Halloween and Other Stuff

The move is finally complete.  ::sigh::  Right here I have to thank everyone who helped.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you SOOOOO much!!!

It was crazy.  I had so much stuff, and I ended up getting rid of so much crap.  If the stuff I put into the Good Will bins goes to the homeless, there are a lot of stylish homeless people out there right now as I got rid of quite a bit of snazzy clothing and shoes.

The new place is awesome!  For the whole month of October, I was just cramming my junk in there, being more concerned with vacating the old place.  But as of the 1st it’s been all about the new place.

The first floor is perfect for Ian.  He has access to everything, which is great.  This past Sunday he spent going between watching football in the living room and playing video football in his bedroom.  It’s so cool that he can get to every room on the first floor unassisted.

The basement is a finished basement and has lots of space including a sun-room that has skylights and a Foosball table, but the most important room down there is the one I’m using as the new studio.

I love setting up my studio.  In most of the places I’ve lived I’ve rearranged the studio on a regular basis, just because every time you set it up you can make improvements.  In my last house was the first time I didn’t really do that, leaving it in its original configuration for all four years that I lived there.  Needless to say, I was ready for a change.

There are windows on one wall down there (it’s a walk out basement) and there was an air conditioner in one of the windows.  It looked as though it hadn’t been cleaned in a while.  Dave  and I removed the air conditioner and put it in the gazebo (yes, I have a gazebo!) and cleaned up the windows.  I decided that I’d put the main desk against this wall so that I could see out if I were working down there during the day.

I decided to put the speakers up on tables on the opposite wall from the main desk right in the corners.  Having them in the corners allows them to use the walls as baffles and increases the low end significantly.  We set all this up and wired it all and cranked some music to check it out.  Amazing!!  The room sounds great!  Lots of clear, punchy bottom end and having the speakers raised puts the midrange and high end right at ear level.  Perfect.

And quite unintentionally, as a result of Dave putting one of the office chairs against the speaker wall, we created the perfect jam spot where the two chairs are dead center between the speakers for the best sound, and I have total access to the main console.

I have some session work I need to do so it’s fortunate that the studio went up so easily and quickly.  I still need to figure out the drum placement.

So I had to be out of the house by October 31st, of course, and so I was scrambling to get that done, and of course Halloween is one of Creek’s special shows so it was imperative that I get a costume for the show.  Ian was coming with me as well, so once we had the old apartment in order Ian and I headed for the costume store.

We wandered around the store for about ten minutes looking at various things.  Trying to find a costume can be frustrating.  Most that you get from a store don’t really cut it unless you do a lot of extra work and we really didn’t have a lot of prep time.

But then, right when I was about to give up, we saw two costumes on the rack right next to each other.  It was like a gift from the Halloween gods.  Perfect costumes for me and Ian: Jesus and a priest.  Ian and I were both laughing hysterically just thinking about it.  Just perfect.

Of course there were a lot of implications to consider.  I didn’t want to offend any of my Christian friends, or send out the wrong message or offend any of the band’s fans.  But I ended up reverting to my usual solution when confronted with complicated social perplexities:  Fuck it.

It worked out great.  I discarded the wig and beard that came with the Jesus costume and that seemed fine.  I had to expand the crown of thorns to fit my head.  In retrospect, I should have dyed my beard but nobody seemed to care.

But even better than me as Jesus was Ian as the priest.  It could be his social calling, he looked so good in that outfit.

And so we played the show, opening with Magic Carpet Ride.  I think that was Scott’s suggestion and I went with it.  I always like to keep things strange for Halloween and that was a good one.

While we were moving I set up my laptop with some decent speakers in the kitchen of the new place and Dave and I were rediscovering the Faces’ album “A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse.”  We had it cranked.  I remember us listening to this album in the 70s and loving it and it totally stands up today.  The musicianship is stellar and Rod Stewart sings his ass off.

So their cover of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” comes on and it’s so obvious that Creek needs to cover this tune.  It’s a shuffle but the way the Faces do it is reminiscent of Little Feat in that the groove is somewhere right in between a shuffle and a straight beat.  Feat does that stuff better than anybody, but this is so good, so close to what Feat does.

So while finishing moving and shopping for costumes I spent Saturday committing the lyrics to memory and tried running the song on acoustic a couple of times.

One of the best aspects of Creek is their ability to play songs they’ve never heard.  During the break, right before we got on stage, I asked them if they knew Memphis and none of them did.  So I played the verse progression for them on the Languedoc in the back hallway, not even plugged in, and we went out and did the song.  And they nailed it.  Of course.  It’s crazy how they do that.  If we ever actually rehearsed, this band would be the Best Band In The World.

But of course the highlight was the sit-in at the end.  Ian came up and did “Drift Away” with us.  He watches Creek videos all the time and has watched Rob sing this song countless times, since his favorite video is a Camp Creek video.  I’ve heard him sing the song in the car hundreds of times and it’s one of the ones he does the best in my opinion.  He knows all the lyrics and he gets the timing of things, even the tricky things, and it’s right in his range.  So I’ve known for a while that I’d bring him up to do that one.

He nailed it.  He truly is an artist.  Besides being technically right on, he’s also expressive.  With all that, he had all the girls in the front in tears.

So, a successful move, a successful Halloween show.  And now I have the fun task of setting up the new digs.   Woo hoo!