Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve, 2011

What a year. Don't even know where to begin.

Staying in tonite, don't feel like going out. Fireworks going off around Apache Shores like small arms fire.

ETB played Skinny's Ballroom downtown last night, good early short set (for us, 90 mins mainly originals). Lots of very good friends of ours in the crowd. Unfortnately could not make the Emo's closing show. But drove by and saw $25 cover.

Not even sure when to start on this year. But ending on a positive note. Will be moving back to town mid January. Found a place on South Congress, details to come. Looking forward to being back closer to the musical family.

Been an up and down year to say the least, we'll see what next year brings. Played only one gig this year as a guitar player, will be doing something about that. ETB has a lot planned for next 2012 as well. Keep y'all posted.

Happy New Year
Love and Light

Monday, December 12, 2011

Amazing last coupla days.

Lots going on, lots to tell. But need to keep it brief.

Thursday ETB played Hotel Vegas on the East Side, 1500 E 6th Street. This whole area has been revitalized in that last few years. Cool little place. Small but great sounding room, full PA, friendly staff. Def a Red River feel to the place inside and out back in the patio. Not a huge crowd but not bad either for our first time playing there. Def check it out, just opened earlier this month.

Friday ETB headed to Dallas to play some place called The Den in Uptown. Drive uneventful save for our mandatory visit to the Czech Stop north of Waco. If you haven't been there, GO. NOW. Amazing kolaches in that place.

Gig was OK, def not our crowd. But the people that dug us were very appreciative. Rob debuted his new 60's Ludwig kit, and he was very very happy. Night could have gotten a little weird at one point. Noticed a young guy who had already drank himself retarded by the time we got there. We started, and we could tell he was harmless (well, non-violent drunk) but he was def going to knock something over. Sure enough, three songs in he decides he needs to tell Rob something, so steps onto the small stage. He didn't make it past me.

I was watching him, stiff armed him dead in the chest and pushed him backwards a little to let him know this was not acceptable behavior, and this was his one warning shot across the bow. Sometimes you have to go Dog Whisperer on drunks, if they are the good-natured kind at least. His body language beforehand suggested he was not going to take a swing at me. Anyway, he got the message. Stopped in his tracks, about-faced with his last forward step frozen in the air. He took a step the other way, and stumbled into Eric's mic. Then he scurried off to the back fast as his drunk feet would carry him.

This was all mid song. The audience, my bandmates, and our group of friends in tow all endorsed my reaction to the situation. End of the night I had to kick another drunk girl off stage who tried to get on Eric's mic. Again, mid-song.

PEOPLE: Either lay off the fucking sauce in public, or go see the band OXBOW. If you wander onstage, you are considered a threat to the band and will be quickly and harshly dealt with via their singer who is an MMA black belt. It is in their contract rider if you don't believe me.

That being said. Good night in general. We hit the Czech Stop on the way back, as they are open 24 hours. Yum.

Saturday was Tim and Tracey's party out here in Apache Shores. Lots of friends, lots of musicians and bands. Singer Deann Renee thought she was going to play solo, but with so many players she soon had an "Instant Band" of seasoned fill-ins. I was getting admittedly a little anxious about LZ Love's set, I have not played a gig as a guitar player since Ocean of Stars set June 2010. But by the time we went on, we too had a six to seven piece band. It was AWESOME! Went from me trying to remember all the songs myself to teaching them to others on the fly. And it sounded fucking bad ass. My only bummer was that had I known there'd be bass and keys too I'd have had more guitar solos ready, heh! But hopefully will open the door to more fill-in work with LZ. That would be amazing.

And finally Sunday.

At the party Triniti and I met an older couple (older than us, not like 90 year olds or anything), who invited us to a house concert thrown by Darren Applet (?sp). We happened to be in town and decided to swing by. Not knowing if it was a jam or a concert at first I brought a guitar and bass but wisely left them in the van at first. It was a concert, and saved me some embarrassment, heh!

The Country Penguins were playing, VERY good rootsy/americana/country. Great songwriting, great musicianship, great singers. Many moved to tears. And this was all taking place in a living room on a Sunday afternoon. Loves my life. The couple, Brad and Renee invited us to their place for an "after party." Was great, we gathered in Brads intimate music room for jamming, singing, laughing and good vibes. All of the Country Penguins filed in as well, so the jamming got kicked up another notch. Such an amazing night/weekend of music in Austin TX.

Felt so good to play guitar, this is the most I have played since RPM Challenge time back in February. And I intend to get more pickup gigs as an axeman and get Ocean of Stars up and running as a side project. One of my goals for next year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fuck. Another time warp.

I am in business mode so must keep this brief.

Have 17 songs to learn by Saturday. I will be playing guitar with the incomparable LZ Love here at Tim and Tracey's party on Saturday. Stripped down version. Her, a percussion player, and me. Bring it on. A challenge because there is no bass player. An added advantage that if I mess up no one will be playing the wrong part, heh!

Yesterday was very very long. Woke early with a troubled mind. In better shape before noon before heading into town. ETB songwriting session. Another solid idea in the can. Then to a band business meeting. Met with our publicist Suzanne Penley who has added an entertainment lawyer/song placement contact and a booking agent to her team of operatives. In conjunction with Stephen Marks as manager (and other duties) feels like we have all the pieces in place to have a big year in 2012. Europe in April (Holland gig already booked), Houston at Continental Club with our brothers Amplified Heat. Designing a poster by tomorrow night. Other things but running out of time.

Then our Monday residency at Friends. Getting into a slower time of year but we still had a good crowd considering it was getting close to freezing by the time we went on. Felt like we were on fire, played really good. Stage slippery again, wtf? Really made a difference when doing my bass solo, my pedal board started sliding away while using my Wah pedal. Oops. Good show tho.

Friends and BD Riley's this past weekend are now a blur. Noteworthy events were my wireless running out of battery power end of set as Eric broke his strings off after "Voodoo Child", was able to plug in direct just in time to catch last few measures we play. That and had my good friend Heather Webb work merch. She did awesome.

What else...

Have tried all three sets of DR Strings sample pack. My findings:

I like the Lo Rider stainless steel/hex core in grey pack. They were stiffer with more resistance, like finger picking coaxial cable. I liked that. Other two sets were too flexible, had too much give when I would dig into them. It was affecting my playing last night. That and the slippery floor, heh. Plus I try to slide a note down the neck on the low E and half the time the string slips off the fretboard, which makes for a cool rock move but produces little to no actual sound.

Gotta run.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting back to business.

Self-imposed vacation felt great, now back to work.

Am in the opening stages of getting Ocean of Stars up and running as a side project. Want to at least have a few pieces/players in place before Christmas Holiday. Will try to have things in motion a bit more before naming names. In the meantime will continue seeking out some kind of label support as I am too broke at the moment to print my own CDs. But am also feeling the inspiration to come up with mock up album art for "House of Leaves" EP. Too bad my copy of book by same name which inspired said EP is in storage somewhere. Shit.

ETB will be close to home but still busy, have a new album to write, playing shows mainly locally to stay tight and pay bills. 9 gigs before Christmas, bring it on. Also have some business to discuss, band meeting on Monday after song-writing session and before Monday residency at Friends. Long day. But we are restocking merch, "Green Diamond" reprint is already here. T-shirts in the works. Also talking Europe in the Spring. Hell yeah, we will have much to discuss \m/,

Yesterday was Trinti's reiki trade with Karen Slafter. Finally got to see her new studio Tattoo 23 on South 1st across from the School for the Deaf. It's awesome, great location, great energy, and more room to work. She is very excited! My mood was a little soured by my van power locks spazzing out, as if Goldie was suddenly haunted by a very annoying poltergeist. While they did energy work, I pulled fuses on the van and hit my head a few times on the hood. But problem solved for now, which is awesome cause still a little tapped out from prior repairs last week.

Monday at Friends was pretty slow, and understandably so. First Monday after Thanksgiving, not much going on in general. But the people there were pretty enthusiastic. Not sure what was up with the slippery stage, guess got my boots dusty walking around the canyons here in Apache Shores. But felt like I was trying to play on a stage made of ice. Feet kept slipping, had to be very conscious of my center of gravity lest I break into an impromptu splits. Which the crowd would have loved but I knew would have hurt like hell...

And finally, if you follow this blog at all feel free to leave comments.

Talking to a friend of the band on Monday she mentioned catching up on my blog from time to time, which is always a pleasant surprise. I don't promote this much, am just letting people discover it.

But at the same time am trying to make it more than just an online journal, I'm trying to also show what it's like to be a working musician. It can be a struggle, against one's finances and against one's own self. My day to day dealings aren't nearly as interesting as say, Lemmy's, but this is what I do and what I deal with. Also, I do admit the filter is set to "High". This is my life and I'm very guarded about telling just anybody about just anything. That, and there are business details and dealings that are no one's business but those involved.

SO yeah, not always that exciting. But this is my life and thanks for reading about it from time to time.

And I swear to fucking Crom I will be posting more pictures.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Have been on self-imposed vacation the last few days. Holy crap did I need that.

My Virgo brain kept wanting to dash to my laptop real quick to work on small things here and there as time went on, but I always stopped myself remembering that it was also Thanksgiving Weekend and who the hell would be reading let alone responding to any of the emails I needed to send. So there ya go. Bliss.

But now like Revenge of the Nerds II, I'm back and I'm bad. Or something. Been at it all day doing internet shit: music biz stuff, social networking stuff, looking into things. Have been in touch with an upstart paranormal investigations TV show about using my music for the theme. Badass. May be a case of trading services for exposure, as they don't even have a budget yet. But exposure is exposure!

I have also posted a demo version of "House of Leaves", an instrumental concept EP inspired by the book of the same name by Mark Danielewski I did for RPM Challenge earlier this year, to my FB page. 20 minutes long in total and one of the most ambitious pieces of music I have attempted to date. Plan to leave it up for a bit to let people know about it, and eventually re-record it and release it as its own EP.

In other news ETB managed to again blow the doors off the Saxon Pub instead of leveling the whole block on Thursday for their Thanksgiving party. WC Clark as the early act, actually got to check him out this time. He was rocking a Peavey Bandit 65 amp. And it sounded great. Blues! Our crowd nothing to write home about, I mean it was Thanksgiving and all. But we had some of our fave friends/family/die-hards as well as some new faces too, so was still awesome.

Black Friday I stayed the fuck home. Crowded stores get to me. Really REALLY crowded stores really REALLY get to me. With Goldie Hawn still misfiring I had to call off the weekend trip to Corpus for belated T-giving. Instead got more time to relax here at house, and van is now fixed. Faulty wire. May still replace rest of them with Eric pretty soon. I did pay for them and the existing ones are starting to fail...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Long week last week.

Ouch. But good, busy.

Last week Monday had ETB rehearsal, Friends residency. Good to best of my recollection. Great crowd that dispersed during setbreak. Well shit. But Jim and Gian Ortiz of Amplified Heat stopped by, great to see them.

Tuesday I don't remember at this point.

Wednesday received Reiki from Triniti and Karen Slafter. It was awesome. Felt very focused and at peace. Which came in handy cause then tore apart my storage unit to retrieve Fender 4x10 bass cabinet, which was of course in the back under everything. I had thrown it in with sale of TB-600 bass amp to Heather Webb, and wanted to make sure working properly. Sure enough wired wrong (me popping speakers in/out and no slack from speaker wiring so shit got crossed). No wiring schem on Fender site. Improvised with an Ampeg 4x10 wiring diagram. Then noticed broken speaker wire and soldered back together.

What was supposed to take 30 mins was 2+ hours of me ripping the cabinet apart in their dining room. Worked but one speaker mount buzzing a bit and metal grill cover rattling too bad to use (takes 8 screws and 8 rubber feet, I had 4 screws and 3 rubber feet...). But she is pleased nonetheless.

Thursday drawing a blank other than Goldie Hawn started misfiring. Shit. Went to a car place for diagnostic computer thing, cylinder #8 misfiring. Nice. Believe I edited an ETB Mondays promo that day.

Friday early set at Friends, no break. Good crowd. Parked out front so could throw bass gear in van then catch Amplified Heat sporting their new Marshall Stacks at Dirty Dog few blocks down. It was effing awesome. And loud. I was beat and had to bail before Thunderosa took the stage. 

Saturday was ETB at BD Riley's. Another great show and great crowd. Good times.

Sunday ETB played Grace Sharington's birthday party at her place. Thunderosa also on the bill. Back patio doubled as the stage, used Thunderosa's gear to save time/energy. Short set (5 songs?). Good times! Caught up with Sumner Erickson afterwards. Really good guy.

Monday another marathon. ETB practice at St Elmo Music Lab in Southern Gun Culture's old room, 65. More songwriting, and another song in the works. Sweet. En route picked up an edit CD from Heather Webb for a photo shoot Triniti has been working on. Then met up with Eric at his place to replace faulty plug and wire for #8 cylinder. Did not solve the problem. Planned to reconvene to replace rest of plugs/wires at a later date. Monday residency set was awesome. Good crowd for first set, felt like we were on fire. Didn't get parking right outside for once, wonder what the hell was going on that night.

Tuesday awoke feeling completely wrecked. So tired I felt nauseous. What was to be a completely mental health day went out the window when I realized I needed to drive my van down to Corpus Christi for belated Thanksgiving on Friday. Fuck. Yeah even if Eric and I (well, mainly Eric...) replaced all wires and plugs on Wednesday, if that didn't solve the problem I couldn't take it in on Thursday. Damn. So called place where I had diagnostic check and they said $350 for labor on replaced wires and plugs. Fuck that, Lakeway prices. But Triniti remembered a mechanic a friend used out here in the Apache Shores neighborhood. Couldn't remember address, no phone number. But she recognized the house/driveway on Google satellite map. Awesome. Drove in, met Bruce, gave me an awesome etstimate and I left it there. Rest of Tuesday off. MUCH needed.

Today was supposed to be a mixed bag. Trinti had weekly reiki trade with Karen Slafter. But van not ready. Photo shoot with Amber Lucille Band later in afternoon. That meant her coming back to Lakeway so van can be picked up, then back into town at rush hour for shoot. Damn. So we took rain check on shoot. Rest of today off as well. Double bonus! Van was more than estimate, coil packs went bad. But then Bruce said he found parts for cheaper than estimate and passed the savings on to me. THAT is awesome. As well as having a full weekend (Tues/Wed is pretty much my Fri/Sat) off.

Bout time. But still allowing my Virgo brain to have an hour of necessary TCB before a quiet evening of pizza and beer.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Out with the old, in with the... well shit

Today I sold my trusty Fender TB-600 rackmount to Heather Webb of Adrian and the Sickness.

It had to go, as it's too powerful to use with my 400w main bass cab. So in a sense I've been lugging it around for nothing for quite some time. And since I was dealing with "family" I gave Heather a really good price on it. Has served me well in The Mother Truckers and Eric Tessmer Band. But time for it to move on to someone who will use it.

So I then went and bought a voltmeter so I could attempt biasing my SVT-II in the garage. Success!!! Very simple procedure. Sounded great, non of the snap/crackle/pop from when I first fired it up un-biased with the replacement tubes. OMG!!! Is this amp finally going to be back in service? Will I not have to use the money Heather gave me for the TB-600 on a suitable backup now?!?

Fat fucking chance. Stuck it into my rack case with power conditioner and wireless unit. Thing weighed TWICE as much with the added tonnage of the SVT-II. Fired it back up and...


Started making that same Goddamn crackle noise which originally grounded the amp from gigs a few years back and resulted in numerous fruitless tech visits. Shit shit shit. Unless there is a miracle, that thing is officially a doorstop once again. *sigh*

Day wasn't a total loss. Passed on a very good amp to a very good friend. Finally changed strings on Cate Blanchett and woodburned fret markers onto the neck with a soldering iron, like what I did with Minnie Pearl a few months back. Makes the fret markers easy to see, they can all but disappear in certain stage lighting conditions.

Now to find a suitable rackmount backup amp. And to buy a new tire for my van, which will cut into funding for said backup amp.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"At last, my arm is complete!"

Sweeney Todd quote. That's kinda how I feel.

Anyway, got my Marshall JCM800 back from South Austin Music. The first time in at least a year and a half it's been fully functional. Retubed with JJ E34-Ls which I wisely bought before the ETB summer tour when I could afford them. Been sitting on them for 6 months til I had time/funds to take the amp in.

Played it in the garage, swappin pre amp tubes to dial it in. Don't have my main stash and all my NOS Mullards have long since gone squeally. Best results from what I have: V1 a nameless 7571, V2 a Groove Tube 12ax7R, V3 a Ruby 12at7. So far so good.

Also as an experiment put the somewhat used Winged C Svetlana 6550's from my SVT retube into my SVT-II and scrounged for appropriate pre amp tubes to see what would happen. Results: loud pops and willy-inducing crackles. Well shit. Would love to bring that amp back into service but alas it keeps setting itself back.

Anyway. 3 shows in last 4 days, no wonder I'm a little drained today. All ETB residency shows, bi-monthly fri/sat at Friends and BD Riley's respectively, and our weekly Monday residency. So today is Saturday for me, heh.

All good shows, and a fairly profitable work-week. Friday a 3-hour set, no break. Saturday we had the time change to contend with, but another 3 hours w/no break. Last night we played 2.5 hours til we finally took a break. Damn.

Friday/Sat packed downtown with spillover from Fun Fun Fun Fest on Auditorium Shores, just across the river. At Friends, our friends Kelly and Michelle came decked out in their Eric Tessmer Hallowee costumes: Castro hats, a wig if needed, mirror shades, fake nosering, and a little guitar with blood and severed fingers hanging from it. Awesome!

Saturday Rob saw Kerry King from Slayer walking down 6th Street. Also awesome. I joked on the mic that we'd have him sit in with us but he's fucking Kerry King and doesn't play blues. Good times. Good crowds both nights, still warm in Nov and sweated by butt off.

Monday was also good but took a long time to fill in crowd wise. When people finally did they were so into it that we just kept playing long after we usually take a set break. Monitors were not functioning that night and Eric having voice issues, so we did best we could vocal-wise. Played "Taildragger" twice and ended with "Smokestack" by Doyle Bramhall II rather than "Vooodoo Child." Mixing it up. I like how we don't use setlists. I still need to woodburn fretmarkers on Cate Blanchett tho I only play her on "Taildragger" (diff tuning.)

In other news got 3 sets of strings in the mail from DR to try out. Fuck yeah! But of course I have no shows until Monday next week, not counting the Jonestown blues jam Eric and I are going to tomorrow. Well poop, heh.

Will post my findings.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last night ETB show at Friends was good.

Still hot, sweating in October. Crowd started kinda slow, but place filled up like Gangbusters during first song. Awesome! Eric changed up the set on the fly (not that we ever use a setlist anyway), and it really worked. Kept the energy up for first songs and kept the crowd groovin. Even with ebb and flow place still stayed pretty full most of the night. Felt like we were on fire. Did some really cool stuff in "Armadillo Strut", just wish we could remember it since that song is different every time we play it. Also brought our instrumental rendition of "Stop" out of the dustbin and the crowd loved it. Gave me another bass solo during the set, sweet! All around good night.

Eric's finger finally healing a little, he cut out 2 of the stitches the other day and is planning on removing another one or two today to alleviate more pressure. This is certainly put on hold jamming during the day and writing new material. Shit happens.

Our return to BD Riley's on Saturday was pretty good as well. Not as crazy shitpacked as it has been in the past but still a good crowd even for a weekend so all is good. We played decent, I felt a little loose for some reason. Mentioning that we are almost out of Green Diamond CDs and the Boss Hoss tour shirts made for a feeding frenzy at the merch booth, we sold out of both real quick. Think we have a few oddball-sized shirts left but other than that we is sold out. So now we need to reprint Green Diamond (not everyone has it), more shirts/designs, and come out with a new record here quick. And we have no money. We'll make it work.

Friday got out of my court-appointed DWI class (very educational and informative, def put the fear of God about cops really cracking down on even slightly-impaired drivers) and of course went to meet up with Heather Webb (Adrian and the Sickness/BugGirl bassist) and Amber Saxon (Hell's Belles singer/BugGirl singer/guitarist) for birhtday karaoke at Canary Hut Pub on N Burnet. Holy shit, that was awesome, and awesomely weird. They blew everyone's minds doing old metal songs, always chuckled when people would tell them "Y'all should sing in bands!" Heh, they are both full-time musicians. Good times. Triniti and I took it easy at the bar, aforementioned fear-of-God-from-DWI-class... Still good times.

This week nothing until Thursday at Antone's, ETB headlining the Mobile Loaves and Fishes benefit. Off Monday for Halloween (good, try not to go anywhere NEAR downtown if I can help it... also a 'no-refusal' weekend, so y'all be safe), planning on getting in a good visit down in Corpus this weekend and part of next week. Get in some good family time before Thanksgiving.

In other news, in the process of replacing my Fender rackmount TB-600 with another backup bass amp that wont blow my EV's out of the speaker cabs. Will keep y'all posted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

TCB day.

Dropped Triniti off at Spellbound Studio for her weekly Reiki trade with Karen Slafter. Picked up a consignment check for some furniture and went to drop off my JCM800 for a much-needed retube and do some gear-hunting. More like recon. Need to replace the rackmount Fender TB-600 with somthing that won't blow the speakers clean out of my cabinets.

At South Austin Music where I dropped my 800 off was going to buy a shirt when Billy the owner said "Take it." That was fucking awesome, made my day! Caught up with Billy in the office to thank him. I got my 800 there 10 years ago, have sold several pedal boards I built as well. Guess he was saying thanks in return. You don't get that kinda service at Guitar Center.

Talked to Ray Hennig for a bit trying to find out a little about my Dietz 2x15, if I could research the serial number and find out when it was made, as Heart of Texas Music has been making Dietz since the late 60's. Damn interesting conversation, tho I didn't really get my question answered, heh.

Didn't really see any promising bass gear there, at South Austin or at Austin Vintage. That TB-600 is a damn good amp so don't want to replace with something that I wouldn't mind gigging with. But rackmountable-ness is high on my priority list for a backup amp. Hmmm...

Picked Triniti up and we went to take pics at Wire Recording, where Tim Abbott's album is being mastered and Matt Smith was overseeing as producer. Awesome getting to hang out with him and Stuart. Turns out I've been there few years back, Shandon was doing a late-nite session and I played acoustic guitar on a few tunes. Anyway, awesome non-descript place. Gold records on the wall from the albums Sublime and Meat Puppets did there. But alas our stay was brief as we had lots of other shit to do.

Looking around on the Bass Emporium website (ATX music shop) I came across the SVT-IIP rackmount tube preamp, basically the pre-amp circuit of my stricken SVT-II... all i'd need is a tube (or gasp, solid state) power amp and I'd have quite a mean backup. Something to look into.

Something else I need to look into is my overdrawn Bank of America account. Seems McAfee active shield decided to renew itself without my consent, which put my checking into the negative. Gee thanks, guys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not-So-Bloody Monday

Had a profitable enough weekend that I was finally able to replenish my bank account a little. And finally rewired and re-jacked my Dietz cab in the afternoon, just want to see what that thing sounds like with the EV's as opposed to the Eminences, as the Dietz interior has some baffling that is not present in the Mergilli replica. Got it all together and it worked, thank Crom.

Tested it out that night at Friends. There are some tonal differences, nothing drastic but noticeable. Not sure which I prefer yet. The crowd at Friends was a little slow, which was a damn shame cause felt like we were really really on fire last night. Holy shit, that felt great. And the people who were there knew it too. Lot of compliments from blown away tourists as well as old friends.

I wish I could remember all the little things from shows that I always think "Oh, I should mention THAT on the blog!" But even if I get to writing about the previous night the following morning (like now, for once) it's still gone. Well shit. And when I get done playing I want to smoke a cigarette and mingle, rather than sit in the corner crouched over my phone updating this thing.

Another thing I've been meaning to mention. Still recovering from the 3 month ETB summer tour. Feels like I have a month+ of jetlag still, if that makes any sense. It is the now the latter half of October. But it feels to me like first half of September. The warmer-than-normal temperature hasn't helped, only adding to the nagging feeling that I've lost a significant chunk of time.

Crazy. And not complaining in any way shape or form. This is the life I have chosen for myself, or that chose me. I accept all possible repercussions (physical, psychological, financial, etc) of my career choice. Just conveying what is going on in my life and the way being on the road for extended periods of time affects you.

All in the interest of science, and all in the name of Rock N Roll.

ETB Debut at Saxon Pub, and a busy week

Forgot to mention second half of last week Tuesday night. Details of the rest of the week may be sketchy due to lack of updating this thing in a more timely manner.

But I digress:

After ETB's set at Antone's, Trinti and I went to Saxon Pub to catch Matt Smith's World. If you ever have a chance to see them, do yourself a favor. You will spend the next few days collecting the pieces of your blown mind. Seriously. He is producing Tim Abbott's album so Tim was there as well. Also bumped into Spanky, good friend and great bassist from the circle of 6th Street musicians. Has filled in for me with ETB several times.

But yeah. Matt Smith's World: Amazing. I'll leave it at that. Had Ernie Durawa from Texas Tornadoes drumming that night. After the show didn't meet him, but met his wife and "Pig Floyd", their pet pig. Awesome. Got acquainted as Triniti took pics.

Next morning I somehow wound up with a Pig Floyd hair embedded deeply into the bottom of my foot. And I was wearing Doc Martens that night, meaning the hair had stayed on my clothes all the way home, fell off in the bedroom onto the floor, and next morning somehow harpooned my foot.

By Wednesday morn the brakes on my van Goldie Hawn were grinding so bad it could not be overlooked any more. My finances are still recovering, but had to be dealt with ASAP with all the hills/turns in West Austin. Called Eric and made plans to have him help/show me how to replace front brake shoes. Took him 30 mins if that (with stitches in his finger), and $35 in parts. Now all I need is a good jack and a caliper press and I will never have to pay someone to do that ever again. Something about teaching a man to fish, or repair brakes. something.

Thursday went to see Hell's Belles (all-female AC/DC tribute from Seattle WA) at Continental Club. Adrian Conner has played guitar for them for 10 years or so. I have known her for 5 or 6 and have never seen them play. Have had opportunities, but always had a gig or something going on (broke). Face-melting. Great fun. Good to see Adrian finally get to uncork for 90+ minutes. That and Amber Saxon (Bug Girl, new H/B singer) also sounded great. The energy never wavered. Awesome.

Spent Friday afternoon re-wiring both my bass cabs (pulling the EV 15's from Mergilli's Dietz replica and dropping them into the Dietz cab). But the wiring was iffy on Dietz so had to put them right back into the Mergilli cab to use for Friends that night. Which was pretty good. The crowd and the night, not me taking apart both bass cabinets only to put my main one back together as-was.

Saturday was ETB's debut at the Saxon Pub. We were all really stoked, very legit and historic place, and they don't book crap. Then we receive word that we've picked up another early set at Friends before Saxon. Did not conflict and we could use the money, so we simply kept pushing the Saxon show and showed up to Friends unannounced, heh. Still melted faces and had a great time. However, we now had to tear down after playing 3 hours straight and head forthwith to another gig. Working a double you could say.

And we didn't know what to expect. We'd told as many friends as we could, but for a venue we were new to, and headlining on a Saturday night... this could really go either way. And I figured we'd be way too loud anyway. Saxon is intimate, covered in wood and sounds great. But we're a pretty damn loud band...

So we roll in and immediately start breaking shit. Both of our mic stands fell out the back of Goldie Hawn into Saxon parking lot. One the base broke off. Well shit. Then I pick up the other and the base broke off of IT as well! WTF?!? Not good. Then as Triniti heaved the tilt-castered merch case into Saxon it caught on the door eave and a wheel goes tumbling off of it. Fucking hell. Haven't even loaded on stage and already 3 things have broken just getting the gear inside.

But things turned around soon as we took the stage, all tired and sweaty from the earlier Friends set. And turned down as much as we can... But the place was damn near packed when we started! Awesome! Lot of familiar faces, people who see us for free all the time now paying $10 a head to see us in a new place. That is support. Thank you all for being supportive, people! YOU helped make that night an overwhelming success and helped us get a solid foot in the door for a new venue for us. Awesome!

Great set. Now a blur. Spent all of Sunday and most of Monday recovering from the energy expenditure of Saturday. Awesome. Eric had a wedding to play, and a possible private event which hadn't totally materialized we canceled anyway just cause Eric's stitches needed a rest.

What an awesome week. Need to post pics. Yeah I always say that... *sigh*

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bloody Monday

Finally ETB's full time scedule kicking in this week: Monday residency at Friends, tues nite opening for Blackberry Smoke a Antone's, Friday early set at Friends (7:30) and Saturday our debut at Saxon Pub, blowing the doors off at midnite.

Roll into Friends to load in on Monday and meet Eric on the sidewalk. He shows me his thumb and forefinger on his fret hand. Both covered in a layer of gauze, crazy glue and caked blood. Apprently he was cleaning out his guitar toolbox and grabbed a fresh new razor blade before realizing what it was, until it had already deeply cut into the inside nail of the finger and left a dime-sized flap hanging from the thumb.

Holy shit. "We'll see how long this lasts..." he says motioning to the gauze. It didn't last long.

Began first set and looked like was going to be a good night crowd (and money) wise. But began clearing out 3rd song in. Shit. The crowdwalk livened things up a bit but after 90 minutes the crowd had died and Eric's cuts had reopened. He called break and taped them up again. By beginning of second set things had changed. People started filing in and Eric's finger was now bleeding freely.

Eric is a fuckin trooper. Utmost respect. We played almost our entire 4-hour slot to a packed house. He ruined the strings on 3 guitars from blood caking to the strings. People were going nuts and emptying their wallets into the tip jar. It was fucking amazing! Well, we wanted to make these Mondays an event, and mission accomplished.

Last night at Antone's was great as well, but crowd kinda subdued. By now Eric had stitches in his finger courtesy an off duty ER doc friend of a friend in said friend's kitchen. He of course sent pics as well as video. Not for the faint of heart.

We played a short 45 if that set, feels good being able to put 4 hours worth of energy into that short a time. Just gettin warmed up and already done. Nice! My love affair with the Antone's house Dietz 2x15 only grows. Used it solo due to lack of space onstage. Goddam it sounds amazing. Eric: "Well, it was Tommy Shannon's when he played with SRV, so it's got some mojo." No shit. Tempted to swap the EV's from Mergilli's replica to my real-deal backup and see how it sounds. May do that today after I change strings.

In other news the MER deal is off for now due to lack of funds. Could still happen, but at the very least I know how much duplication is, and my copies of 'Ocean of Stars' were selling on the road. A follow up with a real drummer would be nice, but reprinting OoS right now would be a financial stretch. A band would be awesome but not until I'm back in town, driving into Austin is a geographic and financial hurdle. Will research labels and pitch OoS re-issue/follow up to a couple and see what happens.

Still waiting for word back from DR. About to use my last set of strings.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Busy busy busy tho big lull in schedule. That will end Monday, then have 6 gigs in 8 days. My bank account will be very pleased.

But have been slaving all week putting together a pro presskit to send to DR Strings for an endorsement deal, JRAB goes thru them for King's X. It's a hookup and they make good strings, hopefully I can afford the artist discount, heh.

Spent $40 at Office Depot yesterday while Triniti had her weekly Reiki session with tattoo artist Karen Slafter. Printed up photo cards and color copies of Mother Truckers press items, got nice clear folders with pockets and bubble mailers, along with discography/2011 Austin Music Awards which ETB and TMT placed in and a list from last 2 years of all shows/sessions/guitar tech work. Spent most of Monday compiling that, I've been busy. Bios I somehow overlooked in printing, which is good cause the one I tweaked somehow never got added to my pin drive or even saved. Printed that at the house today before putting it all together and sending it out today.

Long story short: spare no expense on your presskit.

Learned that in the Southern Gun Culture days, as Amber and I virgo'd the fuck out of the SGC presskits and heard repeatedly "These are some of the most professional presskits I've ever seen!" In retrospect I could have subscribed to an online preskit service for what I spent on materials, but having a physical copy I think goes much further than a website.

I also put another kit together for Tim Abbott to take to Matt Smith at his studio today, he tracked vocals today and goes in tomorrow as well. I'd like to schedule a meeting with Matt to pick his brain about what I should do with this music, and Tim said Matt is all for it and was very intrigued by me doing my own thing separate from my full time band (ETB).

Speaking of which, I got recognized at the grocery store today heh! Was interesting cause it was from ETB instead of the Truckers this time. Awesome. The life of a rock star \m/,

And speaking of the life of a rockstar, my finances are in lockdown from the void left by India falling thru. Doing my best to remind myself that while being flat broke, I still have everything I need. Van has gas, have food in the fridge. While I don't currently have enough to cover bills due after this weekend, I am working 6 of 8 days next week and will have the money then.

But above all, I am happy. Life isn't easy but it is good.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Past several days have been filled with music. Awesome.

Last Monday ETB at Friends, The Cowboys were playing Monday Night Football. Affected the crowd a bit, mah. Still hot at night, good they had the windows open to attract foot traffic on 6th Street but was like someone left the oven door open. I didn't drink much and it felt great. Driving back to Lakeway after playing for 4 hours keeps you sober to say the least.

Spent the bulk of this week editing pics from the 99 day Eric Tessmer Band summer tour. Have them posted on my FB page, and about to post 2nd half of pics on the ETB FB. Also my business cards came in and they look great. QR code on the back works too, sweet.

Thursday Tim Abbott invited me to hang out at Matt Smith's SW Austin studio again, he was having LZ Love do guest vocal tracks. Great meeting her, talk about an amazing singer. She hit her takes out of the park, and then did some guest ad libs on two other tracks as well. Wow. Home runs each time. On the ride to and from her and Tim had several deep spiritual conversations. Glad I'm having more and more people in my life that don't watch TV and discuss ideas as opposed to events or worse yet, people.

Awesome again to be a fly on the wall at Matt's studio. Guy is a certified card-carrying bad ass, anything I can learn from just being around him will help me immensely. Gave me a great compliment too in his deep baritone: "You've been here most of the day and finally the first words out of your mouth were: 'That was fucking bad ass!'" Don't want to impose or buck the energy when people are trying to work, and would like to get into the rotation as a session bass player or guitarist. Gave him as requested a highlight reel CD of Mother Truckers, Eric Tessmer Band and several of my own solo tracks for playing examples. Glad I got to deliver it in person as well.

Friday morning ETB had plans to meet with our publicist friend Suzanne Penneley (publicity for Mikkey Dee of Motorhead and Chris Adler from Lamb of God) to discuss working with her for real now, but her house gotten some storm damage, so that was postponed til Sunday, giving me more time to edit/post ETB tour pics. Later that evening Tim, Tracey, Triniti and I went to Lakeway High School for The Eggmen featuring the LHS orchestra, featuring Tracey's son Theren on one of the stand up basses. It was bad ass! The kids (God I'm old) sounded great, and it was also badass to hear Beatles music pulled off live, and totally nailed. Gave me a new appreciation of vocal harmonies and the intricacies they put into them, especially in the context of what seem like simple pop songs. Awesome. Wish I could sing better, maybe I would if I actually practiced...

Later on T and I went to the Dixie Witch Euro tour kick-off party at Red 7 downtown. Being that we are broke as a joke I texted Trinidad (drummer/vox) about getting on the guestlist in return for both of us taking pics. He accepted, sweet! We got there in time to catch our good friends Sabbath Crow, added last minute and the first show for them in a year + now that our other friend Ric Furley is no longer drumming for them. Also Honky had to cancel last minute to Sabbath Crow was pushed back, meaning we got to see them. Great set by DW as well. Will post pics soon as I edit them, which I will be starting shortly. Talking to my friend Dave TV, he pointed out Nick Oliveri in the crowd, handed me his camera, and I finally got the shot on the 2nd try. You'd think cameras would be more standardized, but even a seasoned photographer such as my self can be stricken retarded by a strange camera. After Dave's second round of instructions I got the shot \m/,

Saturday was the wild card. Van getting low on gas, but Kyuss Lives was at Stubb's. We had absolutely no money for tix, prolly sold out anyway. But we made tentative plans to just stand outside and listen, heh! But I was actually a little tired from playing guitar for several hours in the garage -- that felt great. Ran thru most of Ocean of Stars album, new stuff I have in the works, old stuff that I still remembered how to play. Good to know I haven't lost as much as my guitar playing ability as I'd thought.

But I digress. Tim said LZ Love was playing a stripped down set not far from here. Also my good friend and ex-Southern Gun Culture bandmate Amber Lucilee was playing out in Lakeway as well. As much as I wanted to see (well, HEAR) Kyuss Lives, the price of gas superceded any once-in-a-lifetime events. Sorry guys. Caught tail end of LZ's set and got to chat with her/band. Tim has been wanting Triniti to meet her, and of course they hit it off. Turns out the bass player is Nick from South Austin Music, who has worked on my Marshall a few times. Made arrangements to bring it by again and have him put those new JJ E34L's in it, which have been sitting in the boxes for 4 months. After T and I went to Jasper's for Amber Lucille. Good to see her and Charlie Murphy, haven't seen them since before the ETB summer tour. Good to catch up. Jasper's is a decent place, guess we finally have a bar out here.

Today got up early (8am) for the rescheduled ETB band meeting in SW Austin. Good meeting all around, discussed band shit then publicity when Suzanne got there. All around very positive. Still behind in sending Trinidad some sample pics from Friday night. Also behind in getting my presskit together to send to DR Strings, and finish posting ETB tour pics to ETB FB page. Wanted to have all that done by tomorrow, but here we are on Sunday night. Shit shit shit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Been in get-shit-done mode all yesterday and today, sitting at my laptop until my eyes and head hurt.

Just ordered some new business cards, my old ones had fuckin MySpace links on them. Found a great and affordable site ( and made some pretty bad ass ones if I may say so myself, the ones on Vista Print were effing terrible. Need those in general, and especially now since I'm trying to fill the void in my calendar with the ETB India tour falling through. Didn't post any ads on Craiglsist (have actually had some good luck there) but browsed thru several pages and responded to one that looked promising, see if I can hook up some session work.

In the meantime ETB picked up this past Monday at Friends, our old residency slot. As much as I want to say I don't like playing 6th Street, our Mondays were getting bad ass before we left on tour, drawing weekend crowds and making weekend money on a Monday night with no cover and getting a cut of bar sales and passing a tip jar. And last Monday was no different. Lot of old friends and familiar faces, and plenty of foot traffic off the street. Good fun and good times, just like old times.

San Angelo and Lubbock were pretty decent over the weekend. Steel Penny Pub has reopened as the Penny Pub and has made some welcome upgrades. My only gripe is that they redid the walls of the men's room so they are no longer covered with centerfolds and weird amended graffiti like "THE REVOLUTION IS NEAR (my penis)". Added another date to my tag on the backstage wall, believe there are 5 of them now. Texas Cafe in Lubbock used to be called The Spoon and Eric used to play there all the time 2 years ago. Not a bad place tho we had to bring a PA, nice big room with a long, narrow stage which I prefer over a square stage. Don't have to crane my neck back to see Rob and watch for cues. Not a huge crowd but there were people that remembered the old band and will bring their friends next time.

All and all had BBQ for 3 meals in a row. Coopers in Llano on the way up to San Angelo, BBQ plate at venue in Lubbock, Coopers again on the way back. No wonder I've been eating fish, veggies and salads all week heh!

On Tuesday I went to Matt Smith's studio with Tim Abbott to sit in and hang out while work being done on Tim's record and to network with Matt. Need to get him a CD and maybe get into rotation with his session players. And that would be awesome.

Also still talking with Magnetic Eye Recordings. Have finally found cost effective numbers for a re-release of "Ocean of Stars". See how it goes. Would like to use record label stamp of credibility as catalyst to get Ocean of Stars up and running as a side project. Casually talking to players and thinking of both attainable and far-fetched goals for it. A booking agent and occasional support act touring would be awesome. Let y'all know how it goes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wow. What a difference a day can make. I will get to that, but in the meantime I will start like I was going to on Tuesday but never got around to completing.

Have had 2 weeks to unwind since getting back from the ETB summer tour. A week here at Tim and Tracey's, then spent most of last week in Corpus Christi seeing my family with Triniti. Went camping at the beach, caught a 22" redfish, saw the play 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which my sister's BF is directing, and I wound up being in -- they have a few people from the crowd fill in as participants. I correctly spelled "Hedonophobia", heh. Tho while down there I felt weirdly distracted and occasionally irritable, it was a really good visit all around.

Got back to Austin and felt OK, so far so good dealing with being back in the civilian world. No hardcore PTSD like few years ago when I got back from 10 weeks on the road with The Mother Truckers and my brain literally could not wrap itself around how long I had been gone. Few days after that a really deep depression sank in that was hard to deal with. But that popped like a bubble when the Truckers went into to the studio to cut a track on break before heading back out again.

So Monday I restrung both of my guitars in prep to work on some Ocean of Stars gigs. That night went to see our friend Ric Furley and my bro Tank (didn't know he was playing as well, and even invited him to the gig, heh!) play with Ric Hornyak (unbeknownst to me, Tank's old Dealers bandmate). But then the fatigue kicked in. Hard. No energy, no motivation, was wondering if I was coming down with something. Felt like I was moving through molasses. Played guitar for several hours on Tuesday, which helped while I was playing, but soon as I stopped the balloon instantly deflated. Finally tried calling the doc to try to schedule an appointment, maybe the tour had taken a bigger toll on my health and should get some bloodwork done just in case... but 12 minutes on hold and I gave up.

Next day Triniti had her weekly Reiki trade with tattoo artist Karen Slafter. Only this time they both did Reiki on me. And holy shit, the effect was immediate and profound. Whatever they did totally situated my energy situation, and soon as they were done I sat up and Karen said "Your eyes look brighter!" Understatement of the year. It was like I was back to my old self, and I felt better than I had before I LEFT on that crazy summer-long tour. We ran out of there, grabbed lunch, and made quick work of the to-do list of errands. We got back and I continued to work, calling DR and talking string endorsement. Then mixed down the second half of "House of Leaves", my crazy 20-minute RPM Challenge epic. Then started editing pics for an EPK to send to DR.

This morning no different. We both woke up and immediately got to work on our computers for several hours. I was looking into online EPK sites, looks like they are all pay-to-use. Looked into CD printing and found some more cost-effective ways to pass on to Magnetic Eye Recs. May be calling them on the way to ETB gig in San Angelo tomorrow.

I'll be spending my birthday this year coming back from Lubbock TX. Last year was in Denmark with The Mother Truckers. Year before that I was in Birmingham AL teching for King's X. Awesome!

Cannot get over how much better I feel. Just, wow.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Wow. Back. Don't even know where to begin.

Feels like was gone for 3 weeks but save for the 2 week break in July it was 3 months. So far so good on rotating back to civillian life. None of the mindfuck that coming home from the long Mother Truckers 08 summer tour was, that was rough. This time spent most of yesterday recouping and went for Mexican food with Triniti. She's currently in town doing a Reiki session with Karen Slafter, I'm at Tim and Traceys about to tak a cold shower as the downstairs plumbing is a little out of whack right now.

Projects for today are make new business cards, keep looking into cd duplication for Ocean of Stars re-release and keep ball rolling with Magnetic Eye, may eat mastering costs to keep overhead down but still have Scott Reeder stamp of approval on it. Plan to see Totimoshi tonite w/T at Scoot Inn. Last time they were in town Shandon opened for them with Nebula on the bill. I was out w/TMT and had Amber Lucille fill on for me on guitar. Sounds like I missed an awesome show.

That and start playing guitar more, get back into that in my spare time. Would like to get Ocean of Stars up and running as a side project but need a band. The people i'd like to have involved are pretty busy themselves but wouldn't hurt to ask, maybe have several players in rotation like Shadon's band. Need to make some phone calls...

Tomorrow ETB plays the Fox 7 morning show then Sam's Burger Joint in San Antone that night. Sat is big homecoming show at Antone's, need to get out laptop and start promoting the shit out of all those. Next week/weekend off so plan on going to Corpus with T for family time, come back for the weekend and hit shows/network. Tim says he has sessions with Mike Smith that weekend, would love to hang out and watch. See what happens.

My birthday weekend ETB is in San Angelo and Lubbock. Will spend my birthday on the 18th driving back from Lubbock, probably hung over. Again, see what happens. After that ETB flies to India for several shows. That will be something.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mon Aug 29, 2011

Greetings from Boss Hoss, somewhere in SE Kansas. Just drove thru the Flint Hills, very nice drive even if you are spoiled by mountains.

En route to Norman OK for gig at Brother's Eatery & Pub. Last night of the tour, holy cow. 3 months have whizzed by in what seems like 3 weeks. I always equate longer tours with astronauts traveling at the speed of light--they come back after a few weeks and years have passed. Crazy. Will see what condition Austin and Central Texas is in from a record summer. Was 110 there yesterday. Fuck.

Last night at Music in the Park was a blast. Set up outside a gazebo, good sound system. I was far enough away from Rob's cymbals to not need earplugs, heh. My rig sounded great. Played a fun 2 hour set to about 700-800 people scattered around a duck pond. Glad more people than waterfowl...! Rob wearing his new Kum & Go shirt (best convenience store chain name ever), guy in crowd had his little daughter hand Rob a Kum & Go lighter between songs. Awesome. End of set joined Eric in ripping my strings off. Might as well go out with a bang, heh.

How's this for small world: bass player in band before us I've known for years, surprised I didn't recognize him at first. Hard to miss a huge barrel-chested black guy with dredlocks down his back and plays bass like a mofo. Jemmie was playing with Endever when Southern Gun Culture did shows with them at the Backroom, then we briefly played together in Stepacyde, did a gig during SXSW 05/06. He'd recently moved to Kansas City, always awesome to bump into an old friend when u least expect it.

Note to self: eat. Have been eating pretty decent lately but made the mistake of having only a choc milk, blueberry/pomegranite juice, and leftover fries from Knuckleheads. Was low on gas, then the Coors original kicked in a little sooner. Drank plenty of water and was fine playing, but still. Allergies then went haywire from being outside and by the time we got back to hotel from post-show pizza almost felt like I was coming down with something. 3 months exposing myself to an infinite number of micro-organisms and contagions, and I finally get sick on the way home? Fuck a bunch of that. Took Target brand Clartin, B complex and a Vit C and feel fine this morning.

Second note to self: warm up a little before we play. Last few gigs have felt tight as hell first song, affects playing and risks injury. That and stretch out. Put Tiger Balm on forearms/wrists/hands this morning.

Third note to self: make new business cards. Current ones have myspace addy and no link for this blog.

OK going crazy. Will keep you posted, loyal readers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sat Aug 27, 2011

Kansas City MO

Greetings from Boss Hoss. Just played Knuckleheads, decent show. Been here with the Mother Truckers in the past, wasn't going crazy that outdoor stage bigger than I remembered (tey expanded). But early night, bout to check in at hotel, get cleaned up then get shitty at Trouser Mouse, where we usually play.

Thank God or corporae rates, we've been sleeping in the van at rest stops quite a bit as of late. Livin the dream. But home on tueseday morning. Wow. 3 months.

We're here at hotel now, signing off for now.


Having a Beam on the rocks at Trouser Mouse. Seems like we were just here. 2nd night of the tour after we heard news bout loss of Sergio. RIP brother, heaven just got a lot cooler.

Rockabilly band playing, guy just joined them onstage for a set of Buddy Holly covers. Would be better if they played insteadof guy talking incessantly. Anyway I am burned out and want to go home. Not long now. Will be good to be home.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mon Aug 22, 2011

Off day, Richland Center WI

Going to Noah's Ark water park today, should be fun. Could almost use the rest if we cancelled but fuck it we need to blow off some steam.

Burnout setting in big time. Been a long run and ready to go home. I think we have just over a week left. Holy shit, has it been three months? And now it's almost over? Wow. No wonder I can't remember where we played 3 days ago and can barely keep up with the coming week's schedule.

There are a lot of things I could be doing in downtime that I just have no motivation for. Could download/edit/post pics from my camera but barely have the energy to take pics, let alone do anything with em. Backlogged enough as is. Would be great to use camera pics for this blog rather than same phone pics I posted on FB, but phone pics more time/energy efficient way. Could be working on vid blogs but no energy and FlipShre pretty primitive for vid editing. Could be playing bass, felt great to play the other night (when? where?) for fun, but hands/forearms tired.

But we did clean Boss Hoss out yesterday, that was needed. Eric and his dad also cut/welded some sheet metal to mke a new seat mount for the passenger side. Now that seat ain't rockin bck/forth anymore. Also some new parts purchased while in town, engine runnin a little wonky. Please we need to replace the rear tire which blew out en route to NYC. Spare is pretty shot. All that will be done today/tomorrow. Clothes already warshed. Even had a bonfire last night, got great phone pics but Blogger seems to like Retro Camera better. Mah.

So yeah. Hard to fathom next week Saturday I'll be back in Austin and playing Antones. Brain hurts.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sun Aug 21, 2011

Whoops, let's do the time warp again. Greetings from Chez Tessmer in Richland Center WI.

I am beat. We are beat. 2 days off before heading to Minneapolis and Eau Claire WI, Chicago-area again then headin generally south towards home, finally. Looking forward to this run winding down, been bout 3 months and ready for an actual break.

Last night in La Crosse was interesting. The Joint is a really cool place staffed by some really cool people and a competant soundman (yes used those words together and meant it, heh!). Similar setup to the old Room 710, venue/stage one side and bat on the other. Decent size stage and good sound. Stopped en route to Eric's friend Travis' place for steaks and a quick beer.

Venue never really filled up, ebbed and flowed. We were dragging ass and tried to appear otherwise, not sure if people noticed. Met Van Man from the old, always good to finally meet a former forumite in the flesh. Was real nice having an online discussion forum of people I would hang out with if we lived in same town. Wearing a Dixie Witch shirt to boot, which earned him a free ETB coozie. \m/,

We slugged thru 3 sets to varying amounts of people. Played pretty good I guess. Didn't sell much but got 3 pages of emails, that's cool. During soundcheck my wireless unplugged itself, remedied and good to go. Finally restrung Cate Blanchett as well, only use her for Taildragger and haven't restrung since last run. Put on my last set of Dean Markley Blue Steels, now remember why I liked them back in the day: they last a long time. The ones on Minnie Pearl are several days older than they should be and only now need to be changed. Kicking myself for not buying more at Dave's Guitars earlier that day.

After show things got crazy on streets of La Crosse. As per Eric, river towns in WI get rough. Were privy to drunken bar-closing stupidity and a rumble between some dumbasses. Good times. Eric and I kept our eyelids open with toothpicks to get home overnight. Windy roads and patches of fog. And maybe 2 towns in between. Yeah. But here we are. Day off today, going to Noah's Ark water park tomorrow. Fun.

Sun Aug 21, 2011

Whoops, let's do the time warp again. Greetings from Chez Tessmer in Richland Center WI.

I am beat. We are beat. 2 days off before heading to Minneapolis and Eau Claire WI, Chicago-area again then headin generally south towards home, finally. Looking forward to this run winding down, been bout 3 months and ready for an actual break.

Last night in La Crosse was interesting. The Joint is a really cool place staffed by some really cool people and a competant soundman (yes used those words together and meant it, heh!). Similar setup to the old Room 710, venue/stage one side and bat on the other. Decent size stage and good sound. Stopped en route to Eric's friend Travis' place for steaks and a quick beer.

Venue never really filled up, ebbed and flowed. We were dragging ass and tried to appear otherwise, not sure if people noticed. Met Van Man from the old, always good to finally meet a former forumite in the flesh. Was real nice having an online discussion forum of people I would hang out with if we lived in same town. Wearing a Dixie Witch shirt to boot, which earned him a free ETB coozie. \m/,

We slugged thru 3 sets to varying amounts of people. Played pretty good I guess. Didn't sell much but got 3 pages of emails, that's cool. During soundcheck my wireless unplugged itself, remedied and good to go. Finally restrung Cate Blanchett as well, only use her for Taildragger and haven't restrung since last run. Put on my last set of Dean Markley Blue Steels, now remember why I liked them back in the day: they last a long time. The ones on Minnie Pearl are several days older than they should be and only now need to be changed. Kicking myself for not buying more at Dave's Guitars earlier that day.

After show things got crazy on streets of La Crosse. As per Eric, river towns in WI get rough. Were privy to drunken bar-closing stupidity and a rumble between some dumbasses. Good times. Eric and I kept our eyelids open with toothpicks to get home overnight. Windy roads and patches of fog. And maybe 2 towns in between. Yeah. But here we are. Day off today, going to Noah's Ark water park tomorrow. Fun.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thu Aug 11, 2011

New York City, NY @ Stout Bar

In case I hadn't mentioned it, en route to Rochester last week we discovered a bubble in the side of the L rear tire. Eric marked the boundary of it wth silicone to mark it's possible expansion. Got to Rochester plannin on findng a new tire and the bubble is gone as mysteriously as it hd appeared. Of course we didn't buy a new one.

So en route to NYC it decides to blow. Drivin along, then loud POP that woke me up and Rob pullin van to side of the road. Well shit. Luckily we didn't have to unpack half the van on the side of the road to jack it up. But Eric and Russ did have to wrestle the spare tire from the jaws of the fucked up/jury-rigged spare mount, took more time than swappin tires. Sure enough, tire split between the treads. Kaput.

Made it to NYC in one piece. This time at Stout we were playing downstairs (stage, lights, freight elevator) as opposed to ground level (no stage, no lights, setting up "in the way"), and Eric sang thru his Dual Professional as opposed the the extra time/effort/money of a PA rental. Sweet. Walked 19 blocks to Guitar Center on 14th Street for strings. Dean Markley Blue Steel bass sets priced to move, haven't been able to afford them in a long time.

Had a really good crowd this time. Phil and his wife there, Ben Smith from The Brought Low as well (awesome 3-piece southern rock from Brooklyn, check em out!!!) good to see him and catch up. Planned on taking it easy drink-wise as we had an all-night drive to Watkins Glen. But a drunk businessman changed all that when he started buying us round after round of shots. Uh oh. We didn't want to be rude, but damn. He got us pretty schnockered. Thanks, I guess.

We were good to go tho, Russ and I sobered ourselves up enough to be pilot/co-pilot. Drove until fog started rolling thru the hills and we found a rest stop, slept in the van. It was upper 40's and felt great.

Mon Aug 16, 2011

Greetings from the van, which we've been staying in last few nights. Past days now a blur, do my best to recap and catch y'all up. Drive day today, en route to Tuscarawas OH (wherever the hell that is) for a routing date tomorrow b4 Chicago on Wed. Have a room or 2 waiting there for tonight, first time to sleep in a bed in almost a week.

Stopped at a truckstop in the far corner of PA and saw my first real Trucker's Chappel, and we parked Boss Hoss next to Popeye the Good News Man. This place is fuckin weird. But we are done with New Engand for now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wed Aug 10, 2011

Dolly's Wash House, Harrisburg PA

Trying some spray shit Eric has to battle the armpit stains in my white shirts. About to trash and replace, evidently nicotine, beer and other toxins are expunged there. Looks nasty.

Day off, 2nd night here at Carlisle (?) Hotel. I swear this place used to be a retirement home. Weird complex of semi-creepy buildings, seen a woodchuck outside our building. But a big room, good since we're all crammed into it. Need to take a pic of the bathroom, eyemelting mustard yellow toilet and shower.

Early loadin for Stout in NYC tomorrow so I hear. But not renting a PA this time so that will save a lot of money and a lot of hassle. We've used Eric's stricken Dual Professional in Buffalo and Leesburg as a mae-shift PA and worked like a charm. Makes luggin it around (110+ pounds) worth it. Should we find another xlr-to-quarter inch adapter and I could sing too, heh.

Not much else going on, today at least. Sounds like there will be a camera crew following us in India, film ready by SXSW. May do some humanitarian work out there as crew is affiliated with such, will have to re-read that email. We'll be finalizing our wishlist of bands to open for for the Agency Group tonight, will try to catch this blog up time/energy/memory permitting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tue Aug 9, 2011

Greetings from the van, somewhere outside Strasburg VA.

Haven't been keeping up with this blog, been a long week, but will post recaps as time allows. Just did 6 shows in 6 nights in 3 states. Took some ibuprofin cause even my will to live is a little sore. En route to NYC for Thursday gig then Friday at Nascar event in Watkins Glen. Should be awesome!

Been slow going today. Pulled over in front of this Texas Chainsaw Massacre-looking house, engine misfiring or something, I dunno I was asleep on back bench. Spent an hour or so, Eric taking things apart and cleaning wiring. Got back on the road and eased 2 miles to a gas station. Guess we were running out of gas, heh. But got a new wire and Eric installed that after stopping at Subway for breakfast/lunch. Back on road and running smooth. Not sure where we stay tonight, Rob researching hotel deals. Laundry and internet are a must.

Feel pretty good, was getting very worn down from this week of gigs. Feels like gaining weight too, if that can be believed. Was about to add another notch to my belt last run, now jeans fit tight and belly feels bloated. Guess we're getting fed more this run, that and beer. Guess I'll go get some running shoes and a track suit, and a cool headband.

Just off the wire, we are staying in Harrisburg tonight. Not sure if in VA or PA. Keep y'all posted.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wed Aug 3, 2011

Woke to the cat Ziggy pawing at my toes. He was tiny and crazy last time, now had grown some and feeling frisky. Slept on a matress that folded into a love seat. I didn't bother unfolding it. Felt like sleeping on a van bench seat. Eric and I up first, got to see off a kid who stayed the night, he was spending a month bicycling around Lake Ontario, and was headed back home to New Hampshire that morning. Wow.

Once all up we made the walk downtown to eat and pick up the van. Still there across the street from Charlie O's, no ticket. Ate at a crepe place, had a Greek breakfast crepe that was awesome. Got word that a local college station, WGDR had an opening and wanted us to swing by for an interview. Awesome!

Josh the music director really cool. Very knowledgeable and respectful, "gets it." Asked us pertinent music related questions rather than asking if any of us had banged a certain respected Austin singer like that guy the other day. The kind of interview that was meant to earn more fans. Really nice of them to squeeze us in that day.

Rob and Russ went to a swimming hole somewhere. Eric and I stayed back. The daily lives of "rock stars." Swimming, sleeping, relaxing, working. Headed downtown earlyish to grab dinner after loading in. Ate at Pizza Vilage, had an Italian sub that was awesome and a Greek salad, the greens that came with my breakfast crepe whetted my craving of greens and olives. Ate half the sando, was stuffed, and still starving end of the night.

Show was decent. Had hoped word had spread more, but good enthusiastic crowd. Lotta familiar faces from last time. Good times with good people, and took it easy compared to the previous night. Early-ish van call. Have been playing every show with wirless on all the time, and battery guage still hasn't moved. Starting to wonder if working properly, heh. Jumbo pack of AA's I bought pre tour will last 2 years at this rate.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tues Aug 2, 2011

Tuesday morning early van call, 7:30am. Ouch. Had a 10:30 radio interview in Rochester and a lunch meetup with Phil in Albany en route to Montpelier VT.

Radio thing went alright, were on the Wease show right after some girls from the Tally Ho strip club. Okey doke. Russ stayed behind while Eric, Rob and I needed help navigating the maze of halls and office cibicles. Then in a panic realized we forgot to bring CDs... damn! Texted/called Russ who saved the day in the nick of time before we were on air. Hopefully good promo for show Friday.

En route to Bro's Tacos in Albany I texted Mike from Magnetic Eye Recordings, see about a possible last minute meetup. We've been talking for months about re-issuing Ocean of Stars and doing a follow-up, but have still never met, heh. He was down.

Eric got a shock as drving thru an intersection he popped his head up long enough to see Phil's car, not knowing we were meeting up, heh. Good to see Phil, and Bro's Tacos serves some damn good food! Met Mike, who gave me 3 MER tshirts, the new Ironweed (his band) vinyl and some burn CD's. Awesome! Chatted business and non-business but he had to run. Good finally meeting him! Now to find a cost-effective means of re-issuing OoS...

Anyway Phil directed us to a much-needed laundromat then took us for a last beer or three before hitting the road to VT. I designated myself as driver. Damn, name of brew pub we went to escapes me. Cool place. But as I took Boss Hoss rest of way to VT I realized again that i'd volunteered to drive in beautiful country at that perfect time of sunset when the light is gorgeous. Well shit. But soon sun was down, sure was a beautiful drive during the day, heh. Not as white-knuckle as the drive thru Blue Ridge Mtn, but crossing the spine of the Adirondacks at night keeps you on your proverbial toes.

Arrived into Montpelier in one piece and drove straight to Charlie O's World Famous. And just like that, we were back. When were we here last... June? July? But we walk in to Tuesday night Karaoke, and the same old guy is belting out "My Way" by Sinatra. Maybe we were here just last week. Who knows. So we said hello to all the familiar faces at the bar and dove right in to getting hammered.

Wasn't nearly as bad as Horseheads NY. But we left the van downtown to be safe, NONE of us would be driving. Let's just say we drank a lot, talked to people, some of us sang karaoke, some of us filmed it, a cab was provided to avoid walking a mile to the house, most of it uphill, and it continued for a bit back at the house. Good times.

Charlie O's def has that character. Been open since the Civil War, and still feels like a Wild West bar. But everyone is... NICE. Bunch of people from all crazy different walks of life, and everyone gets along. Very cool vibe, now one of my fave bars in America. Montpelier def has a vibe like Austin.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mon Aug 1, 2011

Day 2 off in Buffalo NY, Rob Disaster's 29th B-day!

Thanks again to Brian and co for the rooms. Saved us a bundle and provided much needed rest. Which was good, cause when we went to pile into the van to hit Guitar Center so Rob could get the part he needed for stricken tom hardware we found the L front tire low. I found the nail, what looked like a rock in the tread made a hissing noise when I wiggled it...! Kicked it back in with my foot.

Found a cheap tire patch kit at a gas station, see if it holds. At Guitar Center we of course would have to special order the lug parts and figure out where they needed to be sent (how long will it take, and were will we be at the time...?). Rob also priced a snare stand while there. Cheapest one was $60. Ouch. But all this time we were also chatting with a local named John who plays for a metal band and does tour managing/sound/promoting. He was very sympathetic to our plight, been there before.

As we left to find a drum shop or pawn shop, he offered to buy Rob the snare stand. Wow. Tried to talk him out of, but he was paying it forward. Awesome, the kindness and hospitality of strangers is always a Godsend. And now he has some solid contacts for Austin, which he was lacking up til this point. Kindness of that sort is never forgotten, and repayed when possible. That was awesome. Thanks brother!

Of course no one mentioned goin to Niagara Falls after GC, so I neglected to bring my camera. I mean, what amazing stuff ever happens at GC or Chipotle? Had my phone camera anyway. But Niagara Falls calls for the big guns. But Eric was still filthy from patching the tire anyway, so hotel run was needed.

Niagara Falls is Niagara Falls. Has to be seen to be believed. Been there once before on tour with the Mother Truckers in 2008. Just as awesome this time as well \m/, If you have the means, go.

Later on after resting up we went to the Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo Wings for a b-day dinner for Rob. So guess what we had? We ate 70 of those fuckers. Excellent, better than previous place (duh, they invented them!). Towards the end of them we had to put some motivational music on Rob's phone so we could finish them, which our waitress got a kick out of. Wow. We were stuffed.

Out in parking lot on phone with Triniti was privy to an employee escorting a bum from the parkin lot. Then he was literally chased away by a McDonalds employee next door. I try to be sympathetic to the less fortunate, but roving freeloading drug addicts kinda piss me off. Just be honest and say you need money for drugs rather than a bullshit tale about trying to get home. Judging by his reception at each establishment I'd say he was a regular.

Sun July 31, 2011

Day off in Buffalo NY

Day off and nowhere to drive 10 hours to. Nice! Feels good to stay in the same place for a few. Just wished the AC in Russ and I's room worked a little better.

Didn't do a whole lot. Took advantage of the hotel wifi to get some work done on my laptop. Figured out that Retro Cam phone pics work great for this blog, but the regular phone camera not so much. Had one entry clogged like a gas station toilet and had to plunge it on laptop.

Only thing of consequence we did was Brian and his wife took us to a swank Italian place for lunch. Had a slab of lasagne about 8"x8" and 2 inches high. And I ate almost the whole damn thing. Needless to say still felt stuffed 7 hours later. Waiting for them out front of hotel saw real woodchucks for the first time, 3 of them rooting around a field by hotel. Crazy looking fuckers. Didn't see them chuck any wood, or chuck anything for that matter. But they did rear up like chipmunks when they ate which was kinda cute.

Later that evening started going thru list of artists on Agency Group website to form a wishlist of possible acts to open for, should they want to start working with us. Found some cool shit, and many bands thank God said either "electronic" or "pop" in their descriptions, as if band photos weren't a dead giveaway that we wouldn't fit. One band had audacity to claim they didn't have a bass player cause "bass is boring." WTF?!? Don't mean to toot my own horn, but I added them to my wishlist so I could how them what a real bass player could do.

Got the call at 11:45 that there would be a b-day party shindig for Rob in him/Eric's room. Sweet! There! Drank Yueglings and watched vids that we discovered researching Agency roster. Some cool and funny shit. I was pretty floored by the Melt Banana live vid I stumbled across. Just DAMN. Good times, and nowhere near the damage we did to ourselves in Horseheads few nights previous. And that was a good thing...

Sat July 30, 2011

Buffalo NY, private event for company that made our stckers.

Great googly-moogly. We felt like ass next morning. Just wow. Nobody sick and vomiting, but darn close at times. That was unbelieveable. Possibly the stuff of legend. Not something we want to make a habit of tho, we're not the Rolling Stones.

Drive to Rochester was a blur. I took 2 tylenol in the AM which staved off my headache for awhile. Worn out, sore and stiff. But that's what happens when I don't stretch out befrore gigs and then try to drink like a maniac.

Rolled into the venue in good time. Was this creekside tent/pavillion/hall that is often rented for weddings. The days leading up we tried to find a cost- and time-effective way of renting a PA but no dice, so Eric sang thru his Dual Professional. Saved lots of time and money. But Brian and his wife were great as always, they really believe in the band and are awesome people to boot. Paid for 2 rooms for us not just for the evening, but for the next 2 nights as well. Wow, thank y'all so much! Good to have provided lodgings for gig night and next 2 off days. Said they'd take us to lunch next day and to tour the sticker factory as well.

But still kinda weird to play under a big circus tent alongside this idyllic creek. Even a little water feature behind Eric's amps, ha! Also weird to be hungover, stinky and setting up while families are playing bingo at the tables. Great catered BBQ and an open bar, tho none of us really felt like drinking...

But setting up Rob noticed that a rubber lug for his tom mount hadbroken. Well shit... He, Russ and I rigged it with fishing line and gaff tape. Would get thru the gig, but not much else. Sucks, cause that is of course a special order part. So we made tentative plans to remedy that in the next few off days by ordering part then finding Rob a cheap snare stand for it in the meantime. That, and a Niagara Falls trip as well!

We got a huge morale boost when Phil he superfan showed up with his dog! Awesome! Great to see him yet again, always showing up unexpectedly, heh. So he was privy to yet another facet of our live show: the low-key, playing-to-families-while-apocalyptically-hungover side. Still a fun little show. Not that many were watching us, heh. Hung for a bit afterwards and leisurely loaded out.

Were feeling a bit more ourselves finally so after checking in at Quality Inn by the airport went with Phil to a wings called the Brew Pub I believe. Delicious micro brews, but after the previous night's liver destruction we only had one beer a piece. Wings were good too. Back at rooms finally took a much-needed shower and felt like a reptile that just shed its skin.

Fri July 29, 2011

Horseheads NY @ Jake's Saloon

Drive there was another time warp/alien abduction situation. 3-4 hours turned into 7. Weird. Well, stopping a a truck stop parking lot to half-unload the van as to jack up the van and pull apart rear brakes ate a little time. Back brakes making godawful noises. But right side a cable for the emergency brake came loose and was grinding, easily reattached. Left side something had also come loose, not needed immediately so clipped and removed. Problem solved! Back brakes work better than ever.

Met our promoter friend Steve Todd there. Good to see him again. Loaded into the small venue and set up, more or less. Steve then took us to his buddy's place for BBQ and beers, all great and hit the spot. Good to chill for a bit and NOT be in the van.

Back at venue crowd already starting to build, that's good. Was hoping word had spread since last visit, and it had. My neck has been sore as shit since the previous morning so feeling a little stiff. But we tore into it and had a good crowd!

Weird thing about the bar, we played in front entry way divided into 2 alcoves. Me on one side, Eric and Rob on the other. Despite chair blocking door with taped sign "PLEASE USE SIDE DOOR" people kept walking in/out, meaning walking right thru us. No big deal. But then drunks would come up and talk to us between (and DURING) songs which got a little distracting. One guy came staggering up and mumbling gibberish, had to politely tell him stand over there with everyone else. At least the drunk lady who tried to give me a wedgie then later ate shit at the bar wasn't there...

New wireless works like a charm. Batteries last forever. Used it for all of Bethlehem set (90+ mins) and batt guage hadn't even moved. Sweet! Used it only for crowd walks at Jake's, didn't want to push my luck yet. At one point another drunk older guy was smiling and mimicking my stiff-neck head bob. Couldn't tell if he was enjoying himself or making fun of me. Put it out of my mind either way. Towards the end Brad the owner came in with his sax case, hell yeah he can sit in! He played for awhile in the corner, I kept motioning for him to get on the mic-- what he was doing sounded great! But he ket saying "That's not it..." We play a half-step down in Eb, guess that was throwing him off a bit. But he finally got on my mic and wailed last 2 songs. Awesome!

Fun show, great crowd. Small places are easy to fill \m/, That and Brad and Steve were taking great care of us (drinks). Before getting totally hammered we made sure to load the van and find out who we are following to where. Went back to Steve's buddy's house who had a full bar and pool table in the basement. And we put the PARTY in after-party... holy cow. End of night got real hazy real quick. I managed to beat Rob at pool,that was unexpected. Don't recall much about going to sleep,but woke up on living room couch, Eric on the loveseat nearby. Despite heroic alcohol consumption I managed to take off my shoes and contact lenses. We really let it all hang out, mainly cause we didn't have to go anywhere other than to sleep. Wow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thur July 28, 2011

Bethlehem PA, Levitt Pavillion

Stayed cloudy and threatening rain for drive to Bethlehem, fine by us as no AC in Boss Hoss. Drive uneventful.

Bethlehem another beautiful town. Rolled into the Levitt Pavillion and were blown away by the scenery. Ruins of old stone factory buildings like Roman arches, decrepit warehouses and the coup de gras: the Bethlehem Steel Stacks, a huge closed down smelting refinery. Looked like the cover of a Black Sabbath album, and was featured in the opening scene of Transformers 2 (never saw it). The Steel Stacks made steel for the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge and most skyscrapers in Manhattan. Now served as the Doom-tastic backdrop of the Levitt Pavillion outdoor stage.

Awesome way to begin a tour, playing a real stage and being treated (and PAID) like a real band, heh! Backstage area with dressing rooms and showers even. Deli trays to boot! Installed my new Shure SLX wireless into my rack. Much better over that Line6 toy which it replaced. Didn't even need the instructions to make it work. Turned it on and Hey! Stage sounded great, stage crew and pavillion staff were all awesome. Did an interview even in the green room. Hey we're a real band!

Soundcheck sounded massive. Used both Dietz's so had the wall of TONE going. Which on that concrete stage was almost a little *too* loud. But show went great, good crowd. MJ our PA street-teamer there with husband, our buddy Phil the superfan there with his dog. Good to see all of them. Feels like will take another show or two for me to knock the rust off, we haven't played as a band since Toronto few weeks back. We sounded fine, but I felt some slop on my end. Also using .50-105 strings as opposed to .45-105, extra string tension raised the action a bit.

Great set, crowd and staff loved it. Closed with "Voodoo Child" then an encore was requested. Went back out and blew their heads off (Rob got everyone to come forward) with "Blues Bullets" and we called it a sweat-soaked night.

Afterwards went with Phil and the pavillion stage mgr to the VIP Taproom for drinks. Not sure who was buying, but the Yuengling flowed like water and the owner sent us a pitcher with Jello shots. Good times. Even met Prince's saxophone player! That was unexpectedly awesome. I never caught his name but he was really nice.

Checked in at Holiday Inn in Allentown nearby and we had 4 rooms provided. Hell yeah, big time! Very good start to the tour. Morale is high, and feels like the brutal first run was a rite of passage to bigger and better things. And we do have some big things in the works, keep y'all posted. 

Wed July 27, 2011

Drive day. Change of plans en route to Bethlehem PA for gig Thursday. Our friend Todd Wagner from Flood City Music Fest called and offered to put us up for the night in Johnstown. Awesome! See some good people in a great town and save $$ on a hotel. Win/win.

Him and his wife's house and the tenement building next door were built I believe after the flood in the 30's and been in her family since day one. Cool guest house out back where Todd puts bands up. Walked to City View Restaurant for dinner, which is built into the works for Incline, a weird tracked monorail contraption that takes 2 cars (one up, one down) into the valley below. Great viewing balcony overlooking the valley with a plaque detailing the 1889 Great Flood which killed thousands.

From the river valley straight ahead from vantage point a broken earth dam sent a 37-foot wave which broke into 3 separate currents upon reaching the valley, all of which then converged and crashed against the cliff where the Incline now stands. A wave was sent upstream for 3 miles, and all debris caught in the flood wedged against a bridge and burned out of control for 2 days. Crazy shit man. But so beautiful there it's no wonder they rebuilt, several times.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tue July 26, 2011

Greetings from Boss Hoss, en route to Columbus OH for the night. First show of ETB second leg is Thursday in Bethlehem PA.

Could have updated this during brief vacation, but fuck it. Was too busy re-acclimating to civilian life, getting settled in at the new place, moving shit out of old place in 100+ degree heat, and spending quality time with Triniti and going to shows to see friends.

Had a final session with Stanley Man with Josh Zee and Tinidad Leal again, fuckin bad ass as were the last 2. Can't wait to hear the finished album, rough mixes kick some quirky rock n roll butt.

Living in Lakeway is nice, minus the drive and price of gas for my van. Temporary til can afford place in town. Tim Abbott and Tracey have been amazing in openin their home to T and I. Beautiful house, beautiful country. Just gotta keep an eye on my Chihuahua as a pair of hawks cruise the canyon daily.

Anyway, back on the road. Flew out this morning. Have a new wireless unit to try, a Shure SLX. Already looks better than that Line6 piece of crap I just sent back.

More to come, phone battery dyin...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sun July 10, 2011 -- end of tour


Currently hauling ass across Michigan t fly out of Milwaukee at buttcrack of dawn. It's been a hell of a run. Border crossing took less time coming back into the US as it did Canada.

*edit* Saw that I never posted this, or finish it. Fuck it, here y'all go!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thur July 7, 2011

Greetings from Pointe Claire, Canada.

Sitting on the curb by Boss Hoss outside Calistoga Grill. Slightly more upscale bistro type joint with a small stage and a friendly sound guy. We'll see how it goes... Eric only using his Super Reverb to cut down on volume. Starting slow and quiet.

After check out this morning (noon) we drove to a Napa and Eric and Russ replaced the alternator and cleaned something connected to the air filter. Runs better now and starts just fine.

Last night in Ottawa at Rainbow Bistro was fun. Small crowd that built pretty decent during first set. We told everyone to go bring people in during setbreak, and I guess I worked! Heh. Really fun sets. Looking forward to our second night there tomorrow, should be a blast.

I had to use the strap from Cate Blanchett (backup bass) cause main strap still soaked from Montreal gig. Need to woodburn fretmarkers on her too. Wow that sounds weird. Did the same to Minnie Pearl (main bass) beginning of tour and it's helped immensely, especially with how bad I need a haircut. Miss far fewer notes now, heh.

Man. Can't believe this tour is already winding down. We left May 26 or so and have been on the move since. Been a total blur. Then 2 weeks off, and then right back out end of July thru beginning of September.

Wondering what my homecoming will be like. A lot has changed in Austin since we left. Lost a dear friend to all and very close friend of Rob the first night we were out. RIP Sergio Rangel, the best bartender in the world. You will be missed by many and for a very long time. Also returning with all of my belongings packed and moved. More on that later.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wed July 6, 2011

Greetings from Montreal!

My internet access is limited and physical/sensory overload kicking in so hard to keep up with this thing. Getting hard to remember where I was 3 days ago, and glad the hotels in Canada look different from ones in the States. They were all blurring into a labrynth of corridors with weird carpeting, kept forgetting which one I was in as I'd walk out the room and get turned around trying to find the stairs. I think we are in 225 here. Made a mental note of orientation from the elevator before I left for a smoke. I don't even know the name of this hotel.

Anyway. Montreal is a fuckin awesome city. Entered via this huge bridge, high above serpentine roller coasters of an amusement park to the right, city skyline to the left. Rue St.-Denis where Cafe Chaos almost feels like Austin. Total artist colony; boutiqes and bookstores, murals and street art, most people with colored hair, piercings and band t-shirts. Awesome.

Cafe Chaos had Room 710 kinda vibe, dirty little rock club. Alike in that the AC broke 2 weeks ago and was already a sweatlodge before loading in, and unlike because we had to load up a steep, narrow, rickety staircase. Damn. Weird sounding room, rubber shit on stage seemed to swallow my bass signal, but Rob could hear loud and clear.

Took awhile to motivate myself to go for a pic-walk. Should have been more gung ho that my camera (which I left at La Casbah previous night) was still on corner of the stage. But aforementioned overload took awhile to overcome.

Staff was all really cool people. Was awesome to watch a male and female bartender talk to each other, one in French the other English, and understand each other. Was like Star Wars, heh.

Before we went upstairs to begin our 2-hour set in the sweat lodge, in walks Phil from Albany, the ETB superfan who's been to 7 gigs in as many cities. He's gone from interstate to international. Awesome! Def lifted our spirits as we knew it was gonna be dead. So we let him call out first few songs, heh! Had us open with "Stonefire" and "Green Diamond pt 1". Good choice!

But set was still fun tho was hotter than the Continental Club stage back home. The remainders of a Jack Daniels bottle apearred, a few more people wandered in, and we got to watch Russell make friends with a lady at the bar. Good for him, heh! Rest of us are spoken for. Another piece came off Rob's fucked ride cymbal, expanding the huge bitemark that finally appeared at the Pittsburgh show, whenever that was.

Hanging with Phil after loadout we learned that he has a PHD in neuroscience. Holy fucking shit! Phil is sharp as a tack but figured he was more of a working man. Just wow. We will now refer to him as Dr. Phil \m/,  We're trying to get him to wear a lab coat to our next show.

Must refill coffee. Over and out, for now. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thur June 30, 2011

Dover NH @ Fury's Publick House

So after Sellersville we piled into Boss Hoss, Russ at the wheel. He'd been drinking coffee all set so was good to go. Crazy how early the sun rises up here. First light at 4am, sun fucking UP at 5:45am. He drove all night and only pulled over because the sun was right in his face. I did my best to stay up as copilot but dozed a few times. Slept in the van at a rest stop. Sucked. Felt like shit. Stopped at a park to kill time before hotel check in. Bautiful path thru a grove of pines, and a pool that cost $7 to get in. Got a little more sleep at the hotel we got in Ballerica MA. I only know the city now as I write. Spent most of day not knowing what city, let alone state, I was in. Was kinda nice.

Was just out of it all day long. Weird de ja vu feeling from constant broken dream fragments and being totally worn out. Found the venue in Dover ok. Weren't sure we were actually on the bill until we got there. Show details were a little sketchy. But opening band, then us. Day was a blur and trying to remember it.

Small place, wood stage. Not sure what to expect crowdwise. Opener had some people, that was good. They were nice, playing with them again in Ogunquit ME.

We piled onto the small stage. Put the monitor on my SVT case to make more room onstage. Opened with the shuffle walkaround into "How Many More Times" and instantly blew everyone's minds. Rob called the funkified Muddy Waters cover we do to keep the people dancing. Good call. I like the freedom of this band, when we have lots of time to fill and no fixed setlist. Play what we feel. Crowd loved it, good times.

The owner of the Levitt theater where we play Sat was there, he's our good friend Taylor Perkins' dad. Gave us an envelope of "spending money" end of night. We hope it is a tip and not the other half of our guarantee that night... that will totally catch us up from the brink of financial riun...

So I took the wheel and we got Denny's end of night as we couldn't afford to eat at the venue. Was delish!