Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Update (heavy on the bass!)

It's Sunday night and here I am. What's new? Well, in the past 3 days or so, between Marci and I, we've seen about 10 spiders of various sizes in the house. I haven't seen any spiders for a long time, so it's been a little unpleasant.

A few weeks ago I was watching the Today show and Kelly Clarkson was performing. As usual, I strained to see her boob- er, her bassist and his gear. All I saw was this grizzled looking old guy playing a mustard yellow P bass with a black pickguard. Something about that bass really appealed to me so off to Google I went.

Surprise, surprise. Google told me that the bassist on her latest record is none other than old punk vet Mike Watt. Now, don't mistake me for some Mike Watt or fIREHOSE fan or something, no. I don't have cred like that (though my neighbor had a Ric bass that had M. Watt's autograph on it and he wouldn't sell it to me!). I don't know if it was Mike Watt playing live on stage, but it set me off on a trek to try to find a yellow P with black pickguard.

I checked eBay and Craigslist and had no luck. Perusing talkbass.com gave no leads either. Somehow, in my searching, I came across a bass made by G&L (Leo Fender's creation) called the SB-2. It's basically a P bass with a J bass pickup at the bridge. I looked at some pix and really dug how it looked. Then, in looking for vendors, it turned out that there was one in Bellevue. So, off to Northwest Guitars I went.

They had a SB-2, brand new, white with tortoise shell pickguard for $1150. Much much more than I wanted to spend, but a beautiful bass. I plugged it in and dinked around. Amazing. The bass was passive and the sound was HUGE. What I liked a lot about it, besides the look and sound, was the simplicity of the instrument. One knob for the neck (P) pickup, one knob for the bridge (J) pickup. Dial into your preference and drop the bomb. So tasty.

For a few days I obsessed about that bass. I tried to come up with scenarios in which I could get that bass. If I sold one of mine, I could get about $500 to put towards it, but then I'd have to pony the rest and I didn't want to do that. I looked on eBay again and saw some used ones, as well as Tribute models (basses with overseas wood, US hardware). I ended up putting all the eBay ones on my watched list.

A few days later, I took my Fender Geddy Lee Jazz to NWG to talk about a trade-in. The GL served me well, but I never play it. Love Geddy as I might, I just wasn't too in love with his signature bass. NWG offered me $350 at first, then upped it to $450 when I was going to walk. Even with that (I was looking to get $500 to $550), I'd still have to dish out $700 for that white SB-2. I told the guys I'd try on Craigslist and see what I could get from there. I left without the SB-2.

On Thursday I got an email from eBay reminding me that one of the watched basses was about to run out of time. I took a look and it was a used SB-2, sunburst with tortoise shell pickguard, and listed at $525 with $40 shipping. It was pretty and there was about 1.5 hours left. I thought about it and figured if I bid no more than $600, that someone would swoop in at the last second and win this bass. I put my high at $600, the new high bid was $535, and waited.

As I kept hitting F5, it became pretty clear that I was about to be obligated to pay for a new bass. Pretty soon, I won the auction and owed someone in Ohio $575. Luckily, I had the $$ to pay so I sent him the funds via Paypal. All this time, the GL was on Craigslist with just a few bites. One guy gave me his phone # so I dialed him up.

Turns out, this guy was from Oregon and wanted a GL and, within 5 minutes or so, he had Paypalled me $500 for it. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself. He said he'd pick it up this weekend but I never heard from him. I do expect him to pick it up this week sometime.

In the meantime, I have a badass new bass on its way to me. I should have it Thursday and I can't wait! Unfortunately, I won't be able to use it in a band situation until either Sunday at church (blech!) or next Monday with the Lunds. Ironically, I meet with both bands this week and I'll probably be taking the trusty ol' Sterling.

Until then, I have a few pictures to drool over in anticipation. Take a look:


Without even trying, I will have 3 basses that all have an orange sunburst pattern on them. Kind of gay, but also kind of DAMN COOL.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tonight at the Sunset

2 months and 10 days. That's how long it's been since the Lund Bros. have played together. Since then, all of the following things have happened to members of this band (in no particular order):
  • a family member had open-heart surgery
  • a room in a home had been remodeled
  • a particular nasty flare-up of a chronic disease that required surgery
  • a new CD was started as tracks were recorded for future release
  • a second band was added to the mix
So it's been an eventful hiatus, I'd say.

I showed up at the Sunset at about 4:15. We were slated to go second (per Jenny's myspace note to me), but turns out we got third slot, which was actually fine. Sean was there already and we had some friends (Rusty, Scott, Carmella and others) show up to see us. Sean had a female companion show up later, so it was all good.

Prior to the show, I'd listened to the 3 other bands on the bill and figured it'd be weird night with our powerpop stylings, Ape City R&B's White Stripes style garage rock, the Coloffs straight-ahead indie rock, and Bug Nasties' psychadelic 60's rock. Was that how it went down? Keep reading and find out.

First up was the Coloffs, a three piece with some tasty gear. Ampeg 4x10 and 1x18 powering a Fender J, a vintage Ludwig kit with 26"(!) kick, and some sort of vintage Gibson on guitar. The guitarist had a total Iggy Pop thing going on, mixed with a flair reminiscent of Chris' playing style. They were solid, but completely forgettable. Nothing really stood out about them.

Ape City R&B followed the Coloffs. You had guitar, you had drums. The guitarist/singer was a giant of a man. Very large, black glasses, a mop of black hair and tattoos all up and down his arms. He played a Fender Jaguar and pretty much power chorded his way through the set. They did the garage thing quite well, but, it's not my cup 'o tea and, well, I liked it better when the White Stripes did it first. Better riffing. But, I digress.

We went on next and for the first time in 2+ months? It was fun! Super hot on stage, especially with all the damn humidity lately. Add in the stage lights which happen to be on the side I usually play on and you get some hot temps.

With our recent downtime, I've spent a lot of time tweaking my gear and figuring out how my bass, pedals and amp work together. I've figured something out finally and took the Sterling and thought I had a really great sound. It cut, was mid-sy and also had that all-important booty shakin' bottom.

We played the same set as last time and, save for a couple errors here and there, I played and sang pretty well. Sean had some equipment difficulties (a sliding kick-drum, a fragged-out mic cable), but played a solid show overall. Chris seemed to have some voice issues hitting the high notes, as well as some chording issues on the guitar, but we'll chalk that up to his Real Life being quite busy lately.

The crowd was decent for a Sunday and they wanted us to continue playing, but, alas, the sound guy had other ideas. He let us do No Matter What, then we packed things up. It was fantastic to play and knock the dust off. We'll be on again a week from Monday for rehearsal, and then again on 8/10 to play with Llama and PLFC. That should be a great night for us.

The Bug Nasties were last and, as mentioned, they did the 60's psychedelic thing. They were very good at it, but it was quite loud and we were quite hungry, so we hit it for the Lock and Keel for some much needed adult beverages and some chow.

Sadly, we didn't make any bucks tonight, so, once again, the music was free.

Next up: 8/10 at the Rendezvous.

An Evening with Rush

With a show starting at 8:00pm, my brother said he'd pick me up at 6:45, leaving us plenty of time to get to the White River and get seated. Well, turns out he didn't pick me up until about 7:15 or so, due to poor weather (pouring rain and wet-ass humidity in July!) and horrible Friday night traffic. Luckily, I had my trusty MP3 player loaded up with all things Rush, and I was able to geek out with Knight's friend Ken, who was attending his 35th (!!) show.

Growing up a Rush fan was kind of tough for me. I knew other guys who liked Rush, but rarely did I know anyone who was as serious as me. Now, there definitely are some hardcore Rush geeks out there. I don't consider myself that intense. And when I did know other dudes that were really into Rush, I never saw a show with anyone like that. In fact, including Friday's show, I've seen 3 shows in which my companion was someone who I wouldn't even consider a casual Rush fan. So, to have someone in our group (me, Knight, Ken and his wife Tonja) that was a big Rush fan was cool.

Anyway, it took FOREVER to get to the venue. We got there at about 8:45 and they were already well into their first set. Walking around the puddles in the parking lot, we heard The Larger Bowl. After that was Secret Touch from the Vapor Trails record. We finally made it to our seats just as Circumstances was starting.

And it was all good. Our seats were center stage, in the 200 level, which gave us a great view and great sound. Plus, we were under the covered area and stayed relatively dry.

In my many years of listening to Rush boots, watching bootleg videos and the like, I've come to realize that though Rush sounds so precise on studio recordings, it can be a crap shoot when it comes to playing live. After all, it's 3 guys playing 3 instruments, but sometimes even more than that. Instruments, that is. So, my point is that I've heard some real Rush trainwrecks. Luckily, on Friday, the boys were ON. Chalk it up to having a week off between shows or whatever, but we were treated to a fine performance. They were tight. Heck, even parts they usually blow when they're tight (think first riff after morse code intro to YYZ) were tight. Very great performance.

And, say what you will about the lousy parking situation at the White River Amphitheater (did I mention it took us over 1 hour to leave the freakin' lot??? And then another 45 minutes to get to the freeway???), the killer sound almost makes up for it. You could hear all the instruments and vocals super clearly and cleanly. The only thing I would've changed was more bottom end on the bass as Ged's tone tends to get a little thin at times.

All in all, I'm super glad I went to the show. Knight really enjoyed it as well, and this is a guy who maybe heard 2-3 Rush songs his entire life. I took a bunch of faraway cell pix and surprisingly good sounding video clips. I'll have to sort through those and share 'em another time.

If you have a chance to see Rush, do it. They're fantastic.

Friday, July 20, 2007

RUSH TONIGHT!

And to think I wasn't going to go. I have the R30 DVD in right now and as soon as Alex started with the first notes to Finding My Way, well, let's just say I almost got a little verklempt.

It's raining like a bitch right now and I'll have some seats that are kinda far away, but you know what?

IT'S FUCKIN' RUSH! AND I CAN'T WAIT!

I know the setlist, I know the tunes, but dammit all, this is going to be goddamn fun.

Sorry for the cussing, but I've spent over half my life worshiping these guys and I get a little excited.

I'll have a full report tonight, possibly some camera phone pix, maybe even a blog from the show if we're lucky.

WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who the hell are you people?

I don't get many clicks here. Maybe 25-30 a week. And even then, I'm not even sure how to interpret that.

Do 30 people check my blog? Do they count the times I check it? I'm dumb!

So I goofed around on Sitemeter, which is the hit counter I use. It doesn't have mad numbers, as in tons of views, which is fine. I don't expect that. After all, I'm just a dude rambling on about my life and, honestly, I can't find that anyone else would find this terribly interesting.

However, in snooping around Sitemeter, it's apparent that people from Around the World check my site.

Now, some are probably random hits, as you can click at the top of each Blogger.com blog for random blog. Some are probably me checking things out. But definitely some are repeat business. For example, I keep seeing a viewer originating from Kalispell, Montana. I don't think I know anyone from Montana. Not that you're not welcome, but if for some reason you read my blog because you like what I do, or maybe you're morbidly curious, I thank you.

Heck, I have viewers from Oregon, France, Holland, Montana, Ontario, New York, California, Germany, Spain, Michigan, Italy, Singapore, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, Alberta, Texas, Belgium, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana and India.

So. Who are you people? Leave me a comment and say hi! Or, keep reading. I don't mind.

Plans, plans, and stuff

  • In 2 nights, I'll be reeling from seeing Rush for the 6th time. I debated on whether or not to go this time around as it seems that they're just doing the same thing over and over again. Then I realized, it's frickin Rush and I have to go.

    Actually, my brother's friend had access to 2 extra tickets so he and I and his friends are gonna make our way south on Friday.
  • In 4 nights, I'll be reeling from playing out for the first time in just over 2 months. Heck. We haven't even rehearsed since probably early April and we won't get one before Sunday. Sean had health issues and is just getting better; Chris' newborn son had health issues and is doing fabulously; Chris' downstairs (our rehearsal space) is undergoing some remodeling. It's been a long time.
  • Anyway, we'll be hitting the badass Sunset in Ballard. It's a weird bill that Jen over there has put together. It's us and 3 other bands, quite indie-garage and rockabilly in their sounds, if I recall correctly. We're with the Coloffs, Ape City R&B and the Bug Nasties. And then little power pop us. *shrug*. We go second in case you're interested. Catch more info here: Sunset Tavern's Website
  • I've been plugging away at coming up with some basslines to Sean's new songs. He has laid down drum tracks and acoustic and electric guitars on 12 (or is it 13??) songs. I've been adding my .02 to the tracks on my little "home studio" (re: bass into mixer into computer) and creating parts. It's an interesting process. In my vast recording experience (right!), every time I've gone in, it's after the band has played the songs many many times. This time, we've never performed the songs together. I've had scratch tracks from Sean and will be going in basically to play to drums and guitars. It'll be super fun (love recording!) but kind of, not sure what word to use, sterile? Unspontaneous? Hard to say. I've got parts worked out but I don't have the intimacy with the drum parts that I would have had we played them together as a band. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and hopefully we'll have some new tunes to share with everyone before too long (late fall?).
  • Saw Die Hard 4 tonight. Really enjoyed it. Favorite Die Hard 1 tie-in? Agent Johnson. Awesome.
  • Watched Kevin Durant play over the weekend. And Jeff Green. I think there may be hope yet for our Supes. They may suck, but I'll enjoy watching b-ball come October.
  • Thinking about buying an Xbox 360. The urge is strong, but I'm going to try to hold out until fall/winter. Evidently there's a newer version being produced that should be more reliable. Many people are experiencing bad things with the current version. Perhaps you've heard about the 1 BILLION BUCKS that Microsoft is going to eat to fix the issue? Insane.
  • I gotta start going to bed earlier. It's 11:30 now and I'm finding excuses to stay up. I think it's mainly to prolong having to wake up tomorrow.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cat, exit bag

Not that there's a big secret or anything. I haven't given any clues and the faithful readers of this sorry excuse of a blog probably have no idea what's going on.

Well, it's time to spill the beans.

I am actually a woman.

Uh, no. The real news is that I'm joining another band. (gasps heard everywhere!)

I was taking a shower a few weeks ago (I do a lot of heavy thinking in the shower) and decided that I needed another band to play in. As much as I love my current gig with the Lunds, I figured why shouldn't I branch out a little. After all, with Chris and Sean, even when things are cooking, we only meet a few times a month. Most recently, the last time I played with the both of them was our last gig at the 4th Ave just over 2 months ago.

So I looked a little at the Stranger's Musician Wanted ads. I didn't want to go through tons of auditions and, to tell the truth, didn't see any cool looking ads anyway.

Then I remembered an email exchange I had with a local guy who does powerpop band blogs. He came and saw us in January at the Tractor and we'd kept in touch, specifically with me sending him pictures and show reviews of ours.

In one email he had mentioned how his band was looking for a bassist. At the time, I took it as just playful banter and left it at that. When I decided to look around a bit, I remembered his email and sent him an "I'm interested" note.

Well, as it turned out, Gary (the blogger), had just filled the position for bass in his band. So it wasn't meant to be. I told him to keep in touch anyway and left it at that.

A few days later I got another email from Gary saying that the other bassist decided to bail out and that if I was still interested, that I could come check them out. I outlined my criteria (still in other band, no more than 1 rehearsal a week, etc) and made a date to meet them.

So the band I was checking out was called the Scheme. Not a huge fan of the name, but the music is quite cool. It's very pop, a little singer/songwriter-y and very melodic. Not as heavy as Lund Bros. can be, but based on the recordings at Myspace.com and the CD I was given, every bit as musical and talented.

Turns out, the Scheme is an offshoot of a band called the Pills, that David, the lead singer/guitarist, led back in Boston several years ago. He moved to Seattle about 3 years ago or so and started putting together a band. Gary was on bass and a guy named Chris was on drums. Now Chris is moving onto other projects and Gary wants to play guitar. Enter myself and Gregg on drums.

We've had 2 rehearsals and it's gone pretty well. Currently I know about 5 songs but no vocals yet. There are shows on the horizon but as far as I know, it's gonna be David, Chris and Gary. Not sure when me and Gregg will be joining them, but it's probably not until we learn 10 or so songs.

So now, I'm in two pop bands. One is kick-ass (LB) and the other has the potential to kick-ass as well. Let's see how this works.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stuff

I think my picture posts aren't always working. *shrug*

Seems like the weather is cooling down finally. Still hasn't kept us from using our fans at home. We've gone insane with the fans. Our house faces west and from about 3:00pm on, we get full-on sun until it goes down. Ugh.

Had a terrible day and a half with the kids. Seems like all they do is fight, complain, demand and not listen. Not only are Marci in therapy, but Riley has 4 (4!) therapists that he sees on a weekly basis for issues with speech, motor skills, eating, and sensory development. It's pretty exhausting. What sucks, though, is it seems like nothing's working. He's regressed recently to where when I ask him something that I know he understands, he just dumbly stares at me until I do something. If I walk away, he freaks out. If I pursue the matter, he freaks out. It's really aggravating.

In one of the few moments of fun yesterday, we took the kids to the old K-mart parking lot off 148th for the yearly visit from the Funtastic crew. It was about 85 degrees out, muggy and no wind. Gooood times. Plus, for whatever reason, this little pseudo-carnival seems to bring out a Jerry Springer type of crowd, if you know what I mean. So I plopped down $20 for 40 tickets. Each ride runs anywhere from 5 to 6 tickets, so with Haley and Riley, they each got about 3 rides. As expensive as it was, I kept telling Marci that it was a piddly $20 for a lifetime's worth of memories.

Har har har.

Actually, it was kind of fun. Even though we as adults know how skanky that type of fair/carny is, the kids have no clue and that's what makes it cool.

Looks like I have a gig next Sunday at the Sunset. It'll be us and a bunch of garage bands, I think. I have no idea who else is on the bill. We're tentatively setting up a mid-August show with Llama, but I'm waiting on Chris to see if he's in. Speaking of Chris, I gotta send him an email.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summertime and the livin' is



Damn Hot!

What did it get to today? 90? Well, my thermometer at home said our front yard got to 101 or so. Supposedly it's going to get hotter as well. Kinda sucks as there's no AC at work, but we have a ton of fans going.

In other news, I got my haircut on Saturday. It's shorter, it's trendy and oh-so-sassy. Take a look at my profile picture and you can see.

That's all for now. Music stuff is happening, recording shall be happening, gigs are coming up. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Here's a lousy picture of Sean recording acoustic at London Bridge last night. Evidently I can post blogs from my cellphone if I'm feeling frisky. I guess last night I was feeling frisky (re: bored).

In other news, I got a haircut today. Shortest it's been in a long time. Pix upcoming. Watch out!

Friday, July 06, 2007

At the studio right now listening to sean record guitar & blogging from my phone.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thoughts

I came home tonight and the kids were asleep. I checked on them and all was good. On Haley's doorknob, she'd hung a wooden do-not-disturb type sign, only decorated, and not saying do-not-disturb. So it got me thinking that just for a day, I'd love to hear how her brain works.

As in, what stuff does a 5 year old think about?

For example, why did she hang the sign on her door? It doesn't say anything. It's just decorated with colors and shapes. Quite random, I might add. But what made her want to do that after it hadn't been on her door?

I gave her Jell-o as a dessert after lunch today. As I was in the other room, she kept telling me how she loved to mix up her Jell-o. She stirred and stirred and got it all over the place. She was so excited to have Jell-o. It's a food you eat and can play with! Again, I wish I could hear her little brain and its thoughts.

Earlier this morning (I'm going backwards in time!!!) I dropped her off at her sports camp. The kids were in two lines, doing the old put-the-head-on-the-baseball-bat-and-spin-and-run-like-hell game. So she got in line, spun, ran like hell and I laughed cause it was

So.

Damn.

Cute.

Tiny little Haley sprinting (ok, pistoning her arms, feet kind of gracefully gliding, believe it or not, and hair flying) down the gym, going around a cone and running back with a big goofy smile on her face. What's running through her head then? It wasn't a race, it was just running and following directions. And she did a great job and I loved it!

Sometimes I think it would be fun to be a fly on the wall when she's away from me and Marci. She tends to be a chatterbox at home and I think at school as well. That girl won't stop talking and, as tiring as it can be, it just cracks me up sometimes the things she comes up with.

Today she saw a commercial for a place called Dino Town. Apparently it's a town with dinosaurs. She made sure to tell me that if I wanted more info about it I could find it on PBS Kids (tv station) and that Dino Town wasn't as far away as I thought. So tonight I looked 'em up on the internet. Turns out Dino Town is in British Columbia. There was a short video on their website so I checked that out. Pretty low rent production. Makes Chuck E. Cheese look like Disneyland. And the tag at the end of the video? "It's not as far as you think!"

After hearing Haley tell me that and then seeing it on the video, it cracked me up. She's starting to be a little parrot about things like that. Me and Marci are going to have to really monitor her now, as well as watch what we say these days. No more F bombs, I guess...


Anything else? Not really. Missing playing music. Playing church tunes just don't cut it. But, things should change soon. We do have a gig this month so I know we'll hook up at least once. I heard from Sean that Chris doesn't think we'll be able to rehearse anytime soon as our space (re: Chris' basement) is undergoing some remodeling.

Speaking of Sean, I should be seeing him tomorrow for some studio time. He's recording some acoustic guitar stuff at London Bridge and I plan on being there tomorrow night for some of it.

Looks like summer is finally here. We have (counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) 7 fans going, plus a portable AC unit. And this is all for 85 degrees. What are we going to do when it hits 90 or so in August??? Oh, the madness!!