Took another mental health day yesterday, was my first day off since last week.
The Kevin McKinney thing at Antone's on Sunday was a blast. It was his 40th Birthday party and a benfit jam. Topaz & Mudphonic were there (they opened for the Truckers few Sat's back), great band. Their drummer got up to sing "Warpigs" and kicked it's ass! Didn't realize that guy could sing, let alone pull off a convincing Ozzy. As for Shandon's band, it was him, me and Gary (drums). I brought a guitar and bass, just in case. Wound up doing three Sir Doug songs with Kevin. Started with "Mendocino" w/Kevin on guitar, and me trying to figure out the bassline on the fly, heh.
Then him and I switched for "You Never Get Too Big" and "She's About a Mover." Kevin had a strobe tuner which confused me (luckily the 79 Iceman was in tune right out of the case, even with new string... LOVE that guitar!) and blackface Fender Super Reverb which hitting a E chord made all my hair stand up. WOW. This amp sounded utterly amazing! Made my job that much easier, heh. Man it felt great to play guitar again. Haven't played guitar live since Ironclad's last show about 3 months ago, and barely have time to touch the thing at home. Earlier that day I made sure that day to refresh as much of the music as I could, and tried to write some cool new solo parts. But it made me think of a cool Charlie Parker quote I'd read earlier that day:
"You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail."
No shit. Got up their and just let it rip. Having an amp that good made my job that much easier, didn't have to wrestle with dynamics or pick attack. Whatever I told the guitar to do, the amp responded exactly the way I wanted. Improvised a lot of the solo parts and pulled it off, even playing new licks I've never played before and wasn't sure where they came from, but there they were! Awesome. Now that Shandon is off tour with the Meat Puppets (he became their official new/old drummer few months back, so good for him!) we'll be doing more shows. Will just have to work around Tessmer's schedule.
That and I need to call the Ironclad guys about doing some shows as well. We already have an offer from Deanna and Vixen Productions about doing a SXSW Tuesday kickoff party at Headhunters. Those are always a blast. The Mother Truckers have already been selected for a SXSW showcase as well. But I think Tessmer wants to be on the road for SXSW and out making money rather than playing for free. Which I totally see the reasoning behind. The one year Southern Gun Culture got the eff out of dodge for SXSW2003 we played some of the biggest shows we'd ever played due to all the band traffic coming to and from Austin, and didn't have to deal with parking the whole time.
Monday night at Friends was at least interesting. The band that always plays before us (damn, cant recall the name -- Casey on vox, JT something on guitar, Spanky on bass) had AJ from Thunderosa filling in on drums. Awesome! That guy is one hell of a drummer, one of the first people I called when Ironclad needed a new one. That and he plays with my bro Mike from Tucson on the rare instance his band Love Mound comes through town. Brought that CD with me on the WI Thanksgiving trip and everyone dug it.
Standing outside with Michael, some slightly homeless looking hippie walked right up unannounced and said: "Have you ever watched it snow when you're really really stoned?!?" Wow. That is one of the greatest lines I've ever heard from a homeless person. Me and Michael exchanged knowing looks, tried not to laugh, and let him continue. Talked about being at his apartment watching TV when the snow fell the other day. Then he asked us for 75 cents. Nice.
Our set went well, decent crowd and no bass amp issues (using TB-600). Bout 3 songs in some guy walks up to front of stage on Tessmer's side and started to juggle. And he knew how. It was amusing for about 3 seconds then I started getting pissed off by it. He is distracting us, he is distracting the crowd. WTF?!? I wouldn't go and start playing guitar in front of him while he was juggling for people on the street. Was about to jump offstage and tell him to take that shit to Esther's Follies but the door guy came to escort him out. He almost made a scene. Rest of the set went smooth, had people dancing so all good.
Playing Maggie Mae's tonight and Friends again on Thursday and Friday. Hope it starts picking up, been real slow and haven't been making much. That needs to change!