Monday, August 31, 2009

Bored At Work

I wrote 2 songs last week. In hindsight, they're pretty bipolar. The first one was called "This is My Life Without You", which is about what happens every time I end a relationship, which is to seek distraction in all the wrong things (draw your own conclusions). It sort of sounds like Jack Johnson's melancholy acoustic stuff, but I think it would sound best as just a piano/vocals deal. Who knows if I'll ever take it that far. The 2nd song was a complete 180 from the 1st one. It's an upbeat pop tune called "You Are A Miracle" (I don't like that title, but that's essentially the chorus so it is named that by default). It basically breaks down the statistics of what it takes for two people to end up together. I really like it. I think it's the 2nd best upbeat song I've ever written, next to "Getting Busy", which is along the same emotional thread.

Other than that, not too much going on. Keith and I probably won't practice this week, since we're heading down to POC on Thursday to go fishing, but we're sure to pick it back up next week. Still waiting until I sell one of my automobiles before I can buy recording gear. Incidentally, I've got several peices of extra gear for sale if you know someone who would be interested:

-Brand New In Box Electron Blue Standard Mexican Fender Telecaster (with gig bag)- $350
-Unknown brand 1970s 15 watt bass/PA combo with 15" speaker- $50
-Trace Elliot 200W 2 X 10" guitar amp- $150

I'd like to be able to trade these for either an upright piano or a Sennheiser 421 microphone. Maybe Craigslist can come through for me.

Also, I've added a LaLa embed on the sidebar, so each post I'll probably link a new song. This one's is "Scotty Doesn't Know"; it always makes me laugh, especially if you've seen EuroTrip, where Matt Damon does this song at the graduation party. Enjoy.

Monday, August 17, 2009


100 meters in 9.58 seconds. That is all.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Long Overdue Updates Accompanied by Random Opinions and Observations

So, I'm bored at work and figured I'd waste some time blogging.

Stevenson Road Status Update
So not much has been going on with the band. We got offered a gig at a bar in Livingston, but I don't know if we're going to take it. Livingston is a long way away and I doubt anyone we know would be willing to travel that far to see us. The bar has more of a Texas Country vibe, so I don't know how many fans we could convert, even if a lot of people did show up. I would like to do some solo stuff there if possible (more on that later).

Keith and I have been practicing about once every other week, so we're still alive. Just no gigs or records lined up. The current (ever changing and rightshifting) plan is to get recording gear once I'm able to sell my Jeep and have a quality demo by the end of the year.

Last practice we wrote a new song that I'd really like to finish out. It's kind of like a Vines/Killers song. Hard barre chords in successions with lots of starts and stops and an open chord chorus. We'll see what comes of it.

The last two practices my roommate Derrick has come out and plugged in the bass. He's never played before so it's slow going, but it is nice to hear a much fuller sound.

Solo Career?
I really enjoy playing with Keith. He's awesome. But like a lot of people doing something creative that they care about, I'm sort of a control freak. I like the songs that we've written together, but they're definitely not songs I sit around in my room playing over and over again. Our music is rock. My aspirations have always leaned more to the singer-songwriter style. So I've been thinking a lot about writing a set of songs that I could go play on my own, just me and my geetar. Not only would this let me play the music and write the songs that I really have always wanted to write and sound like, it would let me try and go get gigs and record without having to clear the logistics with anyone else. The bottom line is I want to be Rhett Miller and unfortunately the band is more Seven Mary Three than Old 97s.

Counting Crows
I went to see the Counting Crows on Monday. It was weak. This was the 4th time I've seen them, and each time was progressively worse. I do believe they have gotten the last of my money. In 1994, there wasn't a person in the world I idolized more than Adam Duritz. And while he still has my respect for banging both Jennifer Aniston AND Courteney Cox, he's kind of a tool. He has worn fake dreads for 15 years. He is a dick to his fans. And he's very self-important. Anyway, the show was at Austin Music Hall and they did this bunk format where they came out at the beginning with the 'opener' (Augustana) and played all at once and then the 2 bands sort of traded 3 song sets a few times. Weak. I didn't pay $40 to see f'n Augustana (not that they were horrible, the were actually quite good, but they weren't what I paid to see). I paid $40 to see Counting Crows; not only that, I paid $40 with the understanding that I would see Counting Crows play their hits, as I expect to hear them. So, I was really disappointed in the format and set list. I mean, so I saw the lead singer of Augustana sing "Omaha"? Weak.

Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, and Willie
On Tuesday I went to see the 3 above at Dell Diamond with my older brother llogg.

I'd seen Willie once before so I pretty much knew what to expect. He's good, but a lot of time his voice isn't timed with the music. And the main thing I love about Willie is his crooning. I think he's just too old to croon because his voice didn't have that wavering desperation or carry out the long notes on Crazy or Blue Eyes Crying. But he did have a good energy and put on a pretty good show. It was bloody hot too, so you gotta give his old ass props for hanging tough. He didn't play 2 of my favorites (Red Headed Stranger and Pancho and Lefty), but he did have a pretty good set list overall. I give him a B.

I didn't expect much from Mellencamp. My parents like his stuff, so I'd heard a lot of his catalog, but going in there weren't any songs (except Jack and Diane) that I was thinking would be awesome to hear. Well, he was really, REALLY good. Great energy, good set list, the whole package. He did probably the best a capella I've ever heard (not saying much, but still, it was badass) on a song I can't remember right now. He rocked. I give him an A (more on why he didn't get an A+ later).

Bob Dylan's first song had me thinking he'd be better off dead. He vocals were completely unintelligible and had ZERO melody. I had sort of known what to expect and went in thinking it would be pretty bad, but the way he sang Rainy Day Women to open his set was ridiculous. He got a lot better as the show went forward, but he only played 4 songs that I knew, 2 of which came in the encore. He didn't utter a single word between songs. Not one (I still haven't decided whether or not this is cool). Strictly business. He came out for the encore and started with Like A Rolling Stone, one of my favorite songs ever, but it was disappointing because to me the thing that makes that song so awesome is how he wails on the line "how does it feeeeeeeelllllll". Well, needless to say, there was no wailing. I mean, the dude is over 70 years old, so I guess my expectations were too high. He closed the show with All Along the Watchtower, which totally rocked. Charlie Sexton shredded. I think that song was so awesome because it's not the type that is dominated by the vocals. Since Hendrix redid it everyone sees it more as a guitar song. Dylan would have gotten an F had it not been for at least attempting Rolling Stone (up to a C) and kicking ass on Watchtower, so he ends up with a B.

I truly thought that when Dylan left for the first time that all 3 of them (Willie, Cougar, and Dylan) would come out for the encore. I mean, imagine the three of them trading verses on Pancho and Lefty, Jack and Diane, and Like a Rolling Stone. How fucking AWESOME would that have been?! That would have made for an excellent (A+) show. Either way I had a really good time if for no other reason than I got to hang out with just my brother for 3 hours, and he's fucking hilarious. And, I got to see all those guys before they're dead. Bonus.

Short Side Rant: Musicians not playing their hits sucks and it's bullshit. I fully understand that you get sick and tired of playing the same song thousands and thousands of times. I get that. But that's what everyone is there for. If you don't want to play Jack and Diane, don't play big shows. Don't trick people. Give them what they paid for.

Well, that's enough for now. Have a great weekend.