Saturday, August 27, 2016

I played the IPO last night, here's a recap.

The Scheme 2.0 played the Skylark Cafe last night as part of the International Pop Overthrow. We were slotted second on a bill with 5 other bands. Here's how it went.

First up was Jason Berk. He was solo, with an electric guitar and some hooky, melodic tunes. Really nice voice and talented guitar player. He came up from LA to play the show. I would have liked to have heard him with a full band; I'm not sure if he plays with one in LA or not, but he was really really good.

The Scheme went next and it was a blast. Getting on stage with my old pals Gregg, Brett and David was fantastic. All three guys are excellent musicians and performers and I loved all of it. We started with a song that David, Gregg and I recorded (Brett added vocals and guitar recently), called Met With The World, and booked right through it.

I was playing through a Yamaha amp that I couldn't really get dialed in. It was distorting hard and I had a hard time hearing it on stage. I was told it sounded good out front, though, so I'll just have to trust that it did.

It was a ton of fun singing David's old songs again, and playing alongside those guys. The set was over way too fast!

Following us was Stay Up, a little trio from Portland. The Navins had played with them a few months ago at the Funhouse. They were OK. I think more seasoning will do them well. They could also use a second guitarist and some backing vocals.

David and Brett's other band, the Pop Cycle, played next. They were on fire! I've seen them several times and I think it was the best they'd ever played. All songs, vocals, instruments sounded great! Jim was on point with his bass playing, and Paul was simply excellent on drums. I really enjoyed David's new songs, New Band and Comeback, as well as Brett's oldies that I remember from the Starchief days. Both David and Brett said playing in the Scheme earlier warmed them up for the PC performance.

After Pop Cycle was a quartet of hipsters called Colorworks. They had shorts on, trendy hair and glasses, and if I based it on looks alone, I would have disliked them immensely. However, as they started playing, they won me over. They were SUPER TIGHT and they were all excellent musicians. The bassist was a tiny little dude on a yellow Jazz bass, with uncomfortably short jeans shorts on, but he was a MFer on the bass and he sang great as well. The other singer played his giant hollowbody guitar right under his armpit, and he was also excellent. The entire band was great, sang impeccably and played some wonderful songs. I really liked them a lot.

Closing the night was a 5 piece with the strange name of General Mojo's. Four guys and a girl. I was gonna leave, but the frontwoman had a floor tom with Indiana Jones on it, so I had to stick around and listen.

I'm so glad I did.

Heather fronted the band, played percussion and shared vocals with the bassist (on a Thunderbird!) named Dune. They did some proggy, funky stuff and they were incredible. The band was tight, the musicianship was incredible and the harmonies were so, so sweet.

Heather and Dune had really awesome stage presence and they played off each other well. The percussion Heather added was so good and timely and really on point. Dune played bass and sang like a champ. And the rest of the band (guitar, keys/sax and drums) was simply excellent. I can't say enough about how great this band was.

It's rare that a 3 band bill has 3 great bands. In a case of 6 bands, I'd think it was even more rare. However, last night at the Skylark, David Bash of IPO did a really nice job of putting together an excellent bill. Here's hoping the next two nights are just as good.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Scheme, 2.0!

Many moons ago, I played in a power trio called the Scheme. 3 mid-thirties guys playing power pop once a week or so, with an occasional gig thrown in for good measure. Over the time we played, 3 babies (all boys) were born and life went on.

We never broke up, but sort of petered out as the lives within the band did indeed go on. David had 2 sons, Gregg had a son, and I was just me (already had the kids).

I think we hooked up in 2007 originally, and just practiced and played. As our lives went on with our jobs, the band started taking a back seat.

In the meantime, the Lund Bros sort of died quietly and I started playing with the Navins. David moved on as well and hooked up with a band called the Pop Cycle, fronted by an old bandmate of mine, Brett Richards. Gregg started playing with a band called Service Animal and we were all back in the game.

We've seen each other at our respective shows and always kept in touch. Back in 2011, the Scheme had done some recordings at Johnny Sangster's studio, but they were just rhythm tracks. David finally got around to finishing them and said he'd like to get the band back together, do a couple of shows.

For the past few weeks, I've been meeting the guys, David, Gregg and Brett, up in the Northgate area for rehearsals. They've been going quite well. We're doing 8 songs or so, and with Brett in the mix to spice things up, the band sounds great. Gregg is such a different drummer than Corey; he plays with power and chops. He's loud, too. When I went to Navins practice the other night, Corey was so quiet, it seemed like he wasn't there.

We're playing the good ol' International Pop Overthrow in a week at the Skylark. Been there, done that, but it's gonna be a lot of fun with this band and playing some oldies but goodies. We have another show lined up and I'm sort of hoping we can keep it going for a bit. This is a good band and I think people would love to hear it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Look Who's Back!

A trip to the DOL and $38 gets me my plates back. Now I feel complete!

Monday, August 01, 2016

The Jetta: one week later

I think this new car is a hit. I feel like my favorite part of my day is when I get in the car to go to work, or when I get in the car to go home. I am looking for a new radio online, maybe one that can do navigation, but the OEM one is upwards of $1500.


There are some OEM looking radios on eBay and the like, and have bluetooth, but they don't offer satellite radio. Now that I have my free XM, I'm loathe to not have it. However, if and when the previous owner cancels her sub for me, maybe I'll look into it. The cracks on the radio knobs are annoying me.

I keep forgetting to bring a Sharpie with me to see about "painting" the window buttons and the bezel around the shifter. Apparently you can replace the MKV shifter bezel with one from a MKVI. Hmm.

Everything seems to be running great. Mileage is excellent so far. Power is strong, especially when in Sport mode. In reading, I found something about an inaccurate speedometer on the MKVs, so I tested mine today. GPS app on phone, drove 60 on the car and the phone indicated about 56-57mph. I've been feeling like I've been driving fast in the GLI, like 75 or more, only to be passed by everyone else.

Evidently it's a known thing, called a speed buffer, that VW did to their cars. I guess there's a hack on the climate system that will show me the true sped reading. I'll mess with that tomorrow.

I just love this car. I love how it sparkles in the sun. I love how the flat bottom steering wheel feels in my hands. I am gonna look into getting the LILDRGN plates back on it tomorrow, with a visit to the DOL.

In the meantime, here's a picture.

I'm hoping to get the windows tinted, fix the cosmetics inside (window switches, shifter bezel, radio buttons) and maybe upgrade the radio. That's about it. We'll see how it goes.