Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
We’ve been invited to play the APCA National Convention in March. I think I can say the whole band is very excited by the news. We’re lining up some dates to be playing in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and Lousianna on our way to Georgia.
I’ve been contacted by an MTV show, so keep an ear out as you may hear some of my songs on one of their popular shows.
I’ll be getting the bus outfitted with an additional fuel source – used veggie oil. That’s right, we want to be environmentally friendly (as much as possible) with the bus. So if you smell french fries or tempura, we may have just driven by.
This also just in: Not only will you love seeing us at a live show, you may very well find your next Boyfriend / Girlfriend / Soul-mate as well. It seems two people in Houston who came out to see us play have since started dating all because they came to see us play!
Wanna win a Practical Insanity t-shirt? Get yourself over to the Clubhouse and login.
Have a great Holiday Season and see you on the road next year!
After we made it out of New Mexico I had to get some rest. Colin, Josh, and Henrik ended up driving through the night. I was actually quite impressed with how they managed to do it. I woke up at one point when we stopped for gas. Then went back to sleep. They stopped around 7:30 in the morning. I woke up around 8:30 and took a quick shower.
Speaking of showers, although the bus is equipped with a shower, it essentially has two settings right now; one is called freezing cold, the other is scalding hot. So you do the infamous shower dance as you attempt to rinse off.
After the shower I made a quick breakfast of some bacon and eggs and fired up the bus. Oh wait, I have to back up a little. Back in New Mexico, the bus stopped charging the in-house electrical system. So we were out of juice for things like computers, coffee makers, dishwasher, bathroom lights. The bus is still operational but without all the cool things that make a digital life easier. Must get this figured out – keeping the fingers crossed that it is just the regulator and not the alternator. I´ll suss it out on Monday when we get back.
The three of them got us well into Texas by driving through the night, which was a good thing. Texas is fucking HUGE. We probably wouldn´t have made the show on time if they hadn´t done that. The only downside to how this worked out driving wise is that they switch off every couple of hours whereas when I´m left alone, I´m driving for much longer shifts over 4 hours. But it seems to be working out pretty good otherwise.
We rolled into a suburb of Huston for the show that Colin booked us last minute. It ended up being a coffee house with a back room that houses lots of bands, local and touring. When we pulled the bus around the back and the sound guy came out to help us, his eyes almost popped out of his head. I think it was the first tour bus they had seen. We found an electrical outlet to plug in the house system for a while so we could charge our electrical gadgets, and use the bathroom with a little more light.
We ended up being the 4th band of the night. So we had to wait to unload. While waiting we met another band called the Delegates who were from Canada. A pretty cool bunch of guys doing the van tour thing on a shoe string budget. Sound Familiar? The only difference is that I´ve gone with a bus instead of a van and trailer. Upon hearing the first band I knew we were the odd balls out. The Dark Room is a room meant for Punk and Ska type stuff, not the polished rock that I´m doing. We watched the Delegates who are like a cross of punk, ska, and maybe a little reggae. I really liked their setup, and they have a ton of energy for what they do.
Our turn came next so we loaded in as fast as possible and got setup. The crowd was sparse and the room was a concrete rectangle – not a great condition for sound. The bright spots about the show was that several people from Myspace showed up, and the sound guy was able to give me a mix to my in-ear monitors. The downside, none of us could really hear each other (I could hear my vocals that´s it). Henrik wasn´t feeling well and our playing wasn´t all that it could be. I attempted to end the show a song early to get an encore, but the sound guy didn´t realize it, so I accidentally cut us off a little short.
I was excited that I finally met some people from Myspace in person. It was a first for me and showed me that there really are other humans on the other side of the digital images. We ended up hanging out with the Delegates for a while after the show. An employee came out to tell us we couldn´t stay and that the cops would come to bust us up. Go figure. We packed up and took the bus to a little TexMex restaurant down the street and had a late dinner with some of the people from Myspace. We parted ways after we took some pictures. I then drove the bus over to another section of Houston for the APCA convention.
The hotel didn´t know where to have us park the bus. The finally relegated us to a parking lot about a block and a half away. I got the bus situated and we all got some sleep. I ended up waking up late for the registration at APCA. I was immediately shuffled to another meeting. Once the meeting was done I had to race back to the bus and get everyone up. We were already late for sound-check. I got a guy from the hotel to tell us where to park with the bus for load in and sound check. Unfortunately the Hotel staff was being extremely unreasonable about the bus. We had gotten every thing needed off the buss. I was about to start sound-checking when I was notified that the bus would have to be move immediately. Our sound check was already short, but this was stupid.
I was pulled aside by APCA´s president and told to relax and just have a great showcase. He mentioned he´d take care of the bus situation for future conventions otherwise they´d take their show somewhere else. That made me feel a whole lot better.
When we finally hit the stage we exploded. Even though it was a 15 minute set, we tore it up. After the second song I asked the audience if they wanted to hear Josh sing and play I like Big Butts… Josh was refusing but the audience began to cheer louder and louder until he finally relented and played it. I cut it off after the first chorus so that we´d have time to finish our last song.
Immediately after we played Eric, the APCA guy, pulled me aside and told me to run over to the booth for the marketplace. I felt bad having to leave the rest of the band to tear down and deal with getting it back to the bus, but I had to go see if anyone would want to bring us to their campus. At the booth I had posters to sign to give away to the students. When the marketplace opened I had suddenly found that even though I was in a remote corner, I had a line of students coming to tell us how cool we were and how much we rocked the house. I signed a lot of posters and asked for as much help as I could to get these students to bring us to their campus.
Later, after the marketplace, I got stopped by several APCA employees who had to tell me how much they really liked/loved the music, that they were happy the whole bus situation to kill our performance. One person even went so far as to say we were the best thing APCA had. Even Co-Op buyers were commenting to me how much their students wanted us to come. Despite all that, only one school stepped up to the plate to even consent to interest in bringing us in. At the first Co-Op meeting I kinda felt like we get several schools on board there. But alas, none so far as of right now. None have even committed. So now I have to resort to prodding them as much as possible. Keep the fingers crossed.
The afternoon I had to check out of the hotel, pack up the bus and get us on the road. Josh, Henrik and Colin had all had too much to drink the night before and were still asleep. I ended up driving for probably 6 hours straight. By the time we hit San Antonio I was getting pretty burnt out. So I let them take over after we stopped to make some dinner.
We stopped somewhere in New Mexico. I got up around 8:30. Took a quick shower and fired up the bus. I got us rolling and was about to get on the highway when Colin stuck his head out to see if we needed gas. So I pulled over on the shoulder to double check. When I put it in neutral the engine started to rev, so I hit High Idle and everything seemed fine. We got on the road and I proceeded to drive all the way through Tucson AZ. It was here that I should have gotten gas, but I decided to push it. I wanted to get to a truck stop and kept going. Big Mistake. When we finally made it to the truck stop in Eloy AZ, we had just got off the freeway and into the parking lot when the bus stopped going. We were literally 30 feet from the pump.
Now, if you´ve ever owned a diesel you know that running it out of gas is a really, really bad thing to do. If you´ve never owned a diesel, well – lets just say, don´t run out of gas. I had to call roadside assistance to get someone out as we couldn´t get the motor to start. In the process I think we ended up burning out a switch before the starter. Eventually the roadside people came, and after some tinkering and fuel priming we got it started and I rolled it up to the pump. But before I did the engine started to race again. The two mechanics backed up as if the engine would blow. I hit High Idle and it calmed down. The bus stopped again while we were filling it up, so we re-primed it again and they cut a wire to show me how to hot wire it.
We finally got the bus rolling again after several hours. Everyone was getting testy. We made it to the venue in Phoenix and found no one there. It was locked up. I wasn´t very happy about this. Josh had to be back in the very early morning for a flight. I figured if they didn´t show up by a certain time, we´d just cancel. The bartender showed up literally right at the time I was going to pull the plug. Instead we unpacked and set up as fast as we could, so that we could start right at 8. We proceeded to play a ripping set and quickly tore down and packed the bus back up.
Despite bringing the biggest crowd of the evening, on a short notice in a city we´ve never played before, we didn´t get paid. So I don´t think I´ll be going back to the Big (stinky) Fish pub and I don´t recommend that you play or imbibe at that establishment either. To be fair, the bouncer/money taker and the sound guy wanted to pay us. It was the owner who ended up vetoing the idea. So what apparently used to be a cool place is now shooting itself in the foot. I signed a few posters for some of the people that showed up then we took off to get back to LA so Josh could make his flight this morning.
That´s my story and I´m stickin´ to it until further notice.
Pictures and the bus video will be coming soon.
We played Las Vegas last night and the show went great. As a first official show for the current lineup of the band, this was a major plus. I have to thank Dave Meeks from Big Bad Zero (a Las Vegas local band) for getting me the gig. The overall consensus was that we were tight and sounded great. The real plus was selling some CD’s and swag.
Another funny thing is the difference in attitude people have towards a band when they roll up in a huge bus! 🙂 We parked it outside the hurricane and proceeded to unpack and play. Unfortunately I screwed up and didn’t charge the video camera enough, so the battery died like one minute into the first song. But there were some pictures taken that I will attempt to post asap.
After the show we were standing outside chatting when we saw a drunk guy come out of the bar and get in his truck. He cruised around a corner in the parking lot and sideswiped another parked truck. As he bounced his truck off the parked on, he swerved and almost bounced of the bus. All I could think, was, no, no, no. Don’t hit the bus, don’t hit the bus, don’t hit the bus. Luckily he missed the bus and turned another corner and hit a brick wall instead. Whew.
After that we packed up and headed out for Houston. We drove until about 5 a.m. then parked and got some sleep. I got up this morning around 9 and fired up the bus after some breakfast. As I was driving through Arizona I was thinking how nice it is to see a change in the weather and in the seasons. Living in Southern California you tend to forget that there are other seasons other than hot and rainy. Got to see some yellow and orange tree leaves. It’s been a nice trip so far.
Houston, here we come…
Well, I’ve been stuck in Utah awaiting a windshield for the bus. It’s been a little frustrating. I’m attempting to be all legit with everything about the bus and I’m running into tons of roadblocks. I can’t find insurance for the bus yet because I’m not a senior citizen. Go Fucking Figure on that one. I’ve got a couple of calls in to hopefully find some before I leave town. Otherwise I’m going without it until I find it. Not Fun.
WKZQ 101.7 in Mytle Beach, SC has bedcome the official first station to play “All The Things”. So if you heard me, welcome to the website. If you’re a fan, I would really appreciate it if you can e-mail them and request the song. firstname.lastname@example.org
I should be getting the windshield replaced today and on my way back down to LA. Where I can get back to work on moving forward with the bus and getting more shows. We’re adding an additional show on the 17th in Houston. Look above to see when and where we’ll be. Tell all your Houston area friends so that we’ll have a great turnout.
This just in, I own an Eagle Model 05 Tour Bus! I’m currently on the road with it from Seattle. I’m in Park City, working on getting it transferred over to me now that I’ve purchased it. I will post pictures and video soon. Probably once I get back to LA and can wrap my head around the situation.
In the meantime it looks as though the first shows for Practical Insanity will be in Texas then we’ll likely be heading to Northern California. There’s the possibility that I could be opening for Collective Soul in December. But its not in stone yet. I’ll make sure to post here when additional dates come up.
Until then, Josh (the drummer) and I are tooling around in the bus to get it back to LA where we’ll clean it up and make it ready for the road.
I have a winner for the October contest, but I’m currently unable to update the page for a few days so bear with me until I can post that in the Clubhouse and get November’s contest up.
Hope you had a great Halloween, the Movie Pick of the Week: Saw II. If you missed Saw last year, you missed one of the best squirm movies ever. Well, Saw II has essentially started a tradition and its pretty much the same type of formula but it’s equally fun to watch. There’s some cool twists and rather than give anything away for the movie I’ll say “Go See It”.
The T-Shirts for Practical Insanity are in! They look great. I hope to have a picture up very soon and they are available for sale here and now. In fact if you want one, I’ll do a special price of $15 including shipping until November 1st. Just send a check/money order or cash to On Records Inc. 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd #459 Burbank CA 91505. Don’t forget to include your address and e-mail so that I can let you know I got the order.
Still plugging away on the Christmas CD, however, it’s looking like I won’t get it released this year, though I will likely post some samples in December so that you’ll hear bit of probably the biggest Christmas CD collection by one aritst ever.
I may be getting one of my songs placed in an MTV show soundtrack, keep the fingers crossed. When I find out if it happens I’ll post it here.
Movie Pick of the Week: Domino. I caught this last night and discovered a bit of a gem. I really didn’t expect much from this movie to tell you the truth. But within 5 minutes I was hooked into it. Domino Harvey was a real person, but I’m very sure that a bunch of this movie is amp’d up on 20 to push it way over the top of the truth its supposedly based on. Keira Knightley is the main character and plays the tough-girl roll to the hilt. She really has some range as an actress. Micky Rourke, Tom Waits, and a couple of former stars like Brian Austin Green and Ian Zering round out the cast. The movie has it all – major action, sultry sex kitten, sex, comedy, and intense drama. The only drawback on this movie is the filming style. It’s got a massive amount of jerky moving camera shots. It can make you ill.
Practical Insanity is officially released as of today! Now currently available on CD Baby and iTunes Music Store. Get it now, you know you want to. If you purchase the CD you get a copy of the All The Things video too.
I’m about 1/2 done with the 30 Christmas songs. I’m working as fast as I can to get them done without going insane and still being able to get other things done. I’m pleased that Taylor Guitars loaned me a beautiful 12 string guitar to use on some of the tracks. It certainly adds some flavor that I wanted.
The India movie people are planning on coming here later this month to do their song here. I’ve the singer and the music. Just waiting on them.
The band is getting tight on all the Practical Insanity songs. We’re also going to add Torn, No One Knows, and a couple of other cover tunes to the set list. But we’ll be doing them our way. Should be great fun.
Movie Pick of the Week: I’ve seen a slew of movies lately. The list includes Flight Plan, Proof, Unfinished Life, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Serenity, A History of Violence, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Into The Blue. The rundown on all these… Flight Plan – good movie, nice twists, worth seeing. Proof – think A Dangerous Mind done with a female lead, good but not for people who need action. Unfinished Life – Surprisingly good, Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman rule in this, the only downside was Jennifer Lopez, already gone from theaters. The Greatest Game Ever Played – A triumphant true story, not a great as Seabiscuit but worth seeing. Serenity – Came highly recommended to me from Mel Brooks whom I met last Saturday night, surprisingly good, the trailers didn’t do it justice. A History of Violence – the trailers made this movie out to be much better, a little disappointing, but the violence is scary real in terms of what happens to the body when it’s brutally beaten. The Exorcism of Emily Rose – ok but not as great as the trailer made it out to be. Into The Blue – the trailers made it look dopey, but it was actually a fun movie with a decent story.
The Video is here, the video is here! Heh, kinda like Paul Revere when riding for America and announcing the red-coats. Only this isn’t about a dangerous attack. The Video for All The Things, the studio version style for like say MTV2 or VH1 (does VH1 need a VH2?), is now available for viewing in the Clubhouse. If you’re a registered member, shoot on in and check it out. Not a member? No problem, just sign up, ITS FREE!
Midway through the month and I’m still knee-deep in Christmas past songs. Almost done with those, then its on to Christmas present, after than Christmas future. Meanwhile, back in reality land… The T-Shirt design is done and I’m currently working on finding a great place to get them replicated. Next stop, the Practical Insanity Tour Poster.
The band is about to start major prep time for the tour. The live rig for the drummer has been setup and it’s off we go. Kinda fun being a technological band. It will certainly enhance the live show.
Just want to take a moment to say that I hope everyone in New Orleans is going to be able to start again.
Things are moving along, or at least so I’m told. First I’d like to say thank you to everyone that showed up at the Lowe’s Music anniversary to see the first show with the new band backing me up. Colin, Josh, and Henrick did a fantastic job considering that we had all of 2 rehearsals. From the audience reaction I think we’re going to do well once we hit the road later this year. Speaking of that, the booking agent assures me that he almost has the first leg of the Practical Insanity tour happening. I’ll post dates just as soon as I get them.
In the meantime I’m working on the Christmas album that I’ve spoke of before. So far I have the music to several songs all laid out. As soon as I get them all laid out, I’ll be singing my ass off later this month.
Movie Pick of the Week: The Constant Gardener. Where do I begin with this? To start, in terms of how this movie is laid out – it has a confusing start. It jumps around in time without setting up anything. So for a while it’s confusing and annoying. Once it stops jumping all over the place in time, it then starts jumping on screen. The style of filming was similar to The Bourne Supremecy. I think this style is great for action films. But The Constant Gardener is NOT an action film, thus this shooting style is out of place and doesn’t help propel this movie. Despite these problems, the story is quite good once it gets past the timeline issues. In a nutshell it’s about major Drug companies doing illegal things at the expense of a third world nation. Based on a change in my life over health lifestyle, to me this isn’t so unbelieveable. In fact, I bet its closer to the truth than most people would be willing to admit. If you can stomach the camera-work, and can get past the confusing beginning, this is a movie worth watching. If anything it can shed light on what corporations are allowed to do when they have too much too money.
I have Practical Insanity in my hands. It’s looking absolutely fantastic! Not to mention it sounds damn good too. I’ve already sent off a bunch of copies to CD Baby, so it should be available there within the week. I’ve already had it in the wings for iTunes as well, still awaiting for news on when it will show up there. I will certainly post it here when it happens. If you absolutely need to get it sooner than soon and want it personally signed by me, you can mail me a check or money order for $15 to:
3727 W. Magnolia Blvd #459
Burbank CA 91505
I will send you an autographed copy, just as soon as your check clears. Money orders will go out the same day I receive the order in my hands. Please allow time for the order to get to me, then back to you via first class mail. Shipping and Handling is included in the $15.
The Booking Agent says that the feelers are already out and about for the beginning of the tour. No dates have been set just yet, but I believe the band and I will be hitting the road in October, at least that’s what I’m told. Stay tuned as I’ll be adding those dates here just as soon as the information hits my ears.
Movie Pick of the Week: Four Brothers. In a word – Intense. I didn’t really know what to expect heading into this movie. The gist I got prior to seeing it was a family of orphans looking for who killed their mother. Well, that’s actually an accurate description of the premise. But what I didn’t expect was the quality of the story. It was really captivating. There were a lot of little twists and turns that took me on a complete roller coaster ride. What I really liked about it was that I felt like I got to know the characters, yet I never quite knew what to expect in how they’d act in each situation. Mark Wahlberg definitely pulls a good performance out on this one. If you can stomach some heavy violence and some strong words then I think you’ll really get a kick out of this movie. I recommend it.