Monday, August 31, 2009

Working on music right now.

Re-arranging and re-recording "Great Divide" for 2 guitars so it can be played with Red River Day Care. I was worried it wouldn't translate as well since there are 3-4 guitars going on in the original version, but it sounds really really good! Coming together quite easily.

Last night went to the Friends Sunday blues jam to play some bass. Good to see Erin Jaimes and the gang (Scotty, Paul Webb, Doug Day, etc). Haven't gone to play it in 2 months or so, ever since getting the King's X hookup. Trent and Amber (Amber Lucille, Full Stride, old SGC bandmates) even came out later, that was awesome. Have never played bass with them, heh. Hung with them and Doug for a bit at the SRV statue after closing time, very nice night.

Friday night went out bar-hopping, my first time on Red River since Room 710 closed down. The Sword playing a sold out show at Mohawk. Weedeater and Dixie Witch at Red 7. Broken Teeth and High Watt Crucifixers at Emo's. Busy night. Didn't see too many of the usual suspects. Bumped into Jim (Amp Heat) walking up Red River, hung with him alot of the night. Red 7 inside turned into kind of a game room, can't remember last time I was there. Emo's looked much the same.

My first time seeing Dixie Witch with JT on guitar instead of Clayton. Holy shit! Have been wondering if after 10 years maybe Dixie Witch was past their prime, but man they are stronger than ever. Clayton is Clayton (a bad motherfucker), but JT def brings a different energy and hams it up more. Great addition.

Iron Age @ Red 7. Dug em, VERY tight


JT Drunk-Witch rocks in his socks

High Watt Crucifixers were fucking awesome, my first time seeing them. Them and DW def made me think "Man, maybe I'm playing the wrong shit!" heh. I love that feeling. Weedeater fucking slayed as usual. Dixie Dave (bass/vox) had a 5 gallon Home Depot bucket next to the mic stand just in case he threw up (his vocal style often causes him to do so). During Dixie Witch some drunk idiot tried to stage dive but instead belly-flopped onto the conrete. Then tried to start a fight with some guy, who finally popped the drunk before security broke it up. Drunk thrown out. Not the show for that man, everyone else was there to have a good time. Later wound up next to the other guy and stuck up a conversation. He's Shaggy from Bay of Pigs. Listed off the bands I play in and he said "I have a Southern Gun Culture CD in my car right now!" Said they were playing Sunday @ Darwin's, would have liked to be there but didnt make it. Missed Broken Teeth @ Emo's watching Weedeater. Well shit.

High Watt Crucifixers

Drunk guy (L) gets a much-deserved punch in the face

Dixie Dave of the mighty WEEDEATER

Saturday night went to Headhunter's for DJ Molly Ringworm, a tongue-in-cheek rave thing that our bro Michael Motorcycle has been doing. This time was old Metallica songs re-did by him as instrumental Depeche Mode-esque synth pop, him decked out in a hula outfit with blue DayGlo body paint and a blacklight. Good times! Hung with Chris (Splithoof) and Triniti Young (710 coffe table book partner), shot the shit with J and Kristen from Sabbath Crow.

DJ Molly Ringworm

Afterwards took Chris and Triniti to Eric Tessmer's "after party" (supposed to play that night at BD Rileys, after party planned, show cancelled, party held anyway). Slow night at Chez Tessmer, just his roommate and some of their friends, watching YouTube videos and drinking beer. We arrive with Jim Beam and wine. Since he lives around Slaughter and Manchaca thought better of opening my Jim Beam since I still had to drive. Good times tho, watched more YouTube videos and talked gear. Partying like rock stars, aw yeah.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Awesome. Had the first jam with Gian and Brandon for Red River Day Care yesterday.

Sounded good, went well. They seem really into it. Worked on "Laguna Madre", "Cuauhtemoc" and "Sidewinder" ( Will have to tab the bassline for "Great Divide" for Gian, pretty all-over-the-place. Weird hearing these songs played by other people, heh! Am used to hearing them a certain way and will be giving some direction, but at the same time I don't want to step on too many toes and not let them sound like themselves. Haven't heard back from Adrian Conner yet. Thinking of some other guitar players just-in-case cause I know she's busy as hell, but still my main choice for obvious reasons (check out Adrian and the Sickness live, seriously).

Today posted a "bass seeking session work" ad on Craigslist, see if I get any nibbles. Bills to pay, and session work is something to really look into as a bass player. Also responded to a CL from someone in Richmond VA trying to put together an online magazine. Sounded worth looking into.

Editing pics from the King's X tour right now to (finally) post in this blog, will throw some up on myspace/dannygrocks as well. Tonight will probably go see Weedeater and Dixie Witch at Red 7, maybe see what I can of The Sword at Mohawk. Or stand outside and listen, heh.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home. Finally unwinding and getting settled back in.

Went running with Gina and Nacho this morning, that felt great. Got me more focused, that's for sure. Slept like shit. Again woke in the night not knowing where I was for a bit. Bedroom fan and AC made me think I was in my bunk on the King's X bus right before I fell asleep, woke me back the fuck up. Monday night I woke pawing at the nightstand not knowing where I was.

Played drums for a bit, guitar for an hour + and ran over some Eric Tessmer stuff on bass. But BD Riley's has been canceled for this weekend. Suck. But Eric's after-party will still happen, heh! Might as well.

Hope to hear back from Gian Ortiz (bass, Amplified Heat) here soon re: jamming tomorrow around noon. Brandon Burke (drums, Son Of Fire) is down, at the very least I'll bring him over and jam in the dining room. Trying to get Red River Day Care rolling, not sure this music will even work live. Need to find out, and soon. Haven't heard back from Adrian Conner (guitar, Hell's Belles/Adrian and the Sickness) about her availability for September yet. Need to think of some "plan B" guitarists just in case, as she is very busy.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Showered and all my road laundry is almost done. Still waiting for Gina to get home from work. Haven't seen her in 3 weeks.

Doldrums already kind of setting in... sort of wandering around the house wondering what I should do. Put my shit away and got laundry going as something to do. Need to stay busy and stay focused, got alot going on.

That and I need to go running and working out ASAP. Bottomless cases of free Corona and post-show pizzas every night (thank you Tazz!!!) on the bus got me feeling a little flabby. Checked the scale and I'm up to 170 from the lower 160's... damn.

May have an introductory Red River Day Care jam on Thurs, still checking schedules. Will need to practice guitar tomorrow for sure. Eric Tessmer wants to practice Friday before the Saturday BD Riley's show, so I'll need to practice bass as well.

Day 20 -- heading home, tour over

Been driving all night from Nashville, en route as I type. Will be good to be home. Have one more run with King's X for 2nd half of September, have alot to do in the next 3 weeks while I'm home.

To Do list:

-Get with Triniti and Asher and continue preliminary work on the Room 710 coffee table book

-Talk to Dean Markley re: string endorsement

-Talk to Brandon and Gian Ortiz re: starting Red River Day Care jams.

-Call Scott Reeder re: recording at his studio if Brant Bjork is involved. Know I can't afford it, but if I have a budget to send to prospective labels, might generate a little interest... Talked to Ty about his studio but he does more mastering now instead of tracking

-Get Troy Lucketta's info from J Rab and look into that.

-Shandon Sahm is working on doing a show or 2 in Amsterdam around Nov 6th for Doug Sahm's birthday. Just waiting for confirmation and how much plane tix will be.

-Keep my ear to the ground for bill-paying projects and worthwhile things, also try to write some new music.

-Have one show with Eric Tessmer, sounds like he wants to practice. Will miss the next Mother Truckers Antone's show in Sept, out with King's X again.

Day 19 -- Nashville TN, Mercy Lounge

Jester's show was alright. Almost ran off with another bands' casters. Standing at the merch table with Wilson noticed something on top of Ty's rack before bands started to play. 4 brand new casters...? Seemed to recall the sound guy (BB) joking about getting us some casters for Ty's stricken cases. Assumed they were them and put them with my stuff. Helping 2nd band load off stage they were asking around looking for the guitar players' casters. I went and got them, gave them back and said "You're not supposed to put anything on Ty's rack." *shrugs*

Wilson hard at work @ Jesters in Fayetteville

Rob from LTP @ Jester's

Greg from LPT @ Jester's

Had to load out in the rain but no big deal. Tropical downpour before doors opened but luckily after I had walked to get Chinese food.

But the real show was afterwards on the drive to Nashville. This would be the big blowout night since this will be the last full night on the bus with the crew. J Rab was already in peak form, still partying for his birthday. So once we were done the stupidity commenced. Him and Wilson could have been a vaudeville act. The "safe word" in the back lounge was 'nutsack'. I think we all pulled some gut muscles laughing so hard. But Ty also made sure to tell me he's really happy with my handling of his gear: "I don't hae to worry about anything not working." Awesome! Will post incriminating pics when I can.

It was all downhill from here, driving to Nashville. JRab, Jerry and Ty

The JRab and Wilson Show!

Yeah, this one says it all.

Stayed up drinking all night and still woke up at 10am. First shower in 3 days, boy I needed it. The Mercy Lounge this cool old brick buliding a stone's throw from downtown and Broadway St. Some weird mini Beattles convention downstairs when we rolled in. Vendors and booths and a Beattles tribute band playing, quite good.

The Mercy Lounge, Nashville TN

When loaders arrived some prick parked blocking the load in ramp to put his merch into his SUV, neglecting the fact that the front stairs would have been a more direct route and the big fucking trailer with 6 people lugging big ass roadcases, but "we" were the pricks.

Cool upstairs room, all wood rafters and hardwood floor. Small stage but not too bad. Mark from Lava Cables gave Dug and Ty some samples, instru cable felt good but not long enough for gigging (Ty needs a 25' footer). After soundcheck marvelled at all the young college girls going to church downstairs. Nice dynamic with the big Satanic tour bus in the parking lot. Went to Flying Saucer for dinner, good bar food.

Just King's X and Last Percect Thing tonight, yay. LPT sounded great, whole room and system sounded good. Decent crowd, but the room filled up by King's X. Great show, crowd really into it. Met Mark Corrabi from Motely Crue. Afterwards schmoozed with Troy Lucketta (Tesla) about playing bass on his new project (I'd have to go to Nashville tho, heh).

JRab and John Corrabi

Good last night, damn are we done? This run went by pretty quick. Had long goodbyes in the parking lot: LPT heading back to Jersey, the bus heading back to Katy, Wilson and Jerry departing tonight for a bus ride and plane flight respectively. Lots of group shots. Good times, good people.

With Rob, Dasher and Greg, Last Perfect Thing

with JRab, Jerry and Tazz

Dug gives Jan and Tazz the finger

Which spread like wildfire

Last full family shot: Ty, Jan, JRab, me, Jerry, Tazz, Wilson, Zach, Dug and Gary (driver)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 18 -- Fayetteville NC, Jester's

Dreamt a bunch of weird shit this morning, slept fitfully. Dreamt that Tool was playing this big weird theater, doing a set like a ritual in an Egyptian temple. Wondered what the set looked like from the theater balcony. J Rab was playing one of the many drumsets onstage. Then was walking and fell into this big open sewer pit on the stage. Never heard him hit the bottom. Stage workers were trying to rescue him, almost getting stuck into it themselves, one helping the other out. Both covered in shit. I wanted to help but didn't know how. Dreamt that Gina had not cleaned the litter boxes or house since I was gone, litter boxes filled up and litter all over the floor. Think I even put off being intimate to go clean the kitchen, weird. Dreamt some other things I now can't recall. Damn bus internet, would have written sooner but was acting pissy.

Jester's seems like a cool place, more up Ironclad's (one of my bands) alley. Good sized stage, square as opposed to rectangle. Just did soundcheck, about to go eat. Have not eaten all day.

Day 17 -- Marietta GA, The Local

So last night went out with the Last Perfect Thing guys to Twain's Brew Pub for beer/dinner. Cool place, good food and beer. New guys (Rob and Dasher) are nice dudes. Feeling a little out-of-sorts, wish I'd been in more of a party mood. Went back to the bus with them then went with Greg (LPT) and Tazz to a place called Masquerade. VERY cool place, like an old castle insde. All rough stone and wooden plank doors/stairs. Two bars downstairs ("Purgatory" and "Hell") and a large venue upstairs. Tazz said that tonight one side had 80's music, the other had ghetto transvestites. We were a little dissapointed, no trannies. Heh!

The Masquerade, Atlanta GA

Tazz knew the staff and had us drinking for free, many Blacktooth Grins in honor of Dime's birthday (his self-invented drink of choice, Crown with a spritz of Coke on top). Met Racey from Dope/Wednesday 13. Greg was talking to Adrian Ballew's daughter. Kind of a slow night with the rain but still a good time. Introduced Greg to Waffle House on the way back. The waitress that night did not disapoint, heh!

Woke up and stayed in a weird mood all day, think I am just ready to go home. The Local is kind of a cool place, big sports bar with a goddam beer truck in the middle, bar constructed around it. Panel part used as a storage cooler. Cool side room for the venue, pictures of bands I couldn't identify along the walls. Was cloudy all day and threatening rain for load in. Had helpers to negotiate the stairs. After soundcheck Ty sat in the back lounge of the bus giving a live radio interview to a station in Boston I believe. Came out of the back with a big smile, saying they still do "King's X Day" at the Berkley School of Music. "They've been doing that for 20 years! If we actually KNEW what we were doing, they wouldn't be studying our music, heh!" Nice!

Was J Rab's birthday so he was already hitting the bar with some bros. At the bar saw a guy wearing a Mother Truckers shirt...! Talked to him and he instantly recognized me, introducing me to his friends wife "Yeah, he signed this shirt RIGHT HERE!!!" pointing to his chest. Awesome! Small effing world.

Fixed the intonation on Greg's (LPT) Tele. A saddle screw fell out before the VA Beach show, he had me tale a look and found it and the screw still inside his case. I produced a Phillip's head and fixed it lickety split (he thought it was gone for good!). He thanked me profusely and apologized the same for bugging me during dinner, heh. No biggie, Greg's a cool guy. Anytime! Got the intonation corrected no problemo. He again thanked me profusely and apologized the same (brought the case over just as I was handed my dinner, heh!).

Dinner was from the bar, not too good. Weird chicken sandwich with a stale baked potato w/nothing on it, shriveled green beans and a wrinkled piece of garlic bread. Big turnaround from Twain's Brew Pub last night. Already a good crowd for first band, Last Perfect Thing got a great reception as well.

King's X went on to a sold out crowd, one of the best of the last 2 tours! Older brunette lady up front doing the Xena warrior princess trill, the WHOLE SET. Holy cow. Laughed about it with Ty between songs: "She's been coming to see us for 20 years and does that EVERY TIME!" Crazy.

The Local, Marietta GA

Had to load out in the rain. Nice. Hung with LPT and J Rab at the bar, J Rab had a good birthday drunk going and one of the LPT things guys was pretty far gone. All in all a pretty good night despite some PA problems, tho I felt pretty out of sorts. Shit on my mind.

Had cake on the bus for the birthday tech, good little party. Stayed up late watching Deadwood with Wilson as we drove thru the night to North Carolina.

Happy Birthday JRab!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dammit! Turns out I slept thru a bank robbery next door.

At about noon Jan was walking at the strip mall across the street when a cop car sped up to him and stopped, the cop to a long look at Jan, then tore off. Soon after Tazz called him and said the bank just got knocked off and that we should all "be cool" just as the helicopter is flying over and he sees 5 squad cars at the bank.


Felt weird taking pics of the bank in question until after the sun went down...

Day 16 -- Atlanta GA (day off)

Woke up past 1pm, holy crap. Didn't stay up THAT late.

Woke for a bit around 8:30am (hot, hall AC still not fixed) but went back to sleep and dreamed a bunch of stuff I can't remember now. Something about meeting up with Tommy Southard (Solace) somewhere and he brought his girl Jen with him whom I've not yet met and didn't get to talk to. She's covered in awesome tattoos in real life and the dream. Another dream about my wife which is none of your business, heh. Another about walking along Red River in Austin, looking in Headhunter's to see if any friends were there but didn't recognize anyone. Bunch of other things I can't remember. Must have needed the REM sleep. Also remember waking up bonking my head on the ceiling of my bunk. Don't think that's happened this trip yet.

Day off next to the Sleep Inn somewhere are Atlanta. Too hot to take a walk, watching TV with Wilson and Jan.

Last night was awesome. Like I said Amos' South End a great venue run by great people. Also a good, hungry crowd. First band pro and really good. Female singer who vocally reminds me a lot of Deanna (Velvet Brick), but totally diff energy. A little melodramatic for my tastes but pulled it off. Right arm sleeved out in cool tattoos. Last Perfect Thing had a replacement bass and guitar, other guys had to work. Good set tho, new guys very nice and friendly. All those guys are cool.

King's X went on to an awesome crowd, just about packed the place out. Very vocal and enthusiastic. Show smooth and great, save for a monitor problem that J Rab quickly fixed. Good sized stage for them, J Rab said. More of a square than a rectangle, plenty of room behind amps as well.

Afterwards went with J Rab and LPT guys to the Gin Mill, bar next door. Karoake, some nice looking girls, and us rowdy lot. J Rab tore it up on "Every Rose Has a Thorn", great Brett Michaels on that guy. Wilson and Tazz soon joined us at the bar. One of the LPT guys took a shot at the nice looking girls, turns out they are the anchors from a TV station. Needless to say he didn't get lucky, heh.

Chilled on the bus after closing time, watched some UTF reality show but I was falling asleep. Definitely did not stay up all night.

Zach, Jerry and Wilson spread the love

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 15 -- Charlotte NC, Amos' South End

Man Amos' is a nice place, sounds like it was recently rennovated. Nice big stage, good sound system, high ceiling with a balcony around most of the venue. Plenty of loaders, sounded great onstage. Right now already a crowd. But yeah, another caster coming off one of Ty's cabinet cases, the one that's already missing a wheel. Go figure.

Been feeling out of sorts all day, hangover from last night. Guess I drank a few with J Rab when I got back to the bus as well. Took a long nap this afternoon, don't usually do that. Dreamt I was sitting in the front passenger of the bus and there was a skylight. Bout the only dream I've had lately.

Think I'm getting a little burned out, don't feel like walking around, taking pictures or writing. Nice downtown tho, looks like alot of condos are going up in Charlotte as well as Austin. Haven't had to say anything to any opening bands lately so that's good. But did have to tell the drummer from Last Perfect Thing (Kevin) not to use Ty's fan (on drumriser), not that I can ever position that damn thing in the right spot anyway. Not sure who felt worse, him for having moved it or me for having to say something, heh!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 14 -- Charlotte NC (day off)


After a leisurely day off went out with Nate and Mark from the band Husky. Good dudes, great catching up with them. Met em in person at Stoner Hands of Doom IV festival in 2007. Goes to show posting on discussion forums isn't a total waste of time, have met some great people there. But had 5 more beers on top of the 5 I had before dinner. Something anchor was the name of the bar. Cool little part of Charlotte.

Nate and Mark from Husky

Last night went pretty well. Peppermint Beach Club not so great a venue, but show went great. Good crowd, no sound problems. But had to crouch next to Ty's rig, no other room onstage. Procured 2 pencils from the house cook, as some of the strings are "sticking" in the nut. You can use the pencils to "lube" the nut as the pencil "lead" is high in graphite. In Poughkeepsie sprayed some contact cleaner into the volume pot to remedy some scratchiness. The Guilford is giving me more trouble than the custom guitar Ty was using last tour. Have a way better handle at loading new strings, but still not sold on the bridge cinfiguration. Strings seem real loosey-goosey on the saddles, but Ty is never out of tune.

Peppermint Beach Club, Virgina Beach CA

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 13 -- Virginia Beach VA, Peppermint Beach Club

Just took a walk along the beach. Probably went to this beach in my childhood (raised in Norfolk) but nothing looks in any way familiar. Venue pretty small and tiny stage. We'll see how it goes. They had to move some of the lights so they would point at Dug and Ty rather than the tops of their heads... But damn. We have to head to Charlotte tonight so Ty's lady can fly back home. Would have been AWESOME to have the day off here tomorrow. Beach party!!!

Zach made sure to ride this thing at the nearby amusement park.

Family portrait: Jan (FOH), J Rab, me, Wilson, Zach

Come showtime, this is pretty much how I felt!

As for last night, what a difference a working PA makes. Yesterday in Poughkeepsie was much better than the previous night.

The Chance is this weird old 1920's theater with balcony and gilded ceiling. Weird shape but it works. Downtown Poughkeepsie seems quaint but is pretty rundown, lotta shady characters out and about. Load in thru a trash-littered brick alley. Plenty of helpers tho. Tagged the back load in door and stuck an Ironclad sticker on the electric meter housing next to a Red Giant sticker.

Poughkeepsie NY

The Chance Theater

Show went without a hitch, good crowd too. Not as good as previous night, but at least everything fucking worked. But ran into a snag trying to leave the club. Gary and Tazz spent literally an hour inching the bus/trailer back and forth, having to get the angle just right to the millimeter due to this fucking pole. He finally had all crew get out and help push the trailer. Yes, we had to jack the trailer up and push it sideways a few inches to get it past said pole. When we finally managed Tazz wrote on it with a silver Sharpie: "I FUCKING HATE YOU." Evidently he's had trouble with that pole many times in the past.