Live Music Tonight

For those in the Austin area, I will be performing tonight at Volente Beach with No Show Ponies.  I’m excited for this show as I will get to perform with my brother Ben, who is in Austin for a limited time only.  It’s adult swim out there so the show is 18 and up only.  Tickets are $9, which gets you to hear a whole night of live music, along with swimming and water rides.  I was skeptical to play what is primarily known as a water park, but everyone I have talked to speaks highly of the place and especially their adult swim nights.  We are the last of several bands and we go on at 10pm.  We will be performing songs off of our album, A Manual For Defeat, and more.

Going On Tour in Louisiana

Shinyribs Tour Dates

The hour is getting late, but I wanted to mention that tomorrow I will be going on tour with Shinyribs in the great state of Louisiana.  The above link is to the Shinyribs tour page featuring dates, venues, etc.

The new Shinyribs album will be out soon.  Tonight I just heard the final version of it for the first time, so I know that it does indeed exist!

I am bringing my computer with me so that I can blog from the road.  Posting has been slightly slow the last few days.  This is partially due to the fact that I am making some structural changes to Windup Wire that I need to make.  I will comment on those  soon enough.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

Johnny Cash and Keith Richards Perform Big River

Johnny Cash and Keith Richards Play Big River

Saw this too over at Rolling Stone on my way out the door to a friend’s B-day party.  Johnny Cash and Keith Richards playing the song Big River.  Two people who should be on some kind of musical Mount Rushmore.  I loved Johnny Cash growing up.  After he died they made that horrible movie and sort of mythologized him to where he lost some of the endless humanity that he had in his life.  I had to step away for a moment while he was turned into a pale version of the complex and musically fearless person that he was in life.  If you really want to learn about him read Cash by Johnny Cash.  I think his autobiography will put his life in context better than any retrospective could.  An indisputable cornerstone to all music that came after him.

Save Me From Life

Lifeguard – save me from life
Save me from life
Save me from life
Save me from the ails and the ills, and from other things – Morrissey

I know from personal experience that there are musicians that will try to turn every defeat into a victory, but that’s just not me.  Tonight’s show was one of those nights where it was a coin toss between suicide and slipping someone’s throat, watching them bleed out slow down the sewer drain.

There were some amazing moments.  Some of the people that came out to support me were truly exceptional.  Friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile, new faces that were a pleasure to spend time with.  One couple came out for their second show ever and gave me The Clash’s Sandinista on CD, along with two CD’s of rare track.  That is the kind of kindness that one can never forget.

But then there was a sound man that didn’t even know the set times and was rushing me the entire night.  I was supposed to play for an hour, but I only got 40 minutes.  I thought about sacrificing him to Beelzebub.  I would go to jail, and definitely hell, but I might live on eternally in local lore, creating the kind of darkly humorous story that would keep others alive in trying times.  A sound man sacrificed like a goat in front of horrified patrons.  Some of the other staff members were quite nice, so I decided not to create a local ghost story.  (Perhaps it will be a deeply held regret on my own deathbed.)

There were also certain patrons that looked like they had withered their lives away at the same barstool.  Indifferent to anything I played.  Indifferent to the songs booming out of the PA between sets, whether it was the Dead Kennedy’s or Iron Maiden.  They sat there like weather beaten wooden Indians.  These are the kind of people that, when they outnumber the living, can make a bar feel like a tomb.

Time has a funny way of healing all wounds rather quickly.  (Or as Nick Lowe sang, “Time wounds all heels.”)  I’m sure after a good nights sleep I will be ready for the next dash into the ring.  I actually played fairly well and there were some incredibly amazing souls in the room.  Usually nothing gets to me on stage.  I’ve played more shows than I could ever count and some are excellent, some are bad, and most are good.  That is the way of the world.  But something tonight left me feeling rather rotten and slightly evil.

One thing I’ve learned is, if you feel your mood darken, don’t try to prevent it. Embrace it and let it go as far as possible.  Eventually if you let it take you far enough, you will pass through the looking glass and emerge out the other side, cleansed and purified.  Laughing all the way to the…

Strange Brew Today

I’ll be playing down at Strange Brew in Austin, Texas today with my kid brother for the first time in months.  I had a band with my brother for many years that has been on hiatus while my brother attends law school.  After a searing 3 hour rehearsal yesterday we decided to turn my solo show into a rock show.  We’re also going to be joined by the great Austin songwriter Kacy Crowley.  Detrimental to my wallet, I’ve always had a strange relationship with the whole self promotional thing.  However, I can say without any doubt we are going to bring it today.  Playing with my brother, and longtime drummer Alex Moralez, yesterday made me feel like I was on a rocket taking off for Mars.  Together, let’s celebrate Jesus’s birthday early today by drinking and smoking! (Hey it’s not like it was meant to be celebrated by shopping.)  4pm start time.

A Strange Sliver in Time

On the late van ride from Houston to Beaumont.   Tonight is a perfect example of performing and having a completely different experience than the audience, or even anyone else in the band.  Tonight we played a venue I usually love, especially because the crowd is so great there.  The crowd was no different tonight.  However, I was in some weird sound cave where I could hear everything I didn’t need to, and none of the musical cues I actually needed.  On top of that one of my drinks spilled two songs into the set and it felt like I was standing on an oil slick.  Not being able to hear or move is a great way to play like you have mittens on your hands.  I wasn’t drinking so there was none of the false triumph of a buzz.  After the show I slithered out to the van like the Grinch.  All this happened while, three feet from me, Keith said he had the best sound he has ever had in that room.  Sound frequencies behave in weird manners. 

I am not complaining.   There are bound to be nights like this.  You play 150 shows a year and some will be bad, good, and average.  Just because you are having a bad night, doesn’t mean anyone else is.  Just keep plugging away.  A week from now this will all be a distant dream.  They say one should live in the moment, but sometimes the opposite is true; The moment is just a small strange sliver in time that will eventually fade, good or bad.