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Progressive Travels

The haphazard chronicles of a professional musician and his relentless pursuit of an otherwise boring life.

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Location: St. Jacob, Illinois, United States

If it ain't Baroque, fix it!

25 April 2005

Eastside Rumble

Last Weekend:
Friday, 22 April 2005
After what seemed like a long week at work -- even though I was out sick one day -- Friday finally rolled around. For whatever reason, I was in a pretty relaxed mood. I stuck around a little late talking with a co-worker before casually strolling out for the drive back to Granite, enjoying one of the earlier albums by Spock's Beard along the way.
Once home, I loaded my equipment in the van and made the arduous journey to Eddie's -- six blocks away. I took my time setting up my gear and the lights, then went back home and ordered a pizza. I even found time for a much-needed string change on my bass before having to shave and shower for the coming festivities. I was liking this laid-back approach alot. It was a nice change of pace.
I strolled into Eddie's around 9:30pm for a quick sound check. After retuning my new strings, I began playing a little warm-up stuff. After about a minute or so, all of the bottom end of my tone just disappeared. I wiggled some cables and it came back, then went away again. I changed the battery in my bass thinking that might be it. No such luck. After some frustrating surmises about the amp (it's the prototype for that Ampeg model, as much of my stuff is), I changed the extension speaker cable and the problem went away. Hmmm.....doesn't make sense, but.....whatever.
There wasn't much of a crowd when we started playing around 10:00. It never really got much better over the course of the night. We farted around with a bunch of goofy stuff in the first set, as usual, and the second set looked to be starting off the same way. After our usual Spirit of Radio first song, we looked at each other wondering what to do next. The sparse crowd was little help. Deron started diddling around with the beginning of Red Barchetta, then stopped. Scrappy and I picked it up where he left off, and it started rolling into a life of its own. I've always felt that a good rule of thumb is: when all else fails, play some more Rush. This seemed to get us going as well as many in the crowd. A fine choice, even if I did flub the double stops in the outtro bass solo (14th fret, 15th fret...whatever it takes).
The evening ended with Geo from Ivory Tiger sitting-in on a few songs (Poison...yuk). It was one of those rare moments when I wasn't up there for the end. This usually happens to Deron or Scrappy, but never me. Another nice change of pace. Thanks, Geo!
Saturday, 23 April 2005
Another casual approach to the evening was at hand. I mentioned to Scrappy that I was kind of liking this casualness. He gave me that odd look until I explained that I liked not having to hurry home, load a PA, set up everything just in time to start playing, etc., etc. I didn't even have to work Saturday morning this weekend. Nice.
Barely into the first set, we ran up against that wall again...what to play next? The set lists we have (well, I have) are no more that mere suggestions, especiall this early in the night with no one there. Once again, Rush came to the rescue when Deron launched into Fly By Night. The crowd was just about as sparse as Friday night, but considerably more active. A large group at a table near the stage had four birthdays to celebrate, and they were getting fairly wild. I can honestly say that's the first time we've ever been assaulted with breasts while on stage.
At one point I looked out and saw my sisters there, who probably haven't seen me play since I was in high school. Paula even commented that she never thought she'd see the day when she would be dancing in a club with me playing on the stage. Never say never.
The rest of the night seemed to go off without a hitch. Unlike the previous night when Shaun was having trouble with low-end rumble from his new subwoofers, I could actually hear everything pretty well. We ended the night in that same frame-of-mind as we started...what to play next? Deron suggested something banal and safe, until Scrappy said, "Screw that! Let's play Iron Maiden!" So we played Two Minutes to Midnight at two minutes to two-thirty and called it quits. I stuck around for awhile talking to Shaun, until I realized that I live closer than anyone to this bar and was going to be the last one home.
There's something inherently wrong about that.
Coming Weekend:
Knucklehead will be defiling the stage at Baha Rock Club in St. Charles, MO on Saturday night. Come out and see how the hoosiers from the other side party. It's just like Granite City, except it's over there (Cupcake hates when I say that!).

New Beginnings

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