So I played with the Smoking Popes last night at Slim's. I don't think I've been there since my band last played there eight years ago or so, but we used to play there a lot, way back. I was fairly shocked that Jose, the great chef who *still* does the band meals there, remembered me; in fact, he seemed to recall just about everything about everything we ever did there. It was like a little reunion, and for me it was a bit like stepping back in time. And the food was great. Chicken cacciatore.
My set was okay. You never know how people will react to a solo acoustic set at a rock and roll show, but this crowd was quite friendly. Afterwards I posted on facebook: "dear Slim's audience, I very much appreciate your lack of hostility tonight" and I was only half-joking. I come to shows prepared for a bit of hostility, just in case, and I feel inordinately grateful, perhaps, when it turns out to be unwarranted. I tried to keep it short and sweet, and that seemed like a good call. One note to self I made, that I'm going to type here just so it will seem more important to me later: I've gotta save up for a better, more "professional" type guitar if I'm ever going to play any more real clubs like that. The contrast between my old Yamaha with the stick-in-the-hole pickup and the way the Smoking Popes' acoustic guitar sounded is painful to contemplate.
Anyway, the Smoking Popes show was one of those "play the whole album" ones, the record in question being Born to Quit. A lot of people love this album a lot, and I'm one of them, though I came to that realization only gradually. i.e., it's one of those records that I appreciate more and more as time passes. The band sounded amazing. It really knocked me out. There's no better way to hear it again. So if you see this tour coming through your town, do yourself a favor and show up.
Also, I'm playing on Friday at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in Oakland at this show. I apologize in advance for my old guitar. I'll try to make up for it by playing good songs, which is all I've got really when you think about it. Wish me luck and see you soon maybe.
Landlord calls 911 to report drugs he found hidden in the walls while cleaning up a vandalized, vacant rental unit -- police promptly arrest him and his wife and threaten to take their son away from them as well.
They're out on bail, but the charges of "tampering with evidence" still stand. The added insult to injury is that the involvement of the local police resulted from cooperation with federal agents in the apprehension of the former tenants. "Call 911," said the ICE agent. Bad advice.
And this on Friday, Nov. 9th.
Playing first on Wednesday, 8:30 PM, so get there early if you don't want to miss me.