Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Brand New Game to Play...

 Life has moved on even for those of us who live it online and I hope everyone realizes that only about a thimble full ever really gets diluted down to something that can be written about. A few weeks ago we attended Riot Fest, a big concert in Chicago. I made many photos and have lots to write about them. I also invented a new game. 

We have played this game in some form or another for some years now. You know when you are visiting an out of town place and on a crowded street you see someone that looks like a friend but can't possibly be that friend because of the situation of you being a traveler in a strange land and your real friend is stuck back at work. To play the game you say something like there is _____ if he had a good day, went straight, been born rich, or never listened to his mother. Take your pick or make something up. They say we all have a double somewhere. 

So taking this one step farther (always pushing) when you see a weird looking person, and there were plenty at Riot Fest I came up with a question to ask them. First the weird people:

If you note a lot of these photos are made with the subjects unawares I have discovered that you don't just run up and startle weird people. 

These two pretty tame. 

Mohawks enjoy the Ferris wheel. 

Did not want his hair to be like dad's.

So here is the rules to the game. Go up to a strange looking person or better yet a group of strange looking people hanging out together and ask, "What's the name of your band?" 

If they got a band name you won. It's time for others in your group to take a turn picking a weird looking dude and asking the question. The person that picks a dude and he or she is not in a band has to spend an hour hanging out with that person. At the end of an hour you move on, catch up with your group see how others are faring and total score based on hours wasted with weird dudes. I know you are wondering so yes I did have to spend and hour with some of the people in these photos. 

It's good harmless fun, you meet new people and is less dangerous than watching middle east war videos on youtube which I guess could fall under the living your life online thing. 

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pulled My Pants Up at the Discovery Green Concert...

Discovery Green is a nice little outdoor park in downtown Houston where they have free concerts. It's good people. We meet Morgan, Ali and Anne to see Paul Thorn with Craig Kinsey opening. Coming up is Rodney Crowell. Though we stayed the night a concert here, especially if you like the people is worth a drive down and back in my humble opinion. If you happen to see Paul though keep your pants pulled up. 

I had a Paul Thorn CD and was already familiar with him. They play a lot of his tunes on WWOZ radio out of New Orleans. He's a Mississippi boy raised Pentecostal and his funky southern rock/soul music has a nice raise the church roof feel good on Sunday morning after being bad Saturday night dark old south Gothic vibe.   

He had a really great band including in the following photo a lefty guitarist who played killer slide. One thing I noted was that there were no amps on stage. In this part of the world Texas Headphones, a couple of road battered Fender amps are the weapon of choice for the guitar players in a band. They had some kind of electronic trickery that sound great including the use of sitar like sounds by the lead player. It all sounded great but as my newest amp was made in the early 1980s and has been retubed with 1950s military grade tubes I am kind of in the dark as to how they did this. If it was 1952 and I had to help Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys set up I could go right to work. I could not help these guys.  

The good old Mississippi feel good boy Paul is tempted him to solve the world's problems a bit from his bully pulpit of the stage. He was getting most of it right as far as I was concerned but when he made a crack about things will be a little better when when the young people start pulling up their pants. Paul, that's just a style. When I was in high school I had a pair of bell bottom pants, and they were big bells and they had cuffs. They were a kind of maroon color.  I might have had two pair but I don't remember the color of the other one. I could have worn those to your concert and then where would you have been? What would there have been left to say? As George Harrison once said in a song "All things Must Pass." I don't think George was talking about styles but they do pass away. I don't think they are the cause of the worlds problems or change the way people act. As they say around here, "you can take him out of those sagging pants..." 

Anyway it was good, sound good and I bought his newest cd. It's called too Blessed to be Stressed and I like that title. From the looks of thinks the Paul Thorn Band is getting good gigs so you will see more from them. 

The other band was Craig Kinsey. Though the started with a Woody Guthrie song they quickley switched to a cabaret style mode that included dancers. Cathy liked this band more than Paul. 

They do get extra points for the girl dancers and the horn player. 

Ok. Just like Paul I had my say. Now I'll put on pants, pulling them all the way up. I am an old man in case I said something here that otherwise made you believe different and I wear my trousers pulled way up high. 

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

People Ax Me All These Things...

Had a great day fishing with Matt, Kellie and Richard yesterday. We ended up with 37 catfish. No great size but just a tube full of eaters. Folks ax me questions about cooking and catching them so I'll try to answer. 

Here's Matt and Kellie fixing to cast a line to out to shallow water spot we call "the place." Nothing there. We had hoped the cooling weather would bring some fish up shallow for slip corking but not yet. 
Kellie catches a fish. So here is a secret. It's pretty cosmic. See the little skinny stick up the boat is tied to? Earlier in the summer when we discovered this spot you could barely get a grip on this little tree top protruding in 28 ft of water. Lake level has dropped so it's easier to grab but be gentle. Don't break it off. You know what that little stick signifies?  It's the road less traveled. Fishermen are going to tie to the big, easy to grab trees. They are going to fish the big points of land jutting into the lake. They are going to fish the obvious spots to hold fish. Don't get be wrong those are good spots but everyone "spots" them. You got to find the place within a place. The spot too hard for others to try. Wow, this turns into a big life allegory. Thanks for reading folks, just Sunday morning tripping here with my morning coffee before the rest of the house rises. It's another one of my hobbies. 
This is Richard. He did not buy a fishing license. I think the trip was fun for him but he did not really say much. 
Me and Matt with a double. There were a lot of doubles, even a couple of triples and a bucket full of undersize throw backs. I think this was the third spot we hit and it was the jackpot. 
Kellie with another. 

Cathy with a nice one. Cathy managed to get a hook barb in her hand but pulled it out. There's an after photo floating around on facebook. She was sorry we did not make a before photo of the hook. 

Me and Cathy pose for the "tub" shot. This was such a good mess of fish some are swimming in our bellies, some will swim in our bellies for lunch today and some went to the freezer to swim in our bellies at a later fish fry. 

Speaking of the road less traveled that's not my house in the back ground. Its just one of the outbuildings on the property. No matter what you may think about me, this blog and the world in general I did sleep in a bed last night, I used a flush toilet, Fender guitars do not sponsor my fishing trips and as much as you would like to believe I drink coffee straight from the pot I am using a cup this morning. 

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Got a Couple of Projects Going This Morning...

I am off today and and busy fun planned. Cathy is sleeping and should be up in a minute but in the meantime I have been down in the workshop this morning. Here is a project I finished up. It's a collaboration on an instrument my father in law Bill started. You know Bill, he's my celebrity sponsor.  

Bill had this instrument mostly finished, headstock was not attached, needed a bridge, tailpiece and strings. I fixed all those things. 
The laminated top was very easy to catch and peel up. I think it's a pretty old project and the wood is dried out so I took contact paper and put along the edges to protect them from snags. So far so good.  

That's a mandolin tail piece. 

Tuners and headstock.

I made it an electric instrument. Here's something new I learned off the internets. Embed piezo pickups in bottle caps with hot glue to make a more feed back resistant pickup for an improved electric sound.  

A closer look. That's my brand, O'Douls. It's what you call "near beer." 

I have this instrument like most everything tuned to open E. It could be tuned as a tenor guitar or a plectrum banjo. Lots of possibility. I'll try to get a sound clip up. 

This guitar not for sale. I have another project to sell almost finished. It's for those out there with the munchies. Check back for photos in a few days. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why the Beatles Matter...

I saw the Flaming Lips at Riot Fest in Chicago, In case you haven't followed the Flaming Lips which I must admit I have not but they do have a great spectacle of a live show. I think I own one of their cds, picked up on a whim in a used cd store somewhere because I heard they were a good psychedelic band. The Beatles were a good little band that had some recordings that could also be called psychedelic. The Flaming Lips hail from Oklahoma while the Beatles were English.  

The Beatles never got to have a really great live show that brought the most out in their music. They were the first "boy band" and by all reports the girls screamed so loud you could not hear them playing. That might be the first reason that the Beatles matter because this brought on the birth of the great concert sound system. It's all computerized now a days so no matter where you sit or how loud the girls scream a guy sits at a lap top and clicks an icon for Shreveport, Madison Square Garden, Candlestick Park or where ever you are playing and the computer dials it in. 

Here's some Lips photos I made
Confetti spews out over the crowd. The light show behind the band was not stationary. 

Mushrooms, rainbows, cool blue light. The lips certainly seem like happy people even if they are from Oklahoma. \

The Beatles were one of the first bands who had the power to do just what they wanted. Up until that point bands and singer I think were kind of told what to do by a hit making machine and it was do it or have no backing. I don't think the Flaming Lips have ever had a hit so to speak but they are surely worth listening to and seeing and they do what they want. 
Wayne, the main dude in the band gets in a big blown up thing like a hamster ball and crowd surfs. 
The Lips closed their set with the most killer version of the Beatles tune "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" that I have ever heard. The music, the lights and everything made it the most perfect experience. I am not sure the Beatles ever performed this tune live and I don't know if Sir Paul, who keeps a pretty steady live concert schedule does this tune but it would have to be good to top this rendition.  

I don't really listen to the Beatles much these days. Sometimes when I go in the grocery store I hear a Beatles tune on the overhead. Only problem is when I do hear it in the grocery it is usually followed by something like "Beer, Bait and Ammo" and I think that's over using it a bit.  
In the late 1960s, when I got my first transistor radio I spun the dial around and around to and from the three radio stations it would pick up trying to hear a Beatles tune. It was not easy in deep East Texas. Now they are everywhere and their influence is deep. 
 Give me a sunny day and a fast highway and the bright voiced harmonies blowing out my car stereo speakers matter as I speed down the road.    

I don't know if this Flaming Lips fan that was standing in front of me as I took this shot thinks the Beatles matter or not.   


Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Looper Mayhem...

Here is a little track called CUMBIA for your listening pleasure. It's done by the one man snakes on a plane band. That one man is me. I used a Digitech looper, an Eastwood Baritone guitar, a DeArmond hollow body guitar, a bongo cojon, a maraca, a Boss univibe/lesile pedal, a little reverb and a 30 year old Fender Champ to get these sounds. There's a stinker or two in the lead guitar but I am proud of the rhythm groove.  


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Charity Auction Very Successful...

I donated this cigar box guitar I made to the Joseph House Charity auction. It's the second guitar I have donated to charity events. It sold for $175. 

It's nice to see the money go for a good cause

You can get one cheaper than this. Call me, email, check at the local music store Sound Techs, or at Standpipe Coffee House. I also will have a booth at the St. Paul's Methodist Church Fall Bazaar on Oct. 25th.  


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