Songfight Live - Hot and Sweaty


photo by JB

Just got home yesterday from beautiful hot and sweaty Tampa, Florida after taking part in the annual Song Fight! Live debauchery, and this year's fest was definitely a fun time. It was a pretty quick, marathon trip for me. I left Santa Cruz at around 4am on Friday, to catch a 6:30 flight from San Jose. Made it to the hotel in Tampa around 7pm EST, and felt surprisingly good, aside from the choking humidity. Stayed at the Westshore Hotel on Friday night, decent place with a couple loud and jumping bars downstairs. Around 9:30, the Songfighter X Men showed up (Hoblit, JB, Erik, and Paco) and we met Dre down by the pool, where Hoblit and I went swimming to cool off. Hung out and ended up going back to the quiet bar at JB's hotel, which was a block away, and got drunk and ate a bunch of yummy appetizers. A nice, relaxing way to end my long day and begin the SF live festivities.

Saturday morning, Hoblit came and picked me and my shit up (i was lugging around my acoustic in a big hard case) and we went back to his place, where the others were hanging out. Practiced my short set with Paco, who volunteered to be my wingman and help cover my mistakes if necessary. I also agree to help him out and play bass on his "get a life" song, so we practiced my songs and his, and had copious amounts of good coffee courtesy of Hoblit. I couldn't get my room at the Hampton Inn, which was a block and a half from the Ritz, until 3pm, so we hung out at Hoblit's until about 2:30, then Dre, Paco, and I headed over to check in at the Hampton Inn while Hoblit and Project D loaded gear and shuttled it to the theatre. Paco, Dre, and I got in another hour or so of practice after checking in, then it was time to grab a bite before the show. As we approached the Ritz, we could hear Hoblit's band soundchecking, from a block away. We walked inside and the db level was enough to rattle windows. We dropped our guitars and stuff off and walked across the street for a slice before we had to play (Paco was up first). The show finally got going around 6:30 or so.

Paco kicked off the show in fine fashion. I don't think I butchered the bassline too bad on his "get a life". He did 6 songs I think, just guy and guitar but really nicely done in the quirky fashion you'd expect from him. Next came the Lord of Oats, whose set was entertaining to say the least. Dre followed with more acoustic music, backed by Paco. So far, all guy and guitar, no bands, no drums, making me nervous...I followed Dre and Paco did a great job backing me up. I played a total of 4 songs:

Unless I Change My Mind Again (originally a brody song)
We Were Not Meant to Be (again originally a brody song)
Spalding Grey is Missing (with lyrics by Niveous)
Out of It (a brad sucks cover)

The Emergency Pizza Party crew tossed the guy and guitar out the window with their Nerdcore rap. Fun stuff, cute girl. I also played a song with Project D, a pretty cool little song called "King Me" which was pretty easy to follow. Erik followed with a bunch of 15/16 Puzzle songs, and really filled out a lot of sound for just playing solo. A slightly drunk and rambling JB followed Erik, and belted his set out in very fine fashion. Then, Hoblit and Ghost Town Gridlock nearly broke everyone's eardrums with their demented goth rock, concluding with them trashing their equipment and all falling and laying down onstage. Kind of hard to top those guys.

But Phunt Your Friends gave it a valiant effort in the live fight, which had 3 fighters square off. Andre's Stinky oats kicked off with another quirky Paco song, this time with him on bass. Then the Phunt guys did their thing. Emergency Pizza Party however was smart enough to write something that included audience participation, so they pretty easily took the honors with the vote this year.

After the show broke down around midnight, we headed back to my room at the Hampton Inn where the awesome Ryan brought the rest of the case of amazing french wine he was giving out. We all hung out, drank lots of fine wine, then walked the Ybor City freakshow and got another after show slice. Drunk and happy, we all went our separate ways around 3am.

Sunday, had a late Mexican lunch with Hoblit, Erik, JB, and Dre, hit the airport for my 4:20 flight, and got back to Santa Cruz around 11:30. Good times.

There is a Light That Never Goes Out


I took part in a little Smiths sidefight recently, covering one of my favorite tunes by them. If you like the Smiths, you must check out Porky's Vertical Anaconda's cover of "Some Girls are Bigger Than Others", which channels some serious Johnny Marr. Check them all out cause they all kick ass in their own way.

There is a Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover) - Jack Shite

That's the Story of My Life


Just wrapped up a couple new covers. "That's the Story of my Life" is a cover of a Velvet Underground tune done for the annual Gift of Music. I also covered David Lindley's "Quarter of a Man" for the same project.

Sexy Dancer


I did another song with Johnny Cashpoint for the latest round of the "Purple Reign" project. Sexy Dancer features lyrics by Johnny, and he wrote the arrangement and played the organ, keyboards, and bass. I did the vocals and guitar.

I've also got a new cover song I wrapped up for this year's Gift of Music, which I'll post a link to once the rest of the songs are posted.

This One's For You Baby


So the wrappings off the "Purple Reign" project as previously mentioned, so it's safe to post my 2 new songs.

"Baby" features Johnny Cashpoint trading vocals with me, all music by me.

"For You" features my friends Phil and Heather doing guitar and vocals respectively, Phil Wages throwing in his unique falsetto stylings, and some excellent wah guitar from Code. Everything else is by me.

Check them out. They're for you baby.

Purple Reign - Part II


Well, it's not quite as good as the Godfather Part II, but if there's anyone that can fill James Brown's shoes in that title, it's the guy from Minneapolis who once was a symbol.

So the previously blogged song below has taken on a new identity, that of Johnny in the Corner. Featuring the fine vocal stylings of Johnny Cashpoint. More to be revealed around the end of the month.

I'm also working on another song for this project. "For You" will feature a couple guest vocalists (I hope). Same tease as above.

Also, cool artwork by Ken Auldridge. If you have some extra bread, go buy one of his paintings cause they're pretty damn rad.

Purple Reign


Wow, it's been 5 months since I posted anything here. It's not like I've been recording alot of live music lately, but I did just wrap something up for a new project being organized by my song fight peeps Glenn and Niveous called Purple Reign, a sort of tribute to a certain famous musician who will remain nameless but probably isn't hard to figure out.

You can find out more on the project here.

The first set of songs won't be released until the end of the month, but you can sneak a peek of mine here.

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