Music has always been my addiction. More than any woman (yes my wife knows this...), drug, drink, political cause, TV show, movie, etc. I have geared everything in my life to be involved in music as a player, writer, observer, critic, gigging beggar, sometime genius and everything in between. Last night was another step to me getting back into the life. Since I stopped playing publicly in December of 2003 to finish my BBA and MBA, the only consistent project I have is my Paul Schaffer sidekick role with the League of Extremely Ordinary Men on the Best Movie Website: Spill
I am in the process of restocking my array of music gear-new amps, effects, instruments, etc. Stuff I got read off to help pay for books and other college stuff. There are some major differences in my musical pursuits now than when I was in my most active gigging days, in the 1990s.
1. I'm not depending on music for my main source of income.
I really want to write a book about what it's like to be a Generation X working musician. Technology and music business structure totally changed in the last 20 years. When I started, the idea was to join or form a band and get signed. Things would flow from there. Everything has changed and turned inside out, but I digress and it will be in the book I'm going to write. The reason I went back to school was to get a position that would fund my music projects. This actually makes them more enjoyable and frees me up to be more artistic.
2. I have a car.
A newish car at that. In Austin, it is essential. Even when I moved to New York in 1992, I had a car and it made gigging so much easier. That car got totaled in 1994.
3. I have a great computer.
This leads to the greatest change: technology. Even compared to 2003 (when I stopped playing live), the opportunity to create,market and distribute music has made things so much easier.
Finding music projects the play in is easier also. I cruise Craig's List for projects and I found an ad for a soul band needing a bassist. I went to see that band last night at T.C.'s Lounge in East Austin last night. It is a real juke joint. The crowd is a mix of hipters and locals. The band is Soul Track Mind and they put on a good show. They play every Wednesday from 10pm to 1am. I must admit, it was thrilling to be back at a shake shack, groovin' scene. The smoke, the booze, the sound, the woman, the guys, the locals, the smells...It brought me back to when I was touring with Jim Lampos and we were able to sit in at the Subway Lounge underneath the Summers Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi. (A documentary film about the demise of the Subway Lounge is here.)
He is a picture of me at a jam there... (note the mustache... or not. Give me a braek, it was a phase)
Subway Lounge at the Summers Hotel-1995
The bassist for Soul Track Mind is leaving (I'm not sure if it is voluntary or not). I sat for the whole show. I have to admit, I wanted to get up and play. It is always a touchy thing joining and leaving bands. Members leave or are kick out for a lot of reasons. I have left bands and been fired from bands, so I try not to be harsh in musician criticism. I am an expert, though. I am not afraid to say that and I am a musician snob at times. Hey, I'm human. They did a cover of "Let's Get It On" and the bassist appeared to not understand the feel of the tune. The great James Jamerson played on that track and grooved the sh*t out of the tune. The bassist was murdering the feel. He is a nice guy, but I'm not sure if he really has the feel they are lucky for so I guess that is why they are looking for another player. The band has a lot of potential and I think I could really help them.
I will keep updating all my music projects, ideas and philosophies here until I find a better place. I'm working my way back to my mistress...