sun comes up, it’s tuesday mornin’…



now playing: poco, “restrain”

got a call on my cell last night, on the way home from work, from the great ragu, asking if i wanted to do another acoustic gig this saturday…it’ll be nice to be able to redeem myself vocally from the christmas eve gig, when i was barely able to croak at all. last time, the poor bastard had to pretty much carry the gig by himself, while i sat there and limply chopped my way through three hours of the ol’ one-four-five just to get through the afternoon.

i actually got through quite a bit of the crap on the kitchen table last night – i had some trouble formatting a drive in my buddy todd’s machine, but i used a third-party program to force the issue, and it was done this morning when i got up. i also got our troublesome laptop back up and running, without formatting the drive – although that’ll be the next step, once all the data on it has been transferred to another machine.

i have an appointment to take betty’s machine to her house tomorrow night, and that leaves but one machine that needs to be fixed – my own. (actually, that’s not entirely true – joe cala’s machine was sitting outside my door this morning with a note on it, but it doesn’t appear to be anything too daunting.)

the effects of having been up well into the wee hours of the last two evenings/mornings has certainly taken their toll – it’s taken longer this morning to get going than i’m accustomed to. then again, i slept a good chunk of sunday away at the behest of a pretty rare (for me, anyway) screaming headache – i had agreed to stop over at a neighbors’ house to take a look at their computer, and i wasn’t up to leaving the house until sunday night at around 9 o’clock or so.

there isn’t much that stops me quite like that did…hoping not to have to deal with that again anytime soon.

so, AAAANYway…

i’ve been giving some thought lately to what my next project is going to be…or isn’t going to be. and really, the only thing i seem to know right now is that i don’t know what that is. i’ve exchanged some emails with a guy in the york area who has a good grasp on a concept for a new band, but he seems to work almost as much as i do, and he’s on second shift – so i don’t know if this is a realistic pursuit or not. it’d certainly make it difficult to work, if nothing else.

the joint project with ragu hasn’t really been discussed much, of late – so i don’t really know if that was just a lark or whether it actually might end up happening at some point…one thing i’ve noticed about ragu which is pretty common among guitar players (and i know you’re probably reading this, brother – but i think you’re aware of it as much as anyone) is that he turns up for solos but never turns back down to his pre-solo level. so, as the night goes on, he gets gradually louder and louder until by the end of the night, it’s deafening if it’s a small room. like i said, it’s a common problem among guitar players, but it’s also pretty easily corrected if you’re aware of the issue. it’s just that i haven’t had to deal with it in so long, i don’t know how i’d deal with it if my buddy and i were in the same band…in stone road, donnie used to play roughly the same volume for his solos by using his amp’s channel switching, but he was almost always too quiet, if you can believe that…we always had a hard time hearing him when he soloed. i’ve used a volume pedal for just about as long as i’ve been playing electric guitar to deal with the volume issue. i set my amp to the volume it’s gonna be by the end of the second song, and then i use the volume pedal to back off when i’m not taking a lead. that way, i know that my solo volume is exactly the same all night long, and it’s a piece of cake to back off when i finish a solo.

but i’ve always had a policy of letting whomever i’m in a band with be themselves, and i don’t feel terribly comfortable in the role of “coach”…and as such, i usually depend upon the better angels of people’s nature to inform them – as opposed to trying to steer them myself. i’ve found that one person out of maybe twenty or thirty react to that with the professionalism that you’d ideally expect, and take your suggestions as just that, as opposed to lumping your constructive thoughts in with whatever other things they might perceive as criticism. and honestly, i don’t think ragu would take it the wrong way if i told him any of this stuff in a band scenario – lord knows, i’ve already heard plenty of people tell him in so many words that “he plays too fuckin’ loud”. but ragu is one of those guys, man…you know the guy i’m talking about…when he starts taking a solo, he just goes somewhere else, man. don’t try to talk to him, because he won’t hear you. he’s somewhere in the cosmos, looking down on all of us with his eyes rolled back in his head and his best “guitar face” on, doing his thing.

and i dig that about him.

i think the mecosta county line option is still open, even though i haven’t really talked to keith about it in a while – that one is a longshot, simply because i’m not a huge fan of country music as it is, and i know that whatever sympathetic bone in my body towards it would simply rot from gangarine if i started playing country music on a regular basis – so i think that anything i might end up doing with them would be on a one-off basis….just to preserve my sanity.

there’s my existing projects – nik doesn’t gig very often, and really – that’s probably a good thing. original projects aren’t exactly moneymakers, and i’d probably end up having to throw in the towel if nik’s band took up the lion’s share of my time. blake is even less of an issue, from the calendar-clogging standpoint. in fact, i’ve played more gigs in the past year with charlie degenhart than i have with blake.  marty gigs a little less sporadically, but i seldom get a call when he does…i think he’s content to do most of his shows by himself.

and of course, some of you who know me well are reading this and thinking, “shut the fuck up and take the winter off like you said you were, beeeotch…

(paraphrasing carrie fisher in when harry met sally):

“you’re right, you’re right, i know you’re right…”


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