Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still a couple days left, but might as well do a 2010 year in review now before I forget and post it in February.

Holy crap what a roller-coaster this year has been. So much good, so much bad, so much change. Haven't done a tally of how many shows I've played but it was a lot. Kept myself in business for yet another year by playing the electric bass guitar, that's gotta count for something. 4 albums were released this year that I played on: Eric Tessmer Band 'Green Diamond', my solo album 'Ocean of Stars', The Mother Truckers 'Van Tour', and The Figurados 'Lesson Two.' Went through sea changes of highs and lows dealing with my divorce and various life shit. Wrote and recorded a solid solo album against insurmountable odds, now to actually do something with it. Played onstage with at least 6 different bands. Went to Europe for the first time! Saw a good chunk of America as well, most of which I've seen before but was nice to go back. Got my mug in Guitar Player Magazine again (Nov 2010 w/Dweezil Zappa on cover), and a lot of people I've never met heard my basslines on Sirius satellite radio. Put together a solo band (Ocean of Stars) in 3 weeks flat and played a show. Went from broke, to well off, to broke again in a matter of weeks. Such is life. But at least I could afford a new bass and paid some bills before the money grew legs and ran off. Had the lowest of lows when I was arrested for a DWI last month, when all I wanted to do was get home to my sick/dying girlfriend but spent the night in jail instead. Better the cops found me than an ambulance. However she is on the mend, and I am getting myself out of a situation I got myself into, and learned a good life lesson in the process. Continue to find out who my true friends are, and I have an overabundance of really really GOOD PEOPLE in my life. No wonder I refer to my friends as "family" as well, as family are people who look out for each other. And my blood family continues to be amazing and supportive as well. Not sure where I'd be without them. All in all, it's been an amazing year to say the least. Made some great music with some amazing players, and the bar keeps going up. Awesome.

I have no more shows this year. ETB returns January 1st. Last night did a fill-in slot with Michael McDaniel, Dave Shearer and Brannan Lane to fill in ETB's empty Monday slot. Was alright, realized onstage "Wow, I'm not all that into Blues..." heh!!! Good jams with good people tho, itching to finally get a permanent replacement drummer for ETB so we can go back to mainly originals instead of whatever covers we can pull off. And next year will be busy as hell for ETB if all goes according to plan. And I believe it will.

Adios 2010. It's been quite a ride, and a large part of me is glad you are over.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So last week Monday a homeless guy was giving Michael (ETB) shit while standing outside Friends.

And not like regular crazy bum gibberish, but real cruisin-for-a-bruisin shit. Started off with the usual request for a cig/change. Michael and I were in the middle of a business talk and the guy was kinda obnoxious, Michael politely told him no and went back to our discussion. Guy then starts complimenting (I think) Michael on his clothes, and starts getting more animated. Michael tells the guy he and I are having an important conversation and we'd like a little privacy.

Homeless Guy didn't like that at all. Starts telling Michael shit like "I see you down here all the time, I see you carrying gear. But you don't PLAY man, you just carry gear!" Wow. This to one of the finest musicians I have ever met. But Homeless Guy doesn't stop there, he then takes it to the proverbial elementary school bike rack: "I can play any instrument you can play, only BETTER!" He was pretty much shouting at this point, and had been completely ignoring me the entire time and focusing solely on Michael. SO Michael says, "OK, go get your saxophone. I will play you under the table." And he meant it too, and sure as shit would have. Homeless guy gets defensive and flustered, but counters with "Well I don't blow, cause blowing is for FAGGOTS!" And repeated his statement at top volume to drive his point home.

Wow. Just, wow. At this point I adjusted my body language from casual observer to you-better-start-walking, and Micahel tells the guy to just go the fuck away. Which he did, taking his time to hassle everyone between Friends and the corner of 6th and Brazos. At which point Eric comes out and we fill him in, adrenaline flowing but also laughing at the utter nerve of the guy. Sure enough he starts working his way back to Friends, hassling a pack of Segways in the process. But when he looks down towards Friends, he now sees THREE guys eyeing him down. He never came back and we played a fun show!

Just WTF? Not that I condone or would beat the living shit out of a homeless guy, but this dude was something else. Consequently he did turn up at Friends again earlier this week. I was out front smoking a cig. Homeless Guy comes up to me smiling and says "My brother!". I stared at him and said "You are not my brother." He buggered off saying something about me looking like Jesus, which I did not take offense to, heh.
Well dammit, time sure flies. Will give a brief recap of past few weeks, may break up to keep post length short.

Busy busy busy. Tonight meeting up with Eric Tessmer and Mariah Merch Girl for a mail-stuffing party (double-checked spelling on that one, heh) to prep mail-outs for festivals. Should be fun, and hopefully very constructive. ETB not playing the next few Wednesdays at Maggie Mae's, things are slowing down for the Holidays and we could use a break. (Tho my bank account takes issue with this development, but I'll be looking for session work to supplement income).

Have been talking to friends about more Ocean of Stars dates in the near future, as I just realized with utter shock that the one OoS set I did was 6 months ago. Where the hell has time gone?!? Oh yeah, busy summer. But things are slowing down and it is obvious time will not wait around for me, so putting the feelers out now for bookings and a line up. Adrian Conner (Hell's Belles/Adrian and the Sickness) has agreed but will be taking time off from playing most of Jan/Feb. Brandon Burke (JAckson Taylor Band/Son of Fire) is still down to drum, as is AJ Manciabelli (Thunderosa/Adrian and the Sickness). Might be good to have 2 drummers in loop for scheduling purposes. Will talk to Heather Webb (Adrian and the Sickness/Bug Girl) about bass but have also talked to Amber (Amber Lucille Band, ex-Southern Gun Culture) and Tank (Ironclad/MOD) about playing bass. Michael McDaniel (ETB sax/keys) is down as well.

Tomorrow I will be interviewing Adrian and Heather for The Austin 420 Magazine, which will be a feature piece when the mag debuts it's online incarnation on Jan 1st 2011. Haven't done anything like this since the Rank and Revue days (2004-2005), very stoked.

Also speaking of Adrian and Heather, last night checked out Thunderosa and Adrian and the Sickness at Headhunter's. Had a night off, friends are playing one of my favorite bars, parking will be a breeze. Win/win/win. Very fun night with great sets by both bands. Good times with good friends. Starting to feel my age tho, was actually more tired going to a show than I was playing a show. Weird.

Monday ETB at Friends was decent for a slow monday. Not a huge crowd but those there were really digging it. Had Bryan Austin fill in on drums again as our friend Doug Martin had cancel due to a last minute engagement. The crowd didn't mind and Doug was able to come by and hang out later so was great to still see him. Not a bad night at all, glad the Mondays are still fun on a slower night tho still consistently pretty good crowd-wise as far as Mondays go. This was also ETB's last Monday of the year. To fill in the final two Mondays Michael is putting together a bands with slightly diff lineups both nights. I am playing bass on the 27th. Sweet!