Thursday, October 27, 2005

dem old sinus pain & exploding drummer blues

-happy birthday to bomar... 29 again! thank goodness for friends, family, and loved ones. no man's an island, etc. etc. etc. my latest movie recommendation is "j'ai ete au bal (i went to the dance)"... it's a documentary about the history of cajun/zydeco. exhilarating!
-in less exhilarating news, why why why? here we go again. drummer number eight. i was tempted to go into a drummer diatribe, a cynical slideshow, a la nicholson in "carnal knowledge," of the many who've passed by... but that wouldn't be kosher. not copacetic. not kind. it would be rudely satisfying only to me, and quickly followed by guilt, inappropriate... wise, warm, crackling-with-life sister b said recently, "if we knew all, we'd forgive all." of course, i don't know the full story of why number seven is vacillating in his commitment. i just need to get this band out of his way... & begin the search for number eight, i guess!
-i asked my friend ruben (guaderrama) if it'd be easier to find steady, enthusiastic musical buddies if i lived down south, but he replied grimly, "no, it'd just be more complicated." even he is going solo these days, after near-40 years playing with his right hand man & life-long best friend. even that has dried up! i hear mento's drummer caesareo (sp) wrote a blog on the topic of "the cat versus the..." canary? the committed music lover versus the leaf in the wind-- brian p knows. i'm sure it's well-worth reading. you could find the link through nl belardes' site, i'd bet!
-so where is the bako equivalent of jerry angel? bill bateman? lisa pankratz? jose, why do you live in orange county??? or even, why are we here in backwardsville? why don't folks just want to play traditional, fun, rocking music here, get together and stomp feet, pound and saw, yell and purr and growl, tell stories in song, make melodies, make folks jump, dance and smile? so many drummers we've had have been held back by Life stuff like money, disapproving other halves, the drive... it really stinks. i guess the days of sitting on the porch playing all night are long gone. que lastima, as some would say.
- anyway, jose plays with cattie ness. he is not just a great drummer, but a quick study and a nice dude, also willing to drive and drive for the prospect of putting on a fun gig. bruce jones, olen taylor, you're local, you're the best, come back! you've rested long enough... haven't you? ...........oh well. i'll just watch movies for a while to keep the joy level up, i spose. and celebrate halloween, and the beginning of holidays season... all is not lost...
-however, there's this other problem: for the past couple of months, i've wished i could somehow live without my head, a reverse of "the brain that wouldn't die" -- just a torso walking around and pounding the keys. the pain in my skull is constant. it moves, too -- one day in the face, next in my ears, then over the eye socket. i told a recent drummer, a happy kind of guy, i'm looking at sinus surgery & he asked, "will that change your singing voice?" didn't even consider that, but the pain must go! the psychic pain of daily life can be enough at times. (ha! spoiled middle class american complaining... i really have no right, yet i do it!) adding physical pain to the mixture... well, what for, if it can be avoided, what for? the pain -- be it in my sinus cavities or sitting on a drummer's saddle -- must go.
-ha! there's my cheap shot. see? now i feel guilty. shouldna said it, but i did. at least keith moon exploded after putting in hundreds, thousands of heavy-pounding shows.... but i suppose he was keith moon, & exceptional, committed musicians are who they are for a reason. that fire & dedication is what separates them, maybe... but again, doesn't anybody just want to get together and make some happy noise, some rocking country blues, some hepped up, melancholy, jumping life music, just to do it, just for the wonderful release and pleasure of doing it?... the weird captain howdy clown face on the bootleg cover reflects the music-less situation. he's dressed for fun, but just sitting there... waiting. oh well. life goes on... though i complain here, as long as you and i are upright and breathing, there's hope. so it's movies for now, til the music comes back.

Friday, October 14, 2005

i'll go down swingin

nl belardes just put up the podcast that i got to do with him recently. it's an about 30 minute radio show titled "honky tonk girl [sic], jenny angel." you can find it at
... i hope you enjoy listening, & happy weekend to all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

the killer, the king, the boss of the 88s

-WOW!!!!! elwood in sweden sent me a care package of cds, & i'm listening to jerry lee lewis at the star club and... ARRGGHHH!!! this is the kinda music that turned teens into rebels in the '50s, the musical equivalent of jekyll changing to hyde,... pure raw wild thumping raging rock & roll!!! if the other cds have this kind of primal power, respectable life as i know it is doomed.
-or i'll have to ration it... but how will that be possible???
-one of the first experiences i had like this, where my hair stood on end & my pulse pounded & my eyes bugged & i felt truly alive, was when i was about 16 & caught on public tv-kcet a showing of "don't knock the rock" (not to be confused with the bill haley-alan freed movie). it was a 1963 granada (british tv) show featuring (unbelievable, still) the animals, gene vincent, little richard, the killer, and more... the scenes with jerry lee are decadently thrilling -- he's leering, swaggering, swollen-faced, pot-bellied, long blond curls swinging, dancing and shaking on the piano like a go-go girl as teds and greasers adore him, pounding the 88s along with a sloppy, thundering band, looking drunk on star power, awesome, the greatest in that moment, the killer, the king... must... exhale...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

the rocking keyboard strikes, the ugly men of country are covered

- yesterday i got to do nl belardes' podcast, though solo. i'd've preferred the band to come along, but brian p's been m.i.a. (just became a granddad - maybe that's it :) ). the fellows ho showed up there (fattkatt, les paw, & of course, dj nick) (not the "ugly men" referred to at top, btw) asked, "why don't you go solo?" well, i much prefer playing music with others; it's so much more fun to be "a part of," & the guys i've played with are good musicians... but i do want to play music!! as is, the band has no openings to play for months & months. i've turned down many offers recently. other musicians drop their jaws when i tell them this. it does make me pause when three folks in past weeks have mentioned the "solo" thing. anyhow.
- i brought my little keyboard, the one dad bought me years ago to encourage songs i was writing at that time. got the keys set up, went to get some coffee since i've been so sick & needed perking up (saw students!), came back & they'd gotten all set up, so off we went. i started playing (no percussion, not even a wooden floor to stomp the foot), & the keyboard starting rocking back & forth wildly. messed up my time bad in a few spots...i'm no jerry lee, that's for sure! finally we stopped recording & took some time out & fattkatt fixed the stand.
- i think the interview went well, but i did pause when asked what the band's been up to... i do appreciate the others a lot, but a band's gotta play, or it's not a band, i don't think! hmm... maybe that's why candye kane goes solo. except that woman can SING! not to mention i just love hammering that piano, not really a solo kind of gig... i sing OK... when i can hear... & on the show today, les had the vocals dialed in well, so that was some fun. no effects, no band, 61 plastic keys on a wobbly stand & chair, in a room wearing headphones with 3 guys staring at me, but it was still better than not playing, so i took the opportunity and steamed ahead.
- between interview, i did four songs or so, then finally coaxed fattkatt into singing with me. we've done it before, & i love singing harmonies. we did really impromptu versions of songs by two of the most mythically ugly but strong-voiced singers i can think of, buck owens & roy orbison (well, the former's lost his voice, but in the don rich days, they sang soaringly, wonderfully): "tiger by the tail" and "pretty woman"... now, the first tune's no problem, but the second? complex! fun to sing, but getting the full-throated vocals AND the correct changes and rolls on piano with no practice... well, i'll just say there are some glitches. "that's what people love about live music," said les. "that's what makes it human!" amen, brother. he seemed like a real all-right guy, a solid type. :)
- thank you to nl belardes for the podcast shot & to fattkatt & les for being there. the show's supposed to be on-air/online next week, so i'll post again when it's up. maybe next time, the whole band will come.