Friday, December 08, 2006

Just back from a show at the Freighthouse Dunn Bros. It was all to benefit Toys For Tots 2006. We got five items and gave out five of the holiday CD featuring exclusive Christmas performances from five different bands including Great Uncle Helmer and Doc's Kids.

It was a weird show. I think there were some people at the place who were annoyed. I also think we played louder and perhaps more obnoxiously to needle them. I enjoyed the show, even though I am totally dad tired and had a long day that began shortly before 6 a.m. when my cats triple teamed me to demand my attention, food, water, and clean litter. One hits the door to the bedroom repeatedly with his front paws. One runs and jumps on me and knocks things off the nightstand if I don't respond. One just cries in a mournful, scratchy voice. By the way, I did mean to type "dad tired". I think it is an extremely accurate phrase.

I did have a lot of fun at the show. Bill Turner opened the show for us, playing Hope Of Deliverance and Biker Like An Icon (which I sang) followed by his new song "Corn Bend", his old song "Total Peace", and finally "Blackbird". I liked doing McCartney songs on a night when people would maybe expect Lennon songs. I meant to take a survey of the people listening as to who their favorite Beatle was. Shoot. Oh well.

Tried out a new segment celebrating freedom of speech called "Say what you want about Billy Joel". We learned that he is talented and that if you switch around the letters of his names it becomes "Jilly Boel" which makes some people feel happy. We also did another couple of "speaking in tongues" parts. These were great and in keeping with what I feel is the spirit of the game.

"Hold Me Only In The Dark" was said to be about worms that live on land and "worms" that live in water, meaning clams. I love that this interpretation ignores the lines about "She did such and such and I did such and such" and any romantic liaison suggested. The song has a lot of imagery of earth, shore, water, etc. I will think about those things as I sing it from now on and I will enjoy it more than I ever have.

"Oh, No!", possibly my favorite GUH song of all time, was said to be about "cleaning out your brain". I like that. In a way, that's how the song was constructed. Karl had a bunch of ideas for songs. They were not necessarily connected to one another. We ended up putting them together to make one Uber-song. (Perhaps I suggested they would fit together? It was more than ten years ago and I don't quite remember.) We worked out the transitions, the form, new words for some verses, and practiced it over and over and over. It is a very tricky song to play. I added the introduction - the a minor-C Major-D Major-G Major riff that also appears in Crayon Pictures and I'm Dead. I first started playing that riff while playing the Rolling Stones' song Wild Horses, which I was playing a lot right around then.

I improvised a song called "I Hate A Parade" about being stuck in traffic while the stupid Holidazzle Parade sponsored by stupid bank TCF went by in front of me. I was late to the show and we got a bit of a late start and I felt kind of stressed out at first. This song was good and I tried to recreate it after I got home. It worked okay but is not quite as good as the original improvisation. I'll keep trying. Sometimes that initial improvisation can never be matched. "Everything Makes Me Sad" and "Cold Feet" are two songs I tried developing from their initial improvised version and they just couldn't be improved upon, or even really effectively replayed ever again. Thankfully, I taped those performances.

We also did a "new song showcase" featuring two songs whose titles have four syllables and rhyme with each other. My "I Came To Play" met Karl's "Air Mandalay". Good stuff. Thanks to our good people who came out to see us and hang out and be cool and donate toys. It really means a lot to us and we're glad you're there. And thanks especially to those who brought toys to donate. We'll see you at Tuesday's show!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Absolute: Episode 2: Album of the Decade

I have decided to expand the thing introduced in yesterday's post. Instead of Five Greatest, it will now be called Absolute. For the next debate, I will name the Album of the Decade for this decade, the two thousand zeroes. It is:

How I Came To Cry These Tears of Cool by Colin Spring

For more information on this album, click here. Debate.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Five Greatest

Why does everyplace I use on the internet want me to change the way I work with them? "Try yahoo mail beta!" "Try new Blogger Beta!" NO. I want it to stay the same. Oh well.

Anyway, here's my idea. I will occasionally post the five greatest something then invite debate. This is episode 1 of this new feature.

The Five Greatest Male Lead Actors in Television History

5. Bruce Willis, David Addison, Moonlighting
4. Patrick Stewart, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
3. David Duchovny, Agent Fox Mulder, The X-Files
2. David Boreanaz, Angel, Angel
1. William Shatner, Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek

You may suggest corrections to this list as well as suggesting new lists. Thank you. Begin the debate.