Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ETB Live Recording, etc etc etc

Busy weekend after a really good Thanksgiving holiday with my family and Triniti.

T and I bought a suitcase record player (Califone 1010AV) from a guy on craigslist en route, a very good purchase for $30! Spun records the whole time we were down there, believe we just started a new holiday tradition at my folks' place \m/,

Drove back to Austin Friday afternoon for the ETB live recording at Saxon Pub that evening. Can't wait to hear it, tho I must admit we felt slightly off. Didn't have the same magic as the first round, we hadn't play since Monday, and we also played some things we don't ordinarily play. Plus we were all probably still dopey from massive amounts of tryptophan...!

See how it sounds! Either way, we have plenty of material to choose from for the forthcoming live album!

Tho fighting a headcold and a hangover Saturday afternoon, T and I ventured to Cheapo Discs who we just found out will be closing end of the year. Well played, Mayans. Well played. Seems most of their good vinyl is gone but still found some good shit. Bumped into our friend Moses Blues as well, so that was cool.

Saturday night ETB played BD Riley's, was very crowded for the Notre Dame game. Don't really care about football but was cool being there and just vibing on the crowd. They were very happy about how it was going, and very loud. Was hurting my head at times, as I managed to contract a head cold.

Set went very well, felt more together than Saxon. Decent night all around.

Monday had practice with Shandon Sahm for our Thursday Sahm Covers Sahm set at the Continental Club. Line up still shuffling at time of practice but looks like Jim Ortiz of Amp Heat is available for guitar and we'll have a keyboard player too. Sweet! My ex-SGC bandmate Amber Lucille is on standby to fill in guitar for Jim if need be. We'll see who shows up at practice tonight, heh.

Looking forward to the show, we share the stage with Kathy Valentine's (ex-GoGo's) band The Bluebonnets. And looks like my old Mother Truckers bandmate Teal Collins' new project Whiskey Sisters is doing happy hour that night. If I didn't have an early set (and last show) with Arcana Mundi I'd like to make it early for that.

ETB monday residency at Friends was understandably slow, weekend after Thanksgiving and all. But we still played 2 great sets and rocked the faces of those in attendance.

Today getting shit done, should probably practice some of the Sahm Covers Sahm stuff, have bass strings that could be changed but don't need to right now.

Also need to re-attach the Dietz faceplate to my bass cab (people keep asking what it is), and look into modding my tremolo pedal to where I remove the depth knob (never use) and replace the rate knob with either a fixed resistor or trimpot (existing knob too touchy to be useful), and make that fucker switch-able. The trem pedal kicks ass as a solo boost as well, and if I can go from Trem to boost at the flick of a switch (and make it to where the trem rate doesn't change if you breathe on the rate knob) that would make my life much much easier.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Houston, and Formula 1 weekend in Austin

Wow. Just wow.

Last night ETB played a 4 1/2 hour set at Friends on 6th Street to a packed house that stayed packed for the entirety of our set. Probably the longest set I've ever played and the best night we've ever had there. The crowd was great, enthusiastic and very well-behaved (as in free of the douchebaggery and entitlement that has unfortunately descended upon my fair city for F1 weekend).

Plenty of that going on right outside the bar tho. Towards the end the door staff had an altercation with a father and son whom they'd asked to leave. Which they weren't happy about. And quickly turned into a wrestling match outside.

Gotta hand it to Friends, their door staff is great. Take no shit but in a professional way. It devolved into a prolonged scuffle outside which drew quite a crowd before the cops finally intervened. The door staff brushed themselves off and went back to work and were soon laughing about it, rather than being worked up and waiting for someone else to step out of line.

As for said douchebaggery, there were plenty of dumbasses who for some reason always lean on or climb into the back of Eric's 1949 International pickup truck. Taking pics and admiring it is one thing. But using it like playground equipment is just flat out disrespectful.

Anyway. Yes, great show. Eric's parents were in town and he announced that many times, as well as admitted he was toning down his use of profanity as to not disappoint his mother. Awesome :) Amazing show and we all made rent+

Good times!

But yeah, Formula 1 weekend. Lotta people in town for that. Traffic is crazy. Been woken up by helicopters every morning, as the sky is buzzing with them like migrating birds. Whisking the big whigs to and from the Circuit of the Americas and for joyrides around town. At night I wonder if they congregate in the HEB parking lot with the grackles and poop on peoples cars.

Made for a lengthy drive to Houston on Friday as we had to drive towards the track. On an ETB road trip, you can always tell who is driving, as they are the one not updating FB and Twitter the whole time, heh!

Traffic was backed up almost all the way to Bastrop. So weird driving through the Lost Pines area now. Last year was the worst drought in Texas history and most of Bastrop County burned out of control for almost a week in the resulting wild fires. Driving at dusk through the burned remnants of a Ponderosa Pine forest is apocalyptic to say the least.

ETB at the Scout Bar in Houston was very good as well. Great venue they got. Been awhile since ETB ventured to H-town and we had lots of fans in attendance, and had the best crowd despite being second band on a 4-act bill. And a short blistering 45 minute set. Needless to say, we made a really good impression.

Spent much of the night catching up with our Houston fans. Good to be in a band that values its fans and gets validation from their appreciation for all our hard work, rather than playing with a bunch of people who constantly need their egos stroked.

Without fans, a band is nothing. Remember that, musicians. Even when they treat you like somebody when you are really nobody, do not let it go to your head. EVER.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cancellations. Decisions. Moving forward.

So the big Eric Tessmer Band show Threadgill's World HQ on Oct 26, which was the make-up date for Eric's Biblically rained-out birthday show back in August, was cancelled the afternoon of due to cold.

The first real cold snap of the season had descended the night before over Central TX and temps would be in the low 50's at set time. Statistically they tend to lose money when temps fall below 55 degrees. Just wished they would have discussed it with the band before pulling the plug.

Needless to say we were not happy. Another $100 on promotions and posters blown. Rent for November now gone. This would hurt ETB terribly as a band and as individuals. Fuck. But nothing we could do about it. Even tho Threadgill's has a fire pit and usually for the first cold snap people LIKE to go out as they finally got their winter coats out of the closet.

Incensed as we were, we didn't want to burn the bridge with them. Even tho we had good reason to do so. It felt reactionary at the time, but I'm glad we did it. We enlisted our fans to let Threadgill's know how THEY felt about this last-minute cancellation. Which they did, in droves. Felt good to know our fans were behind us and showed their support for us. So we'll see what happens with the aforementioned venue.

In other news, I have decided it is time to move on from Arcana Mundi as guitar player.

It has been fun and a good experience, but after almost a year I've realized that it is taking away too much time that I would like to spend focusing on Ocean of Stars. Tim was very understanding, and didn't seem too suprised either.

So it is all good with him n the band, and I will be honoring bookings through the rest of Novermber, save for the 16th benefit at the Elk's Lodge which I will be in Houston with ETB for.

As for Ocean of Stars, I have been talking to a bass player and she is very excited to be a part.

Will be getting together with her soon to start going over bass lines prior to bringing her in with a drummer. Don't want to make a formal announcement until it actually happens. Feels like the time is right and the planets are finally aligning for it to finally start coming together. It's only been 4 years that I've been wanting and trying to get this project underway.

Eric Tessmer Band will be gearing up for our 2nd round of live recording at the Saxon Pub on Friday Nov 23. Should be a great show, as weekend right after Thanksgiving is usually sold out there. Sweet!

Poster for Nov 23. Photo by Triniti Young, poster by yours truly.

We've been plowing forward best we can without a van or any other pieces in place save for ourselves, our merch seller, and an occasional publicist. Gigs in Houston and Dallas coming up. But a slow time of year is upon us as well.

Last Monday Friends residency turnout was not so bueno. We got called into Friends for Wednesday as well, which we jumped at. Better set, really good crowd. Friday at BD Riley's went very well as well. Ebb and flow to the crowd, but the people there had their asses handed to them on a plate. We were on fire and they loved us.

And we appreciate their appreciation.

Its a much better feeling to play to fewer people who absolutely love the music, than a larger crowd with a rather lukewarm reaction. Makes you feel like you're doing something wrong.