Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today's Song

Writers write, and this one has been spending too much time doing other things. Lately it's been a newspaper reading habit. I get up in the morning, have some breakfast, and walk down to the corner to put quarters in a box and bring home the morning paper. Then it's an hour or two of reading the paper. Great for staying abreast of what's going on in the world, which I think is important. But it ain't songwriting. And it's no wonder the CD I've been working on still isn't finished.

So I've been trying to cut back on things that keep me away from writing, from recording, from booking shows. Today I woke up at 4:30 AM, and spent almost an hour and a half trying to get back to sleep. I'd like to say it was the songwriting muse keeping me awake, but in reality I don't know what it was. So up I was at 5:55 AM, not feeling the least bit tired even though I didn't crash till 12 AM last night.

So I had breakfast, and...went out to buy a paper. Yeah, I know. But my theory was I had time to read it since I was up so early. But as I was walking home, some lyrics occurred to me:

20,000 days, some people, that's all they get
20,000 days and I ain't done nothing yet

As soon as I got home I went to my studio, grabbed the guitar, and started writing. In 45 minutes or so, I had a new song. And it was just after 7 AM. I don't know if it's a good song or not, but that's not the point. The point is, writers write. And tomorrow I hope to do it again. But hopefully on more sleep. Cuz right now I could use a nap.

What did you write today?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Getting The Band Back Together

First off, when signing in to this blog today I was struck with the stat I saw--over 3700 views? A tiny drop in the bucket by internet standards, admittedly. But still, who are these people who have viewed this blog? Have I looked at it that many times myself? That doesn't seem possible.

With that out of the way, I tackle the topic at hand. Yes, our band, The Poptones (must change that name), is getting back together for a gig in August, an outdoor show at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. The date will be August 27, for those of you who care not to read further. I'll be expecting to see you there.

Our last show was June 6, 2012 at that same park in Minneapolis. The most notable aspect of that show from my point of view is that it was the best onstage monitor mix I had ever heard. Rick, who runs the sound there, really knows what he is doing. I could hear myself perfectly--for the first three songs. Then the skies opened up and the rain came down and the show was over.

Soon after bass player Dave's wife was expecting a child and, being a parent myself, I knew the band was going to take a back seat to more important responsibilities. This is as it should be.

Drummer Mitch and I kicked around the idea of looking for another bass player, for about two seconds. Neither one of us really felt like tackling that task, and it wouldn't be The Poptones (must change that name) without Dave, would it? There was even the idea (mine) of going out as a drums/guitar duo, รก la The White Stripes or The Black Keys. That would make naming the band easier--obviously the format for naming a drums/guitar duo is the word "The" followed by a color and a noun. Simple. But the idea didn't have any traction and I know both of us would miss that bottom in the sound.

So back to solo gigs I went. It's what I've always done, after all. But around January of this year, when it was time to go fishing for Minneapolis Parks gigs, I put out a feeler to the other Poptones (MCTN)--anybody interested in a one-off gig at the parks this summer?

Somewhat to my surprise, Dave was in and so was Mitch. Great! So last week there we were in Mitch's basement, brushing off the cobwebs and blowing off the dust. It was a blast, and there was even talk of booking more shows. And we'll finally get to go back and finish that rained out show at Minnehaha Park, August 27. I can't wait to hear the monitor mix!