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.