I've been quiet a couple weeks or more now, huh? I couldn't tell you where I went. Well, my oldest was here a full week, while the rest of the family was on vacation. Then they got home and I spent a week close to them, THEN we started this week with a holiday.
(I turned 42 last week, too ... my Douglas Adams year!)
But yeah, so ... I made that compilation of old stuff, I got my new Italo-disco-influenced cut on a compilation (which may even be released on VINYL!) and I may have found a new job. Hopefully, I can say goodbye to unemployment soon. I guess that also means saying goodbye to damn near all of my spare time, but I've got to have a job. People don't pay much for music.
Well, I managed to sift through my nine years of solo work and pick out 14 of the most interesting (or, at least, entertaining) for an online compilation. The track listing is a pleasurable listen, and there are a couple songs here that I might like to flesh out later on. Specifically "Shame Shame Shame" and "Your Rome".
Anyway, maybe you'd listen to it?
(Originally posted at https://jackalbersonmusic.com/2017/06/
This sounds much worse than it actually was, but it was definitely a trying time!
The premise was simple: my first show in Arkansas since the Pneumatic Girls played there in 2013, plus a chance to get one of my best friends (Robert M. Jones) back on stage one more time. It expanded some to include my longtime musical collaborator Matthew Trisler, which was quite welcome as I was really nervous about playing a solo acoustic show.
My girlfriend and I made it to North Little Rock without incident, stopping briefly to drop the kids off with my parents. It was good to see Robert and Jamie again and we had a great visit prior to the show. Robert and I ran some CDs to the Arkansas Record & CD Exchange – it’s good to have allies in every city you visit. While there, we touched base with our buddy Reade Mitchell whom was helping out with the show (on stage with percussion, as well as helping us secure a PA). A little later we made our way over to Reno’s Argenta Cafe. The vibe in the place is pretty cool, as is the service and food. We were pretty excited. I assisted Reade with the PA and hooked my Tascam multitrack up in an effort to get a good recording of the show. We ate and I ran about hamming it up with the regulars. Reade’s wife, Carla, made it out to the show as well as a number of old friends from my college days.
Robert’s set was great – brief, but I like to think he made a great impression on people. I got onstage and played melodica on “You Will Cover Me”. Matthew followed and his set was great, but the bar had me stop him short (time, and also the regulars supposedly weren’t sticking around – a “running people off” thing) – talk about super super awkward. I think that probably rattled me.
So it was time for me to play and I, uneasy about the end of the previous set but appropriately fueled by Shiner Bock, cranked it up in earnest. Then it hit me: I can’t hear anything. My guitar, my vocals, Reade’s perc, NONE OF IT. “Motivational” came and went, roughly, then “Ampersands” … “First Episode” … “Sundaydrunk” … all rough. Someone ran up to address the problems – no one could hear me sing. I could relate. I began to deflate. I was a little too tipsy to have a full-on anxiety attack. I started cutting songs, really rushing to get the energy in the room back up (and also so I could get the HELL off the stage). Robert jumped onstage to sing the big finish of “(If I Held You) Close To Me” and that was pretty awesome. The only song I felt genuinely good about was a manic cover of Bob Dylan’s “Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine”. We finished and I was really glad it was over. The staff at Reno’s (even considering the awkward moment with Matthew’s set) were exceptionally gracious and kind, and took good care of us. I’d love to go back. Maybe with a band.
We went back to Robert & Jamie’s house, did a lot of laughing, and I sort of finished myself off with rum and a memorable visit to the restroom to exorcise some spirits. God bless my girlfriend – I’ve no clue why she puts up with me.
We drove home, picked up the kids, and proceeded to have car trouble so after an obscene amount of time we made it back to town. I’m surprised I didn’t kiss the ground.
Happily, Robert and Matthew’s sets recorded nicely, and mine did not. All the easier to forget it.
SET*: Motivational Poster / Ampersands / First Episode / Sundaydrunk / For Old Friends / We Died Laughing / If This is Forward / (If I Held You) Close To Me / Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine
NOTE: Video from the show can be found at https://www.facebook.com/
SET LIST: I Give Up Everyday, But I Never Manage To Walk Away / First Episode / Ampersands / Terror In the Aisles / (If I Held You) Close To Me / For My Favorite / Brakes / UmbrageThis was the first live appearance of the song "Umbrage". This was also Matthew Trisler's final show as a full-time member of the band. The weather was horrible and a lot of people didn't turn out. Overlake played a lot of music from their new album, Fall, and were amazing as always.
2. The good maybe? I *may* get to soundtrack a web series for a well-known comic book artist. I grew up with his work and the opportunity is amazing. It's not set in stone and could always be a bust, but I'm an optimist (as much as is possible for me).
Sometimes I do a magnificent job being brave, and sometimes I fall to pieces.
Who are you? Where are you?
My glasses are smudged and dirty, and I can't be arsed to get up and find one of my cloths.
I have a show in my homestate in one week. I guess I need to decide on what I'm playing.
So ... uh ... if you are out there in the ether of Dreamwidth.org ... and if we have a couple things in common ... reach out, eh?
I have been very hesitant to post any of my own work here so far, because I ... I don't know. I find all the links and embeds to be overwhelming when that's all there is on a website (I'm looking at you, Facebook) and you already know my unease with the commerce/creative nexus.
Nexus? Right word? Either way ...
Super excited about playing a gig with John from the Folk Implosion thing. Dare to be Surprised was a great record and came along at a time where I was buying a lot of music and generally enjoying life. Sort of.
I *do* enjoy life now, just ... you can see life for what it is once you reach some point. For everyone it's different, I'm sure, but I hit it at 40. I'm edging up on my "Douglas Adams birthday" which is the 27th of this month. It's June already ... wow.
I have got to fall asleep but can't. My stomach has taken this opportunity to inform me that it requires me to throw something into it. So it goes.
My two cents, though.
Now I am spread out, everywhere. Spread thin. Unsure of what to make of my country and my world. There are things I am adamant about. I am adamant about equality, about fair treatment, about kindness. I have not always been that way - a lot of the time I was flippant and careless, and blind. I am blind a lot less now, but I'm human. I know now, though, that I can and should always expect better of myself and others.
But those virtual graves ... don't you wish those people would just rise up again? Do you miss them?
I took a new job (they called ME to get me to come work for them), leaving a stable workplace in hopes that I would put myself in a better situation for my family.
Well, the new place fired me after three weeks with little training and very little in the way of positive support.
The last 23 days have been a lot of putting my affairs in order, a lot of looking for jobs, and a lot of being generally overwhelmed. I was productive and empowered for about a week after the firing, then I lost a lot of my oomph.
More later, maybe.
I can't talk about making music without feeling like I'm selling it. I know that's a neurosis thing, but still. The fact of the matter is ... I do have to straddle a fence between creativity and commerce pretty much every day. The prostitution of being a performing creative (mostly for the purpose of breaking even, or being able to simply continue without it cutting into the money I have to have for basic living) is maddening.
Yet I never NEVER let the commerce side cause me to compromise the creative decision. I flat out refuse. I will always make what I make ... what I want to make ... and one day, maybe enough someones will want to be a patron of my art that I can expand the possibilities of what I can do.
But yeah, I hate feeling like I have to be on sale 24/7.