Monday, May 31, 2010

Grace Potter And The Nocturnals

This weekend stint in Panama City Beach has been a good time so far. We even finally made it to the beach yesterday at about 5 pm (we got in 2 nights ago). We played Schooner's Thursday, Friday, and again tonight. The humidity in the place is unbearable, and the sound system is rather bad, but other than that, it's a pretty fun gig. The food is delicious. If I ate seafood, I'd sure I'd love it even more.

In the coming weeks, I'm starting work on my new album.

How about this blogging? In truth, I think it's a great idea, and when I'm inspired, I love to extrapolate what's inside of me and see if it serves as any sort of entertainment, inspiration, comic relief, etc... But as someone who tends to put my heart and soul into whatever I'm expressing...sometimes we get a goose egg.

Here's Natalie taking over the drums for awhile.

Here's one - have you heard Grace Potter And The Nocturnals? We all piled into the band house last night at about 3 am, turned on the TV, and this concert was on. We all sat there completely blown away by this girl and her band. Being very alive and extroverted music, I kept waiting for the part when it becomes annoying and something starts to stick out and bother me, but it never happened. It was like...if Nick Cave and the 70's version of the brunette in Heart had a baby...that would be this girl. And the band was like The Bad Seeds. The drummer looks like the singer from Three Dog Night. Grace Potter played B3 for the first 3 songs we saw, then she started rocking out on the guitar. The tunes were great. What can I say? I became a fan on facebook.

Here's something, though it's not from the concert we saw. It said at the end it was a PAID infomercial on GAC. Imagine that? Her label bought time at 3 in the morning to air her concert. That's amazing, I'm very impressed.

I'm looking into more, already pre-ordered her new album.

Just for kicks, here's some Nick Cave (I can't find any of the Abbatoir Blues live DVD on YouTube, but I highly recommend it):

Alright then - that's it for now! More coming soon...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

3rd & Lindsley Show, Wreck On The Highway

I've been back in Nashville for a little under a week, and it's been a rather eventful almost week. First - my band and I played a benefit for flood victims last night at 3rd & Lindsley, and it went great! We raised some money to help some people in need of it, the band was ON, the crowd was great, we played our whole set, did Little Richard at the end, and Natalie Stovall came up and sang backup on one song (How Long), which was truly beautiful. I'd put up some pictures, but in my haste, I forgot to make sure I had someone taking some! Ooops.. Anyway, Miguel "Hefe" Cancino played guitar for us, and did epic work. Thanks to Kalisa Ewing, Rose Falcon, and everyone else who was part of it. Trying to book some more shows for during summer Natalie breaks.

Over the weekend, I got together with Ben Strano and played him all the songs I have in mind for the new album we're going to start next month. We had a very good meeting, discussed the songs, and I'm looking forward to the work we're going to do. I believe in this batch of songs, and I'm excited about making this record. Er, CD. Er...series of downloadable tracks? Whatever!

So to take me off my high of last night's show, today I got rear ended on I-65. In my car! God, you people are just.... Anyway, I'm driving down the highway, and suddenly these green and purple buckets fly out of the back of the truck about 8-10 car lengths in front of me. I wasn't on LSD, some person just didn't have them secured into his truck. I had just come onto 65 from I-40, and wasn't yet sure if the lanes to either side of me were open, so I just slowed down to avoid hitting these stupid buckets - they were big, like trash cans, could maybe have capsized my Sienna if I'd hit them at full speed. So I'm slowing down and WHAM - this truck behind me hit me as he was trying to slow down. Fuck. So now we both pull over, and I'm in a state of shock, like LT had just run me over trying to chase down a 16 year old cheeleader. And the guys from this truck are not even making eye contact with me, they seem pissed, like I had just randomly slowed down in front of them so they could hit me. The driver was OK, we exchanged insurance information. Then this woman pulls around and goes right up to them and tells them she saw the whole thing and they could use her as a witness. And SHE'S not making eye contact with me, either. Like I did something! And I'm in a daze and saw just a small dent on the rear of my ride, and the driver says listen, I'm OK with all this if you are, I don't even care, it's my bosses truck, are you OK? And I just looked at it all and said yeah, the damage seems minimal on both ends, I could care less about a dent and frankly I think it's the bucket truck's fault (who never even stopped, by the way), let's just get each others' info.

This was incredibly stupid on my part. I looked under the car afterwards, and the protective frame behind the back bumper is dented, too. And it did not even enter into my mind to call a cop, file an accident report. I didn't think about it and decide not to do it, I just didn't even think about it. A) I've never been involved in a collision before, so didn't really know the protocol. B) I found out afterwards that no matter what the cause, if somebody runs into you, they're responsible for having not been far enough behind to avoid the collision. No wonder the driver was being nice. All these years, all you think you've learned, but when something new happens, you still just stand there like an idiot. I called the non emergency police and they said you can't file a report with them once you've left the scene, you can only do it online, and things are much less smooth. I took it to a garage to have looked at, and don't think the damage is much more than cosmetic. At least that's what the mechanic - not a body guy, mind you - guessed, from looking underneath. But it's hard to tell. Going to fill that thing out, will keep you updated, if anyone's interested.

All this was on my way to have my guitar looked at to see how much its way overdue repairs are going to cost. I confess that my appointment there was still in the back of my mind at the side of the road! The good news's not going to cost nearly what I was afraid it was. It was a day I've been fearing for weeks, months really. eventful day, an eventful week. I hope I didn't screw myself out of still having a smoothly functional vehicle with my stupidity.....but it wouldn't be the first time I screwed myself out of something with my stupidity.

Kim and I are going to Miguel's tonight - Wednesday - to have dinner and meet his new daughter, Sol. So awesome. Then I'm playing a solo set at The Buganut Pig in Franklin (a duo, actually - Miguel is going to sit in). Anyone in Nashville/Franklin, you should come out. 10 pm!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Downstate New York

Today I write you from Syracuse, NY. We played in Watertown earlier today, all I know about Watertown (because I have a bootleg of the show) is that Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue played there in 1975. It's good, the sound is not bad.

More pressing, we had 3 days off and went down to New York City to kill the time. Well, we killed it. I feel like I must have walked 85 miles in those 3 days. The first night we got in around 6, and Panther and I felt like going out, so I led him around on what I have to say was a pretty epic night for his first time in New York City. Well, first...we stayed at James' mom's place, which is an unbelievable little condominium at 43rd & 2nd - 28th floor with a panoramic view of midtown manhatten, the east river, and my old neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. James' mom is very kind and sweet, and let us stay with them while her husband was in the hospital undergoing some very serious surgery. We hardly saw her - she spent all her days there tending to him, but I'm happy to report that as of our leaving town, his health was very stable and he was slated for release Tuesday or Wednesday.

Anyway, Zach and I started by walking past Sparks Steakhouse, which I told him was where John Gotti had Paul Castellano gunned down in order to consolidate his power in the Gambino crime family. A classic New York tale if there ever was one. We then walked northwestwarly up to 59th St. By that point it was getting dark, so we walked through Central Park, eventually getting kind of lost trying to find out exit on the west side. Not the best predicament to be in if you're in 1983, but hey, we're post Giuliani-Time, it's on! So we walked all the way up to McAleer's, and not one of my old alcoholics was there. So sad... My buddy Driss in the kitchen was working though, and eventually I even got to break up a fight outside. Was like old times! We had a few rounds and headed down to Bleeker St to get pizza, then headed over to this bar Sway that my friend Altogether Steve was bartending at (at one point in my life I had worked there, too). Steve hooked us up, and we stumbled out of there like...well like you'd notice us on a galloping horse. (see Natalie's Blog)

The we decided we weren't done, so we hit the bodega and grabbed a couple each for the road, and ended up sitting in Washington Square Park at about 4 am - completely alone - trying to open, then drinking, our imports. I tried to explain how David Lee Roth had got busted for buying pot there on a night just like this. Finally we hit another store, headed to Union Square for the subway, and eventually made our way back. Except now the sun was coming up, so we couldn't just ignore it, we had to go sit on the banks of the east river and watch it fight its way through the clouds as we stared at Queens. Throw in The Baseball Furies and a DJ with bright red lips, and we basically had a mini version of "The Warriors" on ZP's first night.

"You Warriors are good. Real good"

"The Best"

The rest of the weekend was a blur of walking, eating pizza, watching jazz, watching rock and roll, meeting up with old friends...including a wonderful ex-girlfriend Denise, who wouldn't speak of me for 10 years and who I hadn't seen in 12. She now goes out with my friend Rob, and it was the first time the three of us were together since I used to date her and he was the wheel. It was also the first time since before anyone thought about Y2K and the computers. It was an excellent reunion, though, and would certainly not have been as special if we hadn't have gone thought so much to get to it. Thanks, Denise!

So now we're in Lima, Peru, er....Lima, Ohio, where in 5 hours we get up for our final gig with Matt, and indeed our final gig for awhile. I'll miss the shows, but I'll enjoy the sleep. Not to mention Kim and Alaska.

Oh, and the last morning, I went to my favorite Indian grocery store and bought all the primaries for the ridiculous Indian curry I used to make all the time. Ridiculous because it's so freaking blow-your-head-off hot...and good! Kim's excited and is inviting some friends over, but I told her to warm them I'm not pussifying it up just to appease any children..

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Upstate New York

Greetings from somewhere in between Edinboro PA and Keuka Park NY. In the last few days, we drove from Nashville to Syracuse (18 hrs in van), then played 2 shows in one day with a 4 hr drive between them. All with a new dude! Our friend Miguel took a few weeks off while his wife had a new baby, so we picked up another guy. It's weird not being around Miguel after all these compressed hours, but luckily the new guy - Matt Hauer - is both a cool guy and a great guitar player. So on with the show.

We weren't going to have such a marathon drive to Syracuse, but we couldn't leave Nashville because of the floods, and had to postpone a show and hang out for a couple of days (which in truth was a very nice respite). Well actually...we could leave Nashville, but our new guitar player couldn't leave his neighborhood to get to us. That sucks. All of us were very fortunate. On our block, it was just a rather rainy day. A few blocks over, very different story. I'm sure you've all seen the pictures.

The biggest test this leg is postponing out West Wing obsession. We're in the middle of season 6, heading into the home stretch, and now Leo, Josh Lyman, poor old Toby Ziegler, Donna, and of course Mr. President Bartlett, they're all going to have to wait for a month or so to be part of our lives again. Hard! But they're always close in our hearts.

Somehow, we lucked into 4 days off between shows in upstate NY, so we're going to head down to the city for a few days. Wasn't I just writing recently about my need to get back there and connect with my 20's roots? McAleer's and my old day alcoholics? What a treat. I've connected with a few old friends to hang out with while I'm there as well.

We did watch a Triumph The Insult Comic Dog DVD yesterday. I can't find the clip of Triumph at the Bon Jovi concert online, I wish I could, it is hysterical. "So, Jon Bon Jovi, I hear you are starring in a new vampire movie. Finally a role that requires you to suck!" I did find a reel of the outtakes:

That's all for now.