Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lots to report. It's been a busy week full of social events and performance galore. I sometimes think myself foolish for spending so much time chasing music around in circles in this town - that perhaps I should be spending more time at home, perhaps reading a book or reviewing my bank files, like normal folk. H*ck that - too many cool sounds to not miss.
Friday was the end-of-week performance for Cosmo's rock and roll band camp at the Shedd center. This was the third session he had been through and Cos knew many of the musicians already, so this was a pretty killer performance. "The Benchwarmers" stormed through Zep's Immigrant Song, the Who's "Baba O'", Queen's "Under Pressure" and also Beastie Boys "Fight for your Right" and a James Brown-style funk jam (which showcased his band's control of dynamics - yow!). These kids were good! The singer girl had a strong voice and really belted out the Queen song, hitting real notes and stuff. Cos' drum solo absolutely slaughtered the audience. Very fun. Zak from Dead Americans was their leader and directed song parts at times, only in the most enthusiastic and encouraging way. That guy is good with kids & a good musician.
Phew! Enough on that!
David Lee Roth was well-documented in yesterday's Register Guard article. I myself had a great time - went down there with Cos, once again. He met up with a friend and had a great time sneaking into the seated section of the show - durn kids! DLR and band sounded great - his guitarist was amazing, but a little stiff. The drummer was beyond good and of the very-flashy, LA metal style of drumming. The guy burned thru "Hot for teacher" so good that it almost sounded better than Alex Van Halen himself. Just burnin'! DL's vocals were sounding worn and torn with age, but he somehow pulls it off everytime. No more high-notes or whiskey-coated screams - just more of an old mannish, bluesier version of his earlier self. Good back up vocals for the band, too - those cats were good.
Last night, I did sound at Lucky's for Dead Americans, Touchforce and some band who's name I forget (May Flowers? Spring Tsunami?), apparently a new band, just moved to town from Reno. Nice guys, kind of sounded like Mission Of Burma with a baritone guitar instead of bass. Interesting.
Now, I am here. Chilling with Cosmo, waiting for the floor show...

David Lee Roth and band at Lane County Fair Eugene, Oregon 8.19.05  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I was totally blown away by the news that Ryan Sumner died suddenly on Saturday, apparently from a bloodclot in his leg that had dislodged and made it's way to his heart. Ryan, a popular guy to say the least, was a friend and past bandmate and a really cool dude.
I first met Ryan in May of 2000, when Dan Jones invited me to play a gig with he and Ryan at Tiny Tavern, sight unseen, no rehearsal. What ensued was a great sloppy, noisy set that included both "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young and "Expressway to your Skull" by Sonic Youth. Totally fun, we later formed Activator, Ryan, John Laney and I, first playing as a trio and then later Dan rejoined at Ryan's request. During our trio days, I recall fondly a Vet's Club gig where we were on fire, playing much better than usual. I jumped up on the small, fence-like wall in front of the stage and ripped out a solo to whatever song we were doing. I looked back and Ryan was just grinning, really digging in and rocking hard. Shucks. I wish I had been more in touch with Sumner lately; I miss his sarcasm, humor and brilliant observations on music and life in general.
Rock on, Ryan! We'll see you on the next go 'round.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Lots happening on the home front. We are moving into a new house that has a basement! Very exciting - I have always wanted a jam room in a basement and now the dream has drawn closer than ever. Once it has been realized, I shall be a satisfied man.

I've been checking out Richard Loyd's homepage. In addition to the usual music new etc... he also has a HUGE q & a page and tons of online guitar lesson archives. Totally f*ckin cool. The only drawback is that I personally don't like to read a whole bunch of text online 'cuz my eyes get tired. IF he ever writes a guitar instruction book....I am so there. A very articulate writer and music philosopher, Richard Loyd played guitar in the band Television, in case you didn't know.

The Launchpad/Chanteuse show at Black Forest was totally amazing. Chanteuse came off with a slightly shambly, ukelele-strummy, three-way sing-fest with a little drummy/tambourine action on the side. I liked Chaia's singing and stage presence, and the song in 3/4 time really showcased Tina's knowledge of triplets.

Launchpad... what can I say? I assumed that my friends would be quite a bit noisier than they actually were. It is apparent that the three aliens involved have been honing their collective tones and actually creating the most interesting disco/noise/space jam group. Ken's guitar sounded otherworldly; David's flute/dj/electronic noise-jumble produced dance-able bloops and blurps. Lelu's guitar lines and vocal come-ons made me feel like maybe, just for that evening, we actually were in a little bit of outer space. Sun Ra and Chuck D would have both been proud.

Too much club-going has left me weary. I don't expect to go out for some time now. Tired...(yawn) ...need coffee.

The Ol' Howl and Smash at Sam Bond's, 8/8/05. Cranky, primitive garage punk with three-way howling. They sound just like their name. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Eugene's answer to D. Boon, Dan Jones Posted by Picasa

Ed, John, Mike and Dan blurring out at Dan Jones cd release for GetSounds Now Posted by Picasa
The end of another ceaseless party weekend. Friday was the Ovulators and Deke Falcon and the Waltz Invention at Luckey's. The first two you probably know; Waltz Invention ,a girl-trio from Olympia, were really good. Odd time signatures, chimy riffs and solid bass lines - very original and kooky, too - very much an Olympia-style band. Totally enjoyed them, and the members were nice. Sorry, no pix - maybe Mr Random has some somewhere, cuz he was there.
Last night was Dan Jones' Cd release at Sam Bond's Garage. I've been really digging his latest musical baby - it really comes off as very...uh, well, REAL - warts and polish together in the same package, Get Sounds Now is one of those albums that is like an easy-fitting shoe - totally comfortable, listening to it feels like hanging with your best buddy, drinking a beer on an August night. Anyhoo, the show was really good - againyou can probably read more at Random's, cuz he also wrote about it.

Currently, I have a hugely swollen foot from a bee sting on Friday - I'm trying to keep off of it today; yestrday was too busy to do so. We're moving into a new house at the end of the month and I think we're going to really like our next place - we have a house in mind, but it's not finalized yet. Crossing fingers...YEs, of course it has a basement, dummy! And bees in bee house in the backyard.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The ubiquitous Cosmo, captured in his native environs. Posted by Picasa
I'm pretty stoked to be be rockin' Highway to Hell thru the computer speakers at the moment - Cosmo's B-day gift to me, thanks very much. And my birthday? Totally rad. Tina, Cos and I hiked up the Pacific Crest Trail from hwy 242 and spent the night next to South Matthieu Lake, near the North Sister. We swam in the lake, hiked around, ate food and just hung around, drinking coffee and beer. Tina made a birthday cake out of two Hostess Cupcakes and some twinkies with candles on top. I felt like I was at John Waters' campout or something, ready for a trailer pulled by a station wagon to come rolling over us at any moment. But no, it was good. Nighttime was the best - an amazingly clear night revealed more stars than I think I had ever seen in my life. The Milky Way looked like milky clouds in the illuminated night sky. Many shooting stars later, we turned in after a few beers and scary stories by Cosmo. The next day, we hiked a slightly different route and hit North Matthieu lake mid-morning, went for a swim, and then hoofed it back to our car and drove home. Phew! Exhausting, but totally fun. Can't wait to go on another hike soon.

Okay, laters skaters,