Monday, June 29, 2009

A Real Gig

Saturday was the day of my gig with Dean and this band that was called "Tite In The Corner". It isn't really much of a band per se, led by a Carson-based guitarist named Stan Sanchez. But with three-fourths of BW in tow (myself, Dean, and Tom - I can never remember his last name! - on the bass), we played the second set of the Grand Reopening Party at Toad's in Carson City. It's a nice enough place, and the staff and management there were very, very nice to us.

But as with all gigs, there was a last-minute curveball. Since Toad's 'reopening' was because of its expanding into the next stall of the strip mall it was in, we figured that we'd be playing indoors. But instead we were outdoors on a day where the temperature was a thin red hair below 100. At least we weren't the band that came on at 4pm for the first set. I heard them as I was presetting my kit in the parking lot behind the bar, nice enough stuff though their harmonica player was playing over the top of everything, and that got on my nerves a bit. Stan and Tom helped me get my stuff over to the tent we'd be playing under during the one-hour changeover, and we started up right on time at 8pm.

We were nice and in the groove right away. And that's always the best way to play. And it was so nice to play in a REAL band with REAL musicians, no backing tracks, no canned backing vocals, no canned LEAD vocals, just four guys and their gear, the way it ought to be! Dean brought his keyboard out for a version of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight", and he told me after the show that it was the first time he'd played the song with a drummer who played the original beat of the song!

We jammed well and hard until it became dark, which necessitated the temporary theft of the light rig that was being used by a DJ inside the bar in order to continue the show. We played until 11pm to much applause from the crowd, and the fastest payday I think I'd ever seen in all my years of playing. The bar manager actually handed the envelope of cash to Stan before I'd even managed to take off my gloves and headset mic after the last song had ended!

We were also informed that the owner of Toad's would get us gigs at Doppleganger's, a very nice brewpub in town as well as repeat performances at Toad's. Tom also invited me to join him for a side project that would have me playing at the Farmer's Market in Fallon on a pair of Tuesdays in July. "Tite In The Corner" could turn out to be a better moneymaking opportunity than Bridgewater.....

Oh yeah, I was informed that Bridgewater is no more. At least in name, that is. Joy told me after the show that Shelly (Dean's wife) had told her that Bridgewater was now "Strange Loop".


At least I had a great time playing in this group. My playing was generally fluid, sharp and concise. Which has always been my general style, more Phil Rudd than Neil Peart. There were a few very minor flubs for me, but nothing anybody other than myself noted. Joy took a bunch of pics and a video or two, and I'll see if I can get them up on the blog or on our MySpace ASAP.

Now it's a few days rest before I head over the Sierras to Oroville and the Gold Country Casino with my friends Steppen Stonz on Wednesday for the July 4th weekend. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dead In The (Bridge) Water?

I just got some (somewhat) depressing news a few hours ago. It seems that my new band Bridgewater may be dead in the water. I stopped by Indigo last night to hit jam night there, and Dean greeted me with the news that our singer Lissa had just gotten a very well-paying job at NAS (Naval Air Station) Fallon (She lives in Fallon, about an hour east of Reno), as in US$26/hour well-paying. Neither of us would say that this was a bad thing for her, but it doesn't bode well for the group. She'll still be available for the upcoming gigs in Topaz and Minden, but after that she's probably not going to have much time for us.

I hate to sound like I don't care about this happening, but I don't have much of a problem with this. I'd rather be an optimist than a pessimist. I think we'll find another singer if that's what it comes to. I hope Lissa can stay with us, because she's a very talented singer, but if not, then I wish her the best with her new job. I'd quit any number of local bands here for a full-time job that paid that much. I also told Dean's wife Shelly that now I don't feel so bad about having other bands scouting me while I was working with Dean. But I'm still not saying who they are. I won't sabotage a band, no way no how, not even if they deserve it.

Speaking of sabotage, there's a knife in my back, with an ex-bandmate's name on it. Trust me, bubbeleh - I don't have to do much to get you 86'ed as well. People tell me everything, y'know.

Oh well, off to bed. I just got our Exploder's brakes fixed (sort of) today, which will do for the gigs this weekend and next. Joy and I have grocery shopping and bill-paying in the morning (around noon for you working-stiff types), and I just hope we can get our tired asses out of bed before the Farmer's Market at Tamarack Junction closes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Irons In The Fire - Amended

Well, I was wrong on one thing - we are moving after all. Apparently Michelle and her fiancee got a thirty-day extension from the company we rent the house from. So we're moving at the end of July. So much for going up to Washington in July. Maybe in August, then?

But I wonder, who's going to pay the deposit for the pit bull puppy they bought for the kids?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Irons In the Fire

We just had a rather interesting day today. Joy and I were in the midst of getting a mini-storage unit to pack away things before we moved into the trailer when we got a phone call from Michelle, telling us that her purse had been stolen from her van with $800 in cash in it! Apparently, they talked the rental agency into disregarding the 3o-day notice of leaving. And they informed us that they would be unable to move until next February. So I guess that we're not moving after all.

Which may be a good thing after all. Thinking about it, I actually have five different projects going at this time. My new band with Dean Brownell has a name (Bridgewater - sounds like a condo development), and our first sort-of practice (the singer came in from Fallon, but the bassist was sick with the flu). Dean and I will be temping next weekend in Carson City with a band called Tight In The Corner, and there's my previously mentioned temp gig with Steppen Stonz the weekend after that.

I also have two bands scouting me as well. A band whose name I won't mention has informed me that the are considering firing their drummer, and I'm number one on their list. The other band may be even more promising: A country band with national potential. The group is Aussie or Kiwi, can't remember which right off hand, and they've just returned from recording demos and generally schmoozing in Nashville. One thing is for certain, though: I need work, and consistent work, and it needs to come soon.

But Joy and I are looking on the bright side of all this. Now we really don't have much to keep us from going on our trip home to Washington next month, barring our Explorer needing a brake job. I may have to borrow money from my Uncle Roger to get that done. We were looking towards actually spending time together by ourselves, but I think that we can deal with continuing to babysit two adorable little weapons of mass destruction for a while longer.

I also have to give props to my audience.

Yes, I actually have one, and it's not just Joy. So let me give a shout-out to my amigo Mark Twohey (as in tooey!) from Atomika, who gave big kudos to this blog and its insane ramblings. If you're reading Mark, thanks bro.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Doors Are Opening

It's been an interesting last few days. For the second time in my career an agent has died on me, and bands aplenty have been showing interest in my services. Aside from Dean Brownell's new project, I have another well-known band scouting me on the down-low, Dean and I will be playing a one-night fill-in gig, and I've just been hired to play the July 4th weekend with old friends Steppen Stonz at a tribal casino in California. I have a singer to break in on Monday, new heads to buy in the very near future, and lots of material to get familiar with.

Perhaps Cockbreath McPothead letting his ego loose on me was the best thing that ever happened to me.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

John McDaniel, RIP

At least we were on good terms when he passed. Calvin notified me earlier today, left me a message on my cellphone. I'm sure I'll learn more later. We all knew he was sick, something was wrong. But he never let on, not one tiny little bit. For as much grief that he gave Powerlight, and myself, I'll miss the old fart. Rest in peace, John.

Calvin had told me that he'd made an offer to purchase the agency from John's survivors (his widow and ex-wife were his 'employees' in the agency), I wonder if he'll follow through on that? If Calvin is running the agency, he could probably get the Atlantis to fire Cockbreath McPothead. Not that it matters that much to me. Dean Brownell's new band starts rehearsal on Monday, and I have more important issues. Like training and educating a new singer.....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

As One Door Closes...

Another opens. Joy and I are moving out of our house for a few months in our tent-trailer, then home to Washington state, with my money on going back to Olympia. Why we're not moving right now is because, other than the fact that we can't afford it right now, is that we're still waiting on two more tax returns and Joy's Social Security/Disability application being approved. I'm just frustrated by all this, and I've decided that moving to Reno was a bad, and expensive idea. I feel guilty, because we spent so much money to get here, and it's all come to naught. But in the long run, things will be better once we get home. I'm figuring that we'll be back in Washington by the end of the year, and I'll find work and/or gigs there without too much trouble.

The only thing that'll keep me here in Reno would be a gig or job of serious magnitude. Y'know, the kind of opportunity that means full-time work, and full-time money. I'll do my best to keep up hope, but I also need to be realistic. I just get the feeling that eight months from now I'll be either on the field or bench for my beloved Budd Bay RFC Buffaloes, resuming my role as the Les Nessman of rugby....

Author's Note: Go look up "WKRP in Cincinnati" on YouTube or Hulu, or whatever, and try to find the episode about the softball game. There's a reason why "WKRP in Cincinnati" is one of the rare TV shows that never 'jumped the shark', and this is one of them.