Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More traveling news...

I leave TOMORROW for Birmingham Alabama!! Whee-haw! I actually am really excited. I've never been there and am anxious to check it out. Plus I heard the film festival is outstanding. Here's the scoop...

Around this time last year, my filmmaking partner and Press Democrat A&E guy John Beck finished putting footage together on our newest film called "Drag King." The 8 minute gem is a day at the races in Lakeport, CA but this isn't just any race. Oh no blog readers. John and I (along with intrepid camera folks Cali Knight and Thom Butler) captured the "Fiberglass 500" which is a race unlike any other.

Participants attach old "unusable" boats to the back of their race/demolition derby/sacrificial lamb car and drag their boat around the racetrack in an attempt to smash and destroy other peoples boats. It's truly amazing and ridiculous and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

Since John and I can barely make it through any given film shoot with our minds and cameras in tact, we hired local editing Goddess Wendy Allen to put the beast together. Then I somehow managed to convince local garage rock God Robert Malta of HugeLarge to contribute a song. So impressed was Malta (or, so bribed by yours truly) he even contributed some original music to the film with the help of his pal (and Tom Waits sound guru) Karl Derfler. Heck, I even got one of my favorite bands, Ohio's own Two Cow Garage to throw a song on there. All in all, it was a real community effort and I love the film.

I've heard nothing but outstanding things about Sidewalk and I found out a few friends of mine have films there as well. So, it's going to be amazing I think. They even put together a little webpage for my film which you can see here:

http://sidewalk. bside. com/2008/films/dragking_sidewalk2008

I'll be blogging my trip on Film Threat and you can read along here:

http://www. filmthreat. com/blog/

I also started a twitter account and feel kind of insecure about it (as in, who the heck cares what I'm doing at any given moment) but knowing how busy festivals can be, twitter might be the only way I keep friends and family informed as to what I'm doing. If you're so inclined, you can follow me at:

http://twitter. com/PetalumaFilms

So that's my big news and I'm really excited! There will definitely be more info on the Austin Film Festival soon but right now, I gotta make some flyers for my screening!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The lonnng and winding road....

As some of you may know, five a.m. (the band I manage) has gotten the opportunity to open for SISTER HAZEL on their west coast tour! Last Sunday night at 9, we drove 5.5 hours to Yreka and stayed the night at Trents dads. Bright and early-ish Monday, we drove 10 hours to Seattle where the tour started. We stayed in a hotel and hung around Seattle before checking into "The Showbox" where the gig was.

We were all champing at the bit to play after 15+ hours in the bus (it's a 15 passenger airporter style bus...not like, a luxury liner...just so you know) and it was a really, really great show. To be honest, we all like Sister Hazel but had NO clue what kind of draw they would have. Turns's big. And the fans are SUPER cool. They were all really attentive and seemed to dig the band. Yay! You really can't ask for much more when playing a new city. Plus, The Showbox is an AWESOME venue.

After the show and many beers (they serve Olympia in CANS there as well as Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys!) we drove to Portland where we stayed the night in this frigging huge mansion that one of the guys in the bands wife knows the people who own it. If that makes sense. That drive wasn't bad...only 3 hours. But it was really weird waking up in a mansion and you have no clue where you are. Seriously, I didn't know where I was, aside from Oregon. It felt like a weird drunken bender than landed me in rehab. I woke up in a nice and pretty place with 4 lbs of bacon waiting for us. We ventured down to the Aladdin Theater in Portland later on and set up. The Aladdin apparently has a claim to fame in that DEEP THROAT played there for 14 years straight. Gross! At this point, we've driven about 19 hours and played 45 minutes. Sounds lame, but that's the job.

Honestly, and don't laugh (well, you can) I can really see what Jon Bon Jovi is on about in "Wanted Dead or Alive." Having been on the road a mere 3 days and I was lost. Tired, sore, out of place...out of time. Focused on getting the guys to the gig on time and ready to play. Very different from regular day-to-day life. Although we never got far enough away to need to tell the day by the bottle that we drink, it was still all very...weird.

So Portland was another killer show. Five a.m. has really got their shit going on. Seriously. They were tight and fun and polished and again, people watched, danced and bought CD's. Unfortunately we had to bolt immediately after the gig to go to Yreka which was again, 5.5 hours away. It was a bummer because in Seattle, the longer we stayed, the more new fans wandered over and bought a CD, got an autograph, etc. It was neat. And, we could use the money. But our well being and rest was more important so we split Portland at about 9:30 and our bass player Jason cranked us into Yreka in 5 hours flat!

Slept in a bed (I forgot to mention, due to my newfound fat-assedness, I snore now. So, I had to sleep with Jed our drummer, the other snorer, in the living room on some couch. Well, he was on the floor and I was pretty uncomfortable on the couch.) and got up early to drive HOME to San Francisco, another 5 hours. Wheee! Time -vs- playing numbers at this point are as follows: Driven 28 or so hours, played 90 minutes. Ouch.

Again, I was in a haze. I had brought some books and a notebook to entertain myself (and you know, maybe write something? Since that's what I do. Or, did) but mostly napped uncomfortably, screwed around with the guys and stared out the window. I gotta admit, I love driving. I can just zone out and almost meditate. But still, my ass, back and neck hurt, my schedule for eating/sleeping/bathrooming was destroyed and I missed my wife, dog and baby (not in that order). We got to SF around 4:30 and loaded in.

I was psyched for the guys to play The Independent because it's a great SF venue. And, we've never played there. I think we put on a good show and saw alot of fans. I even managed to finagle a ride home with frequent blog commenter LJ...which was awesome. I was dying to spend a night at home and plus, I got to get drunk at the show! Mostly free beer in the dressing room but I still managed a fat bar tab. I was so happy to be home I was buying everybody drinks. We got back to Petaluma around 1:00 a.m. as we stayed to watch Sister Hazel put on another great show. And it was another packed house. Awesome. Plus, we were all in a weird malaise or mood early on and were worried the show would suck...but as soon as they hit the stage, it was on.

The next morning it was my turn to watch the baby at 7:30 a.m. So...after driving 30 hours through 3 states and waking up after 6 hours, it was time to be a dad. In all honesty, it was awesome. My wife went to work and me and my daughter hung out and then she took a 90 minute nap! whatta sweetie. I promptly konked out as well. Friday night we chilled and watched MAD MEN (best episode of the year so far....maybe ever for the show IMHO) and I passed out at 11:00.

Woke up at 7:30, got in the car....drove to L.A. where I write to you from now. I got a hotel on the Sunset Strip! I was going to stay with a friend but he had a change of plans. Plus, the guys are staying at our percussionists in-laws (which is a nice house and they're super nice) but I need to leave tomorrow and the band will carry on to close out the tour just outside San Diego.

I'm tired, but super stoked! The band is playing House of Blues on Sunset!! Anyone who grew up in the 80's came to know the strip as the place for bands. Sure, they were shitty, drunk hair bands, but those early influences stick with you. I'm drinking a beer now, gonna hop in the shower and then walk 3/4 of a mile to the show. I couldn't be more proud of the band for kicking so much ass this week. And, there were no arguments or crappy times. We only kinda sorta broke down once too!! I'm looking forward to a great night in my 3rd favorite city, L.A.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Filipino Dangerous

So now, after my Journey issue, I see this:

**Hint: there's a tiny Filipino guy who sounds exactly like Rick Astley...they even trade off lyrics and you can't tell who's singing. WTF is up in the Philippines?? We're all about to be taken over I suspect...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Any way you want it.

I hate cover bands. I simply refuse to pay money to see them and I feel like they kill local music scenes. Why the hell would you pay $20 and more to see a band play hits from another band?? Well, people do and around here, they do it in droves. It hurts my soul. I also *kinda* refuse to see bands which are limping around, touring with like, one or two original members. Like, I saw STYX last March but after the whole Dennis deYoung/VH1 Behind the Music fiasco, I can see why Dennis deYoung isn't in the band. Dude's a complete megalomaniacal douche bag. But the rest of the band is there and they're great! Anyway, I do have a point.

I love Journey. Steve Perry Journey that is. I feel like that lil feller was dealt a raw deal when an injury forced him to not be in the band any more. I have flatly refused to see them tour without Steve Perry. In fact, Jonathan Cain lives in town and I used to see him frequently but never said anything because man, I'm pissed at the way they dealt with Perry. Getting into an argument with him won't solve anything. Probably.

Anyway, the local classic rock station started playing a brand new Journey song with this new lead singer. Apparently they found this 40ish year old Fillipino guy who sounds exactly like Steve Perry. I had heard this news and was skeptical, but when I heard the single I was like....damn. That's pretty frigging good. Like, so good it was like Journey never left and was still a viable band. But, my allegiance to Steve Perry was stronger. I would enjoy the song when it came on the radio, but would not buy the album. I would also be hesitant to see them live. Hesitant.

Cut to last weekend when I went to WalMart to indulge my new hobby: Mighty Muggs. Normally I don't shop at WalMart, but I really wanted a Han Solo and Chewbacca Mighty Mugg but ended up walking out with Dr. Henry Jones Sr...which I didn't know existed. I was in the midst of a smallish road trip and before I pulled in looking for toys I was lamenting I don't have any "Greatest Hits" albums from bands I love. So, I looked for a Journey's Greatest Hits.

I found the J's and right up front was a double album of greatest hits for like, $11.99. Sweet! I grabbed it and looked at it and saw something that upset me, but then really created a conundrum for me and my aforementioned hate of fake bands. Apparently Journey got back together, sans Steve Perry and with the Filipino guy Arnel Pineda...and re-recorded all their songs.

Dude. Duuuude. How must Steve Perry feel right now? I mean sure, he gets a songwriting credit and some publishing money (I think) but that's just brutal. He doesn't want to be in the band anymore, or can't. So they find a guy who sounds just like him and re-record the hits and release it and carry on without him. Man, the music bizz is harsh!! My issue is...this new guy is really great (if you like Journey) and I almost....allllmost bought that new album. But I didn't and bought the old Greatest Hits and dammit if Journey isn't, person for person, one of the best bands ever. But now I'm leaning towards buying the new one and really leaning (hell, I will) seeing them in concert if they come out.

Even writing that feels wrong. Like I'm going against what I believe. Am I a sell out? Does Steve Perry care about me or anyone who loves Journey? I mean, it's a 6 person band (or 5?) and that's ONE person and now he sounds like the other person. Ugh. Where does it end??

Monday, September 01, 2008

Douche sandwich

Have I mentioned how much I really hate people these days? If not, "hey...I really hate people these days!" Not just across the board...but mainly these thug looking guys with their droopy pants and tattoos. I swear, I feel like an old man complaining about "kids these days" but it's entirely irksome. When I see these thuggy looking guys I just roll my eyes and laugh. They all look the same! All of you. It's awful.

The other day I was running late for work so I stopped by Subway to get a sammich. As I crossed the parking lot, some douchey looking thug was doing that thug stroll..where they're zombie like and...half-limp and kind of ramble along. Usually holding up their pants as they go. So I see this guy and his girl and I hold the door for them to go in cuz in this time of thuggery, I'm still polite. The guy then proceeds to order probably the nastiest looking/sounding sandwich I've ever seen/heard.

Hot pastrami
on italian
american cheese
cucumber, tomato, onion, jalapenos, lettuce, pepperoncini
Salt, pepper
oil AND vinegar

Normally I don't eavesdrop on peoples orders (cuz it bugs me when people do that to me), but the guy was right in front of me and I sort of couldn't help but overhear. Oh, he also kept his sunglasses on the whole time. So, I get up there and order my normal sandwich but the whole time I'm trying to imagine this douche eating this crap sandwich. What must his girlfriend think? How does one's palette become so warped? How do you figure out that these are the flavors you want and then act on these feelings?? It was disturbing. But, the guy was a douchebag so I chalked it up to that. But still...all I kept thinking was, "man, I'm glad I don't have to eat that."

So I get in my car and crack open the bag and I saw a tomato on my sandwich. WTF? I hate tomatoes! And I watched the sandwich artist build my sandwich...there were no tomatoes. I opened it further and guess what I found? The douche sandwich. Utterly shocking. And no, I didn't try it.