Tagged: music

A Soft, Gentle Reset

It’s morning. You’ve just woken up. It looks warm outside, the sun is shining, but there’s a thick blanket of snow on the deck. A large mug of coffee sits on the window sill, sunlight illuminating the steam as it lazily escapes the heat of the mug. You may be cozied up with your chin on your knees, a thick blanket wrapped round you as you stare out the window from the overstuffed leather chair. But it’s not a happy time. It’s sad. You’ve just lost a friend, finished the final legal hoops of a failed marriage. It’s a pensive, reflective moment. All cried out. Alone. Relieved, at peace, but saddened and forlorn. A complex web of emotions hangs stagnant amidst the lingering aroma of the coffee. They’re all real. Every bit of it as real as the snow outside. The sun, too far away to melt it, serves as a reminder that it will warm someday. This ain’t the last rodeo. The fingerprints on the window also serve that hope. There is life. And when the bell rings and the kids come traipsing in the front door, your silent melancholy will be abruptly shattered.

I’ve come to find that winter is my favorite season. I do like that cold. But that’s not it. It’s like a hard reset for planet America. Or at least planet North Texas. My world. It gets cold, freezes off the trials of the summer and the first nine months of a year, drops the leaves in the street and starts over. Let’s give it another chance. Let’s see if we can get it right this time. A perpetual trial and error in small, annual runs, like caption bubbles popping, saying “Once more”. Every year I contemplate what I could have done differently to make it a better year. Have I achieved what I set out to achieve this year? Have I grown as a man? A husband? A father? Am I where I wanted to be in life? On that third-grade questionnaire, where it asked ‘where do you want to be at forty-five’ what did I answer? Rich with a mountain home and a private plane? Warm with a red-haired wife and a black dog in a small cottage? Alone with a television blaring nonsense at a sub-audible level while I play solitaire on a sticky TV tray?

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Bad Design Diary: Cruddy Cupholder

My red-haired wife and our friends and do a lot of sitting on the driveway. Just about every night, and certainly every weekend. We sit out there drinking Cold Ones and starting at the lake, telling stories, playing guitars, Danae and I singing together, smoking cigars, skinning catfish – whatever. The point being we’re always out there, and the easiest way to accommodate all this madness is fold-up chairs. These things are pretty comfortable, and they’re great for space-saving when you’re done with them. They fold up and stand in the corner of the garage. The problem is, they don’t last very long.

Well, this black chair has one more problem in particular. It’s the top-dollar version of the chair. It used to have a footrest and all that, which is another bad design in and of itself. But today we’re going to talk about the cupholder. Have a looksee.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 5

Part Five: Dancing in the Streets

When you think of vacation spots, you probably don’t very frequently list Panama City as one of your choices. It seems – to me, at least – to be one of those spots like the Roman Coliseum. It’s beautiful, and you’d love to see it, but you’re not going to lie out and catch some rays on the theater floor. These seem more like educational spots. Culturally rich locations where you go with a history team, or a college class for a field trip. And certainly if you’re staying at Playa Bonita on Diesel Beach, it’s not a great place to catch some sun. The pools are fine for it. Amy (“I’m not getting any sun! I need to wash this crap off my back!”) burned like an unconscious lobster left on a grill. While the fire was lit. On high. And people threw cigarette butts at it. While laughing. Even my red-haired wife caught a little too much sun, and when her skin started peeling it really made a picture of her new Embera Ink tattoos.

But a large part of me is glad we didn’t get to choose the vacation spot for our getaway. Panama is literally the last place on the planet I would have chosen. Ireland? Turkey? Germany? Canada? Kansas? These are all places that sound reasonably like good tourist spots for a nice week away from work. But the company chose for us. As they do every year on their Presidents’ Club vacation. And this unlikely spot made for a fantastic, and life-changing experience I won’t soon forget. Yes, even I – with my terrible memory – am not likely to forget this one.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 3

Part Three: The Heart of Panama City

Panama has three beers to offer us. There’s nothing special or fancy – they’re all golden beers, light in flavor and body, and all pretty similar. We tried them all, of course, and actually wanted to venture out into the city to pick some up to keep in our hotel room. Those Panama nights get long, and that balcony that overlooks the Diesel Beach just seems to call to us like the crickets of the jungle. We longed to sit out on that balcony and enjoy a few cold cans of Balboa. Alas, here now we sit in our comfortable leather couches back in Dallas, Texas, and can say we not once sat in those chairs on the balcony.

We did do plenty of sitting and drinking though. I met some really great people on this trip. Certain people with whom I’ve spoken and supported many times were there, and it was great to meet them. But they also brought with them their spouses, and that really rounded out the vacation for me. Tom and Jeremy and Sean – these guys were the perfect compliment to the Suzanne, Shana and Kacy I’ve already come to know and love. Though I’d not yet met Suzanne and Kacy, I was already very fond of them from my dealings with them on the phone. The nights we spent out by the pool crowded around a table drinking beer we had bribed a waiter into serving us were as memorable as the tours and experiences we were talking about around those tables.

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Jesus Made the Jack Bees

It’s hard to believe the summer is coming to a close already. Well, technically I guess it already has. Have you noticed how quickly the years fly by when you get older? It seems to me that only a couple of weeks ago, the State Fair was selling all things fried. Well it was a year ago. Which tells me I’m getting old. I saw a sign the other day Continue reading…

Summer Synopsis 2012

What have I been up to lately? I know I said in my beer page bio that I was done with blogging. I also know that all three of my readers knew as well as I did how long that phase had the potential to last. But until humanity has cleaned up its act and I see random people helping other people on the street; people waving at each other on the highway – not riding each other’s asses; people in flooded, hurricane-hit towns helping with the cleanup and not looting… Once all that starts happening, I may run out of things to talk about. As long as human beings are a hive of scum and villainy, I will blast about it on the web. Not sure what motivated me to use a Star Trek quote there, but it is fitting, and there you have it. And there’s your opening paragraph.

Anyway, yes, I have been making beer. I brew two to three batches of beer per month. Let me explain this to those of you who don’t already know. If you do know all about homebrewing, then feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs. I had a buddy of mine swing by the other night to hang out and catch up, have a few beers, the usual. And I happened to be turning out a batch of beer. So he says, “When will it be ready?” and I replied, “Oh, about four weeks or so.” So he says, “Really. I thought we’d be drinking it tonight.” This is just plain ignorance. Not stupidity. Most people are just completely in the dark when it comes to making beer, having never been told. So here’s my very brief rundown of what happens:

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Stumbling on a Musical Gold Mine

Winter is historically my season for inspiration. Everything is dead or dying, cold and gray. It’s a blank slate for creativity and thought. I adore these months. My writing, drawing and music all come alive in the winter. I also listen to a lot more country music in the winter. This stems from spending winter months in Germany when I was in the service, being couped up in a barracks room with one other American guy, snowed in and unable to go anywhere, and all we listened to was country music. I love it.

I understand sometimes it gets annoying and begins to all sound the same. But I have very little respect for people who just automatically dismiss it as if none of it is worth listening to. “I listen to everything but country and rap.” Yeah, yeah, you’re too cool for school. So if this describes you, then you probably need not read on. The column ends here for the closed-minded. If, however, you have an ear for talent – whether or not you actually listen to country music, then read on, dear reader. I listen to everything. This even includes Tejano and Irish polkas in which cases I can’t even understand what they’re saying – so long as the music itself is tolerable and attractive.

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Happy Monday, Planet Earth

There are several things on my mind this morning, all of which I intend to share with you. Well, except one of them. One of them isn’t appropriate for this website. But the rest of them are. In fact, the rest of them are part of the core values upon which this website was founded! Humor, entertainment and a good dose of pissed offedness.

First off, I’d like to award the SpaceBrew Movie of the Week award to Despicable Me. If you haven’t seen it, you should run out and rent it. Or buy it, hell. You’ll end up watching it several times. The other day my kids and I watched it in the morning. We then ended up at my Pop’s house and they wanted to see it so we watched it again. And I still laughed at all the funny bits. I’m still not bored by it.

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Open-Source My Life

Here in the last several months, I have begun to embrace the open-source. I have gone off the corporate teet, one might say. I no longer support the big boys just because they come standard and they’re the most well known and popular. Just because they’re the most well known does not always necessarily mean they are the best. And since I have stopped supporting the big guys, my life has gotten markedly better. Allow me to explain.

You see, there are some products out there whose brands have become synonymous with the product they’re selling. Kind of like how everyone says, “Hey, I have some chunky green snot with some hard furry flakes in it, can you pass me a Kleenex?” Facial tissue would be the proper term for it, without applying the brand name. Another popular one is “Hey guys, let’s set up some plastic cups on the Ping-Pong table so we can see them chicks’ boobs!” Table tennis is the brand-detached term for the game.

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SpaceBrew Review: Slash’s Slash

Occasionally, I like to review things for you. Since SpaceBrew has become a trusted household name when it comes to consumer reviews and reports, I know you guys probably swing by here most times before you make a purchase. I, therefore, like to make sure and keep you posted on the latest, greatest and lamest. I have another of these today. Enter Slash.

Saul Hudson, better known as ‘Slash’ was a popular metal guitarist in the 80s when he played the guitar for Guns ‘N Roses. Seriously? Could they not have spelled out ‘and’ or at least used the ampersand? Come on guys. Anyway, he was a great guitarist, performing memorable and catchy licks to some of our favorite songs like Mr Brownstone and Sweet Child O’ Mine. Wait. Really guys? Too lazy to write one more letter? Good grief. Well, his popularity kind of diminished when GNR broke up.

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Bacon Talk: Music

Good morning Bacon Talk fans, today is a beautiful day. I know this because Space and I are sitting on our new balcony. Wow, Space, Butch and Bruno did a great job! I’m not even concerned that we paid them with beer. I just hope they didn’t drink their pay while building it. I did see a few screws rolling around on the floor out here. They’re just extras… right? That’s what I’m going to tell myself at least. Anyway, let’s turn on some music to drown out the creaking. And since I’m too freaked out to really think of a complex topic, let’s talk about music too. Space, I know you can’t live without music, so it’s obvious that you love it.
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Bacon Talk: Dancing

Wow, Space! It’s my favorite time of the week already! I thought I would change things up a little this beautiful Friday morning, so I brought maple bacon. Did you bring the gallon carafe of coffee? Mmmm, you sure did! So we’re all set. Sometimes, Space, I eat something that is so delicious, I have to do a little happy dance. Much like this maple bacon is going to make me do right now.
:slick:
This gives me a great idea, Space! Let’s talk about dancing. I love to dance. In general, I’m shy about doing physical activity in public, because I’m tall, lanky, and not always as coordinated as I would like. Now if you put me on a crowded dance floor and blast some 80s music, I’ll dance. My husband says I dance like there is a pole in front of me. Of course, due to that description, he says his favorite dance move is “the pole”. Yeah, he just stands there, but it works for him.
Space, do you like to dance?
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Can the 1300s get a little love?

Haycomet just wrote a very nice piece about living in the middle ages, and it sort of touched a soft spot in my emotions. Because like her, I too have always wanted to visit a different time period. I actually wrote an essay about my time machine in the SpaceBrew Scroll. You can read it here if you’re interested. You probably didn’t even know that existed, did you? Yeah? Well it does. You should go check it out. It’s a small series of collaborative efforts by the entire writing staff at the time. Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent, and there’s your opening paragraph.

But I have to admit something, friends. I mentioned where I had gone and what I had done with my time machine in that post, but it wasn’t really true. I don’t really own a time machine. I know, I know, I’m a bastard for misleading you and everything, but it was fun to pretend for a while. I really want one though, if that’s any consolation. I like to think I could go back and meet some of those really cool, influential people in history. Albert Einstein. Seka (when she was younger)… Adolf Hitler. You know, just those people you really kind of want to get to know. Find out what made them tick. Well, I know what made Seka tick, if you know what I mean. :perv:

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I just got my FACE rocked off.

Seriously, dudes, I have to tell you about our night Friday night! Okay, well – okay, well hang on. Let me catch my breath. It’s Saturday morning here – well, feels like morning, it’s actually well after noon – but I got my damn face (and most of my ass, neck, thighs, back and arms) rocked the hell off last night. Son of a bitch. Okay, let me back up a little though.

I was sitting at my damn desk at work when the HR director came up to my desk and said, “Hey, yo, Space. I got these tickets, dude,” and gave me four tickets to Nickelodeon Storytime at Verizon Theatre. And yes, they spell it with the tre instead of the ter. Idiots obviously don’t know the difference in the definitions. Anyway, yeah, we took the girls to the theater to see the Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer on stage and all that. They loved it, of course.

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Life Lessons From Space: Driving

Well I didn’t finish the video I promised you yet. I got a little busy last evening with some other issues. Oh and get this: I found out that the back door on the pickup rebroke itself. I guess the nuclear putty didn’t hold after all. I’ll have to try some SolaGlue. Meh. Anyway, I’ll put some work into it this weekend amidst all the pool time and beer drinking we have planned. I hope to get it done soon though because it’s gonna be good.

So I realized the other day that when Moonshine did her columns about Life Lessons from a Good Girl (here, here, and here), I started my own series here. But I never finished them. And what’s more, the only topic I wrote about, fighting, is not something with which I am even well versed. I mean, I’ve been in a ton of fights in my life, and I’ve faired pretty well, but I’m not really what anyone would call a fighter. I’m more of a “writer”. You like that? And today there’s sort of a new age of fighters. Dudes have gotten really big and really mean. So I just avoid it at all costs and let my friend Mr Browning handle my confrontations for me.

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Space’s Shuttle Repair and Bacon Shop

I had to open two car doors yesterday. It’s unusual to have to open even just one in a given day. But two? Yes, friends, I’m as serious as a bowl full of mustard-covered lion feces. The crazy thing about opening car doors is that they all open differently. So you have to find the right way to do it. And yesterday, I actually had to get inside the pickup to be able to figure out how to open the back door. Well how about I just tell you what the hell I’m talking about?

My red-haired wife, Two-Step, Protector of the Grapefruits, somehow managed to break the back door of the pickup a few days ago. She said she broke a nail on the handle, because it just snapped back and wouldn’t open. I tried explaining to her, “Honey, the door handles aren’t held on by nails. It’s usually a torx screw or some very small bolts. But never nails.” I know. Isn’t it adorable when women talk about cars and shit? I patted her on the bottom and went outside to figure out what the problem was. I grabbed my toolbox, my iPod (yes I still have the damn iPhone), and one of those big ass 24-ounce cans of Schlitz and climbed into the truck.

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A New Forum for Old Taste

I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the links over there on the right side of your screen. The little orange ones in the box titled ‘Navigate’. If you haven’t noticed, there are two new links there. Stories takes you to the short stories page, which is something I will be concentrating on pretty heavily over the next few weeks. And Forums is a brand new project. I opened up the SpaceBrew forums so people have a — well, a forum in which they can rant, rave or just read. When the comments section of a column isn’t enough, go open a new thread in the forums.

There are two categories right now on the board; one is the Discussion area, and the other is tentatively titled Media. I may or may not keep that one in place. But for now, it’s there. Inside the Discussion, there are three forums. Your Dose of Humanity is the main one. This is a place where you can post a new topic about anything you want, and get your own responses and interaction going. It’s pretty much an open forum to post whatever topics you want. The SpaceBrew Review is a home for site discussion. If you have something to say about a column someone wrote, or about the technical and design aspects of the main website, this is where you post. The third is Your Chance To Shine, which is a place for those who would like to try their hand at writing.

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I’m sorry, iPhone. I want you back.

I haven’t been using the phone part of the iPhone for the last six months or so. So I guess I’ve basically been carrying around an i. Heh. I got tired of AT&T’s bullsh, so I switched to someone with a more reliable network, and an altogether more affordable calling plan. Paying 200 bucks a month just so I can look cool carrying around my iPhone is ridiculous. Because I still didn’t look that cool. Not once did some hot chick with big boobs come bouncing up to me and say, “OMG you are so hot with that there iPhone, space.” So I dumped them.

So this other company, which starts with a V and rhymes with ‘horizon’ charges me 15 bucks a month to do all this great shit. Well, the phone was just a flip phone though, and – well, it didn’t have apps and all that glorious iPhoney stuff on it. Sniff. So I’ve been carrying around my iPhone and my phone. There’s just no service on my iPhone, so it’s like in permanent airplane mode. Which is cool. I mean, it’s like an iPod touch with a camera on it. Zing! So I’ve been pretty happy. Then came last week, when I made the mistake of my ife. (Get it? Ife? Like the beginning of iPhone… Yeah? No? Okay. Sorry, read on.)

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Here’s To Tradition

Well we did our annual remembrance of Doug Adams on Tuesday night, with a few minor changes. Now the tradition is to setup six pint glasses and fill them all, then you drink them all. Not much to the drinking part. You can slug them if you want, or you can savor them. Either way is fine, because in the book, Ford Prefect slammed his and Arthur Dent sort of just sipped on it. Hell, he didn’t even finish his three before his house got knocked down.

Well we’ve got some new blood in our crew now. Stout and I have been practicing this ritual since the year after Douglas passed away. Well now we have Two-Step and Siege in the group. Two-Step sort of has to be there since she’s my wife and all, and I really sort of don’t like doing anything without her these days. The whole “existing” part of existence gets pretty shitty when she’s not around. And Siege, my newest partner in crime, has decided to become a member of the Brotherhood. Well, that is after we invited him to. Not just anyone can decide to get in, you see. Anyway, yeah, so there you have it. Our two newest members of the group.

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Back to Our Roots

Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! This year, it happened to fall on May 5th, which happens to be a hump day. Couldn’t have asked for better timing! And you can’t ask for a better topic than what I have for you today: music. I like music. In fact, some have said that I even “like it a lot”. I listen to all types of music, and don’t really tie myself down to one genre. Heck, I’m not even one of those guys who says, “I listen to everything except rap,” or “country”. I listen to it all – as long as it doesn’t sound like a bunch of untalented bullsh. There are some rap and even some R&B songs that I dig quite well. I’m very open-minded. Now one thing I cannot stand is that assy sounding crap where the R&B singer just holds out a syllable and tries to hit every note in the scale. You know what I’m talking about? Listen to the Fugees’ Killing Me Softly cover if you’re not sure. That crap makes me want to murder music in the face.

But other than that, yeah, I think I’ve made my point. I like music quite well. But here’s what this column is about: sometimes I like to break into a certain style reminiscent of times gone by. You know. Something like that. And here’s how I really explain it: I am not one who takes a radio with me when I go camping – even though I love and live and breathe music. I go camping to get away from techmology. I don’t want to be bothered by radio waves. But there is a growing list of music I would be okay with hearing while I sit round a campfire drinking Cold Ones and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Let me show you this list.

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SpaceBrew Review: John Mayer live

John MayerFriday night was John Mayer night. If you recall, I was commenting from my brand new iPhone will sitting in the lawn, waiting for him to take the stage. Some guy with a very unattractive voice started things off. His music was all right. Then came Colbie Caillat. She’s pretty bubbly. She has a great voice though, and her show wasn’t bad at all. Then, at 9:53, the lights went out.

Presently, a shirtless John Mayer came out on stage, saying, “What’s up Dallas?” He played his entire set without his shirt on. And let me tell you, he can play in whatever attire he feels is fitting. He’s good enough to warrant playing in a woman’s thong and a purple boa. John Mayer rocked the house.

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The Incredible Shrinking Medium

I’m always amazed at how far we’ve come in the last hundred years with technology. It’s crazy that only a hundred years ago we had just invented the telephone, and now we have cellular shit, that doesn’t physically connect to anything, that can send pictures and texts and porn instantly to anyone else with a cell phone. Through the air. I still have trouble understanding how an analog phone worked, transferring voices across a wire. But here we’re sending that stuff through the air. And it’s digital. What?

But I really came to talk about media formats today. Well, cameras would be one qualifier: we used to use photo plates in our cameras. And film. Remember film? Ha! Now we use memory sticks and whatnot. And the idea is apparently to make them as small as possible. Seriously, give it a rest, people. My phone has a one-gig micro SD card in it. It’s smaller than my pinky fingernail. But it holds a gig worth of pictures and music. And porn. What the helling hell.

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 3

Here in the last week, my band has spent fifteen hours in the studio, recording cuts from our second album. We’re really knocking them out, too. We’ve recorded three complete tracks for the album in that relatively short amount of time. We also recorded a fourth song, which won’t be on the album. It’s a promotional thing for an event planning company. So technically, we’ve recorded four complete songs in fifteen hours. But let me tell you a little bit about what goes on in the studio.

People all the time ask if they can come hang out with us while we’re recording. Somewhere remote in their minds, I think people associate music studios with cocaine and strippers. It’s a helluva good time, all of us hanging out, snorting off their bellies and popping champagne into the air, confetti everywhere, a big wild orgy. It’s off the hook! But yeah, no, yeah, it’s really not like that. Continue reading…

Promotional Ideas

A friend and I went to see G. Love & Special Sauce at the House of Blues this weekend. Tristan Prettyman opened for them. She is, by the way, very pretty, man. I know, I’m sorry. You saw that coming and I said it anyway. You should know me by now though. Anyway, we were packed in there like fresh little sardines (maybe that’s not the best analogy because they don’t smell very good – but wait, never mind, maybe that’s why I chose it), all bouncing together and all the normal audience reaction you get sucked into. G. Love totally owned the place. Well, after Bob Dylan got through with it. We had to wait outside for quite a long time because Bob ran over. He’s obviously forgiven for it, though I’ll probably have a word with him about not at least inviting my friend and me in to hang out.

Anyway, a good time was had by all. We stood in an inch of beer and sweat – quite literally. Girls’ purses were soaking wet. The cuffs of my jeans were soaked. Pretty nasty stuff. I’m of the opinion that places like that with standing room should have gratings on the floor. Or make the entire floor from a grate. That would be grate. Oh God, I’m sorry.

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Take the Mall by Voice

In my never-ending quest to find and archive things I’ve written, I’ve come across a little gem here about a friend of mine we all know. And rather than posting it with the date I wrote it, I’ll just post it as current and tell you when it happened, because I remember when it happened. But not when I wrote it. This was back in July of 2002. This story is about Katy 80. Sweet little Katy Fanning, who almost never writes here, but always has something to say. Or in this case, to sing. She had just turned fifteen.

I work at a web hosting company, building the web servers. I often go into work at midnight or later and grab my stack of server build sheets and stay until five or so knocking them all out. My boss doesn’t care when I come in or leave, so long as I get them all built by their due date. And I work better at night. This frees up most of my days to do more important things like baseball games, beer drinking and, well, whatever I want. I live in Flower Mound, but work in Las Colinas. My friend Kim and her sister live in Coppell, and we often have lunch together when Katy has decided to skip school or is off for a teacher’s work day. Oh the glorious Teacher’s Work Day. Yes, that should be capitalized. I think she told her big sister she was out for TWDs a lot more often than they really were. On Friday of last week though, we were all off. It was the day after Independence Day, so everyone was off. And most of the world was at the Vista Ridge Mall. Which is, for whatever reason, where we decided we should head for lunch.

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There Are No Dogs… Finally

After a year in the studio, our band finally finished recording our first album. We’re pretty excited about it. Well, at least I am. Why am I speaking in group talk? So anyway, Tuesday evening we spent seven hours in the studio making the final finishing touches on seven of the songs. We got out of there around one in the morning. But we were done.

So this weekend we’re going to celebrate by drinking a few cold ones and listening to some kick ass music. Still trying to decide what we’re going to listen to.

Go check it out at copperwound.com. You can buy the album online, or wait ’til it goes to press at the end of this month.

SpaceBrew Review: Patrice Pike

I’ve seen Patrice live five or six times now in some form or another – mostly with Black Box Rebellion. For some reason I’ve never gotten my picture taken with her though. What am I, an idiot? I’ve been a big fan since the first time I saw her perform. She’s amazing. Her stage presence is ridiculously awesome, and her talent is excessively phenomenal. So this show was really no different.

But hey she’s got a new band now. Wayne Sutton is still with her – at least he was Saturday night – but the rest are new. She has a keyboard player now, and an amazing female bass player. That bassist is something else. Full of charisma, constantly smiling, and just wildly talented. She really plays the part well, and there’s no doubt she belongs on stage with Patrice. The drummer is the same story. There are those drummers who pretty much just sit there, all resevered, and play their shows… (Like mine.) Then there are rockstars. This guy was just into it. Watching him, you really believe what he’s saying with his sticks. Hands in the air, head moving with the music, just owning the crowd with his licks. Didn’t get much from the keys. Wayne is mostly reserved too, but his talent speaks for itself.

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Treasure in the Woods: Part 1

Sup, peeps? I don’t know what the hell happened to my other column. I guess it’s gone. Oh well. Some quick hits: We found a drummer. Bud from the Transcenders is going to roll with us for a while. We got together Sunday and played with him. That was the fact.

The Space BarThe Space Bar is almost ready to open for business. Just a few small details, and we’ll be serving White Russians with Buttery Nipples. This image is an artist’s conception of the finished product.

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A Night At The Lakewood

Well the gig Saturday night went surprisingly well. We had only one instance of technical difficulties, though it was a recurring one. Since Trumby thought it would be a good idea to prop his bass up on a rolling chair in the studio last month, it’s been acting a little differently. Dropping two feet to a concrete floor below can do that to an instrument. So the bass wouldn’t stay tuned, and he’d have to adjust the bridge after every song. But other than that, it went without a hitch.

I posted a few pictures on the site, and Trumby has a few more I’ll post once he strolls in to work here. I think he’s working like nine to five these days. What a way to make a living!

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 2

It’s Monday now; I’m heading back home tomorrow. I’ve taken quite a few pictures, but I don’t think I need to share them with you. How many pictures do you really need to see of a snowy hillside with snow-covered trees? There’s really just not a whole lot else to see here. It’s pretty, but it’s like some certain races of people. It just all looks the same.

I went to Guitar Center the other night just to get some play time in. Being out of town without one of my guitars is deafeningly shitty. I can’t stand not being able to pick one up and play it whenever I want to. I long for it. Like a junkie needs his heroin, or a nymphomaniac needs good hard sex – I need my guitars. I have to feel those hard metal frets and tight copper and steel strings beneath my fingertips. So I went to GC to play for a while. To get my fix.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 1

What’s there to say about the fine state of Minnesota? Uh, well we’ll see if we can find anything worth saying. I flew in this morning to visit a friend, and – having never been here before – wanted to see the sites. Or is that sights… Either way, there were some things rhyming with “ites” that I had come to see. Let me back up a little though.

I’ll start with the plane flight. We were delayed in taking off by almost an hour. Sigh. Okay, I don’t mind sitting in the terminal. I started a paperback my friend Jim had given me. Called Jupiter. By Ben Bova. Have you read it? Well it may be the kind of book you only read in airport terminals, I’ll have to wait and see. Anyway, I had my iPod playing and was making eyes with a couple of honeys, so I wasn’t terribly upset. Fifty minutes late, we finally boreded. (Boarded. Yeah, I’m full of it today.)

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 2

So we had our first gig Saturday. Since no one else wants to write anything, I’ll write about that. It went well, thanks for asking! We began our set at about 8:00, and kicked it off with a bang, playing Soulhat’s Prayin’ for Rain. Everything was going just dandily until our fourth song, where all of a sudden, the door flew open and someone waved, and half the bar cleared out in less than twenty seconds.

Bar fight! Except that it wasn’t actually in the bar. It was outside. A full-on biker fight though, it was! Exciting stuff. Except that it was the lead singer of the headlining band who had gotten jumped. These two guys had been sitting at the end of the bar for a couple of hours waiting for him to show up. And my friend Brandy had been talking to them.

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 1

People ask me quite frequently “how I come up with this stuff”, referring to my writing – be it music or fiction or otherwise. And the simple answer is, “I just don’t know.” But that’s sort of a copout too. Creative energy is like a good beer. The more you have, the more you want, and the more it keeps flowing. Right through you. At least if you have a small bladder like I do.

I wanted to journal some of the ways I’ve written music though, partly for those who wonder how it happens, and partly so that when they’re nickelbacking it on the radio, I’ll remember how it all came to be.

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Backstage Pass

My dad was in the music distribution business for thirty-five years or so. To me this translated to many perks, because though he sold the hell out of all the popular artists, he scarcely liked any of it. I was therefore given boxes and boxes of albums, CDs, tapes, stickers, promo posters, album artwork, concert tickets and backstage passes. My room as a teenager was covered with shiny colorful posters of hundreds of bands – most of which I’d never even heard. By the time I was twenty I’d probably been to a hundred concerts.

I have a few stories of those encounters – some of which are forgettable – but others are pretty good, and good for punk rock points. I would work summers at the distribution plant, stacking CDs on shelves, pulling stock from boxes and other miscellaneous bullshit. I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen at the time. And they paid me one CD per hour. That wasn’t bad considering. I had a free ride at home, so I didn’t really need money as much as I needed the music.

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SpaceBrew Movie Review: Closer

I’m not big on movie reviews. I think they give too much away. Well, so do previews. But I don’t like when people tell me what parts are excellent in the movies they just saw. Then you’re watching for that part, and it never lives up to what they said it was, and so you’re distracted and it makes the rest of the movie kind of just suck and – well, you get the point. I just want to say this about the movie “Closer”. God wow.

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Shit on the Radio

We all know that the quality of music these days has suffered pretty drastically. And thus the standards have dropped, so we expect less of our musicians – if you can even call them that these days. And with lowered expectations, it’s easier for shitty bands like Mediocre Charlotte (See what I did there?) and Simple Plan to “break in” to the music scene where truly they don’t belong.

And of course instruments and pedals and effects processors and pre-amps and synthesizers and harmonizers and all this other gear makes it easier to make music without really having any talent. And who suffers for it? We do! All these singers who try to sound like Eddie Vedder are kind of phasing out, and we’re left instead with all these singers who try to sound like Tom DeLonge, who is altogether less desirable in the vocal department.

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SpaceBrew Review: Dido Concert DVD

You know, I think Dido is way underrated as an artist. For the last few years I’ve thought Dido was the name of the band, and that Florian Cloud Armstrong was just the singer of Dido, the band. I didn’t realize Dido was a solo artist. Anyway, the point is that I think Dido is underrated. And I’m talking about Dido the band here.

Oh holy shit you can see right down her shirt whoaDido herself is a good singer, but I think it’s the band that makes her great. My perception is that Florian’s voice isn’t quite as strong as she is, though she puts as much into it as she can, trying to make it more powerful. You can see her just giving it everything she has, and her voice just kind of comes out. It’s quite sad actually, though not at the expense of quality. She sounds pretty awesome. I’d liken it to a car with a governor on the carb.

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Happy Birthday, Space

Last night, for my birthday, Mellowship let me get up on stage and play a few songs with them. It was exciting to be back up on the stage finally, with a whole band behind me. All my coworkers showed up to cheer me on and get their drink on. Here are the photos.

Trading Picks with Patrice

Heather and I are very big fans of Patrice Pike and the Black Box Rebellion. We go see them every time they come to Dallas. We’ve often driven to Austin to check them out, too. They are that good. It helps that our sister, Yvonne, is the world’s biggest fan, (she turned us on to them) and she lives in Austin, so we can stay with her when we make the trip down there. She’s also friends with Patrice, so it’s not rare that Patrice will come to her house to hang out for parties and we sit back in the backyard round a campfire trading guitars and songs.

At one of their shows here in Dallas at the Gypsy Tea Room, we showed up a little early to catch the openers. It was Jason and Zelina and Heather and me. Shelley King was playing that night, if I recall, and I was standing in the middle of the floor, by myself. Jason was against the wall on a barstool, and Z and Heather had gone out looking for a bite to eat.

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SpaceBrew Review: Whoa, Nelly!

My selected artist of the year award (which I give away every few years) this year goes to Nelly Furtado. It’s been many moons since I’ve listened to an album as musical as Whoa, Nelly! I didn’t have much hope for it, since she’s nineteen years old and all her inspirations were R&B singers. Blech. But I was hyperterrifically impressed not only with her diversity, but also her ability to write. She writes some of the most appealing, ear-catching music I’ve ever heard, and I’ve found I like every song on the album. She’s got songs ranging from sexy piano bar music to upbeat techno funk stuff, to rock ballads. This shit rocks, people. (I won’t mention that I think she’s hot.)

Chicken had this to say about Nelly Furtado: “Her voice will be the death of me.” Well, I suppose her voice is a little edgy, but I’ve found that’s exactly what I like about it. It’s definitely unique. And only when she wants it to sound like that does it even get that way. When she’s singing some of her slower songs, her voice is soft and sexy. I’ve found it to be like the Dallas Cowboys, whereas you either love it or you hate it. But if you’re a music-minded person, you’ll dig the album in spite of her edgy vocal quality – or perhaps because of it. She’s got class.

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Down In a Hole

It seems everyone is doing it these days. It’s the cool thing to do. Become a legend and rake in the money and the women and the fans and the love, then give it all to an addiction. It’s cool, it’s fun, it feels good. Hey, everyone else is doing it!

What’s this, number ten in as many years? It not only pisses me off, but it saddens me deeply that we keep losing the best ones to the worst enemy. Drugs. I can think of at least ten in the business who we could lose and not count as loss. But Layne?

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Storm’s Run-in with Tiffany

My associate and good friend Storm had a little run in today. Being a professional photographer, he “happened to be” at the Tower Records Playboy Signing tonight. so he caught some excellent pictures of Tiffany. Oh. My. God. I was just talking about liking Tiffany and that she’s in the new Playboy and everything then he suddenly comes along and sends me pictures of himself with her. Bastard.

I think she looks better in these photos than the Playboy ones. Well besides the fact that she isn’t naked, I mean, she just looks more natural. No airbrushing either. And those tits! I think the buttons on that shirt must have popped off. These are four of the fifty or so that he sent me. And of course, I bled the color out and pasted a tag on them for his benefit. But if you want to see more, you can carry your lazy ass over to his site and order the full size ones. Eat your heart out, kinetic kim:


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A Childhood Dream Comes True

Sweet goodness look at those boobs.I was sitting at a bar with my cousin and a friend this weekend having some beers, catching up on stuff. Well, we’re kind of regulars there, so we get on pretty well with the bartender. Anyway, she comes up and says, “Remember little Tiffany? The singer?” I was like, “Yeah. Of course. I used to adore her.” She says, “Well check this out,” and flops the magazine down on the bar. Lo and behold, there in front of me are Tiffany’s voluptuous breasts. I was disgusted. I can’t stand looking at women’s breasts, you know? Especially when they are that large and round and soft, and when I used to be infatuated with said person.

But it’s little Tiffany. Remember the pop singer from about 15 years ago (God, has it been that long?) who sang such hits as “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “I Saw Him Standing There”? When I was thirteen I was in love with her. I had Tiffany posters and her album, and many fantasies to boot. She was hotter than the lit end of a cigarette. I even went and saw her in concert, and some band we’d never heard of opened up for her. They were called New Kids on the Block. We saw her at the Six Flags Music Mill Amphitheatre. Oh what a show. And now this. Oh yes, my friends. My day has finally come. (So to speak.)

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The Early Days of Space

I found some more crunk ass pictures reflecting my sordid teenage years. The first one is of me holding my nephew, Alex. This was about four and a half years ago. Well, I guess that means it wasn’t in my teens then. But regardless, he is almost five now. Then we have another, just shortly after the first one, chronologically, that shows him learning to play the guitar. I always knew he would grow up to be like me. That’s my sister – his mom – in the right of that picture.

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Money Well Spent

I think there’s only one thing worse than buying concert tickets and coming to find out you don’t really want to see the concert. We’ve all done this, haven’t we? I did once, when my girlfriend Tina and I thought we wanted to go see Traci – shit I forgot her last name. Hot country singer with the big boobs? Yeah, her. Anyway, Clay Walker was opening up for her and I didn’t really want to see him. I actually can’t stand him, to be honest. But yeah I wanted to see her.

Anyway, so I bought some tickets. The night came that we were supposed to go see her and we just really didn’t feel like going. We didn’t sell the tickets, or give them away or burn them or anything like that. We just… didn’t go.

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