Sunday, February 27


5 days until tour. Or 4, if you take into account the fact that it's 3AM and thus technically Sunday, not Saturday.

Went to the namelessnumberheadman, Stella Link and Actors & Actresses show at the Hurricane. Nameless were awesome as usual. Chuck was riffing it up and the two new, un-recorded tunes are fantastic.

Stella Link were also fab. I hadn't seen them in at least two years and I was very impressed. They're exceptionally tight and the songs were more melodic and intricate than I remembered. Chris Metcalf is the best drummer I've seen in KC, and Dave is no slouch on bass. Just another example of how a talented rhythm section can make a bad band good, and a good band great.

Today I rehearsed the two new songs I play on my modified Fender Mustang. One of them is downright catchy... I can imagine folks dancing to it if it had drums. Also hung posters for Thursday's tour kickoff at the Brick. And I'm already concocting plans for Jesse Kates album 2.

Oscars and game night tomorrow. Should be fun.

Thursday, February 24

Great new music

Got my copy of The Wedding Present's new album today, Take Fountain. It's pretty fabulous. I recommend anything that David Gedge has released, though I would start with Saturnalia or Cinerama's second album, Disco Volante, if you haven't heard his stuff yet.

I've also been listening to the new Crooked Fingers disc, Dignity and Shame, which is sorta like hearing a friend who you've known for years suddenly pass from anger and depression into happiness overnight. It's truly bizarre to hear Eric sounding so energetic and positive. And backed by a Tejano band no less.

Some of the vocals literally had me laughing at first, not in a bad way, but purely for the sheer fun of some of the absurdly (but amazingly) wide-ranging melody lines. This one feels like the biggest change of direction since the first CF disc, which was four albums ago, though there are shadows of the Archers peppered throughout the album, mostly in the guitar lines, picked electric bass and the tone of one of the later piano tracks, which reminds me intensely of "Chumming the Ocean."

I'm really happy to have been a fan of Eric since the Archer's Vee Vee, through Barry Black and now on to Crooked Fingers, because it's been very interesting to watch the music evolve with each new album. It's encouraging to me as a musician, because Eric is just writing cooler, better stuff now than ever, and if he can progress so far over the years, maybe I can do the same proportionally with my own work.

Tuesday, February 22

Pedalboards and babies

Got the pedalboard all cabled up and ready to go. Behold!

Learned today that some friends are having a baby! Amazingly exciting, and a little hard to comprehend. Not because it's surprising or anything like that, but moreso because I have reached a time when my friends are having children. It seems with each passing moment there are fewer ways to cling to the notion that I'm still a kid (which, of course, I am not) and this brings a smidge of loss. But mostly there's a sense of excitement: a whole world of possibility that I have yet to experience. And I believe there are other as-yet-undisclosed infants on the way!

Only 8 days until the first show. And 306 days until Christmas!

Sunday, February 20

A message from god?

With my tour fast approaching every instinct tells me to rehearse. Especially since I'll be working with a third guitar and playing some new tunes.

But no! There are two factors keeping me from "getting on" my proverbial "groove:"

1. My pedalboard is dissassembled. I replaced my home-made wooden board with a pedaltrain 2, which cost me some cash and all of my remaining indie cred but provides me with a sturdy case to replace the wonderful but awkward gigantic "purse" that Steph made for me. The purse was made out of (very masculine, baby blue) canvas, but provided little protection against smashing. In any case, when I replaced the board I rearranged my pedals, and my previous patch cable set wouldn't work with the new layout. So I ordered some george l's cable because you can cut it and make it any length you want, which is great, but now I have to wait for UPS to deliver it on Tuesday or Wednesday.

2. My index finger on my right hand (fretting hand) split last week due to the dry air. This always happens to me between January and February. As anyone who's tried to play guitar knows, you can make sound without your index finger, but it's a little hard to control little details like PITCH and WHICH NOTES YOU ARE PLAYING. In truly grotesque blog-everything-and-anything style, I have prepared a photo for your enjoyment (or suffering, which is equally valid). Click to zoom in:

So anyway, I'm starting to think that 1 + 2 = a message from god that I should take it easy for a few days and let my hand heal fully. After all, such an extensive, strange confluence of events just COULD NOT happen without divine intervention. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

PS: I just checked the link to the george l's site and I really doubt that those women had anything to do with the manufacture of my cables. What do you think?

Saturday, February 19

Now syndicated in LiveJournal!

You can now read my blog on LiveJournal. Just add it to your friends page.

On the bandwagon, baby

So I've decided that a blog is a better idea than a message board. After all, I'm numero uno around these parts, no? :)

Promotions for the tour are in full swing. I have sent posters to the venues and CDs to radio stations. And I'm conducting a free CD giveaway here and there.

I have two new songs that you haven't heard unless you're my wife. So I'll be playing a total of 7 songs on 3 guitars on this tour. The set should be about 40 minutes long - a perfect serving of loopy goodness.

Speaking of loopy, I am tired. It's 4am and I've been bashing at this blog for hours now. We were out late hanging out with the R'asa Badi'a dance crew and now it's time to sleep.

Welcome to the mundanity that is the life of this rock n'roll star! :)