Friday, October 21, 2016

Lyric Theater October 13th: Set-list and notes

It has been almost two years since I last I played (a solo acoustic Christmas gig).  Since then I recorded and released an E.P., recorded a few cover tunes, made an ill-fated attempt to resurrect the Pint Collective with myself on bass and began writing and rehearsing a new batch of songs.  I also put on ten pounds.  On October 10th I saw that the Lyric Theatre was having an open mic in three days.  Last time I played there my band was a paid headliner.  I figured it may be fun so I restrung my acoustic, picked three songs from my set, had two nights of practice and a night off and I found myself back on stage.

Selfie backstage in the green room
I was hoping to go on fourth or fifth.  I was also hoping that it would not run real late because I had to work the next day.  I also wished I still had a little more rock or youth or something in me but I digress...

I wound up going on second after the host played, and he played very well and get the crowd into it.  I played two originals and one cover.

Set List:

1. Devil Woman
2. Breathing Ether
3. Shine (Junkhouse cover)

Gate: ~60 persons

My wife videotaped my set and I`ll post it once I finish editing it.  Overall I really enjoyed being back on stage.  I had a few beers, met a few local musicians, saw some really good bands / artists and I even stayed out late.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Into Oblivion

I currently have several projects on the go which basically means I am getting none of them done.  There's the videos and promotion of my currently not so new CD 'Under Fading Stars.'  I am  recording basic demos and rehearsing a new batch of songs.  I am considering playing a few acoustic shows this winter so am working on a set-list and practicing them.  Finally, I am trying to get some of my older material to YouTube which brings me to the point of this post...

"Into Oblivion" is from my 2007 CD "The Impostor."  The Impostor was the hardest album I have recorded.  I started upping my guitar skill level by accessorizing my style with elements of jazz, various modes and a healthy dose of experimentation.  I was also using a new software package and was learning as going.  I've wrote about this elsewhere but this album burnt me out musically, creatively and mentally.  I didn't touch a guitar for almost 6 years after I finished this album.

"Into Oblivion" motors along at a decent pace.   It is one of the more accessible songs on "the Impostor" considering that guitar based instrumentals really are not that accessible in the first place.  The guitars were cranked up to slightly distort the tube pre-amp when I really went after a note.  I really like how I threaded the bass lines between the lead guitar and threw in a surfed up Tom Verlaine inspired chord for the rhythm guitar.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cover of Possum Dixon's "In Buildings"

Quite a few years ago I lived in an absolute shit hole apartment in Minot ND that my friends referred to as 'Melrose Place'.  One sweltering July Saturday afternoon I escaped to this great new and used Record store that happened to be located right next to a liquor store for some one stop shopping.  It was also air conditioned so I spent an hour or so malingering through the rows of CD's.  Suddenly, like a screaming messiah, some pounding drums, a piano crash and with an upright bass kicked in and the clerk cranked it up..."but you nerve me."  I was hooked by the chorus, mesmerized by the second song (In Buildings) and purchasing the Cd by the fourth song.  The clerk and I listened to the whole CD since it was the only copy the store had (he wanted to hear the rest of it and I wanted to enjoy the air conditioning).  We listened and talked about how awesome it was.  Quick stop at the liquor store for a flat of beer and I probably terrorized my good neighbors at Melrose Place for the rest of the night with Possum Dixon cranked to, not 10, all the way to 11.
The Possum Dixon story is quite sad and tragic but man they released some amazing albums through all the chaos.  Released in 1993, I always thought of "In Buildings." as the love song for the underemployed disillusioned youth of the 1990's, which was me.  Twenty-three years later years later I covered it.  I am not longer underemployed but some days I still feel disillusioned...

The guitar and bass came together real easy.  I initially used a latin beat drum program and labored over a lot of synths.  By the final mix, I dumped the synths and the drum programs and added some rockier drum loops.

The video is made up of random photos taken during a day trip across Highway 13 in Saskatchewan, also known as 'Ghost Town Trail' because there are 32 Ghost Towns that stretch across it.  Some of the remnants of these towns are in the video.