- Guess Who's a Mess (preview) 0:00
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Oh, so this’ll be my first show in Ottawa in a while or two. Gonna be trying out some new stuff, plus old new stuff and then last — but by no means least — …old stuff. Bruce Enloe and the Burning Sensations will be opening. I worked on Bruce’s two rad records, Unseasonably Cool and the raw, live-off-the-floor Bonfire. Both worth checking out, Bruce is an excellent songwriter. Geoffrey Gibson made us this beautiful poster:
I’m pretty sure the album’s available everywhere it’s supposed to be. iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, CD Baby, Spotify, Rdio and now finally Jamendo (thanks to everyone who helped out with that). Oh and I’m slowly getting it on Soundcloud. Also a big thank you to everyone who’s been buying it. For a while I wasn’t sure if I’d get to still be a musician but it looks like I’m OK for now.
It’s -28C outside right now. That’s cold.
Hey everybody. I accidentally did a show a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty informal. A nice person came all the way from Hungary to see it which was a little nerve-wracking. It went fine though, thank you for coming (if you did).
I’ve been just plain working on my album. Growing a beard. Trying to drink sensibly. Also: playing some video games here and there. Arkham City comes out next week. I might be too busy to play it, how sad is that. Seriously how sad for me are you right now tell me.
I keep thinking of writing about recording the album because they say you should keep your ‘online presence’ going but that’s so fucking boring. Does anyone really want to read that? “I’ve been re-recording all the basslines.” Oh kick ass, Brad. “I’m enjoying playing bass more.” Awesome, awesome! I’d rather talk about my awesome dog Rufus:
Just look at that fuckin’ guy. What a dude.
But I’m getting restless, which I think is a nice sign. I really want the album to be done so I can move on. I have all these fantasies about how creative I’m going to be when this is over and I’m not working on the same batch of songs anymore. How I shouldn’t wait so long between albums anymore. That all my fussing is really only mildly improving the songs. I should be more spontaneous! I should be more like Prince!
But I also want to obsess over every part of it forever until the end of time. I know that my restlessness will overcome my perfectionism soon though and that, my friends, is how babies are born.
[My new nephew Crue (as in Motley).]
You don’t get asked to be made an uncle, someone just makes you one.
Yeah, so, there was a wiener theme to the show tonight. First time ever. I tried to communicate it from the stage but I’m not sure how clear I was. Here’s the two point recap:
1. Next to the venue was an abandoned KFC with this sign:
2. Inside, on the bar, next to jars of pickled eggs and cheese was a jar of pickled wieners. I did some of my Seinfeld-esque observational humor from the stage re: this crazy coincidence and this wound up happening:
For those of you who are not musicians, that is a pickled wiener that has been tossed onto the stage, specifically onto the set list of your guitarist.
Posted on - June 12, 2011 [at] 2:23 am by Brad
Tagged in - live
I think I might be finished with nearly anything that happens in convention centers. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a good time in one. Do they happen? They’re so sterile they creep me out and make me want to run far away (to my sterile hotel room).
My panel was OK, though the discussion was just getting going when we ran out of time. I also felt it was a bit too focused on far-off scenarios rather than practical stuff that might help musicians. I have a hard time caring about anything I have to imagine 5-10 years into the future to get. Probably my issue, but there it is.
Once again Boston tried to hang onto me by laying down a giant storm on my way out. Last time it was snow that cancelled every flight but mine. This time it was wind that cancelled every flight but mine. It’s never cool when you see this much red on a departures screen when you walk up to your gate:
I got to fly in a 9-seat Cessna propeller airplane (the ninth seat is actually the co-pilot seat). I thought it would be scary especially with all the turbulence but I found it easy to accept the idea of dying after spending so many hours in an airport. Also it felt like being in a van in the sky. And whenever I was nervous the pilot was like three feet away from me so I could study his body language. “He’s not sweating and trying to secretly phone his kids, so I think this is just normal turbulence.”
I took this video of the landing:
Pretty sweet landing there. The other three I experienced weren’t quite as slick.
Scott’s rolling to a stop on his solo live playing. I think that’s cool, I started to weigh in with a comment on my own struggle with playing live but it got too huge so here it is:
A couple of years ago I was fed up with playing live. Some people love to perform and I’m just not that guy. I wouldn’t say I’m shy but I wouldn’t deny that I’m an introvert. Then I had a pretty bad string of rough, demoralizing gigs and it was messing with me. I’d travel home afterwards all bummed out and thinking my time would have been much better spent recording or writing or doing stuff on the internet. Plus it’s easier and more fun to me.
I got fed up, took a break and decided to play less shows but to make them more meaningful. Promote them better, book them better, work harder at them. In 2010 that approach was pretty successful so I’m planning to play some more in 2011.
A lesson I learned, and this may only apply to me and my city, is that there’s very little point to playing thankless gigs. Maybe you’re getting some practice in. Maybe you enjoy it. But you’re not building a fan base. You’re not generating buzz. If you have a small draw, which most bands do, you’re spreading it too thin over many sad shows rather than saving it up for a few good ones.
Now that I’m taking this new approach I’m enjoying the shows way more. I’m still not much of a performer, but I’ve been enjoying the crowd interaction. I like getting yelled at. I enjoy feeling like my being there and doing my thang is facilitating a good time for others.
So when people come out now, tell me they like my stuff, tell me they’re looking forward to new music, it’s pretty great. It’s very easy on the Internet to group fans into one single entity. But when I meet people face to face who seem to genuinely connect with what I’ve done or what I’m doing, well that’s encouraging and awesome and nice.
Posted on - January 20, 2011 [at] 3:50 pm by Brad
Tagged in - live
Last night’s show was fun, thanks to everyone for coming out. These three shows I’ve done with the new band have been pretty encouraging. I’m not someone who actually really enjoys performing or being on a stage, but I do get a huge kick out of an energetic, happy crowd and instigating a good time. So I’m gonna let that motivate me into more show bookings and hope it’s enough.
Getting the laptop into the live show has been a long dumb technical process. It’s been working solid now for a long time so the last step was to get it all into a nice portable form factor that was quick and easy to set up and tear down. I think I’m just about there:
I bought this Gator Studio-2-Go case – which is a 2U rack case (front and back) as well as a laptop compartment on top (and most importantly a hole between the rack and laptop compartments for cable runs). Getting it was a stupid ordeal. I actually couldn’t find it anywhere in Canada (everyone said it was discontinued) so I had to order it from Sweetwater, get it delivered in the US and drive across the border to get it. Sine then it’s been a gradual process figuring out everything I need in it.
In the front (sorry for the crappy photos) I’ve got a Furman M-8X (rack-mounted power strip), a MOTU Ultralite mk3 (sound card) and a Shure PSM200 wireless transmitter (for feeding the click to the drummer). The power strip means I only have one power cord for the whole box, which is great.
In the back:
The sound card’s outputs go into a Behringer ULTRA-DI PRO DI800, giving the sound dude three channels of DI’d output. I had to learn how to build some short angle patch cables since non-angled ones wouldn’t fit with the back cover on.
- I need an 8-channel XLR s-s-snake for the DI outputs (this has been ordered.)
- The power supply for the PSM200 is one of those dudes with the AC adapter block separated from the plug. Meaning the block is floating around in the case, threatening to knock all my other connections out. I’m not sure how to secure it down or if I should try and replace it with a different adapter.
- The Firewire adapter in the laptop sticks out of the side of the laptop a great deal and makes the side-foam the case comes with not fit properly. I guess I’ll cut a hole in it.
- I wish it was easier to get the DI in and out in case I need to adjust something. Right now I can squeeze my arms in but I’m only getting fatter so that’s not a permanent option. I don’t know much about racks – is there a. thing for that? A rack drawer maybe?
So instead of bringing in a pile of devices and having to set up all my cables each time, I’m down to one AC adapter and a handful of XLR outs and I don’t need any DIs from the house.
That was a lot of work.