Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Earplugs from HAAM

Picked up my personally molded earplugs earlier this week courtesy of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.

Had the fitting about 2 months ago and have been like Ralphie from Christmas Story waiting for them to come in.

Tried them out last night for an ETB early set at Friends. Holy crap they work great!

Took a little getting used to (I usually use bar napkins in my ears, pieces of them and not the whole thing heh!). Even tho it felt like my ears needed to pop all night they felt great. Was amazed at how much I could hear everything, didn't realize how much high end I've been missing.

They have 25db filters in them which i was wondering if would be too much reduction in sound (they also have 9db and 12db filters available). Not the case at all. Perfect reduction in overall volume.

Could hear the guitar, could hear the cymbals. Bass sounded good and I could hear myself sing. Awesome!

Thank you HAAM! Y'all rock!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Holy shit. Just spent 4 days bedridden with the flu.

Missed 3 ETB gigs because of it. Almost made it through the 2.5 hour ETB Saxon Pub gig on Saturday.

Came on without warning Thursday evening. Had a bit of a cough most of the day which is no big deal. Getting ready for bed, went to turn off patio lights. Takes less than 10 seconds to go turn off power strip and get back inside. It was chilly but not too bad. But in those 10 seconds the chill cut straight to my bones and left me shivering inside for several minutes before I could regain use of my muscles enough to change into pajamas and burrow under the covers.

Fever. Not good.

And the body aches followed very shortly. Spent most of the first night with Roger Miller's "One Dying And A Burying" stuck in my head. Weird what your brain latches onto and plays on repeat at top volume during a fever.

Friday morning I knew there was no way I could get out of bed. Much less go pick up my van from the mechanic, get the inspection redone, drive to Houston to play a show, and drive back home that night. Eric and Rob were very understanding and were able to enlist Gian Ortiz as a last-second sub and vehicle. Glad they didn't have to cancel the show.

Saturday I knew that playing the Saxon gig would be a huge stretch, felt like complete ass. Fever subsided but major fatigue and body aches. Did what I could onstage that night, still had a really good show even tho I hit the wall. Thank God Eric's old bassist Allen Daniell was in attendance, and sat in the last 2 songs. By then I had already run out of gas 20 minutes previous. Sucks not getting through a set. Threw up in a trash can outside after my van was loaded. Rock n Roll, or something.

Sunday missed ETB going back to Houston for a live set on 94.5 The Buzz. Still felt absolutely Godawful and my headache was only worsening. Felt as if the individual bones of my skull were grinding against each other like tectonic plates. Getting out of bed again out of the question.

Monday missed ETB Friends residency. Could barely get out of bed, but finally started turning the corner that night. Progress. FINALLY.

Tuesday was feeling much improved save for the headache, which was still sending random sharp jabs of pain along faultlines in the sides of my head. Talking to our Chinese medicine doctor, she said it was probably caffeine withdrawal.

Which made sense. Had just spent 4 days bedridden and hardly eating anything, much less making coffee every morning. Well shit. So THATS what caffeine withdrawal feels like... Fuck.

Yesterday managed to venture to the ATM and the grocery store, which drained me. Still weak.

Today my energy level is still struggling to get back to normal, even with my appetite finally returning. This particular flu bug really beat the crap out of me.

Stay healthy, people!

Friday, January 11, 2013

First post of 2013

Greetings loyal readers! Welcome to 2013!

And seems I've had 20,001 page views as well! Not too shabby for not really promoting this thing. Guess I need to look into some version of Adsense, since my account got pulled for reasons that I don't want to get in to...


Much going on, both good and bad and somewhere in between.

For starters here is where 2013 finds me so far.

Composing this first post on Trin's Mac, as my laptop is going kinda screwy. I don't have the money to fix it. My van check engine light has decided to turn itself off after being on for the last 2 weeks. That is good, sort of, but I still need to take it in over the next few days. And to prep for that I increased the limit on one of my credit cards. Last year I made the most money I have made in my career as a musician, but still too broke to afford to fix either of the aforementioned technical/vehicle-related maladies.

But counting my blessings. I have a home which doesn't leak too bad in the rain. I play in some really good bands. I've made some pretty good music by myself and with other amazing players. My deferred probation (reduced DWI) ends on May 25. So after May 26 I feel safe in even typing the word 'alcohol' in this blog. Much to be thankful for.

There have been some deaths in the extended musical family, and many close friends are hurting. Life is short people, do what you love and love what you do cause our time in this plane of existence is not long, and there are no do-overs (unless you believe in reincarnation, so maybe there are plenty).

Regardless, the past few days have been a flurry of activity.

First gig of 2013 was a Thursday (Jan 4) that ETB got called in last minute at Friends. It was not so bueno. Was very cold that night, middle of a cold snap (for Texas at least). Not many people out and about, and we finally had to close the street window behind us. Felt like someone left the door of a walk-in freezer open.

But the ETB Monday residency earlier this week was great! Finally warmed up a little, lots of foot traffic. Played to a good weekend crowd, most of whom stayed during our set break so that was awesome. Good friends in attendance as well, our bros Moses Blues and Roberto Balderrama as well as tattoo artist Kelley Premeaux. Good to have some friends/musical family in the crowd.

Wednesday the rain let up for the drive to practice for the Shandon Sahm show tonight at 1st Down and Stassney. A Sahm Covers Sahm set, this time with my old Southern Gun Culture bandmate Amber Lucille on 2nd guitar. It sounded good and the show (tonight) should be fun. Also have an early Friends set with ETB tonight as well. I still need to look into leaving my guitar rig at 1st Down and Stassney, as I will have to get off stage ASAP and throw my bassrig in the van to get to Shandon gig as soon as inhumanly possible. Tomorrow night ETB is at BD Riley's.

Busy weekend.

Also, yesterday Eric, Rob, Loranda and myself shot this masterpiece at the now infamous Taqueria:

Figured this was a creative way to promote the Austin Music Poll this year, rather than just blasting FB liek everyone else.

But here's the link anyway:

Also been a flock-of-grackles-in-the-HEB-parking-lot amount of ETB band chatter past 2 days, lots being discussed re: plans and bookings this year. Busy is definitely good.

In other news, still putting Ocean of Stars together. Have been talking to a saxophone player who is very interested. Hope it works out with him, as the music definitely needs the extra instrumentation that 2 guitars can't always cover. Plus I want this to be more avant-garde than a straight up heavy instrumental band. Really want to take the audience somewhere, and not just around the block a few times. That, and I really want to raise the bar musically. I want the presentation to be almost symphonic, as this music is like the soundtrack to the Universe.

But have been hashing and rehashing an Ocean of Stars logo idea:

Still working on it. Found the font for the movie Time Bandits online, and had to buy it for $20. Fuck it, I like it a lot.

As always, there will be more to come. Next weekend ETB will be busy as well, Friday in Houston, saturday back at the Saxon, then right back to Houston to be on the radio that evening on 94.5 the Buzz.