Just sweeping up in here before the break.
Quote of the week: I was on the phone with FedEx, who – evidently in some remote areas – has been handing off packages to the US Postal System. We were tracking a box headed into rural Alaska, and by its progress once handed off I’m guessing either Moe, Larry or Curlee strapped it to the back of a sled dog and handed it a compass. “I handed my box off to the shipping experts. If I had wanted to deal with the Postal System I could’ve just given it to them directly and gotten the same problems for half price.” (The bass got there fine; maybe Shemp was on duty that day.)
Strange musical memory of the week: As a child I heard Mac Davis’ “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” and pictured a child in a baby backpack being put on a less-than-enthusiastic grown-up. “Boogie Fever”… we’re not even going there.
Odd music factoid: In about ’95 I did a few gigs in a band called Ursula’s Curse, the best of which was a complete mis-booking at a pastel painted coffee shop. Which we finished clearing out with a searing rendition of Hole’s “Plump.” We weren’t going over, I think a manager had said something demeaning to the frontwoman, who was great, and I knew as soon as she turned around and called it that we were about to mercy kill this gig. If they thought we were loud and caustic up to then, well… here ya go. This was a ripping song to play live and we nailed it. They were horrified. It was glorious. Two minutes and 49 seconds later I had my amp halfway out the door. Good times.
So in 2004 when I planned out this dive into guitar company bass-makerdom, I included a summer break just like one over the Holidays & New Years. I knew what of me I would give and how hard I’d work – about 120% - and spending oneself on their craft when the opportunity comes to really do it, that’s what you do. Ask any band worth their salt on the road. Twelve years later I’m finally taking my first August off. I ran this week like an iron man because six basses were SO close, and the last of them leaves next week (pics below). There are more in assembly waiting for me and a pile, now freshly edge sanded and ready, by my routing bench. I’ll be all over them like a bad suit in a few weeks and they’ll be in your waiting hands (or up in inventory for you to claim) ASAP thereafter.
I have never had a more productive time in Birdsong than 2015-16 so far. I love doing this so much and am very grateful. But when you answer the call of the craftsman it rarely comes with paid vacation, sick days or a 401K… or any kind of exit strategy at all other than “Head down and woodchips flying, hang on and ride it in!” in my case. So you take the perks in other ways as you go. I’m not known for pacing myself, so down time is a must to replenish and re-gather. I’ll still be returning calls and talking bass with you all anytime you call, but the tools are down for a few weeks and I’m going to relax - while it’s 107 degrees out seems a good time.
Among other things, I’m going to re-fiberglass the 70s Trans-Am fender scoops in the hood of my van, exercise off 10 pounds and firm up a bit, go get lost in the homestead woods for hours at a time and just BE, read without falling asleep, kick back and listen to some old albums – I mean like listen to them, not just have them on as background for doing something. I’m going to work on some book projects I’m writing, record some music, and I’ll be putting up August’s album in my quest to release an album a month this year on Noisetrade & Soundcloud. (I’ll link here when it happens).
Come September it’s balls to the wall until mid-December. During the break, still call with questions and I’ll still be VERY happy to sell you anything you want in inventory. (512) 395-5126. Be well, play nice, and stay tuned for the second set – it’ll be jammin’. We’ll be right back after this short intermission.
Listening to: Mississippi Fred McDowell You Got To Move; The Best Of Luciano Pavarotti; Teeth The Strain.