Last night we hosted indie alt country band “Quiet Hollers” at 205. This is a kick ass band on the road right now, I’m glad they were able to play a venue on a Tuesday. (harder than you think to book around here). Anyway here is a video I took with my iphone and one of those apps.
With our wedding coming in October, I went to get sized for a ring today after work.
I had not been sized for any jewelry (I don’t really wear any) since the first time I tried the marriage thing in 2005.
My ring finger got a size bigger..
It’s probably because in the last 8 years, I have switched career paths and now that I am older and working with my hands, my joints have begun to swell, but I like to think it’s because I have grown as a person instead.
There have been many changes in my life. I do not regret them. Even though my first marraige ended after 3 years and left me in the worst state of my life, it forced me to grow, put me in a new situation, and let me get creative again.
Everything I have accomplished in the last 5 years would not have been possible. I would have never “gotten the band back together”, I would have never written the books I did or gone to so many conventions. I surely would not have started the podcast with Brea, and even more… I would never have gotten together with Brea.
Our story, our path, is long and complicated. Almost as if God were testing us, we found ourselves thrust into bad situations with money, downsizing, moves, scene politics and project after project.
Unlike any other girl I have been with, Brea not only has stuck things out, she has been my partner in everything. When I feel like giving up, she makes me take a step back and assures me that togerter, we can do anything.
As an artist and a creative person, it means the world to me. As a man, it makes me want to make her my wife, and as the luckiest person in the world, she still hasn’t backed out yet.
Below is my tour diary… Had a good time, learned even more lessons…
I leave on a mini tour Friday. I am quite unprepared for it. It couldn’t have come up at a more inappropriate time. I’m actually trying to save money since I’ll be moving to a new residence next month, but instead of being smart and watching my finances, I am embarking on an excursion which will drag me all across Texas at close to 4 bucks a gallon with no thoughts on bedding, shelter or food. The shows are literally earn your keep, and life is random.
I am strangely OK with all that. I’m a simple person. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy sometimes. Sometimes, leaving the day job for a long stretch of days is enough. Adding to that the prospect of playing the songs that I wrote every night and telling the people in attendance where I was when I wrote them… that’s pure magic. Of course, new friends, drinks, tips, and the odd adventure off the beaten path never hurt anyone either. I’d say I’m in for quite an adventure.
I’m not stupid. The majority I can do without. I’ll be going hungry a lot. I will be sleep deprived. Most nights I will be sleeping in a car that on a couch. There will be lots of downtime, I will be forced to write down my thoughts for future lonely songs. I will have to read boring books to force myself asleep. It will be hot, sticky uncomfortable, and I will miss my home, and my friends very much.
But it’s only temporary. The lessons learned on the road will fuel me for another year, as I plan to do it again and again. The highs always outweigh the bad. I guess if I wanted to be like others, I could stay home in my comfort zone, not leaving the safety of my hometown, not seeing what else is out there, but I choose not to. In the end, I just want people to be proud of me. My folks, little Ally, my girl, my hometown, myself. Somewhere… someone is bound to be.
Summer tour: Kingsville
I left for the road as soon as I got off work last night. I was excited to go. I love the road.
About half an hour in I got a small anxiety attack. This was stupid. No plan no money just go. Then I thought of how I want to go vagabonding in a year or two. If I cant handle Texas in a week, I sure can’t walk across Spain.
Once I figured this out.. I settled down and just decided to ride it out. Once my fears were set I enjoyed the music on the road and looked forward to playing…
Kingsville was very receptive. GREAT crowd. Really nice kids and fun drinkers. I had free whiskey all night. I was the headliner last night, which is scary since I am solo on this tour. Once I played though it worked out. The kids were super receptive. I play a lot of places and sometimes some places suck more than others, last night though… Made those shows worth it. This town has kids that genuinely want to play. Mathias is a great dude for spearheading this in his hometown.
After the show, we went to an afterparty. We stayed there till pretty much 5 in the morning. It was cool to sit and hang out with some of these kids. They have a good thing going here. I’m glad they let
me be a part of it.
Tonight we head over to corpus. The club revolution show was cancelled but i think we scored a replacement show. See ya!
Corpus and the art of
One thing I can really learn from my road buddy the next few days is to just take it as it comes. If you know me at all, you know that I usually like to plan out the meat of things. It may seem strange and often when the unexpected happens it’s not too difficult but often entertaining.
Mathias literally plays it by ear. So when we traveled to corpus today it was to ask places to play since some never confirmed with us.
Long story short we didn’t play in either of the two places I originally posted.
We did spend the day driving, going to music stores and eating amazing Texacali sandwiches (don’t ask) we went to a coffee shop etc… But the show for the night ended with my doin a set at the Texan for my friends in toxic fuse. The show was nothing short of amazing… But it was never a show that we planned on doing. Of course Toxic Fuse and the Cherrybombers ripped it up but the two corpus bands Bertha and Los Sanchos tore it up! I was not expecting such energy yet different styles.
The show was free, so there was tons of people out. I’m glad I did good the night before so i can afford to take the loss. Playing is never about money. Not for me. This journey reminds me how old I really am. Wandering with no purpose is a new thing. I guess we will see how I handle it.
Time alone with the road
I woke up late today. It was good to do that. Feels good to sleep. Yesterday after waking up from the show the night before (which was fun by the way) we grabbed some cheap pizza and did some running around town before heading to Alice.
Mathias has a buddy who left during the show and no one had seen since Friday. So we went to check on him. He was alive. Apparently he was drunk and went walking during the show. He woke up on someone’s porch at about 7 in the morning and decided to get the hell out of there before anyone realized he was there when he woke. But he vividly remembers thinking there was an afterparty there. “I pulled a Robert Downy” he said.
When we left his house and continued our trek, mathias told me there’s a lot of stories about him. Including one where he rode a bicycle from a bar and woke up 3 counties away. He always wanted to have a video camera just follow him around. I smile. I’ve met lots of people the last few days. It’s been nice. And I’ve spent a lot of time with Mathias. I really feel I’ve gotten to know him better as a person. Our music talks have been really good and I’ve feel I’ve been more exposed to the workings of his music scene. There is a lot of talent in that area.
Well Alice was a bust. It was bound to happen. So instead of staying in traction for too long I decided to make a 150 mile trek to eat really good food and see my OMBG buddies to catch up over the weekend. I dropped Mathias off and headed up 77 for 3 hours. We met up at howards and caught up till nightfall. I really missed hanging out with them and not participating in the podcast this week left me feeling like something was missing so im glad to hang with the crew. It was worth it.
This trip has been nothing what I expected it to be. I’m kind of glad
The day before was pretty much spent in traction. There wasn’t too much to report. I did some much needed laundry, got oil changed (much overdue) and kind of just chilled out.
That was short lived the next day as I found myself repacking my bag with clean clothes and resetting the GPS for San Antonio.
I had to pick up something for someone special on the riverwalk (which was only a few blocks away) so I went there first. SA tourist spots are probably some o the prettiest I have ever seen. The riverwalk really is a gorgeous place. After I wandered around, I stopped in a pub for a ping of Guinness, chatted with the bartender for a minute then went on to be closer to the venue.
The japanese tea gardens were less than a mile from the venue so I stopped there. This place is beautiful and tranquil. Being close to 7pm on a Tuesday, the place was deserted. I had the whole place to myself, it was the single most peaceful moment in a while as I slowly walked through the path looking at the fish in the ponds crossing the bridges and just enjoying it. That 30 minutes killing time made the trip worth it.
After that I took the drive to GIG on the strip. Tuesday was their first ever acoustic night. They had it set up really cool. There was so much talent in that room as all the songwriters got together and told stories behind their songs. No egos no set lists just jam sessions and song circles. I can’t imagine a more fun time with people who do things simply for the love of the song.
The night was recorded. I have a copy of it. I can’t wait to hear it. I got a great sing a long to “love like yours” which is something I always wanted recorded.
After the night ended… I made plans to meet up with mathias for Austin. Made the drive to Austin and ended up at my good friend Scott Free’s place (return to cinder, apples for eyes) good to have friends. Great night.
Well, I’m happy to report that I woke up this morning in the band house. I drove in from Austin last night after making the decision to come home a day early. The whole experience was basically a choose your own adventure, and I’m pretty excited to be back home, energized to work on new songs for the band, new story ideas from the characters I have met along the way, and looking forward to getting back to school next week.
A big shout out goes to my friend Mathias Issasi who is continuing his monthlong trek down Hwy 66 for a month. I’m proud to know him, he’s a great musician and has a lot of heart. A lot of people talk about the things they want to do, Mathias goes out and makes it happen.
I think that’s what this is all about. I don’t want to be a “big fish in a little pond” tried that in the ninties with the blacklisted… it’s alright but I don’t want to stay local. My idea was to always get out there. I dont want to be famous. But I do want to be relevant. At least relevant to someone. That’s what’s important. I’m pushing 35, I don’t know how much time I got left on earth, and I want to make sure the music I leave is a testament to what I felt, thought and did.
In a way we are our own living legends. We go out and do these things, we go and play to total strangers, not just friends who will like us no matter what…(but we love ya friends!) We get out of our comfort zones and play the unknown and give it as much of our soul as someone who was playing Emo’s on a sold out tour. We have set out to write our own history. I will continue to do this until I can’t anymore. I’m not trying to be anyone other than myself. But somewhere.. someone listened. Thanks to everyone who sent good vibes my way, I promise to have more confirmations next time so I can see everyone.
The one thing I like to do as a musician is play. But I’m not very content playing in my hometown. I mean… I do it all the time right? I love my neighborhood bar, had some of the best times there the past few years, but there is something I enjoy about the open road and all the possibilities it holds. Don’t get me wrong, nine times out of ten, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, but it is an adventure.
I love going to a new place I have never been and winning over a crowd who could care less about me. It’s happened more often than not, it’s all part of paying my dues.
When my friend and tour buddy Matias Issasi told the world he was going on his “Mother Of the Road” tour and wanted some people to fill in the opening slots for his first week. I knew I had to jump on it. Even if I was going solo… I knew it had to be done. The band is doing a proper tour this year so this is my only chance to hit the road and see life even if it’s for a week, at least I’m playing music and that’s what I love to do besides write.
So now I start preparing to go. I hope I can raise enough money for gas.
So we are reworking this song for our next upcoming video shoot. The song will be faster, more upbeat, the words are the same. I’m glad.
All these songs have a story. This one was no different.
I wrote this, for a friend of mine. I had an impossible crush on her, and it sucked to see her in one bad situation to another. It broke my heart to see such a cool chick go through so much crap. I do think, she had just been picking the wrong people this whole time. She wasn’t like other girls. She didn’t need a knight in shining armor to come rescue a helpless girl. She needed a brick wall to kick at when she was mad, and she needed someone who was going to stand by her to kick the world’s ass with her.
For some reason, I felt I was that person. I never told her. I couldn’t. She was back then (and due to my horrible timing) will probably always be someone else’s girl. I will always find her in between some rebuilding phase unprepared for a force of nature that is ME. And for that, I will never truly have her, and she will never truly know what it is like to feel the full radioactive atomic blast of this heart. Good for her.
I remember the first night the band played this song. She was in the crowd. Her boyfriend was with her. And there I was singing about how I am a better man for her, and it kills me to know he makes her feel bad. She texted me late that night, the first night that song was played in public. She asked who the song was for. I had visions of her boyfriend looming over her shoulder after some silly argument that was my song (She confirmed later they both instantly thought it was about her) I lied to her that night, told her it was for another girl. I am not that much of a homewrecker. Well… not if it wasn’t going to pay off anyway. She’s a good girl. She wouldn’t have left him for me. She won’t leave the life she has now for me either. It’s ok. I’m fine with all that.
I wish her well. I’ve had to. I eventually told her it was about her. She sort of always knew. I like to think it got me a little closer. But a little closer to her heart is really nothing if I can never get to it.
And that’s the story of my life kids. Always closer. But never there. Every time I play that song I press my two fingers to my lips and point them to the sky. It is a silent prayer for her. Hoping that she finds what she needs. I also pray that one day I find what I need.
It’s going to be a hell of a video.
If I had a love like hers… I really would need nobody.