Monday, March 29, 2010

Polaris. Issue #147

Last week seemed to fly by and I'm sitting here trying to remember what exactly it was that I did as I pack for WONDERCON in San Francisco with Kirby Krackle tomorrow... I know I listened to a lot of rap, hhhhmmmm....and devoured lots of HARIBO brand gummi candy. Maybe to much. You'll have to ask the coroner what they find during my autopsy; there's a theory that the stuff doesn't ever fully dissolve. Gross.

What I DO know is this past weekend I had the opportunity to set foot on a real live honest for realz fishing boat down in Magnolia. You know, the kind you'd never ever ever be able to picture me working on? Yeah, that kind! It was called POLARIS, and she's been making the trek out to the Bering sea for many years since she first set sail in 1914. See that "she" reference in there twice?! Yeah, I'm LEGIT on this...

Anyways, in a few weeks POLARIS heads out to the Bering Sea in search of a 3-month collection of Black Cod, Halibut, and a few mud sharks that somehow manage to get caught on the long-line in the process. It was fascinating to get a brief tour of the vessel as it was getting new paint, cleaned up in the gallery, and it's spots shined as it was being prepared for departure. That little room? It's where the 6-member crew sleeps, eats, and somehow becomes immune to the little annoying things that spending 90 days in such close quarters will bring to light. I have NO idea how it's possible not to kill each other after seeing the complete lack of personal space, but supposedly all get along great. Wow.

Besides seeing galley where everyone hangs out I also was given a closer peek into the holding tank (a big pit in the middle of the boat that houses all the precious $$$$ making cargo), the engine room (was told even stepping in it means you'd need a shower), and the navigation room (run by computer but should all else fail start spinning the wheel sailor!). All in all, I had new respect for the fishing industry, the laborers that make it happen, and the 6-piece with extra tartar I may be munching on this weekend. Bravo fish hunters, BRAVO.

This week I prep for my Thursday departure to head down to WONDERCON with Kirby Krackle for our second trip to San Francisco. Feeling great about the return trip to the Bay Area and had a nice send off of sorts this morning with a fun and very nice review from WIRED magazine. As a fan of the periodical, I'm kinda giddy. :) Despite feeling kinda run down lately, I'm looking forward to see old friends, and catch up with folks I didn't connect with at ECCC a few weeks ago while running around crazy. I think my body is maybe in partial hibernation as it's prepping for the massive travel that will be happening in April with KK. Not only are we revisiting SF, but we'll be bringing the full band to Chicago for a show on the 17th, and then Jim and I flying solo again to Calgary the week after. Compact rock times!

Loving it,


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Falling Down Whistler. Issue #146

Falling down indeed, and I have the bruises to prove it!

This past weekend the fun with out of town family continued with a weekend trip up to Whistler in Canada for some snowboarding good times and indulging in Canadian candy which I've always thought was way better. Chips too. Beer? Not really. Washington micro-brews represent!

We stayed in a nice place called the SUNDIAL and surprisingly was only 500 feet from the gondolas that took you to the top of either Blackcomb mountain or Whistler to board down from. The weather was pretty nice all weekend, and unbeknown to us we decided to come up right at the tail-end of the Para-Olympics; the official sister games to last months global event, only this time for disabled athletes. Kinda a less busy version of the Olympics, it was really cool to see athletes wandering the hotels with their medals around their necks and walking along us through the Olympic village. Pretty neat to see and a nice surprise to the already fun weekend. I had never been to Whistler and didn't really know what to expect, but I found it like a little village/city with anything you could want from the oldest style restaurants to outside dance club fire spinner action on the actual slopes near our hotel. Crazy!

As for the snowboarding, Whister is one of the best places for that in the world and I wished my ability level lent me the means to enjoy that a little bit more. I had fun, but basically fell down the entire mountain. Somehow, I've gotten worse over the past year and maybe need to take another lesson to get my Jones back! While on the ground (a lot), I took the opportunity to take pictures from the different levels of the mountain to hopefully give you an idea of what it was like...



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feeling The Love. Issue #145

Wow. What a weekend.

This past weekend Kirby Krackle set up shop at the Emerald City Comic Con for the 2nd year in a row, and marked the official release show of E FOR EVERYONE with a concert on Sunday at the convention.

If you've followed this blog for a while now, you know that KK (my nerd-rock project) travels throughout the year to different major cities and sets up a booth to sell swag all weekend to our peoples; those who like their music music with a little more cape than whine. A hometown show is always different though as you hope that people enjoy your work on a local level. It's a kinda approval issue thing that musicians seem to have and I don't think it ever changes. What I'm trying to say is that the weekend was totally wonderful with local geeks coming out to support KK, and us feeling the hometown love from the new album we released last week. I also had the best booth support team I could ever as for as Reuben, Lita, Mary Ann, Mateo and Beau stepped up to help with sales and took a big load off my back. As always, the thing I love most about the cons is talking with peoples who appreciate the work and who are excited to meet us. It's such a feel good thing and I totally understand what it's like to want to tell people that you appreciate their art. Few artists will admit that they like that stuff, but we all do and it fuels us for the next works in our lives. For me, it's something I need to do when I really enjoy something/somebody's work and kinda completes the circle of communication with people I'm a huge fan of. It's all about sharing energy in this world anyways, and KK fans always make me even more excited about the comic book culture I love to be a part of. Just awesome. :)

After a long Saturday at the show, I met up with Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada and we drove to my practice space to meet with the band. After rehearsing for an hour with the guys it was apparent that he really did his homework and fit in seamlessly with the songs he chose to sit in on. It was nice to hear his rock stories from back in the day and get a look into what the music scene was like in NYC before he was able to call the shots in one of pop culture's biggest brands.

On Sunday after morning came cruelly early due to "springing forward", the band spent 4 hours setting up at sound check for our 2:00 PM concert in a convention panel room. The show I felt went great, but I was fighting exhaustion to do lack of sleep and talking all day on Saturday. Some vocal lines had to be altered for the lower octave, but all in all I felt good about it. When Joe took the stage for the final 4 songs I just enjoyed the moment of what he called out as the "first KK and Marvel team-up" and the fact we had the blessing and support from one of the coolest guys in comics. Not much more I can say other than it was a special day I'll always remember.

Earlier in the week Patrick Porter from EXPLONE and I did a short acoustic set at the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe downtown. It was pretty cool to play the first ever set on the swanky new stage for which it was obvious they spared no expense. A glitzy and glowing room that will be interesting to see if it ends up developing into a Seattle hot-spot or who knows...

I also had the opportunity to visit my good friend TJ and Jess Sherrill's baby Litton over the weekend. Oh man. I don't think I've ever held anything cuter...

Yep. Hopefully those sentences make sense. I'm laying low this week and then hitting Whistler for some boarding in a few days. If I'm not on the slopes you'll find me in the lodge reading some Deepak with an Arrogant Bastard in hand. Post pictures next week! :)

Transcendence is a yeasty thing,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

E FOR EVERYONE Out Now / Return To Dabob Bay. Issue #144

Yesterday my new album with KIRBY KRACKLE hit the internets for sale finally after an 8 month process from conception to release. I realized E For Everyone marks my 10th album offering since I was 13 and for that I feel pretty good about it. I guess in the best situation you hope that your latest offering is your "best", whatever that means, but I do feel it's the strongest work I've done to date and even if no one else ends up liking it...I'm pretty happy with it. :) You can listen to the entire album below and as with past couple of weeks, I've linked the final 4 song descriptions as put up on the KK site below...


We wanted to write a song about a perfect night with that perfect someone, and maybe what might seem to be a perfect night to some of you as well. The delicately stripped down acoustic finger picked songs is the more basic track on E4E and something that might not be out of place on a John Denver album...if he wrote songs about making X-Babies. Aw yeah! A nerd fantasy (ours anyway) rolling right 2 minutes and 46 seconds of spending some sexy times bagging and boarding comics with your certain someone...

"There's not better place to be when you bag and board my comics you're always careful with the crease...CGC says 9.3 but you're a 10 to me..."


"Going Home" is a song we were commissioned to do for the LONG BEACH COMIC CON back in October. We were asked to write something that we felt summarized the convention experience and what better way to gain a storyline than to take it from the 7 conventions we had already experienced throughout the year! That is, minus the whole waking up in the hotel room "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" style. Those aren't pillows!!!!!!

"We're Going Home! We're Going Home! To the place where wild nerds roam! With pretty girls and dudes in capes! Going to cons is our escape..."


We had room for 2 more songs on E4E when we went to a Pearl Jam concert last October in Seattle and after soaking in the concert, we KNEW we wanted to bring the rock to round out the album. Sometimes you have inspiration strike you in the way you least expect it, but after that show we in no way wanted to perform concerts this year with out playing hard...and fast. This is the most manic sounding song on the album and good reason since it's from the perspective of a hero auditioning/getting rejected from every major team of heroes out there again and again. Despite the failed attempts to join the Green Lantern Corps, JLA, X-Men, etc...the hero in question is repeatedly approached by the GREAT LAKES AVENGERS; the most useless band of heroes ever assembled under the sun. Sometimes though, heart goes a long way...and free beer always helps too.

"I got a message from the GREAT LAKES AVENGERS, they offered me a membership but I did not accept cause they're a walking a narwhal with a fireball they don't make sense at all..."


Aw, the song that when we wrote it was debated over drool induced laughing on the floor and pounding on the side of the wall so the dog got freaked out.
We've come to realize that for better or for worse, there are some things that once thought of need to be created and fully realized. Are all these things appropriate to bring into this world? Not at all, and most we come up with actually should be "Can I Watch You?"; a song that is from the perspective of MARVEL Comics character "The Watcher" the all knowing, all-seeing Celestial. But hey, just because you're 3 stories high with a big baby head and a wear a toga don't mean that you can't gets yours, right? RIGHT!? If Uatu is gonna sing a song to his boo, why shouldn't it be in the form of a 70's love jam over sexy ass guitar and a slutty solo? Slutty indeed. Oh Watcher, you crazy crazy.

"I never instigate, IKOR didn't raise no fool. You say I instigate, you think it's hot...Celestial bad boy from the blue side of the moon, you like the things I do, things I say I never do...but I still call me UATU!"

I've talked about Dabob Bay on this blog before and how I grew up there during the summers along the shores of Hood Canal. It's a place my grandparents purchased away from the city in the early 1950's and had up until my family sold the property in 1997. As you may imagine, I have really nice memories from my time there and as the years went by I didn't make happen to head back up there and say goodbye as I never did 13 years ago. What was the small area with a shelter, a deck, and a few cabins was now a huge house with only one cabin remaining. It had running water and plumbing; a luxury that we never had and though at the time wished we did, now is looked at as special and unique in my minds eye. The deck is still there which was very nice, and the old steps that my grandfather built still seem to be the main route to walk down to the beach from the property on a hill about 200 ft. up. For a long time the fantasy was to buy the land back and have kind of a "triumphant return" to the summers of my youth but after seeing it is now, that feeling is gone after my visit. Not in a dismissive way, but I'm fine with the memories I have remaining intact and letting that part of my life and good experiences that were had there stay as they are.

Magical more than anything about Dabob to me was spending days in the water and rowing around the calm waters. The wood nymphs must have known I was on my way up and feeling generous because I was greeted with a gorgeous sunny day the calmest water I have ever had the pleasure of rowing in...and row we did. Taking the boat out right at sunset made for some amazing light and pictures as the light change looked like burned sugar with pods of seals following us. Yeah, magical. It was exactly what I needed before the crazy weekend coming up with Emerald City Comic Con and the crazy busy awesomeness that will go down there. I love technology and flashy stuff, but when I have experiences like this past weekend it's then I realize I'm actually more old school. Though I may end up with shaking withdrawals, I'd take digging for clams over Twitter any day...Good for the soul.

Both oars in,