Monday, March 29, 2010

Busy week ahead, good busy not bad busy.

Bout to mow the lawn at the old house. Have gigs with ETB tonight, Tues and Friday @ Friends on 6th Street. Studio session (3 songs, bass) with 25 Smokin' Figurados Weds 2pm at SpitShine. Need to learn the music today and tomorrow. Thurs practice w/The Mother Truckers to do final prep work for album sessions Sat/Sun at Chris Burns' studio. Saturday 10am session (2 songs, bass) for Kari Renee at the place Jason from Velvet Brick works. Will be learning that music Thurs/Fri, in addition to keeping the TMT tunes fresh, some of those songs are very very new.

Did my gardening yesterday despite being wrecked from a long weekend. Was nice to do something Zen like planting tomotoes (3 kinds), peppers (4 kinds), herbs and flowers. Now we'll see if I can keep this shit alive over the summer.

Truckers gig on Saturday night @ Continental was a blast, tho JB the super fan was an uncharacteristic no-show, Clara the bartender got slammed during "Dynamite" so she couldn't get up and dance, and we didn't play "Save My Soul" so I never got to use the other platform for my bass solo (which friends were keeping clear of bottles and other obstacles, heh). Was also uncharacteristically tipsy end of night thanks to 2 tequila shots delivered to the stage. But a fun night all-around, our last show I believe til opening for Clint Black on Apr 30th.

Need to cut my hair. Gettin hard to see onstage.


Picked up my bass cab from the speaker place today. Didn't want to have to raise hell but just told them to refund as much $$ as possible (full $600 would be nice) and give me my cab back so I can take it elsewhere. Didn't pay that amount to use a loaner cab for two months so enough was enough. They were able to refund $410 of it and main guy was not happy about it (yelling at the liason guy outside). Didn't want to burn any bridges but this was fucking ridiculous. Taking it to Bill Webb at Austin Vintage Guitars tomorrow. Still don't know what the hell I'm going to do for a bass cab for all these sessions. Some cool stuff on Craigslist and in some local stores, but nothing that meets my power requirements.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Some good news for once. Studio sessions will pay my rent for April, the Truckers are talking Europe in September, my stricken Fender TB-600 is perfectly fine, was able to put some money in checking as well. Not too shabby.

25 Smoking Figurados (recorded 3 tracks with them earlier this month) was so pleased with my work they want me to lay down bass for 3 more tunes next week. Awesome! That and I am first on the list for live gigs. Very nice. That and Jason from Velvet Brick has offered some work from the studio he's employed at, 2 songs with a girl named Kari Renee. Will hit that on the way to the Truckers recording session next weekend.

Picked up my Fender TB-600 today, thought my Isovent cabinet had fried it but in perfect working order. That's good, been nothin but reliable. Now need to call the speaker place and see when it will be ready. Have 3 recording sessions and 3 gigs next week. Would like my shit back.

Also, need to pick up my SVT from Travis. Bill Webb did $400 worth of retubing to it, will be the first time since I've owned it that it's had a 100% retube. Now just need my fucking cabinet back and I'll be in business. Too offset the added charges, I will be building Travis a roadcase for his SVT-CL. Needs it in 3-4 months. Will try to have it ready in 3-4 weeks, as I have some other possible orders and want to build myself a 2 rack cases: 1 small one to house my Furman and wireless unit, one medium to house either the TB-600 or the SVT-II.

My visit to Corpus Christi was all too brief, and still spent a lot of my "relaxation time" working getting caught up on writing an "Ocean of Stars" song synopsis and creating a ReverbNation account to sell my music online and promote. Was going to begin my SXSW report but forgot the USB to my damn camera. Hard to write about stuff that's hard to remember now, and pics help. Coming soon, I swear. Weighed in at 154. Holy shit, haven't been that weight in almost 15 years. No wonder feeling lean and mean, and cinching my belt to the last notch. Even my jeans are fitting loose. Will make an effort to go running again now the weather is better, maybe the added energy expenditure will increase my appetite.

Wednesday at Maggie Mae's w/ETB wasn't too shabby. Started pissing down rain soon as we were soundchecking. Evidently we haven't played there on a rainy day cause the roof leaks over the stage. To counter the precipitation on Richards drums ran to my van (out front rockstar parking) for a big umbrella which I stuck on a boom mic stand and fastened with gaff tape. Did the trick, and looked completely rediculous I'm sure. Will get that pic off my phone asap! "Tonight, Eric Tessmer Band! Brought to you by Traveler's Insurance!" Awesome.

Today have a 6pm practice with the Truckers for tomorrow @ Continental Club and to do final prep work on the new album. Start tracking Apr 3-4. Have a new song to learn for tonight.

Only other thing I gotta do is start getting my tax info/expenses all together. Not looking forward to doing them for a myriad of reasons. Will probably get some professional advice on the matter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

POST #100!!!

Well shit, wish I had more exciting things to discuss. Am at my parents now in Corpus Christi TX to decompress after SXSW and the previous weeks. Already feel better. Met my older sister's new beaux and like him.

But so much for vacation time, I will be spending most of tomorrow editing pics and writing my SXSW report before I forget what the hell I did all those days. Just finished up my responses to the '22 Questions with Tim Abbott' interview he sent me the day after I did the 25 Smokin Figurados studio session. That was like 2 weeks ago. Yeah. Swamped.

Looks like I will have an early bass session the morning we begin tracking the new Truckers album, that will be awesome. Make some extra bread by laying down a song or two on bass (and maybe an guitar lead as well), arrive a little later at Chris Burns' studio not only warmed up, but with drums mic'ed and dialed in.

Hope Tessmer is having a good show tonight with the stand-in bassist. I'll be back Wednesday to hit it for the ETB Maggie Mae's gig. Then The Truckers @ Continental Club Saturday night.

G out.

Did I just fucking write "G out"? Goddamn not only am I tired but losing my mind now as well, heh.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Post #99!!!

All in all SXSW was good this year, didn't have to deal with downtown too much and had some really good people staying with me. As you could read in previous post was wrecked before the week even started, so I was def in energy conservation mode.

Saw some great bands at the Small Stone showcase @ Encore and saw Priestess at I believe Casino El Camino. Played some awesome shows with The Mother Truckers and had a great early set with Ironclad yesterday. All TMT shows had backline, which was awesome. Just roll in with my bass case and pedalboard (with all necessary cables within).

Full SXSW report coming soon.

Heading down to my parents' in Corpus Christi tomorrow to decompress and relax a bit. ETB will have a fill-in bassist for this Monday night at Friends, so don't be alarmed. heh!

Made some good money on the Truckers SXSW shows and Tessmer just PayPal'd what I was owed from last Monday, so I can breathe a little financially. Just spent $110 on much-needed pet supplies tho, and still have to get my diabetic cat insulin. 2 more ETB shows and one more TMT show this month. Been a good month $$ so far but still playing catch up from February, and will get some tax advice from parents for when I have to file. I don't pay taxes on anything so I have to take it in the pooper every April 15th from my creepy Uncle Sam, even with deducting every fucking penny that I can.

Livin the dream.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Starting to feel a little back to normal. Did my best to take a mental health day today.

This morning was about to call in for tonight at Friends, even tho it's SXSW week and should be a good night. Felt like I was a danger to others, myself and my gear. If my rig failed I would break shit, which I cannot afford to do. If someone gave me attitude I would put them in the hospital, which I also cannot afford to do.

So on this note I went to drop off the loaner 4x10 cab to the speaker place. Talked to one of the guys about my stricken Isovent. Said we'd work something out. Yeah, you guys will return my cabinet back to stock and call it even. I've paid for everything I blew, and after that anything that needs repair is a direct result of YOU GUYS monkeying with the wiring. Even if I did accidently wire the speakers in-phase as opposed to out-of-phase, but did my best to follow the guy's diagram. But had they not monkeyed with the wiring, I never would have wired those speakers wrong would not have yet another amp in the shop.

Then got called back to Affordable Sound cause the WAV cd I gave them was data files. Figures. And I had the audio CD with me when first dropped it off, but didn't think to leave it with them just in case. Said they'd be done Tuesday still. Awesome. Then they called me at 4:30 and said they were ready now. MORE awesome. That turned things around a little. But no reason whatsoever to brave traffic to get them today. Will add it to my morning run of errands.

Then got a text from Trent (Amber Lucille Band/Southern Gun Culture) putting me in touch with a guy who rents gear and needs an SVT. Talked to the guy (Travis) and told him I got a late-70's SVT that sounds great but needs pre-amp tubes. So he will have Bill Webb @ Austin Vintage (MY amp guy!) replace all the pre's and do a check up, and call it payment. DEAL. And this will open up future rental opportunities to have my gear make me money.

Got in a good nap after running around dropping off the cab the CD. Did a load of laundry, dishwasher going right now (piled up for 2 weeks, very uncharacteristic of Deanna and myself), cleaned the bathroom and took Nacho for a little walk around the block. First three things for the 5 SXSW houseguests who will begin arriving tonight, last one for myself and for Nacho. Haven't taken him for a walk in so long, and it's such a nice day needed to get out for a bit despite feeling pretty wrecked.

In my chaotic mental state have forgotten to note some noteworthy things:

1. Yesterday morning as Deanna and I lounged in our PJs trying to recover from the previous night, Billy Milano swings by with Yael, the drummer for The Love Project which she does with a revolving cast of A-list players. They had a DVD release party and showcase at Headhunters, featuring members of Prince's band, among others. Billy said it was the most amazing show Headhunters has ever seen and will see in a long time. Wow. And Yael was fucking awesome. Such a cool, down to Earth player, but you can almost FEEL the skill wafting from her. Brooklyn attitude and LA Style. Nacho loved her, heh! After they left Deanna and I swooned and squealed like a couple teeny boppers that just met the Jonas Brothers. Awesome.

2. After the Tessmer show at Antone's last Thursday Eric and I hung with Kinky Freidman. That was pretty cool.

3. The BD Riley's show was awesome cause while offstage doing my bass solo a guy bumped the beautiful woman next to me, which resulted in her accidently spitting her gum into my hair. Which she then tried to remove with her teeth, while I was still playing. Total rockstar moment. But later the evening ended with a lot of unnecessary drama and BS. Nothing I care to get into. Def not helping my mental state right now.

So yeah. I play Friends with ETB tonight, and after the show have to go pick up Justin from Solace from the airport. I have time right now to go and buy groceries to cook him breakfast (and stock up on food/entertaining supplies), but wondering if I should take a nap and just hit HEB tomorrow. Feeling better and want this trend to continue up until I have to brave parking and tourists downtown.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am so incredibly tired. Feel like I got hit by a truck.

Can't tell if I'm coming down with something or just exhaustion. And I still have to play 7 shows in the next 7 days -- tonight w/Truckers, Mon w/ETB, Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat w/Truckers and Sat w/Ironclad for SXSW. And will have 5 house guests for SXSW, 3/5 of the band Solace from New Jersey with 2 female companions. Had those cats stay with me last year and they were model guests. Except for the broken end table, but that is another awesome story altogether, heh!

The Truckers at Threadgill's Friday was nothing short of amazing. A moving opening set by Stoneyhoney, such a great band with such great songs and harmonies. Perfect cool early Spring weather. Got to see a lot of great people and good friends, tho was already dead on my feet from previous week. Truckers got up and blew the roof off the place. Awesome crowd and we had a great set. New tunes really coming together!

Had Stoneyhoney join us onstage for the finale, "A Little Help From My Friends". Their bassist knew the line and the rest of us sang harmonies. Joked to Josh that I'd use that time to run off to the men's room (forgot to do that pre-set, heh), but he was like "No man, stay up here and sing backup!" Hell yeah, it was great. Then we did a blistering version of "Love Me Like A Man" with Josh and Stonehoney guitarist (God I am awful with names) trading blues licks. Too many drum mics for a drum dive, so ripped the strings off my bass instead. Went over great and needed to change them anyway!

Hell yeah. Missed the after party at Stonehoney Mansion to go to Kristen Crowfire's (Sabbath Crow bassist) birthday at Headhunter's. Not sure I was going to make it, reserve tanks running low at this point. But said fuck it and spun around the block once, if I found parking awesome. If not, going home to get some sleep. Found a spot a block away! Hung the last hour and was so glad I went. So many good people I don't get to see very often as well. Michael Motorcyle needs pics I took for his DJ Molly Ringworm album art, will do that today. Hung with Leon from Trash Rockets, what a cool motherfucker. And one of so many. Have met some great people on 6th Street, but there's just not the saturation of cool people as opposed to Red River. Wish I had more time to go to shows.

So by Friday morning I am just about gone, at the end of my rope and running on fumes. And still had to mow the lawn here. But figured I could do it then while I was tired, or wait til now when I am completely exhausted. Def the right call. Looks nice, started getting my plant situation situated. Felt good to focus my mind on something as relaxing as gardening, rather than be on the phone for 30 minutes with the speaker place trying to piece together in order all the shit that happened to my bass cabinet.

Eat a good meal and took a nap. But was completely dead on my feet for BD Riley's last night. Which sucked cause those are always good to great shows. But had so little energy left I could barely move onstage, so just focused what little reserves I had left to just playing and trying to breathe. Third song in was feeling a little light-headed. Not fucking good. Finally managed to muster some adrenaline during Tessmer's bar-walk. Was getting the crowd worked up so I joined him out there and it was awesome. Sure the jager shot helped too. Felt better after that, but still had to ration out what little I had left. After the set I huddled against the van out front to avoid the flow of traffic, I did not want to deal with anyone who was not in the band or close to it. If I was rude to anyone I apologize. Felt better end of night than the beginning, but was still in a mood where at any moment I was going to either rip someone's head off or burst into tears.

Yeah, I need to take a break big time. Was hoping week after SXSW would be a vacation, but playing Mon/Wed w/Tessmer and Fri w/Truckers. Have a freelance gig too that week which would pay $200 or so. So I can't run out on that. First weekend of April Truckers begin tracking new album. Nice to have so much on my plate, but I am really wearing myself thin.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wow, writing in this blog is like leisure time now.

Got home from a kinda pointless early load in @ Antone's for the ETB show tonight. Rihcard didn't come as he didn't want to set up his drums and leave them onstage (inconvenient for other bands). "So why are we here then?" heh. But at least got to set mic/monitor levels and dial the room in amp-wise. Immediately promoting shows on Facebook and MySpace over dinner. Wanted to finish the CD art for the solo album but don't have the time/energy right now. Leaving in a half hour to pick up Rose the merch girl and head downtown. Should be a fun show, haven't seen Adrian and the Sickness in a long time, awesome band and quality human beings.

Ty won't have time to master the solo album at his studio (Alien Beans), so I'll have to turn it in as is. And need to turn it in tomorrow for it to be ready by Thursday of SXSW, yeah no rush. Still need to see if I can even burn the damn songs onto a disc with my laptop, iTunes don't want to use my CD burner and not even sure what the best format to turn in is yet (mp3? mp4? wav files?).

Been feeling very stressed lately. Last night almost had a bit of a meltdown at Maggie Mae's before even loading onstage. Driving around like a maniac for 10 minutes looking for a place to park is not a fun way to start a long evening. Got back to the club and told Eric "I am this close to being completely done with 6th Street." And I am getting there. Shitty parking, mixed crowds, mixed pay. Barstaff at some of the venues are awesome as are some of the new friends we've met. But just the whole vibe of 6th Street is not something I like dealing with. Mah.

Did round 2 of Mother Truckers demo-ing sessions this afternoon, finalized and laid down some bass tracks to 4 new tunes. Good prep work for tomorrow night as we won't be rehearsing. Left there and went straight to Antone's to wait an hour for Boss Hoss (ETB van) to finally break thru the rush hour traffic. Only to find out it's not a full load in/sound check. Nice.

I suspect I will feel a lot better after the show tonight, and when the next 2 weeks are over.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My last day off before Tuesday next week.

And by "day off" I mean a night I am not playing. Today is not a true "day off" by any stretch of the imagination. Need to add curbside appeal to the old house (mowing, planting flowers, mulching etc etc), anything I can do to make the front look nice on the cheap. Finances recovering, but slowly. Still have to ration the money I have to time out with certain bills. And now I also got to buy a bunch of plants and mulch. I will get by.

Corresponding via text yesterday with Ty Tabor he further amended his bro deal on mastering time to something I can actually afford (or should I say, an amount of money I don't currently have but worth digging up for the extra name recognition on the solo album). And I can upload high quality WAV files to an online thing he uses, and save a trip to Katy TX. Because I do not have time to do that, and this way it will still be in by Friday.

Crazy how this has come together. This whole thing was not a calculated effort by any stretch of the imagination. I just thought it up and did it, and that is how I like to work. No planning at all. I was thinking of blowing off the RPM Challenge until a few days before deadline, and glad I signed up. Didn't think I was going to be able to finish the album but I did. Didn't think it was going to sound all that good, but sounds better than the "Red River Day Care" disc I did last year. Decided last minute to price out duplication, said fuck it and put more money on my credit card, cause this feels like the thing to do. At the very least, I can put on my resume that I wrote/recorded/pressed a solo album in 6 weeks flat, and have another disc to sell at the merch booth.

When I get the first copies and hold them in my hand, not sure what I'll feel. Would like to think a huge sense of accomplishment, that I just "thought it up and did it" and now here is the end result. But they'll be ready during SXSW so I'm sure what I'll really be feeling at the time is "I am soooo fucking tired" and "Shit, now I need to sell these to pay for them!"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just checked the proof for the "Ocean of Stars" artwork.

Looks great! Was worried the color wouldn't translate well from RGB to CMYK (I can't do CMYK w/Photoshop Elements, bah) but it's going to look great! Have contacted Ty Tabor and Jason Morales from Tia Carrera about doing a mastering job sometime this week. If Ty not available (but expressed interest) will see if I can barter w/Jason over studio time, have lots of Tia Carerra pics I'm sure he's never seen before.

The ETB gig in Maxwell TX was fun, outdoor Texas Independence festival. Not a huge turnout but those there were all about it. I felt a little loose at first, not used to Richard being so far away (big stage w/riser) that I had to take my earplugs out to hear him better. Had our friend Rose in tow to sell merch, she had a blast and did great. I wanted to go to the after-party at the nearby campsite but we had to get back. Ah well...

Been making posters, here is the one for Antone's this Thursday. Word is they are going to make some huge b&w versions of it. Awesome!

Making a generic ETB show poster as well but still brainstorming on ideas with Eric.

And so begins another busy-as-hell 2 weeks:

Mon Mar 8: ETB @ Friends
Tue Mar 9: do yardwork at the house
Wed Mar 10: demo session w/The Mother Truckers, ETB @ Maggie Mae's
Thu Mar 11: demo session w/The Mother Truckers, ETB @ Antone's
Fri Mar 12: The Mother Truckers @ Threadgill's World HQ
Sat Mar 13: ETB @ BD Riley's
Sun Mar 14: The Mother Truckers @ US Art Authority for Food Bank benefit
Mon Mar 15: ETB @ Friends
Wed Mar 17: SXSW -- The Mother Truckers @ Continental Club
Thu Mar 18: SXSW -- The Mother Truckers @ Continental Club, attending Small Stone shows @ encore
Fri Mar 19: SXSW -- The Mother Truckers @ Maria's Taco Express
Sat Mar 20: SXSW -- Ironclad @ Headhunter's, TMT @ Continental Club

Sun Mar 21 I will be IN BED. And getting the solo album mastered is the wild card in all this, need to have audio CD and printing in by this Friday. Hopefully I can e-mail tracks back and forth with Ty Tabor if he will be able to do it. If I had to run to Houston, Tuesday would be the only day I'd be able to.

Busy busy busy

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So much for the calm before the storm.

Decided yesterday after going by Affordable Sound and asking about Digipack deals I am going to professionally press 100 copies of "Ocean of Stars" myself. Barcode on the disc and everything. Advertise via social networking sites and do pre-order deals. Talk to Low Desert Punk Records, All That's Heavy online store, Brainticket Records and many others about online distribution. Have the CDs in by Thursday of SXSW. Sell them at merch tables alongside Mother Truckers and Eric Tessmer, and whoever else I will play with.

A small but worthwhile investment, I mean why the hell NOT press and distribute/sell my own albums? Need to look back into ASCAP and BMI. I have been with ASCAP since the Southern Gun Culture days (2001 I believe), not that I ever made a dime. But the lawsuit involving ASCAP and Headhunter's makes me not want to be with them anymore. Need to get it on iTunes as well.

So yeah, yesterday after mowing the lawn instead of chilling and working on the 25 Smokin Figurados music went home and immediately spent the next several hours completely re-doing the "Ocean" album artwork. Slept for an hour, cooked some turkey helper, then headed up north to crash that open jam in Jonestown.

And it was fucking AWESOME!!! Tessmer wasn't clear about how completely and totally bad ass the Lonestar Bar is. And the jam was pretty top-notch, evidently there is a large colony of pro players opting to live in Jonestown instead of Austin. Met some really cool people and great players. Brought the party with us (3/4 of the ETB and several band friends) and had a blast. Too bad we're tied up next two Wednesdays, would love to go to that more often. Spent the evening saying over and over, "Why the hell do I have to live so far AWAY from this place?!?" Damn! Played 2 short sets, one of blues covers with Richard, then some jamming with a drummer who's name I can't recall at the moment. And he did great, didn't have to pay too much attention to him, if that makes sense. Hella fun!

About to shower up and hit the studio, 3 songs in 3 hours for a really good rate. Much needed money, tho it'll go to bills before paying for the record. I'll be putting that on my credit card, but this will be good for my career as a whole. I will try to do this every year now, record an album for the RPM Challenge and if it's good enough release it in time for SXSW.


Just got back from Spitshine Studio and a 2 hour session with Russell engineering and Tim offering suggestions but mainly letting me do my thing. First song done within 30 minutes of first walking in the door. Complete a track, e-mail it to Gregg (bandmate) who then phoned in suggestions or stated his approval. Technology. Crazy.

Feel good about what I laid down but could have done more with more preparation. Which of course hit a snag earlier today when my iPod locked up while working on their music. Nice. And while tracking the SVT cut out for about 30 seconds, but came back on and worked fine. Pre-amp tubes the likely culprit.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Not only is a very long week over, but I managed to finish my RPM Challenge album 'Ocean of Stars' on time! Whether or not I made the mail-in time remains to be seen. But I feel I made a really good record despite almost impossible odds: dealing w/my divorce, catastrophic gear failure, skeletal finances, etc. So if they don't accept it they know where to stick it.

You can stream the entire album now at:

This week will be the calm before another storm, looking at my calendar for next week play Mon/Wed/Thurs w/ETB, Fri w/the Truckers, Sat w/ETB, Sun w/Truckers, and Mon w/ETB. And that is the week leading up to SXSW. Fuck. And I already have 5-6 shows in the works for then). Better catch up on sleep best I can next few days.

As for this week I have a UT Baseball game to run camera for this after noon. Before then I will be learning the music for a bass recording session on Thursday evening. 25 Smokin Figurados is finally bringing me in, think I've been talking to them for almost a year. Will add some much needed coin to my coffer.

Tomorrow need to mow the lawn at the old house, then work on music. Then that night Eric, Richard and I will be crashing an open jam up in Jonestown. These people have no idea what is in store for them, heh!

Thursday recording session is 5-8, three songs. Hopefully won't be too hungover in the morning, heh! Friday is off as far as I know.

Saturday ETB is playing a Texas Independence Fest in Maxwell TX (just outside Lockhart, S of Austin). Just found out about that one last night, asking Tessmer about upcoming shows he asked if I looked at the date handbills he'd printed. I said no, e-mail me the dates! So that's cool, extra show which we'll be headlining and being paid decent to do so. Bring it on! Only scheduling conflict (checking the handbill, heh) is Friday March 12, already booked to play Threadgill's World HQ w/the Truckers. Eric said he can move the date, but I would rather begin/end the ETB set early (or have someone fill in for the last part) so I can play both shows and get paid twice.

As for the Room 710 book I used to talk so much about, the project is on hold at least thru the divorce. I just can't focus on it at the moment, but it will happen when the time is right.