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

25 May 2010

Easier to read than to blog

Getting ready for the busiest four weeks of my life. Next week, the day job has me visiting six customers in four days crossing the continent from Portland-Denver-Houston-New Jersey-Pennsylvania-Portland. We'll be on a listening tour to let customers how they feel about our quality and to try to gather information so that when we get back we can figure out what to do about it. It's a good thing to listen to your customers. Six of them over four days? Perhaps not so grand an idea. But it's a living. The good news is that I'm going to spend a couple days over the weekend in Atlantic City with my son.

Two weeks later I'm back to Illinois for the last two gigs with my college band. We'll be setting up on Tuesday to rehearse on Wednesday and Thursday for Friday and Saturday performances in the other band members' home town - Abingdon, IL. Since the American Legion Hall only has space for about 100 people (if I recall correctly) and there are a few hundred that want to see us, we might move the last night outdoors. Even so, flying back to IL, etc. is a pain in the butt. It will probably be the last time I play with these guys (unless we do a Labor Day benefit for my brother's campaign - he's running for Circuit Judge), though, so 't'sall good.

This week and week after next, we're rehearsing the local band. We've found a guitar player and a singer, so our final lineup is as follows: Dave Wakeling - Drums, Vocals; Frank Adrian - Bass, Vocals; Gary Weber - Guitar; Phil Koehn - Guitar; Madeline Jaross - Vocals. If all goes as planned, we should have enough material together by the end of July to start playing again. Of course, now is all rehearsal and figuring out which songs to do, etc. We still have to come up with a band name. I'm currently partial to "This, Not This".

So that's life. Too busy, but better than the alternative.

09 April 2010

PDX Band News

We did much better at rehearsal yesterday than I expected. I sang about 80% of the songs and played bass relatively well for the limited amount of practice I had done. In addition, Jim and Gary working together helped them. We sort of knew the songs and I think that we could actually get everyone paying the same arrangements and this thing sounding good. That's the first step. Tight is the second step. I can see us playing by June. Anyway, I hope Jim and Gary do some more work while I'm in Michigan. I'm looking forward to coming back and working with these guys.

Now we only have to come up with a name. I still like Cannibal Cow.

08 April 2010

Ready for Michigan!

The PDX band is having another rehearsal tonight. It turns out that I'm singing about half the songs. I'm not really used to that and I'm hoping we can pick up a full-time singer. But until then, I'm a singer. Woot. The last rehearsal didn't go particularly well, mainly because I didn't know I was expected to sing all of these songs and I didn't do particularly well. In addition, the ex-pro hadn't been able to get the lead sheets we sent him, so he was unprepared. Gary came over on Monday night and we worked together with me showing him what guitar parts I played on the different songs and then Gary went over to Jim's house last night to work with him. I've actually sung the songs and have gone over the lyrics, so I think that this rehearsal should go much better.

As for the Midwest trip,the equipment has been shipped and I'm looking forward to getting into Kalamazoo and getting started rehearsing. I'll be flying into Detroit on a Monday morning red-eye, driving up to Troy to pick up a speaker cab, then driving over to Kalamazoo. Then I'll take a nap and start setting up Monday evening so we'll all be ready to go Tuesday morning.

Also, back in PDX, I'm getting things squared away at the day job for the week off. I've finished up the quarterly performance reviews for thirteen people (fourteen counting myself). Of course, when I get back, I have annual reviews for twelve employees to do (again, not to mention my own). Tons o'fun. Life in the big city, huh?

Kalamazoo, here I come!!!

24 March 2010



Blogger Michael B. Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama, said Monday that in a Friday blog, he called for people to break windows at Democratic headquarters at the city and county level. He said he didn't call for the damages to congressional offices because, "I didn't want to be responsible for anybody breaking a federal law."

However, "I can understand how someone can be frustrated enough to throw a brick through a congresswoman's window," Vanderboegh said. He said he feels the health care bill is "unconstitutional and tyrannical."

"My answer is violence, by getting their attention," he said, adding, "If we can get across to the other side that they are within inches of provoking a civil war in this country, then that's a good thing."

from here.

So idiot teabagger (OK, it's redundant) bloggers are pissed off enough that they want to start another Civil War, huh? Well Mikeeee, since you're off in Alabama, why don't you and your Johnny Reb ilk go ahead and start. This time we'll be happy to let you retards secede.

However, I doubt these little pussies have the balls to actually do anything like that. If they did, Alabama, being one of the biggest recipient of Federal funds vs. taxes paid, would have to pay their own way, and God forbid that these Southern retards would ever want to get their sorry-assed states off my ever more sore blue state taxpaying teats.

On the other hand, if they did secede, they could always try to bring back slavery. It would make me so happy to contribute to a fund that's raising money to send AK-47s to rebellious slaves. Just the thing to get rid of idiot teabagging bloggers.

I can't believe it's been almost two months...

... since I last posted. Oddly enough, there's been quite a bit of activity on both the Portland and Midwest front, as well as on the day job side of things.

On the day job, my old product has gone into extended hiatus. However, I am now software development manager for the company's second largest revenue producing product (second only to the consumer offering of this same product). This product is running on literally tens of millions of machines in the US and around the world. As such, it's a big deal, higher visibility, and slightly longer hours. Luckily, I can do most of that work hour extension in the morning, so I can still (if I have the energy) work on music at night.

On the Portland front, we worked with a couple of guitar players from Vancouver last month. In the end, one of them quit and Dave and I thought better of hiring the other guy, so we were again looking for a guitarist. I brought in a guy from my day job (who actually writes pretty good instrumental material) and Dave's talking to this ex-pro from the eighties. Actually, we're in pretty good shape for a May or June re-launch, though we need a new name. I like "Cannibal Cow", but I think I'll get overruled.

I've gotten my travelling gear back together for the Shiver gig in Kalamazoo, MI in April. Everything is neatly situated in a nice rack-mount case waiting for the other three pedals and a tuner to go in. I'll also toss in the percussion tray that I use to hold my tuner along with my microphones and their holders. With that all packed away and ready to go, I'll just need to pack my amp head (I'm picking up a speaker cab in Troy, MI the day after I fly into Detroit) and my guitars and I'll be ready. Most of the equipment will be staying with Jay, waiting for the June gig in Abingdon, IL.

That's really about it. I'm writing some new songs (especially to the new guitarist's tunes), needing to finish my own when I have a moment. Busy, busy, busy...

24 January 2010

New version of song on the website...

I should be effusive, but I'm so tired, I don't feel like updating the rest of the page. It's close, but not yet a cigar (the echoes are too gaudy and a few phrases need some gain magic). But, it's still pretty good for a rough listen.

21 January 2010

Not enough time to blog lately...

... as usual. Beyond the day job, last Friday I played bass on Dave from AMA's next solo effort. I practiced for about two weeks before hand, so we were able to get through eight songs in three and a half hours (with about three hours of actual recording). No, I'm not a pro - I couldn't hack them out in a hour. But for a semi-pro, I think I did a fairly good job on the tracks, and I think the studio time was not excessive. So that's over and Dave has posted an ad on Craigslist for a new guitarist. I've been answering ads looking for bassists. We'll see which band is up sooner.

Also, I've decided to use the J-Station for the Shiver gigs in April and June rather than the Pod - it just sounds better (and it's a shame that Johnson Amplification was bought out for their market share). It's a bit bigger to ship, but I'm shipping so much crap, it doesn't matter all that much. I will have the Midwest guys store and transport my equipment between the April and June gigs (and do whatever else I have to do through practice amps back home) to minimize shipping costs. I'll probably buy a 4x12 cab and have it shipped to Jay's office in Kalamazoo and keep it in the Midwest until after the June gig.

Anyhow, back to the J-Station... I'm downloading/adjusting/creating settings and setting up banks of them for the Midwest gigs. It's time consuming, but not that entertaining. I'll use an old Fujitsu Lifebook P20 with a blazing 600MHz Transmeta (remember them?) Crusoe CPU that I have sitting around to control it. The nice thing is that each bank on the J-Station holds enough settings that I won't need to switch banks other than in between each set. That will be good. I'm hoping that the M-Audio USB Midi interface I have has drivers for Win2K (the OS on the laptop). Otherwise, I'll have to buy a new laptop (Yes, something I would dread).

The Randall head is great! I won a Top Boost Module on eBay for a reasonable price. I now need to get an XTC and a Blackface module and , together with the Plexi module I have) I should have most of my tonal needs met. I'm also looking at Lexicon reverbs to give me a delay for the head.

I'm taking voice lessons. They're going well. There's a lot that I didn't know about singing. But, I'm getting better. My range has improved (more on the low end than the high, but I'll take what I can get) and I'm beginning to understand how to use my voice better. I figure about a year of this and I'll get to a point where I can feel comfortable about singing.

Also, I'm writing songs again. I've got about a half-dozen ready to record. I hope to get up to around a dozen and then start recording the best four to six of them. This time, I want to go into the studio to get drums as well as vocals. However, I've decided to take the audio takes and bring them home to mix and master myself. I figured that with the last CD, I didn't like the compromises I had to make because of the time limitations. At least, at home, I don't have that issue.

Finally, I've also started learning a few more tools on the DAW. I obtained the Waves Mercury package, as well as Izotope Ozone, so I'm playing around with them (I really like the matching EQ in Ozone). I'm thinking of getting SIR to see if I can get some better reverb sounds. I also need to do more with Renoise. But the big question is whether or not I upgrade my version of Sonar or switch to something else. It's a tough decision. I know I have to upgrade my computer. I know that, if I stick with the PC, the system is likely to come with Win7. My current audio interface doesn't have drivers for Win7. This means I can either dual boot the system and do the file transfer dance (one OS and file system for tracking and one for mixing/mastering). Or, I could buy a new audio interface and switch to Mac. Or, I could buy a new audio interface and switch to some other program. Or... In any case, I need to make a decision before I really get started on recording the new EP CD, because switching in the middle would be a real PITA.