember before we started, thinking my bass sounded a little less-bottomy. I thought it had to do with some settings I'd tweaked on my SansAmp. Well, turns out I forgot to plug in the 15". Whoops. But, the 2x10 didn't sound half bad on its own. I'll make sure to plug in on Saturday at the EMP.

One good thing that happened last night was we actually got paid! I think since I've been in the band, we've been paid once. Now, it's twice! We made $20 and I got $8. Sweet! We probably won't get paid next week, but, then again, that's not why we're in it, is it?

Here's a picture from last week:




Cheers!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Calvin & Hobbes


I recently re-discovered a C&H compilation I had from a few years back (HS years, I think). Read through it and re-loved it. What a shame that some yahoo had to take innocent images of Calvin and/or Hobbes and make them look like they're pissing, etc. (For those that don't know, the reason Watterson ceased creating C&H was because of his characters being used improperly like described above)

I can only imagine how great things would be if C&H were still around. As it is, there is an end-all collection out now for close to $100. Xmas, maybe?

Still alive and kicking

No reason for not blogging. Just lazy, I guess.

Been doing a lot of nothing, really. Working, coming home, playing with the kids, playing music once a week or so. Nothing terribly exciting. Haven't gotten any cars stuck anywhere.

Oh. Here's something I got. I purchased a 2x10 bass cab off eBay. Wanted to downsize my rig, mainly because I got tired of lugging around a big ass 4x10 cab. Besides, the 2x10 is better suited to my amp (has to do with ohms and impedence), and runs more efficiently. Plus, my entire rig fits in my car without me having to put my rear seat down. Nice.

Speaking of music, the Lund Bros. gig is going along nicely. At our most recent show, last Saturday at the Marsbar, we played with only one band, as the other band didn't show. We lucked out and got to play an extended set - about 18 songs or so. Some were rough though; it'd been months since we played 'em. I sent out an email to my list (about 180 people) and one person showed. ONE. Pathetic. Chris and Sean, from Tacoma, had about 20 or so people between them, most of whom lived in Seattle. I suck.

Anyway, we finished and the second band played. They were a SoCal pop/punk style band from Seattle. Four dudes who were old enough to know better, meaning that they should have known that the schtick works for 20 year olds, not 35 year olds with beer guts. One dude had a 4 inch mohawk. Very punk. He even made lame goofy "look at me" faces behind the singer during each song. My one friend, Fred, who showed up, said he wanted to kick that guy's ass. It was entertaining. But, I digress.

The bass player had a wireless rig that didn't work right. Kept cutting out, so, finally he ditched it for a cord. Funny thing about that band; they had all this great gear. Mesa/Boogie guitar amps, Hartke bass rig (actually, not that great), Les Pauls, etc. What a shame that they didn't do any of it justice. Not that they were poor players; quite the contrary. They were ok, but the tones they got were awful! All mids, no bottom, very dry and thin.

Anyway, they finished and we were thankful. Ironically, this band has played the Warped tour (supposedly) and have gigs up and down the West Coast (DIY style). Their studio recordings aren't half bad, but if you go see them expecting that, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Enough about them, let's talk about us...