Monday, May 30, 2011

Chaos Is Not A Theory

No, it most certainly isn't. Let's just say that the last say, 36 hours have been eventful.

After finally getting things squared away with the Dirty Joe crew to renew practices, I schlepped my gear over to the garage below Roger's house...... oh, waitaminute... it's not his house, after all. Turns out that it was his parents' house, and their return from Hawai'i is our loss - and Roger's as well. Turns out that he's the one looking for a new place now. But the garage is still available for us to practice in for the time being. So we got together, and much to my surprise, my friend Britton was coming up for practice. Well, we never really did give him a proper audition, so this might as well be it. he's a good singer, but his main flaw is his range. He's a baritone, whereas I'm a tenor. In layman's terms, his voice is lower than mine. He has a good voice, but we don't play a lot of songs that suit his range. But I'm willing to make a few adjustments if necessary. He also plays a little guitar, which might eventually give him a more permanent role in the group as a front and rhythm guitarist, which could relegate Roger to the keyboards full-time. I have no problem with that.

Practice came to a rather abrupt end though, when Roger's mother came down the hill and basically ordered practice to stop. I wasn't happy about it, but Roger would later tell me that they were fine us practicing so long as we stopped by 9pm or so. Once enlightened, I didn't have a problem with that, either. I've been trying to get practices started earlier in the afternoon anyway, so I can see this as a positive reinforcement.

And we had a gig ready to go for this weekend, playing for a party held by Amigos MC, a low-key motorcycle club that Roger has been a part of for years. Two hours of music at a site just west of Lake Crescent for $100 per person. I could've used that money. But I won't be going. Y'see, the situation has kinda...... changed.

Earlier today, I logged on to my Facebook page, and I had a message waiting for me. It was from Mikey, telling me that 'I could check into the hotel on Wednesday." Huh? At first I figured that it was a misfire of sorts from Facebook, a message from long ago somehow re-sent. So I called Mikey to ask what was going on, and I got a reply that I've been hearing a lot of lately:

"I thought you knew."

Well, I'll be heading off to Minden in about thirty hours or so to play a three-nighter at the CVI. Apparently, Mikey had already told me about this. Apparently, I forgot. So it's off we go, and I do mean "we." Joy wants to go, fairly guilt-tripped me into allowing it. Last time we went she fell off a toilet seat in Sandy. But I'm not letting that happen this time around. And the pain shouldn't be so bad for her this trip, now that she has a medical-grade TENS unit for the trip (Big ups to our friends at E-Z Pawn in Port Angeles - they had three of them on sale for $150 a piece - a real bargain). And I got my satellite-radio unit turned back on for the trip.

Chaos is not a theory, my friends. It is a fact. And to be totally honest, I probably enjoy chaos. I guess that when the shit hits the fan, that's when I finally get off my ass and get shit done. Well, wish me luck getting there - my heater core sprung a leak over the weekend, and I hope the leak-sealer I poured in holds.

Later, taters!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Know Jack Squat


I Feel Like..... Branching Out

I've talked to you about my life and the events therein, but everything to date has all in the same little narrow-ass spectrum of music. I do know so much more about so many other things - or so I'd like you to think. So while I'll continue to post about my musical adventures here, I think I'll come up with a second blog about my other interests. Sports, news, politics, cooking, anything that I've been able to wrap my mind around over the course of my years. I'll give you an update when I've come up with a name and address.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

You know you're a lousy blogger when it seems that half your posts start with 'sorry I've been away so long.'

The thing that sucks the most about being a working musician is the waiting. Waiting to find out about gigs, waiting to leave for them, waiting to set up, waiting to play, waiting to tear down, waiting to leave from them. Well, I'm just waiting, period. My life has been caught in some hellish sort of limbo as of late, but let me catch you up on things.

Drugs and Slugs

When last I left you, I was mulling over the idea of drug testing the members of Dirty Joe over allegations of methamphetamine use. I eventually worked up the nerve to confront Ron and Roger over it, and they were surprisingly up-front about their drug-use histories, and confronting the rumors that have been dogging them. I proposed purchasing testing kits and having the guys test themselves on-camera with the results going on this blog for all to see. That way, my concurring course of action would be completely justified - either quitting the band, or looking for the rumor-spreaders and dealing with them (you two consider yourselves marked). I also declared the band to be an official Sam Stevens-free zone, and Ron and Roger really appreciated that idea. Nobody wants to deal with his shit. Things got even weirder when Joy bumped into the person who sparked the rumor at Wal-Mart - a daughter of her former boss at the Port Angeles DOT who'd dated Ron, then the drummer in the band at the time - who openly admitted to starting the rumor after her boyfriend got axed. I asked Joy why she didn't slap the shit out of the bitch right then and there, and where was she so I could do the job myself. Joy took the higher road and fairly dragged out of the store with her scooter.

We practiced that following Sunday, but I haven't heard from them since. It seems that Roger's parents have moved to the Peninsula from Hawai'i (why?), and we'd have to suspend practice while they stayed with him as they looked to move into their own place. It's been two weeks since, and I'm beginning to get a little nervous. Some people like taking their own sweet time getting things done. I'm not one of those people.

Because of this, I'm continuing to court the services of Jenn Smith for a band of my own, and Joy and I are budgeting some of her eventual SS/D back payment towards the purchase of a PA system. Thank the Maker for Carvin ( Love their stuff, and I can get good systems from them directly and dirt-cheap. Joy wanted to budget US$5,000 for a system, and after checking the Carvin website, I told her that we could get PA and monitors from them, and have enough left over for an old van to schlep it around in.

And Then There Were Three

Things haven't been much better for Steppen Stonz. We were scheduled to play The Nugget in Sparks over Memorial Day weekend, but we suddenly found that gig cancelled, and our upcoming gig there for Hot August Nights in question. A quick check of their cabaret schedule found the slate packed with country and rock bands. Mikey isn't sure who could've done this, especially after all the good vibes the Ascuaga family gave us personally while we were there last. I have a suspect. Let's just leave it at that.

And because of the lack of gigs, we've lost Cliff. He just couldn't survive the waiting, and went and got himself a real job. I knew it was coming months ago, and now I'm in Cliff's place of hanging on by my fingernails, waiting for that next gig. Mikey told me that he can be replaced, will be replaced. But I could hear the worry in his voice when he told me about what was going on. I told him who my suspect was - we both know him, and he told me not to make such rash statements. I told him nothing else fits, and that this was the modus operandi of my suspect - I knew of others that have had the exact same thing happen to them, and that they had come to the same conclusion. I just hope I didn't make him any more depressed than he probably already is.

Right now I'm in pure survival mode, looking for temp and part-time jobs just to get some money, any money in my pockets. I just hope I can hold on long enough to get to the next gig. I guess Tom Petty was right - the waiting is the hardest part.