Wow...a brutal end to 2013. I hurt my shoulder working on my house so I stopped my exercising for the last couple of months, I had a very intense fall tour, I lost a much loved colleague and friend, I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic, I didn't have much work for the holiday season, it was too cold to work on the house and I got a nasty cold over Christmas that put me in bed for 3 days. I am thankful 2013 is GONE, GONE, GONE!
2014 started with a fantastic college bowl season, I started back on my exercise program, got my diet figured out a little better for my new "condition," made some nice contacts for new gigs in town, getting my first tour of the year rocking and rolling, got some new, old records signed to the label, started getting the loopfest plans rocking, even got some house repairs in and cut my hair! It's amazing the power of imagery. Just having a fresh haircut puts a little pride in one's step and a fire in the belly. I'm rested up, rejuvenated and full of music. Already written a half-dozen new grooves for the loop station show and getting ready for the first recording of 2014. 2014 is all about getting ahead. It's going to be a lot like 2013 as I'm still the newbie in a new town, but I'm making headway. I'll get my band going and advance all of my projects. MUCH to be done and I'm looking forward to doing it.
When I started doing this, i had every intention of it being a most regular thing. A "revealing look" inside if you will. Well, schedules and life being what it is, regular is a difficult thing. And my wife isn't too fond of the personal stuff being out in the world. She's right about that, but what are you as an artist if you don't reveal yourself? Isn't one's work made more valuable be the personal motivations, the things going on in one's life that affect inspiration and thought concentrations? We are humans. We are complex beings affect by myriad emotions and experiences. We can also set these things somewhat aside. But as an artist, these things affect how we create or practice our craft.
I've had a bit of a slow holiday season. Some cancellations and cutbacks and a lot of time spent on other things have left an open calendar. I'm beginning to see how to work my schedule now though. And there's a lot of label stuff to do. I've been doing a ton of video from the loopfest. Although I really cannot be doing some much of it "after=the-fact." It's a pretty intense amount of work. I've picked up some more records and am kicking out a lot of new releases between now and spring. It's a pretty cool.
I'm pretty caught up on things in the office. I haven't jumped into a new big project yet and have been doing a lot of house stuff and fiddling with some ideas of tech, music, etc... just housekeeping stuff. It's been eating up time and giving me time to think whilst still being productive. And the house is cleaner! Still haven't started exercising again although my shoulder is fully healed up. I'm thinking 2014 is a fine time to start up again.
As I've been reflecting on the holiday season and my year. I did have some things I wanted to say. The very first is Thank you. To all of my friends, family and fans. To my loved ones, to the people who came to hear my play, the venues that hired me, those who you purchased my music, those who streamed my songs and those who have watched my videos. THANK YOU. To those who let me stay at their homes, to those we met up with for dinner, drinks, meetings, concerts. THANK YOU. To those who participated in all my projects THANK YOU. To those I'm in business with and the music we've made together and the music we are promoting together THANK YOU. To those who have included me in their projects THANK YOU. This has been a great year for me and my company.
I've really been expanding the label, adding records, working with more people and making great music. It's been an amazing ride. Merry Christmas everyone, I hope your 2014 is blessed and filled with good health, happiness and prosperity.
Back home dealing with lots of office stuff. Mainly trying to get video online and distributed to Loopfesters! That's all kind of fun, but the slow uploading is killing me...In the meantime I'm finally going through some old mini-disc gig recordings from 5, 8, 10 years ago... jazz, folk, reggae all in small combos from gigs so far.
I've really been blessed to make a lot of music in my life. And I look forward to making a lot more. What a life...
The last road gig was great. Nice little place, great people, fun night. An old High School friend showed up with a small crew and a good time was had by all. Crashed at their place after staying up until the wee hours of the morning chatting. And then up and on the road for home. Came home with my cold just raging but I unpacked and hit the rack. Had shows to play, stuff to do for the next several days. Didn't help me get better at all. Been back a few days now, got some rest and am feeling a little better.
Any time I take a few moments and reflect on this trip I want to wax poetic and write something grand about how incredible it was. But there are no words for it. It really was something special though. It already seems like a lifetime ago. What a joy it was. It was very stressful and not everything was awesome, but then again the sun doesn't shine everyday.
Got a few days before the San Antonio LoopFest. Starting small and will build it from there.
It is good to be home. My wife and I aren't fully on the same page yet. Getting there pretty quick though. It's crazy how 2 months apart can get you out of sync. But we're getting there. Calendar is pretty lean, but starting to fill in. Time to get back to it. Lots of receipts from the tour to file, video to process, gigs to book, a neglected house and yard to attend to, a neglected wife to make happy again and much, much, much work to be done.
Ended up picking up a bit of a cold on Santa Cruz. Didn't think much of it until Long Beach. Started coming on pretty heavy. After the gig, slept in and started medicating. I'm not one to take medicine. But I'm on the road. Sleeping on a couch. And moving and gigging in the next few days. Not a happy combo to get better. Met up with some Marine buddies that night. Had a BLAST. Zack came along as we were checking out some venues in Long Beach. After my little meet-up, Zack's bandmate came out and we hung out and cruised the town a little, Zack drinking beer and me drinking cold medicine. This cold began to seriously kick my ass. Much sleep was had again, but more potent measures were needed. Got some different OTC stuff and hung out with Lew at his studio for the day. Finally dragged my butt down to Vista to my cousin and went straight to bed after a quick bite and shower. Laurie was kind enough to give me some herbal supplements which helped beat this thing down. I was up early the next day for a long, outdoor gig. Had a good time, the weather was perfect and I was so out-of-it from the medicine and sickness that I could barely speak. Sold some CDs and made some GREAT tips! Grabbed some food and drove on down the road a few hours. Promptly cancelled another meet-up with a Marine buddy as I didn't want to give him my creeping, snot lungs of death. Spent the next 18 hours at a truck stop in Barstow trying to sweat and sleep through this thing. Nose got all chaffed. Didn't eat much. Had to get going. Made it to my father in law's in Sedona and again, shower and straight to bed. Felt better the next morning. Didn't need much medicine. Had my first real meal in a few days and had a nice chat. Took a nap for several hours and hit the road for my first gig ever in Flagstaff. Cool spot, but a dead Monday night. Although not every place was dad. Flagstaff is cool. Really liked. Looking forward to coming back through there again. At this point, I'm feeling even better. Started feeling so good that I drove all night to Santa Fe. Wasn't tired. Got a few hours sleep, cleaned up at a rest stop and came into town to get online and grab coffee. Feeling chipper but still got a little sniffle hanging on!
Last road gig is tonight. Then two days to get home for a Halloween gig in San Antonio. Can't wait to get home. It'll be seven weeks out. Not even close to the longest I've been out, but this was plenty long. Miss my wife, miss my house, miss my cat. Can't wait to get home. Lots to do. This trip has been amazing. Epic indeed. The journey, the gigs, the people, the music, the driving, the views, all of it...just amazing. I don't have the words to depict how I am feeling right now. I am grateful for this wonderful musical adventure that my life is. And there's so much more to do with it yet... :)
Life is good.
Wrapped up my time at the Y2K Loopfest. I had a great time. Really got to get to know some pretty cool folks. Very glad I’m doing this stuff. Got some great ideas for next year. Sadly, I had to get on down the road. Made a stop in Paso Robles at cool little joint. Had a fun show and watched some Sunday Night Football after. Looking forward to making that a regular stop! But I had to head down the road some. Stopped at a tiny rest area somewhere in the coastal mountains for the night.
Up the next day and off to get some work done. Found a Starbucks for coffee and internet. I was time to get some work done. Spent most of it on San Antonio LoopFest stuff and trying to stay caught up whilst arranging my visitation schedule for the week. After more than a couple of hours of that I needed to do some errands and laundry. Got everything squared away, cleaned and ready to go just in time to meet my mother-in-law for dinner. Hung out with my Aunt for a minute and called it an early night. Next day was up and off to L.A. to hang out with Zack. Did a show with him that night in Long Beach, props to Cameo for coming out and seeing the show, had fun with the locals, met some of Zack’s former bandmates and friends. Making a little headway on the SoCal LoopFest and some other business. But mostly catching up, looking ahead to coming home to San Antonio, booking some gigs, etc… all in the beautiful weather of sunny California.
Oct 19th. I can’t even begin to describe all the things that went on these past two weeks. It’ll be fun to recap. The following Sunday (Oct 6th) was up early to get the show ready for Emmett that night. Packed up my gear for the day and off I went to the first gig at the Portland Marathon. A couple hours honking my horn on a PA I didn’t have to haul all outside on a beautiful day. Had another commitment for a few hours and then off to Ivories for the big poetry show. Show was okay. It had some great moments, a few weak spots, attendance was lighter than I wanted, but it was a poetry and blues show on a Sunday evening in Portland and the weather was beautiful. Tough day. Off “home” to relax and get some food.
Next day was a morning commitment for a few hours and then into the studio for the mix session. Dennis Carter at Falcon studio starts knocking it out. We put in a full day work on the ears and it was time to go. Had another commitment that kept me until 9:30pm, off “home” after that. Next day was about the same. Busy in the morning, off to the studio, met with a friend, had a dinner with other friends. Home late.
Anytime I got home I got online to promote the loopfests for a couple of hours, catch up on work, email, talk to my wife, plan the next day so I could drop flyers, etc…It’s not like I went to bed. Thankfully my host keeps plenty of Scotch on hand. And there’s usually a night or two of awesome conversation about bands and growing up that goes until a bottle or two is empty. Good times…
Anyway, the next day was the same except after the studio I drove to Seattle. On the way up I thought about how awesome all my friends are. Some have babies, some have businesses, some are single, married, divorcing all off on their own epic adventures. It’s great to drop in for a few days or a few minutes to catch up and hang out. I really enjoyed the moments we could carve out together. And then I got there and was swept away by the force of nature that is my family – my parents had come in from Montana to see the fest.
Thursday morning. Day one of the Seattle LoopFest. I didn’t sleep well. Mostly hung out with my family as they were in an out. I needed to pick up one of the loopers from the airport and then head to the venue. I really was on the last shreds of my nerves. Picked up the talent (Emanuel from Paris, France) and off to the venue. Attendance wasn’t what I was hoping for. The venue said they had a great night. They said it was one of the best Thursdays they had had in quite a while. The performers were out of this world. Some out of this world awesome and some out of this world weird. The variety of tech, technique, style and mood was incredible. Got some great pics. Haven’t checked the video yet. Stayed late. Grabbed Emanuel and off to stay at my sister’s.
Next day was tourist day in Seattle. I had nothing to do and the anticipation was over. I was ready to relax and have some fun. I grabbed Emanuel and everybody went strolling through downtown Seattle to see the sights, have some conversation, cocktails, coffees, etc… Then back to the fest for night two. Venue had a nice crowd. Performers were very strong. Great stuff all night. Home late, stayed up later and then up early to head down to Portland. Stopped at home base to switch gear in/out around, made my morning/afternoon commitment, met up with my wife (for about 3 minutes), met with friends for dinner , and then to the venue for the Portland show. Attendance started light, but really filled up nicely as the night went on. Performers were strong, sound was awesome. The venue was pretty cool. Really liked it there. Good show. Met my wife at “home” very late. Crawled in next to her and fell asleep. She was gone when I got up. I had one last commitment to get to and then was the single social event I planned. A little get together at a great Portland pub. About a dozen showed. It was fun. Getting to know some of the loopers now. Then it was off to get the matinee going. We started rolling at 4pmish and had a light crowd most of the day. Saw some things I didn’t know I was going to see. That’s half the fun of these things. Seeing what the whole thing looks like. Some incredible performances from unexpected places. Wrapped it all up, went out for dinner with a couple loopers from out of town and called it a night.
Next day was a brunch with old friends. And then off to Ashland for a gig. I put one of the loopers from the fest on it as he was going to be in town. Show was awesome. They loved it. Had a nice 5-6 hours in the car with my wife to have a face-to-face chat. First time in a month.
Next day was back in the car and off to Tracy, CA to visit friends. Got online for a minute. Ate a lot of food. It was awesome.
Next day , met friends in Oakland, dropped the wife at the airport and off to Danville for a show. Split the gig with some loopers and I was off late to crash at my buddy Jay’s place. Up early the next day. Saw friends for most of the day and off to Santa Cruz to stay at my cousin’s place for the Y2K Fest.
Since then, mostly been sleeping late and hanging out with the loopers, enjoying performances, did my show and just enjoying the beautiful weather, the incredible past couple of weeks and the new friends. Lovely.
What a week. Got some great stuff in the studio. It didn't come easily, but we got it to all come out. Did a number of gigs. Saw some friends. Work, work, work... Sleep is getting cut short these days. Too much to do. Having some fun along the way too. Talking to the wife several times a day on the phone. Keeps the lonely away. Exhausted and so much to do still. Getting too old for this.
Happy Birthday to me. I was never one to really get into my birthday. It used to bother me. But my wife began to change that. and she made it become an enjoyable day for the two of us. Then Facebook came along. And, as anyone who knows me knows, I put a pretty large chunk of my life on it. But on birthday day, you get a ton of people saying "Happy all-kinds-of-stuff." I like it. Makes me feel special that people would take 2 seconds to post it.
And it was a special day. Wrapped up all the tracking for Emmett's new CD. I think it's hot. I think it's great. I can't thank the band enough for their professional and creative input on this thing. Beautiful, funky, soulful. Got all the edits done today and started mixing. Dennis Carter at Falcon Recording Studios is doing a great job for us. Really think it was the perfect fit.
Getting pretty anxious about the loopfest. It's right around the corner. Ba Ba Bummmmmmm. Some days I'm really excited about it. Some days I'm really thrilled and satisfied. Today is one of those days where I feel like I want to throw up.
What a day. I'm beat. Lovin' the road. Lovin' the tour. Making great music. Meeting some very cool people. Miss my wife. Miss my house. Miss my cats.
Wow....hard to believe it's been 8 days since the last post. Seems like a month. Anyway...rolled on in to Moab. As beautiful as ever. I can't seem to get enough of that place. Hiked up to Delicate Arch. (Just posted the pics on Faceboook.) Wanted to get there last trip but didn't have enough time. Barely squeezed it in this time around. Had a fine gig at Eddie McStiff's and hit the road to Salt Lake City.
Next morning was a corporate lunch gig for lunch which went very well. Followed by a round of disc golf at Creekside. Had a good time and didn't shoot well at all. Played Burt's Tiki Club later that night and my cousins showed up! That was cool. Spent the night at their place and was off in the morning for a show at Westminster University which, again, went very well! After that is was a couple of hours on the freeway headed North to Lava Hot Springs in Idaho!
A nice evening gig at the Riverside Inn followed by the jam session at the Blue Moon Tavern and a warm bed and breakfast back at the Inn. I always have a great time in Lava. I know the staff some as well as a handful of the locals since I've been through there regularly of late. It's always nice seeing them. Even had some good players there!
Next day, up early and off for another couple of hours down the freeway for a fun lunch gig at the Jerome Senior Center. Then back to Twin Falls for an awesome but windy round of disc golf followed by a GREAT gig at the Anchor Bistro. Hit the road for Boise that night.
Saturday was a late sleep in, all day on the computer playing catch-up, a little college football and gig at Salt Tears. Hit the road and drove all night to Portland. Got in about 5am at Dwight and Tracy's. I love Dwight and Tracy. They are good friends. And I really appreciate the hospitality. Mostly it's the netflix, I get to catch up on Dr. Who late at night while typing my blog! Of course, the conversation, scotch, food, quiet house and kitties have a little something to do with it as well. Got settled in, unpacked and got to work. Had to get things in order for the recording session in the morning!
Ended up with a GREAT day in the studio. Got a ton done and well ahead of schedule. Got some very fine material recorded. Did a few housekeeping things and called it a day. Had a little chow, watched a movie while going through a pile of mail and trying to finish up online. Looking forward to another studio day tomorrow!
Okay...it's Sunday Sept 22nd. Still in Denver, CO. Going to hit the Blues Jam at Ziggie's tonight. Going to say hey to the owner. Get down a little bit with some jammers (hopefully). Head out tomorrow.
First gig was in Evergreen at the Little Bear Saloon. This place was great. I had a Tuesday night gig and there was flood damage up there. Part of the road and a parking lot were gone. The other live music venue was closed for flood repairs that hadn't started yet. There wasn't a big crowd. But there were some partyin' folks. Had a great time in a very cool venue.
Tried to get some work done on some tunes for a recording the next day. Made some progress but fell a little behind as it was slow going.
Next gig was in Boulder at a bar/coffee house. Brian Casey, a Portland friend and musician whom I've had the pleasure of playing with a variety of settings was able to come down last minute and see the show with his wife. Brian and I share a love of scotch. I like to think I'm the guy that got him into it! Maybe not 100% true, but then again... Anyway, we had to see what he had on the shelf at home. It was awesome catching up. Gig was fun, a lightly attended. I made myself a couple of fans. That's for sure. I'll take it.
Hung out with some old friends here and there. Got a nice motorcycle ride in on Saturday. Saw an old Marine buddy. Hung out with my host and ran around town a little with him. Got some more tunes worked on.
Mark (Marcus) treated the family and me to tickets to Earth, Wind and Fire at Red Rocks. I didn't know Denver was Phillip Bailey's hometown. That was a pretty special show because of that. And Red Rocks is a very fine venue. It was my first time there. Very cool.
Friday gig was at The Mirage Sports Bar. I love that place. They keep having me back. This time I even had a nice crowd come! Mark rustled up a nice crew. I had a couple peeps show up. Plus there was a decent crowd there. I had a great time. They asked me to play a little longer because people were so intrigued. That's always nice to hear. Early show and then it was beer and pool and stories. A great time was had by all. Had some serious and deep conversations and some laughs. It was a very cool night. Perfect night. Saw a Marine buddy I hadn't seen in 20 years. That was awesome.
The weekend was largely social. I did get an afternoon in with another musician/friend/associate to catch up. That was nice to have a face-to-face conversation with him.
Most of the day Sunday was spent writing music. Got a ton done, started putting the project together. Still overwhelmed with that and the loopfests. Plus there's trying to get the San Antonio Fest up and going. That one is a bitter baby to be born. I have to say, the musicians I'm largely dealing with make this a very unpleasant experience. I left Texas floored by the quality of bands I have been recently seeing. Suffice to say I'm dealing with a lot of non-working acts. The attitude and inability to follow directions keeps the frustration level high. I started thinking about not doing it today.
Anyway...feeling pretty good about how things are going. The timing worked out well with gig/time off. It's allowed me to catch up on some things. I still have a ton to do for the loopfests, but that's all clean-up work now. I can start on some of that tonight after the Blues Jam. Shows are going well. I'm bringing it pretty hard. The shows I've been seeing lately have had a pretty serious impact on me. I've been changing some things in my delivery and the nature of the music performance. I think it's a lot stronger now. CD sales are up! Got things pretty well put together for the fests. Sleep is good, weight is down a little, feeling healthy although my neck and shoulder are still tweaked from working under the house. That should have been better a week ago...
Miss the wife, miss the cat. Miss my house. Having a great time. I have great friends and I love to see them. It's so good to see them all. And we have some fun when we're not working. Drinking a lot less. Hands are still swollen a little. Life on the road is good. I do love it.
Leaving for Moab tomorrow. Back to the courses!
Okay... so the adventure begins. Things kicked off in Austin. I said goodbye to my wife. Hung with some friends old and new, had a ton of fun, stayed up late. A nice show the next morning at the Hope Farmers Market and off on the road. Made it a good bit into New Mexico and drove through a harrowing storm. I ain't Pee Wee and this isn't my "Biggest Adventure." I've driven in plenty of bad weather. But rain and hail were so fierce I had to slow to 25 mph to feel safe. The lightning was intense. Constant flickering like a strobe light with a spastic short. Many flashes were bright enough to light up the entire surroundings as bright as day as far as you could see on the flat Texas range. The word "Tornado" briefly flashed through my brain. I checked the foliage in the highly, illuminating, frenzied flashes of the the lighting and they were only bent with the deluge of rain and hail. No wind. My car wasn't really being pushed around. No wind, no Tornando. And no thunder. It was a little nerve-racking and I was concerned with going through a creekbed or over a ditch. I'm not on the freeway. Maybe about 30-40 minutes of intense rain and then slowly lightened up from there on out. It was a good 45 minutes of lightening before I got into the really heavy rain and hail.
Got a couple games of Disc Golf in for the afternoon. Stopped in to see an old High School buddy for dinner and currently am in Denver. Getting caught up on the biz for the last bit. Got my room set-up and ready to work. Life on the road. Love. Got a gig tonight.
My last night in San Antonio for a little while. Ended up going out by myself. Went to 2 clubs an saw 4 bands. Got a nice education in the basics of the Texas music scene. Lesson #1 "Texas Bands Rock" Lesson #2 "Committment" Lesson #3 "My thing IS awesome" Lesson #4 "Just try and bring it bigger, badder and harder than me."
Saw some great acts tonight. Heard some very good music. Got overwhelmed with sound. Looking forward to hearing many, many more great Texas bands.
Tomorrow I blast off for another wild and wacky Solo Sax Sessions tour. I've spent the past week busting my butt on home repairs and getting things in order for me to take off until November 1st. I leave tomorrow night to Austin to hang out with a friend at his house warming party, do my morning gig, aka the First Gig of the tour and then it's off to Colorado for a week of gigs and composing.
I'm not going to lie...I'm getting pretty nerve wracked for this trip. I've got my two loop festivals that are wearing on me and a CD to do in Portland. After that, things are smooth sailing. Until then, things are going to get much, much worse. I'm already starting to lose sleep. I've got 25 loopers coming in for 4 days. Some from overseas, some from California...yikes. Not to mention the 7K miles I'll be driving and all of my gigs there and back.
Looking forward to hitting the road and getting this thing going though.
Today's rant is for a special kind of stupid. I'm going to call it Texas stupid. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Texas. I love living here. I love most of the people. But DAAAAAAAMMMNNN, have I come across the biggest sack of rocks ever.
Let me explain. I put a call for loopers for the loop fest. What's a looper you might ask? Well, that question alone makes you a superior intellect. Apparently, no musicians actually read in Texas. They fake it. I post up posting for every market on craigslist, on Indieonthemove, on sonicbids and via several Facebook groups and email listserves and dang if the bottom feeders didn't pounce on it like Robert Downey Jr. would on a pile of coke. (Too mean? Not at all, in fact, I should apologize to Robert, as he can clearly get shit done.)
I got submissions for country bands, rock bands, HIP-HOP...strangely that vast majority of idiots come from one singular vortex of douche-baggery - Austin. It was a simple ad - calling loopers (specifically live looping) for a loopfest. Send a link. The Austinidiots generally responded with "We're the best thing since sliced cheese! We played cool venues and everybody is talking about us and blah, blah, blah..." Not a word about looping. Not a word about gear. Me being the guy I am, for the first few responders I checked out their stuff. Surprise, surprise, surprise...not a one had anything to do with looping. As this crap continued to roll in I continued to delete. But then I thought, maybe I should test a couple of them. So I responded with some simple things like "I didn't see anything in your description about looping" and "Is so-and-so a looper?" to which I received hostile response and the gem of all gems "I'm not familiar with that terminology. If that means he records his own music than yes he is." OMG....that dude really needs to fire his booking-retard. This is not one or two cases.
I have one guy who doesn't quite fit what I'm looking for, but his thing is pretty interesting and uses the same tech and (GASP) he's pretty intelligent about what he does and understands what I'm doing. A REFRESHING change that gives me hope.
I have several others that randomly send me mp3s. Seriously? Because I want all the viruses from your computer? You did read the part that said "SEND A LINK" right? Or do you just not have a website? Because I really want to pack a line-up full of ass-wipes that don't have a website, or a youtube video, or a myspace or a soundcloud. I don't require anything fancy. Just something that, I don't know, maybe a concert-goer or a FAN might want to check it. This isn't the "Obscure Fest." If you're too dumb to not know that you need to promote yourself, you're flat out too dumb to play my festival. Especially the guy who says, "I don't have a car to get there, but I have a bomb-ass show." Okay, maybe I'll but a ticket, how about a link? No website. I'm guessing that between no website and no car you've got no talent wedged solidly in there as well.
Too mean? Not at all...stupid needs to be treated as stupid.
All I can say is, I am grateful for the serious artists. I am grateful for those who read. I am grateful for those who respond with a link and quick note. YOU guys make is all worthwhile. Even if it doesn't work, YOU are the kind of people that make sifting through the double-boat-load of crap worth it. For you others... seriously, get a clue. Take yourselves more seriously. Be a professional.
Granted, I have a lot on my plate that has made me extra-bitchy; but you have taken me over the edge. I need to get your special kind of stupid out of my psyche.
You know, for the NW Fest I didn't get a single stupid inquiry. I did get some that weren't appropriate. I had a few that went round and round for a minute. I had one that took several conversations for us to get on the same page. But not a single one that was just plain butt-stupid.
Guess I still have a lot to learn about my new home... :(
Today my cousin died. He was 37. 4 kids. Last time I saw him was a few months back. I was coming through Phoenix. He and his fiance came out to see my show. We drank beers, laughed, had a great time and talked about the wedding. A few weeks after that he was in the hospital with some kind of leukemia. I looked it up online. For his "demographic" the odds weren't good. But he had a positive attitude and looked like he was going to beat the odds. But it went south and it went quickly.
I know his parents, they have to be wracked with sorrow. I don't know his kids; I can't imagine what they must be going through. His newly-wed wife, whom I met once must be shaken to the core. I'm more than a little emotional right now.
On that side of the family there's a lot of cousins. 10 kids, all but one, who had families. We'd get together and have these huge family reunions. All of them are fond memories. My cousin was close to me in age and so we'd hang out at these events and some of us kept in touch more than others. But family is thick and that family especially so. The Z's. The Zimm's. The Zimmerman's. My mother's family. My family.
37...So sorry cuz. I was looking forward to seeing you again. I can't believe you're not going to be around. Your kids, your parents, your wife. I feel so sorry for them. I can't imagine their grief. Today is a sad day.
What a crazy day.... I just finished my final weekend at Six Flags. And I was toasted. I was out late on Thursday after my gig at Boneshakers. Got to talking with Phil and Blanca; and chatted for much longer than I intended to be out. Then it was up for a music-filled, noon-6 shift in 104 degree heat. Somehow, I got it into my head I didn't need much sleep on Friday either. Ended up watching movies and having one cocktail too many. Saturday morning came way too soon and with a slight headache. But it was only 102 that day for my 6 hours in the sun. Got done, came home, ate dinner and went off to my 9:30pm-1:30am gig that night at a bar on the Westside. I was in bed shortly after 2:30am and then it was up and at 'em for the final shift of the season. A mild and pleasant 99 degrees. Got home, planted myself on the couch and ate and drank until bedtime.
Monday was up early and hitting the computer hard. Got a TON of work done on the NW LoopFest. Got some new graphics uploaded courtesy of our first sponsor! Got most of the bios in and posted. Got the tech sheet over half way done. Finished booking all of the artists. Got links from everyone. Had a chat with a lady who will film the fest. Sent off some inquires for fest support. Booked some tour gigs. Booked some local gigs and Rico Reeds sent me a nice email, saying they'll send me some reeds! Yay more sponsorship! The day melted away faster than I could imagine.
A little tired today, which is odd. I wasn't up late and slept well. Oh well... need to do some domestic stuff, car stuff and practice for Friday. Got a funky trio gig in Houston.
You know, sometimes it's just easier to put your thoughts down than it is to talk to someone. And in the muisc biz, it's always hard to talk to someone. Everyone is on the go, too much to do, too much undone, way behind, etc... But even on the friend level it's very hard. I work odd hours and odd times. My closest friend these days is my semi-retired neighbor whose in his 60s. And it's only because he's around during the day and we both like to work outdoors. But it's not like we talk shop. Even my wife, who is my best friend I can't really get everything in with. She's at work all day and when she gets home she hits the domestic stuff, needs to unwind, has her own home projects to attend, she needs to blow some steam or let me know what happened during the day, I give her an update on the relevant biz and then it's cocktails, dinner and movie/internet and off to bed. Mostly I'm at home alone all day. Working quite a bit. Lots of internet work, some days a lot of phone calls, some days it's literally hundreds of emails, and endless computer work. This is interspersed with home repair projects, yard work, domestic duties and being a good neighbor. Usually some exercise in the form disc golf is in there, but not for the past 2 months. :( It's a little lonely, but I'm used to it. The hard part is staying grounded and being able to have decent social interactions. Measuring progress is important too. It's a long, slow grind you do mostly by yourself. Most of my social interactions are on facebook or email. Texting is usually biz or my wife. You just burying yourself in it every day, all day trying to keep the bills paid, trying to get ahead, trying to do cool things, trying to make good music, trying to stay in contact with people. That being said, there are some very, very cool moments. Years ago, I was getting into all kinds of weird music because of my friend Zach Spiezer. We'd hang out, listen to records for hours, make some recordings, jam, listen to more music, talk, eat. It was awesome. All my time with him I treasure. Somehow I got it into my head we should do a record. Looong story short - we did. It's called Bump. It's pretty funky. One of things I did on that CD was bring in a couple of turn-tablists. (Djs, scratchers) One was a young Kenny Vanderberg AKA DJ FlipFlop. He came and torn it up. Not too long ago, Kenny got in touch with me. Turns out DJ FlipFlop has kept up on his craft and is now at the top of his game. He wins DJ competitions, tours with world-reknown talent and is, in general, a serious bad-ass DJ. He just came in 8th at the DMC U.S. Finals. This guy is on my record. MY record. And he's cool. When I get to see the success of people I know, people I have worked with, people I have done cool projects with; it's a beautiful thing. I am stoked for his success, I am giddy that I have him on my record. This is a cool moment. Watching your colleagues kick some ass is awesome. Congrats Kenny. You're the man.
It started around 5am. I don't get up then, I stay up that late. Except today. For some reason I was awake. I tried going back to sleep but it was just tossing and turning and finally I had enough and just got up and hit the computer. Day started off productive and ahead of schedule. Got some research done, some phone calls made for recordings I want to put out. Had a nice chat with a exec for a new licensing company for my label, got some errands done and was looking forward to checking out some venues for the San Antonio LoopFest on the way home.
Somewhere in there I looked at my mail and saw that a check I had been expecting wasn't as big as it should have been. Sure enough, there was something missing in the complex world of union recording paperwork. This caused me to have a minor freakout. Emails were sent, phone calls were made and no word was heard. I dove into my files, sent more email, made more phone calls - East Coast, West Coast, and the waiting...ugh. Tried to do some other biz as I calmed down and start crunching numbers. Things aren't making sense to me. Talked a little more made some headway, scanned and emailed. Basically shot the whole afternoon trying to run this thing down. Why some much effort? Because I'm not getting some money I should be getting. And I'm not talking about a lot of money either. But I'm a musician, it all makes a huge difference. Those extra dollars over the years really add and really make a difference. uggh.... Anyway...got people working on it. Fortunately I keep pretty good files and had all of my info. But there are other records I don't have records of and those are the ones I'm getting screwed on. So the waiting continues.
In the meantime, I'm still looking for more loopers for the NW Fest. Some guy in Austria sends me his latest video as his previous material wasn't looking like he'd be a good fit for the fest. Great voice, nice mellow groove, but kind of dirty. Lays a little beatbox down, plays his song, loops for jamming and stacks some vocals at the end. Nice. He's like me in that he does actual song forms. So that's cool, and he's pretty different from everybody else I have going, and, most oddly - he's a guitarist. (I think I have an equal amount of cello's and guitars booked so far.) And he's living in Vienna Austria but originally from Seattle. It's a done deal. He's totally in. Out of nowhere his sister emails me and says she has a promotions company and wants to help with the fest to support her brother. Talk about turning my afternoon around...
Of course by now, the afternoon is shot. I had some house repairs to attend to (I have a fixer-upper in San Antonio) and didn't get to that at all. And I have two records to do in the fall. One in Denver in Sept, one in Portland in Oct and I'm waaaay behind on songwriting. Today was supposed to be a composing day. All in all, it had some serious ups and downs.
I did get the dough made for dinner tonight. Home-made pizza!
I'm glad I keep up on my paperwork. I wish I was a little more aware of some of these union procedural things, but there is no manual and not much help to get them going or anywhere along the way. I'm glad I keep good files. I'm glad I have a bunch of gin in the cabinet and I'm glad that I have the good fortune to grind out a living in the music business. Let's see if I can get a song or 4 written tomorrow... we'll see what the day brings.
Greetings Friends, Family and Fans! Once again it's time for your monthly enterainer! If you no longer wish to receive these epistles of fun-filled goodness, simply click unsubscribe at the bottom or reply with a note and I'll happily remove you "from the list."
At long last "Tip the Band" has release it's debut CD call, (what else) Beer Drinkin' Songs! It features Noah Peterson on washboard and vocals (yes, that's washboard AND vocals), Denver's own folk-maestro Dick Weissman on Banjo, Guitar and Vocals and Portland's original Bad-boy of Blues, James Miller on bass and vocals. These groovy cats get down hill-billy style for some foot-stompin' Americana with flavors of folk, blues, zydeco, bluegrass and country. Grab a cold one, kick your feet up and great ready to laugh and tap your toes to these fun and funny, songs!
The new website is finally launched: www.noahpeterson.com Please stop by and take a look. There's some new stuff to see, tunes to listen to and, of course, gigs to go to!
The Fall tour is shaping up quite nicely, lots of shows to play across the Western United state. Make sure and check out when I'm coming to your town. Dates are still being booked. I've also got my educational program "Imagine: Music!" ready to go. If you'd like to have it at your school, send me an email. A couple of noteable stops are as follows:
The NW LoopFest is back and bigger than ever! (www.nwloopfest.com) Two shows in Seattle on Oct 10th and 11th and two and two shows in Portland on Oct 12th and 13th. Loopers from overseas, around the country and a strong representation of Northwest talent will showcase their technological wizardy and collective creative awesomeness for all to behold. Tickets for the Seattle show are already on sale. Check out the webpage for whose coming and what night they are playing. I'm still adding talent to the roster, so come back often. We're also in need of donations and sponsors for this multi-city event -so if you are a business that wants to get a few eyeballs on your services and products whilst helping to put on a very cool concert event - contact me!
For a sampling of some of that loopy goodness, don't forget to get your copy of my "Solo Sax Sessions CD! Funk, tropical grooves, New Orleans Blues, latin tunes and more are all on this one-man band, live-looping CD.
And now.. for the moment you've all been waiting for: SHOWTIMES!!
8/1 9pm Solo Sax Sessions, Boneshakers 306 Austin St. San Antonio TX www.boneshakersonline.com/
8/2 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/3 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/4 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/8 9pm Solo Sax Sessions, Boneshakers 306 Austin St. San Antonio TX www.boneshakersonline.com/
8/9 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/10 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/10 9:30pm Solo Sax Sessions, Wetmore City Limits 12329 Wetmore Rd San Antonio TX www.reverbnation.com/venue/wetmorecitylimitsbar
8/11 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/15 9pm Solo Sax Sessions, Boneshakers 306 Austin St. San Antonio TX www.boneshakersonline.com/
8/16 8pm Rod Nightingale + C4 Influenz, The Cellar Door 829 S. Mason, Suite 280 Katy TX www.cellardoorkaty.com/
8/16 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/17 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/18 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/22 9pm Solo Sax Sessions, Boneshakers 306 Austin St. San Antonio TX www.boneshakersonline.com/
8/23 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/24 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/25 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/29, 9pm Solo Sax Sessions, Boneshakers 306 Austin St. San Antonio TX www.boneshakersonline.com/
8/29 2pm Solo Sax Sessions, Morning Side Ministries, Pvt Event Boerne TX
8/30 8pm Rod Nightingale + C4 Influenz, The Cellar Door 829 S. Mason, Suite 280" Katy TX, www.cellardoorkaty.com/
8/30 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
8/31 noon Solo Sax Sessions, Six Flags 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio TX
Can't believe July is almost over...I feel like I'm behind on things. Web work, composing, recording, house repairs... it's never-ending. On the other hand, I'm playing a ton of music. My amusement park gig on Fri/Sat/Sun is pretty incredible. I just sit in the sun for 5.5 hours working my loop station magic. I pack as many tunes in as I possible can. The time goes by rather quick when you're doing it like that. Can't seem to break 75 tunes. I keep trying hard though. It's a fun thing to do! I'm getting ideas for new songs, finally started working some brand new tunes in as well as getting some better ideas for more regular arrangements on the jams.
I'm also getting a lot more funky stuff, the wah pedal is addicting. Plus it's the environment. 20,000 plus walking by for such brief periods of time. It's difficult to play the slow, longer developing songs. I really want to hit them with something cool and upbeat. It's a lot of work and the heat is mid 90s to low 100s everyday. Come Monday I'm wiped out...which isn't good. I have too much to do...tour planning!!! Better get back to it.
Things are coming along nicely. Got some Starbucks and some internet finally! First day was a monster. Up at 4:30am, in bed at 3:30am. 1100 Miles driven and a stop in Mobile, Alabama for some BBQ and a show at The Shedd BQQ and Blues Joint. I sure do love that southern BBQ, slathered in sauce, spicy, sweet and yummy. The Texas rub (what they call BBQ) is okay, but I got to have me some sauce. That's what it's all about.
Spent the 4th at my brother's place in Jacksonville, FL. Did some yard work, played in the pool with the kiddies, did a little grillin' and fireworks in the rain. Of course, since I didn't have much sleep I was ready for an early bedtime. Got down the road a little towards Orlando today and looking forward to the show tonight.
As I was hanging out poolside, my bro and were napping and just watching the kids; talking a little about life, family stuff, jobs, etc... it was a great time. Sure do love my family. Get to see an old Marine buddy tomorrow. Spending my "spare" time working on the website. No disc golf this trip. :(