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Monthly Archives: January 2005

great gig

It’s always so weird to me. Last night, I was all but praying the rain/snow/sleet would just start hammering down which would mean everybody would just stay home, which would me there really wouldn’t be any reason for me to pack up the sound system and go play my Arsaga’s gig. Mostly this feeling is brought on by the frustration that I don’t have any new songs to play. (that is a story for another blog…)

However, the evil weather did not fall upon us, and I went to the gig. When we got there, the place was full of what looked like young (loud) high schoolers. Of course, it’s a toss up as to whether this situation is preferrable to showing up and nobody being there. But this has happened before, and I didn’t worry too much about it, because (with my sound system) I can be way louder than the kids and when I start playing. They usually start getting tired of trying to flirt, freak out, be weird over the noise that I’m making and usually clear out pretty quickly. Not last night.

They hung around quite awhile and just talked (yelled) louder. It was pretty annoying, especially for the people sitting anywhere near the kids that might have actually been trying to hear me. More than anything it made me wonder how/when/where I picked up the particular notion, that if you are anyplace where somebody is performing, it is only right to be respectful. That doesn’t mean that you can’t visit with your friends, drink your coffee, read your paper…it’s not a lecture class. But AT LEAST, don’t try to talk louder than the performer. That wondering led to my wondering how/where/when/why these kids missed picking up that particular bit of courtesy.

Finally, before I got too mad and said things I shouldn’t into the microphone, I tried to good-naturedly asked if they could just not yell/screa during the songs. I told them they could be as nutty and loud as they wanted to in between songs if they could just chill during. This helped. In fact, then they started contributing to the tip jar and a couple even bought CDs! Weird… (Could it be an indication that we humans actually want boundaries? hmmm….)

Anyway, in addition to the kids, there were a number of other people who seemed to actually be there to hear the gig. We sold a fair # of CDs for a coffee house gig, and it’s always nice to see pockets of people (including another group of older high schoolers) who were really digging the show. All in all, it was a really fun night. If you were there, thanks for coming! Next gig is Feb. 19th, be sure to bring your friends!

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Posted by on January 29, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

The Phantom of the Opera

On monday afternoon, Holly and I went to a matinee. We try to do this as much as we can because Monday is Holly’s day off and we like seeing movies for cheap. We’ve not been able to do it for awhile because I’ve had a standing recording session on monday afternoons for awhile, but my client was out of town this monday.

We’d heard that Phantom of the Opera was good, so we went.

First a little history of me and the Phantom of the Opera: When I was in high school in the middle of wheat fields in Kansas, I was a huge fan. I had a two-tape (we had those back then, if you don’t know what tapes are, ask your parents…) set of the complete soundtrack of the original london production with Michael Crawford as the Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Christine. I had the sheet music. I knew all the songs and sort of knew the story. (It’s harder to really get the story of a stage play when you’re only hearing it…) and this was one of the reasons I hated that I lived NW Kansas and thought I would NEVER get to actually see the Phantom of the Opera.

Finally, when I was 23 or 24 and married to Holly, a stage production of the Phantom was coming to Kansas City when we lived in Manhattan. I don’t remember how much it cost, but I know that it was pretty significant for our newlywed budget. We were both really excited to see it.

It was horrible. It was a huge disappointment. To be honest, I don’t even remember if the performances we good or bad. It was just a smaller production and the special effects were ridiculously cheesy and the volume was so quiet that it ruined that it ruined the whole thing for me. (When the phantom’s theme comes on, “Duhhhhhhh….du-du-du-du-duh…..” it NEEDS to be shaking the rafters. In this production, we really had to strain to hear it at all.) All that to say, I was so dissappointed that since seeing that production, I decided that I really didn’t even like musicals at all.

So, what how could I expect to respond to a movie directed by the guy who made the most awful Batman movie? (Batman & Robin)? Well, it made me like the musical again. It was an enjoyable movie and it reallly is a great musical. They did a great job with the movie. However…

The Phantom sucked rocks! I don’t know who this guy is or how he got this role, but he very nearly ruined the movie for me. A major point of the story is that the phantom is supposed to be this musical, mechanical, psychological genius. But mostly musical!! He’s been training Christine in secret and is supposed to be the BEST voice tutor ever. When he starts singing, he’s supposed to have the purest, most enchanting, beautiful singing voice that anyone in the opera house has ever heard! The guy in the movie sounded un-trained, un-controlled and just horrible. I like great rock voice (bono) as much or more than the next guy, but I don’t think that’s what this role called for nor do I think this guy had even that. I cannot imagine how in the world he got this role.

ok. rant over.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

Thanks For Nothin’ in the studio

So, I’ve been slow on bloggin lately. I’m really not good at multi-tasking. Last week, Chris and I spent a day visiting almost all the music stores in NW Arkansas and putting up posters and handing out cards to get the word out about East Hall Recording (www.easthall.com)

This is kind of weird for me in that it’s the closest thing to an actual “business venture” I’ve ever had a part in. Obviously, since it’s been so long since I’ve had what anybody would call a job, I’ve kind of accidently found myself being my own boss and “running a business” whether it was booking gigs and selling CDs or producing records for other artists out of my home studio.

This is different in that there’s more riding on this than keeping me and Holly afloat. I have a partner, and the facility has overhead. scary…

Anyway, the “promotional day tour” went really well. We talked to a lot of people and happened onto a number of people who mentioned they were needing to get their respective band into the studio (and have we got a studio for you….)

Saturday, we had our first “official” recording session with a great local band called Thanks for Nothin’. They’re a great bunch of guys that are writing really good songs and the lead singer is incredible. We’re wrapping up some overdubs on Saturday and then Chris and I will mix the 5 songs that we’ve done.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.

Other than that, I finished Song of Susannah last night and am starting The Dark Tower, the final book in the series, tonight.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

cruise over

7 days of balmy tropical sun. 7 days- 4 countries (including US) and exploring new sights, sounds, and tastes. 7 days of eating all kinds of fancy exotic food being served to me at what amounts to a 5 star place. 7 days of somebody else picking up after me and making the bed 3 times a day, somebody else doing all the dishes. 7 days of not really thinking about real life or bills or how am i going to make some money to pay bills, etc.

I’ve been home 4 days. It’s been rainy and getting colder. I’m trying to find new clients for the new the recording studio (www.easthall.com), and I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills. It’s a new year and there are a couple of resolutions i definately should make…. Of course, if I don’t make’em, I won’t break’em.

The cruise is definately over.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

shackblog

So, we’re currently in Houston at my friend’s house and we and the Powers are getting around to head to the port to board our cruise ship!

I thought I’d check my email one more time before being disconnected from email/internet for the next 7 days. Then I find an email from CDbaby saying that they’ve sent me some money for digital downloads (i.e. things like itunes!)

This is the first time I’ve received a payment like this, so it’s pretty cool. Also, I’m again impressed with CDbaby. If you’ve not spent any time out at CDbaby.com, you should check it out. And tell all your friends they need to download some songs from shack! 🙂

I hope everybody’s had a safe and Happy New Years eve celebration. We’re going to be spending the next 7 days soaking up the sun on Norwegian Cruise Lines. I’ll fill you in when we get back.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2005 in Uncategorized