Friday, August 31

Sunday night - before labor day!

Sunday night at 8:30PM we are rocking Jerry's Bait Shop in Lenexa, KS (map)

Join us for the rock and drink and make the most of Labor Day Eve!

In celebration of all your hard work, we will be selling our super comfortable, inimitably and undeniably sexy American Apparel T-Shirts for $10.

Hope to see you there.

Jesse Kates *

Wednesday, August 29

my band kicks mad ass

album practice 1 went superbly. foci -

gardener, gibbet, misery
morning drive

about five reps each. bass tweaks, drum tweaks, timing/tempo refinement. all good things.

i am SO excited about this album.

<-- ADDED -->

album practice 2 the following day was also excellent, though I decided to make some significant changes to abigail. we hit -

glory be
hey you

hey you was the strongest, and joins stall in the short list of "songs at 90% readiness"

i've also made myself a bass-only sing-along CD of all of the tunes. so i'm practicing all of my vocals almost every day on the way to and from work! efficiency is key when you have a jobby-job, a sonny-son, a wifey-wife, a yardy-yard and a bandy-band.

finally, we will soon take band photos with one mr. forester, who kicks mad ass as well.

Jesse Kates *

Sunday, August 26

What a weekend

The show on Friday was a little rough. It was our first since our reunion a mere week ago and there were still some kinks to work out, but there were definite high points (Lonely Days was sublime) and some nice peeps in St. Joe, so we enjoyed ourselves.

Saturday was another story altogether: probably the tightest show we've ever played. I pruned the set list to 10 tracks, which seems just about perfect for us. Every time we add more songs it seems to work a little bit less well. I'm sure we could have belted out another song or two, but I always figure that it's better to leave people wanting more.

For those keeping score, on Saturday we played -

Hey you
Dancing with my friends
Glory be
The more things stay the same
Lonely Days
Morning drive
Flirting with disaster

So two tracks from TOURISM and eight new songs.

Our next show is this coming Sunday at Jerry's Bait Shop in Lenexa. Sunday shows are normally a little bit of a bummer, but since it's labor day that Monday, everyone can stay out and party!

Our schedule is extremely hectic for the next six weeks, culminating in our trip to Chicago. This week, for example, we're practicing on Monday and Thursday, hitting the jam night at Jerry's on Wednesday to promote our appearance on Sunday, when we will rock in full form. Then it's back to rehearsal the very next day.

This level of focus on the band is above and beyond the norm for me, and it puts extra pressure on Steph as she takes care of Tobias even more often than she usually does. And it gets to be hard for us to find quality time, too, since she goes to bed early (Toby wakes at around 5AM) and I'm up late at rehearsals or shows. I'm truly grateful to Steph for being so supportive of all this.

It's an odd thing, because I'm definitely enjoying myself, but I'm glad that it won't be this hectic forever. I'd miss Steph and Toby too much, and it's nice to actually relax once in a while, which I'm not really getting to do right now.

But to everything there is a season, and I'm going to enjoy this time of intensity. Things'll settle down in November, just in time for them to get crazy again for the holidays. :)

Jesse Kates *

Tuesday, August 21

Back in action

The Sexy Accident rehearsed last night for the first time in three weeks. We were taking a little break as I went to Philly for business, Doug went to Portland for fun, and Pat went to Florida for things that I will not name (and to watch the space shuttle).

But despite our brief respite from the rock, we're hitting the ground running with a whole slew of shows over the next two months.

First up, THIS FRIDAY we're rocking the Scallywag in St. Joseph MO (map) Doors open at 6, first band at 7.

Then on SATURDAY we're helping the Kansas City Roller Warriors put on a benefit show for school supplies at Davey's Uptown in KC (map). Doors open at 7. Admission is $10, or $5 with unopened school supplies!

At practice I deployed my new multi-amp setup and man oh man is it a mighty thing. Our dynamics are borderline rediculous now. I will become the enemy of all sound men. :) And especially one-armed sound men, who are not to be trusted.

Finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BROTHER, MALCOLM! He turns 27 today.

Hope to see you at one of our shows!

Jesse Kates *

Thursday, August 16

Steve Albini Q & A haiku

I think this one speaks for itself. :)


If I understand your position on Analog vs. Digital recording, the single most important factor is the long term viability of the recorded media. Given the simple workflow advantages (although debatable) and affordability (and thus accessibility for the bands), do you think there's a possible solution to be found in a system that would make backing up to analog tape more automatic, convenient, and user friendly, allowing people to work the way most want to work but leaving them a sort of insurance policy for the future or their media?


These two paradigms
incompatibly exist
you can't combine them

the attributes of
either preclude benefits
of the other one

digital storage
is fragile sculpture
a bust carved in ice

analog is fine
like your grandmother
why give her fake boobs?

Jesse Kates *

Wednesday, August 8

One louder

This one's for the gear nerds out there... stop reading now if you don't want to be bored to tears by guitar techy talk.

I decided recently that I needed more layers in my dynamics cake.

I already have several tricks at my disposal via the Dr. Z RxES and its built-in boost ("overdose"), my Fulltone Octafuzz and my super-secret custom "McCracken" pedal. Between just those three I technically have 8 possible levels of distortion with some volume variability to boot.

But it wasn't enough. I wanted to be able to get louder, after I've already gotten louder and louder still. So I decided to go dual amp and bought a 1976 Roland JC-50 off of e-bay.

It arrived with a blown speaker, but after a little web research and some haggling with the seller, I was partially refunded my money and I ordered an Eminence Tonker to replace the dead stock 12".

Man, the Tonker plus the JC-50 is a mighty thing. Total surf-rock. Supreme definition. Tight bass. Now I can toggle between the RxES and the JC-50, or use both at once. I'm using a Lehle toggle switch, which is fully passive and therefore retains the amazing touch sensitivity of the RxES. My signal chain to the Z. is actually exactly the same length as it used to be even with the Lehle, 'cuz I exiled my tuner to the JC-50 side.

As if all of this wasn't enough, I brought my Crowther hotcake back out of retirement and put it in front of the JC-50 for yet ANOTHER optional boost. In mathematical fact, I now have 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 = 48 theoretical combinations of gain/distortion at my fingertips without any routing changes!

In practice, if I was going for a complete build from quiet to loud, I'd go like this -

1. RxES w/McCracken pedal
2. RxES straight
3. RxES straight + JC-50 straight
4. RxES straight + JC-50 w/Hotcake

So I've gone from a three-layer cake to at least four layers! The Z's "overdose" is now relegated to more of a gain control - a tonal tool - rather than a volume boost. And none of this factors in the extra goodies like my flanger and wah. Nor the chorus and vibe on the JC-50!

I'll take a picture of my new pedalboard sometime soon. I'm excited, aren't you? :)

Jesse Kates *

Saturday, August 4

on my way home!

Welp, after 9 days on the road I'm heading back to KC this morning. I'm super excited to see Tobias and Steph, who will meet me at the airport! My plane is delayed, but not by much. Hopefully all will be smooth.

Jesse Kates *

Thursday, August 2

NPV trumps IRR, baby

I think I should start calling myself the nerdiest man in rock, though I suppose Rivers Cuomo has me beat.

I'm currently in Philadelphia taking an accounting class meant for "executives." At the Wharton Business School. At U. Penn. Settle down, ladies!

And I'm really, really having a good time. :) It's sort of like an academic resort. The food is awesome. The classes run from 8am-9pm. All of the professors are, as one might expect, fantastic. I generally only get to leave the bulding for about an hour a day, during which I walk as fast as I can around the campus and surrounding streets to get some exercise.

I had a 'free night' on Wednesday and got to enjoy a few bars and a nice restaurant with my classmates. Tomorrow the class is over, but due to flight times, etc., I'm leaving on Saturday. I need to find something to do, but that can't be hard in a town as cool as this.

Rock on! And remember, don't settle for less than your hurdle rate.

Jesse Kates *