Posted in rants - political and otherwise

oh, the horror of it all…

now playing: marshall crenshaw, “monday morning rock”

today, i’ve gotten my sixth email asking not to buy gas on a specific day, and all the days have been different so far. the one today was especially funny, because it said that “september 1st has been formally declared ‘stick it up their behind’ day”, and that people from the US and canada should not buy any gas on that day. now it goes without saying, of course, that this date isn’t consistent with the dates in the other emails, but i also marvel at someone who would go through the trouble of FORMALLY declaring a specific day “stick it up their behind” day. i could see a proctologist perhaps subscribing to that notion, but i just don’t know how formal you can make “stick it up your behind” day. kinda seems more like an off-the-cuff, spur of the moment kinda thing.

i think i’m going to start an email decrying the price gouging that campbell’s soup has done in the time since buying up chef boy-ar-dee and ask people not to buy spaghettio’s on september 23rd, so that their stockpiles of tomatoey goodness start to back up and overflow their warehouses to the point that they’ll have to sell them for fifteen cents a can to clear their backlog or possibly face bankruptcy…or worse yet, people might just realize that it isn’t as hard to live without spaghettio’s as they thought, and they might stop buying them altogether! and if that happens, well – life as we know it would be completely turned upside down. i mean, what would they do? go back to – egad – cooking actual food?

*shudder*

i just can’t continue this particular scenario. it’s too painful, too scary, to consider.

i’m sorry if i frightened anyone.

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Posted in music and the music business

a chill kinda place

now playing: lyle lovett, “north dakota”

day two of my two day break between weeks of gretna theatre shows – i have to say that i’m really glad i took this show on, even if for no other reason but to show me how a real theatre company does things. these folks are on top of everything. shows start on time, intermissions run the proper length, everyone is professional, everyone treats everyone else with respect and (generally speaking) mutual admiration, and they’re a genuine pleasure to be around.

it would’ve been possible to say that about the band for the last show i did, but that’s about it…everyone else was kinda all over the map.
i’ve been giving some thought to life after the summer theatre season – i’ve got a couple of things that are potentially on my plate, but nothing definite has formed up yet, so i can’t really say that they’re for certain…but i’m hoping that they both pan out…they’d be nice additions to the album project, in terms of things to have on my plate.
a few weeks ago, i was prowling about the internet looking for potential work, and i came upon an ad from a young girl who’d just lost her guitar player, and i went to her site to check her out…i was thoroughly impressed with her songwriting and how she’d put her album together, so i emailed her a link to my site, and she responded almost immediately and told me that she couldn’t use me because i was too good.

i emailed her back and told her that i didn’t see myself that way, that i wrote her because i dug her music, and that if she was OK with it, i’d really like to play with her, but i never heard another word.
too good. i’ve never heard that one before. too fat, too lazy, too moody? sure. but too good? how good is too good? is it really discernable as to whether someone is too good for a situation without putting them in the middle of it?
anyway, these other two gigs – one is playing in a band with a member of a national act from the philadelphia area whos’ just put out a solo album, and the other one is a handful of area dates with a singer/songwriter from the chicago area who fronts a band with his wife that i’m a huge fan of…he’s just released a solo album and he’s preparing to tour behind it.
in other news, the studio is coming together nicely, and i should be rolling tape (disk? how do you “roll disk”?) for the poco album pretty soon.
i know what songs i definitely want to do for the record – but i only have a couple of things committed to tape as of yet…and some of it i like better than others…

(and yeah, i said ‘tape’ instead of ‘disk’…it just makes more sense from a recording perspective, i think. if you anal retentive types have a problem with that, then…well, too bad, i guess.)
anyway, i’ve had a goal (in the time since wendy moved out) of making the basement more of a comfortable, hang-out, chill kinda place…and i’ve taken exactly zero steps in that direction in the time since. but i really need to think in those terms before i start work on this record in earnest…especially if i’m going to be spending a lot of time down there. i have to get the partitions delivered for the drum baffles and set all that up, i have to move some of the stuff to the room at the front of the house that i’d planned on moving, i have to do a general organization of the whole area and put aside some of the stuff that i know i don’t use as much…it’s a lot of work that needs to be done…
…but i also see a three day weekend on the horizon….

Posted in music and the music business

tonight on 20/20

now playing: eastmountainsouth, “ghost”

tonight on 20/20, marc cohn will be on to talk about what happened to him in denver earlier this month.

marc’s guitarist shane fontayne was in the van with marc when it happened, and posted a detailed account of what happened that night….

“…We were three blocks from our hotel and the street we were on wound through a building. If any of you know Park Avenue in New York and how it winds through and around what used to be the Pan Am building at 42nd Street, that is what it was like, except that where we were was newer and quite brightly lit. On this trip we traveled, as usual, in a fifteen-passenger van. Tom is driving. Jay is next to him up front. Marc is on the bench seat behind Tom and Jay, and I am on the bench seat behind Marc.

As we emerged back onto the “normal” stretch of road, we saw a man running in the opposite direction and on the other side of the street, obviously running away from someone or something. His right hand was clutched to his side as though he were holding on tightly to something and running for all he was worth. We all thought, “Wow – I wonder what he’s running from?” Our attention was focused on him as he ran in one direction and we drove in the other.

Now when our attention came back to the street ahead, a man had stepped out in front of the van. My memory doesn’t recall if we stopped to avoid hitting him, but Tom says we kept moving. What I do recall is seeing him stand in front of us, pointing towards us. In what can only have been a couple of seconds, we realized that he was holding a gun and I clearly saw the look in his eyes of an intent that left no doubt in my mind. I knew for certain that he was going to shoot….”

you can read the entire account here, on shane’s website. shane is also among those interviewed for the 20/20 segment tonight.

wendy called me on my cell phone on the way to work the morning after it happened…she began reading the report off the computer screen and i was waiting for her to tell me that he was dead…i heard “shot in the head” and you just assume that “died” is gonna be one of the next few words you hear. then, if you don’t hear “died”, you start thinking about how much longer they have…until you hear “treated and released” – at which point you start thinking, “….WTF? is that a typo?”

obviously, God is a big marc cohn fan, too.

the first image that popped into my head was his son, max, who had been with him at newport that year. i have other pics that i’d taken that year, from the back of the stage, where the steps go up – if i’m not mistaken, it was just him and shane that year…i know it was just him and another guitar player, but i can’t remember if it was shane or not. i know it wasn’t long enough ago that it would’ve been jeff pevar – and i don’t know for certain if there had been anyone in between jeff and shane in marc’s band.

so between marc actually being able to walk away from this and news earlier this week of dan fogelberg’s prostate cancer recovery, it’s been a pretty good week for good news.

Posted in music and the music business, yesterday. today. tomorrow.

repetitive stress situations

now playing: new england patriots versus new orleans saints on fox sports

every now and then, something comes over my son and he slips into his comic mode, and he’s just unbelievable to be around. tonight would have been, by all assumptions, jayda’s night for attention – she finally, after much persuasion, got a consensus from her mom and i to get her belly button pierced…i took her to do the deed after work, went in with her (along with her friend frankie) to get it done…dylan was along, but he waited in the lobby. didn’t want to see it, i’m sure.

so we went to boehringers’ afterward, and he slipped into his zone…he started off with a remark about “blood veins”…blood veins, as opposed to all those other kinds of veins, ya know. so i said that we were gonna assign unnecessary adjectives to everything for the rest of the night. i started off with some remark about jayda not putting so many fries in her “chewing mouth” or she might choke on one of them if it got caught in her “swallowing throat”…and it only really got worse from there…culminating in dylan’s perhaps-freudian slip about the “ejacuation proclimation”…

somehow, i made it home without pissing my pants…

we were all in pretty good spirits, considering the irrefutable proof we encountered, when i picked up the kids, that their mom is most definitely on crack…she told me that she really liked my hair the length that it is now, and that i “had a richard gere thing goin’ on”…

crackhead.

a number of things have been pointing me to a definite necessity for a sabbatical soon. very soon.

first of all, i’m finding of late that something that i’ve been noticing as a passing fluke for the past year and a half or so has become entirely too regular, too routine, and has increased in its intensity.

it started out as an occasional odd failure on the part of my fingers to execute the orders sent to them by my brain…as far back as some of the stone road gigs, there were times when i could remember intending to play a certain phrase or run, and my hands would have other ideas. i just wrote it off to an intermittent brain fart or something equally harmless. and it happened so infrequently that i never had reason to consider it past the point in time that it happened.

however, i’ve been finding – now that i’ve been playing these happy hour gigs in tandem with the “tommy” schedule, that it’s descended into many, if not all, of the traditional carpal tunnel symptoms. numbness that shoots up my wrist into my forearm, tingling in my fingers, inability to push down on the strings hard enough to form clean chords…it hasn’t been perpetual, but it’s been persistent enough to get my attention.

i haven’t seen anyone about this yet…i’ve talked to a few people about it, but i haven’t sought out any actual professional help. i will, soon, but i have the gretna show to get through now, i have viva gigs scheduled through the end of the year, and i have an album project that’s very important to me that i’m beginning after the gretna show is up that i will finish before i undergo any kind of treatment.

so, long story short – i’m not sure what happens with my hands in 2006, but i have an agenda for 2005, and i’m going to do my best to get everything done that i have on my plate for now.

what this also means is that there won’t be any side projects of note for the rest of the year, unless i’m called upon by one of my existing allies for something. i’ve had a couple of things ruminating (one of which i seem to have booked for the wrong week, at the same point in time that i had to replace my cellphone battery…mister murphy looks over my shoulder and laughs his ass off every now and then, i’m sure)..anyway, a couple of things ruminating that i was hoping to begin working on after the theatre thing had finally run its course, but i’m having my doubts at this point as to whether or not i should even be thinking that way. it’s funny, though, man…there i’ll be sitting, scanning gigfinder or craigslist looking for “musicians wanted” situations, even though i know that now probably isn’t a good time. it’s pathetic in the same way that a married man with a mistress sitting in a singles bar reading personal ads in the paper would be.

so i’ve made the only rational decision i can make – i’m going to finish what’s on my plate and deal with following through on my existing committments, and then we’ll see what the future has in store.

this album is going to be a very special record…i’ve committed to the project, but i haven’t yet found a home for it. it’s certainly possible that i might release it myself, but i’d rather find a credible place for it to lay its head. i haven’t been working that hard at that part of it yet, frankly…i made a couple of phone calls to folks that i felt would be the best place to send it, but i haven’t followed through on that as of this point in time. but i will.

here’s the scoop.

for the longest time now, my buddy jon rosenbaum has had this running joke that i should do an EP of poco covers and call it pickin’ up the pizza (a pun on the title of the first record, pickin’ up the pieces, for those not in the know).

about six to eight weeks ago, jon and i were having dinner with the band before their show at the old mill in spring lake, nj, and the subject came up…and later that night, i talked privately with rusty about it and got the necessary blessing to evolve jons’ brainchild into a full length album of poco covers, which i’d release as a benefit album for george granthams’ medical expenses. i’m going to cut the record myself and keep the costs down, utilize the help of friends that i’ve already spoken with about working on the record (including wendy), and – if no label chooses to participate – sell it through the site and through whatever other avenues will participate, as long as they respect the non-profit spirit of the project.

i really, really want to have that available by 12/1, if that’s doable. if this situation with my left hand pans out to be what my instincts tell me what it is, then i’ll be as ready as i’m going to be to face whatever the hell this might be.

i’ve also been weighing a book project that i thought about delving into some years back that i found some renewed interest in recently when i heard from one of the guys who i’d planned to interview for it…so i might think about going down that road (although i can’t see how typing is any less a repetitive stress situation than playing guitar could be)…but that’s a long way away, for me.

i don’t want to cast a shadow of gloom over what’s happening for the next four to six months…to the best of my knowledge, this isn’t a warren zevon situation…i’m not dying or anything, and life will go on. however, when you’ve spent this much of your life and you’ve invested this much of your self-esteem into your ability to do something like what i do, it’s pretty daunting to have to think about a life devoid of that ability. certainly, i’m considering the worst case scenario far, far sooner than i should be…but i would have to imagine that most people, when faced with something with this much potential to change their lives, probably do the same thing. i don’t think i’ll still be thinking this way a year from now, no matter what the reality reveals itself to be…but i’m finding myself forced to consider some possibilities that i had no reason to consider not that long ago.

 

Posted in yesterday. today. tomorrow.

pre-violated

now playing: david wilcox, “you were going somewhere”

there are days when you just trip over the absolute funniest stuff…this was part of a journal here, and i just had to bring it over and share it. these really are priceless.

sometimes you get on a roll and they just don’t stop coming…like those conversations you have with friends every so often where neither of you can stop laughing, and everything one says just makes the other laugh harder.

glad this guy managed to save these for publication.
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
The following is a transcript of an IM conversation between a friend & I that started out normally enough, with us bitching about euphamisms in the English language, but soon degenerated into us trying to outdo each other in coming up with ridiculous fake hyphenated words. Some of them were priceless, so they are recorded here, in context, for posterity.

____________________________________________________________
Tidge314 says:

hey

Tidge314 says:

hey

Tidge314 says:

dammit

Wrongwinded says:

what

Tidge314 says:

what r u doin

Wrongwinded says:

on phone hang on

Tidge314 says:

you goin to game tonite>?

Wrongwinded says:

no game

Wrongwinded says:

i think im going camping this weekend

Tidge314 says:

why you not goin to game?

Tidge314 says:

you gotta go, its my first hockey game, fool

Wrongwinded says:

im workin here. you wanna go campin?

Tidge314 says:

Where?

Wrongwinded says:

with the Jones street boys, out at the cabin

Tidge314 says:

Ill see wut i can do

Wrongwinded says:

ill see what I can do…feh

Tidge314 says:

who you feh’ing?

Tidge314:

I’ll bah you…

Wrongwinded says:

I hate that phrase. what the hell does that mean anyway. You know what the hell you can do, so just say what youre gonna do.

Tidge314 says:

ok fine im not goin camping

Wrongwinded says:

thank you.

Tidge314 says:

waht happened to you today?

Wrongwinded says:

somebody said ‘proactive’ to me at the studio. i hate that word, it’s a damn made-up word. Why is ‘active’ not sufficient?

Tidge314 says:

totally sufficient

Wrongwinded says:

one can be active or inactive; nothing in betwween.

Tidge314 says:

I’m down. are you sure made-up is hyphenated?

Wrongwinded says:

you just hyphenated it

Tidge314 says:

damn you

Wrongwinded says:

i’ll show you hyphenated

Wrongwinded says:

you’re euphamism-happy

Tidge314 says:

you’re turtle-scented

Wrongwinded says:

youre sphincter-riffic!

Tidge314 says:

Youre snack-oriented

Wrongwinded says:

Shatner-proof

Tidge314 says:

prison-trained

Wrongwinded says:

Carnival-ready

Tidge314 says:

anal-friendly

Wrongwinded says:

pre-violated

Tidge314 says:

jock-loosened

Wrongwinded says:

prawn-tastic

Tidge314 says:

taint-basted

Wrongwinded says:

Brokaw-approved

Tidge314 says:

spam-related

Wrongwinded says:

weasel-resistant

Tidge314 says:

home-bloodied

Wrongwinded says:

Oprah-free

Tidge314 says:

Roker-sized

Wrongwinded says:

mull-whitened

Tidge314 says:

jew-ready

Wrongwinded says:

Danson-assisted

Tidge314 says:

ocularly-injected

Wrongwinded says:

pants-laden

Tidge314 says:

nazi-sponsored

Wrongwinded says:

these are beautiful. I gotta make it look like Im working.

Tidge314 says:

fine. Sure youre not coming to the game? we got the box…

Wrongwinded says:

nah, Im out.

Tidge314 says:

alright. later.

Posted in music and the music business, yesterday. today. tomorrow.

another dan fogelberg update

now playing: shane nicholson, “life on mars”

it appears that my thoughts from last week regarding dan fogelberg must’ve been conflicting with the reality of the situation. the following is posted on the official site:

In May of 2004, Dan was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

August 13, 2005
A personal letter from D.F.

First, let me send everyone some very good news. In our first 14 months of treatment, we have succeeded in slowing the progression of my prostate cancer down to an almost negligible level. Jean and I are thrilled and incredibly relieved and finally feel like we can at last take a breath. While we understand that what we’re dealing with is a long term condition that will have to be dealt with, monitored and treated for probably the rest of my life, we are terribly encouraged to have come so far, so fast. It has certainly been the most trying experience of our lives and yet has proven to be one of the most illuminating as well.

I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of the thousands of wonderful people who have sent us such incredibly moving and supportive e-mails via the Living Legacy web site. I am quite certain that the love and prayers that have been directed to us from all over the world have had a tangible and potent healing effect. It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. Each one of you who have taken the time and effort to reach out to Jean and I have helped immeasurably to uplift our spirits and keep us looking strongly forward during some very rough moments. I thank you from the very depths of my heart.

I currently have no plans to return to the concert stage or the recording studio in the foreseeable future, but who knows? At least for now, I prefer to keep my options open.

Again my deepest thanks and love to all,

Dan

Now for the sermon.

To each and every man….
I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test and DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) EVERY YEAR.

The medical community suggests this for men over 50, but black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should start getting tested at 40 – 45 years of age.

The PSA test is a simple blood test…it only takes a minute or two. The DRE, okay, every man squirms at the thought of this exam, but hey, it too takes only a minute or two, and IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Prostate cancer can be very slow growing or very aggressive, but detected early while it is still confined to the prostate gland, it can usually be treated and cured successfully.

Once it spreads beyond the prostate it is called Advanced Prostate Cancer (PCa). At this point it becomes imminently more life threatening and harder to treat. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and GET CHECKED REGULARLY. I promise you, you DON’T want to go through what I’m going through if you can avoid it.

Education and awareness are key, I urge you to follow the link below to the Prostate Cancer Foundation web site and read up on how best to protect yourself and reduce your likelihood of contracting this terrible disease.