December 2007




 

It’s Christmas. During an intermission from Heartwarming Family Hearth Time, I set up a modest studio workspace in mom’s basement. In the coming days I hope to write and demo a lot of music down here, with the washing machine and furnace humming along.

(Sent from mobile phone.)

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Christmas Eve. Pittsburgh is serving up one of those bleak days that is almost comforting in its predictability. They got under my skin when I lived here. Now, they’re almost whimsical. Almost.

(Sent from mobile phone.)



 

In a pile of sheet music sitting at the foot of my mom’s piano, I found a copy of the instructional book I used 20 years ago: “Mel Bay’s Electric Bass Method – 1.” I’m sitting here contentedly doing the exercises therein. When I’m at my apartment in New York, I find it almost impossible to focus on these sorts of musical excursions and exercises.  

(Sent from mobile phone.)

(Sent from mobile phone.)



 

The sound of The Last Town Chorus which has lived in this green metal box for six years, has just officially migrated into this pink box. Farewell, Line 6 DL-4. Greetings, Maxon AD-999. The Maxon delay effect sounds deeper and more real, and its body has been built with care.

(Sent from mobile phone.)


I could just cry. “Somehow that guitar was made for you all those years ago; now you’ll make inspiring music with it. I’m
honored to have been a facilitator–can’t wait to hear you play it!” Thus wrote Scott, the guy who just gave me this gorgeous 1930s metal Rickenbacker lap steel guitar. Scott had seen us perform few times this year in Virginia at the great club Iota, and we’d had a couple good chats at the shows. He later read my travelogue posting in October wherein I marvelled over this very guitar at a shop in Portland, Oregon. He offered to bring it into my life. Finally, here it is in my hands, sounding even more magical than I remember it. As unpredictable and exhausting as the music business can be, people like Scott never let me forget that I’m utterly blessed to live my life in the realm of music. (My dog Sailor feels blessed, too. And ready for a nap.)

(Sent from my mobile phone.)


I’m on the set for the movie ‘Homecoming’ (an indie thriller with Mischa Barton and Matt Long), in which I’ll have a performance scene. Most of the crew and actors are based in LA, or in NYC as I am, so it’s kind of surreal to be sitting in a bowling alley ten minutes from my mom’s house (where I’m attempting in vain to have an end-of-year rest).

(Sent from mobile phone.)

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