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Showing posts from 2010

A Very Merry Open Mic

It's 12:30am and it's officially December 24th. Thus, it's the night before the night before Christmas. In about seven hours, I have to wake up, wrap presents, pack, and drive my butt to New Hampshire for Christmas. And, as such, I should be sleeping.

However, I just came from the Christmas edition of Open Mic Night at Caffe Lena and it was quite possibly the best Open Mic of my life.

First off, all five current open mic hosts were present and all performed. This is a rare occurrence! Luckily, we documented the occasion with a photograph at the end of the night. I really admire the songwriting capabilities of the other hosts: Gary Moon, Kate Blain, Ray "Rainman" Pashoukos, and Willie the Moak. It's really an honor to be among them. Sharing the stage with them all for the photo was really excellent!

At one point during the night, I was smiling warmly while listening to a Christmas song performed by an open miker. I turned around to see who was coming in the door…

Why Not Blog?

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I am home sick from work today. I woke up at the usual time, felt like I had been hit by a truck, and made the easy decision to call my supervisor. I forced myself out of bed to make the call, which prompted the cat to remind me that it's her breakfast time; so, I went down stairs, fed her, and started looking for my humidifier. I found it and got it going as quickly as possible. Then, I passed out in my bed again for about three and a half hours. I awoke feeling MUCH better than I had. The dryness of the air must have done a number to my sinuses. That combined with the somewhat busy weekend I had being on call for work really beat me up.

Now that I'm feeling among the living, I thought I'd blog.

Before logging in to write, I usually glance at my website's homepage and scan the most recent twitter messages and my previous blog. The top two "tweets" and the blog this time around were pretty negative in nature. Some might even say they are "scathing." …

Dear Irresponsible Pet Owners

A pair of my shoes are laying off to the side of the road somewhere between exit 24 and 25 on the New York State Thruway. "How did they end up there?" You might ask...

Friday night, I went out in Albany. I attended a concert of local bands at Valentine's, had a few drinks, etc. Sometime around 11, I realized I wasn't having as good of a time as I had hoped and I decided to leave. Once outside of the music venue, I started giggling at the fact that I-wasn't-having-such-a-good-time, which caused me to ascertain that I was quite ready to drive home. On top of that I was hungry, so I went in search of pizza.

There happened to be a pizza place right next to Valentine's, which was great for the case of the munchies that I had, but not so much for walking off the booziness. So, I walked up the street to Madison. On my way to Madison, I encountered a group of people standing in front of some stone steps. Someone was making their way through the group and, as I approac…

Christmas Morning

It's Wednesday night... what an odd time to blog, right? Typically on any given Wednesday at this time, I'm watching some TV or a movie and possibly doing some chores around the house. I'm not doing either of those things right now (though, I really should clean some more since I *gasp* have a girl coming over to the house Saturday...). I worked late, am still in my work clothes, and I feel kind of perplexed.

First, some hilarity from work. Sometimes my job requires me to ride in a police car (with a police person, of course). I get to ride in the front seat, which -- I would imagine -- is a lot less conspicuous than riding in the back seat. This particular time, I was with a Sheriff and we were leaving Schenectady (for reasons that have to do with my job and which I shall not discuss at this time). While stopped at a light, a vehicle pulled up next to us (on the passenger side) and the driver indicated that I should roll down my window. I did and the driver said, "Hey…

Sometimes I Feel Like Superman

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Bob Schneider has a song in which he says, "Sometimes I feel like Superman; sometimes I'm just recuperating." And said line applies so often in my life that I feel it should be my motto or creed or disclaimer for poor performance ("I saved the world yesterday... and as such, I'm taking things easy today. So, no -- I'm not done with that report yet.").

Today, Sunday (10/10/10 -- mind you!) -- and most likely tomorrow, as well -- I'm recuperating. In fact, as today has wore on, I have felt more and more like I'm 90 years old or something. My body... aches... for lack of a better word. Yesterday, I mowed the lawn and trimmed some bushes using hedge clippers. There was one branch of a lilac bush that was tall and I attempted to cut it off at about my height. I lifted the clippers above my head and chopped as hard as I could muster (it was a thick-ish branch). Something in my shoulder "popped" or "snapped." I can't really be su…

Photo Dump / Catch Up

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I have not been sleeping good this week at all and because of this, I feel somewhat like a zombie. Adding to this is the myriad of allergy medications that I'm taking at various intervals. Allergy season has really sucked -- especially this past week.

Last night, was mild (for allergies), but for some reason, I still couldn't sleep. I zombied myself through most of today, got out of work and took a much needed nap. Now, I'm in Saratoga (again) for a friend's CD release show at Putnam Den. Mike Grutka, is releasing a brand new album tonight along with a not-quite-as-new-but-still-new-this-year one. Ria came out earlier this year and is just a wall of sound (I think he used like 200 instruments on track one alone!). February Sessions, was written throughout the month of, er... February as part of an album writing challenge. I'm interested in hearing this one and wonder if he recorded it similarly to the last album or if he did something different since they are releas…

Honor Among Thieves

It's Sunday night around 8. I woke up late, as is typical for a Sunday. Then, I put in a few hours at work for some over time pay. I napped for a little bit, watched a movie, and am planning to read myself to sleep after I post this blog. I love having lazy Sundays. (True, I have lots of housework related stuff that I should have done today, but I worked a little and made some extra cash, so I figure I earned a reward).

This weekend was fun. A friend hung out with me around the backyard fire pit for a few hours Friday night. I played a benefit thing in Galway on Saturday. And I did some busking in Saratoga.

The benefit was fun to play. There was a lineup of open mic regulars who performed 45 minute sets over a four hour period in which spaghetti dinners were served to diners. I arrived a little bit late and missed some of Pete Morselino's set. Hanging out with the other open mic regulars (Ray Pashoukos, Mark Stewart, Maurizio, and Emily Smith -- who put the whole thing together…

Knuckles

I feel like it's been at least a year if not close to two years since the last time I saw Knuckles at Caffe Lena's open mic. There was a period of time when he was coming quite regularly, but he moved to Lake George and only attended open mic sporadically since then. I got to introduce Knuckles a few times while hosting and remember being excited to do so on each of those accounts.

I vaguely remember overhearing a conversation in which Knuckles' real name was used... I interjected, "So that's your real name." But, now, I can't for the life of me remember what it is. And I'm sorry that it escapes me.

Knuckles was in his late teens and in his early twenties while I knew him at open mic. He was awkward and somewhat shy, but -- like me -- developed an outgoing personality through performing and the necessity of having some sort of "stage presence."

I don't recall Knuckles' first performance at open mic. However, I'm certain I -- like …

Uncommon

I am broadcasting from the wonderfulness of Uncommon Grounds, Saratoga. Today is the second day of the Hats Off Festival, which is basically bands playing on the streets near Broadway. There are lots of people everywhere and many of them are wearing hats.

I came down here at about three o'clock. I read for a while in the coffee shop because it was air conditioned and it was very hot outside. Around 5ish, I found a shady spot on Broadway (by the Adelphi, Delphi, something Hotel) and busked for about two hours. I packed up collecting a measly 8 or so dollars from my guitar case and walked down Broadway. As I neared Borders (a favorite spot for douchey parents to set up their children with guitars and sheet music and demand that people donate so they can eventually make it big) I saw a young kid (maybe 5 years old), with a mini guitar and a harmonica contraption around his neck. He was awful. His guitar case had like fifty bucks in it... the kids douchey father paced around like a dou…

Waking and What is Sometimes Wrong With Open Mic

I feel like I just woke up after a very long nap... kind of groggy. A little disoriented. The phrase, "what just happened?" on my lips. I have been sick for a little over two weeks now with a sinus infection. I was put on antibiotics, which made everything much better, but didn't clear me up completely. So, I was given more and different antibiotics, which really wiped me out and made my stomach feel awful. I stopped taking them and am finally feeling like myself -- whatever that is...

It really sucks being sick for as long as I was, especially in the summer. I feel like I missed out on multiple weekends of busking, seeing shows, hanging out in the park or other social places...

Today, I relaxed around the house and did some housework -- finally. The place was really a mess. When you are not feeling well, you tend not to wash dishes or vacuum.

This past Thursday, while being sick but on antibiotics, I attended open mic night. It was a packed house for most of the night --…

What Would You Do?

I have a philosophical/ethical question for musicians and songwriters. The question will come after an in depth description of the event that leads me to wonder about this thing.

I recently found myself drawn to a person that I was "hanging out" with. Hanging out is one way to identify two people who get together for, well... hanging out without actually calling it a relationship. I thought we were having great times together and things were progressing nicely. Although I knew she only wanted someone to "hang out" with, I felt like we clicked in such a way that resulted in more chemistry or whatever and required more exploration. After spending a weekend with this person, I noted a big change in the frequency of her wondering about me (she stopped texting) and a while later (after being turned down for dates) I asked why. Admittedly, she was correct in assuming that I had made nothing into something and, essentially, broke the rules of engagement that she had laid o…

The Day Before I Went Postal, and Other Cute Stories of Death and Violence

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Borders. That's where I am. The bookstore in crossgates mall. I am here because I offered to drive my mom to the airport at a ridiculous hour this morning (or was it last night? Well, six of one...). I then attempted to sleep in my car while I waited for Panera Bread to open (Who'da thunk that a place that serves breakfast would not open until 7:30? Lame, Panera. Lame), but I didn't sleep. I had some coffee there and breakfast. Then I surfed the web for a while as I was waiting for a multitude of Albany people that I texted last night, or this morning, to text me back. It's noon and I haven't heard from anyone yet... is there life out there? Guess not. At 11:00 I came to crossgates. I broke the zipper on one of my two pairs of work pants that I like and so I intended to buy more. I found a style that mostly fit (although they are hipster pants and are skinny around the ankles... guess I'll have to deal) and bought three pairs. I didn't want spend anymore mo…

Not All Who Wander... (part II)

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When I arrived at my cubicle for work this morning (Tuesday) after the long weekend, I turned to face my desk and saw the note I had left co-workers Thursday before I left for my vacation day and road trip. I had taped it to my computer screen and it read: "Gone Forever. Leave a Message." I laughed out loud at myself, forgetting I had put the note up.



(Yes, that is a picture of Winona Ryder under my computer screen at work)

In my last posting, I left off with me leaving Baltimore.

On my way out of the city, I noticed another sporting arena and quickly took a picture.



A short drive (less than an hour) later, I arrived in Washington, D.C. I found meter parking pretty easily a block away from Hard Rock. I headed straight for Hard Rock leaving my guitar in the car for now. I figured I'd scope out potential busking spots first. There weren't many people on the street at all. In fact, the city felt somewhat deserted.



I went back to my car -- after buying two more pins, o…

Not All Who Wander... (part I)

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A few months ago I decided it might cool to take a road trip to all of the Hard Rock Cafes that I could get to in a long weekend. I collect guitar pins and each cafe has different styles in stock including "city specific" pins that depict something unique about the city in which the cafe is located. My current collection consists of quite a lot from Boston and New York because they are the closest cities and I visit them more frequently than anywhere else. A good portion of my collection is also from the Orlando Hard Rock because they seem to have the most different types of pins available each time I'm there and I end up buying five at a time. Having so many pins from only three cities (and only a few random pins from other cafes that I've visited) makes for a boring collection. I needed more variety and so I decided to go on a quest.

I asked friends to go with me, but I ended up going alone. Most of the reasons not to join my quest had to do with not having any mon…

Eighty Two

It is approximately fifty years before I will eighty-two. The only reason that I allow myself to think about that is because today is the 50th Anniversary Celebration for Caffe Lena. And as I relax, by sipping an iced coffee at Uncommon Grounds, after a long day of helping celebrate and being immersed in the history of the first fifty years of the Caffe, I can't help but wonder how they will celebrate the one hundred year anniversary (centennial?). Will there even be musicians then? Or will there just be robots that play midi? Truthfully, if any one place in the entire world that WILL still have live humans playing instruments and singing, it will be Caffe Lena. And when you materialize in Saratoga Springs, and people look at you like you are insane for physically carrying an oddly shaped brief case (guitar case), Caffe Lena will still be there next to the Jetson's home, and you will still walk up that tight little staircase into that cozy little room.

I may or may not be there…

Hipster sighting.

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I am hanging out at the Lone Palm coffee place in Johnstown, NY. This place is literally a five minute walk from my house. I, of course, drove. Wasn't really sure who I was expecting to find here...
But there are mostly slightly post high school age kids (young adults?). I'm making friends and everyone appears to be enjoying themselves so thats cool.


Hipster sighting.

Sunday night, why have you arrived much sooner than expected? It is growing dark outside and I have not made all of the proper arrangements for your arrival. Such is life, I suppose... When there is something that you want, it takes forever to get it; when there is something that you don't want (Sunday night for instance), it's right there BOOM.

I am in bed and am in pain. My back is so sore and my back muscles are in knots (seriously, you can feel 'em!). I think I am in this current state from the week and weekend that I had.

Firstly, I had a wonderful weekend LAST weekend. I spent much of Saturday and Sunday with a person that I am growing more and more fond of every day. I had an absolute blast and would love to write more about it, but there are some things that shouldn't be broadcasted to the world via blog (besides the fact that I would write it like a movie script -- because that is what it felt like while I was living it -- and it would take a long time to put i…

Of Things In Which I'm Not Doing Right Now and a Bunch of Other Stuff

I should be mowing my lawn... it's not a jungle, but it's close. If you were to drive my house you might think, "That person should mow his lawn." But, you wouldn't think, "That person NEVER mows his lawn! He should get a ticket!" I should also be doing the dishes or folding the laundry or cleaning the back porch.

At seven o'clock on a weekday, and being in the current state-of-being that I find myself in, I do not think I can pull off any of these tasks.

If I started to mow the lawn, it would be dark before I finished. If I cleaned the back porch, I would need to clean it again Friday (and I have taken Friday off from work and will have all day long to do chores) and why would I want to clean it twice? I could fold the laundry, but I have already been taking clean clothes out of the baskets that they are currently in and why would I want to ruin that good thing by actually folding it? And the dishes? Eff the effing dishes.

I'm truly burned out li…

Ahhhhh!

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I opened the blinds on my bedroom window (it was somewhat stuffy in my room and I wanted to cool it down a bit before bed). This is what I saw: Huge-ass bumblebee! Its stinger is the size of a
syringe!


Ahhhhh!

Official Worst Dressed Lead Singer In A Band EVER

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This is the lead singer if the steve palmer band playing at the Linda in Albany. The dude is wearing sweat pants... Seriously... They are maroon... And is polo shirt is a delightful salmon. He is
wearing dirty K Mart running shoes and is sporting a lurch hair cut. He walked on stage and started tuning a guitar, so I first thought: "If this were my band, I would have a dress code for my
roadies..." Then the rest of the band joined him and they started playing and I almost spilled my drink... REALLY?! Guy. Really.


Official Worst Dressed Lead Singer In A Band EVER

Hi Blog. Miss me?

It's been a long while since I last blogged. Not sure if there is an acceptable reason for the hiatus or if it just happened due to lack of necessity and/or desire. Either way, I hope you didn't miss me, Blog.

Since the last post, I have been up to a lot. I think I'll start with music related stuff first.

It has been confirmed that I will be playing at RailFest in Gloversville this year! The date is August 7th. I believe that's a Saturday. I don't know what time I'm on or where exactly RailFest occurs, but I'm sure that info will come to well in advance of me needing to be there.

I wrote a couple of songs and have been playing for people. One is called The Girl is Already Gone, which I wrote after two weeks of attempting to connect with women in bars. The song is pretty straight forward and tells the story of waking up after a long night of trying to talk to a girl who uses and abuses the narrator by having him hold her purse and buy her drinks. The narrator …