Friday, July 18, 2014

AATS 6000 Mile Tour Day 15, Denver CO

Thursday May 29, 2014

A quiet night, a late check out, a mere hundred mile drive. Nice.

En route to Denver I wrote in my journal and we were there before I knew it. Didn't even take any pics en route (not much to see, really, until you are just about there).

We had two options for a place to stay that night, Adrian's friend Carly or Armando's friends Miller and his wife (old friends from school). Good to have options, tho both friends had plenty of space.

So plan for the day before the gig was to hang with Carly for awhile then head to Miller's place as well.

Got hella lost en route to Carly's tho. Turns out there were two streets with the same name as hers, separated by a huge roundabout that just made for total confusion. The maps on our iPhone's gave us directions to BOTH addresses and after going to the first Adrian didn't recognize the neighborhood so we went on a 30+ minute wild goose chase to the other address, which only was 5 minutes away.


We found it, and spent a good chunk of the afternoon hanging out with Carly and her dog Ava on the porch. Very nice lady, puts bands up often. Ex-military and on disability due to a worsening neurological condition which is baffling her doctors. Sucks when bad things happen to good people.

But she rolled out the red carpet, offered us beers and made us a pizza \m/,

Adrian and Ava in Carly's back yard. Photo by Armando. Go Spurs, yo!

Soon we had to bid her adieu, but she'd be at the show later that night.

Headed to Miller's place and found it without incident (no duplicate addresses). Him and his wife really good people, just became grandparents and were very happy about that. More pizza, more beers and good conversation. After awhile I excused myself to the basement to grab a bedroom for a nap. Adrian eventually did the same. Armando stayed up and caught up with his old friends.

Turns out I'd have two old friends coming out to the show at Three Kings.

One is Paul Vismara, a painter/beer connoisseur whom I've known for many years from the old message boards and have hung out with many times over the years. He'd be getting there a little later in the eve, but would make our set.

The other is Ken Wealty, who used to drum for Shandon Sahm. He FB messaged me earlier in the day about the show. I wasn't quite sure who it was at first, as his FB profile pic was a far away pic of him on a kayak heh, and don't know if I ever knew his last name...

Got to the venue and after load in through the back alley was kneeling down stowing/arranging gear. A pair of feet walked up to me and said "Hey Dannny, how ya been?" Looked up and was him. Ha!

Haven't seen him since about 2007, probably because he moved to Denver at that time. *face palm*

Really dug Three Kings as a venue. Cool art and murals. Green room plastered in band press photos and band stickers with lots of familiar names. Nice big stage, good sound, downtown so there is more foot traffic rather than people only showing up because they meant to go there.

And speaking of foot traffic, Carly was in full force trying to recruit passers-by to the show. Some of them she scared off, others she convinced and they stayed all night and loved it. Awesome!

Our set went well and was well-received, to the best of my recollection almost 2 months later... (Yeah. I will be more proactive in my tour recaps, tho I say that all the time). The distance was too great for Adrian's cables to reach all the way to the bar, but she still jumped offstage and rocked out people up front.

And Ken is a pretty damn good photographer too:

Leading the crowd in my favorite new drinking game, "1, 2, 3, Drink!"

A friend of Adrian's took this, photo courtesy George L Blosser. Wow!

Fun show and good times. And yes. I did wear my new Kum & Go shirt which I had purchased the previous day.

Spent most of the rest of the evening catching up with Paul. Hadn't seen him since probably 2009, when he traveled with his friends Solace from New Jersey to Austin for SXSW that year, and him and half the band stayed at Gina and I's house at the time. Oh, there are stories. Very funny stories. But that is another blog post altogether.

He gave me a copy of the new book about beer that him and a friend wrote and published. Awesome! I gave him copies of my new album and the Ocean of Stars rough mixes. Great catching up and getting rather shithammered at the bar with him and Armando.

Paul seems shocked by how drunk we were, heh!

But eventually it was that time to pack up all our gear and leave, as eventually bars do close. And much sooner than you would like.

To split the difference in our two prospective places to stay, Adrian stayed with Carly and Armando and I stayed at Miller's.

We had nightcaps of chocolate malt beer and leftover pizza and more conversation with Miller and his wife.

Felt great to finally sleep in an actual bed instead of a couch or a hotel bed. It was glorious. As was my shower in the morning. Much needed, as evidence of the photos of us sweating our asses off onstage.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AATS 6000 Mile Tour Day 14, drive day to Cheyenne WY

Wednesday May 28, 2014

The second of two days off on this run.

Only would be much less a day off than the on one we had the previous week in Sedona AZ. Which already seemed months ago despite it only being 10 days.

And instead of much needed rest and not-going-anywhere, we had a run of three Colorado dates starting in Denver the following night. Which was 546 miles away. Hmmmm...

I woke early, remembering our hosts' off-handed offer the previous night of their washer/dryer in case anyone needed to do laundry. I'm sure my hand shot up like Horseshack (sp?).

Got everything done in one load, which was surprising. And it was one of those fancier front-loading setups and rather high tech. Which meant I immediately put it on the wrong wash cycle (the one our host cautioned against) so had to stop it and start the program process all over again so it would take 23 minutes to wash my clothes instead of an hour.

Also got in a much needed-shower in their luxurious garden tub/shower stall. Of course came dangerously close to busting my ass getting out.

Felt like I had shed a layer of skin. And had all clean clothes. Wow. Nice to feel like a human being again.

But we couldn't stay long, we had more ground to cover.

We thought about powering all the way through to Denver. Get there after 9-10+ hour drive, check into hotel, pass out, and have the entire next day to relax before gig. But check out time would be noon and that would leave us with an entire day to kill until load in that evening, and we would be staying with friends in Denver that night.

So was decided to drive to Cheyenne WY, which would mean a mere 100 mile drive to Denver the next day. After all the ground we had been covering that might as well be a trip to the grocery store.

So 452 miles to Cheyenne it is!

Don't recall what we did for breakfast. Just remember going through the mountain pass just outside of SLC to begin the long drive, crossing the high desert plains and occasional weird rock formations of southern Wyoming.

Leaving Salt Lake City:

After leaving the mountains it started to look like the Moon.

Fireworks stand somewhere in Wyoming

And we found a Kum & Go!!! Yes!!!

And at some point this happened.

As we crossed Wyoming we started seeing more snowcaps on occasional distant mountain peaks. As we got up in elevation at one point, we were seeing patches of snow, and lots of evidence of meltwater and overflowing creeks. As the odd patches of snow got closer and closer to the highway, it got more tempting to pull over and go play in it, heh!

Turns out they recently had a very heavy late-season snowfall, which was resulting in floods. Crazy.

Finally rolled into Cheyenne before sunset. Weird, beat desert town kind of in the middle of nowhere.

Checked into a kind of beat hotel, had two rooms due to a donation from a good friend. So we'd get to stretch out a little instead of three-to-a-room, and Adrian would have her own space.

Me and Armando's room looked over the pool (ewww) and a bbq area with a resident colony of prairie dogs scurrying around. Our external AC unit would make an occasional sputtering/farting sound. Judging by the dents in the grill, kicking it did not remedy the noise.

Got cleaned up more or less (I was already clean ha!) and headed to the Steamboat Steakhouse for an actual sit-down dinner. After 4 days of eating-on-the-go, tour tacos or missed meals (last full meal was with A's parents on Saturday), we really needed  this.

And we splurged.

Appetizers, local beers, etc. I had a huge burger and probably inhaled it, and Adrian and Armando gorged themselves as well. It was glorious. The most full I have been the entire trip, and I don't like to feel that full after eating (especially if playing that night). But this was exactly what our bodies needed. Coffee and B-complex can sort of keep you going, but running on fumes will only carry you so far.

Surprised the staff didn't need to carry us in wheelbarrows back to the van, heh.

Back to the hotel to rest and have some beers--stopped by a liquor store, I believe Cheyenne is in a dry county, or they might have been van beers from the venue in Salt Lake City, who fucking knows at this point haha--with Armando in our room. I think we even turned on the TV for once(!) and Adrian hung out with us for awhile.

Even tho we had driven 8 or 9 hours that day, it was nice to have a night off from playing and some peace instead of the noise of a venue.

In the courtyard by the pool there had been a group of guys at the picnic table drinking beers and hanging out. They were there when we left for the steakhouse, and still going strong when we got back. But Armando and I outlasted them, heh.

With as exhausted as we were, we went to sleep technically early for us, but our skewed musician hours still kept us awake past midnight.

Friday, July 11, 2014


AS always, much going on. Hard to keep track.

On the agenda for today: continue work on my personal music website (long time coming), continue work on the music I've been demo-ing to put up on some of the royalty free music sites I've been cued into, shore up Ocean of Stars rehearsal schedule and a gig tonight downtown with Sean Evan and his Very Handsome Band.

Past few days I've been working on music in the mornings, and doing other things like waiting for the AT&T U-verse installer to come out. Apparently the neighborhood box he was going to hook me into was overrun by ants and termites so needed replacing.

But I have wireless internet, again. Thank Crom! It was somewhat hindering my ability to do business here at the house using the hot spot from my iPhone. Websites slow, music links I'm trying to listen to kept stopping to buffer, and videos forget about it.

So now I can upload things to DropBox and actually look at other musician websites to get ideas for my own.


In other news I just bought an SWR Bass 350, chrome front. No pics yet as due to said chrome front making it hard to photograph heh

But it's this guy:

About $300 at Guitar Center, and still have 28 more days to see if I like it. So far so good. Rushed into purchase due to Sean Evan & VHB filling my calendar the next two+ months, and some of those places my SVT would be too much. I've been using my Marshall JCM800 as a lower power bass head, but it's an extra (big/heavy) thing to carry. Plus my SVT has developed a hum and the bias was rather out of whack when I checked it last week.

The SWR is rackmountable and within the range of power load that my cabs can handle. Built like a tank as well. Haven't been a fan of SWR amps but this one isn't too shabby.

I needed something ASAP, and this is the amp that presented itself.

For the rest of the month have gigs with Sean Evan & VHB, Deann Rene Band, Andy Macintyre and Adrian and the Sickness.

Ocean of Stars has a booking for early August and it's time to resume rehearsals. We haven't played together since mid-May, and that will be remedied \m/,

Spent a gig free previous weekend in bed recouping and resting. Turns out I must have pulled an abdominal muscle loading out (drunkenly) from a gig (had a designated driver) the previous Friday.

Had for several days (and still do) a dull ache/discomfort in my lower right abdominal area. Then that Tuesday played the Infynit Hour with Dean Rene Band. After the taping Kyle's (guitar) car wouldn't start, so Ric Furley and I attempted to push his car a bit to get it resting differently on the parking lot's inherent incline (problematic fuel pump, maybe that would help)

We pushed it two feet and ran out of curb to use as leverage. And even small cars are heavy. Kyle was able to get a ride for him and his gear.

And apparently even smaller cars are very heavy. By last week Friday my right side where I had a separated rib 20 years ago was really bothering me, and my back threatened to seize at one point. Shit. Gettin old.

So I spent much of the weekend on Advil and a heating pad, laying in bed reading a Johnny Cash bio. Was not happy about all the important things I wanted/needed to do being put on hold, but by Saturday evening I was feeling much improved, and realized how badly my body needed to rest in general, and not just from trying and failing to push a car.

Wow. Downtime. Who'da thunkit.