Friday, August 15, 2008

Back on track

Last night the band got together for the first time since....since...who knows how long? We did some trio stuff (minus Mike when he was on his honeymoon; minus Scott when he was in Texas) and Matt and Mike got together when I was recording and Scott was in Texas, but it's just not the same. So, we're getting the band back together. And actually, it sounded better than it did where we left off, in my opinion.

Generally, the band plays a bit better when we're all really hurting to get back to the groove. The long break made the heart grow fonder, I suppose, because we tackled some rockers last night and it was not only fairly tight (especially for taking such a break) but a lot more fun than practice has been. We've really got to buckle down and start getting ready for making this record, but the road should tighten us up considerably and Matt is working hard on dynamics lately, which I'm extremely appreciative of. If we play half as well as we did last night at the Allman Brothers' show, we'll be good. Speaking of, how weird is it that we got included in the LiveNation email (screen grab below, with misspelling or a cutoff)? Yes, we're on the side stage, but we're being promoted as legit. I like that! We were in the LiveNation emails (and many people took note and sent me emails about it) with our own picture when we headlined the Paradise last month, but this just feels bigger for some reason. Like we're REALLY on the show with the Allmans and Grateful Dead guys.

A lot has been happening on the recording front, but it's too complex to get into now. But the main idea is that, due to studio concerns (not on our end), we can't go to Knoxville. So we're staying up here to do the record, and we're looking at November as our window. Producers and engineers are being considered -- three to be exact, and there's a chance we might use all three (except we don't have a huge budget...). Either way, it's a conundrum, but one that will sort itself out soon.

The second major issue I've been addressing this week is booking. Not only in booking myself to get this solo thing rolling, but the band, too. For a while, I was all about spacing out shows for draw concerns. I still am, except that I'd like to not hold to that line so firmly, because I'd rather play more often and get tighter for the record. Once it's out, then we can go back to every 6 weeks or so locally. For now, I'm likely filling one local show per month for us and doing the best I can with road gigs. I booked us on the Vital Might's CD release on Oct. 4 which is awesome for two reasons: 1) we get the play the Middle East Upstairs again after a LONG hiatus, and 2) we get to play with the Vital Might again after a LONG hiatus. Should be good!

I'm balancing working full-time for the band right now with somehow finishing this solo record. In some ways, I like to be distracted. I don't want to overthink this record (in fact, I haven't even heard it since we finished mixing -- no lie) and I always want to improve. So, it's a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I'm always striving to be better and thinking forward; on the other hand, I can't focus on the project while I'm in the midst of it. I wrote 5-10 new songs in the studio for Cassavettes when I probably should have been working on mixes and what not. Oh well. But then again, being a bit spacey on the project is good for building relationships. I'm learning to trust the folks around me, like Todd and Jack, to do what they hear, and then I can come in with fresh ears and see if it matches the sound in my head -- or possibly it's even cooler. So maybe it's best to be distracted and to work hard on improving my writing and the band's prospects on shows, etc. I like that idea. Anyhow, the album is mixed and just waiting to be mastered. I'll post some tracks tomorrow that I get from Todd, and hopefully you'll enjoy them.

Finally, if anyone out there has any spare carpet or rugs that they want to donate to us (doesn't matter if they're stained or ugly), we are currently soundproofing our rehearsal room a bit and we are in need of heavy carpets and rugs. Any help is appreciated!

You know what else is back on track? My blogging. I'm 3-for-3 the last few days. I hope I didn't just jinx it.

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