roll out the bucket..

now playing: rose reiter, “phantoms”

been a while, huh?

i don’t know if i’ve talked about this before, but i don’t publish directly from the blogger website – i use a text editor and then publish the finished post after it’s done. there are a bunch of benefits to doing this in that fashion, but one of the things that kinda sucks about doing it that way is that i end up starting entries and not finishing them every now and then…and this past couple of weeks has been plagued with false starts. and of course, the fragments are all over the map, so there really isn’t any stringing them together and making them into one long entry, because it would be so schizophrenic that you’d all be emailing me asking what the hell happened to me…but the truth belies the scattered nature of my bits and pieces of unpublished journal entries.

the truth is, not much has been going on. i’ve put together a promo kit for the band in order to try to get us work, and i’m moving in that direction…still working on the poco album…but after that weekend was over, i crashed pretty hard. probably a combination of staying up until at least 2:30 every night working on getting the first noises record finished and packaged and ready for duplication in time for the show that friday.

for the first week after the mad scramble to finish the record, culminating in the show, i couldn’t even walk down the basement stairs. i was burnt. too much in too short a time. but i’m over it now, thankfully.

i had gotten a great idea for how i was going to open and close the poco record, but after talking to rusty, i’m looking for another way to go about it…for what are very good reasons that i can’t really talk about right now. it’s all good, though. real good.

i went down to the basement a while back and grabbed every folder, every notebook, every scrap of paper i had accumulated down there that had even a snippet of a song idea on them and brought them all upstairs and began rooting through them and trying to “separate the wheat from the chaff”, as david crosby might put it.

some of the stuff was a little rudimentary – but then i’ve saved damn near everything i’ve written. that changed that night as i was going through the stuff, because there was some stuff in there that i simply don’t want anyone else to ever be able to credit to me. now somewhere, there’s a book full of stuff that i wrote as long ago as high school (20+ years now), and i need to seek that out and do away with it as well.

but on the up side, there were some lyrics tucked away in there that were pretty strong – mostly among the half-finished stuff…some of the finished songs were okay, but i didn’t feel any real motivation to jump right into any of them with any zeal…although i do think i’ll probably pull at least one or two from the archives and re-record them for the next record. they’d be songs that i’d already given some thought to doing anyway, though.

i’m realizing, looking at the calendar, that it’s been almost a full month since i’ve committed an entry to this page…this might be a record for me. there are a combination of culprits – a general malaise on my part, a lack of anything of import to talk about, no real sense of urgency…where updating the site has been concerned. all this comes from several places, but it’s nothing that i can put a specific finger on.

a couple of weekends ago, i went to delaware for the weekend to collaborate with the guys from shame on some songs they were working on…due to my late arrival, we only really got to work on one, but we had a great time. they were in the middle of the one song when i got there, and they all hated the chorus, so we set to work writing a new chorus and then decided that the old chorus would be a great bridge, so we used it for that instead. then i gave them an idea for a tag line and it was done. so we celebrated by going out for dinner, where i ordered a “pail of fries” to split between the six of us…i wish i’d taken my camera, because this “pail” was anything but a friggin’ pail. it was roughly the size of one of those ice cream buckets from sam’s club, and it was rounded over. i was expecting…well, you know – a pail. a tiny bucket of the sort that pony bottles of rolling rock would come in. something that would look cute with a small, neon-colored plastic shovel. but nooooooo. they brought out the equivalent of a fried potato kegger. we did our damndest, but we were only able to do away with about two-thirds of it.

but we had a great time…i got to talk to roger, their manager, for the longest that i think i’ve ever spent talking to him – and i always enjoy his company. i realized how much i missed the sunday night trips to “the vic” that we used to do every week. we all stayed up until after 5am, talking and drinking. well, i should say some of us stayed up. others didn’t quite make it.

strangely, i think i enjoyed the drive down and back as much as actually being there…i don’t get many opportunities to spend that kind of time alone these days – especially in the car, which has become my mobile fortress of solitude. i had stopped at one point to pay a toll, and it was so warm outside that i left my window down for most of the rest of the trip down.

in the time since i’ve gotten back, i’ve been a little wrapped up in a side recording project for the west chester friends school, a quaker school where my friend chris’ son jake goes to school…after i put noises out, she had the idea to record the kids singing and put a CD together to raise money at their annual auction – which meant that the window was relatively narrow, but i think we may actually pull it off. i stayed up pretty late these last few nights getting everything edited properly for the master, and she’s working on the artwork this afternoon – we’re both pretty hopeful that it’ll be finished in time for the auction, and things look pretty good at this point. i don’t think chris thrives on this whole last-minute thing the way i can at times…i seem to have a decent tolerance for this sort of thing (i should, i’ve certainly gotten plenty of practice at last-minute), but i can definitely hear the frazzledness in her voice the last few times i’ve spoken with her.

the whole last-minute thing would’ve eventually backed up on us both had we ended up together on a more permanent basis…i’m reminded this week of when we decided to transform jakes’ wagon into a castle for a kids’ halloween parade in new castle, delaware – and how we essentially ended up doing the whole thing the day of the parade and loading it into the van and driving the rig down that night after having made countless compromises on the design of it…as i recall, i bought a hacksaw and was going to cut indentations into the tops of these tubes to look like the walls of a castle, and it became pretty apparent that this wasn’t going to happen in the time alloted. plus, it didn’t go together in a very sturdy manner, and we had to keep repositioning the walls to keep them upright…it was a bit of a nightmare. now, i don’t know that an extra couple of days would’ve made that castle any cooler looking or any more sturdy…but we sure could use a couple of extra days on this gig.

the day we went to record the kids, jake came in wearing his tom hampton t-shirt that he’d gotten at the phoenixville concert – if it’s strange to think of him at his current age, it was even more surreal seeing him with the t-shirt on. i’m slowly becoming accustomed to being able to have conversations with him and the like, though…it’s been ages since i’ve been around him at length and suffice to say, a lot has changed over time.

i remember, specifically, something lindsey buckingham said about his decades-long, sometimes-tumultuous relationship with stevie nicks in a relatively recent interview – he said that over all these years, having to deal with her as a bandmate and musical partner has always been a bittersweet thing for him…but that now, it just seems “sweet”, because they’ve both moved on to places in their lives that are far enough removed from where they were that it’s not as present in their daily lives as it used to be.

i think that, with chris and i, there’s an element of that from my perspective…but the truth is, there were some conversations that had to happen in order to pave the road to where we are now, and the air is much clearer now than it’s been in the past.

being in her company has an ease now that hasn’t existed in a long time.

there are lots of other things i could delve into today, but i’m just not feeling it at the moment…there are other, more pressing matters on my plate right in front of me, for one thing. i’m sure it’ll all surface in due time. right now, a great many things in my life feel temporary to me. everywhere my feet touch down these days, the ground underneath feels soft and slippery…as if everything could change at any given moment. there’s a lot of transition, and a lot of potential transition…as if in the matter of a week or a month or half a year, my life could be completely different.

at my age, i should be completely freaked out by this…but i don’t really feel any trepidation about it. in fact, i almost wish that whatever bottom is waiting to fall out would get on with it already so i could adjust and move on.

now, if these hunches have any basis in reality, we’ll see how i feel about it when the mysterious other shoe drops….

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