Sunday, March 29, 2009

As we near the time of release, we appreciate all the help everyone has given us in investing to make the record happen, and we very humbly ask for any further assistance to help us promote this record to a broader market.

Thanks again for all your support! You truly rock!

Zach

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In the Studio

I know you see the title, and think: in the studio? Isn't the new CD not even out yet? And you are right! However we have an opportunity to record, and as you all know, I have a plethora of new and unreleased materials, so back in we went. I won't say yet what tunes we were working on, but they are sounding delicious so far! We still have at least another session to go.

The session was a late one to say the least. When Charlie and I finally left the sun was up, and we were in the midst of rush hour traffic. But they had coffee at the studio (thanks to Michael - though no donuts - thanks Dominic), so it all worked out. We kicked off at 10pm, so yes, it was a very long night. But Michael brought some trail mix, he called GORP, which was peanuts, m&m's, and marshmellows. Apperently it was tastey. For me it was a treasure hunt to get get the peanuts and put the rest back, but still hitting the spot!

My friend and top-notch photographer, Bruce, came out to hang and photograph us in our natural environment. He crammed himself into the vocal booth, where I was situated, to get some great pics. He was moving around, and they have a little window in there, so you can see into the live room. It had a curtain and curtain rod on it, and Bruce knocked it down getting one shot. It may have been this one. (www.brucehicks.com)



We got to record differently than we had in the past. It was what we'd been wanting to do since before Atlanta, but have never had the chance. So we jumped on it here. We all recorded live to get the drums and bass tracked, and then overdubbed the rest. The result is a very high energy take!


Studios tend to get hot. They can't turn the air on because it makes noise that is picked up by the mics. But they did have this awesome green curtain in the main live room. And Bruce got this awesome action shot as Charlie was tearing up a solo. I'm glad Bruce got shots early in the night - at the end, the few shots I got off of my camera show us as sleepy, beat, and kinda hungry.
We tried out this new amp - Charlie, Neil, and Michael will all be running through it for this recording. It's an Acoustic head from the late '60's-ish. It has an unbelieveably amazing sound! And it was a face-melting accomplice in Charlie's solos and tones. I got to drag out my Fender Twin and turn it up to 6! I know! (So, if you have no idea what that means - 6 is really really loud!)
More to come, I'm sure. Also, if you missed the Ohio Brewing show, you missed it. That's all i can say.




Monday, March 23, 2009

The Invocation

During a particularly long day last week, my guitar crawled over and rubbed against me like a cat. So, i picked it up and petted it, and this hymn came out. (I need to find a way to post music on here too).

The Invocation

I call you
I wait to hear
Cuz I need you near

I crawl out
from my shelter
Cuz I need you here

I look up
past the stars
Cuz you’re not here

I listen
to my heatbeat
Cuz I need you near

I walk back
to the water
Cuz I thought you’d hear

And I am
just one man
Who needs you near

I call you
I wait to hear
Cuz I need you near

I crawl out
from my shelter
Cuz I need you here

I look up
past the stars
Cuz you’re not here

I listen
to my heatbeat
Cuz I need you near

I walk back
to the water
Cuz I thought you’d hear

And I am
just one man
Who needs you near

And I am
the one man
Who needs you near

Yes I am
the one man
Who needs you here…

Video

video

Live at Northside with the Band in Jan 2009.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St Patty's Day!

Hola!

I was looking forward to a fun evening last night. The rest of the last two weeks or so have been pretty blah for me. But last was was going to be fun, dammit!

The day started off well, actually. I got to run. I have been missing the sun and walking around outside so intensely. This is the first winter where I've actually felt captive in the house for the most part. I've been out and about, but I really felt overly locked in. So, to go outside and run! I am definitely a fair-weather runner. It has to be about 60 before I got out to run. And it was so nice. Plus, listening to Matt & Kim makes for an enjoyable exercise routine!

From there I stopped off at Tri C to pick up some more CDs. And we got into a wonderful marketing discussion that lead to them opening up a competition to remix one or two of the Lost + Found tunes! Yes - i may get that street cred afterall! :-) For now, that is going to be only open to the students in their audio program, but enough ideas were passed around, I think I may open up a public forum to do the same for one of the What I Meant to Say tunes, as well! All in the pipeline - I'll keep ya updated.

And then it was time to perform. TM Gottl asked me to sit in with her as the back-up music during her poetry reading. I had done that once before, and it was a blast! It's fun for me to get to crawl outside of my box and do things. So we worked up a good 6 poems or so. The night was highly energized. More so than other readings I've gone to. And the stuff we did was all upbeat, for the most part. Personal highlights for me were bringing up Cameron to beat box this "rap" that she wrote about Oatmeal (ain't no party like my nana's tea party, hey). And from there we jumped into Chiropractor, which actually, and i think this is a first in the ohio poet scene, had people up and dancing! Yes, dancing at a poetry reading! Ha! And it was fonkay.

After the show, we moved the party to Mama Mia's, but as we pulled up the sign went off and he closed. Noooooooooo! We stood there outside trying to think of another vegan-friendly place that might still be open. Plus, we were all worked up for a nice Vegan Philly Cheezesteak.

And then, John came to the door. We just tried to ask him where else we could go, and he said if we wanted he'd open back up and make us stuff.

!!!!!

Really???

Yes!!!

So, he made us a few Cheezsteaks and a pizza, and then let us eat it there! This man is a saint among men! I tell you! It was my first Cheezsteak experience, and I was thoroughly delighted. Plus, I had a cookie! So, that alone is a good night! He sat and talked to us about his restaurant, vegan food, and the video of the vaulter that launched himself in to the judges table.

Bottom line, John is a good man, and you should all go and support Mama Mia's Pizza at 12906 Madison in Lakewood. They have a lovely vegan selection, and homemade cookies daily! And they have Rice Dream ice cream bars in the little ice cream freezer! And they deliver (216)226-4000! Yes yes yes!

From there, we tried to move the afterparty to the Winchester, but there were closed. And so were about 7 other places around. Bars closing before midnight on St. Patty's day surprised us all. But we ended up at the 5 O'Clock lounge, which actually had some not so annoying music on the jukebox (for a little while anyway) and a few pool tables.

All in all - fun times!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Using Ormolu to keep the family together

One of the reasons I joined facebook (pretty much the only reason other than being able to share pics/videos of Oliver) was to play Wordtwist/Scramble/Scrabulous (aka Word Twist, Boggle, and Scrabble).

Word games are pretty big in my family. I have a lot of great memories of spending rainy days at the Shore or at grandma/grandpa's house playing Scramble or Boggle with my grandma, Aunts, and Erin. Normally scrabble is the game of choice and can get rather competitive for all of us. So much that a few family members don't dare join a game when my grandma, two of my Aunt's, and I sit down to play.

These days Word Twist has been dominating a lot of my time, as well as Erin's and my sister Elizabeth's. The point of the game is to make as many words as possible from 6 letters. The bigger the word the greater the points. If you use all 6 words you get a bonus. It's simple enough. Of course there's the occasional time when you really have to question the validity/need for particular words in the Webster Dictionary.

Which brings me to Ormolu. Last week I was playing a game against Erin and my sister. In one particular round neither of them had gotten the bonus word. As you can guess I got it. Normally that would be fine and I'd move on to the next round or getting something else done in the house. However within minutes of finishing the round I heard a loud exclamation of !ormolu! from Erin who was playing in the other room and discovered that I got the word. Almost at that identical time I received a text message from Elizabeth that said nothing but ormolu!! Both of them were rather incredulous that I was able to guess (I mean pick from my vast repertoire of vocabulary words) that particular word and use that bonus to propel me to victory a few rounds later.

There really isn't too much of a point to this post outside of the fact that a simple application like word twist can not only improve vocabulary but keep your family close as well.

And in case you were wondering ormolu means...
1. Any of several copper and zinc or tin alloys resembling gold in appearance and used to ornament furniture, moldings, architectural details, and jewelry.
2. An imitation of gold.

Louisville 3

After the show, and nearly falling down an escalator and finding an area of downtown Louisville that GPS could not find, we loaded up the van and went off to a club called Gerstle's. This was recommended by Rebecca, whose art show was where I played. Her friend's band, Hambone, was playing there. It was a nice-sized club with an interesting sound system, and advertised pool tables, though I never saw one...

Hambone was blues. Kind of Stevie Ray stuff, but more grit and pain than him. The bassist did the whole first set on an upright bass. Which was cool, though he didn't really ham it up. With an instrument that big, you have to be a little flashy, i think. But that could be just me.

I think the highlight was this song that turned out to be "I Like Toast and Jam" but Hambone changed a few lyrics. And the song became very very different. It made me think that someone could do very well for themselves taking children's songs and adding vulgarity and sex into them. You know you'd be interested in hearing that (once at least).

And then on break. They had a DJ - DJ Stymie. Who was a middle-aged guy with a straw cowboy hat and sunglasses. He started off playing hardcore metal (that was apparently local - which at least was the one redeeming factor). And then suddenly started playing soul and good music. (Not that that lasted too long, but was unexpected after the hardcore metal set). And the DJ music was almost twice as loud as the band, which should NEVER happen, in my opinion.

For me, blues gets really repetitive, and so we left and wandered the streets for a while. There were a few other clubs on that block. Plus, it was still like 70 degrees. So I wanted to soak up as much of that as I could.

The next club with music was an Irish pub. However the music was a jukebox, and it was rap. Gangsta rap. Not Irish even. So we continued on to this club with weird emo/cowboys on stage. They finished up their song and announced that their friend was coming up to sing some Willie Nelson. Intriguing.

And he looked like Willie.

And he sounded like Willie!

Wow. I was deeply impressed with this man. And he did Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground (one of Willie's best for my taste).

The night ended after the band got back up and tried to sing Dolly Parton.

Ugh.

The next day kicked off with a flash. We went off to 3rd Ave cafe. Hallelujah is all I can say about this place! It has a festive N'Orlean's style to the inside, though it's a glorified diner. I think I already wrote about this place, but I really loved it. Seriously I was choked up after reading over the menu. Vegans everywhere - go here!

Gonna have to go. Charlie and I are taping a cable TV show this afternoon which should be aired the week or so before the Release Show. (Which is April 25th and tickets can be ordered right NOW at www.zachmusic.net/order.html)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Louisville 2

Day 1 in Louisville started off at Nitty Gritty. Nitty Gritty is a wonderful vintage clothes shop, with a whole room upstairs of men's clothes! Yes! There was a brown leisure suit hung upon the racks this time. I have never had the opportunity to actually purchase or get or be given an actual leisure suit (from the 70's). So I was intrigued. And tried it on. (I think there are some blackmail - or maybe Sear Mail-Order catalogue - pics on facebook). It was a size or so too big or else, I would have been wearing it that night for my set at Rebecca's art show at Regalo.

From there, I went on foot to hand out fliers for my Monkey Wrench show the following night. This inevitably took me to the Guitar Emporium, where I drooled at the Telecasters, Rickenbacker's, Orange amps, mandolins, electric sitars, and various effects pedals.

Hunger starting to play a role, I met up with my friends Angie and Theresa and had lunch at Lynn's Paradise Cafe - a brightly painted and hyper-eclectic cafe. They had a working mirror ball hanging, super cool lamps, pants made out of used tea bags and hanging from the ceiling, and crayons at all the tables. Attached to the front of the cafe is this shoppe that is like Big Fun (in Coventry), full over weird, silly, and goofy things, like a book called "How to Traumatize Your Children." Anyway, this place is a historic place, and very much a locals favourite. On top of all this, they had some good food! I got for the first time ever, a Portabello Burger. I have tasted one before that I did not like, but this was soft and juicy, and very tastetabulous.

Aside - I have had a thing about mushrooms for well, ever (up until about August, that is). They are fungi, and that is not something i felt we should be eating. It was a big deal to me, but i broke that wall down (with Korrin's help) and now actually can say that I like them. Very weird to be typing this and reading it back...

From there, we found out that Regalo has 2 locations and the one I was performing at was the one that no GPS could find. It was on S. 4th St, which was unknown to TomTom or Garmin. But we did find the place without too big a hassle. The hotel was swanky and had a revolving door, huge chandeliers, escalators, and a huge bar with the bar itself being a long fishbowl with real fish swimming back and forth.

I played a spirited set, with an uber-fonkay version of Bittersweet Symphony being one of my personal highlights. That, and nearly falling down the escalator after dancing too wildly on it!

More to come, but i am realizing i need sleep. Au revoir.

Louisville

Yes, I Agree with Michael that Daylight savings time is a good thing.

It means Spring is coming, which right now, as I sit inside my Ohio home as the rain berates the house and the mercury falls some 20 degrees of today's temperatures alone, is very welcome.

Daylight savings time happened upon me where I was sitting at a picnic table in a backyard patio of a Neighbourhood bar (called Nachbar - or some such German word translating into "Neighbour") underneath an array of stars while the piano/drums duo's sounds filtered outside mingling with the smoke and the conversation of the crowd.

And I mean it when I say I love Louisville!

Any city whose slogan is "Keep Louisville Weird" is alright by me!

I'm not honestly sure what Louisville would be like everyday, but the times I have trounced in, I have not wished to leave so soon. They have a thriving arts community, an amazing First Friday Art Walk, cool clubs, Vegan food (more than Northeast Ohio for sure), and better weather!

Highlights:
1. Ramsi's. As always. You know, I have been tempted many times to just drive down there on an off day for dinner. The Seitan Parmesan sandwich is out of control amazing. And they have plantains too! I can't say enough good things about Ramsis.

2. 3rd Ave Cafe. Just found these folks this adventure. You walk in to a good-sized diner that has a N'Orleans kind of decor, and pics of Elvis all over. There is even a slightly spooky Elvis seated at the door as you come in. They have a quaint little patio on the sidewalk. And they have a lot to choose from! I had to order the Vegan Ruben, and was nothing less than thoroughly sated by it! The tempeh was Delicious and the sauerkraut tasted like it does after being cooked with Vegan Sausage (ie New Year's). At one point I actually welled up, and was nearly at that point a few times!

3. The Monkey Wrench. A great venue! Located across from Nitty Gritty, it's in a cool, hip area. Plus, it has a good stage, and decent sound system! Not to mention it is quite the area hangout! I had a blast performing there.

4. Bardstown Road. A funky road that houses the coolest places to go and shop in Louisville. Think Coventry or Highland Square but multiplied for a mile or more. Ramsi's is on this road, as is Ear-X-Tacy (an amazing CD/LP shop), a fantastic Book shop, the Guitar Emporium (oh if I only had an extra $750 lying around...), 2 breweries (including one which serves a sweet and tasty Meade on tap), a handful of vintage clothing stores and hippie shops. There is also a Smoothie King, Cafe 360 (lots o vegan stuff), and a slew of cool ethnic restaurants.

5. Amazing people!! People like my Super Hero Louisville Official Street Team Tzar, John Strizak!! People like Rebecca Simpson (who used to own Jenicca's with her sister Jennifer - and who was having her first art show at Regalo in the gorgeous Galt House Tower/Hotel right on the Ohio river!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

daylight savings time

daylight savings time is awesome for so many reasons.

1. being able to finish that round of golf after a long day of work
2. not having to drive to work and home from work in the dark
3. means that warmer weather should be coming around the corner sometime sooner rather than later.
4. more daylight means more seritonin and everyone could use a little extra pick me up these days

however it is definitely not cool the night time moves ahead. not cool at all.  cheers to much less sleep tonight.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

HEllo?

Hello? Is my band out there? Where are you?

Are you miming your posts? Cause they can' see that. Unless you video yourselves and post that.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cold cold cold

I love double-decker gig days. So, this Saturday, the last day of February, was a blast. (mostly)

The first show was a wonderful Cancer benefit held at Brandywine Ski Resort. I did it last year too, and it is always a nice time. I arrived as the Fret Daddies were still rocking there set. As I found Ryan and Ashley (the fine folks that booked me there), the Fret Daddies saw me and busted into an inpromptu version of "Distracted!"

Did I mention this was an outdoor show? Yes. It was. They had a tent set up, with a propane heater inside.

However, as I was setting up, I found out that the propane had run out during the last couple of songs in the Fret Daddies set. That, and the wind began kicking up, and blowing directly into the tent.

I was given a pair of "hot hands" which I clutched wildly in between each song for a minute or two. By the time the 2nd verse of a song would roll around, I could no longer feel my strumming hand, and just holding onto the pick became a major effort. About three-quarters into my set, they brought in a large outdoor heater (one of those kinds used by restaurants that have patios), which allowed me to be able to dance around a little, and only take a minute in between songs trying to thaw my fingers.

But it was a lot fun - regardless!
And from there, it was on to Hudson, and Marcelitto's.

This was my second time at Marcellito's. The first time was the end of December, and an all-around blast.

This time was even better.

Im not sure if it was because i was so happy to be warm. Or so excited to be able to actually feel what my fingers were playing, but something special was in the air. Something tangible.

And it brought out a wonderful show! One of the best and craziest solo shows I've done in a while. Lots of emotion all night. And I think that I have never done Purple Rain as well as it came out that night! I poured everything I had into the solo - i found myself playing things that were actually surprising me! I'm honestly not much of a lead player, so I'm always amazed when I can play something remotely close to what I hear in my head. Usually, I am a ways away from what I hear, but I got there several times (actually most of the night)!

Plus, there was a great crowd of support enjoying themselves. That really means a lot, and is deeply appreciated!

I hope that everyone brings such joy and love to the Northside! (hint hint hint!)

Welcome to March, by the way!

And if you haven't purchased any Trevor Hall yet, you should. I reccomend the songs Lime Tree, Venomous, and House of Cards (at the very least).