Monday, November 22, 2010

Note to self: eat more. Or eat period.

When I get stressed food is the first thing to go. I feel hungry and worn out but eating is a chore. Even when I can feel my body devour itself from within. Weighed in at 152 when I usually run 160. About to add another notch to my belt.

Saturday ETB at Friends was really good. We had Bryan Austin filling in on drums again an we really clicked. Fun show, great crowd, and was able to find parking right on the block. Barricades be damned! Walking up to Friends could hear a sax player wailing with the band. "Ah, sounds like Michael is here!" Heh. Always awesome getting to watch him jam with other bands. Afterwards had time to hit Emo's for Unsane and Michael Crawford's photo exhibit. Will def pick his brain about logistics for such an endeavor.

Friday is Corpus sucked ass, for me at least. ETB had a thin crowd and a prepared but still fill in drummer (Brannan Lane). My parents were there as well as a buddy I haven't seen in 10 years. Too bad they couldn't have seen the Sat Friends show, heh. We played a good set but I was still bummed at another mediocre homecoming. But the "Play some blues!" guy was there, the Blues Eagle as we came to call him. (He walked in, I said "the Eagle has landed!"). Eric called an audible and opened with the walkaround "I wonder why" instead of "Ledbetter Heights." And something unexpected happened... Blues Eagle got up and danced with his lady, and did so for next song. She even bought a cd. Well shit, if you can't beat em, win them over.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waiting to go on at Dr. Rockits in Corpus Christi TX, ETB tonight then tomorrow in Austin. I hope the "play some blues!" Guy comes out tonight, he will be in for a surprise.

Back in my home town, moved away from hear almost 11 years ago. Def a good life decision as I moved to Austin to.get into music. Here I am now, in the current issue of Guitar Player Magazine, and playing across the street from the bus station, heh. If my friends could see me now!!! There will be an old high school buddy coming out tonight thanks to Facebook. This will be my first real linkup with some of my old friends whom I haven't really seen since then due to a falling out with my roomate at the ti me .

This past week and a half have been hell, will get into that later. Not in the mood now.

Got in touch with the prospective line up for Ocean of Stars to start coordinating schedules to prep for the Dec 21 show. Only to then hear from Adrian Conner that the venue changed booking agents and the date is cancelled. Well shit.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pic from ETB show last night, taken on my Droid using the Retro Camera app. Awesome. Will explain.

First things first.

Just thought I'd mention that Richard Lamm has left the Eric Tessmer Band. We all wish him well, and his reasons for leaving are his own and I will not post them here. All I will say is that ETB practiced Wednesday afternoon, dialing in song tempos on a metronome. Then went to load in for the set at Maggie's that night. Richard quit then, and left the band at the venue with no drummer, a show in a few hours, and three more in as many days. No need to post how I feel about that. But it is what it is.

So last 2 nights ETB has been playing Drummer Roullette, as we've had 2 drummers in as many gigs. Not sure who we have for tonight and tomorrow. But it's actually been really cool. Both are drummers we've never played full or even partial shows with, but have all run into on 6th Street.

Wednesday we had Brannan Lane, an old friend of Michael's. He did great! We just rolled with it, mainly covers with a few originals and LOTS of jamming. Which has felt good. Mindless repetition offers a certain degree of comfort, but putting yourself on the line shows what you're really made of. It's been fun being able to try things with basslines and not worry about messing it up... who cares, we're up here with a drummer we've never played with before! Lots of crowd walks as well, and the drinking rule has been set aside for now, heh.

Last night at Friends we had a young guy named Derek. Totally different style and again we just rolled with it. Had a pretty good crowd too, and again they loved it.
Good times and a good night.

Which leads me to the bloody guitar pic. We were on crowd walk #2, I believe. Eric out playing when his signal starts to cut out. He looks back at me, I give him an "I didn't touch anything!" look. He came back to the stage, Fonzie'd his delay pedal with the side of his fist and went back into the crowd. I went to the bar to get a drink from him (he pours shots while playing, and you'd already know that if you've ever seen us \m/,) and noticed the blood on his guitar. I ran back to the stage to grab my phone, heh! Had to stop playing to take some pics, but Michael can do basslines with his left hand, heh! Teamwork!

Later on I was out front smoking a cig during another crowdwalk and noticed a guy pulling a van up 6th Street via meathooks in his forearms. I still had my phone on me and of course got pics. As much as I gripe about 6th Street, you never know what you're going to see on any given night.

ETB tonight at BD Riley's. Drummer roullete night 3!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I can't believe I haven't posted about my new bass yet. Damn. Will get to that.

Busy week coming up, ETB @ Friends tonight with gigs Wed-Sat. Looks like I have an Ocean of Stars date in December coming up as well, awesome awesome awesome.

So last week Tuesday I get an escrow check in the mail in both mine and my ex-wife's name. Asked her about it, since house has sold and proceeds divided accordingly. She replied "We split that." Awesome. Celebrated Samhain (my first!) with my roommates and their friend that night. I tell ya, Pagans know how to party. Very cool ceremony.

Wednesday morning was at Austin Vintage Guitars as they opened to try out the 2000 USA Fender P-bass I had spied there a few weeks ago. Picked it up and it SANG, and kept it in the back of my mind as I need the house money to be my nest egg rather than blow it all. It was still there. It still sang. Tried to talk them down to $750 ($850 price tag + case) but it was a consignment item and they had to contact the seller. He agreed to $800. Sold.

Had three days to try it out, but was so confident I was not going to be returning it I got it home and immediately drilled holes in it to attach a pickup cover. Tried it out at ETB practice that afternoon, prepping for Michael's CD release show on Friday. Brought it in with price tag still attached and Richard said "It's Minnie Pearl!!!" And thusly so was my new bass dubbed. Minnie Pearl!

After practice called every music store in a reasonable distance and tracked down a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder pickup for it. I had only owned this bass for a few hours and had already drilled into it and rewired it. The next day I began swapping pickguards on my basses for the most aesthetically pleasing matches. That is how I roll! Gig that night at Maggies went well, planned to swap basses all night between Minnie and Cate Blanchett for comparison, but stuck with Minnie damn near all night. There was no adjustment needed in my playing to accommodate the new bass. I just played her and didn't have to think about it. Awesome!

Friday night was Michael McDaniel's cd release party at Friends, with ETB as the backup band. He was very worried at how empty it was before we went on, but I assured him "The night is still YOUNG". Was only 7:30pm! And yes, it filled out. Great show and fun crowd, wish we played every Friday instead of every Monday, but at least on Mondays you can find a place to park and not deal with barricades and APD. Trade off, I guess.

Saturday ETB played Hanover's in Pflugerville. Haven't been there since the Ironclad days, 06-07. Chris the soundman remembered me, heh. I rolled in with Michael in tow and find the place filled with Bikers. AWESOME! Banditos and Leathernecks, several other clubs. Turns out it was a birthday party for the Marine Corps and most/all the bikers were ex-Marines or at least ex-Military. Very cool crowd and a really cool ceremony. Love stumbling across things like this just going to work. They had a cake ceremony where the oldest Marine got the first piece of cake, took a bite, then passed it to the youngest Marine, symbolizing the passing of wisdom and knowledge from the oldest to the youngest. Very cool. Respect.

Show went really good tho Texas was getting killed by Kansas State. 2 hour set with breaks for raffle drawings. Eric bought a raffle ticket for a Smith and Wesson pistol. He didn't win, heh. Good times.

And lastly, had a brunch here at the House of DDT yesterday afternoon. Good friends and family in attendance, good food being prepared and served, good dogs all hanging out and getting along, more or less. Adrian and Heather (Adrian and the Sickness) stopped by, good to see them. Mentioned they had a Cock N Balls (Adrian/Heather + Bug Girl) gig for Tues Dec 21, and it would also be Adrian's birthday party. They needed another band and asked if I knew anyone. I suggested Ocean of Stars \m/, They immediately said yes! Awesome! Adrian is available, Heather will be busy and travelling. Michael is available for sax. Asked Richard from ETB to drum, he is questionable. But Brandon Burke (Jackson Taylor Band, Son of Fire) has agreed. Just need a bass player. Asked Tim from Ironclad and he is checking his schedule. Awesome! A good gathering of good people, glad I could finally make one (usually travelling).

After the brunch went with T to Opal Devine's for Tim's birthday shindig. A fitting end to an already awesome day. Lotta good people I haven't seen in awhile, Javi (original Ironclad drummer) and his girl Joann, Eric McKinney (Wonderland Studio) and Miriam, Jonas from The Dealers and his lady. Good to have a few more beers and catch up with everyone. Tim was into his umpteenth birthday Jager bomb and was feeling pretty good by the time we left, but said he'd check his schedule re: the Ocean of Stars show.

So I have another show and will have 2 new musicians to bring up to speed. But at least I have 6 weeks instead of 3 and two of the players already know the songs, more or less heh. Thinking of adding "Lost Angel" from the OoS disc to bring set up to 7 songs. But will have to do some sit-down jams with all involved and can probably only swing one full band rehearsal with everyone's schedules. But it will be for fun, on a fun night, playing music with friends for friends. Don't get to do that very often anymore, much less play guitar as well. ROCK!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Posting from my phone from Friends bar about to go on, Eric Tessmer Band Monday nights. Have I mentioned how much I love my new phone?

Rewired my guitar pedal board to now be my bass pedal board. Trying George L patch cables again, they do improve yr tne but I have too high a failure rate with em. Also put my diy Big Muff Pi clone on so I can tweak my Bass Drive to sound more like it. That and my bass wah works again, weird.

Saturday ETB in San Angelo was fun. Halloween weekend, I dressed as Sermon on te Mount era Jesus and Mariah was a St. Pauli girl. Good times. Sets went good with a costume contest during break. I came in 4th, heh. Drove back that night as there was some issue with the hotel they usually go thru.

The New Jersey run was gruleing but good, mission accomplished. Made a lot of good contacts and John the host treated us like royalty. Good guy. Set was a blast, the crowd walk blew some minds, heh. Amp was acting up but got thru the show. End of set ripped my strings off as Eric did the same. Guess the Daddarios are more stout than the DRs I was using. Had to lay my bass down and step on it to break the low e string. Rock n roll. Turns out I popped a screw out from the pickup cover and lost it for good. Oops.

Staying at Eric's parents's place in Richland Center, WI was great as well. His parents are awesome. But since days off are never really days off, we pulled up (parents not home yet) and unloaded into the garage. 10 minutes after driving up he had the chassis pulled from his Super Reverb and was already rewiring shit. I took the opportunity to put on new strings and find some wood glue to refill the stripped screwhole from the other night. Practiced the next morning for a bit and tuned up some vocal parts. I even came up with a bassline that turned into a songs idea.

Trouser Mouse in Kansas City was really good. Really good crowd for a Wednesday, and we did a live recording which we'll see how came out. I know I dropped a few clams... afterwards got blasted at the bar, which seems par for the course for me in KC. That's what happens when you don't eat before a show...

Went to Headhunters Friday night, my friend Heather Webb was playing bass for Bug Girl from Australia, whom she'd been tour managing for 7 weeks in the States. She called that morning asking for a guitar amp for the show, I happily loaned mine. Great show, good times with good people. Don't get to spend time on Red River as often as I'd like.