Saturday, August 23, 2003

Just donated blood through this new system called Alyx. That was interesting. Felt efficient to give two units. I love efficiency. Slightly light headed.

Last night's Great Uncle Helmer show at Anodyne was somewhat disappointing. Father, Wife, and official Best Friend Of GUH were sole constant audience. Others in and out, but did not show much interest. Karl felt show was one of our worst ever. I thought we played pretty well. He has had some success lately playing well received double bills with a guy named Kevin, who is really good. So more of a letdown for Karl coming from those shows than for me coming from job interviews and battling water demons, gas leaks, and dust at home.

Karl didn't like the Guyatone Wah Rocker, so lined up with J. Bell on that account. I can see why, though. Piece of crap speakers (2x5 inch speakers, no treble horn) were main problem to me. Wah sounds crappy if high and low frequencies are absent - that's the whole point of Wah! If we play there again, will go through trouble of bringing own system, or at least amp for guitar so Wah Rocker can fully Wah Rock. I did like that they had a slap back delay feature available for all the channels. Fun to hear that Elvis at Sun sound. And had fun playing music with Karl and visiting. What else am I going to do on a Friday night? See the crummy movies that are spoiling theaters everywhere?

Monday, August 11, 2003

On this date I always think of August 11, 1995. I'm not sure why it sticks in my head but I'll lay out the facts. I got up around 3:30 a.m. to get ready to go into work at the Northfield News. A sweltering day, I drove in and took the comp'ny station wagon over to the printing plant. I picked up and sorted the papers and, driving a truck and then a van, delivered them to the vending machines and to the post offices and gas stations of the surrounding towns; New Prague, Webster, Randolph.

Back at the office around 8, I punched out and went for a loaf of bread and a 64 of 100% juicy juice. I sat by the river and ate. Perhaps that was the day I met a traveler who had just rode into town on the train. He told me Northfield people were great, they'd always give you some change or even buy you lunch, but that Northfield cops were some of the worst around for people like him. They drive you right to the train and put you back on it and make sure you get out of town. I appreciated his confiding these things in me. I felt like a cool underground outsider and I may have given him some money. I punched back in at 9 and worked, hanging around the office delivering stuff until around 2.

Perhaps that was the day I was about to leave at 11 or so, having nothing to do or deliver, and I thought I'd walk back into the office and make sure there were no more tasks. I was in the little room in back with the time clock and as soon as I went through the hall out to the office proper (the white collar part) a prescient alarm bell went off. I caught the general manager's eye and immediately wished I had just punched out a driven my actual personal car home.

I was sent to St. Olaf College; to the tiny area behind the 1,500 post office boxes for the students and faculty to put two advertising flyers in each. Working with one other guy, a photographer with a good attitude toward the extra work, it took about three hours. And the drag of it was that I knew exactly where they would all end up. I had attended St. Olaf the previous four years and when we got shit like that it went straight into the recycling bin conveniently placed at the side of the p.o. box room. And not every student was so conscientious. Many would simply drop junk mail on the floor. Nobody wanted to subscribe to the LOCAL PAPER! Who gives a shit? Yeah, perhaps it was that day.

After work I probably got taco bell or some junk like that. Karl and I had a show that night in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. When he was off work too (landscaping) we got together and maybe rehearsed a little, then packed up the huge, heavy, crappy P.A. system we had back then (borrowed from St. Olaf) and drove two and a half hours to the show. We did the show and went to Heckel's truck stop restaurant to eat, hang out, talk about music and the show. That was probably what made the day worth it. It sure wasn't the $40 or so I'd earned for all my work. I got to bed more than 24 hours after getting up. I think that might be why the day sticks in my mind even 8 years later.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I'm feeling good. Why?

I just got my teeth cleaned. The dentist suggested that I have just enough color to them that I should consider bleaching, for which she would of course receive $100-300 but which would make a noticeable difference. Maybe if I weren't already married.

Honigman's July 22 400 Bar show was the best yet, I felt. The soundman was skilled. I remembered almost all the words to SeƱor. (Only the final line of each verse continues to elude me as I struggle to make a mental connection between the last line and the overall content of each verse. And the gypsy often has a broken arm, a "rotten" ring, or just about anything but the "broken flag and flashing ring" she's supposed to have.) Kent and Stu add a new dimension to the band that allows me to quit strumming my guitar while I sing if I wish, just like Bruce. Rock heaven!

Work on the landscaping outside the future site of Memphis Studios begins July 31 (and is actually expected to be finished on the same day!). Soon the "tester" album with real drums, real piano, real organ, wacked out guitar sounds (courtesy of my new Godlyke PA-9 multi-pedal power adapter), and 10 or so all new, yet-to-be-composed instrumentals can commence.

Time for sleeping. Thanks for reading. Goodnight.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Just played some truly wonderful mini-golf at Centennial Lakes Park in Edina. My goodness. They really live up to their slogan. "It's not mini-golf, it's golf in miniature." It's like banzai. Made some pars and birdies, but ended up at 9 over (60) for 18 holes.

In music news, a piano has been added to the arsenal here at Memphis Studios. A bright Kimball upright, very well tuned but with a few slightly sticky keys that can be easily corrected I believe. Hooray and thanks to those who made it possible. A contract for grading of the land outside the future site of the studio has been awarded and work should begin before the end of August. Studio should be functioning by October. The corner has been turned.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Made huge changes to the site today. Actually more like many, many small changes. Feeling good about it. Gives me something to do while I avoid grocery shopping. Listening to McCartney's 1991 Unplugged CD, a real killer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Foolishly locked myself out of my house today for about 7 hours. Barefoot. Had garage access only. Mowed the lawn, biked, played basketball, jogged (briefly). Got 11,000 mosquito bites. They should kill more of those things in the spring. I understand the Army Corps of Engineers has the ability to do so. My feet look like greenish dirty meat.

Absolutely zero music news due to lockout, just those mini golf scores from yesterday. I was so close!! And there was a lot of trash talk, but no permanently hurt feelings. Just a strong desire for revenge, or at least a rematch.
Key Musicians' Most Recent Mini Golf Scores:
Evan Johnson - 47
Memphis Evans - 49
Kaptain Karl - 65

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Just declared July Honigman month. Made some adjustments, including an announcement on the homepage.

Still working on unofficial, unauthorized fan sites for Evan and Karl. Feel free to visit them, underdeveloped as they are, as long as you don't mind the occasional obscene lyrics page template.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Here is some stuff I have been truly enjoying lately:
R.E.M. Life's Rich Pageant (I.R.S. Years Edition)
Tom Clancy's Executive Orders
and I just enjoyed (in a yuck! kind of way) watching my senior cat, my beloved Mistah Victah, catch with his paw, bite, chew, and swallow a fly on the window pane, then lick his chops. Congratulations Mistah Victah. You still got it, buddy. Now he is licking a wooden chair, presumably to get the taste out of his mouth. Gross.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Evan concluded his 3 day mini tour last night at a house party in Uptown. The show was pretty fun. It was designed for people to actually sit and pay attention with very few distractions. The audience was very receptive and friendly. I hope that they get more interested in listening to his songs and that his CDs get more play in peoples' homes and that those peoples' lives are then enriched as mine has been. Evan was very kind about sharing his appreciation of my skills and how much they contribute to his music. Karl played well. A highlight was using a German (leading tone labeled H not B) xylophone on "Communion Song". The show was very successful and with any luck Evan will be back out there playing again before too long.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

I am at Linden Hills Dunn Brothers. Evan is playing some songs by himself while we wait for some people to show up. I am playing bass with him on a 3 day mini-tour called "I know it's not rock and roll but I like it". He just did a good song about the Beatles playing a County Fair in Texas in an alternate universe. It was good. He's got such good songs. I really want more people to show up and get his music. People are so scared of walking into a room with just a guy sitting there playing by himself. Stu just showed up! Yay!

I think I will try to post to this blog more frequently. I've enjoyed posting to the new Honigman specific blog. Incidentally, there is news there as of today. Here is the link to the more specifically Honigman blog.

Monday, January 20, 2003

How stupid are people? Pretty damn stupid. Especially when it comes to movies. Let me explain.

First of all, people talk during movies and make noise and generally behave as though they were watching TV in their underwear in their living room. If I had the Michael Valentine Smith-like power to make people disappear instantly, there would generally be way fewer people coming out of movies I attend than there were going in. At some point in the last year or so I just gave up. Now I just go EXPECTING to hear two moronic teenagers laughing their asses off as Gollum debates ferociously with himself whether to betray and kill the Hobbits. If I see a movie without anyone bothering me, I am pleasantly surprised. That's one reason people are stupid. I've known that for a long time. But recently other events have showed a new dimension to movie audience stupidity.

As I write this, "Kangaroo Jack" is the #1 movie in America. Who, and I mean to say WHO?! sees the ads for this movie and says, "Oh yeah, opening weekend, baby! Must see!"? I can enjoy stupid comedy as much as anyone. I fully intend to see "Old School". I have enjoyed "Road Trip", both "American Pie" movies, and the granddaddies of the current poop joke set, "Caddyshack" and "Slap Shot". All great. But, my fellow Americans, as a first step on the long, long road to making the rest of the world stop hating us and thinking we are stupid, we must not make films like "Kangaroo Jack". And if we do make them, they must not become the #1 movies in America. They must leave the theaters within three weeks, publicly rejected and disgraced, just like "Solaris" did but shouldn't have. Are we clear?

Finally, when a good movie DOES reach a wider audience, the wider audience responds in a stupid way. I was made aware of this fact when viewing "About Schmidt" at a multiplex in Lakeville, Minnesota recently. I originally saw "About Schmidt" when it was in its first week of limited release at the Uptown Theater in Uptown, Minneapolis. People there waited in line outside to buy tickets. Then, during the film, they laughed, gasped, cried, and generally loved the movie, as did I. They seemed to respond as intelligent individuals. Then the dopes got wind of it. I take you now to the home of Jack and Jill Duhmerican.
"Oh, people say the new Jack Nicholson movie is good."
"I thought that was an art flick."
"No, honey, it's at Lakeville 18."
"Oh, well, let's check it out."
So the dopes go.

The audience reaction in Lakeville was totally different from the reaction in Uptown. There was a scene where a character is discovered lying on the floor, having tragically died. People were laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world. People talk and crumple their bags of popcorn during quiet scenes that require attention and invite emotional involvement from the viewer.

I also heard ridiculous comments during and especially after the movie. Comments like "I didn't like the ending. It was a good movie up until the ending. That ending was terrible." I don't know what movie these people watched! Did they want something to blow up? I stared at the woman who said that with a derisive uncomprehending smile on my face. Her companion noticed me and I hope that in that moment she came to understand what an idiot her friend is. Another dope said "It was okay, but I don't know what the big deal was about. It wasn't that great." I want to forcibly and painfully tattoo "I am a moron!" on these people's foreheads and deny them entrance to movie theaters showing anything more complex than "The Care Bears Movie".

I remember way back in 1988 or so my high school band director told me that he didn't go to movies anymore because television had ruined people's ability to shut up and be considerate while watching filmed entertainment. I remember thinking that on that score at least, he was a sad, embittered old man. But now I find his words on this subject (and several others I won't go in to here) ringing down sagely through the years. And I am not a sad old man. I am not even all that sad of a young man anymore. I'm thirty-one and happy most of the time, especially when I go my financially imperiled small local theater (three screens) on a Tuesday night for a late show and I'm the only one there. Heaven. Idiots.