When a band plays “I Want You to Want Me” but screws up the ending, and you can honestly with no joking say, “Ehh, I’ve heard Cheap Trick do it worse,” you’ve seen a lot of Cheap Trick shows.

Here’s stuff from the past week.  You know how this works.

  1. Songs played at Pursuit this week:
    1. Blessed Be Your Name
    2. O How I Love Jesus
    3. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
    4. I Surrender All
    5. Water
    6. Wonderful Words of Life
      T-shirt worn: Frank Zappa. (The one with a measure from “The Black Page” on it.)
  2. Considering skipping work this Thursday to attend Derrick’s funeral (see previous post).  It’s in Springfield, IL—where his family lives.  Don’t really know the area, and I’ve actually been lost there more than once, so I think I’m only going to go if I can find someone to go with me…and if work’s okay with it, of course.  We’ll see.  There’s also a memorial being held in St. Louis on Friday, and if I don’t go to the funeral, I’ll go to that…but y’know…a memorial’s nice, but it’s not a funeral.
  3. Thanksgiving went okay.  Missed the big family gathering/reunion…but we got the St. Louis crowd together (except for my two cousins who live here, who were…actually I don’t even know…I’m going with “working”).  Smaller gathering with too much pie…but it was good.
  4. Went out and saw the Michael Feldman Group play on Saturday.  Good show.  Mike asked me to jump up and play bass/sing for a couple of songs.  Did “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Further on Up the Road.”  It was fun.  Hung out with my friends Boyce and John during the set, and John snapped a picture of me that I’ll probably put on the Tumblr page sooner or later.  After the show was over, the drummer (Dave) and I ordered some whiskey and toasted Derrick—Dave is a teacher and had taught him in a business course or two.  So that was cool, all around.
  5. On Friday, I went over to the home of my friends the Blacks.  On Black Friday, no less.  Our mutual friend Larry was in town and we did a dinner/hanging out thing, along with some folks I don’t know quite as well (though Josh, who was also there, and I go way back).  Fun night.  Stayed out until about 2 a.m. at which point Andy and Tara decided it was bedtime.  Figured we should leave for that.  (They’re very hospitable, having us over so late, even though they have like a three-month-old son.)
  6. On Wednesday, I went to a liquor store I recently found in town and bought a pack of Boulevard’s Dark Truth Stout.  I’d never had it or anything from the Boulevard company before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It.  Is.  Amazing.  Easily in my top-five stouts.  I’m going to have to take some pictures of the next pack I buy and do a proper write-up for the Tumblr page (and there WILL be a next pack!).
  7. I broke my laptop screen pretty professionally.  The laptop’s been freezing up regularly (basically a by-product of running Vista) and it’s been very frustrating.  Been getting worse and worse and I’ve been getting mad at it.  It froze up three times while I was listening to the same mix (for a band) and I got mad and slammed down the lid really hard.  Opened it back up and found that there is now a kind of spider-webby quality to it, with some large black lines/spots on the screen.  I’m writing on it right now, so it’s basically functional…but there are large portions of the screen I can’t see anymore, which makes reading/writing kind of hard.  Gonna have to live with it a while…hopefully either Santa or my next tax return is kind to me and I can get a new one.  (But the government doesn’t work that way, and lately Santa’s been kind of a dick…doesn’t answer my letters anymore.)
  8. Still haven’t written my Christmas list.  It’s mainly going to be Queen, Rush, and Pink Floyd related though.  And some of those super-hero movies I didn’t see.

…and I’m going to stop.  I know there’s other stuff I was meaning to write about…but who can remember?

Rest in Peace, Big D

When I was at Lincoln Christian College, I roomed with Derrick Simmons—and despite what he always said, I still say he’s the one who spelled his first name the wrong way.  This morning I was informed that he died in his sleep last night.  Hit me hard.  Too hard.  Derrick was about a 300-plus pound, nearly 7 foot tall black man.  At the time, I was a 5’10”, 130 pound, white kid.  We were opposite in many many ways, and the dorm staff freely admitted they stuck us together just because they thought it’d be funny.  But I am in their debt for doing so.

It just about broke me in half to hear Derrick died.  With the world being what it is, I took to Facebook, like so many of his friends and posted a message on his wall.  I’m now sharing that here, just as I wrote it on his wall.  Hankies on standby…  You won’t fully understand some of it…but I was writing to him, not to you…so that’s okay.

 

Derrick…what can I say? I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m devestated, and I’m in shock.

I called Jimmi to talk to her about you. I thought you’d want that–for her to not have to read it on Facebook. She’d already heard by the time I called though. Telling her was the first time I talked about it out loud. I completely fell apart. Not in the dignified, single manly tear way… I was completely, embarassingly, unapologetically blubbering.

You were a good man. You were a good room-mate. You’re the reason I still have people in my life who call me “Little D” into my thirties, and over the 230-pound mark, and long after we both left Lincoln. I remember meeting you for the first time and seeing this big, imposing looking guy, who turned out to be one of the most loving, kind people you could ever want to meet. I remember staying up late and talking about Jesus with you. I remember the day my alarm was going off and I was sleeping through it, so you woke me up by repeatedly dropping your lumbering hand down on my bed, right next to my head, just about bouncing me out of the bunk. I now remember and am gutted by the couple of serious arguments we had…and I’m comforted to know that we forgave each other and later in life got the opportunity to become the friends we were always meant to be. I’m glad we got that chance. I remember seeing you walk into SLCC and thinking I was out of my mind, and how warmly you greeted me. I remember how often we’d share stories and jokes in the coffee-house, and I have absolutely no regrets about slacking on the job by going over to talk to you. I am angry that I have no photos of the two of us together, despite how many times we were at the same place, sharing a laugh. I mourn that I will never hear you laugh again.

And I am unspeakably shattered that the only time I’ve ever said any of this to you is NOW, on a Facebook post you’ll never read.

I miss you, and I will miss you every day until I get to where you are now. I am comforted to know that your long struggle is over and you are finally resting, and I know I’m selfish to wish you could’ve hung around longer. I am forever in your debt, just for having known you, and if we have to have room-mates in Heaven, I hope you’ll consider moving your turn table off your spare bunk when I get there.

Your friend,

-Little D

The only word I spelled wrong in this post was “Tyrannosaurus.” So keep an eye out for it. I mean…it’s spelled right now…but you have no idea in what context it was used.

Well it’s been almost a week since my last post (unless I finish this after midnight…then it’s been a week).  Sorry about that.  I suck at this lately.  Here’s random stuff…

  1. Been eating a lot of Mac & Cheese recently.  Enjoying that.
  2. Had an amazing donut the other day.  It was vanilla and custard, and it was awesome.
  3. I read and posted about (on a different page) an article where they say the CD might be phased out within 2 years, and it’ll just be MP3.  I hate that.  MP3 is an inferior product.  There is no hard copy.  There is no artwork (and yes, I know you can download it on SOME of them…but that doesn’t really count, imo).  There’s inferior sound…and there’s nothing to collect.  I’m a music collector.  A fan of the physical product…  Perhaps a dinosaur…but I’m not sure why that’s supposed to be an insult…you ever run into a Tyrannosaurus, it’ll probably eat your sorry ass.  If the music industry doesn’t make a physical product, I see no reason to buy MP3s, since they’re so easily stolen.  The more physical products they take away from us, the more pirates they create…and unfortunately, I might turn into one of them.  I don’t want to.  I want to pay for my music and support the artist (but not the labels)…  But why do it when it’s not what I want, and it’s not as good as what used to be?  And yeah, I know people have said that at the turn of every product…but in those cases, there was a product to buy.  Now there isn’t.  There’s just easily destroyed, easily lost, easily deleted, easily forgotten 1-s and 0-s.  But I’m ranting…sorry.
  4. New comic books tomorrow.  Looking forward to that!
  5. Only one more day of work before the Thanksgiving holiday.  I really need the extra days off.  I can’t even tell you how much I’m looking forward to this…just wish the family meal/reunion hadn’t been cancelled…
  6. New record is progressing kinda.  Making some decisions about tone and whatnot.  It’ll be a slow process.  Think I’ve made a small lyrical breakthrough on one I was struggling with though.
  7. Two Hangmen rehearsed with a DRUMMER tonight!  Probably some news about that on the horizon…but I’ll keep you waiting for now.
  8. My friend Larry should be coming into town tomorrow through the weekend.  Hoping to hang out with him some during that time.
  9. The Christian band Five Iron Frenzy asked fans to contribute to helping them release their new album.  They raised something like $30,000 within the first hour.  They’re nearing $50,000 as I write this, I think.  Is it just me or is that (1) kind of exploiting your fan-base who clearly would’ve paid for it without you asking them to, and (2) also a huge amount of pressure to make an album that…y’know…doesn’t suck?  (But maybe I’m just still bitter from the time I went to meet the band and an un-named member of the group was a dick.)
  10. It’s weird…I haven’t really written my Christmas List yet.  I normally do that on Halloween.  Ehh…been a rough, busy month or so…I’ll have it done by January, latest.
  11. I’m still on a Lou Reed kick.  It’s getting nuts.

…and that’s all.  Maybe I’ll have more time to write with a few days off.  Or maybe I’ll forget all about it.  Click back over to find out!  (Actually, if nothing else, I’m playing at church on Sunday, so I’ll probably at least post the song list before the weekend’s over.)

All you people who are posting comments on the Internet about “Lulu” without buying and listening to it are idiot hipsters who don’t deserve ears. It’s fine if you think it sucks. That’s no big deal. But to not HEAR it and say it sucks…YOU suck! Also, I have a canker sore under my lower lip…right in front. That sucks too.

Well, I’d love it if I had a week or two where I felt like I wasn’t wasting time by doing things I actually WANT to do, like writing on the blog.  I’ve been so busy and exhausted, I just don’t want to write anymore.  I’m hoping that fixes itself soon.  Here’s some random stuff, just to keep the blog alive…

  1. I led worship at Pursuit this past Sunday.  Here’s the song list:
    1. Praise Adonai
    2. Victory in Jesus
    3. Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful (as Communion song)
    4. Sing to the King
    5. Grace Greater than Our Sin
    6. Your Love, Oh Lord
  2. I ate at Blueberry Hill today.  Rough, busy day at work.  Medically NEEDED a burger and a beer.  They never disappoint in either category.  By far my favorite burger in St. Louis, and one of my favorite bars/restaurant.
  3. Been listening to a ton of Lou Reed based music.  Been spending a lot of time with his solo stuff, but also been absorbing the complete Velvet Underground.  I finally picked up a (used) copy of the Velvet box set (“Peel Slowly and See”) and now have more VU than anyone needs…it’s been really enjoyable.  I’ve also still been drifting back toward Lou’s collaboration with Metallica (“Lulu”) that came out a couple of weeks ago.  I think I’m addicted to it.  I’m just going to say it…it’s going on the top ten.
  4. I have been recording/engineering a new demo for the Michael Feldman Group, including an original Christmas song written by the keyboard player/vocalist (Catherine).  It’s weird working on a Christmas song when I traditionally don’t like Christmas music…but I like a challenge.  Plus, Catherine’s excited about it, so that helps make it easier.  The main sessions are over, and I’m just mixing/mastering now…it’ll be nice to have my free time back, so I don’t have to keep sticking microphones in front of things.
  5. …except that I’m still sticking microphones in front of things.  But they’re my own things, as “Pop Art Manifesto” keeps unfolding.  I’m really liking the songs I have so far.  I think there are 8 presently in the “serious” demo stages.  Just need three or four more and we’ve got a record.  But of course, I’m writing about that elsewhere.
  6. My family’s Thanksgiving celebration isn’t happening this year.  The folks who normally host it decided they’re not doing it anymore and no one else had time to get it together.  Those of you who know me or have read the blog in the past know how devastating I find that.  I don’t think I even want to do anything at all without going to the family celebration that usually happens.  Anything I do will just make me miss the thing I normally do…and I think I’d rather just ignore it completely…but I might change my tune on that, depending on what plans spring up in the family that is local to St. Louis…  We’ll see.  Either way, it sucks that it’s not happening this year…and it sucks more than I wasn’t informed of it until just a little bit over a week before the holiday.  Ugh…
  7. The backsplash tile for my kitchen arrived this week.  I’m very excited!  I love the tile, and I’ve been looking forward to it going in ever since I first saw it.  It’s kind of what I built the whole kitchen around.  I think I still need to pick a shade of grout (caulk?) for it…but otherwise, it’s almost all together!  Yay!

And that’s all I feel like writing.  It’s about 1:30 in the morning, and I need to go to bed.  Work today was long and taxing…and tomorrow’s going to be about the same, if not more so.  (No idea how my desk got so busy…but man, it’s exhausting.)  Sleep is my best friend and worst enemy…here’s hoping it’s kind to me tonight.

Manifesto Manifesting…

I’m too lazy to search for it…but I think it was last year on the blog that I said I might be putting together some songs for a record to be released at an undetermined time somewhere in the far off future.  I think I even announced the name of the project at the time…and I think I noted that I knew the title was stupid and didn’t care.

Well…some progress is being made.  I’d say I know 85-90% of the stuff that’s going to be on the project and how it’ll be arranged.  I have even begun seriously laying down tracks on a couple of them.  I’m sticking to my guns when I say that I don’t know when I’m going to put the thing out…might not even be in 2012.  And if it is, I’d say LATE 2012…probably more like 2013.  But I guess what I’m getting at is that I am now officially announcing that I am unofficially working on a new record for release at some time…  Only thing I can say for sure is it’ll happen after Two Hangmen gets on its feet.  One thing at a time and all that…

In case you forgot…the stupid, stupid name of the record is going to be “Pop Art Manifesto.”  Unless I change it.  Which I probably won’t.

I like to do something new and different to mark each project.  With “Grounds” I launched derekbrink.com.  With “Things I Meant to Say,” I launched my blog.  With “Out from the Light” I found my way onto iTunes and redesigned the website.  With “New Year’s Eve” I dipped my toes into giving stuff out for free on the website.  With the Blue Tattoo and Two Hangmen stuff I’ve found ways to make the “DIY” process look more professional and less slapped together.  With “Wayne County” I found myself posting stuff for the first time on tumblr.

This time, I’m going to do an online diary of it.  A tumblr page, not too dissimilar from my present one, but just for record-stuff.  Pictures, notes…stray lyrics…etc.  It’s not set up yet, but I’ll let you know when I’ve got it ready.  I won’t promote it too much, as it’ll be a little bit stranger and less fun than the other stuff I do online…it’s mostly for my enjoyment and to help my “process” (if any)…but I’ll share the link with those who might be interested.

…ah…and the file render I was waiting for has finished…so now I can stop writing.  🙂

————

Current Listening:

Lou Reed – Transformer

All in all it was a weird weird lot of days…

I’ve had a weird week…  Here are the bullet point.

  1. Had a gas leak at the house.  Basically, the gas line to the stove had to be replaced, and we only figured that out by running gas through it.  Luckily, I’ve been staying with my dad until the kitchen’s in order, or it definitely would’ve killed me in my sleep.  I walked up to the door one morning and smelled gas before I even opened it.  Ran downstairs and hit the shutoff and aired the place out.  It’s all fixed now…but I’m lucky nothing blew up and no one died.
  2. Work has been filled with weird claims and tasks.  Of course, I can’t really talk much about any of it, due to confidentiality things…but trust me…there’s been weird stuff going on at my desk.
  3. On my way to work today, I was at a stoplight and saw two guys screaming at each other in what I think was Korean.  Then  they kissed.  Glad they made up.
  4. Also today, I worked a half-day, doing the job of a coworker of mine that was not in the office today, and another coworker did my job for me.  Then I left to deal with some concerns at the house, relating to the kitchen and basement.  (Too boring to go into detail.)
  5. Yesterday I was driving to a store.  I was in the left-most lane, next to the turn lane.  Lady in front of me came to a full stop with no one in front of her (and no turn signal on, not that it matters).  Being that I was going to the place on the left, I just went around random-stop-lady and got in the turn lane and made my turn.  She turned into the parking lot after me then yelled at me (using the f-word—that’s right, she said “fuck!“—in front of the small child she had with her) about how she was going to turn and I cut her off etc, etc.  I think the only thing I said was “You stopped in the middle of the lane.  Next time get in the turn lane.  Now don’t make this get serious in front of the kid.”  At which point I was told not to tell her how to raise her child.  And I said that someone should and walked away with her still yelling.  In hindsight I’m lucky she didn’t do anything any crazier than yelling…but I almost wish she had.  Would’ve enjoyed calling a cop on her and watching how quickly she changed her tune.  Feel bad for the kid though.  Can’t imagine what he must live with every day.
  6. Recorded a demo for a band tonight.  We’re doing some more tomorrow and I think we’re wrapping it on Monday.  Possible post-production fixes to be made too…but we’ll see.  Recording’s always weird, but usually good-weird.
  7. Also weird…  Lou Reed & Metallica’s “Lulu.”  If you caught me on a different day, I might’ve said I hate it…but today I like it.  I was slightly unprepared for how dark it is (and make no mistake, it’s VERY dark).  It’s not at ALL catchy.  It will not go down in history as one of my favorite records…but I like it.  My only real criticism is that sometimes Lou Reed (who has completely stopped caring about things like “melody” and “rhythm”) sounds more like Stan Lee than he sounds like Lou Reed…but yeah…all in all, I think it’s good.  I think the Metallica fans who’re bitching about it probably just don’t like or more likely don’t KNOW Lou Reed in the first place and/or expected an actual Metallica record (when really this is more like a bizarrely heavy Reed record).  So basically, now Metallica fans know exactly how I felt hearing every record between “…And Justice for All” and “Death Magnetic.”  Tell you this though…even though I like this record, I really would’ve loved to hear the Velvet Underground version of these songs.  (That doesn’t exist, of course…but it would be amazing.  A completely different TONE, mind you, but amazing.)
  8. I made cookies.  That’s not very weird…but it happened.
  9. I was in line at the comic book store on Wednesday when I realized I hadn’t activated my new bank card…so I had to do that while they were ringing me up.  Worked out just fine.

…and I don’t know…I’m tired.  It’s only 12:30…but I think I’m going to bed.