Well, it looks like I survived another trip to L.A., perhaps aided by a self-limited alcohol intake and a better approach to my daily diet. I made it into LAX Thursday afternoon, met my ride curbside and, after ditching my bags, made the rounds of several of Hollywood's finer drinking establishments, wrapping up at Jumbo's Clown Room. Look it up...it's rich in history. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the Danzig stories...but that's for another time.
Friday, after wandering down to The ArcLight to see Captain America, and a ritual pilgrimage to Amoeba Records(picked up the new Ponderosa disc. Excellent.), Joshua and I started on the next five tunes for his record that evening, and worked through much of Saturday, skipping most of the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Saturday night however, after dinner and some tasty Watermelon Wheat Beer at Blue Palms, we cabbed it down to catch Bush and Motley Crue closing it out. Several thousand people, including a number of celebrities, populated the Strip's key bit of real estate, and with the exception of a handful of folks with obvious anti-social tendencies, everyone played nice...that is until two hydraulic cannons, each loaded with 50 gallons of prop blood, rained down on a mostly-unsuspecting audience during Motley's finale. Then, things got kinda hairy for a bit, as the faux-blood-soaked mob made their exit, some obviously not entirely pleased with the current state of their appearance and several trying frantically to get the goop off of the cell phones they'd been holding aloft to film the show instead of just watching it with their own two eyes. I mean, shit, why experience the moment when you can just watch a scale version of it later on a tiny monitor. Serves you right, schmucks.
Sunday saw Joshua & I working on some more arrangement ideas, and tweaking out some demos, before joining friends at The Rainbow for pizza & beer....and more beer at O'Briens in Santa Monica...so much for that limiting business. Oh well, I wasn't driving, and I don't see these folks nearly as often as I should. Sadly, one of our intended posse members had gotten into a little scuffle post-show the night before, and was at home, nursing a split lip and busted head with 13 stitches between them. Sorry, RB...and thanks for the hookup, man.
Monday, Joshua, my old drummer Rob Wood, and I headed out to Mission Hills to film guest spots on the new Fuel TV show Punk Payback, featuring former UFC champion Bas Rutten. At the moment, fORMER's "Blue Divide" from the new album, is being considered for use in the show's opening sequence. I guess we'll find out if it makes the cut November 2nd, when the program debuts.
Bas & his crew were great to us, and I was given the role of bystander/witness to a convenience store stickup. Luckily my role required little actual acting and no lines to be spoken. Still, it took a few hours to get all the shots, and we had two songs to complete before I could fly out in the morning, so we were getting into crunch time.
Somehow we managed to squeeze in a quick dinner & margaritas at Malo, and still get the last two demos cut in the wee hours. Perhaps the tequila had a hand in pushing us over the top...seems unlikely. Either way, we wrapped them up, and I was able to board a flight in the A.M. and make it home in time for a much-needed haircut.
fORMER rehearsed tonight, running through the 40 minutes or so we'll need for the shows in the coming week. Next Wednesday night(8/31) we're playing an early opening slot at Mercy Lounge with Joe Dunn and Oh No No. Doors at 7, and we go on at 8 sharp. We'll be playing a few from the new record, and we might even have a few copies with us that night, if the gods smile upon us as we hope they will. That Friday night(9/2) we're at The Warehouse in Clarksville for Souzapalooza with August Christopher, Chakras, and more. I'm not sure what slot we'll have that night, but will post details as they become available.
Most of September will have us working up a bunch of material for the rest of the year's live shows, which we're booking at the moment. Hopefully we'll be able to get out and see a few faces and places we've missed with this new record. We're going to keep things interesting with the next few shows, changing up the setlists and rotating in and out a number of songs you might not expect. The band are in a good place right now, and we wanna stay on our toes, so we're gonna see if we can't make things a bit of a challenge with our song pool. If nothing else, we'll see who's paying attention.
To those of you who have pre-ordered the new record, thank you so much. There might be a little something extra in it for you too, so stay tuned for details. Speaking of new records, next time you're on FaceBook, look up our buddy Erik's band Lucky Drag. They just released a 9-song EP chock-full of loud guitar goodness, in the vein of the mighty Paul Westerberg. Throw the cat some bones.