Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mish Mash. Issue #125

I had a fun a relaxed birthday weeked filled with friends both local and visiting, and it was exactly what I needed. Been a while since I had a lazy weekend and mostly ate a lot and vegged around. Kudos (?) to Darci and Nikki for vandalizing my yard in the middle of the night again this year with a mix of streamers, plexi-forks lined up like spears, and inflated balloons. Always fun to practice my stabbing techniques on. Thanks for all the well wishes on the Twitters and The Facebooks. Made for fun reading and felt loved...even had a pie made for me. Good times. :)

The freakishness you see below is a puppet I had made for Kirby Krackle partner Jim by our friends Vicki and Britt, AKA..Uterus Parade. I am a big fan of their skillz and asked them to make a character stuffed "Jim" for his birthday and they knocked it out of the park. After responding to my initial offer with the comment, "This is the douchiest thing we've ever been asked to does ($) sound?", I was happy they were up to the job. The quality of design and stuffing is really amazing and please let me know if anyone else would like to get in touch with them regarding custom work. I was really happy with it and we got a lot of laughs from it. And to answer the girl's follow-up question; no, I didn't make out with it. The End.

Two new performance situations kicked off for me last week. First off, I'll be at Willows Lodge every other Wednesday as a residency through the rest of the year. I play from 5:00-8:00 (happy hour), and will be drawing from all my material in the solo acoustic format. I had a lot of fun this past Wednesday and my next appearance at Willows will be November 4th...

Secondly, on Thursday I made my debut with EXPLONE as their second on-stage guitarist; kind of a "Edgar Martinez" utility man to headcoach Patrick Porter's "Lou Pinella". That's still my Mariners...

Anyways, I've been a fan of Patrick's songs and his work with Explone for years and when he told me he was thinking of expanding his stage sound I told him first, "You're an idiot" (meaning as a fan I didn't want him to take away from his already gorgeous trio sound), followed by, "But if you do it, I want to be the guy". :)
Luckily for me he asked me to step in and the show was a blast. A good experience for me to have a whirlwind learning session up until the show, and to play guitar focused without having to sing for a change. Twice the jumps, and twice the ibuprofen the next day was how it all went down. Fun guys, and fun songs to play. What else do you need?

This week brings finishing a lot of the writing for the new KIRBY KRACKLE album to be recorded in the first week of December, and other random bits I'll go over next week. Still resisting turning on the furnace? I gave up. Weather change is a tempting mistress...



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thanks 20's *or* What It's Like To Realize You Didn't Know Crap. Issue #124

This Sunday the 25th I say goodbye to my 20's. Most of the friends I know who have been hitting the same milestone have been bummed about their impending decade shift. Not me. I'm strangely looking forward to it, and though really just a number (R.I.P Aaliyah/Baby Girl), it's been a chance to take a look back to see what it was I did with my time...if anything.

Hmmmm...the obvious things that jump out at me are the adventures in music and art that I've been lucky enough to have. Laymans Terms took me from age 13 to age 24, so quarter-life crisis set in early with the former ending. That was a big milestone and a delayed partial end of youth. I took a break from music but was fortunate enough to get back into it with encouragement from family/friends. To them I am grateful. I had wonderful opportunities to travel that I never had dreamed of...many parts of Canada, Arkansas, Mexico, New York. Maybe not life-changing to others, but I didn't think such travels would come my way, many of which have been a result of my work in the past year with Kirby Krackle. I had great family and friends who exposed me early in my 20's to the power of positive thought, meditation, and manifestation which I know created opportunities that otherwise I wouldn't have had. I learned empathy. I never earned a college degree but like to think I have an A.A. in Rock n Roll...and bullshitting. I made nine albums in my 20's, some of which may not stand the test of time but all of which have led me to make the next one better, and the next better after that. I learned what it was to love an animal more than you ever thought you could. I learned to cook. I was married.

Maybe more important than what I feel I "did", was what I thought I knew 10 years ago...and really that wasn't much of anything; certainly much less that I thought I did. If Doc Brown flew up to me today and said I had the chance to help my 20 year-old self out, I would like to think I would say the following...Well, first I'd say, "That is a dope Dolorean!", but then I hope the following non-sagey advice would spill out...

...The one time you don't take a 2nd guitar to a show is the one time you'll break a string and be screwed. EVERY TIME. I know it's a pain...JUST DO IT...

...DO NOT sell your action figures from the 80's. The cycle will return...

...It is better to go big and fail than do nothing at all...

...learn how to shut your mouth...

...learn how to open it...

...Take more poop bags on the walk than you think you'll need...

...It's never wrong to try to develop super-powers, but maybe take a break when your nose starts to bleed, and neighbors start to stare...

...Musicians are crazy, but then so are you. Embrace the craziness of others, just know when to tell it and them to leave...

...Work hard and love hard, even if the end result is unknown...

...Keep wearing your retainer...retainers are sexy...

...Just because you see the best potential in people doesn't mean it will ever come out. Don't take it personally...


...If your gut is telling you something, you better learn to pay attention. Equally related, you may want to stop eating red meat...

...Don't pick at it...

...there is no end to any kind of relationship. It just changes but nothing ever ends...

...Who cares if you can't solo all that well? People want songs they can relate to and hum, not shreddy 32-second notes...

...If she has an Adam's apple...(just kidding)...

...Spend more time with your grandparents. What homemade cookies and canned peaches seem like normal now will one day be more prized than you could ever imagine...

...Trust yourself more...

...make sure your amp is grounded. Bzzz. OW....

...You probably wont listen to me...that's fine. Have fun...

Thankful to be here,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Except When You Don't. Because Sometimes, You Won't. Issue #123

I was rearranging my lair the other day when I found the Dr. Seuss classic, "Oh, The Places You'll Go" in a tucked away place. When I was a younger I was a big fan of the "Seuss" (not the "Hoff"), and so I opened it up and sat down to read it as an adult. For the first time in a long time, it seemed more than an easy go-to and overused addition to a graduation ceremony speech. Maybe it's due to some recent big life changes and some perspective shifting books I've been reading lately, but this said something to me completely different than it ever had previously. Read up on these 12 font vitamins. This guy knew the stuff to know...


Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on y our way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Long Beach Comic Con. Issue #122

Soooooooooo much drama in the LBC. Well, not this weekend when the Kirby Krackle made our last convention appearance of the year before hunkering down to record our new album this fall.

Jim and I flew into the Long Beach airport last Friday morning fueled on a mix of cinnamon pretzels, hopes, and dreams. After checking into the hotel (which was surprisingly swanky), we made our way to set up the KK booth for the few hours the show was open that late afternoon. It's always nice catch up with the familiar faces in other artists, writers, and hardcore fan goers we've seen again and again all around North America. It's like a traveling circus where you realize you've seen these people in more cities that you've traveled to with your family or closest friends. Everyone has a mutual respect cause everyone is there for the same thing...they love comics...and selling stuff. Let's be honest here. :)

Late that night, Neslon, Bryce, and Scott (the KK live backing band) flew in and we all caught some food before catching the big day ahead and the concert we were planned to rock that next evening.

Jim and I sold albums, shirts, and chatted with awesome fans both new (including Conan O'Brein show regular Pierre Bernard) and old all day. The guys drank beers by the pool, took naps, and relaxed. Is there a problem with this picture? I'm glad it was a vacation for them, and I think it's safe to say we were all excited to be rocking that night in a foreign city.

The concert was great, we had a lot of fans there who knew the songs inside and out, and even had an opening band that dressed up in full sasquatch regalia. "The Abominable Frontman, "Bass-quatch", and "Sascrotch" were monikers the members went by...Harry never did play solos quite as good.

My mom, sister, and bro-in-law also flew into town to see us play and it was dope to have all my favorite people head out to dinner and drinks together afterward. The convention rented all of our equipment for us, so no teardown was necessary. I could get used to that...

The vibe on the last day (Sunday) felt like the last day of Senior year...not absent, but knowing the end of an era (touring under the debut album) was here. This disc took us to cities I have never seen and experiences I had always wondered if I would ever have. I met friends and made lasting relationships that I have taken home with me, and with this show being no exception met cool people and had great times. There's something really great that happens when you have a bunch of people come together around positive art, music, and stories.

That's what it's all about, right?

Hell yes it is,