Been about two-weeks, hasn’t it? I’d been getting in the swing of writing more often, but kinda let it drop again. I think it’s just that when I write about something like the Orlando shooting, it’s hard to go back to writing stupid posts that are all-over-the-map with a Simpsons quote in the title. But here we are…much like our guns laws, it takes a couple of weeks, but then nothing changes and we get back to the routine…
Let’s get pointless…
- This was a weekend full of gigs for me.
- The Ric bass saw its live-performance debut with the Michael Feldman Group. We played in a bar on Saturday night. Decent gig, but the audience wasn’t much to write home about. Handful of people were there for us and clapped, and I’m glad they were there, because the rest of the crowd wouldn’t have noticed if we’d lit ourselves on fire then pissed it out. Worth it to see some folks have fun though.
- Then today, we did a “duo” thing at a wine-garden. I didn’t have a lot of fun. It was outdoors, and despite the severe heat and the concurrent threat of rain, there was no covering over the band. We were just standing out in the open. Although, things as they were, thank GOD for the cloud cover, because at least it wasn’t blistering sunlight…but when I’ve got a pedal board on the ground that’s got $1500 of gear on it, a vinyl awning doesn’t seem like a lot to ask on a day where we can hear thunder. Played the old green Ibanez bass I’ve been playing for 20 years at this gig…mostly because it has survived the elements before, so I knew it could do it again…and also because the Ric is nice, but I’ll never forget my old friends. The green one is far from being retired. Not everyone knows it… I don’t think I’ve written about it anywhere…but for reasons I no longer recall, back when I first got the Ibanez, I named her Rachel. I think I just liked the name. (Still do, actually.)
- Both gigs were ultimately well-played and I’m glad that the people who actually came to see us (in particular Dad and Susan) had fun… But I often end up resenting the gigs where most of the crowd has their backs to us. I’ve played too many gigs where I could’ve been replaced by a boom-box. It’s frustrating. I’ve long-since paid my dues…just clap between songs, ya’ bastards!
- I’m up to “Prayers for Rain” in my Dennis Lehane read-through. Enjoying it so far, but nothing super-graphic has happened yet, so it’s still in the “fun” chapters. “Gone Baby Gone” was excellent, but is ultimately one of those reads where you feel really gritty after finishing it. Lehane creates an ugly word-picture as well as anyone I’ve ever read. I think what hangs with me so long is how believable the ugliness is… I know it’s fiction, but it’s the kind of stuff that DOES happen in the world, and sometimes reading it makes me feel bad to be a human, knowing what we’re capable of… Hell of a good writer. It’d be good to see him write about eating a delicious piece of cake after playing in the park with a dog, though.
- If it’ll keep Donald Trump from getting elected, I’m willing to take back everything I said about Bush. Who do I contact about that?
- I talk to people about YouTube shows I watch a lot. Just for the sake of it, here’s a list of my present favorites:
- Game Grumps – A couple of loveable douche-bags with potty-mouths playing video games and talking about anything BUT what they’re playing. I don’t know. Makes me laugh.
- Wrestling With Wregret – A guy who seems like he could be your buddy that knows a lot more about the thing you both like than you do talks about wrestling. I like the content and the fun of the show. And Brian Zane seems like he’s probably one of the nicest and most relatable guys on YouTube. Talks about a lot of the old-school wrestling I like while still keeping up with the new. Totally respectful of the business and informative. Really a pleasure to watch.
- What Culture Wrestling – Another wrestling show, this one from Britain. I don’t like it quite as much as “Wregret.” They tend to go a lot more negative and some of their bits are pretty cringe-worthy…but there’s still fun to be had. Their recaps are usually pretty good and most of their lists are fun. They’re also starting up their own actual online indie promotion…which I’m really hoping either gets its own channel or just goes away soon, because it’s really getting in the way of a channel I’ve otherwise enjoyed. But for now, I still like about 75% of what they post.
- Kevin Smith – Yes, Kevin Smith. The “Clerks” guy. I’ve got a soft-spot for him, despite not having seen any of the flicks since “Clerks 2” (or “Zack & Miri,” maybe? Whichever was later.) I’ve sort of lost track of his film career, but I’ve always found myself paying attention when I see his name come up. Came back onto my radar with the death of Prince (Kev’s a big Prince fan and worked with him for a while) and I’ve been digging into his “Fatman on Batman” segments ever since.
- Comic Book Girl 19 – It’s the fun, stoney, weird girl you know, and she’s reviewing movies and stuff. That’s basically it. She’s funny most times, and I like her take on stuff, even when I’m not interested or I end up disagreeing with her. Plus, if you look close, you’ll realize that she has absolutely no ear lobes. I’m not judging that. (In fact, I think she’s pretty and it’s endearing.) Just noticed it one day and was like, “Huh…” Can’t not see it now.
- Cracked – Yes, I know… “You’re kidding! Cracked has a YouTube page? Is the sky also blue?” Of course Cracked having a YouTube page is old news…but if I’m listing pages I go to regularly, this is definitely among them. “After Hours” and “Obsessive Pop Culture Disorder” are my most regular options, but I enjoy a lot of stuff they post.
- I miss playing guitar and bass in a church. As you know if you’re a longtime reader of the blog (or if you just happen to know me), my church recently went to an evening-only service and I had to bow out of it. I still make it to occasional small-group stuff, but I miss attending an actual service and really miss PLAYING in one. I don’t want to leave my current church…but boy I miss that…and I’m not sure how to address it.
- Fourth of July is coming up. I don’t really like fireworks. Not because they frighten me or whatever…I just don’t like the interruption of them. I don’t care to go watch them…I feel like if I’ve seen one firework, I’ve seen a million, so why bother going out in the heat and crowd? When they start going off in the neighborhood, my first thought is always, “Come on…I’m trying to read, here!” Plus, I’m not a big fan of America, either, so it’s celebration for celebration’s sake for me, and I’d rather just sit around. That said, though, if I’m invited to go to anything, I’ll go to it and I’ll end up having fun. I’ll just be kinda bored during the part where stuff’s blowing up. (Also, the City of Florissant makes a big stink about how you aren’t allowed to shoot off fireworks in this town…but they don’t do a damn thing about it and then they shoot off their own in the park anyway. The hypocrisy bugs me.)
- Father’s Day passed by last week. Pretty proud of the gift Dave and I went in on together this year. My Dad introduced us both to the Dick Van Dyke Show when we were young and he’s long-since been a fan of Carl Reiner. Reiner put out a new book called “Why and When the Dick Van Dyke Show was Born.” Both Dave and I had the idea to get Dad the book, of course…but then it got even better when Reiner announced on Twitter (that’s right…a 94-year-old comic-writer is on twitter!) that he’d autograph and personalize copies of the book for Father’s Day. That was a no-brainer. We both wanted to get it for him, so we decided we’d go half-and-half on it. One of the better gifts I’ve ever been part of getting for anybody, I think:
- Haven’t been sleeping well lately. Been in a bad cycle. Hoping that the gigs will get me some needed exhaustion tonight, but it’s 11:30 as I’m writing this and I don’t feel like I’m winding down. I was up until like 3 last night following the first gig and got up at 9 for a small-group meeting and I’ve been going ever since. I’m stiff, sore, and maybe a little dehydrated from the gigs…but I’m wide awake. So it goes.
- I have a feeling it’s going to be a long work-week going into the holiday. One of my team-members is going out of town for part of the week, so it could get crazy. I sure hope I’m sleeping before then. At least I’m at a point where I appreciate working with the people I do and the job is something I basically enjoy.
I think that’s it. Feel like we covered a lot of ground in this one. Good job, guys.
- Bottle Rockets – “South Broadway Athletic Club”
- Michael Manring – “Thonk”
- Mountain Goats – “Beat the Champ”
- Mumford & Sons (and a bunch of other folks I guess they know or something) – “Johannesburg”