Friday, November 15, 2013

Ocean of Stars, Work, Craigslist, My Ass on a Plate courtesy of Hell's Belles

Big news!

(For me at least, heh)

Ocean of Stars now has an official line up:

Danny G: Guitar
Derek Rodrigues: Saxophone
Melanie Martinez: Bass
Ric Furley: Drums

Finally had full rehearsal on Wednesday with Melanie Martinez on bass. It went great. Feels like a band! I'd worked with Melanie on the material a few times prior, with her making exponential progress each time, and she kicked it's ass. We all played and sounded great together, and even made some creative progress on 'Hammerfoot.' Very stoked!!!

Photo courtesy Melanie Martinez:

Feels absolutely amazing to finally have a working line-up on the band I've been trying to put together since 2008. And of course, now it feels like no time has passed at all. Ha!

And we also already had a gig offer, to open for Thunderosa tonight. Even tho we only have 3 songs we can play, we unfortunately had to turn it down because Derek is unavailable, heh.

In other news, my calendar is heating up for the next week and hopefully rest of the month. Tho I did have gigs for Friday and Saturday fall in my lap and fall through just as fast.

Posted on some of the FB musician groups and put a new ad on Craigslist. Going to a music industry mixer/jam for the Recording Conservatory at Arlyn Studio on Monday.

Say what you will about CL, it is still a great resource. Tho you have to weed through a lot of bullshit ads and not let the anti hired-gun contingent boil your blood too much... But I have gotten a lot of session work through it and cool opportunities, as well as hooking up with The Mother Truckers. Not to mention that tho I didn't get the bass job in Good For You, I did get to jam improv with Greg Ginn for an hour and a half.

This time around have gotten numerous responses. About to start learning music for Skyline Drive, who have shows at the Saxon Pub for Nov. 19 and 26th, a rehearsal for Monday at noon location pending, and an additional set Nov. 18 at Sahara Lounge now.

Another response that could lead to some session work and some gigs as well. Have not heard back yet.

Another response asking about bass lessons. And not just lessons, but very specific things about technique and writing of bass lines. Meeting with him to begin his training on Wednesday.

Placed an ad on Corpus Christi CL since I'll be down there around Thanksgiving. Already a response to that as well, a gig on Dec 6 which I had to decline as Dead Oak is planning on heading into the studio again on Dec 7 to record more tracks at Ohm with J Yeunger (met them thru CL).

Plus, Forever Town just had their album mastered at Terra Nova the other day, so that will be coming out soon. (Also CL).

And on Tuesday I've been asked to be in a video shoot with Adrian and the Sickness. My response to yes or no on that was a resounding FUCK YEAH.

Speaking of Adrian Conner, got to see Hell's Belles last night downtown at Austin Fanfest, a huge block party (several blocks actually) related to the Formula 1 race this weekend.

And they handed me my ass on a plate! Amazing show, best I've ever seen from them and one of the best I've seen in awhile!

Got a ride with Armando Reyes (Adrian and the Sickness drummer) and his friend Kathy Jo, that was awesome. Lots of friends and musical family in the crowd, too many to name, ha! The Belles were on fire, and for one little boy dressed up as Angus Young, his life will never be the same, as evidence in the video I took last night! Awesome.

I feel truly blessed and inspired to be friends with the people I am friends with \m/,

Tonight going to see Thunderosa  at the Dirty Dog, bassist Mike Mackie's last show with them, in Austin at least. Since I filled in for him on that weekend (story coming, I swear), it would be good to help see him off and wish him well. And that show is gonna fucking rock balls too. Thunderosa with home field advantage in their favorite venue, and their CD release party (I think?).


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thunderosa Weekend Run, Business Talks/A Frazzled Brain, Playing More Guitar, Ocean of Stars, Food

The Halloween weekend run I did on bass with Thunderosa was a blast, and cannot all be summed up here in one post, so hopefully I will get on that soon (hopefully tonight). Had lots of fun with AJ and Drew and met lots of good people, and I threw up in a Wal-Mart parking lot. As I said, that will all be its own posts...!

My busy schedule has wound down a bit this week, which has me very concerned. Music is my bread and butter. If I am not playing gigs or in the studio, I am not earning any income. I don't have any gigs booked so far until December. That will undoubtedly change. But in the meantime the empty calendar on the wall in front of my face is cause for deep concern.

On the bright side, I played a shitload of guitar last week. A little bass too. But not much.

While out with Thunderosa I realized just how frazzled my brain has become from having to constantly learn new material from different bands for diff gigs every weekend.

Vine House contacted me while out with Thunderosa and said Monday Nov 4 gig at Empire Control Room. Cool. Then later text exchange about meeting up on Wednesday during the day. Some actual rehearsal prep. Cool. Details on gig? Now at Guero's Wednesday, 8-9pm. Adjusted my calendar accordingly.

Only realized sometime on Sunday that I had been talking to two different people about two different band situations... Wow. Man I am losing it.

Vine House gig was on for Monday. The Wednesday thing was an audition for The Statesboro Revue, who are looking for a bass player. I followed back with them apologizing for thinking I was talking to someone else and explained my confusion due to a weary brain. They understood and laughed about it, so that was good.

SO. Got home from Thunderosa weekend Sunday night around Midnight.

Monday Nov 4. Speaking of losing it, I was groggily enjoying my morning coffee/cigs in my patio/living room when the phone rang. It was Lisa Evert, of Spirit Chronicles/Runic Productions, who I had recently gotten in touch with about working together providing music for some of their projects. Why is she calling?

OH SHIT. That's right, we had talked who knows when about having a conference call for that morning, and I had completely forgotten that was set up. Thank God I set my alarm so I could wake up to work on music...

Talks went good, they have a slew of projects in the works and would like me to be the Music Director for them. Awesome!!! Will have more formal announcements as things progress. But for now my homework assignment with them was to provide a press photo and bio (short term, just completed) and to come up with a budget for recording equipment, as owning studio shit is more cost effective and buying studio time. Have yet to get on that...

Once I had my head on straight, worked on Vine House music that day in prep for the gig. Short 6-song set as opposed to the 2.5 hour/25 song show I was prepping for two weeks ago. Thank God. It went well and was really fun, and Empire Control Room is a great venue.

Empire Control Room

Tuesday Nov 5 took the Goddamn day off. Fuck the world, I am tired. Tho I did run over and chart the 3 songs for the Statesboro Revue audition the following afternoon... I even work on my day off. Opted out of the Ortiz Brothers Blues Jam that night and stayed home to rest.

Wednesday Nov 6 the SR audition went really well (I hope), still waiting to hear back. Later that afternoon got together for a 2 hour jam with Ric and Derek in Ocean of Stars, our first in awhile, although the prospective bassist could not make it. But I needed to experiment with my new Loop Station pedal. It wasn't a total fix-all to cover extra instrumentation, but it will come in super fuckin handy! Missed the SR show that night out of exhaustion.

Thursday Nov 7 spent the day working on songs for a gig with my old SGC bandmate Amber Lucille's Selfless Cover Band for a gig that Friday. Then in the evening had a final sit-down jam with the prospective Ocean of Stars bassist.

She did great! I was very impressed, pleased and happy with the obvious amount of work she had put into the material. Her exponential progress over 3 sit-down jams was a joy to witness. Would have handed her the job already, but still need to get her into the jam room with Ric and Derek just to make sure (99.6% sure she's going to kick its ass, and look forward to making an official line-up announcement late tomorrow night).

Friday Nov 8 worked on music for the AL show a bit more. Was just about to pull onto S. Congress Ave to head to Stomping Grounds (which I could have walked to, but sure as hell was not going to carry my gear there, heh!) when Amber called. Figuring it was probably Very Important, I answered.

Turns out there is also a Stomping Grounds in North Austin. Oh shit. We go on in less than an hour, and I don't have the gas to get there without dipping into what I had of my already late rent... She offered to drive, so that was fucking awesome. Was a fun show, we did really good!

Saturday Nov 9 I had resigned myself to rest, other than go by Amber's place to get paid and on the way back stopping by to visit with Eric Tessmer, who texted saying had just seen me drive by.

But I was totally burned out on a rare Saturday evening off from gigging. I don't know how much longer I can hustle gigs like this. That evening did see a FB music group posting about a singer/songwriter who needed an acoustic guitarist well-versed in country for a set that night. I responded, but said I neither have an acoustic, nor play country... but I am available. Heh!

Was JUST about to open my 2nd Lone Star of the night and put on Netflix, when suddenly the singer (Shannon Lee Nelson) asked me to do the gig on electric. And it started in a half hour.

Well, my plans just changed..! Threw on some clothes, packed my Iceman and Epiphone Valve Standard combo and rushed downtown to Shotgun's on 6th Street, next to the Dirty Dog, to play a 90 minute set of music I had never heard with someone I had never met. HA! I love that kind of challenge \m/,

I didn't knock the shit out of the park, but did quite well considering the aforementioned variables, in addition to Shannon using a capo most of the time which totally fucked with my ability to read her chords. She would tell me the key, and I was on my own from there. So tho it appeared she was playing the first position chords of G, C and D. But was actually playing A, D and E. Fuck.

But it was fun, Shannon was really nice and I made it thru the set! And made some extra money on a night I thought would be gigless. So that was cool. While I didn't recognize the venue while I was there, I DID remember that rickety-ass wooden staircase out the back door to the alley. I think I played there with Southern Gun Culture back in the day, and can't remember what the venue was called then. Crazy.

Three gigs in a week on guitar. Can't remember the last time that happened...

IN OTHER NEWS, my Lonestar SNAP (food stamps) card was finally approved. Thank God. At least I can eat for the next few months without having to decide between late bills or starvation.

I am struggling financially. And I am working my ass off.

This is what assistance of this kind is for.