Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whoops, life and this blog got away from me.

Played thru the set today in prep for The Mother Truckers tomorrow @ Threadgill's World HQ. Have one of those little bass Pocket Rockit's, very handy little device. Made the set into a playlist on iTunes, put that onto my iPod and can play along to it. The guitar ones are kinda meh. But I highly recommend the bass ones as a warmup and learning tool. Just don't put the battery in wrong, that will destroy them...

Last night ETB played our Wednesday Maggie's slot. Parked out front, loaded in my bass, got my gear onstage and ready to go, ran upstairs to catch my friend Amber Lucille drumming for an all-girl cover band The Guilty Pleasures, back downstairs for another beer, lit a smoke and stood by the door with Michael who says, "Are you gonna park?" OOOPS!!! Goldie Hawn still out front with hazards blinking. Boy that would have sucked. Woulda walked out at the end of the night and wonder "Where the hell did I park" and wandered aimlessly before realizing I got towed for being a dumbass. *whew*

Show went really good. Didn't realize until few songs in that this is my last gig w/ETB til this time next month. They are doing BD Riley's on Saturday and Friends on Monday with Spanky on bass, who's filling in for me on their tour and needs the prep time. The money from those gigs would have been nice but I totally understand. And will be nice to have a Saturday off as well. Will probably stop by BD's and say Hi to everyone.

Tuesday caught Adrian and the Sickness and Blue Bonnets at Continental Club. And actually went on the CORRECT day this time, heh. Showed up last week Tuesday w/o checking the schedule online and OOPS. Wrong night. So went in and grabbed a beer anyway. But what a fun night.

Bluebonnets (feat. Kathy Valentine of The Go-Gos) played a long set of girl-fueled rock n roll. As they went on the energy level of the drummer was really getting my attention. Just kept building and building such that I often found myself watching the sweaty older guy rather than the three lovely ladies up front! In conversation with some girl out back afterwards she informed me that is Clem Burke, who drummed for The Ramones and Blondie back in the day. Holy shit! Didn't know who he was, but could tell he was somebody by his playing.

Adrian and co of course tore the roof off the place. They have AJ from Thunderosa et al. filling in on drums, and he is a bad motherfucker and fits right in. Killer set despite the late timeslot. Got lots of pics which I will post when I get around to it. Adrian is always inspired and inspiring, the kind player that always makes me go home and step up my own game. Heather is a more solid bassist every time I see her, and she's already solid. Lots of old friends from Adrian's crowd in attendance, good to see them. As well as Clara working the back bar! She got up to go-go dance briefly during Bluebonnets' set and let me borrow her camera to get some pics of Adrian \m/, Good times, and a great night of great bands.

Monday at Friends w/ETB wasn't too shabby as well. Richard was misfiring on a few things, but so was I last Friday so no big deal. Happens to the best of us. Fun night that I don't recall much of at this point.

Last Saturday in College Station I will probably write a separate report on.

5 days left before I leave for the West Coast with The Mother Truckers. Trying to get my affairs (and bills) in order before heading out. Will post full day-by-day reports of that tour as well so this blog isnt the same boring old shit ;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

About to refresh some Mother Truckers tunes for a radio appearance on KUT-FM today at 2pm. Then meeting up with ETB at Michael's place to head out for gig in College Station.

Wed at Antone's w/ETB was a bit of a bust. Crowd a bit thin and continued to thin, and Eric was playing with a concussion that he was about to seek medical attention for. Cut our set short tho we were playing pretty good. Tessmer spent most of Thursday in the ER getting checked out. He's fine now, after paying $500 to be sent home with Tylenol...

Woke in a deep funk Thurs AM, bummed about the show and life kind of weighing on me right now. As a result barely ate at all that day. Stress makes me not want to eat, even if I feel hungry. Eating is a chore rather than a means of refueling. Believe I felt more like mowing the lawn in the Texas summer heat than preparing a meal. Weird. Plus, out running errands stopped for a Chipotle burrito but the line was out the fuckin door so blew it off. That didn't help. Felt fine by yesterday morning, thank God. Hate feeling that way.

BD Riley's last night with ETB was good but not great, not the riot those shows usually are. I was def misfiring first several songs, missing really easy shit I shouldn't be missing. That fucking stage, man. I have to set up my bass amp in usual position, but to fit onstage have to stand in front of Eric's amp and be on the opposite side of Richard's drums, which can be a little discombobulating. But finally locked in and stayed locked, other than having to take a piss 30 minutes in to a 90+ minute set with no break... But ran for the bathroom during Richard's 2nd drum solo so was all good.

Also yesterday morning JRAB texted asking my availability for a King's X tour opening for Accept from about Sept 20 to Oct 13-ish. Totally doable, but the Truckers will be returning from Europe on or about that date. May have to make arrangements to miss first show or 2 and meet them along the way. Then Truckers still have a tentative tour for Oct-Nov, so could very well be gone from first part of September until more or less mid-November. Bring it the fuck ON.

That, and got a call from Jason from Velvet Brick the other day, says there's a student using the studio he works at and looking for a band or 2 to record, free studio time! So small chance I might be in studio next week re-recording some of the Red River Day Care songs, 2-3 of them. Have Brandon Burke (Son of Fire/Jackson Taylor Band drummer) on standby in case my drum skills are lacking, so that is cool. But if that will happen will have to happen next week, and I am already playing Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat, then leaving early in week after for the Truckers West Coast tour.

Feels good to be busy, and better too much on my plate than too little.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sun July 18, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ The Scout Bar, San Antonio TX

Woke feeling tired like usual, but finally in a good way. Catching second wind from so many shows and my body now responding in kind. Neck not sore from so much headbanging, not feeling malnourished like I usually do (thank you Tony!). Opted to continue chilling rather than swim, but hung poolside for a long time. The plan was to start the 5-hour drive to San Antonio mid-afternoon and get in later to load in, as we had no hotel to kill time in and would be heading straight back to Austin after the show. Saying our goodbyes to Tony we presented him with the framed blowup of a jam room pic we took the previous afternoon which we all signed. He was so touched it was awesome, and it was literally the LEAST we could do to return the kindness and hospitality he had so graciously and selflessly shown us. A real class act, that Tony.

The new pack with Josh's infamous green "shit bag" in the foreground, immortalized in the chorus of "Van Tour"

Saying our goodbyes with Tony

Did I mention his house was featured in the movie "Borat"? Served as the backdrop of a garage sale scene. Look familiar?

Drive uneventful until the clouds started to build and we started hitting patches of storms and heavy rain south of Waco. Continued on and off until San Antonio. Weird to drive straight through Austin and *not* stop. Arrived at the venue in time to load before first band started. 3 band bill, but with a fourth added last minute. So original opener had to tear down for the new opening band, which bought us some time to get everything onstage and out of the way. Had a green room, but no rider. Ah well, least we had our own room to chill. Really nice newer place in a newer part of town. Big stage with high ceiling, drumriser and great sound/lighting. But we had to set up merch in this weird side disco room with blaring crap music and crazy lights, which no one was hanging out in.

Missed first band in order to use my $10 buyout for dinner. Went to the Mulligan’s next door rather than the wing place. Had an Italian Panini sandwich that was quite good. Caught some of second band but mainly alternated between catching up with some good friends of the band who came down from Austin and laying low backstage. Third band I was pretty musically impressed by, real dark/weird alt-country kinda thing. Josh: “They’re the kind of band that just says ‘Fuck you, we’re going to play the music that WE want to play and there’s nothing you can do about it.” And they did it well. Thriftstore Cowboys I believe was the name, out of Lubbock.

And again, a decent crowd all night. Not huge but since we’d never been there before were thankful to have ANYONE in the crowd, let alone one really into us. 4/4 on venues we can build from, and a quick easy circuit. Something we’d benefit from doing every other month or so. Set went very well, best feeling show of the tour at least for me. We had fun, crowd had fun. Our loyal diehards of course requested an encore so we gave ‘em TNT. Good times! Said our goodbyes to our friends/fans, hung a bit with second band behind the venue.

Then we piled aboard the White Whale and headed north to our own beds. All in all, this was a really good string of dates.

Sat July 17, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ The Boiler Room, Denton TX

Slept well but woke tired. Been a long week and a half. Dreamt there was some kind of pool/lagoon/backwater area behind my parents’ house. Saw some good sized sunfish swimming among the shallow water liles. Went inside for my fishing pole, would like to catch a few for a fish dinner and thinking “Why don’t I do this all the time?” Came back and the water was rising, some kind of flood or storm surge. Water rose to the side of the house. When a wave hit the window I insisted that we all MOVE NOW. Parents and sister had been in living room, unconcerned until now. Was then going through a neighbor hood, looking for my fishing pole or looking for something. Found our garage but couldn’t find pole. Felt as if I was missing something or time was running out.

Spent a leisurely day swimming and reading in Tony’s living room. Read “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” which was on the nightstand of whatever one of Tony’s son’s room I was staying in. All the while Pete the Beat playing and singing beautiful acoustic guitar songs in the other room. Had to stop reading several times and listen. Quite a talent, that Pete. I had no idea!

Jet contrails over Dallas TX

Josh and Tony catching some AIR

Had a jam with Tony in the electric jam room, played some cover songs he wanted to do. He was so excited and just eating it all up, totally made his weekend if not his year! Great fun. Took some group jam pics, which would come in handy very soon. Spent rest of day resting, jamming and reading. Kind of like being on vacation.

Another longish drive to the Aardvark in Denton with Tony at the helm. Have always heard that Denton is like a distant suburb of Austin, same cool laid back vibe. Nice little town square with big clock tower, some kind of hippie drum circle going on in front. Dismayed to see the stairs leading down into the front entrance… but they had a ramp off to the side. Yes! Smallish but long room, decent lights and PA, another low ceiling and no smoking ban.

Got our gear stowed side-stage right before the Jungle Rockers took the stage. I’ve seen their name all over Austin and they play shows with Amplified Heat, but have never actually seen them play. And I watched a lot of their set, if that says anything. Cool 50’s gearhead/surf music. Cool sound and good singer. Had a cat playing morracas and tambourine, wondered what that was about but he had some real skills with them and was a big part of the sound.

Next band The Heelers were good but didn’t really grab me. Probably cause at this point an impromptu Foozball tournament had begun between Tony and his friends and Josh and myself. Playing Tony solo he was kind enough to give me some good tutorials on proper technique, as I had no understanding of the game whatsoever, heh! Very helpful and informative.

Yet another not-great-but-really decent crowd. The people that were there dug the shit out of it and will bring their friends next time. Better set as well, no problems with quirky stage lighting, tho stage itself very bass-heavy and had to keep rolling back lows. Also that 4x10 I’m currently using just sounds so flat. Good show all around, and Tony’s first time seeing us! Ended a bit anti-climactically with “Can’t Sleep in Tucson” but that’s all we had time for. Talked to a lot of nice people afterwards, one fan took me to the bar for a drink. Asked for a Jim Beam on the rocks, and bartender poured 2. So I asked for a bigger glass and combined them into a double! Loaded out and headed back to Tony’s. Fun night. Stayed up a bit reading.

Fri July 16, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ The Aardvark, Ft. Worth TX

Drive to DFW was uneventful save for the length (5+ hours). Josh had first shift, tried to remember what city had a Lightnin Hopkins statue, which would have been awesome to pull over and check out, but alas we were skunked. One thing I liked about travelling with the Truckers, they take time to do cool shit rather than just get where we’re going.

No Lightnin Hopkins statue, but did drive by a huge one of Sam Houston

Our accommodations for the weekend were being provided by a friend of Josh and Teal’s named Tony, who has a nice house in DFW with a pool, rooms/beds for everyone, and a jam room. Sweet! It is the kindness and hospitality of people like him that make it possible to do this for a living, that someone we barely know believes in what we do enough to open their own homes to us. A real class act, that Tony.

I piloted the White Whale to his place early in the evening, enough time for him to give us the grand tour, take a quick swim if we so desired, have some dinner and rest/clean up before heading to venue. And his house was awesome, nice 2-story place, nice pool, and TWO jam rooms: one in living room with a baby grand piano, nice DW drumset, stand-up bass and an acoustic guitar. Second jam room had PA, electronic drumset, bass and guitar combo rigs. Awesome! He is a highly skilled player himself and encouraging his sons to get into music as well.

Pete the Beat immediately set himself up at the baby grand, and demonstrated his surprisingly awesome piano skills and singing voice. I was pleasantly blown away, had no idea! Many small jams commenced, Tony playing piano and singing, Pete and Josh alternating on drums, Josh trying his hand at the stand up bass. Tony ordered us all a fine dinner from a place called Woodlands. Not cheap and all compliments of our gracious host. Took a nap as opposed to taking a swim. Still tired in a bad way, as I’d already been playing shows w/Tessmer the entire week before this run.

Pete the Beat tickling the ivories

Our good friends Mark and Sarah Gonzales were in town for the shows and to see family, rode with us to venue. Tony sat this one out, will see us in Denton next night. Drive to venue was about 45 minutes, of course got turned around. Josh is good with maps but bad with technology, Teal is better with technology but bad with maps, Pete the Beat’s eyes are going and I had only one good eye due to a wonky contact lens, heh! But we made it just fine. The Aardvark in a hip little part of Ft. Worth near a university. Recognized Fuzzy’s Tacos next door, had lunch with the Ryan Bales Band there once. Crazy recognizing places I’d forgotten about and/or didn’t know where they were to begin with.

Venue pretty cool, nice stage and lighting despite low ceiling. Opening band was good, forget their name (sorry guys!) but they were really nice in conversation at end of the night. Parked the White Whale in the alley next door and stacked gear by the load-in door rather than throwing everything inside while the other band was onstage (bad form). Staff nice, soundguy nice as well. Had a small greenroom for us with full rider for once, yay! However just a toilet in one nook with no door and I currently needed a more secluded facility, as felt like I had a balloon animal steadily inflating in my colon. Thank God there was a single-seater with a locking door, and woe to the unfortunate soul who had to use it after me…


Met Justin whom I kinda know online and from almost getting Ironclad on the Dallas Doom Daze festival, which we had to back out of last minute. Very nice guy, type of person I’d hang out with at shows if we lived in same town.

Justin from the band Kin of Ettins

Had some fans in attendance for this one too, awesome! A better set than previous night, but not without its idiosyncracies. By a quirk of the stage lighting I was having a real hard time seeing my fret markers and landing my fingers in the right spots. Not end of the world, just had to pay more attention to what I was doing rather than just rockin without lookin. But Josh mentioned he was having same problem, so glad I wasn’t the only one. Crowd not huge, but again totally involved. All these people will be back next time and with all their friends. An end-of-set bass toss was requested by a girl in the crowd, which I had to decline as ceiling was too damn low, even if I kneeled down…

Drive back to Tony’s a blast. Pete the Beat in rare form, and trading some of the most horrible, dastardliest, most wrong yet so funny jokes whole way back. Things that are hilarious yet to terrible to put onto the written page… We will def add some of these gems to our between-song repertoire, so be forewarned! Our plans for a rip-roaring end-of-night pool party wound up just being me, Josh and Pete the Beat helping ourselves to the venue-provided chips & salsa, beer, and veggie tray by the pool. Rock n’ Roll, baby.

Thur July 15, 2010 -- The Mother Truckers @ Continental Club in Houston

Our first road trip in a year and a half, morale is high and we are all really excited. Shipped out from Josh and Teal’s about 5pm. Drive uneventful other than how green the country still is due to all unseasonal rain. Fell asleep and pretty much woke up in Houston. Got turned around a bit finding hotel ($250 rooms at a swank Hilton, $55 via!), directions to venue plugged into Teal’s iPhone. Driving around I was like “Hey, isn’t the Continental Club around here?” Yes it was, and nowhere near our hotel. Oops.

Found it fine after that, a case of Teal driving, Josh with face to iPhone, and me pointing going “There it is”, heh. Very nice place in swanker part of NE Houston. No free internet, wet bar with snacks and the outrageous pricelist, and no room for our own food in the fridge. Nice. Grabbed a chicken salad sandwich from a place called Kenny & Ziggy’s or some shit. Good but overpriced (my sandwich was cheapest thing on menu). Ate in room with Pete the Beat as the place kinda weirded me out. Black Sabbath bio on TV.

Houston TX

Arrived at venue to load in, Beatles tribute band playing and the place packed. Was hoping they were the opener, but it was a Happy Hour show and cover wasn’t being charged yet. Sure enough a lion’s share of the place cleared out but many stayed. Met some TMT fans who’d never seen us before, already had TMT shirts, and wanted pics of the band. Awesome! They were really nice. Our friend Big Tom had come out for the show and a Roller Derby the next day, good to have some familiar faces so far from home.

Show was good but not great, first road show since Dec 2008 and def felt some cobwebs. Been playing Eric Tessmer’s music much more often so had to think a bit, heh. Crowd wasn’t huge, but very receptive. Will def bring all their friends next time so that’s good. Had a set-break shot with Josh and Pete the Beat, def hit him a little harder that us, heh. He apologized for being a little off for second set, but if he was I didn’t really notice. Fun first show, hung for a bit talking to friends and fans but then loaded and headed out. The owner gave us a microphone that Honky had left at venue for us to return to Continental Club in Austin if we could. And of course we will.

Chilled rest of night drinking lukewarm Natty Lights with Pete the Beat and watched an awesome show on TV about solid geologic proof that the Earth already had a solid crust and oceans as early as 4.28 billion years ago. Shows like that make me second-guess my decision to not own a TV. Dreamt I was running master control for 2 TV stations at once, and of course things started going horribly awry. Commercials weren’t rolling, VTR’s weren’t routed, programs not entered into automatic system. Not even sure how to use the switcher boards. God I am so glad I don’t do that for a living any more, as I had several days like that when I did.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My first full day off in 2 weeks.

Not sure why I woke up before 9am, but tryin to use this time to my advantage before an afternoon nap attack hits. Feel tired in the physical sense but in a good way, as opposed to how I'd been feeling last week. Second wind kicking in and this constant gigging will have me in shape for the Truckers' West Coast run next month. Doing laundry (out of clothes) and will try to post full recap with pics of the Mother Truckers weekend tour, which was a success.

Last night at Friends w/ETB was really good, crowds really picking up. I felt a little misfire-y but the band as a whole felt great. Fun show and fun crowd. Almost got started off on a weird note, a certain nameless individual who we are trying to sever ties with due to recent behavior showed up. Our cold shoulder got questioning looks. Hopefully word has spread throughout door personnel that we would rather not have said individual let in to any further shows there. The price of "fame", ha!

Still not liking the Fender 4x10 I've been using, would prefer to sell for a 2x15. Just doesn't have the oopmh that my Isovent did when still functional. Notes around A are also blaringly loud, that's weird. Will sure as shit use my SVT and the house 2x15 at Antone's tomorrow night with ETB. That rig sounds like God.

Will try to catch Adrian and the Sickness with Bluebonnets (Kathy Valentine from Go-go's new band) tonight at the Continental Club.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hitting the road today with The Mother Truckers! Our first road trip since Dec 2008.

Will def take a shower before climbing aboard The White Whale, feels like I am coated in a thick laquer of filth. Summer in Texas, more humid that usual due to all the rain. Blarg. At least their was a big fan pointed at the stage at Maggie's last night. Will post full recaps of the Truckers' misadventures here of course!

ETB Monday at Friends was a little slow, not bad but not great either. Was still cooking dinner when I looked at the clock: 8:30. SHIT, I should be there, like NOW. Oops... Got there in time to throw my gear onstage, park, and grab a beer before hitting the stage. Felt dead on my feet from the previous 6 shows in 5 days, but plowed ahead anyway. Played pretty good and had as much fun as my body would allow, heh. Was informed by Tessmer earlier that day that the 'free' party we played for the company that made our stickers paid $750. Nice! We need to do 'free' shows more often...

Tuesday my first day off in a week. Felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Was up north for the evening when got a text from Tank (MOD/Ironclad/Mastery bassist) saying "I am stealing a beer and there is nothing you can do about it!" Nice! Turns out he'd finished 5 bass tracks for the Mastery album that day and was hanging at Deanna's as the guit player Markus was in town, resulting in a houseguest reunion party (Markus and Mike stayed with us for about 6 weeks writing/laying initial tracks). DAMN! Wish I could have been there but like I said, only day off before another 6 shows in 6 days. I will be in shape as a mofo for the Truckers upcoming West Coast tour, that's for damn sure.

Last night ETB @ Maggie's turned out pretty good. Doing every Wednesday now. Even with 2 long naps earlier that day, was so tired I mainly looked at the floor near Eric's pedalboard or directly AT Eric's pedalboard. Jesus Christ I am starting to feel old. Even with that big ass fan blowing (a wind-blowing aparatus, not an ETB fan.... just clarifying) was still hot as hell on that stage. Good show tho, did a lot of improv jams during and between songs. Good crowd, lotsa ladies dancing and having fun near the end (alcohol kicking in, heh).

All in all good times. Tho this morning still feel shredded. And my week has just begun...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sat July 10 -- ETB in San Antonio

Woke early for a busy day, not even sure what time we were supposed to leave. Someone tapped on the door at 9:30, I figured it was Tessmer so did my high-pitched/heavily-accented "HOUSEKEEPING" to which a female voice replied, "I'm sorry ma'am, are you checking out today?" To which I replied in my deepest baritone "YES." Heh!

But we were leaving before 11am to make it to San Antonio by 2pm. We had an instore at the Best Buy on 410 in north San Antonio and a photo shoot with Ash Newell who is a very bigtime rock photographer. Met up with him and our new publicist Suzanne Peneley (works with Motorhead, among many many others) in the parking lot and checked out the store. Weird having a music section in Best Buy, of all places. But they did have some good axes for good prices. Still weird tho.

Basically grabbed amps and gear off the walls to use, which was cool. Richard used one of their electronic drumkits, Michael found a nice electric piano to use, I grabbed a Fender bass combo off the wall and Eric found a re-issue Fender Twin in the corner. Sweet! Played at low volumes and still had a good time, Michael playing his saxophone sans mic/PA which sounded amazing. Did a CD signing afterwards, and signed one CD. Ah well, heh!

Then followed Suzanne in her car to a nearby park for the photoshoot. Ash had a gorgeous spot picked out next to a modest sized creek. Tho was 15 degrees cooler in the shade was still hot as a mofo. Ash had us laughing our asses off with all his crazy dirty limericks and jokes/stories. What a character. Did group shots, then solo shots of Eric. Awesome watching a pro like that work, being a half-assed photographer myself. Then Ash asked if Eric had anymore jeans to wear tonight. "Yeah, why?" "We'd like you to wade into the water." And so there Eric balls deep in a creek with turtles swimming around. Then Ash wants him to hold his '59 Strat with him while in the water. The comic mask of concern that darkened his face was priceless. He managed to not drop his priceless guitar but did joke that "It's wood, it'll float!"

It was over before we all succombed to heat stroke, said our goodbyes and headed to Sam's Burger Joint. Parked out back and entered the load-in door, and was pleasantly blown away by the remodeling they had done. The dark, low-ceilinged punk bar off to the right had been replaced by a super nice and more upscale high-ceilinged bar, and the bathrooms had been totally redone. Awesome! Good for them, good to see a good venue stepping it up to become and even better venue. Have played there a half dozen times with 3-4 diff bands, my first time with ETB. And I think only NOW do I know where it actually is.

Bit of confusion during load-in, not sure if we were doing full soundcheck and whether or not opening drummer using Richard's drums. So we were loading, opening band were loading, and the opening drummer is setting up Richard's drums while he was in the bathroom. Would have been a little flustered at their over-eagerness to get onstage, but they were all really nice cats. Eric and I asked soundman for final say, and he wanted us to run a song. So opening band had to move some amps (again), we played half a tune and called it good. Went to the restaurant next door to finally eat. Which was good, we were all dizzy from a long day, a long night, and an already long day, in addition to standing out in the sun for 2 hours. Ate 2/3 of my bacon cheddar burger and immediately felt like a bloated corpse. But worth it, the food at Sam's is amazing!

Caught some Zzzz's in various booths and couches around venue. Not much, but enough to have gotten a second wind in time to play. Mariah, Triniti and myself went to the van around 9:45, then over to Valero for cigarettes. Walking back text from Tessmer saying we're about to go on. Oops. But no big deal, plenty of time to set up (most everything already set up!), and what was already a good crowd had gotten even better!

Good show, always nice to play on a bigger stage than we are used to, with better lights/sound than we are used to. Walking the crowd, Suzanne's husband John followed us around a few feet away to provide security. Would have been nice to have him at the last Corpus gig we did, sure I mentioned the Meth Lady in previous blog posts... Had our usual shot at the bar, which the empty glasses then miraculously refilled themselves, setting the tone for the rest of the night. I'd been doing all the driving (my van) and was planning on taking it easy just cause I was so exhausted.

But the party usually cranks itself up several notches after set break, and we regaled them with tales of the old man from Corpus Christi. Then the shots started to appear onstage, not even sure what they were but I had at least 3-4 of them. And was DONE. KAPUT. FINISHED. Layed down in a booth while Triniti swung the van around. Came back in and said, "I need to show you something..." Oh shit. She took me outside and showed me the duct-tape covered window. The tape was ripped aside and the blind pushed up. Lots of personal bags in van, no gear, and not much in arms' reach so thought we were in the clear. Have not had the cash to fix the window since I am recently divorced and low on funds at the moment, but never a security issue cause I rarely travel with anything of value in the van, the window is nowhere near any of the locks, and most gear that IS in the van won't fit thru that little fuckin window anyway. So for me it's been only an incovenience cause I can't take the van into a carwash with that damn tape on the window.

But searching the van Michael noticed his bag was gone. Which had his money, cellphone and apartment key inside (remember the PA locked in Michael's apartment? yeah). In addition to all his clothes and toiletries. Well shit shit shit. Was bound to happen sooner or later and could have been so much worse, but still. Immediately texted an update to my FaceBook page: "If you are a thieving crackhead piece of shit, do yourself and the rest of humanity a favor and KILL YOURSELF."

Total buzzkill for what was up until then a really good weekend. Bah. Triniti drove the van with myself and Michael back, while Eric, Richard and Mariah rode back with friends. Which was good, we had no room for Richard whatsoever. Pulled into Michael's apartment complex and he had to just ride to Jonestown with Eric and Richard and stay with them. But they got the key and PA situation sorted out.

Calling his cellphone company, Michael was informed that a call was made from his phone around 10pm the previous night. Which means whoever did it watched Mariah, Triniti and I leave the van, then make his move, then used Michael's phone to call either a friend or dealer. Hopefully that is an important clue, be nice to get that shit back tho not holding my breath. Fuck thieves, man.

Fri July 9, 2010 -- ETB in Corpus Christi

Getting all the animals to the Ark was a lesson in logisitics. Have room in Goldie Hawn for 4 comfortably plus 1 more if need be. Knew we would have meself, Eric, Michael and Trinti Young in tow to sell merch. Turns out Mariah the merch girl was coming as well, and Richard had his own ride to Corpus. Tessmer and Mariah 2 hours late cause Eric had to wrangle a PA for the Sunday private party. No big deal.

Drive uneventful save for brief periods of heavy rain. Duct tape covering the small broken side window held fast. Roll into Dr. Rockits Blues Bar and load onto the stage, leaving Richards drums off to the side as he hadnt arrived yet. Checked into provided rooms at Bayfront Hotel (2 of them, we were in taller one closest to venue). Instead of napping which I'd like to have done, went to dinner with my family. Back at hotel in time to head to venue.

Waiting waiting waiting, not much of a soundcheck. Not as big a crowd as last time either, but fuck it. Got 3 songs in when an older gentleman started giving us shit on the way to the bathroom: "THIS IS A BLUES CLUB! PLAY SOME BLUES!!!" We looked at each other an laughed, not thinking he was serious. But he was, and continued on giving us shit walking back to his table. We were still looking at each other in disbelief, but Richard's GF stood up and schooled the curmudgeon, that was funny. Never mind the fact that we had just played "Down" by Freddie King, "Who knew a thing or two about the blues" as Eric informed the rest of the audience. Then we went into "Right Place at the Wrong Time", another heavy blues song and the guy got up and left.

Which was good, because after that we quickly turned the crowd against him and getting them to admit the nerve of the guy. I said, "We don't go to the bus station across the street and slap the dick out of his mouth when HE is trying to work!" Which was greeted with cheers, even from my own mother, ha! I went on: "Yeah, I guess he had to go and put on a wig and dress and hang out on Leopard Street!" Which the audience just about fell over, and turned to explain to my bandmates that if you are from here that is HILARIOUS. (Leopard Street, at least when I lived in CC, was where all the prostitutes were at, or so I heard).

So yeah. After that it was a fucking party, and everything after that was BLUES. "This one's called 'Green Diamond Blues.' This one's called 'Taildragger Bluess', this one's called 'Lonesome Trainwhistle Blues Blues'." Ad infinitum. "Blues" was the new "Meow", another retarded inside joke that makes sense only to us. Jazz Hands was now called Blues Hands. Thanks you old fuck, you made our night! During set break went to apologize to my mother for my language in regards to the old man, and she told me he deserved it. HA! Awesome.

End of the night drank many drinks with the staff and some stragglers, lots of familiar faces and friends. Had 3+ shots of something called a "Starfucker." Outside Triniti and Eric burned the setlist to release the negative energy from that old coot, and because they are pyromaniacs. Shortly after an off-duty sound man came out and accused us of stealing 2 mic stands and a mic. One boom stand wound up with ours (we bring our own), but the drum mic/stand was on a shelf next to the stage. Bah.

Not done yet, some of us wandered across the street to the other Bayfront Hotel and crashed their pool (it was unlocked, whereas ours was closed for the evening). Lasted about 15 minutes before we were kicked out, heh. Eric didn't where shoes and somehow left sopping wet footprints all the way from the pool, thru the parking lot, across the street and thru our hotel lobby. We were all drunkenly impressed with that, heh.
Oh man what a weekend. Will break it down by show cause so much to tell.

Thursday at Friends was really good. Rained on/off throughout the day but let up in time for load in. Had my bass leaning against my amp, left to smoke a cig. Came back and bass resting on amp not in the way I originally set it, and knew "It must have fallen..." Sure enough, low E tuning key now bent kinda cock-eyed. But on a positive note, it is the tuning key that's been problematic anyway. Hopefully now I won't have to periodically hammer it back into place with a shoe or roll of duct tape.

Set went great, very fun show. Had a good crowd going until the skies opened up mid-set. Which helped our crowd even more, as most human beings out on the down don't want to get drenched and seek dry places that don't charge cover. After the deluge had passed tho, a lot of people made a break for their cars. But lots of diehards stayed all night. Good for them.

Since it was a Thursday the cops had 6th Street blocked off, even tho by end of the night most people had left anyway fearing it start raining again. Asked a cop politely if I could squeeze thru the barricade to park in front of Friends (we were loading all gear into Goldie Hawn for the weekend instead of Boss Hoss, as my AC was fully funcional). He of course said no, and went on to say that we had to come up the next N bound street and pull into the alley behind the venue. Are you fucking kidding me?!? Told him I usually park on Brazos (aforementioned N bound street) in such a situation, but he insisted I pull into the alley. Guess he's never been in the back corridors of Friends, there is a fucking staircase covered in God knows what sticky substance. No way in hell we were going to do that. So parked on Brazos like I always do and aside for the extra 60 feet to load, were not hassled by APD nor had to deal with stairs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Got back into town from the Minnesota trip Tuesday evening, hit the streets running. Busy.

Last night Maggie's w/ETB was fun, was looking forward to playing, been a week. Tonight a Thursday @ Friends, been raining today so might suck. Tomorrow Dr.Rockit's in Corpus Christi. Saturday an early in-store at a Best Buy in San Antonio to promote the Sam's Burger Joint show that night. Sunday a private party for the company that made our stickers. Monday ETB @ Friends. Tuesday night off from playing, but practicing with Truckers for the regional Texas dates. Wednesday ETB @ Maggie's. Thurs Truckers @ Continental CLub in Houston. Friday Truckers in Dallas or Denton, Saturday in whatever city I got wrong. Sunday Truckers at Scout Bar in San Antonio. Monday ETB @ Friends. Tuesday off. Wed ETB @ Antone's, Fri @ BD Rileys's, Sat a gig Michael booked in College Station. And that's where my memory fades.

Wrote that down mainly to keep my own schedule straight in my head. Phew.

Friday, July 2, 2010

St Peter, MN

Doing a family vacation until Tuesday, no need to write about it cause it ain't music-related.

However, got a text out of the blue from a number I didn't recognize asking if I was available to play Friday. Replied I wasn't (out of town, and would have been playing Nutty Brown with ETB if I was) and politely asked who it was so I would know. Trey Stapleton Band, can't remember when I met him or how he got my number. But it is nice to have random gig offers coming in from time to time.

Also was informed by Tessmer that not only are we back to every Wednesday at Maggie Mae's, when I get back we have a Thurs night at Friends and a Sunday private event for the company that made our stickers. SO I get back Tuesday, then play w/ETB Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon, Tuesday off, then Wed (ETB), Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun w/Truckers and Monday with ETB. 12 gigs in 13 days. My bank account will be very very pleased.

Need to have Tessmer update his online calendar cause a lot of those dates weren't on it...