Road Rage

on Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1. To the guy on the bicycle: you have to obey the rules of the road, too. I saw you on the corner of MN Highway 23 and 10th Ave. S. in Waite Park, MN[map]. You were heading west on 23, but you were at a stop light. Cars from the left turn lane of 23 east were legally turning onto 10th because they had the green arrow. You, on the other hand, were at a red light, which means you were legally bound to stop and wait until the light turned green, just as if you were another vehicle on the road -- which you are! You didn't have to stand there swearing at every car that passed in front of you. Yes, I know it was cold, but you should have thought of the before you left and bundled up accordingly, and if you were late for something, that's not anyone else's fault but yours. Next time calm the fuck down, and maybe acquaint yourself with the rules of the road for bicycles. (Rule 1 might interest you!)

2. To the guy in the black Jetta: Ha ha, fucker! You tried speeding down a frontage road to pass me and six other cars because you thought you could outrun us all and be able to zip in front of us at the next intersection. Too bad you had to slow down so drastically at the end or you might have been successful! I think that every one of us deliberately drove just under the posted speed limit just to piss you off. Here's the deal, dipshit: you're not more important than anyone else regardless of the car you drive.

3. To everybody: use your fucking blinkers! I can't read your mind, you know.

There. I feel better now.

Bridge Over Troubled Water, part IV: Opening Night

on Thursday, March 13, 2008

It went very well tonight! It wasn't perfect, there are some chords in Only Living Boy in New York that I have to go to school on, but on the whole it was a GREAT concert!!

I have to say, I was amazed at the response that my song, Sky, got. Several people marked it as their favorite original song of the night and that just blows my mind, especially next to Nature's new one and Jeffy's Dark Days of Rain -- both of which totally fucking rock! I guess simplicity has its place. (It one of what I call my "Taoist" folk songs.)

I wish this could be my 40-hour-a-week job -- well, this mixed with the Shake a Hamster Band. The projects we do are by far the most rewarding experiences I've ever had, from Abbey Road to Pet Sounds to BOTW. Each one is a unique experience and a lesson in songwriting.

I am looking forward to the rest of the run very much, and I will be sad to see it end.

King Asshole

on Sunday, March 9, 2008

I was driving to St. Cloud from Minneapolis this afternoon and was unlucky enough to have had my trip affected by a rather nasty accident which occurred just a few minutes earlier on I-94. A state trooper, who had stopped to help with an accident got hit by some idiot doing 60 mph. He claims he must have dozed off, having come off a 16-hour shift at work.

Many of us were stopped just short of the Dowling Avenue overpass because the accident had happened just a little to the north. A state trooper came along the left shoulder and announced through his bullhorn that we should all back up and exit onto Dowling because cleanup was going to take too long for us to wait. So we backed up on the interstate. I had to back up about a quarter of a mile and then everything cleared just enough for me to make a U-turn and get myself situated to join the throngs trying to get onto Dowling.

Some bald-headed cocksucker in a champagne colored Toyota Highlander, who had not been one of us who had to back-up, but was traveling on I-94, got himself situated mere inches from the car ahead of him -- he wasn't going to let anyone in front of him. I got in right behind him in the left hand lane of the exit. He somehow managed to cut off someone in the right lane, passed about three cars and then cut someone else off to get back into the left lane. People were honking at him because he was being a dick. He continued on, window rolled down, arm and middle finger extended.

I officially name that guy King Asshole! We were all in that mess together but he obviously thought that he's more important than anyone else and that he didn't have to fucking wait in line like the rest of us did. I wish there was some pox or curse I could place upon that dickweed motherfucker that would cause him to lose the ability to drive.

Fucking jerk!

Bridge Over Troubled Water, part III

on Monday, March 3, 2008

We had our first rehearsal with pretty much the whole band last night, we were only missing our lead trumpet player… more about him later… I must say, I was a little nervous about this whole thing until last night. I wondered if we were really going to be able to do this wonderful album justice.

There is so much going on for as simple as everything sounds, and there are some studio tricks that would be hard to reproduce live, but I don't miss them. There's something about the immediate visceral response that your body has to live strings, brass and reeds that makes up for the loss of a "special effect" or two. Although I still don't know quite how we're going to reproduce the HUGE snare sound in Bridge Over Troubled Water and the Boxer. That will be the sound man's job, and we've got Dean Boras, one of the best in the business.

Last night was the first opportunity we had to hear Jeff sing Bridge Over Troubled Water and he sang the shit out of it!! Ken Vork told me that when he first heard the album way back when that the entrance of the electric bass at the beginning of the last verse was like a bell going off in his mind and that it opened a whole new world to him. When that point came in the song, even though there was no electric bass at rehearsal (my job -- I'll get to it!!), tears welled in his eyes and started falling down his cheeks. That did it, I started tearing up, too. Jeff and I agree that that song is the center of the whole show. It is the song that means the most to people and carries an incredible emotional wallop. If we nail it every night, we will probably see a lot of tears.

I know now that we will have an incredible show and I can't wait to get started! My only worry left is our lead trumpet player. He blew us off for the George Maurer Holiday Show in December without an explanation and I'm afraid that he might do the same thing for BOTW, despite the fact that he said he was excited to play it with us. If he blows us off he's used up all his chits in my book and I won't hire him again. If he doesn't want to do the show, or if he feels we are under-utilizing his talents he should let us know now so that we can find a replacement. I want him on the show, he a great, funny guy and an incredible player, but I can't abide people who are unreliable. Hopefully he will make it to the next rehearsal and I can rest easy, there aren't that many more with everyone.

But right now I am looking forward to opening this show like I never have before. It's going to be great!