Let Love Rule

(Happy Thanksgiving, USians! Happy Thursday, everyone else! -ctan)

Turns out everyone but me thought we were going to Jordan’s after The Cat Club. I caught up with the plan quickly, though. I went to say goodbye to Artie and found him talking to Barrett, who I hadn’t even realized was there. “How long you in town for?” Barrett asked me, when it was clear I was leaving.

“That might be up to Ziggy,” I said jokingly but it was the truth. Continue Reading »

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Best of What I Got

Okay. I fully admit that bullshit ideas about how to “be a man” are what turned my father into a toxic waste dump of a human being–probably what fucked up my grandfather, too, now that I think about it–and were very instrumental in all the ways I tore myself apart like a Cuisinart blade spinning inside my skin when I was growing up. I was aware of that on that night. That didn’t mean I could stop myself from flipping open the guitar case like it had a tommy gun inside or feeling like while I was tuning it I was priming a shotgun.

Thing is, when your bullets are notes and riffs, there’s really no compelling reason not to let them rip. Continue Reading »

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Twist of the Knife

I had always attributed the buzz in a room when Ziggy and I walked into a place to the fact that Ziggy is like that. He draws every eye to him like a beacon. I didn’t have to be there for that to happen.

But maybe it was the fact that this was supposed to be my thing, or maybe it was all the incessant digging from the media about whether he and I were getting back together, OR BOTH, but this time it really felt like people reacting to the appearance of both of us. Use whatever cliche you want: a ripple went through the crowd, a murmur, whatever. I had thought a New York crowd of mostly industry people wouldn’t be affected like that.

I was wrong. Continue Reading »

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Ordinary Average Guy

Morning came too early, and so did the train to New York. Bart and I did not rehearse in the vestibule between cars because we’d had enough time prior to that to feel like we didn’t need to.

I was excited and eager to do this new kind of gig at The Cat Club. It felt more like nervous energy to me than anxiety. I didn’t sleep on the train. I wrote in my notebook and talked career plans with Carynne, and she and Bart mulled over my thoughts about Ziggy but we came to no consensus. Continue Reading »

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Dirty Deeds

I distracted myself from the funereal feelings by rehearsing. Good thing Bart was there. We actually came up with some really excellent arrangements, as well as working out the spots where we could trade solos, which would lengthen each piece a lot and would be perfect for the jazz club venue we were headed to.

I may be making it sound easier than it was. But I’m also sure for us it was easier to do than for any random two musicians. We knew each other well, and we were using music we both knew as a base, and none of the actual playing was meant to be highly challenging. A couple of time signature changes wasn’t going to make us bat an eyelash, you know? Continue Reading »

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I Go To Extremes

(Reminder! Chat live tonight Nov 10th! Daron & me from 8-9pm Eastern here on the site, then 9-10pm livestreaming video with me taking your questions, reading, etc! -ctan)

I woke up in the morning groggy as hell and confused about where I was for a second, especially about why I appeared to be squished between two very warm people. The A/C was blasting so I was not upset to be sandwiched between two very warm people, merely wondering for half a second if we’d gone to a rave the night before that I didn’t remember, or what. Continue Reading »

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Devolution Working Man’s Blues

When we landed in Baltimore Carynne had a bunch of pages to answer so she went to a pay phone while I waited for our bags to come around on the luggage carousel. When she came back she said, “Bart’s here.”

“Here?” I looked around.

“In Baltimore, I mean. Came in on the train. I just paged him back.” Continue Reading »

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Fly to the Angels

Our flight the next day wasn’t that early, but it felt early since we had to be at the airport by nine to return the rental car and whatnot. I hadn’t slept much but I figured I could sleep on the plane.

At the newsstand near the gate, I bought the issue of Musician one of the writers I’d met had mentioned, and then I followed Carynne around in search of breakfast. We ended up with something like an Egg McMuffin which my stomach wasn’t ready to eat yet, so I just picked at the muffiny part and threw the rest away when they called first class to board. Continue Reading »

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October Challenge Submissions

We had three fantastic submissions this month, and the vampire theme apparently really resonated with Nat, bcynic, and Stephanie. All three are rated GEN/TEEN, meaning safe as houses for most readers and work environs, with a few curse words involved. Thank you all so much for participating!

November’s theme will be posted later this week.
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Obvious Song

We hit Haight Street, I ate a muffin, and then we drove to the radio station, where it turned out I was doing two separate segments, one live during drive time and one being taped for use later on a weekend show that was syndicated nationally. Cool. During the live segment I played “Awash” and made the interviewer and his engineer do the part of the waves crashing at the beginning by going “psshhhhh” into their mics.

When the song ended the engineer broke in. “I have to say something,” he said. Continue Reading »

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