Wow.  What a great show we had last night.

Well, before I get to that, we had a day off in Atlanta on Wednesday.  We stayed at the Ritz Carlton, and we had a nice plate of fresh fruit on the desk when we checked in.  Mike, Tom and I went to lunch with Colonel Bruce Hampton Ret. at an Asian restaurant.  Bruce is hilarious.  He’s got a zillion stories.

After a nap and dinner at a little diner around the corner from the hotel, Mike and I went to a little Indian restaurant where there was a jazz jam going on, and Todd and Tom were playing.  There was a great sax player, Deji Coker Jr.

It was a nice, relaxing day off.

Yesterday, the show was at The Variety Playhouse which is in a very cool little neighborhood called Little Five Points.  We had a great dinner beforehand and a coffee from Java Lords.

There was no opening act, so we were scheduled to play two one hour sets.  The first set was an hour, and it was ripping.  We closed the set by having Bruce sit in on an old Aquarium Rescue Unit tune, Yield Not To Temptation.  Ripping.

The second set was long enough to be a whole show in itself.  Deji came and sat in on Tom’s song Nobody Home, and on our version of David Bowie’s Deranged.

The second set jams were deep and explorative.  The crowd was way into it.  Everybody was dancing.  The lights were over the top.  I’d say it was one of our better shows, maybe second best of the tour.  Great fun.

Afterward, we went to Java Lords again and hung out with Sufi (hi Sufi!) and Eli from Rubblebucket, who was also playing a couple doors down from where we were.

Today’s song is Spiral.  This is another Mike original that’s in 6/4 time.  It’s a very dreamy song, with a few dream sequence sections.  It starts out with a verse progression based on his bass line, and has a dreamy vocal line atop kind of a complicated bass line.  Then there’s a little instrument dream section that segues into the chorus, which is in a key that sounds completely unrelated, even though it is.  It makes it very hard to find the first note of my harmony.

The second verse is pretty much like the first, and the second chorus starts right away with no dreamy segue, but after the second chorus, we head into a jam that’s loosely based on an F to G progression.  The jam is supposed to be dreamy and lasts for a while until on queue, we head into some diminished chords which segue us back into a verse.  Coming into the verse happens so out of the blue and unexpectedly that it’s very hard to get our bearings.  This last verse has harmony too, so I have to find my note and rhythm on the spot.

After the last verse, we head into the last chorus which is like the others except that my harmony lines answer Mike’s lines, kind of like a round.  I have to modify the harmony a little bit to stay in tune with what Mike’s line is.

After the last chorus, there’s a big drum fill and we go into this guitar melody that’s very powerful.  We repeat it a couple times, jam on it a little, and come back to it for a big ending.

I love this tune.  I love the dreamy quality of it.  The harmonies are beautiful, and the lyrics are creative and flowing.  The jam lends itself to go to some interesting places, and the whole tune is very conducive to some trippy lights.

Today’s question, submitted by Mark, our FOH engineer, is: what’s 4-18?  And part 2 of the question is: How do you turn a negative into a positive?