Monday, December 16, 2013

A Busy Week, Another Busy Week...

Busy week+ already in full swing, but more on that in a bit.

Last week was busy as well, but with the cold snap it just felt like I didn't do much. Just lacking in motivation. Fighting off hibernation I suppose.

Went to the Ortiz Brothers jam on Tuesday, that was fun as always.

Not as big a crowd as the Hendrix birthday one few weeks back but still plenty of friends and players and filled up not long after I got there. Jammed some bass and got in some good time playing guitar, jamming improv as a three piece with Beky Hayes of the Surleys on bass and a drummer who I never caught his name because Chris Ortiz (Amplified Heat, Jamey Simms Band) got up to play drums with us as well. Fun!

Wednesday made an appearance at the Recording Conservatory/Grammy Committee Christmas party at the Gibson Showroom not far from where I live. Ocean of Stars bassist Melanie Martinez had a plus one and asked me to go. Awesome!

Was fun, tho I am terrible at mixing/networking events. And of course, she had to split early so I was going to be left alone. Well shit. I didn't last long after that, heh. But we got to see Patricia Vonne do a short set, and I finally bumped into someone I knew (Lonnie from Whiskey Sisters/South Austin Moonlighters) but he was talking to some people and I was on my way to get a free hotdog, so the exchange was brief.

Patricia Vonne

Maybe Austin Community College offers an online course in schmoozing... Cause I need it.

Thursday experimenting at home I found I could use a Boss tuner pedal as a poor man's ABY switcher to run the Loop Station pedal into it's own amp so I can play stuff on top of it through a separate amp. Part of the problem with using it in rehearsals is it gets hard to hear the loop with it and me both playing out of my one halfstack.

Eureka! But now the problem is I have two 4x12 cabinets, but only one Marshall JCM800. Shit.

Friday worked on Ocean of Stars music with Melanie, as Ric Furley is down in Corpus Christi doing a string of orchestra gigs (pun intended). Worked on "Brief Ties To Space", "Leap of Faith" and an older song called "Laguna Madre."  5 songs total being worked in already. Progress!

Also spent much of Friday and Saturday physically preparing myself for the Eric Tessmer Band double on Saturday night. Early 7:30 set at Friends followed by a 10:30-ish set at BD Rileys. 3 hour set punctuated by tearing down gear/throwing it onstage and another 3 hour set. And the first half of the BD's sets on nights like that are usually amazing, second half can be a mixed bag depending on our energy reserves and alcohol consumption, hahaha

So yeah. I took it the fuck easy Friday and Saturday, energy conservation mode.

Rolled into Friends, started getting gear inside when a spot on 6th Street a few yards back opened. The night was already off to a great start! Such gigs like this usually result in a parking ticket if forced to use grab a meter somewhere...

Resumed loading in only to realize I forgot my damn rack, containing my wireless unit.

Left at home because I was trying to figure out how to mount my newly repaired (after 3 years) Acoustic B200H.

Shit. Now this was a dilemma.

I scored a primo parking spot, meaning I don't have to deal with parking tickets or the barricades that go up to close off 6th Street. End of the night load out, my vehicle is right there.

However... The wireless system is part of our stage show pretty much. I join Eric for shots at the bar, I go smoke cigarettes outside while playing, etc. Adds to the fun. The more fun we have, the more fun the crowd has. The more fun the crowd has, the more money we and the bar make at the end of the night.

Fuck the parking spot, I need to pay my rent (still)...

But then Eric informs us it was double booked at Friends, and we are only doing the BD Riley's set.

Well. That at least solved the problem about retrieving my rack from home, hahaha! However, that means the payout will only be half what it usually is, as one show has been cancelled. My body was VERY happy to only have a 3 hour set to look forward to after running home to eat and nap. My bank account, not so much...

Anyway. BD's was still a fun show. Always fun to play with Eric and Rob. Had a blast, had a good night musically as well as financially. Ripped off my bass strings at the end of the set, they needed to be changed. And I've had a new set, but merely changing them wouldn't be a fitting enough end for the long months of service this particular set has endured, heh.

And did I mention that upon my return downtown to BD Riley's, after a leisurely load in (bass rig already at BD's except my rack and my basses) I got the front row Joe rock star parking spot right in front of the place. HA! Awesome.

SO NOW the aforementioned busy week+ that lies ahead:

Earlier today had a sit-down rehearsal with Deann Rene and her guitarist Kyle. Went great! Still learning the songs but they are pretty straight forward, and I've seen her enough that I remember most of them.

Tuesday work on Deann Rene music and start on the setlist songs for bass gigs with Johnny Glass downtown this weekend. Maybe hit the Ortiz Brothers jam that night.

Wednesday work on music. Rehearsal with Dead Oak that evening followed by Ocean of Stars rehearsal later that night.

Thursday Deann Rene rehearsal during the day. Then ETB gig at Friends that evening.

Friday work on music, gig with Johnny Glass that night.

Saturday still up in the air. A gig would be nice, but Melanie from Ocean of Stars is having a party that night too...

Sunday gig with Johnny Glass.

Monday head home to the coast for Christmas.

Return to Austin on Friday Dec 27 for first gig with Deann Rene Band.

Saturday Dec 28 gig in San Antonio with Johnny Glass.

Got just about all my Xmas shopping done today. Took advantage of some time off the get that taken care of. Felt good, I usually wait til last minute!

Also been doing other constructive things around the house. Changed strings on my bass and my '79 Iceman, both have been needing it BAD. Also treated the rosewood fretboards with lemon oil, also much needed. Also did lots of other chores yesterday and today. That felt good.

Lately my energy level and motivation has been in the shitter, haven't felt like doing much of ANYTHING. But the cold snap is finally lifted, so maybe the hibernation mode is wearing off. Mentally I feel decent to good. Financial trouble, but scraping by. The gigs and the money are always there.

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