I also reviewed it in this week’s installment of “Empty Checking,” but just a quick word about Shooter Jennings (and Hierophant’s) new record, “Black Ribbons.” You’ve GOT to hear this thing. It may be on its way to being my record of the year. No one could be more surprized by that than me…but that’s just how good the thing is. (I struggled for three minutes trying to figure out a way to use any word other than “is” to end that sentence…) It’s kinda nuts…but in the best way. It’s NOT country, for those familiar with his back-catalogue. It’s something completely different and fresh. As I’ve been saying to others, what Waylon Jennings was to Outlaw Country, Shooter Jennings is to whatever the hell this record is supposed to be. (Same problem there with the word “be” that time…)
I might be coming down with something. I’m just abnormally tired lately. I mean…I’m always tired…but I’m different-tired this week. Maybe I’m just still recovering from a long, long, fun gig on Friday night, though.
Y’know what’s good? Make yourself a sandwich. Nothing fancy, just a little bit of sliced turkey, maybe a slice of velveeta…slap some mustard on there…now grab a bag of that prepackaged salad (iceberg lettuce preferred). Put just a little bit of salad on top of your sandwich and shove that thing into your food-hole. You’re welcome.
Remember that Iron Maiden show I went to last week? Forgot to mention that we were seated in an unfortunately named row. We were in row KKK. Seriously? No one thought that one through?
I’m playing a song for a guy’s birthday party this Saturday night. It’s like a 3-minute song. By comparison, it’ll take us more than 3 times as long to set up. Ah well…it’ll be fun. Plus, the party’s at Sybergs…so…shark steak…
In a follow-up to a recent post, I’m sending a check to Haiti this week.
I should be meeting with a guy to see if I want to be his bass player in the very near future. I mentioned it here before, I think. He’s a guy I was in college with who called me out of the blue, needing a bass player. We’re going to get into a room and see how it sounds. Should be a fun experiment if nothing else. The guy’s a talented songwriter, and you learn SOMETHING from everyone you play with…so I’m looking forward to it. Might just have another band for my bio coming up!
Meeting with my brother tomorrow (err…later today) to play some songs in his basement. We’ll probably also start talking about what we’re planning on doing with this thing, too… I have some thoughts…but even I don’t think much of the things coming out of my brain these days…so who knows?
I am going to try to schedule a dentist visit for next weekend (hopefully the 7th). I haven’t had the TIME to go any other day so far. Don’t want to take off from work, if I can avoid it and I’ve been crazy-busy on the last two Saturdays. Hoping the teeth hold out another week at least.
There’s an episode of Star Trek: TNG on that I don’t think I’ve ever seen. How can that be?
There comes a time in every man’s life when he considers wearing a fishing vest. Now is that time.
…and I think that’s all I’ve got to say for the moment.
As Will O’ the Wisp says, go on loving. That’s the one thing they can’t kill.
Did a show with the Michael Feldman Group on Friday night. Used to be in Mike’s band full-time, but now I’m not. And actually, thanks to a new, ridiculous (IMO) work schedule, even MIKE’S barely in his band full-time. They’re having long stretches between gigs and it’s been a little rough. Guess that’s what happens when your job has to keep your family fed…but I digress…
It was a good set. We played 4 hours (give or take) of classic rock and blues. I hadn’t played that much bass in over a year, so I had my worries, but we pulled it off. I even sang a few. I had to piece together a bass rig from a small Line 6 bass amp, a 5-Channel mixer, and a PA speaker. But I actually really liked the sound it gave me! 🙂 May not need to dish out the cash for a new bass rig just yet…but we’ll see…
Some friends and family showed up to show their support. The tip jar was as full as I’ve ever seen it at a Feldman gig. People seemed to like it. Thanks to everyone who was there. I’m glad you all found parking spaces in that tiny little lot. Hope the pictures Tara was taking turned out alright. (If so, maybe I can post a couple.)
So yeah…that was lots of fun.
…but here’s the thing… As I said, I haven’t done that in about a year. That was the first time I’ve stood with a bass strapped to me for four hours in a very long time. Shortly after the gig ended (on the drive home), I was already starting to feel it. My back was sore, my shoulder hurt, my fingers were throbbing, my knees were wobbly. I felt like I’d been beaten up by Jesus.
How did I let this happen to myself?!?
On a side note – New installment of “Empty Checking” is up. Been getting some “error” reports on it, but I’m not sure why. I think it’s on the host’s end…but if it keeps happening, please let me know and I’ll try a new upload.
Got a couple of things I’ve been meaning to write about. Even though my last post was on 7/20, I feel like I haven’t written much since getting back. Hopefully this’ll make up for it a little, since there are so many topics involved.
In case you missed it, I’ve got a gig tomorrow (Friday) playing bass with the Michael Feldman Group. We’re playing from 9-1 at Eddie’s Pub (416 South 5th Street, St. Charles, Mo. 63301). 21+. No cover charge. Should be fun. Come on by and say hello. I haven’t played with Mike in over a year and it’d be nice to have a big turn-out. We’re doing mostly classic rock and blues covers…might even throw in some country if people won’t kill us for it. And if you’re extra nice, I just *might* sing a couple myself. 🙂
My student loan was transferred to a different handler completely without my knowledge. I found out about it when I tried to log in to the place where I’ve been paying on my loan for the past five years. They told me there that it’s been transferred to Mohela. So I registered at Mohela and now I can’t figure out how to pay it. I’ve e-mailed a couple of times, but they have NOT gotten back to me to tell me how to pay. So, if anyone out there knows how to pay on a student loan at Mohela.com, please fill me in okay? They’re not helpful at ALL and I’m sure they’ll wait until after my first late fee to give me any info.
I’ve recently become a “Deadliest Catch” addict. Always liked it, but only really started caring recently. (It’s weird…I’m afraid of large bodies of water—and the Lovecraftian beings that dwell within them—to the point that I can’t even watch documentaries on the ocean or “Blue Planet” or anything like that without getting the shivers…but I can’t get enough of this show!) Captain Phil Harris was one of the captains. As has been huge news all over the world, he died in February from a massive stroke. They just showed the episodes dealing with that over the past couple of weeks. In this last episode, one of the other captains from the fleet said something like, “Out here you eat whatever you can, you don’t sleep right, and if you’re tired you drink another pot of coffee. That catches up to you.” That sounds ‘vaguely’ (extremely) familiar and kinda got me thinking. It’d suck to die at 53. Might just start drinking less coffee, at least…
I have a back-up plan for the gig on Friday, but I think my old bass amp is on its way out. That’s a bummer. I’ve had it since 1994. It’s the thing I got with some of the money when my mom died. It’s been a real workhorse, and has always sounded great…and now it might be time for a new one. Not sure what to buy…but I hear the “Acoustic” brand is pretty good. Any bass players out there with strong opinions? Just need an amp head. Still got speakers (in spades).
As you can see from the blog, I’ve got a lot of little things—most of which involve me owing or spending money—driving me nuts lately. Kinda gets to ya’ after a while… And on a related note, if I have to sit with ONE MORE PERSON who I can audibly hear chewing their food because they don’t just close their freaking mouths while they chew, I’m going to lose it.
Facebook quote of the day (read in my news feed). For some reason this made me laugh really hard…
Friend #1’s status: “Where did the day go?”
Friend #2’s reply: “Up your butt.”
The Drive-By Truckers just played here over the weekend opening for Tom Petty. I hear it was good. Missed it. Saw Iron Maiden instead… But DBT’s doing a full set here in October. Probably gonna go to that. Already looking forward to it.
Rush is also going to be here soon. Next month, in fact. Haven’t seen them in probably close to 10 years, and I’ve just realized with the release of their “Beyond the Lighted Stage” documentary (which I HIGHLY recommend) that I’ve missed them. Might have to go to that, if I can find anyone to go with—unsure of Dave’s status for that evening.
And finally… Here’s the list of comic books I bought this week. Full reviews coming in “Empty Checking” this weekend, along with some other things.
The Avengers (Heroic Age Tie-In) – Issue #3
The New Avengers (Heroic Age Tie-In) – Issue #2
CBGB – Issue #1 – I’m not sure if they’re planning another issue or not, but this was kinda cool for all the punk rock fans out there. It’s a quick summary of the early days of punk, centering around the old CBGB club. This’ll definitely take up a few minutes on the podcast this week, as I’m very likely to talk about how awesome the RAMONES are for a little bit. 🙂
Neonomicon – Issue #1 – “Watchmen” and “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” author Alan Moore (and Jacen Burrows) offers his twisted take on the Lovecraft lore. Cthulhu is returning. And things are starting to go nuts. It’s set in the present day. Really gritty and graphic…and I can’t wait for issue #2. Dave (ahem—since you don’t listen to my podcast), you may just want to read this one…
Batman Beyond – Issue #2 of 6
So that’s what’s been going on. Hope to see at least some of you at Eddie’s tomorrow. I think they have food, if that does anything for you…and you’ll get to see me in my brand new Harvey Pekar tribute shirt, which just arrived in the mail today! 🙂
Officially back from Chicago. Good trip. Finally got a Chicago-style hot dog at a place called “Rosie’s” this morning before leaving town. (Pics follow below.)
Got home to discover that the City of St. Louis apparently issued me a parking ticket back on 6/25. I found this out by getting a notice of “delinquency of payment” (sic) and a threat to boot or tow my vehicle if it is not paid by 8/9. The problem here is tri-fold and goes as follows:
I was NOT issued a ticket on 6/25. I didn’t have a ticket on my vehicle. I have not received one in the mail (which would, if I understand the law, also necessitate photographic evidence of my “crime,” which I also have not received). And yet, I am now “delinquent” (sic) in payment of a ticket that never existed in the first place.
To my knowledge, I have NEVER parked at the intersection mentioned on the ticket.
Burden of proof is on the accuser, not on the accused. Anyone can WRITE a parking citation…but there has been absolutely no evidence provided to me that I did commit this violation. Which I didn’t.
Even though it’s going to cost more than the cost of the ticket, I am contacting an attorney on this one. If the state can provide me ANY evidence of the violation, then I guess I just don’t remember doing it and I’ll pay the ticket…but the “delinquent” part of the ticket is an absolute fabrication, since there was NEVER a first-issuance. That I will not pay without a lawyer telling me to do so. If I did wrong, I’m man enough to admit it…but this? This is just insulting. It’s the kind of thing that makes people vote against bills designed to give money to police departments. Seems like they’re (fradulently) getting ENOUGH of my money, to me… City officials are only in power because the people ALLOW them to be. Their power is limited. And I’m pretty sure I have a lawyer who is capable of reminding them of that.
So welcome home, huh?
In other news… I was going to write a much longer post, with a section about how I’m going to try to be more fair to the celebrities, performers, and organizations I write about on my blog (with the possible exception of some political figures, talk-radio personalities, and/or people who are just ridiculously irresponsible) unless it’s obviously a joke. I’m still going to hold myself to the concept of being more fair in the things I write…but the explanation got long-winded. Basically, it boils down to this… I think my points are valid. I wouldn’t post them if I didn’t. But my statement of those points is sometimes less than constructive. ANYONE can read my blog…and if a celebrity whose last record or movie wasn’t my cup of tea wanders by, will they get my (possibly valid) POINT or just see that I called their last project a pile of crap? I fear it’s often the latter. So I may still say I hate a record or movie…but I’m going to be more careful about the reasons I give. That’s the short version. (Not that Paris Hilton or someone like that is likely to stumble upon my blog, mind you…)
Anyway… Here are some pics from the Chicago trip. Sorry that some of the pics from my phone suck. I couldn’t sneak a real camera into the show and the camera on the phone doesn’t do well in low-light, long-distance situations (making it virtually useless). Nevertheless…here we go!
(Post title is a reference to “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens.)
I’m in Chicago. There’s free wifi in the hotel, and I think it’s kind of cool to post “from the road.” So I’m doing that. Even though I don’t have much to say. So it is.
We’re here for my brother’s birthday. As it happens, Iron Maiden and Dream Theater showed up in town on the exact same day—who’da thunk it?
The show was really good. Full review coming in this week’s “Empty Checking,” but I’ll post a few short thoughts here, too…
It was really, really HOT.
My knees hurt.
Maiden played mostly newer stuff—which I enjoyed, but of course people have been grumbling about all tour long. Of course, I came into the Maiden world full-force when Blayze was in the band…so I guess I’m a rarity in that I really don’t see much of a difference between “The Trooper” and “The Mercenary” (neither of which they played tonight…but you get my point).
Bruce Dickinson talked a LOT.
Dream Theater did a good job of keeping it heavy for a metal crowd. Even though I’m not as big on their last couple of records, the stuff they DID was the stuff I liked, so that worked… One weird thing, though…Jordan Rudess (keyboard player) is down to just being bald with a long, white beard. Kinda looks like a wizard. I enjoyed that.
Hotel room’s nice, but not super-nice. It’s supposed to be 4.5 stars…I’d say it’s more like 3.5-4… But still nicer than most places I’ve stayed on the road. (All of my hotel experiences are weighed against this really nice Renaissance Inn I stayed at once. The one I’m in now ranks somewhere between that and a nice Holiday Inn I stayed in when I was touring with Jeff Moody for a brief period in 2002. Worst hotel? Budget Host Inn in Kirksville, MO, 1997. That bedspread left nothing to the imagination.)
Somehow we did not eat any Chicago-style hot dogs or pizza. We ate at Texas Roadhouse. Which was my suggestion, since it shares a parking lot with our hotel. Still though…kinda want a wiener…
Aimee Mann is on Austin City Limits right now. That’s a MASSIVE change from the show I just saw…but a welcome one, as I love Aimee’s music.
Bought the latest Iron Maiden Football (or “soccer” for those of you who think that’s what it’s called) shirt. I look pretty good in footy shirts. I may have to start rocking those more often. Somehow I manage to not look TOO fat in footy shirts. Weird how fat guys so often end up in athletic-wear, isn’t it? Maybe that’s just because it stretches. Anyway…I paid WAY too much for that… EDIT 7/20 – In fact, I just found out that I paid DOUBLE what it costs on the band’s website! That kind of exploitation of the fan at the show is BEYOND disgusting. (I don’t blame the band. They are likely unaware of the situation and/or are powerless to change it, and I get that.) I wrote to the web-store on that one. Nothing will come of it, because—let’s face it—life works that way…but I had to complain to at least SOMEONE in the Maiden camp on that one. Maiden fans are scary-loyal to the band. It’d be nice if the band’s representation was at least a LITTLE loyal to us, too.
All in all…STILL worth it, despite the VERY bitter pill of the merch-booth rip-off.
So happy birthday, Dave. You snore, by the way. (But just wait until you hear ME!) For now, I think I’m getting into a hot bath to loosen up my sore knees.
I went to church with the Bartlings while I ministered at Ferguson. They’re good folks. Never met one I didn’t like. In the past year, both Brenda and Leonard have died (they were married). Brenda died in March. Leonard died this week…which kind of puts how bummed I’ve been about Harvey Pekar into perspective.
I am not going to sit here and pretend that Leonard and I were the best of friends. We had (radically) different political opinions. We didn’t listen to the same music, for the most part. We didn’t share many common interests. But he was always nice to me and was encouraging when he didn’t have to be. That’s what I remember. That’s a good way to be remembered.
He also—funny story—one day came up to me and pointed out that I’d been putting on some weight. (He meant well. He was also absolutely correct.) He ventured the idea of the two of us jogging together from the church to the highway (probably 2-3 miles, if I had to guess) at least once a week. I gave him the reply of, “Yeah, I think I could do that. Let’s set it up.” Of course, in my head I was thinking, “I will never be able to do that and you will run at least 5.999 miles on your own.” We never set anything up, and I left the church shortly thereafter. I hope he knows that my departure wasn’t just a futile attempt to get out of jogging with him. 🙂
I haven’t seen Leonard since I left FCC. That’s how the church world works. When you leave a church—no matter the circumstances—future contact with members of that congregation are usually infrequent and awkward. (It shouldn’t be like that. In fact, I now make it a point to greet people I used to go to church with as warmly and openly as possible…but that’s another post for another time.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Leonard before he died. His death was sudden—from a heart-attack, during which he struck his head. I thought about him now and again after I left. Always imagined we’d bump into one another. Now we won’t. Bummer.
It’s nice to know that he and Brenda are back together. But it sucks to know that their kids lost both parents within a year. I don’t know when the memorial is, or if I’ll be able to make it what with going out of town this weekend. But I do hope it’s a lovely service. He always liked a lovely church service. And I hope the kids are alright. Thank God for Facebook, so at least we can keep in touch.
I know most of my readers (if any) don’t share the same affinity for Harvey Pekar that I do, so I’m going to put something else up here. I’m still going to devote most of my podcast to him over the weekend, anyway…
For now…let’s get random…
In one last piece of Pekar news, to show you how BAD the coverage of his death was, when I went to the comic book store today, I asked if anyone was as bummed as I was about his death. The three guys behind the counter, almost in unison said, “Did he die?” Guys who WORK in a comic book store didn’t even know he’d died. Not their fault…the national media just doesn’t give a crap about the underdog. (And neither, apparently, does David Letterman, who played a major role in Pekar’s rise until their falling out in the 80s. Letterman has YET to comment on Harv’s death. What’s wrong Dave? Intern got your tongue?)
RIP to George Steinbrenner. I don’t care about baseball. I’m not saying you’re wrong if you like it, but I just find it boring. Nevertheless, I knew who Steinbrenner was, and that says something about the man. Here’s to one of my favorite members of the background cast of “Seinfeld.”
Speaking of “Seinfeld,” anyone else think Mel Gibson’s just trying to make Michael Richards feel better about himself? Yikes. (I stole that from my friend Tara’s Facebook status.) Tell ya’ what, though… I’d really like to hear what Danny Glover thinks of all this. No matter what his opinion, when it comes to the mental-state of Riggs…I’m going to side with Murtaugh.
There’s some potentially very interesting stuff going on at my office right now. Not the least of which is the possibility of me and Larry starting up our own web-comic…but I don’t want anyone to steal the idea, so I’m keeping a lid on it. 🙂
I mentioned my chipped tooth last week. I’ve been trying to get a dentist to either call or e-mail me back. No dice. What’s the DEAL with this industry?!? The only one I DID get a reply from told me that they were out of network for my insurance—and I didn’t even tell them what my insurance WAS. (So…that’s how the “Soft Touch” office in Florissant treats you, okay everybody?) So…progress on my teeth: Pending. I’m thinking I’m going to call my dad’s old friend Doctor John (not the porn store) and see if he can get me in. He’s a 45-minute drive from my house…but at least then I’d know the money was going to a good man. Either way, at this point, it’s going to have to wait until after the weekend. Heading to Chicago and don’t have time to get in before then, what with my brother’s birthday and whatnot also being this weekend.
The Chicago trip is, of course, to see Iron Maiden and Dream Theater for Dave’s birthday. I’ve mentioned it here before, I’m sure… Should be cool. Haven’t seen Dream Theater since the “Scenes from a Memory” tour. And I’ve not seen Maiden perform MOST of the songs on their current setlist—so that should be really special! (I mean, as much as I’ll miss “The Evil that Men Do,” I’ve heard them do it live EVERY time…kinda cool to see the rarer, newer stuff, IMO.) Look for a full report on Monday.
Reminder: I’ll be appearing at Eddie’s Pub in St. Charles (don’t think they have a website…I’ll get the address before the show) with the Michael Feldman Group on July 23 (next Friday). Should be fun. I’ll mostly be playing bass…but I’d imagine I *might* be coaxed into singing some CCR, if need be. 🙂
I’m becoming well known for my dislike of grown men who ride their bicycles in the middle of the damn street. I can’t stand that. (It’d be fine if they were on the shoulder, or sidewalk, or at least tried to get as far over to the right as possible—and STOP AT STOP SIGNS/LIGHTS!!! …the folks who do that are alright…but they do NOT seem to be the norm.) However, I would like to point out something. Over the weekend, I was asked if I’ve ever made a right-hand turn by pulling into the bike-lane on a road. The answer is no. I have not. I want them out of MY lane, so I’m staying out of THEIRS. I think that’s fair. (Plus, there just aren’t that many places I go that HAVE bike lanes in the first place…but when they’re there, I say “Bike Lanes for the Bikers.”) 🙂
And that should do it for now. I’ll try to blog again before then, but in case not…happy birthday on the 18th, Dave.
Comic Books Purchased–SHORT reviews (a sentence or two—or less—each) forthcoming in this week’s “Empty Checking”:
The Unwritten – Issue #15
The Sixth Gun – Issues #1-2 (which was created by former Fantasy Shop employees, btw)
The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles – Issue #1
Batman – Issue #701 – AKA: “RIP The Missing Chapter” (which—though pretty good—tells you pretty much all you need to know about Grant Morrison…sigh.)