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The Other Shoe
posted: 03/27/07

It's funny to think of this time last year. Funny and a bit ouchy.

This time last year I was in severe pain, mixing my first record and, well, vomiting a lot. Salmonella: don't get it. Earplugs and over-the-counter sleep aids: do.

As it was and is and forever will be with Time, you never know what's around the corner. Some awfully nice things happened for me in 2003. I would say, on par, that it was one of my better years, and in some respects, clearly the best so far. Still, there were some rough spots, some personal things/changes/various that had to be sussed out. Those things were hard, as they would be. Like always. It's just like life, isn't it? And things work out.

I grew up in fear of the other shoe dropping. Throughout my life, any time that things have gone well - and really, it hasn't been all that frequent, but it has happened, I've had this instant and uncontrollable reaction, both mental and physcial, and that reaction has been: self.close. This can't last. You lucked out. Don't get cocky. Prepare for the comedown.

And I could really go in to this. But I won't. Because it's not quite 10am on a Saturday-getting-later morning, and I have this list of things to do.

Suffice it to say: It's not in my nature to be overjoyed, and if I was, you probably couldn't tell. Having said that, I couldn't be happier. Many, many things are afoot. I'm walking across the bridge. It's good. Lovely, in fact. And thank you. Kindly.

Yep. Here we go. As the great bassist Marcus Miller, formerly with Miles Davis, Sting (among many others) and featured in the latter's "Bring on the Night" performance/rockumentary once said, "This has all been very preliminary bullshit."

Stick with me.

I'm reading "Live From New York," the history, told through interviews with cast members, writers, producers, execs, et al, past and present, from Saturday Night Live. It's insanely enjoyable. I'd say one of the true arts of the book, aside from the fact that the authors - Miller and Shales - were able to get such great interviews, is the way they're all cut and edited together. Really quite the good stuff. I'm learning a lot about the founding of the show I never knew, and I'm reliving a lot, just reading about shows I watched since I was a kid. It's amazing to consider the show's impact - really on society - I don't think that's an overstatement.

A lot of the book's interview snippets are sticking with me, but one, in particular, from Bill Murray (everybody called/calls him "Billy" in the book, and Aykroyd is "Danny"), about fame, hit me as pretty true. Essentially, it goes, and I'm paraphrasing:

"When you get really famous there's about a two-year period where you're awful to everyone. It happens to everyone. And you have about two years to get it together. After that, it's permanent."

Nicely put, I think. And obviously applicable to areas outside the arena of fame. I'm very clearly not at all famous, but I hope my two years are behind me nonetheless.

I'm continuing to work on demos for the next record. I have a spreadsheet now with tunes and tunings and running times and tempos and stuff to work on for each, so I'm starting to turn the OCD on. Right now I'm looking at 12-20 tunes. My friend Jim and I have been talking for almost a year about getting some gigs together, and by golly, we're actually going to do it. I said. So hopefully I can get out and start playing some of the stuff I've been working on. And hopefully before the winter is out (it shore is cold in these parts) I'll have some stuff, if not all of it, in the can. I'm excited about it, but I'm trying to stay organic with it. Like, moo, man.

Alrighty then. That should do it.

Happy New Year.

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