And to top it all off, I'm reminded daily that the CD player in our Isuzu Rodeo ate my new U2 album. It beeps four times when it realizes that "oh yeah, I'm BROKEN", which I translate to mean "ATE YOUR U2!" I had just purhased How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and was enjoying it immensely - then one fateful road-trip to somewhere south, the damn CD player burped and hasn't spit the entrapped CD's forth yet. Also included in the belly of the beast are Peter Gabriel's Up and a couple of other favorites that I can't recall now. Several times, I've fancied the idea of letting loose, ripping the offending machine out of the dashboard and releasing the hostages - but Jae's frowned upon the concept and I've learned from a great line in Jurassic Park 2 that "violence and technology do not make good bedfellows." However, if by summer, those CD's haven't been freed - some artful harm will come to the devious device, make no mistake about that.
Now that that's off my chest, I can recap the weekend. We had a good time at Titanic Brewery, played three one-hour sets, got a lot of great comments, thumbs-up, signings of the mailing list, and despite a full-moon influenced drive down the Florida Turnpike, still arrived in pretty good spirits, even with the Baymont Inn hotel room snafu that greeted us upon our arrival. (Two moves later, we were good to go.)
Everyone played with wide-open abandon and the result was one of the more comfortable sets we've ever had - though halfway through the last set, I felt myself slipping away, off-stage and into some outer orbit where I was the only satellite. I like making connection with the audience, looking into their eyes and smiling at them when the song allows for that kind of contact; but sometimes, in order to get into the song, I have to close my eyes and go away. This was a big necessary (yes, I meant to type 'big necessary', leave off with it) Saturday night, and I just went with it - which allowed me to get fairly belty with it, steamrolling through "Artist" like it was a Sunday stroll. The stage was the size of a postage stamp, so leaping about wasn't the easiest of things to accomplish (I landed on my tuning pedal at least one time, cutting off the flow of sound to the amp - I thought I had fried it or something) but it was manageable.
We broke down the gear pretty quick, headed back to the hotel and hung for a bit before crashing in the wee hours, waking up to one of the worst breakfast buffets in the history of planet Earth (where Ju-Jitsu was needed to fend off your elbow mates) and enjoying a pleasant drive back to Orlando. It was a tiring trip, and the crowd at Titanic wasn't nearly as big as we had expected, given that a baseball game was taking place next door and let out halfway through our second set. But this band is a bunch of troopers, and they gamely trudge forth in every circumstance and I love them dearly for that. I can't imagine being in a band where you don't like hanging with the others. Unfathomable. Well, with a little effort, I can give it a whirl, but why waste the energy? I'm blessed to be in this band. Our band.
Monday came quickly and Bunky and I headed into the studio to continue work on the albums. She's such a pro - came in and did her vocal tracks on "Ring-A-Ding", "Positive Vibes" and "So Alright" in one take. I love her voice, and she doesn't - and I hate my voice and she doesn't - we make a pretty damn good team. Especially when layering our voices together. Fans have said they'd like to hear more Bunky singing and I'm in total, harmonious agreement - we're working up some new tunes even as we speak (and will bring them closer to the front with tonight's rehearsal).
She also brought good and bad munchies - a plate of fruit and a plate of cheese danishes. I had to beg off the danishes, but they ended up getting me later in the afternoon as David and I continued to mix "All For One."
Sometime this week, I'll be heading back to Cypress Gardens to take some high-res pictures for the album cover. You can see some of the concept photos in this photo gallery.
A day of work beckons - plenty of fun stuff and just a smidge of drudgery - thanks for reading and do come back again!