A feeling of relief

What an interesting weekend. Not necessarily in the “awesome” sense, but more in the “this could be awesome” sense.

Friday after work, we went to Rock Bottom to say farewell to the Praguenauts. I have pictures that I will post later today or tomorrow.

Saturday, I dropped John off at the office so that he could make his way to the airport for his trip to Prague. I gave a “gag” gift to Andrea for the plane trip – a few pieces of Nicorette. She gave me a kiss, and that was that. Afterwards, I went to Walmart and picked up some TV trays for home, and went to my parents’ house for food and to watch the Cardinals game. We won, making my prediction of a 4-0 preseason still likely. I also played some poker at my parents’ and took 1st place in that tourney. It’s been a long time since I have done that, so it was a huge weight off of my back.

Saturday night, Randall called me with some good news. It seems that our buddy James, from Inprana, may have found a singer for us. We’re awaiting a call from the guy, who is really into Sevendust, and if he can sing as well as Lajon and Morgan it will work out tremendously.

Sunday, I returned the TV trays to Walmart because it was missing some pieces. I then spent an hour or so with Randall at work, where we went online and read some musicians want ads for a guitarist. Now, not to take anything away from Todd, but we think that he was moving in a different direction to what we were. And that combined with him having an infant child, just made things hard to work out. I don’t blame him at all – he has his priorities straight. But we need somebody who will be able to commit to (at most) a few times per week and any gigs we may have, no matter when or where they are at. Enter Steve, who may be just what the doctor ordered.

We found Steve from a want ad, so we emailed him. We sent him some very brief info and told him to check out the songs from our last show and let us know if he was interested. We got a reply from him and he said he was indeed very interested. He listened to what we had to offer and really liked it – that’s not just awesome, it’s Sofa King awesome!

Oh man, I’m excited. We may have a full band in place by the end of the week! Now we need a name (Pneumatic Sander isn’t going to quite work)…

Poker, Araiza, Real, and a CLK430

Friday night, John, Ali, Chris & Palmercat gal, and I went over to Mark‘s place for some poker. Had a lot of fun there, with Mark kicking total ass until Chris took over and wiped him out. Chris ended up winning $90 from the night. Bastard! My luck has become horrible at poker pretty much ever since I folded the 9-10 of diamonds and would have flopped the straight flush.

Saturday night was even more fun. Randall and I went to the Ben Araiza show at Alice Cooper’stown. The Ben Araiza band was tight as hell, and it was the least we could do to support them whenever they play a show. The band also consists of 3/4ths of Chain Link Faith, and it’s always a great time hanging out with Mikey. Mikey took us down to the Green Room, which is fucking sweet at Cooper’stown. We hung out and had a beer, talked a bit with Phil of CLF and also chatted with his wife, who had enormous praise for Phoenix Down and was saddened to hear that we had broken up. We told her that we would be back. And we will. We also told Ben Araiza that we want to take a road trip to see him in Cali when the band heads out there next month. We offered to be roadies, and Mikey said he would get us on the “tour bus”, whatever that happens to be.

Dave showed up with Rye, which was all fine and good. We exchanged pleasantries, and once Randall got wasted, he started talking a bit more to Dave. Nothing earth-shattering, but chit-chat nonetheless. After we partied a bit in the Green Room, we had to take a piss, but they had closed down the resturaunt which contained the only restrooms in the joint. We decided to swing by the studio, since it was only 5 miles away. That’s where we met up with Real.

Real has been in the studio complex for pretty much the same amount of time that we have. They happen to play right across the hall from us, and they seriously kick ass. They had been on hiatus for a while because the band broke up and such, but were finally back together (in fact, Saturday night was their first practice with the entire band back in there). We hung out there for an hour, chatted, they played a few songs for us, and Randall had more to drink. After all was said and done, Randall and I were officially deemed their VIP section (not that it means much now, but when they make it big we’ll be there).

Real broke up due to a couple of things, but mostly because Pat’s girlfriend was jealous of the band and whatnot. Pat had a brief talk with Dave, Randall, and I about his circumstances and to never let a girl get between you and the music. This chat took place the week before our last show. And what happened the very next day after the show? Yeah. Ironic, isn’t it?

Finally, my mom got her new car on Saturday. I took it out for a test drive yesterday. Stopped by my place and picked up Johnny for a ride. It’s a sweet car.

Oh yeah, I disabled Anonymous comments from my blog – I enjoyed them right until there were flame wars popping up. And if you are so chicken-shit that you have to flame me anonymously, then you don’t deserve to post a comment here (you know who you are).

Summer Concerts, Gas Water Heaters, and Short Hair

It’s been a while since I blogged, and seeing how I am extremely bored right now…

Summer Concerts: Usually, the best concerts are during the summer months. And so far, there have been 3 of them that I have enjoyed immensly – Gigantour (with Dream Theater, Megadeth, Symphony X, Fear Factory, etc), Ra (with Breaking Point), and of course, Phoenix Down.

It was a real treat to see Dream Theater finally grace the stage of Cricket Pavillion – the biggest concert venue in Phoenix. The entire day was pretty fun, in fact. It started at 4:30pm and went until after 11PM with bands alternating between the small stage on the side, and the main one. Symphony X, on the small stage, kicked ass. Fear Factory got to play the main stage while the big storm rolled through the area and eventually knocked out all of the power to the entire place (right in the middle of one of their songs; once the power came back on, they finished their set). Megadeth was loud; they had pyrotechnics too. We actually left after Symphony of Destruction because it was getting late and Randall had to work at 5am (not to mention we were kind of bored with Megadeth). Dream Theater put on an excellent show – mostly very heavy songs. They played Honor Thy Father, a song that we had not gotten to hear live before. Extremely killer stuff. Exciting and fun night overall.

I was a little suprised by the venue choice for Ra. Martini Ranch has always been a trendy Scottsdale nightspot. Never a concert venue (although they did have a little stage set up in the corner for cover bands that played there regularly). Not any more – the stage takes up the entire south wall of the building and the sound was excellent. Ra never dissapoints. I have seen them 3 of the 4 times that they have been in town, and every time they perform amazingly. This time was no exception. I was pleasantly suprised by the mixture of songs chosen for their set – mostly stuff from their first CD, and 4 or 5 songs from the new one (but they were the best songs off of Duality).

Somebody managed to meet us right as we entered the venue – with the sole purpose of fucking with our heads. She came up to Randall and I, and said “Hey – how are you doing?” with a big shit-eating grin on her face. Randall gave her a mock “Great – how are you doing?” and then we turned around and got a beer. She left (without getting a drink or anything) and went back to where she was standing – in one of the far corners of the place. We happily settled on standing about 10 feet from the stage. And damnit if it wasn’t awesome.

Phoenix Down, as you all know by now, is defunct. In fact, the only reason I bring it up is because it was a great summer show. And I posted MP3s of the entire show on the Phoenix Down website.

Gas Water Heaters: Why would you build a house that required gas for a water heater and not put a gas range in as well? I’m not sure of the answer. I am sure, however, that it sucked last week when John and I found out the hard way that we had a gas water heater and not an electric one. Our landlord did not notify us of the need for natural gas, so when they turned off the gas after 3 months of living in the place, we got 5 days of cold showers. Monday through Thursday of last week took the most motivation I have ever needed to get out of bed and get ready for work. Thankfully, we have hot water goodness once again.

Short Hair: I had been contemplating the removal of 90-100% of the hair on my head for the last month or so. I decided to do it on Saturday. I chopped my hair length down to about a “2” (about 1/2 centimeter long). I kind of like the cut. It’s certainly easy to manage (1. Take Shower; 2. Dry; 3. Get dressed; 4. Look at hair in the mirror; 5. done). I haven’t quite sold myself on the idea, but I may eventually bic it. And get a pirate earing.