Currently on the Texas coast seeing my family and new nephew for the first time since the beginning of August.
October is about to pick up so this was the only time I had enough downtime to wrangle a visit. Tho I will be here again the weekend of Oct 18-19 for 2 shows with Rick Hornyak. But will probably ride down with him and stay at the hotel in Fulton TX to save wear and tear/gas expenses on my van.
Last weekend was great, played Dirty Dog with Forever Town last Friday and reprised my old role as ETB bassist for a gig at BD Riley's on Saturday.
Both shows went well. After the previous show I did with FT last month got a rough mix of the album they did with Frenchie Smith and was able to learn all the things that had changed in the studio, heh. So the music felt much tighter. Good set, decent crowd.
A total family reunion of sorts. Also on the bill was Amber Lucille and Brian Mees' new 2-piece heavy jam band EYEZ. Amber is of course my old SGC bandmate from 10 years ago, Brian sang in a band at the time who's name now escapes me. Superfoot featured on guitar Charlie from Teabag, another band from that time period. Devola was another band from the era still alive and kickin, I even filled in on guitar with them 10 years ago for 2 shows. And Fur King featuring Russell Abbott from the SuperHeavyGoatAss, another alum from the era. Good times with old friends.
Interesting sidenote about Super Heavy Goat Ass. They were practically a sibling band to Southern Gun Culture, we shared a room with them at the Music Lab for many years, Trent from SGC played the drums on their half of the SGC/SHGA split EP. They were awesome. And had the kind of name that made you scratch your head whether you liked it or not. I personally thought it was one of the greatest band names in the history of band names.
Fast forward several years, and they started receiving anonymous offers to purchase the name. They rejected the first two, and people thought they were crazy. They finally accepted the third offer, which topped out at $18,500. You heard me right. $18.5k in USD. Only after the sale did they finally find out it was a rep for the one and only Mick Jagger, who was putting together a new band called Super Heavy at the time.
Yeah. Wow. Hence the anonymity of the offer. They could have held out for way more and that still would have been chump change to the legendary frontman. Hence the transition from Super Heavy Goat Ass to Fur King.
I unfortunately had to leave before Fur King's set, timing my departure with Jason from FT. I needed help getting my SVT and 2x15 cab down the back staircase to the alley, as 6th Street was closed off by this point and going out the front door to avoid said staircase would have meant wheeling my shit 1000 yds around the corner and navigating herds of staggering drunks.
But it was a good night and got to catch up with some old friends.
The next night (Saturday) was my first actual gig with ETB since May 17th of this year. The only prep I had done for this show was to learn another new tune "Lullaby". Other than that I would be going solely on muscle memory.
The gig was a blast and well attended. Great being onstage with Eric and Rob again, have def missed those guys. And the muscle memory was intact like a mofo! It was like there hadn't even been a 4 day lag since the last time we played together, much less 4 whole months. Wow. That, and we had Mariah the former merch girl working the table, so it was even more like old times! Great to catch up with her as well.
Photo by yours truly:
The only real brainfart I had was going into the chorus a little too early during the outro solo in "Buttons and Threads". Looked up and noticed Rob and Eric both giving me the "hairy eyeball". Huh? Oh yeah, oops! Heh. And the crowd probably didn't even notice \m/,
Word of advice to players of lesser experience: keep your game face on.
If you mess up, the only people who will probably notice is you and your bandmates. If you freak out and trainwreck the song, THEN the audience will surely notice ;)
So yeah, very fun.
So now I am still filling up October, looking for bass students to supplement my income, looking for projects, struggling to get Ocean of Stars up and running, much less finalize a lineup.
Gave a bass lesson to my friend Chrissy Flatt recently, she asked if I would or ever have taught, I of course hadn't and don't really know how to teach. I don't know how I know what I know, I just learned and continue to learn as I go along. I probably know more about music theory than I give myself credit for, tho I don't always know what things are called or why they are the way they are, but I do know how things sound...
"Well, how about you show me how to play some songs and give me some pointers on technique?"
Well shit, I can do that! It went very well!
So now I'm looking for students. Have one lined up when I get back into town tomorrow, looking for more.
Also cutting my vacation slightly short as I've picked up a gig on guitar for tomorrow (Friday) with Amber Lucille's Selfless Cover Band at Moon River. I need the money and have heard most of the songs enough times to pretty much know how they go in my head, and anything I don't know I can follow cues on and make up as I go along.
Then my next mission is learning material for a gig on guitar with the band Vinehouse for Thurs Oct 17. Southern rock. Should be fun, see how it goes and see what happens with that. In between there will probably be a prep rehearsal for the weekend with Rick Hornyak.
Then will be refreshing music on bass and having a jam or two with Adrian and the Sickness for a benefit show she's doing in Houston for Sat Oct 26.
While doing that will start learning and refreshing Thunderosa music on bass for a 3-day weekend with them end of October, which could extend into a longer tour. Either way, bring it on.
Other than that, still entertaining the few offers I have coming in. Just kind of hard as things are getting desperate financially, so going where the money is would help immensely for my bank account but not so much for my peace of mind. Pursuing Ocean of Stars full time would mean some type of day job.
Playing bass means even if I came into a project as a full songwriter, creativity on bass for me is more of a passive activity than an active one. I can't direct song ideas on bass the way I can on guitar. With bass I pretty much have to either wait for the drums and guitar to finalize their parts before I tie them together with a bass line, or write the drum parts and the guitar parts myself.
If I come into a rehearsal with a bassline, there is usually already a guitar and drum part for it, as I don't sit at home and write basslines.
But as for my own music, there is a glimmer of hope to do something with it.
I probably mentioned before but a friend was working as music supervisor to an in-the-works film called "White Rabbit", which in theory has part of one of my songs "House of Leaves" as music in one scene. I sent her a follow up msg to see what the progress was, as being an indie production my only compensation would be my name in the end credits and a DVD copy when the DVD came out.
So she sent a link to the trailer. And just, WOW. I had no idea if this was just a glorified student video project or the real deal.
Turns out, its the real fucking deal:
The trailer of course doesn't feature my audio clip, and I hope it still made it to the finished product. But it premieres at the Zurich Film Festival later this year I believe.
Doing movie soundtracks would be a great halfway point for me, being able to get my music out there without necessarily having a full-time band to maintain.
See what happens, not going to put this on my resume until I see the finished product and confirm my song is in the actual movie. Don't want to look like a jackass ;)