Monday, January 21, 2008

New Project?

I'm starting a new thing with a guy from work who plays with a fun (though ragtag) local band called "The Empire" (at first I thought they were a Queensr├┐che tribute band).

It's interesting, because I think he's a talented cat, and I think we're going to have fun, but putting it together will be a process, because I don't think he's ever worked with anyone quite like me. It might scare him off completely, or it might be inspiring.

Either way, look for our little duo out playing guitars and singing sometime before the summer. It might end up as another trio, too, but I hope not, because I want to play guitar.

If we go by the songs he picked from my "I already played this crap" list, it's going to be mostly modern rock stuff. Of course I'll be doing my acoustic show standards, Lionel Richie's "Hello" and Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" (Fountains of Wayne style). We're probably going to incorporate our original stuff, too, so it might be a really fun project.

I'm sure that it will just inspire the work I'm doing with Roman Holiday, and just make me better as a singer...plus it scratches my guitar itch.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Switching it up

Sometimes it can be really fun to switch it up some.

Wednesday night, Ned and I rehearsed some of the band's tunes, but Rob (percussionmeister) couldn't make it, so I grabbed the mic and brought it over to the drumkit and rapped/sang the songs (two rap tunes, one funk) while I played the drums. It was borderline scary, performance-wise, but it was a whole lot of fun.

It reminded me that if I ever really wanted to be a decent drummer, I probably could if I just invested the time. Plus it sort of freaked me out that I was able to keep a beat at all while I was singing (rapping).

It really made me want to buy a drum set, actually, but I don't have any room for one. Perhaps when I finally get my garage cleaned out I can do that.

I really want to come up with a tune where we can switch it up during the song, since Rob plays guitar pretty well and I'm sure Ned can figure out the bass. Almost like a chinese fire drill, but with instruments!

Tonight is Killeen - it should be a blast! We love the duck!
(and no, that "u" is not supposed to be an "i")

Sunday, January 6, 2008

End of year, Start of year...

Commentary on the the year that was:
I started 2007 playing bass and singing a little bit in Roman Holiday. That was my only job at the time (other than taking care of the kiddos).

In May, two major things happened:
1. I began working at Clear Channel radio, and it's been great, but it's really sapped my energy. I don't play nearly as much as I used to, and rarely have a whole lot of time to concentrate on music stuff, resulting in a lot of "half-assedness" in my performing (forget about my writing and recording...that's been nearly nonexistent).
2. I was all of a sudden thrust into the position of "frontman" for the band (as well as still having to fulfill my bass duties).

The first part is difficult for me to take, not wanting to suck on a regular basis, but I feel that my idea of "suck" tends to be most people's idea of "not so bad", so I'm fine.

The second part has been nothing but enjoyable, stretching me to the limits of my multi-tasking ability. Who knew that I'd be able to play such "pat head-rub belly" tunes as "Brick House" and "This Love"? Certainly not me.

I'm a very conflicted musician at my core, though, since I want to play guitar as much as I want to play bass, and I can't do both at the same time.

As an "artist" (not a title I generally apply to myself, since I consider my compositional ability at more of a pop garage band level), 2007 was incredibly unstimulating. Just hashing out covers I've been playing for years. But you know what? I had a whole lot of fun.

Thanks go to everyone in the extended Roman Holiday family: Ned, Rob, Mike, Patrick, and Casey, and to Luis for giving it a shot (though we ultimately didn't seem to be on the same page), and to Lee Thompson from The Extractors (my former band) for filling in on one gig and then being able to tolerate me when I finally gave you a call months later (and profusely apologized for not calling after the fill-in show in the first place). As tumultuous as this year has been, it was a fun one, with the exception of the period from July to August when we were auditioning invisible drummers and bassists.

Looking ahead, I'm sure 2008 will be more fun with Roman Holiday - hopefully we can keep this lineup together and keep enjoying ourselves (which seems likely, since we all get along really well). I really want it also to be a year when I'm finally able to get those songs I've got posted on the website re-recorded because there are so many that I can play and sing so much better now than five or six years ago when I recorded them. (I can even record them better now than then...)

So I think it'd be wise, if you give a crap, to keep an eye on this page. I'll be tracking all the progress with songs - re-recording, writing, etc. - and hopefully I'll have a really productive year. It shouldn't be too hard if I can manage a little self-discipline and not watch so much TV. The writers' strike is helping that quite a bit, I must admit.

Have a great '08!