this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

summer recap: circular thinking and cyclical logic

I had a near breakdown today. My boss let me out of delivering sandwiches on my bicycle a couple hours early, and I chilled at my parents house, actually went grocery shopping (been outta food for days, spent a lot on eating out without really enjoying it), got some goddamn glue traps for this fucking huge rat that is in our house and watched the UT football team actually win a game, which really made me feel better, as stupid as that is. Take that K State! I also strategically placed a shit load of Baking Soda Packets around the house and it has started absorbing the rat smell nicely.

Yeah, so there was some shit going on making me feel bad. Also making me feel bad was that Zorch opened the Flaming Lips Gallery in Oklahoma City and I didn't get to go or be in the band. Waah. It really does feel beneath me in a way that I know is cyclical thinking along the lines of "I'm the best musician in the world, nobody appreciates me! Why does this guy get it when I don't get it when Im the best guy in the world?!?" What do you call that, letting the narcissist angle run wild? Fact is Zorch knows what they are doing and they have been doing it hardcore for 4 years. They were promoting their shit the whole time and they opened a warehouse space, so they can actually offer something of value to other people. And they do it with love......not only would it be worth it to concoct this entire scheme on face value just from a musicians standpoint if that meant that you got to do the shit you wanted to do with your music, but also running a venue is kinda sweet and leads to some sweet times, so I could see how an artist could draw from that experience as well.

it is annoying to me to wake up one day, after being really hardheaded in a way about keeping myself separate from those thought trains about promoting music in the name of artistic purity / absolutely essential punky dropout philosophy to wake up one day and realize that I explicitly hadn't promoted my shit and now I wish I had like 1000 facebook likes because that's like a basic hustley thing you have to do in order to ... promote? get gigs? create a certain kind of impression as a whole to those who I might be interested in having them promote my music? the difference between hitting the big time and no one giving a shit about you? I still don't really fucking know, but the cool thing that makes it actually tie together is that I have stumbled into a period of my life where doing this promoter shit is a prerequisite for individual band members to take shit seriously, and that's the difference in the project gaining any momentum or not, so it actually is weirdly the thing that makes it whole. Its kinda which came first, the chicken or the egg, kinda circular in that way, but if people are taking us seriously (are they? or is this illusory?) we might as well take ourselves seriously. Hey, its all in your head!

Cause its like thinking "if those guys really knew what they were doing and it took them 4 years, then what the fuck am I supposed to do, ill be xx yrs old in 4 years" like I don't got that kinda time man. Why is life so cruel to me, that I just wanted to be making music for music's sake* (*be socially awkward thru my mid 20s at least)? Did I guess wrong, sorry kid that's not how its done? And yet, what I learned in all that time is what in my mind separates me from the pack much more than good genes or something. --and isn't it kinda taken at face value that its dangerous for musicians to get too fat in terms of still being able to write good music? (I don't know, maybe that's BS invented by the people-who-don't-want-to-pay-musicians guild.) But what journey am I trying to create? Honestly, the real answer is I'd like for someone to send us on tour for a year, because I want to do like a total emersion thing so I can die happy and be happy getting tied down to raising a family later in life etc cause Ill have already ascended to some peak, and I'll be able to have the musical and otherwise general knowledge that you gain from that experience for the rest of my life. If that's not how it shakes out, I still am currently bound to just doing whatever I can, which seems to be like a monk's life as a musician, not a bad consolation, and which has me at this moment playing in 3 bands, planning to record and tour with sxsw, and that's not so bad, but its a hard time for me as I realize that by the next time I tour, it will have been 2 years since the last one. I missed a year. Fortunately the last tour was really fucking good. And actually I think the next tour I do will finally be with my own band in a way where we are actually blowing people away, thats the hope at least for Spiked Punch. A couple gigs to warm up, "you cant cook with cold grease," -floyd mayweather, and boom. Maybe Im crazy, but I really believe in that band, that we have what it takes.

again that's circular logic tho if you think about it. Its just an expression of the ego...believe vs. doubt I'll take believe every time, but ok what would a booking agent say? Someone who is impartially paid to move the units. They would say "Oh what you just said groups you in the same category as everyone who plays music, so you have told me nothing except that you are amateurs." The finer points of that sort of negotiation is probably better left to Berklee grads, but its a K-Hole that is very easy to fall into when describing your music. That's what my prejudice against art degrees is...that they train you on the business side of things....that its about who is able to describe what they are doing the best, not about who is actually doing the best stuff.

The good thing about this summer is we set achievable goals (which we did), and also that the goals upped the ante so far. I gigged like 7 times in September, and am playing in 3 bands so there is never any pressure on any of the projects, things can kind of go in their own natural waves, and the holes get filled in by the other projects so I am always able to be working on something in a band setting. Im better at bass, guitar, and drums than I was at the beginning of the summer. Spiked Punch got back together, and Reverse X Rays played our first shows in over a year. There have been no "bad gigs." I am really proud of how Spiked Punch is going. At the beginning of the summer we weren't even a band, and now I feel like we have kinda gotten out there a bit. Promoting the band has become a part of the project. We played 3 house shows with reverse x rays, joey went on IBN UBO tour, and then we played 4 shows with touring bands in the first half of September, one of which was a cool roadtrip to San Antonio. Our facebook likes are past 200! woo!! (/sarcasm) . I feel like I can check off that I spent some time on the scene for the summer, I did that cool Bill Baird boat show as a guitarist, the cool recording sesh postgame, and learned another new set for Party Plants which might be a magic in a bottle new lineup. I like that band cause I don't have to do any of the work* in a way (*lug an amp). Shane went on a Gender Infiniti tour and just now got back, so RXR starts up with practicing tomorrow night. We really have made great strides. I have gotten a lot more back in shape as a musician after working that job for the state to save money so I could work less and do more music. In that way I guess I am still in the game. But that's cyclical logic....certain shit I had to do and then I was gonna do some other shit later? Its actually working, but there is sort of a question of resources. Anyways for an Austin band it all leads up to SXSW, and there is no point in trying to book a tour for the winter, we might as well wait until Spring, and see if we cant hook anything up. I think we have some surprises planned for the next couple months as far as what we do, and everyone in the band is looking forward to it.

Anyways, it feels good to get it all out, lets hope theres a dead rat in a glue trap waiting for me by my refrigerator in the morning.


Read More......

Saturday, September 14, 2013

House of Preblon

Found some youtube videos of a House venue in Portland called House of Preblon.....includes New Sunrise around the era of when they hit up Escapes, for a memory of what these guys sounded like

NUDE SUNRISE @ House of Prevon:

YOUTHBITCH: (Cool California Live)

"don't stand in the front if youre not gonna dance" "its my house!"

bass player singing, rockstar moves:

cool guitar line, this seems to be the main way the band is usually organized:

Read More......

Friday, September 13, 2013

Crazy Week -- Names Divine // Advaeta // Freak Heat Waves // Viet Cong // Youthbitch // Party Plants // Spiked Punch

First half of September has been kinda crazy with Music stuff. Last Wednesday we played Cheer Up Charlies with Names Divine from Chicago. It was gonna be our first Spiked Punch show in a run of 4, so we were doing a good number of band practices leading up to it. It was one of those deals where we knew going in that in addition to playing all the shows there wouldn't be time to squeeze in a practice in the middle of the shows, so we had to get as prepared as possible up front. Then Monday we went to San Antonio and played The Flop House with Advaeta from Brooklyn and Marc "Mockingbird" Smith who is a super active dude and a dude I felt a reggae connection with. It was a super great show. There is something refreshing about playing out of Austin, San Antonio is actually a pretty reasonable place to drive to and go for that feeling. We got to leave all our gear at the venue (Marc's house) and pass out there, so everyone could get wasted in peace. The ppl we were playing for were strangers, and everyone got in a real good mood. We didn't play note perfect, but Marc recorded the set, theres some gemmy tips in there about how to play what we are playing better. After these 4 shows, I am practicing bass a lot more. Until this point just playing the changes and singing have been my focus (aka not fucking up), but after seeing Youthbitch play I feel like I need to start doing more on the bass to make it sound beautiful. That is a band I wish I could see live 15 times and internalize a little more of what they are doing. Hanging out back at my house, Rob the guitarist with the, its like a Hofner Goldtop I think, I don't think it was a Gibson, but anyways he was doing some cool shit off the main pentatonic scale. It was almost like talking about chess openings, like it was about going partway up it and being on beat x, and how heres his arsenal of possible riffs for that time and also how they lead into later riffs. add up about 50 of those things and you have someone who can really play the shit out of a pentatonic scale. Right, so Names Divine at Cheer Up Charlies was on Wednesday....Thurs and Fri there were some band practices, also for the band Party Plants which debuted Tuesday and includes yours truly and Joey from SP. Saturday there was a show at my house. 7 bands played, Jewish Summer Camp (a new project from Joe of Night Court), Jeff Cooper + Coby doing country with chorus pedal on it, Cosmic Dust which was like John Coltrane + Rasheed Ali doing Innerstellar Space, but with an electric cello and some VU guitar, Spiked Punch, Freak Heat Waves, Viet Cong, and then my buddies from work did a double drum thing again. They are doing a good job working on their project and are now incorporating a frankenbass made with bike parts so that it can be controlled by a modified hihat stand. Freak Heat Waves and Viet Cong are both from Canada, 2 of the dudes from Viet Cong were in the band Women. They were all nice. I like having rockers over to the house for free beers and people listening to good music, especially when they are the ones playing.

Then Monday we played San Antonio. The show got moved last minute from VHS 1138 to The Flop House, which was a house across the street from this art gallery we have played a couple times at. Mockingbird Smith (<--his house) flew to the rescue, and opened first with some minimal stuff that had some chant in it. Then we played and then Advaeta played. it was really nice to party somewhere where we could leave our shit and not worry about it and just get drunk. Hopefully we will do more S.A. trips for that reason. It was just real fun.

So then we played Beerland again, it was the Party Plants debut show. I had missed the last practice and we played a song I had never practiced before, but that was fine. it was fun to just play bass and have basically no responsibilities. Just slappin the bass, man. Theres enough going on in that band that I can just play simple shit too and there are certain parts where it makes sense for me to jazz it up a bit. im already in 2 bands where I have responsibilities, so its nice to be in a 3rd band where the only thing I have to do is show up to practice.

So that was the last one, 4 shows, lots of partying, passing out, etc. I think Spiked Punch might go in a more internal mode for a second, do some recording or something, so its nice there are Party Plants shows for a while.

Oh yeah, and then 2 nights ago I went to see Youthbitch at Hotel Vegas. It was a well attended show but I was one of a handful of folks who watched Youthbitch's set, most ppl were hanging outside (the ppl did watch the other touring bands set). They were probably the most influential single band on Spiked Punch's post-reggae era sound so it was pretty exciting to hang out with them in the flesh. Youthbitch! there they were! It was their first time to Texas on tour with the band, the main guitarist is from Illinois tho. I had to go to work at 11 the next day, but we hung out a little after the show. They were super cool. anyways, that was the first half of September in my life, time flies. it was nice to take a few days off work / get some shifts covered to be able to do this.

looking forward to Party Plants show #2 coming up at Joey's House tomorrow.

Read More......