Monday, March 31, 2008

Saturday night at the High Dive

I saw that the Young Sportsmen were playing Saturday at the High Dive in Fremont so I made last minute plans with David from the Scheme to go see them. Over the past year or so, Lund Bros. has played one or 2 shows with the YS and I've personally gone to see them a few times as well.

Each time I've seen the YS, I've been blown away by their live show. It's not like their shredders or anything (though Ryan on guitar is quite adept), but they are cohesive and SUPERTIGHT. Not Super Tight, but SUPERTIGHT. They will blow your ears out with loudness, but smooth things out with killer melodies. Here's a blow by blow breakdown.

L to R: Richard, Wesley, Jeff (hidden), Ryan
Picture taken at the Sunset 04/07

Richard on bass plays lefty. He has a killer natural sunburst P and he uses a pick. His lines are straightforward and quite nimble at the same time. He doesn't over play and if I used a pick, I'd want to play like him. He's solid. He's tall, and he's short of hair. He sings backing vox and just looks cool playing the bass. He's got a little Mike Dirnt to him; stoic, but rockin'.

Jeff hits the drums harder than possibly any drummer in Seattle. The past two times I've seen him, he's back there in a shirt and tie, plus a sweater vest, kind of rockin' an indie Mr. Rogers look, only, instead of saying, "won't you be my neighbor?", he's saying, "come here and let me pound my f*ckin' drums for you." Seriously. Jeff beats the shit out of his drums, yet he looks so nice and friendly behind the kit. Watching him play is a joy.

Ryan plays lead guitar. He's diminutive and very intense. I watched him quite intently the other night. For the most part, he stays rooted to one spot, but during one solo, I thought I caught him going crosseyed at one point. He sings a little too, and he and his little red Tele are very good.

Wesley sings and plays guitar. He's the energy guy. Think of Dave Grohl without the gum, screaming and long hair and you kind of have Wesley. I think Wesley might also be the nicest guy in any club he's in that night. He's warm, kind and I think I love him. Er, I mean, he's super friendly. He sings with conviction and melody and is engaging to watch on stage. He is natural between songs and I don't believe he ever misses a note.

So, as you can tell, I've got a little chubby for the YS. Not only are they a fantastic band, but they're all super nice guys too.

Anyway, they were in superb form the other night. I missed a few songs at the beginning of the set due to the UNEXPECTED BLIZZARD EVENT. I mean, WTF was that? But the songs I heard, both off their last CD, Death to Palaces, and from their new, unreleased CD, were superduper. One thing I noticed, though, was that their new songs seemed to be strangely lacking backing vocals. As I found out later that night, the boys are still working out the live vocal arrangements so, when I see them next, the sound should be more fleshed out.

Speaking of the next time the YS play, well, they've asked the Lunds to play with them. That will be quite cool. They have invited about 4 to 5 of their favorite Seattle bands to all play 3-4 songs each, and then they'll play their new stuff for all to enjoy. That's going down in May and I can't wait for that. Keep an eye out on Myspace for more details.

The other bands at the High Dive were cool, but, for me, it was all about seeing the YS, then chatting them up afterwards. They love the Lunds and I think it's cool that, after 10+ years of gigging for Yours Truly, a band I'm in is starting to get some juice (drips and drops, more like). It was cool for me personally to show up at the club and have other guys in other bands (Jess from Sugarcaine Mutiny, Nick and Heather Riffbroker, Eric from I Love Myselfs, and the YS guys) come up and say hi and ask about the Lunds. All this for a guy that usually sits by himself at a show. I think I'm shedding a tear!

I've got some feelers out for more shows, but with the Lund Injury Time-Out in full effect, we'll see what happens. Clubs are booking up for spring and summer, so we need to get our rears in gear. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Radiohead? And way late thoughts.

I am enjoying some Radiohead right now. I think I'm mature enough to get them? Or is it simply because I'm listening to The Bends and it's accessible? What a cool ass record. We'll see how I feel about them after Kid A or OK Computer or something like that.

Haley performed in her first play tonight. She's been having rehearsals for a few weeks. She was a jellyfish in the ocean for Pinocchio. It was super cute watching her dance on stage. She was so excited afterwards! The play itself wasn't bad either. It was pretty entertaining and intricate. I was impressed by the kids devotion to the play, their singing and acting. It's too bad the music teacher (on guitar) and the senior citizen on keyboards were SO LOUSY that they were throwing the kids off.

I just realized today that if Lund Bros. wants to play in some festivals this year that we'd better get our rears in gear and send out applications. I put out a few feelers late in the day so hopefully sometime next week I can start some corresponding.

Snow at the end of March? WTF?

12:34. Make a wish!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tonight's rehearsal

I got together with Gregg and David again tonight. We spent 2 hours on about 4 songs, really working out harmony parts. That was fun for me. I spent the past few days really listening to David's songs, and figuring out what parts I might be singing. All the practice did me some good as the singing was good tonight. Now I just gotta work out my bass parts.

The recordings David has from his CD have super bass playing on them. The guys who played the parts really did some fantastic work and I'll be working on cribbing some of the better parts. Singing over them, however, will make things interesting.

We'll be practicing on Thursdays starting next week, so I have a while before we play again. David wants to add a second guitarist, but we'll keep working on what we have and, with any luck, we'll be show ready by mid-summer?

Uh oh. Getting that feeling again.

Perusing the 'bay and saw a pretty nifty G&L SB-2. Glitter yellow, good shape. As of right now, it's a hair over $400 with about 5 hours left.

I do have a birthday coming up.

Strokes chin.

UPDATE: It's a no go on the bass. As much as I loved the color, I love my money more. The bass ended up going for $511 + $55 for shipping. For some time, it was going to be under 5 bills, which would've been a STEAL.

Anyway, I'll keep my eyes out. Maybe after I get paid next week...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Last night at Scheme rehearsal

For the first time since the Grasshopper/Her Majesty's Secret Service days (way back in 96?), I had band practice in the friendly confines of the Eastside. Good ol' Bellevue. I made the 15 minute jaunt over to the Bel-Red corridor and met David and Gregg at Evolution Studios, a place where bands rent furnished spaces by the hour.

That was cool. I have a feeling that the owners of the place print their own money. For a Tuesday night, the place was packed. Hard to find parking and tons of Soundgarden-y rock, but once we got in the room, it was great. The room itself was quite large, with enough room for a 5 piece band, easily.

They had a Marshall JCM900 4x10 in one corner, a small Mapex drum kit, and an Ampeg something on a 4x10. There was one more guitar rig, but we didn't use it. Also a full PA, as well as a couch. Quite comfy. The room, that is. The couch sucked.

We plugged in and ran through some of David's songs. Keeping in mind that we hadn't played together since late August/early Sept., I think it went pretty well. Altogether, we did about 6 or 7 songs and there's definitely something there. David's songs are super catchy and almost in the singer/songwriter vein, though a bit more rock oriented. He's a competent singer and guitarist and has lots of experience doing both. Gregg is a very solid drummer. He's laid back and plays really tastefully. I guess he was in a rock band years ago that got on a label or something, but didn't get beyond that.

Since the Lunds are down for now, we should have a few weeks to rehearse and see how things go. David wants to add a second guitarist, which would really flesh out the sound. For now, I will be singing a lot more than I am currently with the Bros, which will be a cool challenge.

Check out the Scheme here: obligatory Myspace link

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Haley is on a hunger strike

A few weeks ago, Haley told us that she was no longer eating meat. We weren't sure what the deal was, but, whatever. Marci has been vegan before, and now is a modified vegetarian (no red meat, will eat chicken and fish). We played along and figured Haley would come to her senses soon enough.

Fast forward a few weeks and it's still the same. Now, Haley has always been the type who would crash 'n' burn if she was hungry. Subtract out any protein (meat, etc), and the mood swings have been epic.

She ate ok last night. We had homemade spaghetti-os with optional meatalls. Naturally she ate the noodles and no meatballs.

Today she had a pretty good day, mood-wise. But at dinner, Marci made chicken, steamed broccoli, sliced potatoes, with gravy and cheese sauce. We figured we could talk Haley into eating some chicken but she declined. So Marci made her a faux chicken patty (made of soy, I think), and she wouldn't eat that either. She barely ate her broccoli and her potatoes and now she's upset and inconsolable.

Marci and I are perplexed. Haley was always a good eater. She loved to munch on steak when we had it. She loved turkey burgers. Now she won't even eat yogurt in the mornings. It's quite frustrating.

We've taken her to the dr. and the dr. didn't seem too phased about it. I think she thought it was a phase and Haley would come out of it.

I had a chat with Haley yesterday and she said things taste funny, or they hurt her teeth, or her brain doesn't work, or she's tired. She has an excuse for everything. Then, when she's hungry, she gets completely rude and unreasonable. We just ask her to try, but she says she can't. Then she mouths off and is just unbearable.

Right now she's hysterical and trying to calm down. Then she'll ask for something to eat and now she's screaming again. I just took her to her room and she's saying how "Mommy and Daddy just don't want me anymore" and how we don't love her.

What's most frustrating is that she KNOWS what she needs to do. Too tired? Take a nap! She refuses. She's hungry? Try eating! No thanks.

It's insane and ridiculous and we don't know what to do. Child psychologist? Nutritionist? Eating boot camp?


Monday, March 17, 2008

Gym Log

For those who care, I worked out last night. Did Trainer Bob's Cardio Max from On Demand.

What have I noticed since I've started working out?
  1. The workouts are getting easier. I don't feel like dying when I'm done.
  2. Jumping lunges are still a huge downer.
  3. I feel good in that I am doing something about my ever expanding waist line.
  4. I'm not sore anymore the next day.
  5. That's about it.
I haven't weighed myself, but I'm pretty sure nothing in that department has changed. I think I'd be well served to maybe change my diet a little. I don't think I eat too much portion wise, but I think what I eat could be improved. Perhaps instead of a bagel with cream cheese every morning, I should eat fruit and something. And maybe the cereal (with nonfat milk!) at 10:00pm or later should stop as well?

I should probably increase the intensity of workouts as well. I think more than 2 times a week would be beneficial. Duh.

Anyway, I'll see if I'm up for the challenge tonight. Tune in and find out!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gym Log

Real quick. I have still been working out. This week I worked out Monday and Tuesday. Last week it was Sunday and Thursday. The week before that I think it was Sunday and Wednesday. So I'm at about twice a week. I'd like to be at 3 times a week, and I'm not sure if I should count last night's gig as a workout. I did sweat, but I didn't really "work out", per se.

Looking back over the blog, it looks like I've been at it on a few times a week basis for 2 months now.

That's pretty cool, huh?

Last night at the Swiss

In a word? Horrible!

We were asked by our friends in the Sugarcane Mutiny to play a show with them at the Swiss in Tacoma. The bad was that it was on a Thursday, but the good was that it was in Tacoma and we usually get a few of the Bros. friends/family to come out. Rounding out the bill was a band from Olympia called the Hard Way, featuring a guy named Scott that I used to know from way back in the Ethyl days.

Anyway, I got there about 7:30 and loaded in. The Swiss is the oldest club in Tacoma, or something like that. I forget what the signs said. But the place was HUGE. One side was the bar and dining area. The middle was the stage and HUGE watching area/eating area. The other side was the HUGE mini-bar and billiards room. So, when you get three HUGE places together you have a lot of space. Sadly, we didn't have a HUGE amount of people. But, when your expectations are low, the disappointment isn't as much anymore, right?

I met a few of Sean's friends, as well as a few members of the other bands. We got to chatting about other musical experiences and I must've jinxed our gig because I mentioned how we never play poorly, but will have bad gig experiences from time to time. Well, last night, to a man, we played poorly.

We got on the Swiss' huge stage, complete with lights (hot ass lights!) and rotating light-shape show. The sound was a little suspect, though, but we weren't sure if it was due to the soundguy or the fact that the stage room was BUILT OF BRICKS AND GLASS. Plus, the main speakers hanging in the corners of the room were angled in, which made for a really direct sweet spot, so, if you weren't in said spot, everything sounded muddy and garbled.

So we started playing and for the first 1/2 of the song, I felt pretty good. Then, sometime in the second verse, the mistakes started happening. I won't name names, but let's just say we were all a bit out of it. I was hitting wrong notes (even on songs I practiced the night before!), we were forgetting to sing parts, we were missing entrances in the middle of songs. Ugh.

This crap continued throughout the night. I think of all our 12 songs or so, there was maybe one or two that were worth hearing again. Otherwise, forget it all.

Luckily, where we stunk up the joint, Jess' band the Sugarcane Mutiny got on stage and did quite well. They were solid, if not flashy, and played a long set of good ol' rock and roll.

I left shortly before the end of SM's set as I had to work today, so, regrettably I missed the Hard Way's set. But, if it was anything like Scott's old band the Splinters, it would've been an energetic and melodic show.

Overall, I guess if this is the first lousy performance we've had, then we've had a pretty good run. We were able to laugh about it afterwards, and even on stage, but we don't ever want that to happen again.

For now, we're gonna take about a month off. Chris and Sean both have some aches and pains that need rest, so rest is what they're going to do. I, knock on wood, am the epitome of stellar health and will be rushing headlong into rehearsals with the Scheme starting next week. We will see how that goes; I haven't played with them since August, I think. David wants to keep things going and I may as well since I'll have some Lunds down time.

Next up: Scheme rehearsal!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Last night at the Skylark

Our last gig was on December 14th at the Skylark. Since then, we rehearsed 3 times. I set up a gig for last night back at the Skylark and here's the recap.

I showed up at the Skylark and loaded in. I ran into Scott Sutherland of Doll Test (and Llama and the Riffbrokers and many other bands), who was sporting a snazzy red shirt under a sport coat. I almost didn't recognize him because he'd lost a lot of weight since last I saw him in December.

I made the rounds, saw Nick from the aforementioned Riffbrokers, his wife Heather (who plays bass in several bands, as well as the I Love Myselfs, who were to open the show), Eric from the ILMs, and many many more. Sean was there and I helped him load in as he's got a bad toe and is limited in what he can do.

(L to R) Eric, Jason (obscured), Heather of the I Love Myselfs

Anyway, the show got underway with the ILMs first. It was Eric on guitar and vocals, Heather on bass and Jason (who plays bass with the Small Change) on drums. They had a real garage-y, indie rock thing going. It was quite entertaining. Eric has this big guy, bald head, goatee thing going on. Looks menacing, but he's a very sweet guy. He has great stage presence as well; he and his black SG looked great on stage and moved like a rock star. They did a couple of covers, which the Seafair pirates in attendance seemed to love. They were fun and we will probably hook up with them again in the near future.

We got up there next and ripped through our set. I felt good getting up there because I'd set up my amp earlier in the day at home and dialed in some good tones. Trouble was, I didn't practice all of the songs and on the opener, Sean's "Empty Room", I hit a couple of turds.

I was hoping that I wouldn't experience any "leg fatigue" on stage since I've been such a work-out fiend lately. I didn't experience any, but I don't know if it's because of the working out or not. So my legs felt fine, but my fingers were a little slow. Plus, no callouses due to lack of playing and, a few songs into the set, my fingers were throbbing. Luckily, I manned up and played through the pain.

So overall, from 1 to 10, I think we got a 7 or so. Each of us had some patches of imperfection, but for the lack of practices, it wasn't too bad. People seemed to enjoy it quite a bit and really let us know at the end of the night with some kind words.

(L to R) Nick, Graham, Scott of Doll Test

Next up was Scott's band, the Doll Test. They had this jangly, rock, singer/songwriter style thing going on. I liked it a lot. Scott is also quite the frontman, which I was surprised about because in the other bands I've seen him in, he hasn't been the focus. His songs were like little stories and they were told with a great sense of humor. Especially good was a song about his future self. Not sure of the title, but it was really well done.

I got to talk to DT's bassist, Boyd, after the show, who is a dead ringer for Chris Daughtry, only without the "badass" attitude. He was a nice guy and we swapped kid stories (he had a kid 6 months ago) and were like anti-rock musicians.

After the show, it was superb mingling with Ryan and Wesley from the Young Sportsmen, as well as Scott and his friend John. We got lots of props from the other bands and people in the crowd. Everyone wants to hook up again, but we're gonna take a break for a bit to take care of some medical issues in the band.

It was great to get back on the horse. We are on it again on Thursday in Tacoma at the Swiss. See you then.