Today at my weekly Mastermind accountability group meeting, my free agent colleague Wendy and I prepared to launch our 100 Day Goals calendar. It's beyond the scope of this post but it's basically 10 structured blocks of 10 days focusing on achieving important primary life goals - kind of like Masterminding on steroids, but not literally...or at least that was not discussed. It kicks off tomorrow and ends on December 31, a mad push to conquer some goals by year's end. In fact, I need to prep my first 10 day block tonight after I finish this post.
Some music opportunities are opening up for me soon. With GUPPY EFFECT on indefinite hiatus for reasons discussed in prior posts, I'm whoring out my musical talents to other worthy bands. I have several gigs lined up with these bands over the next few weeks and months, with more to come, I'm sure. I need to learn and hone some songs to prep for these and I'm quite thrilled about that.
We've been having some crazy stormy weather this week. Meteorologically, it seems more like Spring. Deborah and I are leaning toward Hawaii for our winter vacation this year.
We went to the gym tonight and did weight machines and some swimming. I like going to the gym. I didn't think I would but the pools are a strong selling point for me. It feels great to swim and I can pretend I am on vacation. Honestly, my life right now is like one big vacation, pretty effing perfect. I'm doing a decent job of avoiding drama, including political. I accept that America is phucked, not because Donald Trump may win the election, but because he is even running at all. How is Hillary not trouncing him, and if she's unable to...is she the right person for the job? I'm hoping the media is just hyping it as a close race to win ratings and please corporate advertisers. I have to believe that to cling to sanity. But that's more than I even wanted to say on that topic.
Alright, I'd better go. Bye.
In some ways it was probably good that we didn't "bring the thunder" with that song, because it was a beautiful sunny day and the canopy covering a section of the beer garden was tenuous at best and may not have withstood the hail and high winds churned up by that particular song.
Considering the 1.5 actual rehearsals that last night's incarnation of rock cover band YOUR MOM had before playing a full 4 hour show at Knucklehead's Pub in rural Eagle WI, it was an impressive show. It was a long drive from Madison to Eagle and the provincial crowd of regulars at the bar didn't seem to appreciate our efforts in firehosing them with some good rock-n-roll. So we said @#$% them and had a good time with the small set of attendees who were totally into us, most of whom had also driven some distance to see us, so we couldn't let them down. Most of the apathetic clientele at the roadhouse seemed to be country music fans, but for the most part they seemed pretty musically illiterate since even the few popular country songs we learned special for the occasion didn't get much of a rise out of them. We just treated it like a live (and paid) practice and we were pretty solid notwithstanding a couple biffs - to be expected. The up side of having an oblivious crowd of dolts in the bar was that even our most glaring biffs went completely unnoticed. Hahaha. Chumps.
Another good book I got from the library and finished a fortnight or so ago was "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. That was a fiction novel, also beautifully written.
After rehearsing briefly with Wilco tribute band WILCONSIN, I dodged over to the Club Tavern and caught some of the band YOUR MOM's show. I was asked to guest rock on three songs during the second set, which I did and which was fun. I'll be playing a full night of tunes with YOUR MOM next Saturday 9/17 at Knuckleheads bar in Eagle WI. That's a bit far to drive for a gig, but it should be well attended and pays decently.
While I was attending the YOUR MOM show at the Club Tavern last night, someone came into the bar with a service dog, a golden retriever I think. I felt bad for the dog because I thought the volume of the band was quite loud, even though I had earplugs in. The dog didn't seem at all perturbed by what must have seemed to it a cacophony, which is admirable. Still, it must have been hard on the dog to maintain its attention under those circumstances.
My new hard rock cover band project SKOOLNITE BENDER took the stage at Christy's Landing last night for the weekly Thursday open jam stage. It was another spectacular performance by the power trio of me (bass/vox), Derek Reynolds (guitar/vox), and Cody Smalley (drums), notwithstanding that our only rehearsals have been live performances at open stages such as this one.
We launched our short set with a blast of Green Day's song, "Holiday," and followed that with several more hard rocking numbers, mostly 90s cover songs. We went retro on a couple tunes: David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" and Ozzy's "Crazy Train," which I sang. Being the oldest member of the band by quite a margin (Derek is 23, for example, which means I have existed on this plant for twice as long as he has, plus two years on top of that), it usually falls to me to sing the golden oldies but goodies. However, I'll be taking on more modern repertoire as the band moves forward.
Later in the night, Derek and I took the jam stage once more, joined by Wendy Lynn of the band SUNSPOT on drums, and ripped a few impromptu numbers. Good times were had by all and the bar patrons in attendance left with severely melted faces. Before they did, a couple of them hooked up our contact information for the potential booking of some future shows, possibly a house concert on Lake Waubesa, on the shores of which Christy's lies. Nice!
SKOOLNITE BENDER fills the void for me that was created by my band GUPPY EFFECT's indefinite hiatus as the guitarist of the latter band, Stefan, awaits the birth of his first child and adapts to the subsequent period of fatherhood. I'm also exploring some contract bass playing with Kelsey Miles' cover band, FIGHTING FOR, and I signed on for a few gigs with college rock outfit YOUR MOM, fronted by on Phil "Why Does My" Dickert. In combination, this diversified portfolio of bands satisfies most of my musical needs (with the exception of writing and performing original songs). I'd like to reach the point of being able to gig most every weekend with one or more of these bands, and get paid enough to supplement my Uber driving during the week. Then I could just about make ends meet to maintain my current modest but frugal quality of life while working on my book writing.
I have a few piecemeal gigs going on too, like a Wilco cover band with some amateur local musicians and the weekly Sunday open jams at Funks Pub, but inasmuch as these generate no substantial income beyond some free beer and food, they are quite low priority for me. They serve mainly to keep me networked with the local music community, which is an important function to be sure.
I wish that original punk rock band EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE would fire up again, as I quite enjoyed playing rhythm guitar on their catchy songs. However, there are some personnel hurdles to overcome in that group, as I understand it.
We grill out and do a fire pit Sunday night. On Monday, people leave at their own pace after helping my folks tidy up the cabin a little (the price of admission).