Monday, October 21, 2013

Busy/Busy/Busier Still, a 1000 Year Old Tree, and I Got A Loop Pedal too

Damn. Didn't realize how much time had elapsed since my last post. Shit. Sorry, loyal readers.

Been busy, which is very good. But I'm starting to run myself ragged.

Hands/arms feeling much improved tho I'm still working them quite hard.

Since my last post:

Picked up a Boss RC-2 Loop Station pedal at South Austin Music, along with a new power supply to replace the one which my neighbor had given me but was not working properly.

Well, it worked. However my Boss tuner pedal (which it was plugged into) the LED would still be half-on even when the pedal was off... not supposed to do that. Also it was creating a buzz in my signal chain which worsened with each effect I turned on. Not good. So I replaced it before I fried everything on my pedal board.

And my schedule being what it has been recently, it was several days before I could really try out the loop pedal at home. But when I finally did (and learned to use it properly...), HOLY SHIT. This is a game changer for Ocean of Stars, my in the works instrumental band. Now we can easily play my music as a four piece. Hell, if I got one of the fancier units, we could play it with 3 members... but I like having a saxophone player cause it's fucking awesome \m/, 

So yeah. Now if my schedule would just ease up a bit so Ocean of Stars can finally fucking rehearse... That won't be til first part of November. Meeting with the prospective bassist again on Thursday. Keep y'all posted.

I put it on my credit card. Fuck it. I had a huge chunk reduced from it since I had to return the ProTools software I bought since Guitar Center didn't bother checking to see if everything was returned with it in the box before they resold it to me. So it was a decent chunk of change for the loop pedal and power supply. They even threw in a free shirt, that was awesome of them. My existing red one already has a huge hole where my belt buckle is from wearing it onstage.

In the meantime I have been up to:

Picked up a last minute gig playing bass for Aaron Navarro on 6th Street Saturday Oct 12.

That was fun, decent money to be thrown on stage with no prep. I knew at least 1/3 of the covers and the originals were pretty basic, and good. Fun night! Not a huge crowd as storms blew in and it was raining quite hard. Got soaked loading out. Got home just in time for the first drips to start in my patio/living room roof. That was good timing.

Was soon bleeding like a stuck pig as Austin got between 7-12 INCHES of rain during that deluge and the one that blew threw around 6am. Just, wow. That Sunday of Austin City Limits fest was cancelled due to flooding. The water on Lady Bird Lake (the stretch of Colorado River running thru downtown Austin) has risen to the foot of the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue on Auditorium Shores. Barton Springs was a wide and flowing torrent.

Mud from the receded flood waters. It's Flooding Down In Texas:

I plan on rebuilding half the roof early November, as I can't be worrying about the rain when I go on tour...

Sunday the 13th had final VineHouse rehearsal. Went well! Learned slide guitar for one song, they said I did great. That was cool. However the gig for that Thursday (Oct 17) fell thru, but I jump ahead of my tale.

Monday Oct 14 played Metal Mondays at Headhunters downtown on bass with Forever Town.

Fun show, pretty good crowd. I give myself a B-, as I was never able to get around to refreshing their music (too fucking busy, and we had just played the week before). Figured I'd be fine, but my hands got tired quick and I was missing shit here and there. Wasn't a bad show tho.

Shared the stage with Mustard Puncher (drummer for Forever Town's other band), which is always a blast. They play good times, high octane, fun PUNK FUCKING ROCK. Tight, energetic, and with a loyal following. Was awesome standing out front smoking a cig watching thru the front door as empty beer cans, ice, cups full of ice, and anything that could be tossed were thrown at them as they play -- and all done out of love. After the show there was even salsa containers and taco foil wrappers and all kinds of weird shit onstage. Good times!

Was getting my cigs out of my van after parking out front to load, slipped and nearly busted my ass in front of a lovely lady getting her bike from the rack. She saw it. I caught myself, but still... I didn't bother trying to strike up a conversation after that, heh...

Tues Oct 15 I missed the Ortiz Brother Blues Jam at the Legendary White Swan, as rain was moving in from the West. Started raining just as I was about to leave, and watched the radar as storms coming in from the Rio Grande Valley were sending a plume of moisture/rain 150+ miles straight towards us. Shit shit shit... Needless to say, it never came. Until 6am. Luckily it woke me up, stayed up for a good 90 mins monitoring the patio leaks...

Wed Oct 16 spent most of the day refreshing and learning music on bass for the Adrian and the Sickness for a rehearsal that night. During the refreshing saw that Mark from Vinehouse was calling me. Couldn't answer as I had a mouthfull of home cooked hamburger, but my gut said it was probably bad news about the show. Calling him back a bit later, it was. Logan's on 6th had fallen behind on renovations and would not be open. Shit. VH tried to relocate to diff venue, but no dice (jump ahead of my tale again).

AATS rehrearsal that night went great, gonna be fun playing with Adrian and Armando (drums) again!

Thursday Oct 17. It was by this time I realized I'd been so busy learning music that I had forgotten to make arrangements for my Chihuahua Nacho to be looked after for the weekend's two Rick Hornyak shows in Rockport TX...!!!!!! Shit! HOWEVER, with the Vinehouse show now postponed indefinitely, I decided it was worth the extra fuel expenditure to drive down myself to my parents' place in Corpus Christi later that day, rather than ride down with Rick. That way Nacho could stay at their place, I could do the Friday show, stay at the hotel in Fulton Beach, do the Saturday show and drive back to my parents that night.

Which is exactly what I did. The RH shows Fri/Sat Oct 18/19 at the Grog Bar went really well, fun sets to decent and good crowds respective of nights. Used the little Trace Elliot Boxer 30 bass combo amp Eric Tessmer gave me awhile back, as my SVT would have been overkill. That little thing kicked ass! Sounded great and never had to turn it up past 2.

My parents came out for the Saturday show, we went out for dinner and drove to nearby Goose Island to see this:

The Goose Island Oak, a native live oak tree estimated to be 1000 years old.

Just, wow. I wish we had more than five minutes there before heading back to load in at Grog Bar. I would like to go back, climb over the fence surrounding it, and touch it for awhile. Just to feel a living thing that is older than a lot of civilizations, and has weathered countless hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and humans for a millenia. That just blows my mind. Nature is awesome.

Sunday Oct 20 had a rough night and rough morning, trouble sleeping and weird dreams. But drove back to Austin, home by 4pm. Enough time to nap, wake up, eat, walk Nacho, then rehearse with Dead Oak 7-9pm. They brought in a second guitar player to try out. He did decent, considering he had little prep and wasn't using his own rig. I was so out of it I don't even remember his name at this point.

Afterwards made an appearance at the house warming/birthday BBQ for Amber Saxon of Hell's Belles/BugGirl, who just moved into a rental with her brother Clinno (BugGirl drummer) and Heather Webb (BugGirl bassist, etc). Caught the tail end and missed most of the jamming, but still good to see some good people. I didn't stay too long, but with as late as I got there I was the last to leave, heh. Great to see all of them! I know some really awesome people and musicians, and for that I am eternally greatful.

Today was spent depositing the check from Rick Hornyak shows, taking out the recycling, and refreshing/learning Thunderosa music for rehearsal this evening in prep for the 3 date/3 state run we are making next weekend. Jam went great. Getting together again on Wednesday.

Rest of my week as follows:

Tomorrow: rest while I can, Ortiz Bros Blues Jam at Legendary White Swan

Wednesday: Work on Thunderosa music, rehearsal with them and probably Dead Oak afterwards

Thursday: Work on Adrian and the Sickness music, meet up with prospective Ocean of Stars bassist in afternoon, rehearse with Adrian and the Sickness that night

Friday: Picked up another Eric Tessmer Band reunion/fill-in at Friends

Saturday: Leave early for Houston with Adrian and the Sickness, we play the Neon Moon Saloon at 6pm

Sunday: Hopefully doing FUCK ALL

And some people don't think playing music full time is a real job...

I should offer people a Rock N Roll fantasy camp, where they follow me around for a week, watching me refresh music, loading my gear for me in and out of rehearsals, loading my gear for me in and out of gigs. Whatever they make in a week at their job, that will be my fee to see what being a musician is actually like. HA!

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