Archive for March, 2006

March 28, 2006

Love Comes to Town

We have a date for the first Rock Opera show: APRIL 30
Bob Koch, Peter Fatka and I will be doing a cover-to-cover cover of Forever Changes, the classic album by Love. I’ll be doing acoustic 12 string, Bob will be on bass and Peter will be soloing and pretending to be whole string charts! We’re not sure how we’re going to do the horn parts but we’re kicking around some ideas. We’ll start this show at 9 so you folks that work in the morning can make it out to see us turn everything into 1967.

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March 16, 2006

Music for the Messes

My Sunday night gig at Mickey’s has been a great experience for me. Friends of mine who had done this sort of thing had a wide range of opinions about playing week in and week out: some grew to loathe the obligation; some said they were bored after a certain point every week while others said they loved every minute. I was nervous for the first few weeks as I wasn’t sure I could actually sing and play for two hours without losing my voice/sensation in my fingers/sanity. But I was immediately up to the task and now the first hour whips by and suddenly it’s time to break and have another drink and talk to the crowd. Sunday is not necessarily the best time of the week to play as there aren’t that many folks out after 10pm but the intimacy often makes for a better show. Joe Lambert is usually working behind the bar and he keeps me on my toes with great requests–as do the faithful patrons, who often come up with songs or artists I’d learned but never played on stage. Sometimes the requests transcend the moment and something amazing happens: a few weeks back Bob Koch and I did our standard cover of Don Gibson’s“Sea of Heartbreak.” Someone in the audience was trying to remember what Gibson song Neil Young had covered and suddenly I broke out my cover of his version of “Oh, Lonesome Me” which I had learned years back but hadn’t ever played in Madison. I was shocked that I recalled all the words and the odd chords in the bridge and the person who requested it praised me for my “jukebox-like effiency.”

This gig has been good for my voice and guitar playing, both of which were ok before but now are instantly accessible. And on the odd occasion that I do a show outside of Mickey’s I feel instantly at home as soon as I start playing which is a place I’ve always wanted to be at in front of crowd. My first experiences on stage were me with my crappy guitar nervously covering Beatles and Who songs and now ten years later I’m up on stage doing the same sort of thing, mixing in my own stuff and finally feeling confident about going solo.

March 13, 2006

Act Nice and Gentle

To all the nice folks who offered me Ray Davies tickets tonight–your kindness is wonderful and it hurt to turn you down but I really had to stay in. Soren has a cold, Deanna just ran a triathalon after week of stomach weirdness, and I got a migraine on Friday and some bastard version of the stomach stuff as well. I worked on Saturday night then on Sunday went to a birthday party and played my Mickey’s show and my body (and brain) needed the night off. I hope everyone who went to see Ray had a blast and you can feel free to rub it in the next time you see me.

We were in Ireland on our honeymoon when Cryin’ Adams played his imfamous show at the Barrymore. We were both pretty stoked about his music and had heard great things from friends who had seen him solo acoustic at Schuba’s. We were a little disappointed that we were going to miss his show but when we got back and heard how it went, I was sort of glad I wasn’t here to see the meltdown. I know I’ve missed lots of shows but many of my musical heroes are dead or never tour and now Ray’s been in town three times and I’ve only gone to see him once. I can pretend I’m holding out for that Kinks reunion but who knows if that will ever happen!

March 4, 2006

Those Were the Days

Kenneth blogged about his love of television theme songs some time back and that got me thinking about TV music. Only two shows that we watch come to mind theme-wise–Medium, which has a sort of Bernard Hermann feel to it, and CSI, which uses “Who Are You” by the Who (the other CSI spin-offs have Who themes as well). I’ve always kind of liked the Law & Order theme song, which I assume was written by Mike Post who also wrote the haunting piano theme for Hill Street Blues. But Law & Order has been on forever with spin offs that take that theme and skew it slightly–I actually tuned into one of those spinoffs just to hear how they would re-work the theme!

Whatever happened to having lyrics in a show theme? I’m scrolling through the networks’ website and noticing a few: Grey’s Anatomy, which is heavy heavy on the mood music, has a few lines in theirs but they don’t always play it. Scrubs has a very short opening-with-lyrics theme. There are plenty of shows that I’ve never seen but the newer ones that I’ve view all have unmemorable music over the credits and I’m wondering why this is the rule these days.

I liked how Twin Peaks had themes for every part of the show, like a movie or a soap opera does. While this is quite cheesy, music designed for the show really adds to the mood and keeps my interest. And recycling classic rock does not cut it for me–I’ve heard all those songs waaaay to much to be able to meld them with modern storylines. I’m sure there are scads of musicians out there who could whip together some good stuff for tee vee.

March 2, 2006

Soda Pops

Anyone remember “Like Cola”? Last night in the cab I spotted a semi trailer near Monona Bay painted with the logo and was so shocked that I almost drove into the water. Like was around 20 years ago and just the thought fills me with nostalgia for 6th grade, a strike of awe about being able to remember something so long ago and a strange smile about how freaking long ago that was and how old I must be.

Here’s another funny pop link, to Ok Cola. I never saw it in Iowa but bought a bottle of it in 1995 just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. The soda was undrinkably horrible and the packaging gave me the creeps. Years later, when Ok Computer came out I had a daydream about Radiohead bringing the brand back to life.