Norm & Chris at Gojjo’s last Saturday.

Norm original: “New Kid at School”.

“Desperate”, original song, at Gojjo’s. Demo version here.

“Without Your Love”, Roger Daltry cover written by Billy Nicholls.

Thanks again to Mike Kitt for recording everyone during open mic!

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First recording session with Daniel.

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Daniel (who has approved this message: “My name is Daniel and I approve this message even though Chris needs to get some chairs”) came over this afternoon to get 12+ original songs started on a path towards becoming an album. It was good to see him, and we had a bit of fun. He’s gracefully accepted the role of mixing engineer, and played me a couple of original tracks of his own to boot (very clean indeed)! The basement is the studio, and the stools may or may not be replaced with something more comfortable, depending on how comfort affects our creative earwig (you gotta have a Bug In Your Ear. Hmmm..song title).

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For today, he looked happy enough.  : D

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Here we are at the end of laying down some initial tracks for “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” (previous demo version here). We put down a scratch track, rhythm guitar, bass, and lead vocal. The Höfner with a pick gives Clean Fat with Edge.

Since these were just first go’s, I’m going to scrap the wobbly bits I did and start over and then give him shiny new tracks to mix and do some hocus pocus with. Daniel’s a pleasure to work alongside – thoughtful, considerate, and mentally organized, plus he likes to tell you secret jokes when he thinks you’re not paying attention. I feel lucky we get a chance to hang again. He didn’t leave any Ricola in the sofa cracks this time but he almost swiped a pick. Gotta watch them pick-swipers…

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This is the “Serious Sound Engineer” shot, with Daniel trying to keep the laptop from falling off the barstool while simultaneously making sophisticated button-pushing decisions.

Band practice chez Rahul with Rahul, Jerry, Norm, Cap, and Ron was immediately after that. Loose ends to tie up and the choice of three more tunes to round out the set list: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “(Let Me Stand Next to Your) Fire”, and whichever Strokes song Norm goes for to keep us from heading completely into the Classic Rock Sunset.

Tired and stinky now. Time to head for dreamland.

October gigs

The October gig calendar is filling up:

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Tuesday, October 3rd, approximately 9pm, 30-minute set; Riverpark Pub, Gloucester City, NJ. Featured guest band at the Tuesday jam session.

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Thursday, October 12, 8pm, 45-minute set (we got more time due to the ukulele band bailing out and the rap dudes declining to not swear onstage); Chinatown Gate, 10th & Arch, Center City, Philadelphia. Playing onstage as part of the Asian Night Market Festival.

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Saturday, October 14, 10am, 45-minute set; Capitolo Playground, Passyunk & 9th, Center City, Philadelphia. The cheesesteak gig.

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Saturday, October 21, 8:30pm, hosting for Saito-san’s Headhouse open mic, 2nd and Lombard, Center City.

Also looking to play more café open mics to start unleashing originals.

Starting recording sessions with Daniel on Sunday.

European Tour…well, ok, that one’s still in the works.  ; )

Open mic solos

These cameos are part of our regular participation habit with Jerry’s Musical Achievers meetup group at Gojjo’s, where we hang with our usual suspects, drink beer, and eat ethiopian dinners with our fingers. The most forgiving and supportive audience you could play for. Thanks to Michael Kitt for videotaping and editing everybody.

“Save Me” – original by Chris

Rahul with some smooth Santana.

Norm’s new original.

“Meadowlarks”, Fleet Foxes.

Band Practice, September 9, 2017

IMG_1426.JPGGetting ready for October in Chinatown, making sure the night vision gear works. Photo: Jerry Kern

IMG_1415.JPGRon stepping in on percussion. Two guys from Hawai’i in da band tonight. Ho, shoulda brought da poké!

IMG_1421.JPGChris & Rahul.

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Norm & Cap.

IMG_1419.JPGChris & Cap, shade modeling.

IMG_1418.JPGBruddah Ron adding latin styling to “Black Magic Woman”.

IMG_5221.JPGJerry is holding down the bass and contributing gutsy lead vocals on “Cold, Cold, Cold” and “S.O.B” during Norm’s asian trek.

IMG_1428.JPGLow-angle Norm.

IMG_1423 copy.JPGA likely crew.

So we’re getting our feet wet, as these videos will attest, but we’re off to a decent start. Working out intros, outros, in-between-tros, etc. Starting out with covers here, but with an ear to originals Norm and Chris have stockpiled and are keen to introduce to an unsuspecting audience.  Our good friend Jerry is sitting in on bass while Norm travels, and Cap’s buddy Ron lent two hands to some excellent percussion at last night’s practice.

The internet may have brought us here, rather than the guitar store message board, but now it’s all humans.

Live practice:

Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)

Cold, Cold, Cold (Cage the Elephant)

Black Magic Woman (Santana)

Radio Free Europe (REM)

A little down-time, fast-finger exercise for Jerry.

Some idle comments about dreamers

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Dreamers make stuff up.
Dreamers can have a complex relationship with day-to-day reality.
Dreamers take their time.
It’s possible to be sometimes out of sync with schedules, responsibilities, and people if you are a dreamer.
There are different sorts of dreamers: benign, benevolent, obsessive, calm, big picture, slow burning, etc.
To be a dreamer, you need to forget about things a little bit, take a step or two back from everyday existence, for better or for worse, or both.
If you want to be a dreamer, practice staring at waves and clouds, or listening to the wind, or watching ants, or taking naps. The moments between sleeping and waking up are important. It all happens between the frames, mein freund, when you start remembering or forgetting who you are.
Some dreamers have their head in the clouds. Some, their feet. Dreamers have been accused of having their heads in other places as well, but that’s the opinion of those who have forgotten that we are all dreaming.

Without dreams, we would go crazy.

Headhouse open mic

Solo appearance this evening at Saito-san’s “Headhouse” in Society Hill. My fellow performers were largely 20-30-somethings who turned out to know each other, from kindergarten, high school, or other past lives. One girl did a nice rendition of “Georgia On My Mind”. The host, Carolyn, also played a strong original tune at the end called “The End” (I think that may have been the title) – great line in it about the confidence of a “mediocre man”.

I played “Dreams Tonight”, “Goodbye”, “Waiting For You Here”, and “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” – originals only. A flub or two here and there, but the lingering effects of novocaine from a visit to the dentist for a filling earlier in the day kept things chill.

Thanks to the fine folks at Staples Copy & Printing Services for 1,000, shiny new business cards!

I’ve been told my drawing skills have improved…

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“Merch”

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How bands make a living when giant money vacuums like Spotify and i-Tunes aren’t good at playing in the sandbox with the other children. Some kids build the sandcastles, and some kids sell tickets to other kids to let them into the sandbox to check out the sandcastles.