Archive for November, 2005

November 28, 2005

WHY? (a rant)

Why do people–bands especially–put front pages on their websites?
I don’t care how your band logo looks or how many hours you spent learning flash to get that cool swirly stuff to happen–when I search online I want content and I don’t like jumping through hoops for it. You can put all your neato stuff on the front page but give me an index or something. I do appreciate the front pages that have a “skip intro” button but seriously folks–does it serve any purpose besides window dressing that gets skipped over anyway?

Several bands I know are set up with a page at Myspace. One of the features available is some sort of instant mp3 player that starts playing as soon as you open the page. Once again I must ask: is this really necessary? Late at night I get lulled by the awesome silence of cyberspace only to be reminded suddenly that my computer speakers are on and cranked up. I know, I know, it’s good promo and maybe if someone is on your page and is forced to hear your tunes they might be interested but if samples are available I’m gonna take the time to check it out myself.

November 19, 2005

Well Done

We’ve been watching “Medium” since it debuted earlier this year. And it’s pretty good eye candy–Patricia Arquette is curvy with smoldering blue eyes and Jake Weber is some strange hunky child of Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman–but it’s also a surprisingly well crafted show. During the credit roll for one of the first episodes I was pleased to see “Medium” was the creation of Glen Gordon Caron who also created one of my favorite shows “Moonlighting.” I didn’t watch much TV in the 80’s, but “Moonlighting” sucked me in with great writing and the great chemistry of Bruce Willis and Cybil Sheppard. It was pure escapist entertainment and that was a big deal for a very cynical 15-year-old.

“Medium” is not really like “Moonlighting” at all–instead of a cheesy private investigation firm we have a psychic mom who dreams about crimes and helps the Phoenix DA solve cases. Both shows are at their best in the scenes with the couple at the center–Maddie and David play word games and eschew an obvious sexual tension (at least for the first few seasons) while Joe and Allison Dubois are married with kids but still spark off of each other. If I close my eyes while watching these scenes on “Medium” I can hear a little bit of Maddie Hayes in Allison Dubois. Where David Addison was obnoxious and self centered, Joe Dubois is droll and sarcastic, often summing up the ridiculousness (or charm) of the moment with a quick riff and a deadpan look that always makes me smile.

We’re a bit worried about this week’s show as it’s going to be in 3-D. This is only the first season and we don’t want them to jump the shark so soon, though I did pick up two copies of TV GUIDE at the store (only 99?) just for the 3-D glasses.

November 16, 2005


Played my first Weekly Gig at Mickey’s and it went rather well. I was late of course and didn’t get started until almost 11 which probably was not the best way to kick things off. But the first hour flew by and suddenly it was time to take a break and mingle with the bar. Bill the Walkin’ Doctor told me some funny Kinks stories (he requested Waterloo Sunset) and I got to hang out and be part of the patronage rather than just being the show. The second hour was harder and I started oversinging but got rescued by some great requests from the small crowd left at 1 am. Knowing that someone wants to hear something that I can deliver helps me relax while I’m bashing away on stage.

The night ended much much later as I lent my ears to a friend who was in trouble and that meshed with the whole theme of the gig. I’m doing these shows so I can improve my chops and get my voice and mood in the right place to finish my record–but I’m also attempting to tear down the barrier I create when I play live. I get too serious about what I do and that reflects on my efforts to put on a good show–and hampers my ability to connect with those who potentially might come out to see me again. Playing the Shinky Open Mic taught me that no matter how good I am at singing and stuff if I don’t at least try to connect with who’s watching me I might as well be belching with an autoharp.

November 10, 2005

Art in the basement

I’ve spent much of my life in the basement. My brother and I shared an office and a room in our parents house in the basement. My Grandfather practically lived in his, always deep in his chair by his tools and TV waiting for me to roll down the cramped flight and hang out. He was a deeply religious man so he was not up on the modern world (which I presume was considered “sinful”) but that never made a difference to me. Chicago Public Television showed old b&w movies on Saturdays and I remember watching The Sea Hawk and The Prince and the Pauper with him. The rest of the world was still going on but down in the dark under the house I felt very safe.

My old band used what is now my basement (Deanna was still just my girlfriend) as a rehearsal space, and we intended to record there when things fell apart and I created Perfect Child. In time the band faded, Deanna and I got married, and we filled the basement with all sorts of junk. It was dirty enough down there that Soren couldn’t hang out without getting filthy, so we painstakingly cleaned up and last week I moved the studio back into the same corner it had been in 6 years ago. Under the house in the dark I feel more secure about making noise, about creating and pushing forward with whatever it is I’m going to wind up with after I finish re-re-recording the past 4 years of music.