Weekend Report

The weekend is behind me, so it is time to capture what I remember of it for eternal permanence on the Intarwebz.

I actually remember quite a lot of it as a consequence of being in the middle of a thus-far-successful two week fitness challenge to not drink beer (or any alcohol whatsoever).

As a result, I am much more alert and have a lot more brain energy to re-direct to activities and contemplation.

On Friday, Deborah and I went to a pub in Waunakee WI called Lucky’s, where my buddy Clay was performing a show with his semi-acoustic duo incarnation of BABY ROCKET (with drummer Ken on cocktail drums).

Clay had opened it up in advance to guest musicians, such as myself, to jump up and jam on a few tunes with them. So I brought my bass guitar. I thought I would maybe guest on 3 to 5 songs and then just spectate, but I should have known I would play a lot more than that. I probably played at least 80% of the show, including my signature song (and dance), “I’m Too Sexy.”

I probably should have gotten paid a little for my show stealing performance, but whatever…I didn’t prep or anything and I didn’t have to do any work hauling or setting up/tearing down gear. Plus, since I wasn’t drinking, I didn’t spend much money. I bought Clay a beer because it was his birthday, but I just had a couple of NA ginger beers.

My ulterior motive in attending the show was to meet a couple of musicians, friends of a friend, whose band 5 MINUTE RULE recently broke up and they are exploring options for a new project, such as maybe having me play guitar and sing with them. With EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE on a six month hiatus, I am aggressively pursuing more projects to keep me occupied. I was on stage with Clay and Ken when drummer Jason and bassist Shawn of 5MR arrived at Lucky’s a little while after I did. They got to see me perform, albeit on bass, and got a taste of my extroverted stage presence. We chatted about music when I took a break from rocking with Clay and Ken. Jason and Shawn knew a handful of songs also performed by BABY ROCKET, so they jumped up and played a few numbers as well, backing me up on the Social D version of “Ring of Fire,” which I just sang, while Shawn played bass.

If I end up rocking with these guys, I’ll be playing my secondary instrument, rhythm guitar, which is totally fine. That’s what I play in EDDIEE ATE DYNAMITE. It pushes me out of my comfort zone a bit, which makes me a better musician. Also, the music they want to do is mostly 90s rock covers and not uber challenging, for the most part, just fun and crowd pleasing.

The BABY ROCKET show was fairly well attended and a few people danced and carried on. Before Jason and Shawn left, we discussed getting together to jam a few songs in the next couple of weeks. We each agreed to select a song we might like to do and then we will have three songs to try out when we play together. I mentioned that my buddy Phil from the Funks Open Jam, who plays guitar and sings pretty well, might also be interested in joining forces with them. There’s quite a lot of musical overlap, so it might work.

On Saturday morning, I planned to get up about 9 AM, but I got up about 10 AM instead, because I was tired from the night before. I ate a quick breakfast and then I biked the 6.5 or so miles over to my old house that I am selling so I could mow the lawn before a noon showing. I got done just as the potential buyers showed up (they were early). I biked back to my current residence in Middleton (Deborah’s house) and spent most of the afternoon and evening practicing music, mostly solo acoustic songs for my CACTUS JOE music act that I am also ramping up in the absence of EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE.

Now’s probably a good time to throw out the news that I have two CACTUS JOE shows coming up this month. On Sunday Rocktober 25, I’ll be rocking from roughly 4-5 PM at the Cardinal Bar in Madison, as part of Art Nest (a quarterly art fair hosted there). On Thursday Rocktober 29, I return to the Bos Meadery on the east side of Madison to play my second show there. Last time I was at the Bos (they make an alcoholic beverage called mead), it was as GUPPY EFFECT semi-acoustic duo, with Stefan on guitar and me on bass. This time it will just be me solo on guitar and singing some clever and quasi-funny songs, a few of them originals I wrote. Maybe you can catch one or both of those shows?

On Sunday morning, Deborah and I loaded bikes on my car and drove down to the Verona Park and Ride, where we met my buddy Verge and rode our bikes out along the Military Ridge bike trail from Verona to Riley, for the Sunday morning pancake breakfast at Riley Tap. It was a beautiful cool, sunny fall day, perfect for biking the flat rails to trails path. My friend Sherry was going to join us as well, but she texted me in the morning to say she had partied far too hard the night before and was not coming.

When we got to Riley we all ordered plates of pancakes, which came with sides of three sausage links apiece. I ended up eating nine sausage links as a result of the fact that Deborah doesn’t like pork products and Verge is a vegetarian.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said the waitress. “If I woulda known, I coulda brought you plates without. Do you want me to take them back?”

“No!” I exclaimed, already in the middle of extracting Deborah’s sausages from her plate. “I’ll eat them.”

After the Riley stop, Verge had to head back home, but Deborah and I opted to ride a bit farther, possibly all the way to Mt. Horeb, about 6 miles further down the trail. A couple of miles on though, Deborah started to lose steam and we decided to turn back. As we rode back to the Park and Ride, Deborah started getting a bad migraine headache. So I made her stop biking at the next intersection we came to, while I rode back and got the car to pick her up. Deborah spent most of the afternoon napping on the couch as a consequence of the drowsiness-inducing migraine medicine she took as soon as we got home. I grilled a late lunch and then did some more music practice while she was out cold.

My buddy Phil, aforementioned, and keyboard player Chris from the Funks Jam had planned to audition a drummer at 5 PM for a cover band concept we are developing. However, the drummer had messaged Phil that he was up north and would not be back until after 7 PM. Weak. The drummer said he would stop down to the jam and so Phil, Chris, and I decided we would regroup then.

“If the drummer shows up and learned all the audition songs, and rocks them with us live, I will forgive his flakiness on the audition,” I told Phil on the phone. “But I am too old to have patience for hacks like this.”

“Oh, dude, I totally agree,” Phil said. “We will find a good drummer, I am totally optimistic.” Phil is always wildly optimistic, but it is not contagious. I am wildly jaded about slacker musicians who think they can just wing it. It’s the difference between and OK band and an awesome band. But I let it go. I had bigger fish to fry.

The drummer also didn’t even show up at the jam either, so Phil and I agreed he was a hack and we should move on. Phil had invited a second drummer to the jam who was also a no show. Drummers! I tell you, it is not an unfounded stereotype…

I played some solo acoustic numbers at the Funks Jam and was also the house bass player for the night, since the usual bass player with the host band MUDROOM was not available. It was great at times and not so great at other times (like when Phil had me play on “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, a songs I had only listened to a couple of times that afternoon at his behest. It was brutal. But I will have it down the next time we do it.).

One of the highlights was rocking out “Calling Dr. Love” by Kiss, not only because we killed it (in a good way) but also because it was a tribute of sorts to the host of the jam, Tyler, who also happens to be an actual doctor (D.O.).

Due to the migraine aftermath, Deborah had not been able to attend the jam, but she watched via the internet live stream of the event that I run on my computer most weeks. Here’s a clip.

It was a very satisfying weekend.


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