Thursday, February 17, 2011

ETB Wednesdays at Maggie Mae's have started again.

My bank account is jumping for joy, tho the damage is already done. They were put on hiatus as winter set in as it's a slow time of year. Supposed to start last week but the 2nd cold snap had them cancel it. For the best, I didn't want to leave the house either!

But last night was fun, was already sweating just loading in. Well, it IS February... Had Brandon Burke (Jackson Taylor Band, Son of Fire) fill in last minute, we've had Rob Williamson (Hyde Park Showdown, ex-New Disaster) slated but he came down with the flu earlier in the day. He said he could power through the show if need be, but if a sub could be procured his immune system would very much appreciate it. I don't blame him, a 3+ hour set on drums while fighting the flu would have laid him (and anyone) out the rest of the week. But Brandon has been wanting to fill in for awhile now but was always too busy, so we finally got to jam with him and he did great.

Speaking of great, my new 2x15 sounds fucking AWESOME. My SVT loves it, it's not too bad weight-wise despite it's imposing size and bulk. Already getting beat the fuck up. I love it. One of my better recent gear purchases, and a much much MUCH-needed upgrade, as I've been struggling with inferior gear/tone for more than a year. Will be dropping off my stricken Isovent cab to John Mergilli, see what he can do with it. I have a sneaking suspicion that all he has to do is put the speakers back in, restore the original wiring, and it will work fine. Contrary to the official statement of a local speaker repair place who said everything was blown.

Anyway. Got to use it in the studio session I did with Josh Zee and Trinidad Leal over the weekend. Rough tracks sound pretty damn good. Not too shabby for one rehearsal then hit it and quit it. We nailed the songs live in about 3 takes and my basslines were keepers as-is. Feels like I'm finally getting the hang of bass, heh.

It's been an amazing week + which I will delve into a little further in next day or two.

In the meantime I am diving back into completing my 3rd RPM Challenge album by the end of the month. In trying to do something different this time, I will be making it a split EP: 'Sunrise on the Sea Floor' will be the music I have been comping up with, with possible guest tracks, 'House of Leaves' will be perhaps a 15-20 minute concept song based on the book of the same name. What I have so far is a 11-minute continuous song with 2 distinct movements.

About to go track some drums, and I feel sort of wrecked. Hopefully more from the show last night than coming down with something...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A lot going on, will try to keep it brief.

About to head to a bass studio session. Placed some ads on Craigslist, got a bite. Will do doing three songs for a guy named Stanley with Josh Zee of the Mother Truckers on guitar and Trinidad Leal of Dixie Witch on drums. Yeah, awesome. We rehearsed last night, was hella fun. Will be rocking out some of Stanley's crazy/quirky/clever songs. Should be pretty cool!

This month have been working all spare hours of the day on my next RPM Challenge record. Have drums set up in my room, this time 3 mics thru my mixing board instead of 2 room mics, now kick drum is much more present than implied. Marshall tubes already took a shit so tracking with my Epiphone Valve Standard 15w tube amp chassis powering my Marshall 4x12 on guitar, or powering my housemate's 4x10 bass cab. Both sounded great last year so not worried about using them this year.

So far have 2 rough mixes of songs, which I am passing on to Adrian Conner (Hell's Belles/Adrian and the Sickness) for guest guitar tracks and to my housemate Deanna Marie (Velvet Brick, Looking for Bucho) for guest vocals. Yes, this album might not be entirely instrumental. I guess after 2 other intrumental solo albums I am finally running out of ideas, heh.

Have a few more ideas demo'd out. Was kicking around the idea of having this record be an instrumental concept album based on the book "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski. But abandoned the idea as a little too ambitious given the RPM time constraints. That and a third of "Ocean of Stars" would have been perfect for it. But demo'd out a new idea I am calling "The Five and a Half Minute Hallway" which I have already extended out with a second section making the entire thing almost 11 minutes, and would like to add at least a third section. Now thinking of having this RPM album be a split-EP, 'Sunrise on the Sea Floor' and 'House of Leaves.' Maybe release them separately, who knows?

Have a brief break from Eric Tessmer Band, he is up in Wisconsin for a week attending to some family things. We are back to our Wednesdays at Maggie Mae's (well, this past Wednesday was cancelled due to the 2nd cold snap, and probably for the best as I didn't want to leave the house either). We had my good friend Ric Furley fill in on drums for Monday at Friends. And he kicked its fucking ASS! Damn, that was fun. We def need someone with some rock sensibilities. Talking to Deanna's bf Rob (Hyde Park Showdown, ex-New Disaster) about filling in Wednesday of next week. That will be awesome as well. Need to respond to Eric's email about needing stage plots for the ETB trip to India in May. Good to know that not having a full time drummer yet is not slowing us down.