Saturday, December 26, 2009
Opportunity is a friend of mine. He calls me from time to time and we chat about what we could do together. Then he starts one of his sentences with a preposition and begins digging around in his mind for the rules of proper English and becomes distracted or becomes reminded of a dream he had by hearing of mine and loses focus. Sometimes the main thing becomes some other thing and quickly becomes nothing. Opportunity is just that way I think.
Still I admire Opportunity for all of his talents and vision. I don't disregard him because of his shortcomings. They're a lot like my own. Of course, I see in Opportunity failures that I would never succumb to because, of course, I am better than Opportunity. I sense fear in Opportunity though He denies that fear is something He knows of. Opportunity is a liar but then aren't we all. Not to suggest that You are a liar...well really yes...I know You are a liar.
I grow weary when Opportunity begins to make excuses for I sense in excuses the lies that they are born of and I grow angry. Then I begin some sentence with a preposition and get distracted and again I love Opportunity for the things that I see in Him that remind me of me. Occasionally He asks of me something that I should have done long ago and I make excuses, or lie, that is.
We sometimes wear the same clothes and bear the same shoe size you know. We are cousins or brothers. I can't remember which. Once I had Opportunity look it up for me but He forgot the answer or that's what He said and I took it for granted that He had forgotten to seek the information at all and then we politely dropped the subject altogether. He forgot though, I'm sure of it.
Opportunity called the other day. I missed the call. (actually I was busy flirting with a lady named Ruine (French lady) and didn't want to talk). I called back when it was convenient for me (and at a time when I knew He would be busy) but He didn't answer (which worked out well). I left a funny message like 'Tag, You're It!' or something to that effect. He'll get back to me, I'm sure. We're close like that. Once we got together and did some things. Some GREAT things! Maybe a couple of times. We still reminisce and joke with one another about how talentless OTHER people are and how much we'll get done when we find the time. There's always time, you know. Always time.
hang on, there's the phone
It's not Him. It's some other joker pretending to be Him. Jackass.
Anyway. Opportunity has been ill lately. Not feeling Himself. Chestpains, etc. I'm a little worried. If the bastard die's off I don't know what He'll do...I mean what I'll do. We get to feeling like this and then things get all weird for a few sentences, a few conversations...for a bit. I mean He gets to feeling like this...you get it, of course. Our mother says it's a result of the ill-fated conception of us. The connectivity or Siamese disorder, if you will. He talks, then I talk, then we talk...we talk a lot! Pushing and pulling, Opportunity and I. When I push Him he, of course, pulls me into the fall. It's useless. Yelling at each other in our minds and fully aware that our ears are are just two. It's all going to be just as loud for one as the other. No sense screaming at Him. I'd kick Him but I can't and if I could coax someone else into doing it for me it would hurt. It gets frustrating, all the talk and disgusting silence and waiting and and pondering and discussions about discussions and really nothing of a result.
I blame Him, He blames me...we just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk....
There, I think He's going to shut up.
Monday, December 21, 2009
I never get tired of watching fate work her magic but I've also become aware that we decide whether or not to volunteer for the mistress' show. And as I continue to put my hand up, she continues to bring me into the light of fantastic things that I hadn't imagined before.
I was at a Christmas party with a bunch of average folk like myself the other night...local shopowners, an FBI agent, a school teacher, dance instructor, antique store proprietor, some retirees, and a guy that delivers furniture. Conversations happened between every group, one after another, exchanges of goodwill, queries about work, background, etc. Half way through the evening it was time for me to talk to the furniture delivery guy. So be it.
What do you do? Where are you from? Oh, you own a church?...interesting. We went to see what all of the other guests referred to as 'the most amazing living space you'll see in your life' and honestly, I had my doubts... I was wrong to doubt them. It was truly an UNBELIEVABLE space. Thousands upon thousands of antiques overflowing from well defined spaces in a huge church. Trunks, antiques, chairs, disco balls, suitcases with bulbs protruding from them that actually lit, all hanging from the ceilings. Candlelit piles of treasures stashed on walls and in corners like monuments to the bizarre, mannequins in tubs, ladders suspending art...the ARTWORK!!! Oh, and a STAGE. It was truly an OMG experience.
The strange thing to me was that I have been scouting for a place remotely similar to this one for an upcoming video shoot and I presumed that I would find something acceptable in a far-away place that we could dress up to fit the bill...but this is complete...and it's in my hometown. So then I pop the question...can I shoot in here? Turns out he's been looking for years for a way to immortalize the space and all of his hard work and vision. Waiting for some nutcase like me to come along. I'm your man.
Tonight I photographed the space for the film director, and actors. The proprietor and I discussed our chance meeting. Shortly before both of us headed to the party where we met, we each had second thoughts about going. Neither of us were sure the other would be interesting to talk to...
And the lady just continues to invite us in.
Be sure to raise your hand.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I don't know where to begin. Georgia is as near to a home to me as any State is so a trip there is always special to me. This last one was as expected, magnificent.
I headed South to start a new album and to shoot a Live DVD. James Salter of Atlanta was to be the producer on the record and, of course, Tim Gill was heading up the film dept. I made a hasty dash for Atlanta on Nov 29 to get settled in and play a show at Eastpoint Corner Tavern. The tavern is the 2nd home of Heather Luttrell, a new friend and a great Sunday night gig in Atlanta. There I met Derek Murphy, hired gun drummer who was to play on the new record and perform with me at The Loft in Columbus for the DVD. Derek is a little guy (about my size) with very little to say and very much to play. He was immediately interpreting my musical approach and developing ideas for the record and was a breath of fresh air to me.
We (James and I) headed to Columbus on Monday afternoon, got set up in the studio and after Derek's arrival we began getting sounds with Steve Meadows (The Lofts chief engineer) and laid down one track before heading to the bar to relax a bit. The first song set the stage for what would be one of my favorite recording experiences to date. It was as quirky and solid as I'd hoped for, Derek's vision was very cool, very simple and delivered on a large scale. As opposed to the common drummer, Derek had an array of tambourines, multiple snares in use at once, a wooden box for a kick drum (or rather Low End), some conga-type drums and wacky cymbal selection. He was right on for everything that I wanted to record and as we processed the feel of the record that night in the bar we came to the conclusion that it would be a 'medium rare' project in that we didn't want to get to tight on the performances, rather we wanted to record a very high quality, fat, garage version of these new tunes of mine. Our only concern was that we find that glorious place that musicians go to when they first nail a song. A good song that gets the initial attention of all the musicians playing on it and while the subject is strong in the singer/songwriters mind comes to a peak very quickly and then over time seems to lose it's luster no matter how hard we try to keep it's magic. It's a birthright of songs. They have the most magic there, and that's what we wanted to capture.
Day 2. We took our drunken ramblings to the live room on Tuesday and began the execution of the plans we'd laid. 13 hours later we had 10 more songs roughed in and felt solid that we'd done something great. Along the way that day, a photographer from Atlanta and a female vocalist from LaGrange, Ga had come to join us along with the arrival of Tim Gill and Marshall Ruffin. Marshall is a Columbus native and was on the bill with his trio for the following night which Tim was to film. The female vocalist, Chansy Kennedy is a successful songwriter who is a friend of James Salter's and she was there to put down some pretty notes on a couple of my songs and also to get ready to perform with me on Wednesday. Another trip to the land of frothy beverages and we'd be ready for Wednesday.
Tim Gill and I tried to make a list of the things we needed to do the next day to be ready for the filming. The making of the list (and some cheap whiskey) took us well into the next day.
Oversleeping horribly and now in a rush we coffee'd up and headed for the loft. Tim got started with lighting and power checks, staging etc while myself, James, Steve, Burt and Marshall put down a couple more tracks. Then the race was on to get the studio synced with the venue downstairs, the soundchecks, stages and lights finished up. Steve Meadows choreographed all of the technical audio work and with the help of several students from CSU and a ton of gaffers tape we were ready.
The shows came off without a hitch. Marshall put on a stellar performance, followed by Heather Luttrell and I cleaned up the nights drama with what I felt was a very solid and entertaining show. Marshall and Chansy both did a tunes with me. Derek was rock solid and very exciting to perform with. The film crew claims everything went well and now we're waiting for audio and video production to see the final result.
As for the record, we're cleaning up the outtakes and passing the tracks off to my good friend Eric Weaver in Los Angeles for the finishing touches and then plan to master and release as quickly as my budget allows. Derek and I have a special little something planned for the release which I'll tell you about soon.
Well good. That's off my chest. Thank you Buddy (owner of The Loft), Steve, James, Tim, Marshall, Chansy, Burt, Pat (Marshall's manager), Allen (Columbus film fella) and everyone else who helped us make that happen. It was a great experience that I'll not soon forget.