Random Musical Updates

In case you aren’t friends with me on Facebook, or somehow missed the announcement…all of my music is now available online for ABSOLUTELY FREE (or “pay what you want,” if you feel compelled to do so).  Go to http://derekbrink.bandcamp.com and rob me blind.  Everything about me must go!

Seriously…please go get some free music.  You don’t even have to enter an e-mail address.  Just go nuts.  And anticipate the day when the new record, “Ink Stained Fingers” will hit the site, also for free.

Why am I doing it?  Because no one owns the air over your head, and I don’t think you should pay me to fill it.  Also, I care a LOT less about making money off of it than I do having people HEAR it.  So I’m making it a no-brainer.  If you’ve ever considered listening to my stuff, but either didn’t know where to start or didn’t want to spend the money without knowing if you like it, now there is absolutely no risk.  You can even stream it before you download it, if you still need a preview before downloading.  No excuses.  Don’t be a dick–download my shit.

Also: ALBUM UPDATE.  I’ve written a new song that is very sad and is about a friend of mine who is going through hell.  And I think it’s going to replace “Stay Away from Andy” on the record.  “Andy” is an okay song…but it’s just OKAY.  “Waiting Room,” on the other hand, I think is something I need to get out there.  And musically they’re kind of similar…so “Andy” will have to stay away from my record.  (See what I did there?  What’s that?  Of course you do, because you’re not an idiot?  Okay!)

Also Also: You may have noticed a new link on the right for my new music tumblr page.  “Spinning Sides” is a blog of the vinyl records I listen to throughout my week.  Or month.  Or whatever.  I’m having a lot of fun with it, and you can expect to see a lot of weird shit pop up on it.  I’ve got  bunch of my dad’s old records over here–including some he apparently stole from a library–and Vintage Vinyl has a constantly changing and evolving $2.99 vinyl bin that I love wading through.  Got a lot to write about.

…and that’s all I’ve got tonight.  I’ll write again when I want to.  You can’t make me.

“So How Did Your Gig Go?” – Everybody that promised to be there but wasn’t…

The very first gig for The Social Gospel is in the books. There were some bright spots and some slip-ups. I am personally more than a little embarrassed to have completely forgotten some of the lyrics to a song I’ve been singing for several years in a way that was unrecoverable. And I’d even dedicated that one to Johnny Cash. My brother said he thinks Cash would be cool with that. So far he hasn’t haunted me, so maybe Dave is right.

On the positive side (“WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH DEREK?!?”), we had a basically solid first gig that at moments felt like we’d been gigging in this format for years. (As long as Dave and I have been working together, don’t forget that this was only his second live-show as a bass player.) For the most part we hit the really complicated stuff and recovered quickly from the errors we did have. And the audience was good. They clapped and cheered. I was particularly smugly pleased to more than once receive applause from people DURING my guitar solos. I think that was a first for me, in fact.

On the negative side (“Oh, THERE you are! Don’t scare me like that!”), there WERE highly noticeable mistakes that we all made–though I don’t think any so noticeable as my lyrical freeze-up. And that was on the LAST song, too–the one people remember. But given that the backline was just our amps (we weren’t plugged into the house and really should’ve angled the amps so we could hear each other better) and we had no monitors (new system and they weren’t installed yet) some of our hiccups were just environmental and therefore dismissible. (That is in no way an insult to the venue. Every place is different and that’s how this place was set up on that night. They’re great folks and it’s a great place to play–the room sounds good no matter what you plug into the board and you can really tell they thought that through. I’m really looking forward to being back there and will be better prepared to give a better performance now that I know the set-up.)

In all, I’d grade us with a B-. There were some sloppy mistakes we shouldn’t have made that we DID, but we were far from failing. Still above average. Next time, we’ll be better.

My deepest thanks to everyone who came out and I hope to see you all again for my solo show at the same place on October 12!

Setlist:
Live Your Life
The Difference
One of Us
Wastin’ Time
I Go…
Just Another Day
Fighting Drunk
Sister Myrtle
Sleepin’ In
Hey Hey, My My
Mother Maybelle’s Shotgun

Guitars used: ESP Ltd; Les Paul present as a backup, but not used.

Favorite Moment of the Show: Playing the solo in “Just Another Day.” First time playing it live and it hit just right. (Cheers from the crowd.)

Life on the Shelf

I recently decided to organize the bookshelf in my living room. There was some thought that went into it. I chose which books to put there fairly specifically. I’ve always said, “You can tell a lot about a person by what books they have on display.” My books have been (and many still are) scattered between rooms and locations. Some on shelves, some in boxes, some on the floor underneath piles of clothes…and so on… And that’s a fair representation of me, sure…but for whatever it’s worth, if someone looked at my living-room bookcase, this is how I wanted to be represented as of today. It’s nowhere near a comprehensive representation of my collection, and there are some books I couldn’t find that will eventually go in while others will come out. (Seriously, did I loan anyone my complete copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? …and where is Salinger’s Nine Stories?)

Here’s the photo, and I’m going to list the titles/authors below. I had considered writing a short explanation for why I chose each book, but I didn’t realize how fucking MANY of them there are. If anybody has any questions, that’s why God gave us the “comments” section.

bookcase
That back-board could only have come from the 60s/70s.

I hereby swear that I have actually read the following books: (I also solemnly swear that I am up to no good…)

  1. U.S.! – Chris Bachelder
  2. The Soul Thief – Charles Baxter
  3. The Brief History of the Dead – Kevin Brockmeier
  4. Speaking My Mind – Tony Campolo
  5. Man in Black – Johnny Cash
  6. Cash – Johnny Cash
  7. Book of Longing – Leonard Cohen
  8. Crime and Punishment – Fydor Dostoevsky
  9. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  10. Death of an Ordinary Man – Glen Duncan
  11. The Secret of Lost Things – Sheridan Hay
  12. Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
  13. Horns – Joe Hill
  14. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
  15. Songbook – Nick Hornby
  16. A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
  17. Slam – Nick Hornby
  18. Juliet, Naked – Nick Hornby
  19. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  20. Being There – Jerzy Kosinski
  21. Man Walks into a Room – Nicole Krauss
  22. The History of Love – Nicole Krauss
  23. Great House – Nicole Krauss
  24. What the Stones Remember – Patrick Lane
  25. Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre – H.P. Lovecraft
  26. The Road to Madness – H.P. Lovecraft
  27. Dreams of Terror and Death – H.P. Lovecraft
  28. The Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning
  29. Ruthless Trust – Brennan Manning
  30. All is Grace – Brennan Manning
  31. Stuart: A Life Backwards – Alexander Masters
  32. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  33. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
  34. Teacher Man – Frank McCourt
  35. Please Kill Me – Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
  36. Batman: The Killing Joke – Alan Moore*
  37. Watchmen – Alan Moore*
  38. The Complete Stories – Flannery O’Connor
  39. American Splendor – Harvey Pekar*
  40. The Quitter – Harvey Pekar*
  41. American Splendor: Another Day – Harvey Pekar*
  42. American Splendor: Another Dollar – Harvey Pekar*
  43. Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
  44. Gilead – Marilynne Robinson
  45. Home – Marilynne Robinson
  46. Harry Potter and the Whole Series… – J.K. Rowling
  47. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  48. Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
  49. Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction – J.D. Salinger
  50. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  51. Love is a Mix-Tape – Rob Sheffield
  52. Science Set Free – Rupert Sheldrake
  53. Bone – Jeff Smith*
  54. Batman: The Black Mirror – Scott Snyder*
  55. Maus – Art Spiegelman*
  56. The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein
  57. Blankets – Craig Thompson*
  58. The Lord of the Rings (Complete Series) – J.R.R. Tolkien
  59. Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut
  60. Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  61. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  62. Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut
  63. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
  64. Armageddon in Retrospect – Kurt Vonnegut
  65. Look at the Birdie – Kurt Vonnegut
  66. The Once & Future King – T.H. White

* – Denotes a comic-book. My apologies to the artists, whose names I have not listed, as I have catalogued this list by the name of the authors who wrote the stories.

Also, I want it noted that the books on the shelves in no way represent my complete holdings of the works of particularly Manning, Vonnegut, Hornby, and Pekar. I own close to everything those four have ever written (though there is still some Vonnegut I have not yet found). The stuff I put out is just the stuff that meant the most.

————

Vinyl I Spun Today:

  • Waylon Jennings and Old 97s: Iron Road
  • Big Mama Thornton: Jail
  • Drive-By Truckers: The Big To-Do
  • Kurt Vile: Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze
  • Velvet Underground: Scepter Studio Sessions
  • Queen: The Game