I think I missed my stop

Hello Dear Readers,

What a wild few weeks!
News from the Dog Front, Misadventures in Recording and my So-Called Life…

The Dog: Is Mifune (aka Damnit) adjusting well to Ballard life? Well, if your definition of adjusting is DIGGING, then all is well here. I’m thinking of renting him out to a few landscapers I know for the purpose of excavating yards. He is a living breathing shitting roto tiller.
Newest chew toys: Gray leather couch, new sweater, 6 pack of Tecate, anything with shoe laces and anything to do with the recording studio.
Like Jazz, he likes fried tofu, but, unlike Jazz, he’ll eat his vegetables.
Have I mentioned that he can take up an entire queen size bed? His MO is as follows: If I’m already on the bed, he’ll hop up and lay next to me, head facing my feet. He’ll then fart twice (Hey George, here are your Biological Weapons of Mass Distraction!), and as my eyes stop watering, he applies enough pressure to actually move me a foot toward the edge of the bed. At this point, he employs some sort of Doggie Gravitational Brake (DGB) which renders him immovable. I wish my parking brake worked as well.
With the exception of the occasional lunge, he and Kaiju (Cat Like Object) seem to have plotted out their own Roadmap for Peace. Not sure if it’s all of the downers I put in their water,
Summing up: Less frustrating, more lovable. We’ll start obedience school next month.

The Recording Thing: If the dog proves to be less frustrating, then music has replaced it as the Head Scratching Why Am I Doing This Again? Thing. Since late December, when Ernestine Anderson cancelled her live recording dates THE DAY BEFORE, my recording biorhythm has been off of the chart! Everybody’s been sick, including me for once. Had great sessions with John Stowell, Jeff Johnson and John Bishop (my new record label Supreme Commander). Wylie and the Wild West Show & I finally mixed the Tractor shows from last October for live CD and DVD (I still have yodeling stuck in my head) due out this spring. Work threatens to continue on the Malavista project with only 2 cancellations for overdubs.
Happily, I’ve had my own butt kicked by Toddd Dunnigan, the Dog Girls keyboardist from Boise who moved with his family to Seattle last year. Todd and I record every Monday afternoon and the newest project is already halfway completed! Todd plays piano at Chopstix (sp), a dueling piano bar in Lower Queen Anne. Todd has always been my favorite collaborator and has helped me to focus on things in the living world.
The Hand of Dog, my latest project, should be coming out in July on Origin Records, a Seattle-based jazz label with an incredible roster and catalog.
Going to Portland in April to record my friend Sharon Gillenwater, who does this Italian Light Opera thing at the Portland Art Museum’s Wednesday After Hours series. I get to spend a few nights at the Mallory Hotel (my favorite old school hotel where they welcome dogs), eat lots of sushi with Sharon and Richard Donin and blow everything I make at Powell’s bookstore.

Life, We Don’t Need No Stinking Life: I’ve missed it for a while. Jazz’s passing continues to kick my ass, blacken my eyes, sweep my legs out from under me and something else I just forgot because I was distracted by Iron Chef. Oh yeah, it was rabbit punch me in the kidneys (excuse the fighting analogies, Rocky 2 was on TV last night!). Not having a dog growing up (as if I ever did or will) didn’t prepare me for the bond I established with him. I’m sure I’ll get over it’one day. Thanks to everybody for understanding and supporting me.

OK, back to bad TV and leftovers.

A final note’ I’ve become addicted to erika.net, the coolest Internet radio station ever. Lots of old jazz, international stuff, eclectic beyond belief. Check it out if you can.



OK, a little slow on the uptake (or upload, such as it were)
It’s probably been a few weeks, maybe a month since the above written.
Even as we speak, I’m in Portland, drinking a beer and looking at the baseball stadium across the street, where I hope to be in 2 hours’
Dinner with the brother and sister-in-law? At my favorite Vietnamese joint in town? Where I haven’t eaten in at least 10 years?
Baseball game and beer?
Brother and ‘beer?
Does he like baseball? Probably not. Beer? Well, last time I looked, we weren’t Mormon, but he’s always been the strange one in the family!
Nice looking baseball park, though. Really nice.
A couple more beers and it might be the game after all. Sorry Howard and Bonnie. Maybe sorry.

The drive down was uneventful.
Well, back up.
For the last few weeks, all I could think about was this trip. Get out of town. NOW!
My customer service chip has fused again. It’s almost time to answer questions truthfully! Bad idea.
I took the Jeep into the shop bright and ugly this morning for some service. Had breakfast and walked around until it was done. I get a call on my cell from the guy at the shop and he says…’Well, the oil change is done, but”
BUT WHAT, FUCKHEAD? I asked for an oil change and to check to fluids. He’s ready to sign me up for a full brake job, all new hoses and let’s rebuild the front end while we’re at it!
Please know that this is the same mechanic I’ve gone to for years and recommend to everybody. New kid at the front desk probably trying to show his worth to Roger. Always find out what your mechanic drinks (or other vices if you dare) and keep him well supplied.
After stopping off at a friends house to drop off some crap that’s been bouncing around the back of the car for months…. actually, this is good. I stop by Dan’s (after calling to alert him to my imminent visit).
Way the hell out of the way, area code, zip code, time zone, I think there’s something different in the air.
Knock on the door.
No answer.
I have a key anyway.
Try the door.
It’s open.
No Dan.
No Dan anywhere I look, except his bedroom.
Call his name and knock on the bedroom door.
No answer.
Drop stuff off.
Leave note? No, who else would leave his shit in the middle of the kitchen?
Take off. Call him from the road a few minutes later to leave a message.
He answers!
Well, he’s not dead, sort of…maybe
I go back, drink a wretched cup of what he calls coffee and leave again.
The rest of the trip is a non-event, until 5 minutes from the hotel; Mifune decides to get green bubbly sick ALL OVER THE CAR AND ME. Heatstroke, maybe. I notice twigs among the debris on the front seat.
OK, now for checking in.
I love the Mallory Hotel in downtown Portland. I’ve been staying here exclusively since 1993. Great old school, huge lobby, great bar and dining room. Dog friendly. 2 blocks from the baseball park”
Hello, says I. I’m checking in.
Indeed you are, says they. How about a credit card?
How about I paid in advance 2 weeks ago!
How about you didn’t?
How about this…
See the dog.
The dog is a pit bull.
The dog is hungry.
The dog is hungry because it just puked all over my car.
See the human.
He’s starting to feel like the pit bull’s stomach if you don’t find his PAID RESERVATION!
Oh look, they found it!
Take Mifune for a walk. We walk to the baseball park.
I’m talking to this guy outside the park, watching the teams warm up. He’s playing with Mifune. He mentions how strong Mifune is. I say yes, he’s already broken 3 leashes. I look and see the leash #4 has about 3 minutes of life left on it.
Back to the hotel and try to repair the leash.
No go. I’ll buy another one tomorrow.
Grab my computer and go this great little coffee shop (across the street from the baseball park where the game starts in 1 hour 44 minutes now!). It seems that the hotel now wants $7 a day for wireless internet as well as a buck apiece for local calls.
Fuck this, says I. Free wi-fi and beer across the street from the ballpark.
Baseball game sounds awfully good right about now. I can see Howard and Bonnie in 3 months.
More beer? Hmmmmm….
The Beavers are playing Fresno, for what it’s worth. How often does this happen? Well, Pacific Coast League, probably pretty often.
More beer?

OK, all of the pieces have just fallen into place. I’m talking to Evian, the owner of the Dugout, the coffee joint I’m drinking and writing from. I tell him of my quandary.
No quandary no longer, says he. He lays 4 tickets to the baseball game on me. I return all but one. The new plan is to catch an hour and a half of the game and then go meet Howard and Bonnie.
QUICK PLUG: The Dugout
742 SW 18th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205
Evian is the owner. Just bought the place. He made my day. If you’re in Portland, YOU WILL COME HERE!
They have coffee, food, beer, right across the street from PGE Park, music on weekends. CHEAP BEER! Could be a little colder, but what the hell. Maybe I’ll ask him to stock Pacifico or Rainier when I’m in town. The way I figure it, it’s probably cheaper in the long run to take the train to Portland and stay in a hotel to see the Portland Beavers play than to try to see the Seattle Mariners in my own city! I wonder if I can bring Mifune on the train’
Baseball game in 1 hour, 15 minutes. Working on beer number 3, no food since breakfast. I saw some mints on the table next to my bed. I’ve been advised that Budweiser’s cost $5.50 across the street. Must check finances. Don’t want to break the bank on cheap beer. It’s only $1.50 at the dugout. At this rate, I believe I might have to verbally abuse the desk staff at the Mallory.

OK, going to finish this beer and go back to the hotel. Drop off the computer, play with the puppy (make sure he hasn’t eaten anything or shit in the room), come back, drink more beer, go the game, meet the family.
I’ll be back.

Damn, what a day so far. Forget what happened trying to leave Seattle and entering Portland, what a day!
With Evian and Kate as new friends, the day has turned around.
The seat at the baseball game was right behind home plate, probably a $12 ticket. $200 in Seattle. 3x $2 Bud’s before the game and didn’t even mind the $6 Bud at the game. Warm, maybe 1/8th filled stadium. g-d, life is good right now. Going to meet Howard and Bonnie in 1/2 hour.

Even later.
5 AM. Sleep for about an hour at a time. Comfortable room. Great bed. History Channel is running JFK/Castro/Kruschev funnies.
OK, this goes up this morning and I’ll let you know how the recording went.


Dog 2, Week 1

Well, it’s been a week now with Mifune/Allston/Doofus/Damnit (choose one) and what a week it’s been.

Some random observations:

The Name Thing. Maybe he responds to Allston, maybe he doesn’t. I’ve been calling him Mifune when I think about it, Jazz when I don’t. I think I’ll be making that slip for a while. This is one of the reasons I chose not to have kids. A very small reason. More reasons will sprout in these pages. Digger was also a candidate, seeing as how my backyard has more holes than ‘A Day In The Life!’

The Cat Thing. The scars are healing nicely since their first encounter, thanks. For the last week, it’s been a game of room switching when Kaiju would come home. Lock the dog in bedroom so the cat could be in the mudroom; Cat in bathroom, dog in mudroom, me outside. How did that happen? Panzer (d.v.m., acupuncturist, all around good guy, dog bless him) came over last week and met the dog. He brought a couple vials of flower essence over: Quaking Grass (briza maxima) and Walnut (juglans regia). The Quaking Grass is for helping to establish household order and the Walnut is for major life change (something everybody in the house has gone through in the last month). A couple of drops in their water and stand back!

It Works!

OK, not one minute ago, they were nose to nose with no blood loss! Outstanding!
Never mind’ back to square one. Film at 11.

The Dog Park Thing. When I went through the application process with Pit Bull Rescue, I told them that I would be taking the dog to the dog park as part of its exercise regimen. No No No, said they! People will freak out when they see a pit bull charging down on their Shi Zhu. I probably would, too. Anyway, after being dragged around the marina and plodding around easily escapable schoolyards, we headed to the off leash area near the house, overlooking Puget Sound. I think we were almost through the gate when he bolted up the hiking path. 10 minutes later, we’re inside and all is well. As I’ve mentioned before, THE DOG IS FAST! Kind of does the greyhound or racing horse thing, tucking his legs in and the exploding forward. Brakes? We don’t need no stinking brakes! He’s only shown aggression when dry humped by some other stupid dog. He gives them fair warning before going into the classic ‘I’m a Pit Bull with Large Sharp Teeth and I Will Tear Your Throat Asunder If You Do Not Persist in This Most Uncouth and Futile Act.’ The first time this happened, the offending dog’s human commented that our dogs don’t get along. I felt like mounting him from behind and asking him if he liked it! Probably would. Another reason why I don’t have kids! The dog has also found a way to escape from the off leash area.

The Dog as a Replacement for Jazz Thing. As reported earlier, this was neither the intention nor the reality. There will never be a replacement for Jazz. The reality is that this dog is a 4-legged Panzer tank with a bladder the size of an Olympic swimming pool that slobbers a lot!

The Dog as a Destructive Force of Nature Thing. So far, he’s chewed up 2 of his blankets, 1 Godzilla, anything with shoelaces, anything I’m wearing, my right hand, my desk, and the back porch’

OK, that’s it for now. I’ve committed the next 10-15 years to this mutt, so we’ll see what happens.


Note 1: 15.5 hours until 2 weeks. I had the cat in my lap and the dog sitting at my feet. I was not, repeat not, wearing inch thick leather pads, Bad move on my part. All was well until the dog, who just loves to sniff butts, put his nose where it just didn’t belong. I’ve been waiting for Kaiju to let him have one across the nose. Well, tonight’s the night, as the song goes. No blood was drawn; the creatures went to their neutral corners and are, even as we speak, sitting this round out, though the dog is chomping at the bit (literally) to go again.

What was I thinking?

Dog 2, Day 1

In 15 minutes, I will have had the new dog for 24 hours. Here’s what I know so far …

If he has a name (Allston was supplied), he either doesn’t know it or chooses not to acknowledge it.

He is a male Pit Bull, approximately 1.5 years old. Abandoned, neglected, maybe abused. Fawn colored with a white belly and a white stripe running from his forehead down to his nose. Knee high. Weighs in the neighborhood of 60 pounds. He is a big baby. A very powerful big baby.Did I mention he and the cat haven’t quite seen eye to eye? Hmmm … well, sooner or later. I’m hoping for sooner. Kaiju (kitty) lived behind the bathtub for 2 weeks before she figured out that Jazz was cool. Of course, Jazz didn’t lunge at and chase her through the house. Kaiju is pissed at the dog and me. The dog just wants to be friends and so do I. I think my watchband will cover up last night’s scars. If you’ve never held a hissing cat, my advice is to not. Misdirected rage, fear … skin.

Anyway, it’s been over 3 weeks since the death of Jazz, my doggy companion of over 13 years. Those were the worst 3 weeks of my life following the best 13. I was never good at fractions, but I believe the good outweighs the bad in this case. Alas, the smaller number seems to be more concentrated, almost overshadowing the larger.

Allow me some explanation as well. I just spent almost one third of my life with one dog. I love Jazz to pieces and his passing kicked the shit out of me. I still have a hole in my heart the size of the Grand Canyon. My getting another dog is not a stopgap rebound knee jerk reaction. I’m used to having a dog. This dog needed a home and I need a dog. I was going to foster one, but why get attached to someone knowing you’re going to lose him or her soon? I understand the importance of fostering, but now’s not the time. When I own my own island, I’ll foster every animal that comes my way, unless it’s a shark or something like that.

3 minutes until 24 hours. I now know that he’s a digger. He just dug out most of the back porch. He was able to do this because I thought it was safe to leave him unsupervised in the backyard this time. The 2 times before I discovered that, in addition to being a digger and he can stand on his hind legs and knock just about whatever he wants off of the kitchen counter, he’s a jumper of some ability. 4-foot fences are no obstacle.


So I found a long leash with a kind of choke chain that doesn’t seem to choke him, or for that matter, stop him. It gave me about 45 minutes of peace and computer time without having to repot the palm and chase biscuit crumbs. He seemed to be content playing with his tug rope and red bouncy thing, or so I thought. We had to dig some lawn up a few days ago because there was a possibility of a broken water pipe, so there was some loose topsoil lying about. But that was by the gate, not the middle of the yard, and not in such quantity.

The Great Escapes. Twice this morning. First time, I thought he jumped over the garbage cans. The second time, as I was covering the hole to the garbage cans, I swear I turned my back on him for 15 fucking seconds and he was gone, hence the mention of the fence. Realize, firstly, that this dog is FAST. Cheetah fast. With gravity and motion on his side, he’s already taken me and my neighbor down. I’m thinking he’s a mile away by now. Did I mention that he’s fast? He is. But he seems content (so far) to exploring no further than a few blocks and seems genuinely happy to see me when I catch up to him.

Reviewing: jumping digging strong fast slobbery leaping tugging cat curious sweet handsome stupid dog. He slept by my side, dreaming and snoring loudly all night. I missed that touch so much. Oh yeah, even though I outweigh him 3-4x, he still managed to occupy the whole bed. Unmovable. I cannot budge this fucking animal! He has managed to quadruple his mass! That’s ok, but I’m wondering what else the foster parents neglected to tell me? He came with a king sized doggy crate and, as much as I hate confining animals, I’d hate to see what he comes up with when he attempts to dig up my bed or the studio floor.

It’s 26.75 hours now. I haven’t seen the cat since it was sunny. It is now starting to rain. I’ll have to segregate the critters when I can coax her inside. Have to leave for work in a while. Why can’t we all just get along and do what the fuck I say?

Just got home from work. The cat was waiting outside for me and an explanation. After some maneuvering, the cat’s inside and the dog and I were out for a walk. The dog (whom I am calling Mifune for the meantime) knows that Kaiju is in the mudroom but can’t get to her. I think I’ll wait for some of the scars to heal before I try introducing them again.

OK, that’s it for the first day. I’m committed to this dog. He’s really quite a sweetheart (if you like destructive forces of nature!) Imagine Lassie and tabletop fission.


And on the 8th Day

And on the 8th Day …

Before I black out.
Finished Day 4 of Festival of Trees.
I feel sorry for the trees.

On the other hand, when we lost our tails and fell out of the trees, the trees could breathe easier.

Let’s see if I understand this festival. We like the trees. We worship the trees. We perform yearly acts of genocide on the trees to show them how much we adore them. We have a festival for them and then drag the carcasses to the curb or burn them. Oh Praise Be Baby


My back is feeling the past 4 days of walking on concrete floors and sleeping on a hotel bed.

My brain is feeling 4 SOLID DAYS OF XMAS MUSIC.
Saturday Midnight.
Back at the hotel.

Broadcast latest developments from my assignment to headquarters.
Went in search of mind numbing agents, delivered to the bar next to my motel.
Greeted by the sounds of Karaoke from the bar. Maybe greeted isn’t the word I’m looking for. How about assailed? Close enough.

Dregs. Denizens from Hell. Soft white underbelly. Lowest common denominator.

Procured beverage. Sat.

Here’s what I know:
Publicity photos lie. Or maybe the photos told the truth, but the subject lied. Closer to the truth.
Case in point
My karaoke Mistress goes by the handle of Candy Lynn. The photo shows a stunning Gypsy hiding my future and her past. Her past was svelte. Her present is dumpy. As I settle into my drink, there is a short black man singing Sex Machine and attempting to put himself into traction. My back hurts just watching him. Candy is hiding behind her Karaoke console like Oz behind the curtain. Unlike Oz, though, Candy is playing tambourine to the song. Double interactive karaoke, double negative. Next up is Sarge, older white trucker looking mesh baseball hat probably with a colostomy bag. Fucker is singing Have a Jolly Jolly XMAS. I’m through with XMAS songs for the day. Please.
Back in the motel, writing this, television on. PBS is playing Concert for George. Where is my copy? Who did I lend it to? Find Jeff Lynne mildly annoying, Tom Petty, who I used to like, now a waste of vital human foodstuffs. Ringo remains a caricature of himself but is still the greatest rock drummer ever. Paul was less cloying than at other benefits and Rock Star-A-Paloozas as of late.
Sleep. Sleep now.

It is Sunday. It is sunny (sic). It is Tacoma.
The restaurant is not called the Market Cafe as previously report in these pages. It is the Renaissance Cafe.
Great coffee. Must drink less (as I pour myself another). No more ginger cookies either.

Hawaiian dancers for the lord. Hula Against Hell?
Look, before I offend everybody, try to see this my way. A Jewish atheist listening to contemporary Christian music being hula danced to in a 150,000 square foot concrete box that’s reverberant as Hell, surrounded by dozens and dozens over heavily made up pine and fir trees cut down before they could reach their full potential constantly being spied upon by minions of the dark side wearing costumes (or maybe not!) of McGruff the Crime Dog various colored Hershey’s kisses CLOWNS CLOWNS CLOWNS a scary snowman Smokey the Bear (I’m ok w/ Smokey). Opulently wrapped unwrapped presents that nobody but nobody in their right minds would ever need let alone use and then Porsche Boxter Harley Davidson XL1200 jet ski x-box Rolex oyster watch full carat diamond earrings flat screen dvd trips to Arizona Montana Hawaii Florida football box seats autographed multi-million dollar baseball bats 300 cases of candy cane flavored wine chauffer driven day spa being written into a murder novel 5 foot crystal tree breakfast brunch lunch dinner poker party bed of roses bistro sipping Maori warrior threatening smiling now week in New Zealand upgraded to business class Disney Land cuts in line to see the Lion King for the umpteenth time. On the other hand, watching a couple million raised for a wonderful children’s hospital, which, if we were still in the trees, would be rendered useless because the defective chimps would be tossed down to the ground to feed the tigers and cheetahs.

Back to work. The band which wanted more stuff showed up and after confirming what we agreed to, in the same breath, asked for twice as many channels. Ummm … How about “NO.” I warned the emcee that it would take a few minutes to turn the stage over. It was 15 minutes. Emcee Ken tells them to cut their set by 15 to stay with the schedule. They cut 30 out of sheer spite. The act was a family fiddle troupe. Imagine cross breeding of the von Trapp family and the Jacksons. I’m imagining rehearsals under grueling conditions, forced marches, cold water tossed on sleeping bodies, starvation, electric wired attached to adolescent body parts … typical show biz parents. Now 25 dancers of the children variety. I made a motion to bitch slap the emcee as he walked away after saying something stupid … again (him, not me). One of the dance parents is with me in the booth directing the music. Very nice guy. Chuckled when I did the bitch slap thing. He’s the emcee’s brother-in-law. Fuck.


It’s been revealed that this is Ken’s first year as an emcee. No Shit! He knows the acts and knows the hospital, but introduces the bands while I’m still onstage. I had a little chat with him and explained what I thought he could do to make things a bit easier next year.

For the most part, besides the insidious nature of the fucking Xmas tunes ingrained in my psyche, a good time was had by all. We need to rethink the deployment of sound in the room. The room needs a few things, such as acoustic treatment, free wi-fi, more comfortable concrete to nap on and something else that I can’t remember.

At this moment, after picking up Jazz, seeing my favorite server on the planet and thoroughly stuffed with Mexican food, I choose to forget the last week of my life until payday, at which time I shall rejoice and drink and buy little somethings for the little nobodies in my life.



Hello Dear Readers

Your Action News Boy here regaling you with more tough gritty news from the front!

Dateline: Tacoma
So last night’s buzz was this morning’s buzz as well. Same 2 channels, those darn wireless. I moved them from Ampland to FOH and all is well.
Last night ended with 2 hot dogs and a couple of Red Hooks from the AM/PM next to the hotel. Kelly smuggled me in a taste of some VERY NICE SCOTCH. Kelly is a good man, a fair man, a man who will trade his booze for my pills. Breakfasted at the Market Cafe, down the street from where we wasted half of last Sunday. Inexpensive, cozy and GREAT COFFEE.
FUCK! CLOWNS! The place is lousy with clowns, but back to them in a moment.
Sound guy boner #1. Whilst previewing (Do you preview audio? I guess you Audition audio) a CD for the next act, I guess there is the slightest possibility of a chance that I might not have removed said CD feed from the monitors. Ooops! Fuck ’em! I got hate mail from the flutes because they thought they were not adequately represented in the overall mix the other night. Maybe they’re right, but since I didn’t mic anything, it’s a moot point. Also, if there had been Seahawks Gals waiting for me, I might be more inclined to listen to their idle gaseous emissions. (Note: Superb Customer Service chip seems to have fried. Film at Eleven)

There they are! Bastards! Clowns! First off, that damn McGruff the Crime Dog was snooping around when I arrived this morning, but I threw him off of the scent. Then there was, in no particular order, a giant Lemon flavored Jelly Belly, a huge Hershey’s Hug and Kiss, a Punk Snowman and those DAMNED CLOWNS! I have many questions and theories on Wild & Captive Clown Breeding programs, but I won’t bore you with those now, as this is a fast paced war journal, not Scientific American or Popular Mechanics.

Last night, speaking of the Seahawk Gals, quite a bit of TALENT (if you know what I mean). Question: what’s the age of consent in Tacoma? It’s not for me; it’s for some of the idiot video guys. They wanted to know. Actually, they didn’t want to know or didn’t seem to care, but I had to hold them back from what could only be described A FLOCK OF 12 YEAR OLDS! Something about all of those images flickering in your eyes that must send these poor brave video folk over the edge.
Did I mention how disappointed I was in not having a quartet of Seahawk Gals for my
needs last night?
Speaking of flickering images, I’m happy they went with Halide lighting here. Fluorescents would’ve sent me into a murderous rage soon after load in.

Clowns again. This time there were 3 or 4 of them sitting at a table between the stage and mix position. I couldn’t hear what they were saying from where I was, but I’m sure they were up to no good. A few minutes ago, 2 took advantage of a photo op to pick the pocket and purse of an unsuspecting blonde w/ 2 kids.

Quick time out. Through the act that just did their thing, I ran into someone I used to work with at American Music years ago. So we’re talking about people we’ve seen lately and Eric mentions the name of a guy who ran with my older brother in high school 30 years ago. He goes on to say that he plays music with him, and furthermore that he’ll be here today. Sure enough, there’s Kevin Almeida, whom I haven’t seen for over 20 years! Wow!

Back to blog. Second to last band is showing no intention of yielding the stage and the Biopsy Twins are nowhere to be seen.

End of 1st half of Saturday.

I’m afraid to leave the premises because of what happened last night. Found a bowl of chili (or dog food w/ beans). Not bad. There were sandwiches earlier, but the volunteers are starting to look at me menacingly when I stop in for supplies. Why am I bringing a thermos when everybody else is ok with a paper cup? Do I really need that chocolate chip cookie? No, I don’t need it, but it’s there and it’ll take some of the volunteers a while to gum through it.
More cutesters tonight and in my age range. Stevie, I’d appreciate if you’d pay better attention to my rider in the future. I know it’s an ugly word, Pimp is, but you are contractually obligated to supply me with women when I work for you. I’d do the same for you.
The after-auction band (satellite stage) is starting to make noise. Did anyone bother to tell them about the room’s characters? Probably not. They’ll figure it out. Or not. I think they’re called Mid Life Crisis and all of their gear is Peavey. Stacks and stacks of it. Also, I talked to one of the bands performing tomorrow afternoon. They want 5 vocal mics, 3 DI’s and a whole bunch of instrument mics. I’ll let Ken-boy enlighten them.
See, the Customer Service chip is failing and by tomorrow I’ll be as good as new.

7:00 PM
Doors opened 1/2 hour ago.
Deli tray and some sort of noodley soupy thing. I’m disappointed in catering this year.
Techs are sitting in our holding cell. Me, Alex, Steve Baker, Kelly K and someone with a mustache.
A patron just walked by and asked if we were the brains of the operation. Either he came pre-lubed or is a cheap date. Look at the above mentioned names. We don’t have half a brain between us.
Good talent pool tonight. Some of the throw backs apparently dressed themselves.

Done. Back to my luxurious accommodations. Really, it’s not half bad. Half bad. Half bad.
Finishing this off and going around the corner to see if the locals are cannibals as rumored.
I’m looking forwards to the end of hostilities’ scratch that’ festivities tomorrow. I miss my dog, especially after watching 2 get auctioned. That is REALLY NOT THE WAY TO CHOOSE A PET. It’s nice and cute and criminal. If you want a dog or cat, ADOPT ONE FROM A SHELTER.
Enough upper case for me.
I won’t see you for load out Monday. My detox and debriefing begins when I wake up Monday.

Thanks again for the opportunity to serve.



Notes From The Front

Friday 11 AM

Before I forget, onstage now is an octogenarian dance troupe in revealing leggy costumes. Did I mention that these women are in their 80’s? Showing legs and undergarments is just plain sick and wrong. Joe, on the other hand, is enjoying this and I believe, even slightly aroused. Sick man, but very helpful. Did I mention that he’s a very mentally disturbed man and the dancers are insanely old?

I’m supposed to have been here at 9, but the hotel had to be stopped at and some asshole had to cut me off so I had to drive a few miles North before I could turn around. Did I mention that I was kicked out of the parking lot? Or that I got a parking ticket? Probably not
OK, so there’s Ken and Glen, the Biopsy Twin Entertainment Co-Chairmen. Ken decided to put the risers in front of the stage, which, of course, also means in front of the speakers, which, as we remember from Physics 101…
Between acts, I organize labor to put the risers onstage. We get halfway through when Ken FREAKS OUT!
HE PUT THEM THERE ON PURPOSE!!!! Fuck, I thought a vessel was going to burst in his skull! I am informed that I had NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to do what I did.
Ok, thinking back, I probably could’ve asked him, but I talked to all of the house guys and they said they put the hard surface on the stage for just that reason. I took full responsibility for the maneuver. I tried to explain to him why it sounded like SHIT and what we could do to fix it.
Long story short, later in the day he comes up to me and tells me that they’re going to try the risers onstage Friday, as if he suddenly took Bonehead Audio and personally knows the feedback frequencies. Fuckwit!
Even later, I apologize again and this time I’ve got the little prick eating out of my hands (remind me to wash thoroughly). Joe is a huge help moving mics and translating Amateur into English.
Had a chance to duck out and grab a bite. Walked to the Swiss and had a very forgettable tuna sandwich.
Evening went w/o a hitch. Only 7 auction items. Long ass boring putt-putt tournament. Somebody bought me a glass of wine. Food only passable. Artichoke dip ok, but the baked potatoes had too much bleu cheese.
Did I forget to mention that this brand new facility isn’t wired (or unwired for that matter)? They told me that if I ask 3 days in advance, they might be able to find me a data cable. The reason I mention this, aside from mind-numbing boredom and near total sensory depravation, is that the hotel room afforded me that link to the outside world that I so desperately needed. Tiny, no amenities whatsoever (ok, Cartoon Network works but no Bravo. I miss the West Wing already). You could’ve forked over a little more dough and stuck me in the Sheraton. Think about it: 24-hour fitness center, hot and cold running housekeeping staff, 3 blocks away. You don’t love me. I have lost my most favored nation status.

Friday again
It’s not loud. Just no way possible. But still getting complaints. Maybe they’ve all had their ears syringed and put fresh batteries in their hearing aids. My “Superior Customer Service” chip is installed and fully functional, although I believe that there is a certain frequency in old people’s whining that might just short circuit the chip and I become an evil robot again. I think they had it right in Logan’s Run. Kill everyone at 30. Kill them now!
Lots of people come up to me and ask what I’m doing. How to answer w/o getting tossed out on my ass? One old guy actually said that w/o us (sound folk), there would be no show! I almost asked him to adopt me (I was so moved), but after going over his financial statement, I’ve decided that I’m better off foraging in the wild.

I’m now under the impression that there are at least 7 rings of Soundman (and woman) Hell. Limbo and the innermost ring are filled with novices because they either don’t know enough or should know better. One or more of the rings are, in fact, 150,000 plus square foot concrete boxes with nothing but right angles, 30-foot ceilings and at least 10-second natural reverbs. One of them will always have an X-Mas pageant of some sort running 24/7. I’m wondering what I did to end up here and am curious of the wait time for reincarnation.

Jeff informed me that there will be Seahawks gals here tonight. I hate the Seahawks but love gals. I can get at least 4 of them in my car for later on.
Back to the present, onstage at this moment is a cross between Up with People and a teen horror flick. What do these kids possibly think they’ll get with this sort of an education? They’re too old for the Mickey Mouse Club. Maybe this is training for USO tours and they plan of having these kids captured and tortured by the enemy. Maybe our side is supposed to torture them. I want to know what motivates them to do this. Do they get to have orgies after rehearsals?
Up next, BANJOS BANJOS BANJOS! Over 30 banjos! I’ve never seen 30 banjos in one place together.
Fuck Fuck Fuck.
OK, I’m sure this will be true of us as well, but for the most part, at least in what I’ve seen and heard for the last 3 days, OLD PEOPLE SMELL FUNNY, CAN’T HEAR FOR SHIT, ARE CRANKY AS HELL AND NOW THEY PLAY BANJOS! It must be a safety in numbers kinda thing. What do old people travel in? Packs? Gaggles? Pods? Prides? Herds? Schools? Metro Accesses?

First half of the day is done. Went for food. Went to the Swiss again. Today’s sandwich was somewhat better than yesterday’s, but nothing worth writing home about. Came back and there is a BUZZ in the system coming up in the previously dead quiet wireless channels. Maybe some new computer (3 or 4 new ones since I left), solar flares, black hole. Dunno. Powered everything down and up, re-re-batteried the handhelds. Less than before, but still audible. I’m the only one who really notices, but now it’s going to bother me all night.

Show done. All is good. Will trouble shoot in the morning. Things calmed down. Didn’t hear the buzz.
Electronics, is after all, at best, still only theory.