Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Short Week, and the Mind Wanders....

I'm actually dreading tomorrow, for no other reason but that I'm going to pick up my comics. This is a pretty big week. Last week, which I didn't get to pick up, was a big week. It means a rather large bill when I stroll in there tomorrow.

Oh well...It's a hobby that, on occasion, is expensive. I am beyond overjoyed that both Marvel and DC have announced that they're going to roll back the $3.99 price point they started about a year, or so, ago. Yeah, it means the end of some great back-up features, but it also means titles like Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Justice League of America, which jumped to the higher price with no additional content, will be back in a reasonable price range.

Tonight, CByrd and I will be heading to The Vic to see The Frames. I'm excited, frontman Glen Hansard, who's possibly more familiar from his side project The Swell Season, which sprung from the film Once, is a pretty dynamic stage presence. So much so that he pretty much runs over Swell Season partner Markéta Irglová, and the Swell Season backing band is...The Frames. So, if you see The Swell Season, you're essentially seeing The Frames, with Irglová adding a couple of numbers. 

I've commented on this unequal partnership before. It's not that I think Glen's doing anything on purpose, just that the lady seems ill-suited to commanding a large audience. Now that it seems, by some reports, that The Swell Season has run it's course, it'll be interesting to see what Markéta can/will do on her own.

Which really doesn't impact on The Frames, at all, other than that the two times I've seen The Swell Season, I felt that I might as well be watching a Frames show. It ought to be a good time. 

I'm also really looking forward to The Sword at Metro on December 12th. Their latest album, Warp Riders, has been seated pretty firmly as my favorite album this year. I've written about the album in the past, but the short form is that it's old-school hard rock/heavy metal, with Warp Riders being a step into a more concise and hooky form of songcraft. There's an almost Thin Lizzy kinda feel to the record, with groove and less sprawling guitar work.

The show was originally set for October 23rd, but the entire tour got canceled/postponed when drummer Trivett Wingo left the band, apparently because of panic attacks leading to a desire to get off the road. He's very upfront and frank about the decision in this interview. I have to say, I respect the guy pulling the eject button when he knew he wasn't going to be able to pull his share. The timing sucked, and he seems fully aware of that, too. I can't say I'm happy that I had to wait another month, or so, to see the band, but the whole thing's been handled as well as anybody could expect. Wingo going on record about his problems is brave, and appreciated by this fan.

That said, I am disappointed. I saw The Sword open for Metallica a couple of years back, and the band had a really nice, laid back, "hey, we're just dudes who put a band together" vibe. I also found Trivett magnetic on stage. His look is certainly not that of a typical metal drummer, but the dude can pound.

There wasn't a ton of super complex or what you might call "elegant" drumming going on, but he just wailed. I also found Warp Riders, and the, as I said, more groove-oriented sound really served up his work well. I'm still very excited for the show, but I'll miss seeing his work. 

This story might also give a glimpse of why a guy might want to get off the road. Jesus, Phil. I thought you were over that shit. I also must point out that the author of that blog seems like a bit of a douche, himself

In other "concert news," on an absolute whim, I bought tickets to see Slash at the Chicago House of Blues on February 13th. I've gotten some crap from people on this, which kind of amuses me. The real kicker, for me, was that Myles Kennedy would still be singing on that date. Kennedy is the vocalist for Alter Bridge, and I've written about my enjoyment of that band before, too. I saw too late that Alter Bridge is playing HOB on December 11th, and it looks to be sold out.

I just really dig Kennedy's voice, and the setlists for the Slash shows have included songs from every facet of his career, Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, and solo stuff, as well as playing some stuff from Kennedy's catalog. That seems like an entertaining evening, to me. Plus, it's Slash, and one can't deny that he's been a vastly influential guitarist in the years since Appetite for Destruction broke.

I'm still working on the acoustic set for the Stage Left Fundraiser, as well as continuing to work on tracks for a new CD. It's funny, I'm sure everybody who plays an instrument has these thoughts, wherein, depending on the day, you either can't play at all, or it just flows, almost too easy. Sunday was the latter, for me. I had a drum track that just did not work, and it didn't take me long to see that I'd simply programmed it incorrectly. I fixed it, and things really started to run smoothly. The guitar scratch track is down, I'll need to move on to bass, and build it up again.

The I just started messing around, riffing. I was really enjoying everything I was coming up with. As I've said, time and again (boy I bet this blog bores people sometimes), the "concept" is sort of a 70's hard rock thing. So much of that was blues-based, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, etc. so I just started messing around with a 12-bar blues. I really enjoyed the riffs that were coming out, and the room for variation that I was giving myself. It was fun, and I think that you'll see/hear some version of it on the finished product...whenever that might emerge.

Oh, and I got an idea for an incredibly weird spoken-word piece on the train this morning. We'll see about that.

What I really need to do is keep on that acoustic...the days are ticking away.


  1. Also a note about Glen from Swell season, he was also the guitarist from the movie "the Commitments".

  2. This is absolutely correct, and CByrd will never, ever, ever let me forget it.