Sunday, February 19, 2012

Distributor Caps, The Gaudi Room, and Tater Tot Levitation

Back home after a three-day solo swing through The Edgefield in Troutdale, The Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, and Boon's Treasury in Salem. Woke up this morning to bright blue skies in Eugene! Wow. Here is a little slide show.  If you open up the album, I've provided excellent captioning.

The weekend started off with a shorted distributor cap about thirty miles of Eugene. Tracy was driving (thank you awesome driver) and lost all power going about 70 miles an hour near the 216 Exit by Brownsville. An hour on the shoulder, calling the insurance folks (thank you John Bonzer) and the tow truck people (thank you George Davidson, towtruck man extraordinaire), then back to Eugene in a flatbed towtruck, where we grabbed the Suburu and hauled balls back up the road. 

Near Lake Oswego we ran into an hour long traffic jam. As I looked up at the underside of the Stafford Road overpass, I said hello to the poet William Stafford, and tried to keep a positive attitude. Ended up playing from 9:15 to 10:15 instead of 7 to 9. It's statistics, really--the more you travel playing music (or not), the more chance you have of mechanical issues and bad traffic. Still, it was hard not to personalize this as a cosmic kick in the nuts and get out of sorts. 

The folks at the venue were cool about it, especially Julie at The Winery. Also met an articulate, funny, down-to-earth guy who really reminded me of my brother Neal; he recommended I get a smart phone retail app called Square; they give you the hardware to plug into the phone and scan plastic. I've toted around an old-fashioned credit card swiper but it's a royal pain in the arse. I'm in. 

At The Grand Lodge we stayed in the Gaudi room. It kind of felt like we were in the McMenamin's brothers hall of creative champions, or inspirations. Gaudi, Dylan, Jerry, Tolkien, and many more. The room was just around the corner from the performance area--easy set up and load out. Tracy got us half hour massages before the show, so, along with a soak in the steam pool, I was set for an epic three-hour solo set. During the show, a two-and-a-half-year-old named Quentin would throw himself on the ground at the end of each song, rather than clapping.  I liked that.  I wish adults would do that at the end of songs.  I guess they do, in certain kinds of church environments.

Back home to Eugene so Tracy could meet up with a friend visiting for a memorial service. I fit in a fifty minute swim at the D.A.C. and headed back up to Boon's, where I met some nice people and played another finger-shredding, tater-tot-levitating three-hour slot.  I explained to the patrons that I was wearing a new fitted shirt, a black shirt (I've always wanted a black shirt) but that I did not have any cuff links, and had not realized this new shirt did not have buttons on the sleeves.  This was an old-world shirt, sold to me by a dapper silver fox at Macy's.  He measured my neck and everything.  So--I'm a grown man and need cuff link mentoring!  An hour later, Adam Gallardo sent me a youtube link about how to use cuff links.  Funny old world.

Back home at 1:30 where I kicked the ass of some leftover frozen pizza in the fridge and then had a dream Pete Townshend asked me how many time signatures I tend to use. I said sheepishly, mostly slow six-eight and four-four rock. He gave me an old instrumental Wilco song to practice to, at a large desk-like instrument made of frosted glass, next to a swimming pool. Music school comes in so many shapes and sizes. The distributor cap was $220 but weird dreams are for free.

Cool poster for next weekend's show by Claire Flint Last.  Thanks Claire!

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