Friday, December 30, 2005

In Houston

We are wrapping up our vacation back in Texas. I'm sitting at my mom's computer and we are getting ready for bed prior to our return trip back to LA. We covered a lot of ground, spending Saturday through Wednesday in Port Lavaca at Jacki's mom's, seeing many in her family, and then Wednesday night through Saturday morning at my mom's in Houston, spending time with my mom, lisa and her friends and then breaking away to see my dad.

We saw King Kong, a dud, hit Pappasitto's twice, so against the diet, saw my dad's new house he is building in Houston, saw Narnia, not too bad, and Darian and I learned about Sudoku.

Once we get back I'll post pictures from the trip. Oh and pepper doesn't look so good :-(

Can't wait to get back home. Houston is where I grew up but it no longer feels like home to me.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

On the way to Texas

We are at the airport and on the way to Texas. We had little scare when the parking lot I normally park in was full. The front entrance was blocked, but after we drove around the back entrance the workers let us in and showed us where to park.

Next were the really long lines at the airport. It turns out my Delta platinum card works with Continental so I was able to skip the line to get the boarding passes as well as the line to go upstairs to the screening.

And even better, we are no sitting in the Continental lounge with wifi access. We are about an hour and half early since we were able to skip all of the lines, but if I had planned on it then nothing would have gone our way.

I'll write next from Texas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New clothes

The nutrisystem is paying off. After seeing how big some of my jeans, and shorts have gotten I decided it was time to go and get some new clothes. We had quite a few coupons for the Gap so thats where we went.

It was the first time in a long while where shopping for clothes actually was fun and not depressing. Clothes fit much better and I was actually able to drop a pants size and get a new belt. My old belt had also gotten to large as I was on the verge of creating a new hole in the belt to make it a smaller size.

Hopefully this is the first of many trips for new clothes.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bob Schneider

A little taste of Austin made it to LA last night. Jacki and I went to see Bob Schneider at the Roxy Theatre. It was great to hear a couple of old Scabs tunes including Tarantula, and Bombananza. The Bob highlights were Round and Round, I'm Good Now, and Assknocker. The crowd was a good size, although no where near as crowded as Antone's would get in Austin.

After the show Jacki and I met him and got a couple of pictures and an autograph of his last cd. We were also able to pick up a live recording of last nights show at the show. It is by no means professionally mixed or mastered, but for a board recording it definitely captures the nights experience.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Jason Falkner Group

Last night we went to see Jason Falkner Group at the world famous Troubadour. It ended a Thanksgiving weekend of activity and was the last night Randal, Darian's boyfriend, was here. It was good to see Dean playing live again and talk a bit to Tara before the show.

Tomorrow is back to work and back to another month of reality before the Christmas break.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Walk The Line

Yesterday, Jacki and I saw Walk The Line, the Johnny Cash movie. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon did amazing jobs. Both sang their own vocals of Johnny and June Carter, respectively. By the end of the movie when the final credits rolled around you almost became so used to Joaquin's vocals that when the real Johnny Cash vocals played you did a double take almost as if it sounded off. Clearly not, but by the end of the movie the vocals were extremely believable.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Joe Travers on vocals?

On November 6, 2005 at Molly Malone's in Los Angeles, California a small group witnessed Joe Travers vocal debut. Who is Joe Travers you ask? He was once the drummer in Z, featuring Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa, in Mike Keneally Band, and paid his bills as drummer for Duran Duran. He is also the vaultmeister of the Zappa estate.

Here we have two clips of Joe Travers on vocals first signing Led Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown, and then his encore performance was for the Van Halen classic, Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Celebrity Sighting

Bob Saget shopping for groceries at Ralph's on Wilshire in Brentwood a little after 10pm on Sunday November 20. Jacki and I walked down the same aisle as him as we were shopping.

I need to set up a celeb sighting page, but I'll log them on the main page for now.

Chicken Little

Jacki and I saw Chicken Little in 3D this afternoon. The 3D was by far the best 3D I had seen on the big screen. And the glasses were the same shape as Chicken Little's. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 12, 2005

another week in

I have lost another 3 pounds so far so I'm down 10 pounds in about 2 weeks. The second week has been much tougher than the first but the forward progress is what matters. I've got 10 more to lose before the end of November to hit more initial target. We'll see how the holidays treat me...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Santa Monica Neighbor

Last night I started to read Neil Peart's most recent book.
Traveling Music : Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times

As I read the first few pages he began to outline descriptions of places that seemed a little too familiar. Once he began to name streets and areas of a particular subdivison I realized he was talking about Santa Monica and very likely lives within blocks of where we live. Turns out when he begin writing the book he had been a resident of Santa Monica for about 3 years. He and his wife have a small 2 bedroom townhome with loft in Santa Monica (as described in the book).

Hard to believe a drummer lives in a townhome. I guess he has some of the same space constraints I've been trying to figure out myself. I'll have to look up next time I see someone hiking or biking through the neighborhood to see if it just might be Neil.

Pretty cool...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pound for pound

The nutrisystem program seems to be working. This is my 8th day on the program and I've lost 7 lbs. I realize the amount I drop week after week will slow but it is definitely encouraging. Hopefully by the end of this month I'll be able to be in the 190s. That will be a first in probably 6-7 years.

Although I'm hungry a lot of the time I don't feel I've been starving myself. Just before, when I got the urge for hunger I'd immediately overfill it. Now if i'm hungry I just drink water. Also one week in I haven't given into any temptations. At the office here they had pizza, candy for halloween, and other goodies and I've avoided completely. Also Jacki and I have been trying to enjoy things when we go out. I've had a couple of beers this past week, for business meetings, and enjoyed a couple of meals outside of the nutrisystem program.

So far so good. I anticipate I'll have to be on this program at least 90-120 days and then I will need to shift to non-nutrisystem food as part of a lifestyle change.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Go see Capote

Jacki and I saw Capote Sunday afternoon. We left the theater speechless. Philip Seymour Hoffman did an amazing job as Tuman Capote.

My friends at the Potato

Jacki and I made it to The Baked Potato to see the Mike Keneally Band. I think it had been about 5 years since I had last seen Mike's band play. Of course Bryan Beller was on bass as always. For this incarnation included Rick Musallam on guitar and Nick D'Virgilio on drums. We arrived a little after 7pm. Once the band finished sound check doors opened and the group came outside. Mike made the observation that his name was misspelled and was "Kenealy" with one "L" instead of "Keneally" with 2 "L"s. Bryan made the comment that Mike has to first earn the 2nd "L" before he can use it. This got a laugh from a few of us outside.

They played two full sets the first starting at 9:30 and the second around 11:30. I think in total we heard about 2 1/2 hours of live music.

One of the nights highlights was when the came out for the second set. Mike moved to bass, Bryan to drums and Nick front and center on guitars and vocals. They proceeded to play Hash Pipe, by Weezer, in its entirety. Completely unexpected.

They played quite a few tunes from Dancing, my favorite Keneally album, including Live in Japan, Ankle Bracelet, Ragged Ass, and We'll Be Right Back.

After the first set we went out back talked with Chris Opperman and bought a Dog shirt and a Nonkertomph cd. This was the only Keneally cd in print that they had for sale that I didn't already have a copy of. Jacki got Bryan Bellar's cd and got a picture with Bryan below. At the end of the night Jacki got a picture of Mike and I.

I mentioned to Mike that we were the ones that took him to Salt Lick in Austin Texas many years ago with Jacki's brother. Someone in Mike's camp made a comment that he had recently talked about that place. If you look close, a hat he bought when he was with us made it onto the cover of the Wooden Smoke special edition disc. Pretty cool that he remembered the experience, although not necessarily us.

It was a fun night, good music, good food and a good night out on the town in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Time to lose some weight

Well, after several years of basically maintaining my weight I've decided it is time to lose it. I lost about 15 pounds last year when I was trying to get in shape for the band through tons of exercise and although I'm no longer in a band I'm hoping to one up myself.

Jacki and I joined the same program. Sadly it took fat celebrities on VH1 to motivate us. The program we joined was featured on Celebrity Fit Club. If Phil Magera can lose weight, then so can I, no offense Phil. Speaking of Phil I'm pretty sure I saw him walk across Wilshire Blvd in Westwood last week.

The program we joined is Nutrisystem. It basically consists of a full meal plan, although you have to supplement with vegetables, fruits and breads. So far the food has been suprisngly ok. The breakfast cereals take a bite or two to get use to, lunch entrees have been good, and the dinner entrees are probably better than most dinners I normally have. Very tasty dinners.

Yesterday was my first full day on the program. For dessert I decided I needed to have a good first day so I had the Chocolate Shake that was part of the program. Not a good idea. I thought I was going to throw that up. Powdered chocalate in water just doesn't work for me. Other than that one mishap everything has been good so far.

Jacki received her food yesterday and today was her first full day on the program.

By combining some exercise and extreme focus on food portions I think we may actually have a good chance. I set my target goal loss at 60 pounds. If I hit that target then I'll be at my weight as a senior in high school some 15 years ago. If I hit that goal then I'll see about getting rock star skinny so I can join a new band out here in LA :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2005


We felt our first earthquake as residents of California last night. It was Jacki's and Darian's first earthquake experience.

3.0 - local magnitude (Ml)

Saturday, October 22, 2005 at 08:42:16 PM (PDT)
Sunday, October 23, 2005 at 03:42:16 (UTC)

Distance from Santa Monica:
4 km (2 miles) ESE (102 degrees)


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

fixing the blog

RSS Site feed, the recently listened to iTunes page, and link on the Seti page is back up and working.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Life of a tourist

Last night my mom and her beau, Marvin, got into town. Today was an all day adventure kicking off around 9:30am this morning and just now finishing at around 11pm.

We ended up doing a little bit of everything.

First breakfast at Wacky Waffle on Sunset. This was also the first time we got to really talk to Marvin. He has his hands full with my mom but so far we approve.

After a quick breakfast we did a run by the Hollywood sign with a great view from Gower, then headed to the Hollywood and Highland shopping area.
This was a chance for Darian, mom & Marvin to see the Hollywood walk of stars. Fairly low key but we did get to see quite a few stars and the Chinese Theater. Darian took most of the pictures at the Chinese Theater.

While walking around we heard people pitching, come and see a taping of a tv show. We listened to the pitch and decicided to see Real Time with Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect fame. The other choice was Jimmy Kimmel so we clearly chose Bill even though our family doesn't lean as radically to the left as Bill and Bill's agenda seems to promote. But hey, its free and should be entertaining. We also got to see an on location movie shooting. Couldn't tell the lead actors but we did get to see one of the scenes being taped.

Darian wanted to go into Ripley's museum so we split off from Mom and Marv. We met up again about an hour later and relaxed in front of Bread Papa's, a cream puff store that mom somehow found. At this point we didn't have enough time to go anywhere but too much time to hang out in a line for Bill Maher.

After about half an hour we went to CBS Studios and saw Bill. Turns out he wasn't taping tonight but was practicing the show from beginning to end for tomorrow's live broadcast. It was pretty neat seeing a tv studio in action. They actually had us sitting in the Price Is Right Studio. Extremely small and very tacky. The tacky I expected but the size of the studio was probably half of what I was expecting.

After the pre-taping we picked up Jacki from work and headed to the King Tut exhibit. A worthwhile hour and a half with some pretty cool artifacts from Egypt and the various tombs.

For dinner we went to the Grove. The group saw David Spade. Unfortunately I missed the celebrity sighting but this continues to confirm the close encounters I have personally had with David Spade. I think this makes number 3 in a period of about two months.

Hopefully tomorrow is only half as busy as today. Off to sleep now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Friday, October 07, 2005

Aren't 60 hour work weeks fun...

Nothing quite like life in a start up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Last week was a full week of travel. First San Francisco to attend CTIA and then to Overland Park to meet the new number 3 carrier.

Flying back from San Francisco Wednesday night I was able to see an amazing view of the Chatsworth, later named Topanga, fire. I could not have imagined such a large fire. It appeared as though an entire mountain range was blazing away.

Friday night when returning from Kansas I was able to see the fires once again. I was much farther away, probably 40-50 miles but you could see the fire glow in the mountains to the north as we approached for landing.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Surfs Up

On Saturday we had our first annual company outing. The event was in Malibu at the Malibu Makos surfing school. The entire family went out and we had a good time, eventhough it was overcast.

Darian and I suited up, my first wetsuit experience :-(, found a surf instructor and headed into the Pacific. The water was extremely cold. I figured it was in the mid 60s but later heard someone over the PA state that it was a chilling 59 degrees. As you walked into the water your feet numbed, and then when the first wave hit your body it knocked the wind out of you. Or at least it did for me. The surf guy told me dive into the water, get used to it before you try to surf. That helped a little bit but it still was extremely cold, even with the wetsuit.

I think I ended up trying for about 30 minutes. I was able to ride a wave in fairly easily if I stayed on my knees. Hopping up to a standing position never happened for me. I did get up on one leg with one knee down a couple of times.

Darian was doing a little better than me. She didn't tire as quickly and nearly got up several times. She attempted about 30 minutes like me, and then went back out a couple of hours later for another 30-45 minutes.

Who would have thought as little as a couple of months back that we we would have been surfing in Malibu...

It was a good thing it was overcast because Jacki got fairly burnt on her neck, the only area exposed, and my farmers tan turned into a tank top tan with slightly reddened arms. I still tan fairly easily but I've got a long way to go before I'm as dark as I was a child.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Motley weekend

Last weekend definitely didn't work out as planned. Jacki, Darian and I had plans to fly back to Atlanta so Darian and I could see Motley Crue. I had purchased the platinum experience that entitled us to some nice extras (tour program, guitar picks, VIP room access) and some once in a lifetime pieces (meet and greet the band, photo with the band). Almost identical to the KISS experience I did a few years back.

Needless to say Darian and I were excited, especially after sitting on these tickets for over 6 months. We recently moved to LA and even made a special trip back to Atlanta to see the Crue. Of course we saw friends in Atlanta but the Crue was the primary driver for this trip.

The day started as planned. Wake up at an ungodly hour to catch a 6am flight to Atlanta. We got up, made the flight and arrived in Atlanta. Since I brought my Stick To Your Guns / Toast of the Town 45 and the new cd for autographs we decided to go to Best Buy and let Darian get something she could also get signed. She ended up going for the new cd as well.

Then about 2pm at lunch we get a call from Fanfire. They called to tell us the meet and greet was off. No explanation and all they offered was refunding the platinum package, and not even refund of the tickets. I was pissed but what could you do. We tried to call a couple of other people at Fanfire and they ignored our calls. I did get hold of the lady we were supposed to call in an emergency situation and she could have cared less that I had flown 2500 miles to see the but the ticket. The consolation prize, an autographed pic of the band.

We were told our tickets would be at will call so Darian and I left for the venue. Since we knew which hotel they were staying at we did a drive by. A small number of fans were outside so we decided to hang around to try to get an autograph. Normally I wouldn't do this but since the meet and greet was cancelled without explanation I figured why not.

First out was Nikki. He came out with his family and as a result didn't acknowledge the crowd. Next out was Vince and his wife. He had to walk through the crowd and it looked like he was going to just breeze by, but as he got to the first person he held out his hand, waited for a marker and then began to sign everyone's items. I finally got signature number 2 on the 45 (the first was from Tommy back in '86). He didn't talk but the crowd thought he was very cool for stopping and signing considering Nikki didn't even look at us.

Next out was Mick. He looked so frail. It took the crowds breath away seeing him walked slouched over to his bus. Crowd was very respectful and didn't walk over to him. As he got on the bus the security guy waved for us to come over and Mick signed for only one person and then went onto the bus.

We had a Tommy sighting but he quickly darted from the cab into the hotel avoiding the crowd altogther. For a fan friendly band I was extremely disappointed. Considering the meet and greet was cancelled they could have spent 2-3 minutes signing for the 10 people in front of the hotel.

After the minor disappointment we headed to the venue. Went by will call and discovered the promised guitar picks were not present, nor was the autographed photo. Made a couple of phone calls to fanfire and did not receive any response, just endless voice mail boxes.

Got inside the venue and at least our seats were good. We had 2nd row center with the elusive Ticketmaster 1x on the ticket. Darian and I noticed that the stage set up was for the Crue and had no gear for the opening bands. Sure enough The Exies, and Sum 41, 2 bands Darian really wanted to see had been removed from the tour. Just another in a day full of disappointments.

We ended up talking to other platinum ticket holders, and found out some of them weren't even notified about the cancelled meet and greet. They found out at the venue. And many of them had driven long distances to come to the show. A couple of groups we had talked to had driven 6 hours plus. The explanation they were provided was a scheduling conflict. This wouldn't be a problem if Darian and I hadn't seen all the guys at the hotel an hour before. They were all at the venue by 5:30 in plenty of time for a meet and greet.

The next minor disappointment was the show started 40 minutes late. Very small in the grand scheme of things.

The show finally started and other than a rough Too Fast For Love where Vince's vocals weren't in sync with the song the band sounded great.

Shout at the Devil
Too Fast For Love
Ten Seconds to Love
Red Hot (Nikki threatened to play a country song at this point)
On With The Show
Looks that Kill
Louder than Hell
Live Wire ....

And then during Live Wire Vince tore a muscle in his leg. Darian saw it happened and I saw him stumble off the stage. The band were still in the first verse of the song and played the song out as an instrumental. By the time they got to the end breaks you could tell the band didn't know what was going on. At this point Darian told me, she didn't think he was coming back.

The curtain then dropped and an announcement came on saying there would be a 10 minute intermission.

An hour later Tommy, Nikki, and Mick came out and announced Vince ripped a muscle and the show was cancelled.

End of show. 2500 miles, no meet and greet, no opening bands, missing platinum items, delayed show, and a 35 minute concert.

All I can say is the rest of my weekend was much better.

Photos taken with a Treo 650.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

We're not in Kansas anymore

Well I just was, I'm in Missouri now. Here for a business meeting tomorrow morning. Living in Atlanta I became spoiled by doing day trips to most of the US. I could fly in early morning, get to a destination before business hours and catch the last flight of the day back to Atlanta. In Los Angeles you can't get there in time so you have to fly out the night before.

A little scare with my baggage tonight. The plane was packed so by the time I boarded, I'm one of the last since its Southwest and the board by the time you arrive, they made me gate check my luggage. They claimed there was no room, although when I walked back and found a seat there was plenty of luggage room. I got to the baggage claim and the sent the last bag out notice and there was no sign of my bag. Fortunately I was able to get someone in service to call the plane before they left and they found my bag.

Nothing like some drama on a business trip.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My new TV

After living without the Runco projector in Atlanta I decided to make the plunge and upgrade our TV as we moved to Santa Monica. I purchased a Samsung HL-R5688W. After doing a little research on Cnet's shopper site and checking out a few of the HDTVs in stores around LA I decided on this model.

It is one of the first DLP sets to display the full 1080i HD resolution. I'm watching progressive DVD displayed for the first time and the picture is amazing. The HD Tivo and my high end SACD/DVD player are finally getting used to its full extent. I can't wait to try out the HD adapter I purchased for the Xbox a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My Dad

Can you believe it. He checks out of the hospital on Saturday and he is already back at work.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A few days in...

We have mostly gotten the house in order now. We had our first Ikea experience. I was a bit overwhelmed. So many people and then Darian got sick. The best part was the cinnamon rolls. We ended up leaving with a bookcase for my cds, a couple of cabinets for the bathrooms, a wardrobe, and a desk for Darian that will fit in her room.

The weekend has been spent emptying boxes, probably only 10 left, and building furniture.

The bad news for the week is I found out my dad had a minor heart attack. Although there isn't really such thing as a "minor heartattack". I'll give him a call tomorrow to see how he's doing. He was supposed to get out of the hospital last night. Came as a surprise considering he went through a bypass about 3 years ago and had been given an excellent bill of health ever since.

I'll probably go to Houston to see him mid September.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Dave Matthews Band

We saw Dave Matthews Band a week ago. This was our first concert in the Los Angeles area after relocating from Atlanta.

Saturday Aug 27 2005
Home Depot Center

Don’t Drink the Water

American Baby Intro

Dream Girl

Grey Street

Hunger For The Great Light

Say Goodbye


American Baby

Out Of My Hands

Smooth Rider

Dancing Nancies


Too Much

Louisiana Bayou

Best of Whats Around

Two Step

Show Notes:
* Robert Randolph

Friday, September 02, 2005

Back online

The Dave Blog is back online again. Turns out Verizon won't let me host my own server on their residential DSL so I'm using imagelinkusa to host my home domain once again.

I'll get the apps back online soon but at least the blog entries are back online.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

LA Day 1

We got into LA yesterday around 10am. We thought it would be a nice relaxed day. A little lunch, go by the new place, and maybe start working on preparing on life in California.

The beginning part of the day went as planned. Made it to our house in Santa Monica. Our landlord, Michel, was there fixing up the last remaining items and then we were off to lunch. After lunch we went by Darian's new high school to start the enrollment process. That is when the stress started.

First we were off to the clinic to get Darian's shots updated, they were closed by the time we got there. Then off to the gas company to get a utility bill. I had forgetten about getting gas service turned on so we had to call a number. Set up the gas service. Then pay a nominal amount so we could have a reciept to prove our residency in Santa Monica.

Then off to the DMV. We forgot our birth certificates so back to the house then back to the DMV. Then the shocker. California has a written test. Unnecessary stress the first day in the city, but we had to have it prior to completing Darian's registration. Fortuntaely both Jacki and I passed and now have California drivers licenses.

The rest of the day was spent booking a hotel, grocery shopping and at the end of the night Darian and I went the Cheesecake Factory while Jacki remained at the hotel to get some rest.

Darian geeked out when we were waiting to get seated for dinner because she saw the drummer of AFI walking down the street.

Hopefully today will be less chaotic.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Kings Of Leon

Just got back Kings Of Leon. They played a fantastic show.

Opening band 1: The Helio Sequence. Two guys, drums and guitar/harmonica playing to backing tracks. Not bad but not something I'd see myself listening to.

Opening band 2: Secret Machines. These guys played too long. Some of the songs had their moments and then they'd go into these almost dirge like slow spacy music. Not good. And they played well over an hour longer than they needed to. Their set must have been 2 hours and was much longer than KOL.

KOL: They rocked. Last time I saw them, and heard them for the first time, was at Bonnaroo 2004. On the way to the show Darian said she wanted to hear Molly's Chambers. She got it as the opening song in their set. They played a strong 75 minute set.

It was Jacki's birthday so I was glad she enjoyed their set.

Darian scored a setlist after the show.

Under Contract

Our house is under contract. It turns out the second offer we received was better both financially and the buyer looked stronger with his loan approval status and downpayment.

On the market for 5 days and under contract. And they want to close August 31st so no more house payments!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

House Offers

We just received news that we've already received one offer on the house and that another realtor has said we will have another offer in by Thursday morning. Less than a week and two offers. Sure beats the 6 months it took us to sell in Austin.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Real Estate Caravan

Today the real estate caravan, where realtors come to check out our house, is under way. I've had Darian with me at work all day since the caravan occured midday.

I'm assuming it went well because we've already received two calls that realtors are showing their clients our house this afternoon. So hopefully after one day of showings we will receive an offer. I can always hope!

We also received a proof of our flyer, it looks great. Click to download the flyer.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Santa Monica

We are moving to Santa Monica. On Friday Jacki and Darian flew out, saw 6 places and decided the little house in Santa Monica would work. We now have an address and in approximately one week we will have a California address.

This will be a lifestyle adjustment, going from a 2800 sf house w/ basement to a 1300 sf house with a small garage. The weather is great, the landlord is nice, and I think this will be a good move for us.

Considering how some of the schools are doing in a our current area I'm excited that Darian will be on track at a good high school.

Our house is now on the market for $364,900 in Smyrna. The realtor caravan starts tomorrow.

Current plan is for movers to pack us on Friday, ship out on Monday and we fly out Monday night or Tuesday morning to Los Angeles.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

House For Sale

It looks like our house will be for sale this week in Smyrna. Jacki has done an incredible job getting things in order and interviewing the various realtors. She chose a realtor on Friday and we are hopeful it will be on the market early this week.

Tomorrow we begin the immense amount of paperwork with the relocation company. So far the inspections have been completed and after meeting with our friend Troy we found out all things required for repairs by the relocation company is extremely minor. All the fixes should be in place by Thursday.

This upcoming week our mission is to find a place to live. I'll be looking at some places Monday when I get back to LA but after talked with Jacki and Darian I think they are pretty set on living in Santa Monica. My goal will be to find several places in Santa Monica that could work so we can begin the plan for our final move.

Its hard to believe in less than a month we will be living in LA but we have no idea where.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

4 weeks to go

Its a done deal. We are moving to Los Angeles in 4 weeks. Still not sure where we will live so I'm flying Jacki and Darian out in a couple of weeks so we can find a place to live.

Overrall I'm pretty excited. The life getting interrupted part isn't any fun, but I think the move to LA will be good for us. Another new place, and we are already getting back in touch with old friends and making new ones.

This weekend we are going through the closets trying to decide what gets trashed and what will go with us on the move. Something that will be very different in comparison from our previous move is that we will be downsizing instead if upsizing like we did coming to Atlanta. From Austin we went from a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath house to a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath house with a full basement. Now we are looking at going from a 4/3.5 to a 2/2 if we're lucky, and of course nearly zero storage.

This will defintely be a life change.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Who - Indecency Scandal

The Live 8 broadcast of The Who's "Who Are You " is the impetus for the Parents Television Council asking the FCC to levy a fine to the ABC stations that broadcast the performance during the Live 8 highlight show.

Once again this seems extreme, and doesn't better society in any way. The song is 25+ years old and has been played uncensored on the radio since its original debut. Also the reference is so subtle that on first listen you likely wouldn't catch it, meaning the parents group was familiar with the song prior to the airing.

I did notice when watching the ABC broadcast that they didn't censor The Who's performance, although they did censor Pink Floyd's "Money". And interestingly enough MTV and VH1 did censor The Who on first airing.

I really hate seeing this type of stuff.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dave Matthews Band

Jacki and I saw Dave Matthews Band last night in Atlanta. Not the best set list I've seen from them but they did play Say Goodbye which is right up there with one of my all time favorite DMB tunes. I got trapped trying get drinks so I missed Stolen... through ... Smooth Rider.

I hadn't seen DMB since 2002 so it was a nice treat to see Carter on drums again. He played this amazing psuedo-solo at the end of You Might Die Trying. It wasn't perfect and he even got Stefan off beat at one point, but it looked like they were having a ton of fun.

Much to Jacki's disliking Trey from Phish came out and played on a couple of tunes. His solo on Jimi Thing was amazing. Great guitar tone and a very tasteful solo. However Lousiana Bayou was too drawn out and was very strange to finish the main set with.

And then the world's longest encore break. It had to have been at least 10 minutes.

All in all a good night.

One Sweet World
Dream Girl
Don’t Drink the Water
Hunger For The Great Light
Dancing Nancies
Say Goodbye
Time Of The Season
Stolen Away On 55th & 3rd
American Baby
Smooth Rider
Stand Up
Jimi Thing *
Louisiana Bayou *


You Might Die Trying
What You Are

Show Notes:
* Trey Anastasio

Saturday, June 18, 2005


I spent the last couple of weeks in Los Angeles for work and will be headed back out for a few days again tomorrow. On the trip out I saw Morgan Rose the drummer of Sevendust on my plane. I'm pretty sure it was him, it looked like he had freshly dyed black hair. Didn't get to talk to him, so I'll have to catch him on the next flight out :-)

I flew Jacki out for the first weekend I was in LA. This was her first time out so she was pretty excited. Minutes of being in town we checked into the hotel The Orlando. Then it was off to see our good friend Dean Truitt play at the world famous Viper Room on Sunset Strip. He was playing with Jason Falkner, and this was the new band's debut performance with Jason. Jason long ago played lead guitar for Jellyfish. It was a great show. Before the show Jacki and I went to the Rainbow with Dean and I had my second close encounter with David Spade. Turns out he was at the table we were seated at just before we got there.

Friday we went and found the Duran Duran and KISS stars on Hollywood Blvd. Saturday and Sunday we spent checking out different areas, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, W. Hollywood, Bel-Air, and Culver City. There is an extremely good chance we will be relocated out to the Los Angeles in a few months so we wanted to get an idea of how far or should I say how little our money will go out there. We've pretty much determined it will be very hard to buy in these areas but renting is probably a good option. We just have to make sure we get Darian into a good school. We saw Dean a couple of times over the weekend and had a nice dinner with him Sunday night.

LA was a comfortable 68 degrees most of the weekend. The ongoing joke was when it was 67 it was cold and when it reached 69 it was hot. Ironically Jacki's fair skin got a little burnt when we ate some Mexican food on the patio of a restaurant in Santa Monica.

Jacki flew out Monday, and it turned out I had meetings in Kansas City Tuesday so we ended up flying out about the same time. Back to LA Tuesday night and work work work.

I saw Dean again Thursday night and flew back home on Friday.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Studio Day 34/35/36/37

Yes, I haven't been great at keeping the days in the studio up to date. Over the past 6 weeks the band hasn't spent much time together as an entire unit. We also haven't progressed much since mid April. Some of the recent happenings include Mike V working on guitar parts for all of the tracks. This past Tuesday I spent some time working with him on guitars for Lonely One.

Last night was the first night in probably 4 weeks or more where the entire band was in the studio to work on recording. Katie worked on vocals for All About You. It took the better part of 3 hours, but Mike V had some great feedback and we are hopeful that on listen back we have a vocal track the entire band is pleased with.

We continue to progress, albeit slowly.

Vocals and guitars are primarly what is left. We will need to touch up a few other things including bass on one track, and maybe some drums and percussive effects.

Monday, May 30, 2005

A little drum upgrade

The time has come to do a little repair and upgrading on my drum kit. About 2 months ago I noticed my Tama Iron Cobra double pedal had been starting to slip a little. The left foot pedal, the extended pedal, connecting piece had actually wore down to a rounded shaft. Originally it was square and you screwed it in to hold the fitting, but now since it was round the screws wouldn't hold.

I took it into Guitar Center and quickly found out that not only was this a farily common problem with the Iron Cobra but the demo units in the store actually showed the same signs of wear. One of the sales guys of course recommeded that I upgrade to the latest and greatest DW 9000 series double pedals. I found out the price he thought he could give me and told him I needed to think about it.

I went back today and decided to go ahead and make the purchase as well as get some new drum heads. I decided to go with the Evans G2 coated for the toms and the sales guy recommended an Evans Double Ply Dry Coated Dry Head for the snare so I thought I'd try that out as well. They were out of the 14" G2 so I'll have to go back and get it later in the week. My $500 purchase gave me the DW 9002 pedals, 14" snare head, and 16", 12", and 10" tom heads.

I went to the studio tonight to try out the pedals. A huge difference over the Iron Cobras. Much smoother, better balance, and easier to play faster, which is always fun. I also put on the 10" and 12" heads. My drums sound brand new again and truly show off the DW sound. I'll probably pick up the 14" head from the other Guitar Center this week.

Practice this week should be fun with the band.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


My band has our first gig in nearly 6 months tomorrow. Over the past couple of weeks we've had a handful of rehearsals and it has been nice to get back into the groove of playing.

Mike V made a comment when I was talking about my playing that made a lot sense. I commented that I was playing better than I thought and I almost had the ability to play whatever I could think of playing.

He made the comment that kind of suggested I was floating or flying over the instrument. It was a pretty cool concept and one I hadn't tried to verbalize before. As you improve your playing and mastery of the instrument you'll begin to float on top of the instrument and that kind of frees you up to play some extremely creative and interesting things. I've only had this feeling a few times but now have a feeling I can assoicate and strive toward again as a play.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

crowes vid and pics

Here are some rough shots from the two crowes taken through a treo 650
using binoculars as a zoom lens. No joke.

The first is a video of Chris on stage the first night in Atlanta. Turn the sound down!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Jealous Again

We made it to the Black Crowes one more time on their four night stand in Atlanta. This time it was a family affair with Darian, Jacki and myself. We got to the venue early so we wouldn't be in the nose bleed seats. Once the doors opened Darian darted for the front of the stage and Jacki and I went to the second level. We settled in about 4 rows up from the front of the balcony close to the middle but off to the right side. The only downfall from our position is we couldn't see Ed at all, and viewing in between shoulders and over heads got tiresome.

The show had a very different vibe than the Thursday show. The show at times felt a little mellower although the set wasn't mellow by any means. A few more obscure tunes were played and the jams lasted a little longer. Highlights for me once again were No Speak, No Slave and My Morning Song. Jacki wanted to hear She Talks To Angels and I noticed they hadn't played the song in about a week so she had her hopes up. Sure enough she got her wish during the encore.

Chris was as animated as he was on Thursday and it seemed Rich was having more fun, grinning more than Thursday and jamming a little bit more with the rest of the band. During Jealous Again, Rich takes vocals on a couple lines in the song but actually nodded over to Sven to take the vocal on the second line. They also got in a few songs from the 3 Snakes album.

Here is Sunday's setlist.

Don't Do It
Stare It Cold
Go Tell The Congregation
Jealous Again
Seeing Things
My Morning Song
Girl From A Pawnshop
Space Captain
High Head Blues
Wiser Time
How Much For Your Wings?
Young Man, Old Man
Twice As Hard
No Speak No Slave
She Talks To Angels
Shake Your Moneymaker

Darian got herself a Rich Robinson guitar pick and had a good time at the show. On our way home we asked if we had made her a Black Crowes fan and she said yes. Mission accomplished.

We picked up the Instant Live Recording and got home right around midnight.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Welcome back Steve

Steve Gorman is back with the Black Crowes and Jacki and I witnessed it first hand. I got home and went to the Black Crowes website and saw they issued a press release announcing the return of Steve. I had told Jacki before the show they had a different drummer and then I was confused when I saw Steve on the drums. I had gotten a couple of bootlegs from early on the tour and found the shows difficult to listen to becaure the drum parts and the grooves weren't quite the same.

Probably as a result of Steve's return and first show back with the band this ended up being the best Crowes show I've ever seen. Chris was so animated, dancing and having fun the entire night. Jacki and I were talking about how different a show was compared to Chris' set we saw at Bonnaroo last year. The was the first time I'd ever seen the Crowes perform and actually look happy. It was a great night.

Virtue And Vice
Sting Me
Jam -> Black Moon Creeping
Cosmic Friend
Ballad In Urgency -> Wiser Time
Jam -> Thorn In My Pride
Sometimes Salvation
Peace Anyway
Soul Singing -> Jam
Jealous Again
No Speak No Slave
Hard To Handle -> Jam

Chris' shirt said
"Don't buy weed from speeddealers"
Marc's shirt said
"Genuine Mustache Rides 5 cents"
and Ed was sporting a great FZ shirt.

I'll post some pictures I took with my Treo tomorrow. I even got a quick dancing video of Chris. We picked up a shirt for Jacki and a poster for me and now I'm going to listen to my instant live cds of the show!

at the black crowes

Here is the opening band, Rose Hill Drive.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Last night Darian and I went ot Mudvayne at EarthLink Live. The show was sold out, but one of the benefits of working at EarthLink paid off. EarthLink corporate gets a handful of free tickets to every show at EarthLive so I did a little research and was able to get a couple of complimentary tickets for the show.

Darian and I got to the show about 7:00pm. Pretty much the scheduled start time. One of the bands, American Head Charge, had their bus break down so the show started a little later to accomodate the missing set.

We got inside and got a nice seat about 5 rows off of the floor. Darian wanted to live the concert so she went down to the floor, and I was quite content sitting back in my chair and watching and listening to the show.

Before the first band went on I checked out the merch booth and found out Mudvayne was doing an aftershow autograph of their new disc if you bought it. Since Darian is no longer a kid I ended up buying to copies, not to mention I already owned it so now we've got three copies of the disc.

First band was Bloodsimple. Out of New York and along the lines of the new metal scene. More hard core than progressive, more power than dynamics. Singer's voice was a little too cookie monster for me, but the music was good and the band was tight.

Second band was Life Of Agony. Also out of New York, and a band with some history. Vocalist Whitfield Crane from Ugly Kid Joe joined them briefly in the late 90s'. This was a reunited lineup from the early 90s and the music went over well. Darian commented that they were a little more commercial sounding than the first band.

Mudvayne came out and played a great set. I saw them previously on September 10,2001 the day before the dreaded 9-11. Ironically the night I saw them, absolute esacpe-ism. The band were decked out in full makeup, actually with bullet holes to their head just like they were to the MTV VMAs that year, actually just a few days prior. They played an outdoor venue which is always odd to me for this type of metal show. It happened to be at the end of the first tour so Chad's (at that time Kud's) vocals were pretty shot, and the band didn't really have as strong a catalog to pull from. Putting together an hour plus show for an album that was only 50 minutes without the interludes between songs prooved tough. I really enjoyed that show but was pleased to see how far they've come since. Ironically 9-11 was about the time they took off the makeup for good. I don't know if it was simply coincidence or not but the escapism is now less about the theatrics and more about the music.

Now back to the show in Atlanta. Fantastic set. Unlike the Austin show in 2001 they now have 3 great albums and for me their debut LD 50 is the weakest of the three. They opened the set with Determined and proceeded to run through a farily even set incorporating songs off the three major label releases.

In no particular order here is the set list I was able to cobble together.
Internal Primates Forever
Death Blooms
Nothing To Gein
Mercy, Severity
World So Cold
Not Falling

Highlights for me were Determined, Happy?, and World So Cold. Chad's voice sounded fantastic on the melodic parts and the screaming never disappointed. I remember when World So Cold came out as a single about 18 months back, they were promoting it on tv and also released a live bootleg. I was disappointed with the performances, the band looked exhausted, and the music and vocals weren't up to the standard I was hoping. Last night World So Cold blew away any previous disappointments. Chad did a little let's hear it for our troops speech right before the song, with the main message being just because stuff isn't in your backyard doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Dig closed the night and although that was the song that gave 90% of the crowd their first exposure to Mudvayne it almost seems like it doesn't stand up to the newer material. I'm hoping Happy? takes this band from bringing in gold records to finally crossing into the platinum.

The aftershow was non-eventful. No pictures and you could only get one item signed. I asked Matt what drum pedals he uses and he said Pearl. No longer the Tama iron cobras, that I still play to this day. Ryan was extremely nice to Darian. As Darian had her cd signed she said "Thank you so very much" to which his reply was "You're welcome so very much". She defintely got a kick out of this. Gregg signed looked at me I said thanks and he didn't really say anything. And then Chad at the end actually reached out and waited for me to shake his hand. He was a true class act.

I'll post some pics from the show, and scans of the autographs and aftershow pass shortly.

It had been too long since I had been to a great metal show. Different than the 80s and 90s but a great experience nonetheless.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Direct from Portland Mr. Brown

The family got to hang with long time friend I originally met in Austin at pcOrder. Corregan has been on a heavy consulting gig living everywhere but home for the last 9 months. We joked about getting the original "Band" back together from Austin, renting a studio in some far-off land and spend a week recording an album.

Could be fun. And my chops aren't too far from being ready for a project like that. Just don't know if any of the other guys still play. Maybe I'll trickle out the emails in the next week and see if anyone is interested.

Studio Day 32 / 33

Tuesday we worked on the Kiss Me Goodbye bass part. Fairly non eventful and went pretty quickly. We wrapped up in a little under two hours.

Thursday it was time to move back to acoustic guitars. I had a confernce call for work that ended up lasting until about 9:40pm or so. As a result I didn't get to the studio until about 10pm. The band had been recording acoustic parts for Mr. Knowitall. They had tried several different iterations of setting up mics, first a 57, then a condensor, both had their pros and cons. Since the focus was on sound more than performance the acoustic performance wasn't up to the standard we had set. On listen back we also heard some things we wanted to change about the part. When Mike and Katie get back from their trip to Wyoming we will pick up where we left off.

The bad news of the night was on listen back the bass part to Mr. Knowitall ends up being too laid back. So we will probably have to retrack that part as well.

1 step forward and 2 steps back.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Studio Day 30 / 31

This past week the band made it into the studio twice. The first in some time. Tuesday we tackled the last drum track for Kiss Me Goodbye...kind of. After running through a rough take we went back and listened to the drum track from the demo we did last August. We agreed that it would be impossible to get a better performance. At the time we playing a few shows a month, and I was at the peak of my playing. The performance on that recording I feel is one of the best I've had. So, I spend about an hour figuring out how to lift that performance from the original demo and putting it into the protools template for the EP we are now working on. Success. I'll need to re-eq and re-mix the drums but the performance is complete. Now all of my drum tracks are done. That is unless I go back and re-record All About You. I'm not 100% comfortable with that performance and think I should go back and re-record. It will probably take 2-3 hours on a weekend to knock out, maybe next weekend.

Thursday we shifted gears to work on the final bass tracks. Mike G worked on Mr. Knowitall. We ran through the song a few times, at times Mike was right on top of the beat, at times he was just behind it. We decided we liked the feel of him playing right behind the beat. We stitched together parts to reconstruct the verse and chorus and had Mike re-perform the final minute of the song. We've got a bass part we are all happy with. One more bass part to go.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Studio Day 29

Mr. Knowitall drums are complete. I went in on a Sunday and cut the tracks without the band. Being bummed about last Thursday I decided I could go in and finish up the track. It only took about two hours. I had Terry, my brother in law who was in town for the Steve Vai concert, man the protools system. He handled starting and stopping of the recording.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Studio Day 28

Mr. Knowitall

Started working on drums around 8:20 or so. Got some good drum sounds and spent about 45 minutes working with Mike V on composing the perfect part. So far so good.

Time to cut the track. 2 hours later still didn't have a track I was completely satisfied with. I'll try to cut the track again next time.

Not a great night.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Studio Day 27

I made it back to the studio last night. We moved recording to Wednesday this week instead of Tuesday because Mike and Katie had a songwriting class.

I had a long conference call with the SK team last night so we got started just a little before 9pm. Ran through what they had recorded over the last two weeks and some great sounding acoustic parts as well as some cool bass lines on Lonely One. I could tell Mike G probably spent a good bit of time coming up with that new part.

Since my travel schedule doesn't appear to be letting up anytime soon they wanted to get me on drums to finish my last two tracks. Considering it had been nearly 4 weeks since I picked up sticks I knew there wasn't much hope for cutting a track. We started on Mr. Knowitall and realized the scratch guitar track didn't have the arrangement we wanted so first thing was to recut the scratch. Next, our time was spent on getting the mics set back on the drums and letting me run through a few takes. Tonight I hope to cut the track.

Goals tonight, spend about an hour working on sounds, and then spend 2 hours working on recording. Mike V had some good ideas on how to make the drum part both more tasteful and more interesting so that will probably take some time to work through. Fortunately this is one of the easiest tracks for me to play to so I'm hopeful we can get a keeper tonight.

Studio Day 25/26

Last week Katie sent a couple of more very quick updates.

So bass is done on Lonely and All About You and acoustic is done on Lonely One. It took us a couple days to get an acoustic sound. All About You won't take long to get the Acoustic Tuesday should be a productive night assuming you can be here....if you won't to take a break from your travels we can start Wednesday.

And we even had an exchange about Mike G missing me :-)

Katie >
Mike G said you sux!!!
Me > what is that about? Mike G sux!
Katie > I guess that is his way of saying he misses you!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha

Studio Day 25/26

Last week Katie sent a couple of more very quick updates.

So bass is done on Lonely and All About You and acoustic is done on Lonely One. It took us a couple days to get an acoustic sound. All About You won't take long to get the Acoustic Tuesday should be a productive night assuming you can be here....if you won't to take a break from your travels we can start Wednesday.

And we even had an exchange about Mike G missing me :-)

Katie >
Mike G said you sux!!!
Me > what is that about? Mike G sux!
Katie > I guess that is his way of saying he misses you!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I'm back

I got back in the States last night. It's good to be back. Sleeping has always been a problem when I return to the US although last night I slept until about 6am. Realizing I normally wake up at 8:30am or so this wasn't too bad. However I took a 3 hour nap today which I'm sure will screw things up.

This next weekend Terry and Buffy are coming into town and Terry and I will be heading to the Steve Vai show with the EVO experience and meet and greet. I was planning to see Kings Of Leon Friday night but it looks like they've already sold out. I'll have to watch for tickets to open up or maybe catch them on their next tour.

Speaking of meet and greets and platinum experiences, when I was in Korea I ordered a couple of tickets to the Motley Crue show in Atlanta. I ordered the platinum tickets through their fan club and are guaranteed seats in the first two rows with a photo and meet and greet after the show. Just like the KISS ticket I had back in 2003. The funny thing is the price for 2 tickets with all original members to the Crue is less than 1 ticket to KISS with 2 original members. I guess Paul and Gene can still demand more than the Crue.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Norah Jones in Seoul

After working a few days in Seoul I glanced onto Pollstar's Site to see if there was any interesting shows in Seoul while I'm here. Norah Jones was listed so after spending one night trying to read Korean web sites, and then working two days with the concierge I finally managed to get tickets.

Turns out they don't seem to have a 24 hour ticketmaster type site so the first night I went to the hotel concierge they just stated that the box office was closed and to try again the next day. I came back a couple of nights later and finally got the concierge to get some information. Once again the box office was closed but the concierge managed to call the production company and reserved two tickets under my name.

Picking up will call tickets always makes me nervous, much less doing this in a foreign country but we had no problems getting them. Since we had VIP seats we were able to go to a pre party and post party event for free drinks. Nothing too exciting, and it turned out Chivas was the only thing served but at least it was free. We get inside the venue and it turns out we have 2nd row center tickets and no one ended up sitting on the front row so we had a great view the entire night.

Concert was great, the band was great and the the show was well mixed. The hall had quite a bit of echo which lent itself well for some of the tunes. Toward the end of the show Norah played Creepin' In a song that she did a duet with Dolly Parton on her cd. The crowd had been extremely calm, no talking, clapping immediately after a song then absolute silence. When she was introducing the song she mentioned that with the large space in front of the stage between the front row that people could use the space to dance. And then things got out of control. You had probably a hundred people on both sides of the venue crowd up on the edge of the front row trying to dance. It was an extremely bizarre sight, and Seoul security seemed in over their head.

The show lasted about two hours and covered many of my favorites including Nightingale.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Studio Day 23/24 update from Katie

And progress in the studio continues...

Here is an update from Katie on the studio activities this week.

Hey David,
If you wanted to keep your blog going for the studio days here is an
Tuesday March 1st we worked on Bass for Lonely One. Mike G got his amp
fixed so he played through his amp for a couple run throughs, but listening
back to the bass through the Peavy sounded so much better. So, the Mike's
set up the bass in the hall with the Peavy and got a good sound. Mike G
played bass all night....I fell asleep and woke up at 10:30 finding that
the bass part had been changed and it sounded really cool. I left about
10:30 and the Mike's stayed punching in parts and had a late night....think
they ended up heading out abut midnight with a bass part that they were
happy with.

Tonight March 3rd will be the guitars!!!!!
I will be playing my acoustic on both Lonely One and All About You, guess
we will pick one and see how long it takes!!!! Then I have my rhythm
electric and Mike V has his lead parts.....hopefully we will be done with
all the guitars for both by the time you get back!!!!!!

If we finish before you get back I told Mike V that I am interested in
putting a very simple all acoustic song on the shouldn't take
long....but I thought it would show a little diversity and it's a song that
I personally really like and would like to hear it recorded. Just me
singing and my acoustic guitar.....we can toy with other instrument
ideas...but i don't want an electric sound....maybe a snare, shakers,
etc.....this will be a good test too for if we ever wanted to play acoustic
live.....The song is called "I didn't come here for this". I think we ran
through it one time in rehearsal, but that was it.......
Talk to ya later!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Back in Korea

I've made my third trip to Korea in 4 months. The trip over was an eventful and we got into the hotel around 7pm last night. A quick dinner at O'Kim's our favorite Irish Korean pub and back to the room.

Before I left Jacki and I made a run to Tower and I made one of my largest single purchases in some time. I also picked up a couple of out of print discs from the used bin. The Four Horsemen - Nobody Said It Was Easy, which Amazon had starting used at $30 and new for $95, and The Wildhearts - Earth vs. The Wildhearts - which used through Amazon started at $20. The remarkable thing is I paid less than $12 for the two of them together.

I also got to try out my new headphones the Shure E3c. These are sound isolation headphones that do not use active cancelling, but act more or less like an ear plug with a speaker in it. My only complaint is that it sometimes takes some work to get a good fit with a good clean signal, but when they are in they work great. Several times the flight attendant had to tap me because I was either looking out the window or had my eyes shut and had no idea she was there. The other nice thing about the headphones is that since so much outside noise is blocked out you don't have to run the volume nearly as loud as you would otherwise.

I'm off to work in Korea.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Studio Day 22

Mike G finished up his part on All About You Wednesday night. We had a workable part after about an hour and half into it. I had to do some minor editing on the verse and Mike ended up punching in two parts. Remarkably all of the complicated licks he played he nailed, the trobule spots were around the verse and the groove.

Usually ends up being the opposite problem for me.

I'm off to Korea for two weeks so the band will be on their own. Mike V has been learning how to use the ProTools rig so I'm hopeful guitars and bass will be wrapped up for Lonely One and All About You when I get back.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Studio Day 21

Mike G continued working on his bass part last night for All About You. We aren't there quite yet but he is close. We should wrap up All About You tonight. The guy worked his ass off last night, and by far we have created the most complicated bass part for a Superlatives song to date.

I'm expecting he'll nail it within the first hour tonight and then we can work on Lonely One.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Some Kind Of Monster

Last weekend I was listening to Eddie Trunk's show on the Boneyard on XM Radio. Last weekend they had Bruce Sinofsky one of the directors on the show. Turns out that Bruce brought along a few copies to give away and I actually won one of them autographed by Bruce on the show. I got it in the mail today and watched about an hour and half.

I know I won't have anything interesting to say that hasn't been said by the press or in other reviews but Metallica was on their last legs. I hate to say it but it almost becomes comical considering they are the biggest metal band in the world and will probably have that title for many more years to come. If you haven't seen the movie check it out, the scenes with Metallica in group therapy are some of the best behind the music type stuff you will ever see.

And I must say thanks to Bruce Sinofsky, Eddie Trunk, XM Radio and Paramount Home Video for a copy of the DVD.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Studio Day 20

Tonight we spent working on Mike G's bass part to All About You. It was a pretty full night. We experimented with micing up both of his cabinets one with the bass drum mic and one with the floor tom mic. It was interesting to hear how the sounds differed. By itself the bass drum mic had very little definition, but the floor tom mic wasn't nearly as full sounding. Together it had clarity and punchness. I through a little compression onto the floor tom mic and we ended up with a good bass tone.

We ran Mike through the ringer tonight. Deconstructed his part entirely and built it back up. By the end of the night he had some pretty cool ideas and a good outline of a part for recording. Then all of a sudden we lost bass sound. He blew his amp. The first casualty of the recording sessions. At this point we went direct and Mike was able to lay down a rough outline of a final part.

We burned a cd with a rough mix for Mike to practice with and will continue again next Tuesday.

Darian joined us at the studio tonight and I took some pretty funny video of her dancing to and singing All About You on my Treo 650. I'll try to upload the video here so you can take a look. Pretty funny stuff!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Studio Day 19

Two hours and one drum track later All About You drums are complete. Drum sounds cooperated and I was able to get a good take the third or fourth time through the song.

We wrapped about an hour earlier than normal.

Bass tracks are next for Thursday.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Studio Day 18

Just the Mike(s) and I in the studio this past Thursday. Spent about 2 hours cleaning up the drum sounds. We had the ring problem on the second tom. When the bass drum is kicking a way the second tom just resonates. Nice sound, but not what you want for recording.

Once we got that under control I did a take and perhaps a first we kept the first take. The very intro of the song wasn't locked in so I lifted a part from the middle of the song that has the same part and then we had a finished drum part. The quickest recording ever.

I ended up spending about an hour listening to the take over and over to make sure there wasn't anything we needed to fix or improve. But no changes were necessary.

Lonely One drum part is recorded... All About You will be next.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Motley Crue in the news

Motley is back in the billboard top 10 with their new greatest hits compilation Red, White and Crue. The came in at number 6 with 90,000 units sold.

And then in not so good Motley news is that Mick Mars is being sued for $10M from an ex.

Not bad for a week in the Crue.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Studio Day 17

We took last Thursday off from recording and focused on playing and getting familiar with our instruments again. It was a good way to let off a little steam and of course have some fun. Tonight it was back to business.

The attention was all on me tonight. We worked out drums for both Lonely One and All About You. Spent about 2 hours cleaning up Lonely One, worked on tightening up the chorus and cleaning up some of the accents throughout the song. Also since I hadn't practiced playing drums in some time a good portion of the first hour was just working on my timing and syncing up to the click. The two hours paid off and I think we have a much better drum part. The intro and breakdown in the middle are drastically different than what we had done before. We gave it a double time feel and it really seemed to pick the energy of the song up right from the start. A little syncing up the bass drum with the bass guitar during the chorus and now we've got a good performance.

The last hour we spent on All About You. Interestingly we double timed the verse and it gave a great building effect against the guitars. Cleaned up the breakdown section. At one point the breakdown ended up sounding like the drums to We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister. So clearly had to stop going down that path. A little help from Mike V and a suggestion from Mike G and we've got a breakdown that is on the verge of working. And of course we made room for a huge sloppy Keith Moon drum fill towards the end of the song and it works perfectly.
Thursday we will get some drum sounds and work on recording Lonely One. A tiring night, but one of the more productive ones in some time.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wes Wehmiller RIP

This past weekend we lost another musician. Wes Wehmiller, most prominently known as the bass player in Duran Duran in the late 90s, and was also involved in the Zappa community of musicians (Mike Keneally, Joe Travers, Warren Cuccurullo). Circumstances behind his death are not known. He was only 33 years old.

Plans were mentioned that he was potenitally going to play bass on a Dweezil Zappa tour later in the year. His last public performance was with Dweezil on Jan 23rd at NAMM.

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Bryan Beller, bassist and Keneally alum, has posted a track on his website of the Bryan Beller Band's only performance, with Wes on bass with Bryan on lead bass. Warren Cuccurullo has also posted some performances with Wes on his site.

From Bryan's site...

In honor of the untimely passing of my dear friend Wes Wehmiller, we've cleared out this space to make room for something special - a tune from the one and only gig the original Bryan Beller Band ever played. It's a cover of John Scofield's "Blackout," on which Wes played bass while I played the lead.

Fittingly, he's the only one on this tune that doesn't solo. But all you have to do is hear this one track to know what an absolute genius he was.

I will miss him so, so, so much.

Click here to listen.

June 24, 2004
The Baked Potato, Hollywood, CA

Rick Musallam - guitar
Wes Wehmiller - bass
Joe Travers - drums
Bryan Beller - lead bass
anonymous audience member - unnecessary cowbell

Studio Day 16

We redid a couple of Mike's leads this past Monday and had Katie finish up her rhythm tracks. As it stands I'm pretty sure basic tracks for Can't Say No and The Weather Song are complete. During the listen back I put together a rough mix of Weather as this was the first time for the band to hear the basic tracks mixed, and I must say I think we are in good shape so far for this cd. Can't Say No sounds amazing and Weather isn't too far behind.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Studio Day 15

We spent about an hour and half in the studio tonight. It was just myself and the Mike's. Mike V finished his lead parts for Can't Say No. Really nice and tasteful playing. Just playing the raw mix the song sounds great and we haven't applied any eq or effects at this point. This is going to be best sounding recording to date.

We may get together to finish rhythm guitars on Saturday and then it will be onto the drums. Depending on how I'm feeling I may try to do a run through and get some scratch drums tracks recorded for Lonely One and All About You. Then we can break the parts down and determine if we want to change any of the parts.

The big news at work

Yesterday a project I'd been working on for the better part of 5 months finally was announced to the public. The group I work in now at EarthLink will be spinning off into a new company as a joint venture with SK Telecom.

The worlds most well funded start up with $440M of capitalization.

Here is the new company website

Check the links,,SB110683606875037938,00.html?mod=yahoo_hs&ru=yahoo

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Studio Days 13 and 14

This past week we made it into the studio a couple of more days. Tuesday we recorded acoustic guitars. During the switch over to electric work I got a bit distracted playing with Protools so after about an hour of down time we worked through more of Mike's parts. Nothing worth keeping.

Thursday we worked on Weather Song, recorded some acoustic and got Mike's leads recorded. I'm pleased with the performance and sound of the leads.

Not sure whats next, since I'll be traveling this next week but I believe drumming is once again in my future.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Studio Day 12

Last night we worked on guitars. Katie got a new Martin acoustic that sounds great. We tracked her playing the part twice and it gave a nice full sound. It might be a tiny bit boomy in the mix but we have a good idea of how it will sound on the song.

We also worked on Mike's lead part. Nothing worth keeping yet but we tried a lot of different ideas and I think everyone was pleased with last night's progress.

Hopefully we can complete the rhythms and the lead parts next time and then basic tracks for Can't Say No will be complete.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Studio Day 11

Worked on guitars for The Weather Song. A lot of work is left and nothing was a keeper tonight. Toyed with guitar arrangements and will continue on Thursday.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

6 degrees of music

I got a note from a good friend of mine the other day that he played a gig in LA with Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big / Racer X) and Donnie Vie (E'nuff Z'nuff). I've always loved the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing and applying it to music.

Get to Frank Zappa and KISS.

Dean Truitt -> Paul Gilbert (Racer X) -> John Alderete and Bruce
Bouillet (Racer X to The Scream) -> John Corabi (The Scream to Union)
-> Bruce Kulick (Union to KISS)
also gets you to Motley Crue, then you add the Scott Travis (Racer X)
link and that gets you to Judas Priest to Rob Halford to Pat Lachman
(Halford / Damageplan) back to Dimbebag (RIP).
Judas Priest gets you Simon Phillips (Drummer on Sin After Sin I
believe) that links you to Pete Townshend and The Who.

Now to Zappa and beyond.

Dean Truitt -> Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big) -> Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big ->
Steve Vai's Band or DLR) -> Steve Vai (Frank Zappa)
DLR obviously gets you to Van Halen

Frank gets you Adrian Belew which gives you everyone from David Bowie,
King Crimson (Tony Levin, Fripp, Bruford) to YES!!!
Levin gives you Peter Gabriel, to Genesis to Phil Collins to Robert
Plant and now you are linked to the mighty Zeppelin.

Oh come to think of it, Dweezil plays on the new Gene Simmons record, so no need to take the roundabout way to FZ.

Hmm lets see. Dave Navarro is on the new Gene record as well, that gets you to Red Hot Chili Peppers, which gives you Jack Irons, to Pearl Jam, to Matt Cameron (drummer on Geddy's solo album) to Geddy Lee and now we've got Rush.

I can do this all night....

Studio Day 10

A long Saturday in the studio. We worked exlcusively on The Weather Song. The bulk of the evening was me working on a drum part for the song. I've always had a very simple part, not many fills, and I wanted to spice it up a bit. I spent the better part of 3 hours trying different things out, likeing pieces but not happy with anything all the way through. After realizing how much time we had spent I more or less went back to the original drum part and after 3 or 4 very focused takes got a track I was happy with. Only about 4 bars in the song were rough. Some sloppiness on the snare with ghost notes and a little drag and rushing between the bass drum and the snare. I moved the bass drum to lock with the click and took out some of the ghost notes and lined up some sixteenth notes on the snare. I was pretty pleased with that being the only rough edge in the entire song. We will also be adding shakers and tamborine and likely some other production things to spice the track up a bit.

We next spent about an hour or so working and recording the bass. Mike G did a few run throughs and then he did a take with only a couple of glitches. I think either his second or third time through the song we used the bulk of that performance. My part was so locked into the click that he mainly played bass against the click instead of the drums. Only at the very end where the song loosens up did he have to lock into the bass drum instead. After we got his take we had maybe 4 or 5 punch ins across the track we had to deal with. Mike G punched in his fixes and we wrapped things up.

We spent from about 4pm to 9pm working on tracks. I was hoping to get some guitars recorded tonight but that will have to wait until Tuesday. The approach we plan to take will likely be setting up Katie's amp for recording and getting some good electric guitar sounds. At that point we will have drums, bass, and electric guitar set up for recording at any time and then we should be able to continue working through the remaining songs. My current estimate is we will have all the sounds recorded sometime in February. Add another 2-3 weeks for mixing and a week for mastering and we are looking at a March release. Assuming I don't have to go to Korea again.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Studio Day 9

Mike G made it to the studio tonight and we completed the recording of his bass part. A very productive night although only one thing got completed.

I got to the studio a little early and fixed the one drum section at the top of the verse I mentioned in my last post. I also ended up cleaning a stray tom hit that was making one drum fill sound a little too loose. Drums are done.

We decided to mic the bass amp instead of running direct. We used the mic from the lowest floor tom that is designed for low frequencies. I also placed some dividers around the bass. Honestly I'm not sure if it helped or hurt but seeing pictures of "real" studios I decided I'd give it a shot. The theory is it keeps the bass sound focused in front of the amp and prevents other noise from the room bleeding back to the mic. Here is a picture from a real studio of what I was thinking. I need to take a picture of our studio to show what we ended up with.

We spent about an hour and a half working on bass sounds and mic placement. When it was all said and done we got a much better bass tone than we had previously received going direct. Mike V thinks the active pickups on Mike G's bass make running direct a little bit of a challenge. We had Mike G's amp turned up so loud that the building we were in was shaking and rattling. It was amazing we couldn't hear it on the mic. We were joking that the "growl" we thought we were hearing on the bass was really just rattling of windows, walls and light fixtures. We agreed that a real recording engineer came into our studio they would cite it as unfit and impossible to record. When it was all said and done we are dealing with the environment we are in and we believe we are getting some real quality sounds recorded. The best we've done to date.

It took about an hour and half to lay down the bass track and we spent a lot of time working on locking it in with the bass drum. A very nice track with a nice groove behind it.

We get together next on Saturday to work on more guitars, and get The Weather Song to the same level of completion as Can't Say No.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Studio Day 8

Tonight we worked on rhythm guitar tracks for Can't Say No. Mike G, didn't make it to the studio again tonight, not sure why, so we worked exclusively on guitars. Katie didn't realize she'd be recording so she didn't have any of her guitars, she ended up using one of Mike V's Strats to record a clean track direct. Running direct to the Digi 002 wasn't yielding a hot enough signal so we ran it through our rehearsal mixing board. It changed the sound rather dramatically but we think it is good enough. A little eq to thin it out a bit may be used at the end, we also played with the Amp modeler plug-in inside ProTools and found a couple of settings that sounded nice.

Next up was Mike V's rhythm part. It took a couple of hours to track but we got a good sound into ProTools which is better than any of the last sessions, and we got a good peformance out of him. He takes a little bit of persistence to push the performance on the track. He was also giving me a hard time about me wanting to "perfect" the drum track. I really believe cutting ANY corners on a project like this shows, and also would show we aren't taking this as seriously as we can. I honestly believe a producer would kick his ass in the studio. If we aren't at the best we possibly can be it doesn't matter, and excuses like the Stones play loose aren't good enough either. The Stones haven't released a relevant studio recording in nearly 20 years.

Enough of the rant... I did go back in a tinkered with the drum track. I found three minor blemishes, one bass drum kick, the drums at the top of a verse, and one drum fill. Protools makes it a breeze to fix bass drums, I moved it up 1/32nd of a measure and got it to sync back to the click track. For the drum fill it was a little different approach. The fill itself started early, then I slowed down to get back onto the click, and then slowed too much so I sped up the last part of the fill. Pretty ugly, Mike V said he couldn't tell, or that it wasn't big enough to worry about. Fortunately I had played the exact same fill later in the song, so I cut from the good take, pasted over the bad take. Sounded great except for the early start of the fill, I cut that out and voila, a perfect drum fill!

I still have to fix the drums at the very start of a verse but that should be easy enough to fix. After one more session of a minor surgery I'll deem the drum track complete.

At the end of the night I did one pass of the drums on The Weather Song to get Mike V's feedback. Overrall he liked the part, just a couple of minor changes and I'll need to strengthen the backbeat on the chorus and that should be it. On Thursday I'll track the drums and we will continue recording guitar parts and the bass track for Can't Say No.

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Other Side of the Net

Wired has an article on the trading and distribution of copyrighted works on the net. The article makes a good read.

It calls out about the old days of Commodore 64 trading. I wonder if an old friend "Ben" is still involved with these groups. He was definitely the king of Amiga trading back in the day.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Dimebag Guitar Pick

As I've been scanning tickets and picks from past shows I've been to, I came across a Cowboys From Hell era "Diamond" Darrell guitar pick that I got at the club show in support of Far Beyond Driven in 1994.

Check it out, along with Rex's pick.

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