Saturday, November 28, 2009

Super 8 off I-70, Kansas City MO

No time to write but a lot to write down.

Show was OK last night. Wisconsin was something else. Amazing food and lots of it, tractor joyrides, drunken bowling alleys, cows and barns, all that and Tessmer's family is awesome. Had a great time, and got some amazingly constructive practice but will get to that. Bout to start the 12 hour drive back to Austin. Then a busy week: Monday @ Friends, Tuesday recording bass tracks, Wednesday @ Maggie Mae's, Thursday @ Antone's, Friday @ Friends, Saturday @ Maggie Mae's again, then Sunday is Shandon Sahm short set with Kevin McKinney from Soulhat doing some Sir Doug tunes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

House, 11:29am

Waiting for Tessmer's van to pick me up so we can drive straight to Wisconsin. We're playing this weekend in Kansas City MO and we'll be having Thanksgiving with his family in his hometown. I still don't know which town that is, heh.

Antone's w/The Truckers was amazing. Had Dug Pinnick from King's X get up and sing some blues on "Love Me Like A Man", then did some vocal trade-offs with Teal. Holy shit, she held her own against the mighty Dug. Awesome. This after I jumped offstage and rocked him and Adrian from Ironclad for my bass solo. Finale note of "Save My Soul" I broke a damn straplock. And not like came apart which those Schallers like to do... I broke the strap button off. Thought my strap came undone, which it does. Go to hook it back on and there was nothing to hook onto, just the screw. Other piece still in place on the strap. Wow. Thank the Gods of Rock I brought my backup Mexi Fender P-Bass. Grabbed my screwdriver from my road box and borrowed a strap button from it. Meanwhile Josh and Teal and playing with the words "broke a straplock" and turning them dirty. When I was done got on the mic and "I didn't break a straplock, I was breaking in my strap-on." I'll be here all week, ladies and gentlemen. Tip your barstaff.

But yeah, my SVT sounds weird and the speakers in my Isovent cab sound tired. Sounded fine last night thru the Fender TB-600, but it was getting farty towards the end. Hopefully doing Mondays/Wednesdays/Thursdays w/Tessmer will help pay for replacements. Three days a week at least of steady work, but variable pay. But steady work is just that. And it is work. Anyone who thinks that music isn't a real job can get bent. This IS a real job, and I am busting my ass to not only pay the bills but also hone my craft at the same time. Which means I gotta practice when I ain't playing -- taking work home with me on my days off.

Speaking of which, I hadn't touched a bass since Antone's on Saturday before last night. No warm ups either. But hands felt great, playing felt a little sloppy in parts but it was what it was.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Will keep it brief, have a busy day.

Have internet at the house today, will make use of it to hopefully post some pics. Lotta life changes going on I don't want to talk about. Went to RAZR13 last night, it was really cool. Saw that Room 710 has now reopened under the name Valhalla which I have to admit is pretty cool. Not sure how I feel about the building, stage is gone bar intact and looks like they spent all the money on the bathrooms. Good to hang with Dug, Jrab, Ryan13 and Trent at the Razr show. Great crowd and they sounded really good. Added Al Shire last minute as 2nd guitar. Then went to Honky at Red Eyed Fly afterwards. Great set and a packed house. Those guys always deliver. Will hopefully get pics from last night off camera today. Need to run over TMT music and take a nap before 5pm load in at Antone's. Really looking forward to the show, wish I had less on my mind right now. Wed and Thurs with Tessmer went alright. At Maggie Mae's we sounded good but played to no one, at Friends we were a little sloppy but had a better crowd. Made a little money both nights. Got a massage from Amber yesterday in trade for taking Amber Lucille Band promo shots earlier in the week. Already had posters printed using them. Gave me her Small Stone phaser pedal again, fixed it before but doing same thing now. She needs it for a Full Stride show tomorrow so I better get on that as well.

Gotta run


Shit shit shit. My bass cab does not sound so good any more. Using the backline 2x15 from Antone's tonight instead of mine, 50% louder and sounds better overall. Great. Need to replace the speakers but can't really afford new ones.

Hope I'm not wrestling with my tone all night, really want to kick some ass tonight. Dug Pinnick came to hang out during soundcheck, even tho we couldn't really play cause Pete the Beat could not get off work in time. More pressure, want to sound great in front of one of the true masters, heh! He'll be coming by later with Jrab and Trent. Sweet!

RAZR13 @ Dirty Dog

Honky @ Red Eyed Fly:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Van, 1:33pm.

Library is open today but it's such a loverly fall day out.

Got a text from Tessmer this morning saying that load in was at 9pm tonight. Wondered if his phone sent a text to the wrong person again, asked if the Wednesdays at Maggie Mae's downstairs began tonight. They did. He asked if I made up my mind to do Friends on Thursdays as well. I did and said I would. Cool, they start tomorrow. Steady work = awesome. Still keeping my ear to the ground for touring bands and session work, but a bird in the hand... The Mother Truckers practice tonight at 5pm, should have time to go home first before heading to Maggie's.

Got a lot of good bass practice in yesterday, want to have "Simple" ready for practice tonight and refreshing the other new TMT tunes and old stuff as well. Last night waiting for Deanna to get ready for the Velvet Brick show and Eric (bass) to pick us up put on some Grand Funk Live Album and jammed to that. Holy shit that is fun to play, "Paranoid" and "Mark Says Alright". Mel Schacher is the shit. Smoking a cigarette outside I looked down at my right wrist: a band-aid from guitar rash and a stamp from an amazing show on a Monday night. Made me feel very content about my life, despite my marital problems.

The Velvet Brick show @ Red Eyed Fly was cold as hell. Been in the low 40's last two nights, just in time for 2 outdoor shows, heh. Velvet Brick sounded amazing, one of the best sets I've ever seen them do. Makes me proud for them and of them. After I left in April 06 they had a lot of line up changes, bassists and drummers. Then the lead guitar player quit and they were down to a four-piece. When a lot of bands would have crumbled or turned into something else, they kept it going and kept it real. Not one song they played was around when I was in the band, that is awesome. Was talking to Nathan (VB drummer during my stint) after the show and he said the same thing. Lot of old friends, familiar faces and family out freezing their asses off on a Tuesday night.

Band after them was from LA, all I will say was that they were good but not. If that makes sense. Bullet Boys closed it and I was kind of confused by them. Recognized the singer but he was playing guitar as well, and quite well I might add. Only recognized the one song but wasn't paying attention at the time. Somehow we all wound up very trashed very quickly. I attributed it to going for a run earlier and only eating a bowl of cereal and a can of chicken/sausage gumbo soup all day. Grabbed two slices of Hoboken pie on the way to Headhunters for an impromptu after party. Helped. Which was good cause in all the drunkeness I wound up having to drive Eric's car back to Deanna's, as he was taking care of Rob their producer who was pretty far gone at this point. Well shit. Was fine to drive and glad I took the necessary precautions to sober the fuck up, rather than assume I was fine when really I was not... In general a fun night but got a little crazy at the end.

Will post pics in the next few days: need to edit and post ALS Walk, haven't even looked at the Shrinebuilder pics, and took an assload at Velvet Brick last night. Will start making an effort to get my pictures to bands, some free watermarked shots to post online and offer a CD of everything full-sized for an affordable rate. Make a little money on the side, then try to get hired to come back. Triniti texted yesterday saying a photographer she knew would be renting out his studio. That would be awesome for band promo shots.

Gotta run. Need to practice Mother Truckers and Eric Tessmer tunes and try to squeeze in a nap before practice tonight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Library, 5:27pm

Went for a run earlier, went home and drank a beer/smoked a cigarette. I am all about clean living as you can tell.

Practiced bass for about an hour and a half today, prepping for the Mother Truckers show on Saturday. Warmed up with some Charlie Daniels Band, "Georgia", "Caballo Diablo" and "New York City, King Sized Rosewood Bed". Goddamn I love "Georgia". Will forever take me back to last summer on the road with the Truckers, I'd always warm up pre-show with some Charlie Daniels Band. That song puts me back into countless dressing rooms across the country. Got crackin on the new power ballad "Simple", will have it ready for practice tomorrow evening and will debut it live on Saturday. Awesome, really great song. Really digging all of Josh and Teal's new Truckers stuff.

Yesterday evening was good. Had dinner at Trent and Amber's (old Southern Gun Culture bandmates), they hired a new guitarist for the Amber Lucille Band and had me over for chili and band pics. Was put back in their yard around the fire pit. Not adequate wood to keep it going, so I had Trent squirt some lighter fluid on it before every round of shots, heh! Looking for their patio light switch I like a dumbass walked into their sliding glass door. And I was moving at a purposeful stride too. Went to duck under the curtains and KA-WHAM!!! Was like the bird in that Windex commercial. Freaked me the hell out, they were all worried but I laughed it off. Glad those things take a lot to shatter or that coulda been ugly.

Then went downtown to Emo's to catch Shrinebuilder, a super group of Wino, Al Cisneros (Sleep, OM), Dale Crover (Melvins, Nirvana) and Scott Kelley (Neurosis). Got there to stand in line, which was around the block soon after. Chilly night, glad I bundled up. Opening band Sub Oslo was really good, very trippy cosmic Reggae. Shrinebuilder was of course amazing, took lots of pics which I will post in due time. Hung a bit at the show with Angela (Feotuscide on and her sister who were in from New Orleans from the show. They were cool. Not as buddy-buddy vibe I've had from others on that site, but we barely know each other. End of the night they disappeared backstage, I went home. But got to talk to Wino briefly, give him a card and told him get in touch so I can get some of these pics to him.

Still picking up the pieces of my blown mind from the show. Awesome!

My only pics of Dale Crover, who most of the set was buried behind an avalanche of drums:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Library, 12:34pm

Will be in Mother Truckers mode all week for the show at Antone's on Saturday. Our first weekend headlining slot, it's gonna be awesome! Got an email about practice times and with a new song to learn. Will hit it hard when I get home and have it ready for practice on Wed/Thurs, whichever day we choose.

The weekend of shows with Tessmer went pretty well. Already wrote about the Antone's show. Friday at Friends went pretty well as well, did an earlier 8pm-11pm thing. Tessmer did the audience walk and went behind the bar to pour drinks, whole nine yards. Even got into the action myelf for the bass solo for that Meters song we do. Used a pick for 2 songs, "Goin Down" and "Killing Floor", and gave my R wrist a nice case of guitar rash. I always wear a sweat band on guitar to prevent that. Playing bass it's optional. Can get by fine w/o but for some reason using a pick did it. No big deal. Had a pretty good crowd and had the place really hopping for a brief period of time, that was cool.

Good to have an earlier night. Was able to stow all gear in a closet at the venue (playing BD Riley's next door next night), get paid, and still make it to the Dirty Dog and hang out for the rest of the night. I missed Velvet Brick and Butcherwhite's CD release set but still got to catch up with lots of old friends. I used to play bass for Velvet Brick from 05-06 and have kept in good contact with them, and have known the Butcherwhite guys from that same period and see them a lot too. All good people. Cool evening all in all.

Spent Saturday re-wiring 2 of my guitars, mainly for cosmetic reasons. When my Les Paul Studio broke the headstock again beyond repair (according to guy who first fixed it) I stripped it for parts and put the pickups (Gibson '57 Classic and Rio Grand BBQ) into my Paul Stanley Iceman. Lo and behold, those pickups brought the PS Iceman back to life! Been sitting unused in my closet for like 3 years. But then was able to get the LP Studio repaired. Threw some spare pickups into it (a Gibson 490R and vintage DiMarzio Super Distortion). But the problem is that as amazing as the new pups in the PS Iceman sounded, the neck pickup has a gold cover which really clashed with the silver hardware. And the LP Studio now has a silver-covered neck pup but gold hardware. So yeah, I swapped out the neck pups in both guitars cause it would look cooler if everything matched. *shrugs*

That night (Saturday) w/Tessmer at BD Rileys was also pretty good. Lotta people that stayed after watching the football game and never left, then a lot of people off the street as well. Not a super packed house, but plenty of people digging it. Felt like we played really well too. My pick hand/wrist started feeling the three shows after awhile. Should have warmed up. "Blues Bullets" still felt sloppy need to work on it. Michael McDaniel has been a really good addition, not only his over musical proficiency, but him and Richard are always interacting with each other and having so much fun. It distracted Richard a little a few times, heh, but that overall increase in our positive energy onstage is really translating well with the audience. Not always a conscious thing on their part, but if we are having a blast then they want to have a blast too and get into it. That and doing my bass solo walking through the crowd and climbing onto the sub helps as well, heh. Good show overall.

Was able to leave my gear in Tessmer's newly-fixed old Dodge 15-passenger van. Has several home-made gear security features, and the crew cab is all upholstered with vintage 70's green shag carpet. AWESOME. Can't wait to take a road trip in that fucking thing. Made tentative plans to pick everything up on Sunday, I don't live too far from him.

All day Sunday was at the Dell Diamond with Triniti Young, there was an ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Walk and we were the official photographers. Working for free, but we didn't mind one bit. Good cause. Met up at her place to drive together and save gas. Driving up I35 past Rundberg something on the R shoulder caught my eye. It was a lady pushing a big black leather EZ chair up the shoulder. And there was no vehicle that we saw anywhere up on the shoulder. She was just pushing a big chair. Wow. That was good for a laugh.

The event itself was pretty cool. Will post some pics when I can. Teams of walkers with matching shirts and signs, Triniti and I were the official team photographers. And we made a good team. Situated on 1st bass side under a kind of gazebo. Light was good and had teams line up against the bleachers with the field in the background. They set the balloon arch for the walk starting line near us, was so windy that we pushed it back behind us to get it out of the way rather than use it in the shots. That and children are fascinated by it and would be looking at it rather than the camera. Better to have it behind us, heh. Triniti did an amazing job as a people arranger/cat herder. And it was like herding cats in a lot of ways but she did great. Only problem was sometimes we'd shoot a big team, then instead of moving on they'd all walk about 5 feet then STOP. Ah well. Had to ask some people to move but were cool about it.

But then we had one team posed and were shooting, when suddenly a shadow gets into the frame. A lady from a team waiting for their shot was moving the goddamn balloon arch for their shot and it was ruining ours. T politely told her to put it back, you are ruining our shot. Lady started to argue a little so T came up to me for final decision. No balloons I said. That was that. We took their pic and the lady went and complained about us. HA! She just walked into our deal and started taking charge of a situation she had no business being in charge of, and not even asking us first if they could have the balloons in their damn shot! One of the directors later went up to T and asked if everything was alright. She replied that everything is great and we have it all under control. Director later gave a knowing smile and said good. Awesome.

We also shot the opening ceremonies on the field and the ribbon cutting back with all the ALS victims presents. The aforementioned balloon arch was now in place as the starting gate. Stayed nearby with T for several laps, getting the teams as they triumphantly began the next lap. Had a great idea then, since all the teams had their various signs, I grabbed our TEAM PHOTOGRAPHY sign and walked a lap with T as Team Photography! That was awesome. Hopefully they raised a lot of money, and being there was informative and inspiring. People getting together to help other people is always a good thing.

Was there from 12:30pm til about 5pm. And we were both exhausted. Dealing with people can be pretty exhausting, heh. Thought about hitting the Friends Sunday Blues Jam but gave myself the night off instead. Tonight I am going by Trent and Amber's for dinner and then take some Amber Lucille Band promo shots, the later going to Emo's for Shrinebuilder (Wino, Al Cisneros, Dale Crover, and the guy from Neurosis... yeah, DAMN). That will be awesome. Tomorrow night Velvet Brick opens an early show for the Bullet Boys, remember them?

Busy busy busy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Van, 11:16am

Library closed on Fridays, no biggie. Nice day out.

Yesterday spent some hours with Triniti Young at Book People looking at music photography books and art books, taking mental and written notes. Me taking down publisher information, page #, price, etc etc etc and she getting layout ideas. Checked out some really cool books, nice way to spend an afternoon. She bought an awesome Led Zeppelin book. I almost bought the new Cliff Burton bio, but at $20 I will shop for it online. Walking to get lunch at Waterloo Icehouse we were talking about how we need to do this NOW because the city and RR are changing so much so fast. Case in point, we get to Lamar and see that Waterloo Icehouse is no more, being turned into something else. Case in fucking point.

Took an afternoon nap to rest up for Antone's. In Johnny Cash's bio his main piece of advice for any musician: if you are playing that night, take a nap that day. Words to live by. Been hitting the new Tessmer tunes hard and was ready for them. Before leaving the house re-strung my old Mexican Fender 1995 pawn shop P-bass so I wouldn't have to tune down for "Taildragger." We tune to Eb but that song is in D Standard. Why, Eric... why?!?

Driving to the venue in passed Friends on 6th Street and saw Tessmer and Erin Jaimes onstage. Nice! Will have to swing by there after dropping off my gear. After stowing my gear the Gods of Parking were merciful and I found a spot at 6th and Lavaca a block from Antone's.

Walked down to Friends and stayed for an hour. Guess it was a one-off show with Los Armadillos. Wes Cargill on drums. Tessmer behind the bar pouring drinks while soloing. Talked to Mike from White Rhino outside, he came to watch Wes play (White Rhino drummer). Nice guy. Went inside just in time to get a shot of whiskey from Tessmer. Set it down and pulled out my camera as he climbed onto the bar. Got some great shots which I will post later. I sat in for Erin as she passed around the tip tub, playing "Little Wing" and "Red House." Damn Erin's rig feels weird. Flatwounds kill me. I don't like them and can't use them. Her amp also pops when driven too hard, she cam up between songs and said the popping was from the bottom speaker. Sounds to me like her head clipping out. But you gotta make do with what you have, Erin said it sounded good from the crowd. Cool!

Hoofed it back to Antone's to catch the opening band. Was Meaghan Tubb and Shady People. Cool. She is beautiful, sings like a bird and can play the fucking guitar, that's for sure. Her songs are good and her band are all good players. But there was a lack of passion that took away from everything. She plays some really tasty licks, but you don't really feel the notes that she's playing. Not trying to shit-talk in away way shape or form. Had I talked to her after the show I would have told her that, player-to-player. But would have had to fight my way thru all the guys trying to get her number, heh. (Joke. No crowd)

Turn out was kinda light, which sucked. I'd been preparing for this one all week, even rescheduled my weekly dinner meet-up with my estranged wife to not have to deal with the heaviness of that then go play a very respected and established venue, performing a bunch of songs I was still learning. If that sounds like an asshole move, then fuck you. This is how seriously I take what I do. I do NOT fuck around when it comes to Antone's shows. If you understand that, awesome. If not, get bent.

With our truncated set we only played like 3 of those 8 new songs. Well shit. And in my preparation for them I neglected to refresh the existing material. So that with a few drinks over my 2-drink regimen for starting a set, I was a little loose in the opener "Blues Bullets." But I rallied and hunkered down and kept everything else pretty tight. Hell, it fely REALY good last night. Despite the thin crowd I was able to not give a fuck about anything other than just PLAYING and losing myself in the music. Jumped offstage for my bass solo even, always a sign that I am feeling it that night (and have room to jump off/get back on, heh). The few new tunes we played definitely felt in the pocket and overall I give myself an A- for the night. The people that came up and talked were all really cool and very complimentary about the band and also my own performance. Had a good converstion with a coupla guys out front while smoking a cig during Richard's drum solo.

All in all it was a good night. Until we got paid at the end.

Made $25 for the evening. Shit shit shit. Hopefully the ones tonight and tomorrow are more profitable. They usually are. I am living gig to gig at this point. No updates from 2 bands looking to hire me for session work. No worthwhile projects on Craigslist. Have not heard back from Mark Monaco, tho his timetable isn't very narrow. But I need to eat, Goldie Hawn (van) needs an oil change and the brakes just added a new sound to their already cacophonous chorus of squeaks. Still feeling a slight gravitational pull towards LA to seek high profile projects. But also need to hunker down and get crackin on the Room 710 book. In the meantime I need paying projects that will put me back on the road cause I already miss traveling. Still waiting to hear about studio time with Ty Tabor for the RRDC material. I also miss playing on Red River and staying visible there. Suddenly there are many more directions in which to swim, and until I know which way the current is moving I will have to tread water and be patient.

Van, 3:28pm

Been scanning old b&w prints and contact sheets of 710. I have a cooler full of boxes of old b&w prints from Red River and countless bands through the year. Awesome looking back through all that stuff, so many great memories. Glad I brought my camera.

Will play some bass then take a nap, maybe go for a run. I think load in at Friends is 6:30 but not sure yet. Thought about using my rackmount Fender TB-600 instead of the SVT, but goddamn it sounded so good at Antone's last night. Such a great sounding amp, has such a great response. Felt like I had complete control over my volume with my pick fingers, even when playing very softly you could still hear every note.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Library, 12:25pm

Awesome. Doing the request page sent my contact information to Author House, a self-publishing company. Before I knew it I already had an email and voice message from a guy named Charlie. Left him a voice message then he called me back and we spoke for about 20 minutes. Very nice guy, very helpful and informative. Gave me the run down of how Author House and self-publishing work, gave me some guidelines on how much it would cost, size, etc etc. Then sent all the info with prices to me via e-mail.

Now the next step is to get together with Triniti and check out some bookstores, and just looking at art and photo books to figure out how many pages/size/pricing and take it from there. Will probably do that today. Things are finally in motion for this and that is so exciting. We talked about also doing a companion photo exhibit for the release of the book. Talked to Deanna (Velvet Brick) and Vixen Productions is totally on board to help with any fundraiser shows. As soon as we get an idea how many pages/images we can submit that info to publishers. If no takers there is always the self-publishing route. This will get done one way or another.

Been learning the new Tessmer tunes at home. Played bass for a good hour to the songs, to where my L forearm and hand was starting to hurt a little. Wanted to run thru them again but came back to it later that evening. Really digging the new stuff, it's getting more away from SRV and adding more rock and psych. Fine by me! Michael McDaniel also added a lot of TASTY B3 parts, really taking it to another level and filling out the sound. Have trouble hearing the bass parts at times, but I'm kind of learning my own way anyway. Already ran thru them again this morning, will do so later today in prep for the show tonight @ Antone's. He says we're going to play all 8 of them. Bring it on.

Got a text from the Rangemaster guy, said he had the money last night and wanted to coordinate the transaction. Told him I'm free now, he said cool. Swung by his place about 8:30pm and traded the ledal for a check. Nice. Will pad my checking account with that and see how much I make at these next three Tessmer shows. Should put me back in the black.

Finished Henry Rollins "A Dull Roar" last night. Damn, his work ethic is inspiring. I bust ass to do as much as I can and still feel like a worthless couch potato compared to that. Wish I could have seen that Rollins Band/X tour in 2006. Trying to remember what I was doing that night in August '06. Probably either staying at home saving money (was just fired from a community college for doing such a bad job, 2 weeks after being awarded Employee of the Semester for Summer 2006. Yeah...), or was already touring around with The Ryan Bales Band. I know for a fact that Ironclad was forming at that time.

Vixen Productions wants Ironclad for a bill during SXSW, a Tuesday SXSW kickoff show @ Headhunters with Velvet Brick and maybe Dixie Witch. Need to call those guys and see if they'd be down for that and maybe a few one-offs in between. I miss playing with them, and playing Red River. Need to stay visible. Either get Ironclad back up and running, join something else or put something new together. Still waiting to hear from Ty Tabor re:studio time. That will have a lot of bearing about whether I should approach the Red River Day Care material as a solo studio project or as a live band. Could incorporate it into Ironclad but we'd need a second guitar player.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Van, 12:55pm.

Library closed for some reason, lifting internet from the parking lot.

Got a rough mix of Tessmer's new album "Green Diamond" yesterday, sounds good. Am learning the songs, he wants to start adding them to the set starting tomorrow. Fine by me. Went over them yesterday on the iPod, will hit them hard today and tomorrow, have as many ready to go as I can.

Guy I'm building the Rangemaster clone for called and said his truck is fucked up but wanted to get me half the money for my time since the pedal was finished. Cool by me, swung by his place and let him try the pedal out. He was pleased. Good to know building pedals has been added to my list of profitable skills. Not something I want to do full time but might be a good side gig for money, and helping players in the never-ending quest for TONE. Branching out into other things will def help me stay gainfully self-employed. Don't have the cash right now to make building roadcases profitable but I know they sell. Speaking of which, Reid from Deadbird/Rwake sent me a message on the Armour Cases myspace, need to check that.

Did some more publisher research, there's a website that directed me to Author House, a self-publishing place. Was going to look into it but my interest already got me an e-mail and a phone call from a guy there. Awesome! Today or tomorrow I will send an email to Henry Rolllins and 2.13.61 and see if they would be interested in doing the 710 book. Wouldn't hurt to ask, at the very least might get some advice on how to go about this. At the end of the day, Triniti and I have know earthly idea what the hell we are doing, other than that it will get done because it NEEDS TO. We could easily put together some benefit shows to raise money for it, especially if we go the self-publishing route. Then coincide the book's release with a photo exhibit. Always wanted to display my pics, just have never had a catalyst for doing so.

Placed an ad on Craigslist trying to move some of the surplus bass and guitar strings I have in order to buy what I use. The bass strings are .40-.100 and the guitar strings are .09-.42, both one guage lower than I use. I have 24 sets of each and am trying to make them work, but they just aren't. Will call Guitar Center today and see if I can trade them what I have for what I need. Had one e-mail from a guy saying he'd take 2 sets. Didn't say of what tho.

Yesterday took Nacho to the park by where I am staying to run the track. Was such a nice day no way I could pass it up. Did a quick run of 4 laps, didn't want to overdo it. Was going to walk one then run 2 more but by this time a teacher was leading a group of children to the monkey bars and they all saw Nacho and immediately stopped listening to the teacher telling the playground rules. Better to make an exit before they all bumrushed him to pet him, heh. Felt good, trying to ease back into it. I'm not a health nut but I try to eat right and stay in shape. Will try to go running as often as I can and start adding some distance.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Library, 7:09pm

Just edited and uploaded pics from Adrian and the Sickness' CD release at Momo's. The pictures were almost as fun as being there, heh! Adrian Conner is one of my favorite performers/players in town. I always go home knowing I need to FURTHER step up my game, damn!

Been trying to stay focused and stay busy. Have a lot on my mind and last night was rough. Been getting caught up a lot on photo editing and uploading, that is good. Started today by dropping of my still-stricken SVT-II to Jesse at Austin Vintage. Got to talking to him last week Sunday at the Saxon Pub and mentioned it. He said bring it in and he'll take a look at it. Cool by me, figure Bill Webb could use a break from that damn thing anyway, heh. Went by Music Makers and saw about trading in my boxes of surplus bass and guitar strings (.40-.100 bass and .09-.42 guitar, one guage under what I use) and trading them up for what I do. They could not do that, suggested maybe sell em on E-bay or craigslist to fund buying what I need. Gave CL a shot, see what happens.

Am talking to two bands about doing some session work for, bring it on. I could use the experience as well as the cash. Should be dropping off the Rangemaster clone tomorrow, that will pad my bank account for a bit too. Good weekend of shows coming up as well, guess I will eat next week after all...

Did some more research on publishers and sent my findings to Triniti. Of course, now that we are getting full swing into working on this, one has internet access but no computer, the other a computer but no internet access. Fuck. We'll make it work. Also have been in touch with Vince from Austin420 magazine about writing/shooting for them.

In the PM took Nacho to Auditorium Shores for a run. Been needing to work out, can feel myself going soft. Have been fine energy-wise for the recent Mother Truckers shows, but since tweaking my back a few weeks back have done next to nothing to stay in shape. Back is 100% now, so no excuses. At the very least there's a track near where I am staying. Need to run, work out abs and upper body. That and STRETCH. Not getting any younger.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just posted some Fu Manchu, Lions and Stinking Lizaveta pics to this blog. Photoshop Elements 8 ain't so bad, took a little getting used to but soooooo nice to be able to finally edit and watermark pics.

Did final tests on the Rangemaster clone and it's a real nice sounding pedal. Talked to the guy I'm building it for and probably Tuesday we'll do the transaction. Yesterday spent a lot of time playing guitar to test it out, but also just to PLAY. Came up with another riff idea, this has to be the most musically creative week I've had in a long time. Then switched to bass and played along to Eric Tessmer stuff on my iPod to get ready for the show later that evening.

Tried to get to Maggie Mae's early for parking reasons but still skunked. Got there to load in at 6:30 and still had to park at 10th and Red River. Damn. The show itself was OK (upstairs stage), more people there than last time. Not that any more of them were paying any attention. We all played pretty well tho, felt like to me. Guess we'll consider it a warm up for Thurs/Fri/Sat next week. I can think of far worse things to do for money than playing music, so there ya go. Heh!

Was able to get out early enough to still hit Momo's for Adrian and the Sickess' CD release party for the new disc ("BFD") which they did with Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go's. Won a free copy Tuesday and it is awesome. Parked and arrived in time to catch their full set, that was cool. The Cola Sisters were there (from the local access cooking show "Cookin' Good") doing raffle prizes. Awesome. Our good friend Val was there, as was Amber. Got to catch up with them before Adrian started. Good crowd too, everyone there was totally into it. They sounded awesome as usual, Adrian going nuts onstage as she always does. Some people are having so much fun onstage they can barely contain themselves, others have a set of pre-arranged rock "moves" which they execute. You can tell the ones who are real about it.

Adrian Conner

Heather Webb

Kathy Valentine joined them onstage on guitar/vocals as well, and they had a guest keyboardist as well. During a lull between songs people were yelling out requests. I yelled "So Bored" and Heather immediately went into it. YES! It and "Modern Freedom" off the new one are my two fave tunes of theirs. Afterwards caught up with Furley from Sabbath Crow (and Adrian's first drummer down here) as well as Kathy, a good friend of the Sickness whom Gina and I gave a kitten to few years back. So she's pretty much family, heh. Good seeing all of them, I feel truly blessed to know some damn fine people. All in all a very good night. Pics of this evening as soon as I get them off the camera.

Kathy Valentine

Adrian rocks out the Cola Sisters from "Cookin' Good"

Adrian and the Sickness w/the Cola Sisters

Compiled a list of local Austin publishers to check out, narrowed it down after checking some websites. Triniti and her friend had the idea of having the book ready by SXSW. That would be pretty ambitious but also a good idea. I replied that I'd rather take the time and do it right rather than do it quick and half-ass it. But we'll see, not out of the realm of possibility.

Also: follow up on my spill in Philly that tore my fingers up pretty bad. Aside from some remaining pink knots of scar tissue my fingers have been 100% for a few weeks now. However, the bruise under my R middle finger nail finally separated from the skin. So there's a section of the middle of the nail 1cm x 1cm that is not attached to any skin. Doesn't hurt, just feels weird as hell. Gotta use my left hand to open beer cans now, heh. But my nails grow fast so shouldn't be any big deal. Just kinda gross so I thought I'd write about it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Well awesome. Texted Brad Davis of Fu Manchu and asked about the guestlist for that night and he put me down +1. Nice! Invited Triniti out since she is taking care of my diabetic Siamese cat right now, figure any way I can repay her and she was down to see Fu Manchu for free.

Got the Rangemaster clone boxed up and ready to rock. I am not happy with the enclosure, as I ordered a RED powder-coated box and the color is this weird pastel rose Easter egg color. Hmmm.... But will test it one final time when I get home and contact West to arrange for a pickup.

Fu Manchu/Lions last night at Red 7 was awesome, although parking was of course a nightmare. Bumped into Jim Ortiz (Amplified Heat) at the Hotdog King truck outside Red Eyed Fly, and damn forgot to use the "Yeah, I always knew I'd find you out behind Red Eyed Fly with a weiner in your mouth!" line. Damn, swing and a miss heh! Caught up with him, been awhile, he was going to Fu as well. Bid him adieu and headed to the club. Driving around I saw Tessmer's old ass 40's green Ford truck and thought about hoofing it to wherever he was playing (Friends, I think) but first band (Scorpion Child) already on by the time I got to Red 7. They were OK, 70's rock with a touch of sass. Local cats, thought they looked familiar.

Lions went on next and handed everyone their ass on a plate. Best I've ever heard them sound. You can just TELL when a band plays all the time and is not weekend warriors. Taking pics up front movement caught my eye and suddenly Matt Drenik's boot was inches from my face. My head snapped back like cat, and he immediately ran over and gesticulated "I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY!!!!" I laughed and gestured that all was OK. Just wish I'd have gotten a shot of it, heh. Got some good pics of them which I will post here someday. Gian Ortiz (Amp Heat) got up to play bass for the last song, as Lions bassist switched to Matt's guitar. Goddam he kicked it's ass. Hopefully got some great pics. Afterwards told Gian, "Man, I think you got their bassplayer fired..." "What do you mean...?" "You sounded awesome!!!!" "Oh, OH! HA! Thanks man." Always humble, that Gian. An admirable trait. Catching up with Matt after their set, he again apologized profusely for almost kicking me in the face, but it was an accident and we had another laugh about it. Also told him that if they ever need a bassist give me a call. I am really digging their new stuff, lots of energy but also lots of atmosphere and dynamics. Really maturing into a great band.


With Gian Ortiz sitting in:

Fu Manchu then closed the set with one of the louder concerts I've been to in awhile. And it was the outdoor stage which made the volume that much more impressive. Tried to start up close on Brad Davis' side (stage L) but being that close to the mains made me step a few paces back. Then a few more, then a few more. Jesus Christ the low-mid bass freq's were starting to get to me. Had to chill and go get some water as I was feeling a little nauseous and out of sorts.

Fu Manchu

Bassist/Creepy Fingers Effects builder Brad Davis

Played mostly newer stuff for first half of the set, but when they launched into the old standard "Saturn III" the place went apeshit and I pushed my way back up front to get some awesome pit shots. THAT was the 'sweet spot' frequency-wise, and suddenly I was back in my element and back in the game, risking life/limb/camera to get some 'from the egde of the pit' shots. People were going absolutely insane, stage diving and falling down. A few meatheads were taking it too seriously and getting pissed that people kept running into them. Easy solution, genius: MOVE THE FUCK BACK. People that get easily bent out of shape about things they can easily remedy themselves deserve to get punched in the face. But usually they punch others and ruin everyone's evening. For my own safety (or maybe HIS) backed away to get away from one such meathead who was about to blow.

On stage R bumped into some of the old Rank And Revue mag crowd: Corri Mava, the tall photographer that I feel like an asshole cause for some reason I cannot remember his Goddam name, and one time Queen of the Red River Scene miss Wendy WWAD. Haven't seen her for a year + easily. Not that we were ever super tight, but as often as not we'd end up rockin out elbow to elbow front and center at whatever show we were at. Many of my early pics have her fists and devil horns in them. She's living in Houston now, hence her absence.

Corri and Wendy

After the show got to BS with Brad Davis for a bit, thanked him for the guestlist slots and talked pedals with him. Hasn't used the pedalboard I built him much "As soon as I make 'em they are out the door into the mail!". Mentioned the Rangemaster clone I'm building, his reply "The one that crackles?" HA! Nice. Yes, that one evidently. Talked some gear nerdity then bid him adieu, again thanking him for saving me some money and a great show.

Walking with the Ortiz brothers and Triniti back to her car, I always notice that Amp Heat gets recognized all over Red River. People I don't know always coming up and shaking their hands. Respect. Hell, the last time I was at Red 7 with Jim he had a dozen + people come up to him all night, and nobody even looked at me. Ah well. In my absence from Red River doing other things (touring, teching, playing other venues), I haven't been playing on RR as much. I get the same amount of respect but in different circles, so it's still all good. Makes me miss being a more prominent player on RR tho, changing as much as it is it's still my musical "neighborhood" and I'd like to stay visible. Either way, I know a lot of good people and some top notch players that I'm on a handshake/hug/"I love you man" basis with. And that is good enough for me.

Yesterday talked to Mark Monaco about him looking for players. Texas Country, not really my cup of tea but good stuff for what it is. I need a steady gig cause I have bills to pay, and the kind of music I WANT to be playing ain't paying the bills. Won't stop me from pursuing it in my free time tho, I'd rather have a touring band be my day job and do my own shit on my own time, then work a day job and do my own shit in a weekend-warrior capacity. Playing full time vs working full time is a no-brainer for me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Been making good progress in the Rangemaster Treble Booster clone. I love the smell of solder in the morning, smells like.... TONE. heh! But it has an annoying sizzle/crackle to it that does not sound so good. Shit, will be trouble shooting it today.

Last night met up with Ryan13 and Jrab (King's X bass and drum techs). Goddamn good to see those guys. They had just gotten done with RAZR 13 band practice, prepping for their CD release @ the Dirty Dog on Nov 20th. Dug Pinnick sang on the record and will be singing that night. Looking forward to it! But yeah, so good to see them. Was on the phone with Ryan when Jrab got on and said "Quit sleeping in your bunk, we gotta load!" HA, bastard.

Hung at Click's on E Oltorf and played darts and pool over beers and smack talk. Those guys are definitely my brothers man. There's a comaraderie you get from being packed in a sardine can for weeks at a time, having to haul large amounts of other peoples' gear every day no matter your mental/physical state, if you are hungover or hungry, but getting it done every single time. Teamwork. Busting our asses all day together, then partying our asses off all night. Good times. I actually beat Jrab at pool which was surprising. But I always use my same strategy: let my opponent get down to one ball to lure them into a false sense of security and then make my "move," which is try like hell to come from behind before I totally get my ass kicked!. It actually worked this time.

Earlier that day made the run up north to Emmis Radio building to pick up the Adrian and the Sickness 'BFD' CD that I won Tuesday night. And oh my God it sounds amazing. SO proud of those ladies, they made one hell of an album. Will try my damndest to get out of Maggie Mae's early Saturday night to catch the end of their CD release at Momo's. Haven't seen them in awhile anyway, but would like to personally congratulate them all on such a job well done. Hope they make a million dollars, they have earned it!

Tonight I am torn on: Fu Manchu/Lions at Red 7, or the Doug Sahm tribute at Antone's...

* Have never seen Fu Manchu live, and wanted to catch up with bassist Brad Davis a bit since I built him a pedalboard last fall which he traded for a Sticky Fingers (his pedal company) Hari Kiri fuzz. Maybe I can wrangle a guestlist spot from him, will shoot him a text. That and haven't seen Lions in forever and they've been doing very well for themselves.

* But I feel compelled to do the Doug Sahm tribute, as I play guitar for his son Shandon. Shandon won't be in town, he is on tour with the Meat Puppets. Had he been in town we prolly would have played a few tunes. But Jimmie Vaughan (older brother to SRV) is playing along with an all-star cast. Would be awesome to pay my respects to Sir Doug and see a great show as well. Guestlist spot would be highly unlikely, and this show is probably way more expensive than Fu Manchu...

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday night turned rough, not going to get into it. Could have gone home to stare at the ceiling but went thru with dinner plans with Triniti and her friend, needed to go as she is taking care of my cat. Glad I did. Jedi seems happy, had good food, wine and dinner conversation/company. Turned on the radio and Adrian and the Sickness on Local Licks. Awesome! Playing tracks from new album, CD release this weekend. Hope I can make it. Called in and won a free CD! Got to say Hi to Loris Lowe and Adrian, Heather and Mel.

Yesterday woke up and first joint on L thumb sore/stiff. WTF? Don't recall doing anything weird with it. Affected playing a little as I tried to play some bass. But realized the input jack was loose and the pots were scratchy so took her a apart for some routine maintenance and new strings. Tightened everything up, contact cleaner for the pots, new strings. Good to go.

Went by my friend Amber's for a massage after that. If you have a massage therapist friend, use the barter system with them. I trade Amber all the time: band pics, pedal repairs, etc. Traded this time for the Amber Lucille Band pics I took Sunday @ Saxon Pub. I think she still owes me one from adding a DC jack to her Russian Big Muff Pi. Good to catch up, have a lot to talk about. Right before I left had her show me some pointers on slide. Since I'm in her neck of the woods now, we might start jamming during the day just for the hell of it.

Last night had dinner with my wife. Was painful but necessary. Came home afterwards and made a point to do creative things rather than laying in bed and staring at the ceiling. Got my Stinking Liz pics off the camera, will post some of those later today or tomorrow, look great! Then went into my room to play for a bit. Came up with a cool riff in some weird time signature, 13/8? I dunno. Said fuck it and busted out the digital 8-track and got some great work done. Demo'd that idea and worked on 2 existing ideas that weren't coming together. One a song I started working on few months back, another a piece of music I heard a band playing in a dream and have been trying to turn into something. The dream piece finally came together. Was challenging cause the bassline makes for the chord progression and the guitar plays a simple droning 2-note/2 octave line. Nailing that bass line finally made it all come together. I could hear it this whole time "on the tip of my tongue" musically, and could practically see it laid out as a Dow Jones graph, rising and falling a bit, rising and falling a bit. Weird and atonal but also melodic.

Anyway. Bout to run up north and grab the Adrian CD from the radio station, go and buy parts for the Rangemaster clone, maybe grab lunch somewhere.

Finally heard from Tessmer, playing Maggie Mae's upstairs Saturday (meh). Next week is Thursday @ Antone's, Friday @ Friends, and Saturday @ BD Riley's. Money in my pocket, the BD's gigs are usually pretty fun despite that tiny ass stage. And I will be free to see Fu Manchu/Lions on Friday, that will be cool. Hopefully we'll get out of Maggie's early enough on Saturday that I can run to Momo's and catch Adrian's CD release party. That album they did with Kathy Valentine sounds amazing, so proud of them. Great bunch of ladies and top notch players.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saw Stinking Lizaveta ( last night at Emo's. AWESOME show as always. Will post pics when I get them off the camera and edited.

It's great how musical they are, and play with such intensity and conviction but the vibe is FUN. They enjoy and believe in what they are doing, which makes the audience enjoy and believe too. You can't fake that shit. Sucks the crowd was so thin, guess everyone was partied out from Halloween weekend. My sis Trinti Young was there, saw JT Drunk (Dixie Witch) briefly as well. Got the guitar "hand off" from Yanni again! That's three times so far, guess I was the only guitarist in the crowd, heh. Good to see them again and catch up a bit, Yanni, Alexi and Cheshire are all top-notch human beings. Josh from Invincible Czars was there later and was letting them stay at his place. Caught up with him as well, he's a really good dude and his band/playing is awesome.

Finally heard back from Ty Tabor last night, texting to apologize for the late reply and that he'll be in touch in a few. Awesome, was about to call him again. Will be good to see what his studio rate is, would much rather do the RRDC stuff with as much name-recognition as possible rather than just me. Still have Chris Goss' contact info but want to see what Ty's rate will be first. Awesome. Things finally getting in motion. Once I know which way the current is going, I will know which direction to swim, if that makes sense.

Yesterday left a message for Dalton Publishing re: Room 710 book. Looks like they do mostly fiction and poetry, but maybe they can point us in the right direction of someone who might be interested. Or at least give some pointers in how to go about putting this together. Came up with the best sales pitch I could off the top of my head, made sure to use the phrase "We can't sit around and wait for someone to document our music history, we need to write our own" or something like that. Which is the God's honest truth and our whole motivation. We need to document and preserve our OWN music history because no one is going to do it for us. And Austin/Red River is changing so fast that soon it will all be gone, so the time for action is NOW.

I also need to renew my effort to play every day, whether it be drums, bass or guitar -- playing and writing new stuff, just fucking around, learning new things from albums, refreshing current band material, playing old shit. I need to do that. Every day. No matter how I feel creatively, mentanlly or physically, I will ask myself: "Do I want to get a little BETTER today, or a little WORSE?" Trying to let Henry Rollins' work ethic push me to push myself harder. I have not felt like playing at all lately and can't let my mood or what is on my mind keep me from bettering myself as a player.

So I set up the drums in the garage and played for about a half hour. That felt good. Also brought my guitar pedalboard into the room and played thru an amp finally. I need to take my Les Paul Studio back to Carter for a set up. He fixed the 2nd of two neck breaks on it and it could use some professional attention. Bad string buzz and dead frets all over the fucking place.

Been trying to learn slide as well. Ugh, not going good at all... Will try to get some pointers from Amber when I see her Thurs/Friday. She pulled out a pretty good slide solo during the Amber Lucille show last Sunday. Damn! Makes it look easy!

That and the Rangemaster clone parts came in the mail today. Can finally get to building that for Westley. But of course, looking through my parts bin I am out of a few components I need. Well shit. Only place I've been getting parts is way the hell up north, maybe I can swing by there when I drop Nacho back off at the house (been watching him since yesterday, ate something bad and took him to the vet). Or try to find a new place down south...

Still waiting to hear from Tessmer re: shows this weekend. Dude, I know you're in Wisconsin right now, but it's Tuesday and I need to know if/where I am working Friday and Saturday! Kids.... heh