The Nuclear Family has been released on Hancock Street Records! Ask for it at your local independent record store or buy it here!

29 November 2009

Back from Virginia

I had a good time visiting my son. Back, jet-lagged and exhausted, to go through a grueling week of work, two AMA rehearsals, a voice lesson, and an AMA performance. I'll probably post some more tomorrow.

21 November 2009

Wow! It's been

Have I been busy? Not really. I just got over a cold and I've been looking for a band.

To recap, last week I had a cold or the flu or some other virus. It's the second time this season. Yes, it sucked. But I'm over it now.

AMA practiced on Monday. I thought it would be the last one until the Macadam's performance on 4 December (9pm - be there!), but we're all able to get together on 1 and 2 December. So we'll be practicing those evenings. I've had to learn four songs I didn't know before, so there will be new (to me) material being played that evening. This will be AMA's farewell or, as Dave puts it, our DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) performance. An end of an era. Dave wants to find another guitarist. I'd be happy to play with him if we can find one. However, I'm definitely going to record with Dave and I'm not letting the moss grow on me in the meantime.

Today, I'm talking with the Owen Brothers. They're a couple of brothers who moved up from Ashland to try to take the Oregon Rock'n'Roll world by storm. They need a bass player. I have a bass. We'll see how it goes...

And speaking of having a bass, I found a used Godin Freeway5 Active on Craigslist. I bought it. It came with both a hard and soft case, which made the price really good. I can now give Zig his bass back. Last pieces of gear I need are a good guitar amp head (the Egnater Rebel 30 looks really nice) and a 4x12 cab. I'll probably have Jay buy one for me in Kalamazoo for the April gig with Shiver and then I'll ship it home.

I've quit the jazz guitar lessons. They were fighting for time with my songwriting and actually playing. I didn't have time to practice another style, which I probably would never use. The good news is that I've got a lot of music theory under my belt, and it's given me a lot of good information on chord substitution and voice leading that comes in handy even in the pop/rock world. To replace these lessons, I've started taking some voice training. I do have time to sing in the car on the way to and from work. So the week after I get back from Virginia (the family is going there to visit my son who works and lives there - yes, I'm looking forward to it, too), I have practice Tuesday and Wednesday, a voice lesson Thursday, and a performance with AMA on Friday. Then, nothing definite until April.

Finally, I'm learning the Google Web Toolkit and the Google App Toolkit. I've had an idea that would make me fabulously wealthy and I still have enough programming chops to code it. So I'm giving it a shot. We'll see if I can figure it out. I had basic GWT and AT apps running yesterday, but when I tried to combine them, things broke. It was late at night, so I went to bed. I'm back to it after this.

So, that's about it for what's going on with me. I keep on keepin' on. We'll see what happens...

09 November 2009

Future of AMA

As the readers here know, I'm playing bass for a Portland band, Against Musical Advice (AMA).

First of all, we had a really good gig at the Sellwood Public House last Saturday evening. Things went really well, there were people that we didn't drag in who seemed to like us, and there were only a couple of "obvious" mistakes.

However, over the past couple of weeks, the band has been debating future direction. We've been doing OK playing a mix of covers and original material, but the drummer (and one of our main songwriters) seems to be in a more acoustic mode these days. I want to push into a more "punk-pop" realm, while the guitarist, although interested in moving in a "hard rocking" direction is seeming to "not feel the magic" and is wanting to get out entirely (even admitting that he's been phoning it in during the last couple of gigs). Put this together with a female singer who doesn't want to become the front person and just wants to sing a third of the songs and this isn't a good formula for longevity. As such, the December 4 performance of AMA at Macadam's Bar and Grill is likely to be the last. This is disappointing on a variety of levels. First, AMA was coming together as a band and playing good stuff. Second, as the band that got me playing live again (at least in the Portland area) I feel a debt to the guys. Finally, as I've gotten to know the folks, they've become friends.

I'm going to talk to Dave about whether or not we go on without Anil. If so, I may take over guitar and we'll look for a bass player. I don't know if we can bridge the punk/acoustic chasm, though. We might be able to do a hybrid - open hard, take a break for slow material, work in Chrissy's stuff, and finish strong. I doubt we'll continue under the name AMA, though - I think that "Love Jack" is a good name for a band.

04 November 2009

Getting ready to start recording again

Next one will be an EP. Working title: The Next Brevis Opus. I'm going to go more towards a punk-pop sound on this one.

03 November 2009

Finished practicing pre-rehearsal

Learned Little Bones by The Tragically Hip and a new song Dave wrote. Everything else is in my head. I'll probably have to buy a mike cable as my other ones won't be in town until Friday and we practice on Thursday.

A few loose ends

Ok. I've scanned the last few postings and I've gotten a good night's sleep. Here are some things I've talked about lately, but haven't entirely closed on:

1) The CD's arrived. I delivered pre-release copies of them to members of Shiver and friends in Bloomington, Illinois. I will be sending a copy (along with payment for the artwork) to Maren at Linea Forma Design. I will give copies to the members of AMA at rehearsal on Thursday.

2) My fingers are healing fine. I should be in (relatively) good shape for rehearsal on Thursday and performing on Saturday with AMA. Come see us at the Sellwood Public House at 9 pm.

3) I haven't got around to looking at amps yet.

4) The MP3 player works fine.

5) I'll be dropping off copies of the CD to the folks at CD Baby in person rather than via mail (it's about a 15 minute drive from my house, as opposed to a ten minute drive to someplace to get packing materials and a ten minute wait at the PO to have the CD's weighed and shipped. Plus I may get a chance to talk shop with the geeks.

6) I've gotten mixed reports about the streaming audio on the HSR website. Some people seem to be able to play the music, some report they can't. I'm wondering if it's an impatience issue (since it does take a while to initially download the streaming audio flash app) or if some folks don't have flash installed (or the wrong version installed, or...). I still need to look into this.

7) I need to start sending out review/begging for radio play copies of the CD this week.

8) Still waiting for my equipment to get back from Illinois so I can start recording again.

9) Need to start forming Adrian.

10) Probably a "come to Jesus" (no, not literally) meeting with AMA after rehearsal to discuss band direction. Joy...

Still a bit tired from trip. Day job is heating up a bit. That's about it.

02 November 2009

Back from Illinois

With only two cuts on my fingers from the 28 hours of practice over three days. I'm also tired because I probably averaged about five hours of sleep per night over the four nights I was there (don't ask me why I have problems getting to sleep in hotel rooms). I also forgot to send Maren a check for the graphics work before I left (I'll be sending it and a copy of the CD tomorrow, Maren). Anyhow, I'm going to get some rest. More later...