Runcible Blog

drunken parties are still no fun

Saturday was Scott's tent party and my first gig with Travels With Charlie (and my new amp). I didn't hear many complaints, but by the time we played, most people were very drunk and not paying much attention. And those who did pay attention were probably being generous with their compliments. "Disaster" might be an exaggeration, but I definitely think we could've played better. I got lost a few too many times. Fortunately, I don't think most people noticed. eh.

I think there was way too much consumption at that party, and I'm not saying that as a NARC. It's one thing for the "audience" to be loaded, but it's not cool if the band is also. I don't know why someone would want to impair themselves. It's not fun to play crappily.

After we played, Scott's neighbor started talking to me about this and that. I'm not sure, but it seemed like he was hitting on me. Here are some clues:

  • He started by saying that he "admired my bass", which of course is a euphemism for something else.
  • He asked my age (while sizing me up...)
  • He mentioned living in San Francisco....
  • His friend played in a band called "The Queers"
  • He wouldn't stop talking to me. I had to find an excuse to get away.

Oh, and by the way, I love when I get stuck in conversations like this one:

cool guy: Have you heard of Kid Creole and the Coconuts?
me: uhh, no.
cool guy: What?! Get outta here! I can't believe you haven't heard of them....yadda yadda
cool guy: You must know [some other obscure band], right?!
me: no...
cool guy: No way! Oh, you're missing out. That's unbelievable!

Now imagine the conversation continuing like that for 5 minutes...

I don't know what the deal was with that guy, but I'd like to know what happened to the groupies. Did they get lost in the shuffle somewhere? Let's see, there were a couple skaaaaaanks, a few timid onlookers, a couple embarrassed girlfriends-of-drunken-fools, Phil's fiancé, and Scott's wife. Where were the TWC go-go dancers? It's just not right. Some teacher told me that "chicks dig guys who rock", but let me tell you, there wasn't much public "digging" going on (unless you count the 40 year old guy talking my ear off). *sigh*

So to summarize the day: gallons of booze, loud music, lots of strangers whose names I won't remember, creepy neighbor, shortage of fans.

Tomorrow night I'm going to play with a couple "electronic performers" (drum machine and synth) in Allston. I'm excited because I'd love to try something different like that. Who knows; I might jump ship and play techno!

muzik stuff

Since my Ampeg 15" 100watt combo amp struggles in open spaces and sometimes during loud practices, I decided it's time to make a step up. On Friday, I bought a David Eden WT-500 250Wattx2 channel head and an Ampeg BSE-410hlf 4x10" cabinet. It's quite an upgrade. Eden amps are very highly regarded, American-made, boutique-type equipment. It'll output 500Watts (if I attached another cab) -- which should give me much more headroom and avoid any ugly distortion. This particular 4x10 cab has ports in the front for better low-end frequency response. It has more booty-shaking bottom than my current 15". Although 4x10 cabs are more versatile and should work well for me, I can always add a 2x15" or an 18" cab if I really want to move some air.

I paid much less than the new price (they're used) for the pair and probably a bit under the average used prices. I was able to talk the salesman down $130 but might've been able to go lower if I had better haggling skills. I'm sure it was a win-win though: I paid less than the sticker price, he made a commission, and Guitar Center made a profit on their highly marked-up merchandise. Unfortunately, I have to wait until Wednesday to pick up the head because of some law that requires a 7 day waiting period for newly received used equipment. I'll be camping out in front of GC Wednesday morning, waiting to snatch that amp.

  • I bought Purple Rain to broaden my Prince experience. I was still in diapers while doves were crying and Darling Nikki was grinding in her castle. So, 20 years later, I'm just discovering the artist formerly known as Prince, some symbol, and now currently known as Prince again. The album is alright, but I'm disappointed that it sounds so thin. Where's the bass, Prince? I thought he was into funky stuff, but the bass is hidden somewhere in the next room. Oh well.
  • Roger Daltrey is awesome (as is The Who, of course). I love how Pete Townshend seems like such a dorky guy, but when he's on stage, he's a crazy rockstar. That's cool.
  • I was listening to Fire by the Pointer Sisters and thinking it's a pretty good vamp. However, the song never goes anywhere. It just drags along. It's kind of funny because I'm thinking, "Ok, this is neat. Let's see where it goes." but it never gets better. (maybe funny isn't the right word) Either way, I think it would be fun to play that vamp with the band between songs or something like that.

good answer

At Subway the other day:

a 15 or 16 year old girl walks in...

18 or 19 year old guy sitting behind me: Excuse me. How old are you?

girl: (takes one look at him) Young.

and she just walks away.

Well, I thought it was funny.

work summary

Here's a summary of what my work day:

mail# ps aux
switch terminals
ns2# ps aux
db# ps aux
dave# ps aux
repeat indefinitely with various other machines.....

Sometimes I alternate between ps aux and top. I'll also do a tail -100 on every log I can find. I'm not looking for anything in particular -- just filling time by constantly checking what all those boxen are doing.

On very slow days, the tedium is unbearable. But there's so much down-time because of poor management/no goals or direction/low morale, etc. And when I do have something to do, I'm usually finished much quicker than expected (not to honk my own horn).

At least when I worked in that box factory for a week, when I finished one thing, there was always something else to do. But it wasn't a rushed feeling. It was more like, "Ok, you did that. Now do this thing." So, no matter what pace you work, there's always something in the pipeline. With this job, I spend my downtime wandering in the wilderness, wasting away. And frankly, I don't care enough to search for things to do.

That's another observation about my job: nearly everything that I've done which has helped someone or the company has been something that I've done on my own or was told not to do. It's sad that in order to do any good there, you have to stay under the radar and be sneaky about everything. Otherwise, the political territoriality and massive egos crush any potential for progress.


Helpful advice for that guy who lives on Elm Street:

If you're going to watch porn on a big screen TV in your living-room, perhaps you should close the window shades first.