Weekend Wrap Up

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Joe Morello’s Left Hand

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

In another installment of “Bill’s Youtube Videos He Watches Over and Over,” I bring you Joe Morello:

Joe was Dave Brubeck’s drummer for years and years. Here, Joe takes solo in the Brubeck classic “Take Five.” The original recording is fantastic; one might even say monumental. Like Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” Brubeck’s “Time Out” album is a Jazz album for people who aren’t into Jazz. You don’t have to be to dig this album. Anyway, here Joe offers a different solo than the original recording. Dig the one handed roll at about one minute in. Joe is a big proponent of what’s called the “Moeller Technique,” a way of snapping the drumstick and using the stick’s natural rebound to turn your arm into an engine, cranking out hit after hit after hit. Here Joe shows his tremendous finger technique, coupled with Moeller, to give us those super tasty one handed yummies. For non-drummers, it probably doesn’t look like much. No flash flailing, no rolling around tons of toms for days and days. But for those of us who know what he’s doing, well, we can tell you that little one handed drum roll is crazy hard to pull of.

One Awesome Weekend Wrap Up

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Not much happened Friday.

Saturday I was home with kids for the day. I played a gig on Saturday to a very responsive crowd. A very nice lady from Alabama told me twice I had beautiful eyes. I played a drum solo that was pretty decent and garnered applause. The end.

Now, let’s get to the magic!

Immediately after church, Susan and I and the kids packed up the van and headed to Somerville. You see, Susan’s parents live there, and they were going to be watching the kids for us. Why? So we could be alone for a romantic weekend! Oh yeah!

We left the kids, and headed for Freeport. I had booked us a room at a place called The James Place Inn. Freeport is a quick drive outside of Portland, and The James Place is one of the few places near Portland that offered an in-room two person hot tub! Oooh la-la!

Having settled into the room for a little while, we started on our way to Portland. The entire thrust of the outing was to see Casting Crowns and Kutless in concert at the Portland Civic Center. We were going to meet Jim and Jeanine for supper at some Mexicn place Jim likes. We weren’t too far away from Haddlock Field when I heard this really awful grinding/thumping  noise eminate from the front passenger side tire. It was a rhythmic sound that sped up and slowed down with the speed of the tire. It almost sounded like a flat, but the car was handling fine. I pulled over. No flat. I looked under the car. Nothing. I got back in, and started looking for a garage. Susan got Jim and Jeanine on the horn. Having stopped for directions, I was told of a Sullivan Tire not far from Haddlock Field. Jim and Jeanine would meet us there.

Not wanting to be detered on our romantic weekend, I threw the keys in a service envelope, and stuck them in the key drop. Jim and Jeanine offered to chauffer us for the remainder of the evening. The Mexican restaurant was closed/sold/out of business or otherwise not open. We opted for a Chinese restaurant with a buffet, as time was of the essence. It was ok. Then the concert…

We were told the concert started at 6:30pm. When we got there at about 6:20, Caleb was already on stage. Just him and his brother (I think), who was playing the cajon. They were pretty good. Kutless was next. I didn’t really know anything about them. I enjoyed them very much, and they know how to rock! The drummer was pounding! Big arm movements, way above his head. They played 1/2 dozen songs or so, maybe eight. I was really surprised their set was so short. Casting Crowns played two sets. They were good, as you would expect from the headliner. I would have preferred they played a little less, and let Kutless have some more stage time. The concert was done around 10:30pm. Jim and Jeanine dropped us off at the B&B. They took a quick tour of the place, and took their leave.

I was up Monday morning at 7am. Breakfast was from 8-9am, so I went, procured some coffee, said good morning to innkeeper Robin, and met his daughter Elise. Breakfast was innkeeper Tori’s delicious homemade granola and yogurt, raspberry oatmeal muffins, cinnamon French toast (homemade cinnamon bread!), bacon, and juice. While having breakfast, the garage called, and quoted repairs on the van. It wasn’t all outdoors expensive, though they did try to talk me into four new tires and an alignment. No thanks. The car was done around noon. Innkeeper Robin was gracious enough to give me a lift into Portland to pick up the van. Both Robin and Tori were wonderful hosts; I’d stay with them again in a hearbeat. I drove back to the inn and picked up Susan. (So not only did they give us a lift to Portland, the innkeepers also gave us a late checkout. Thanks!)

For the rest of the day, Susan and I drove north. We took Rt 1 to Brunswick, looking for antiques and shops. Not much going on on that stretch of road. We then took I-95 north to Gardiner. We walked up and down Mn St of Hallowell. Note: downtown Hallowell is mostly closed on Mondays. We drove into Augusta, and did some quick shopping at a couple of stores, nothing eventful. We had a nice “lunch” around 3pm at Longhorn. After that, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond in Augusta, as Susan was looking for some new curtains. While there, I also found an “extra firm” pillow that seemed to suit me. There was a Christmas Tree Shop located right next door. Having never been into one myself, Susan talked me into going in and looking around.

We got back to Spruce Head around 7pm. It was nice to be home. I think we may have watched a little TV, but we didn’t stay up long. We went to bed, tired from what could have been a trying weekend, but instead we never let the little things get to us. We instead decided to have an awesome time.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Friday. Left the office. Proceeded almost immediately to my gig in Bangor at The Whig and Courier.  We had a typical gig there. It’s a hard room to play in. The stage is small, and in one room. The bar is at the opposite side of the building in another room. So what ends up happening is the patrons sit in the other room, and listen through the opening. The downside is you, as a performer, can’t “feed” of their energy. Yes, they would clap and hoot at the end of songs, but it’s not the same. On the plus side, the people who run the place are very nice, and the food is really good. I stopped at Tim Horton’s on the way home for a sour cream donut and a milk. I think I was home about 2am. Susan was still up, and she was glad when I returned home.

Saturday AM, and Susan got up with the kids. Anyone who reads here knows I love my wife very much. She’s not a morning person, though. So usually I get up with the boys, even on those morning where I have a gig the night before. Saturday, though, Susan got up with them and let me sleep. And sleep I did! I think I slept until almost 10am! I can’t remember the last time I slept so late.  When I woke, Susan had made baked cinnamon donuts and coffee. They were really quite good. There was a work crew at the church in the morning putting in new carpet tiles at the church. I called down there to see if they needed more help. (I figured they would.) They said no, they had enough people, and were about 1/2 way done. I wasn’t needed. I hadn’t planned on that, so I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I ended up taking Julia for lunch, and running a few errands. I think most of the afternoon was spent in the kitchen. I cleaned the floors and washed dishes. I made a creme caramel for supper’s dessert. Supper was a turkey risotto that Susan made. I got an interesting phone call from Dave Clarke just before I left for my gig. It seems he was playing a gig in Rockport, and his drummer forgot his snare drum. He was wondering if he could perhaps borrow one from me. I told him I’d see if I could scrounge one up!

My gig Saturday night went very well. We played at The Myrtle Street Tavern here in town. It’s been around for years; you may know it as The Oasis, The Myrtle House, O’Brann’s, The Ale Yard, or who knows what other names it has been. Supposedly, back in the day, you could “rent” a room upstairs if you needed someplace to, well, take a new found “girlfriend” that could be located at the bar. That doesn’t happen there anymore, but the place is still what you might call a “road house.” Beer, pool tables and darts, and some clientele that wouldn’t mind “taking it outside” if need be. But the crowd really liked the music. The place isn’t that big on the inside, and it was pretty well packed. People danced all night long. This gig was originally conceived as a  jam session, but only about 1/2 a dozen other musicians showed up. So Blind Albert (the house band) finished up the show with about two hours of rock and blues. It was easy to feed off the energy of this crowd. They were having a good time. And, no fights, no falling down drunks. I got home around 1am, and once again, Susan was still up. It’s nice to feel wanted like that! (Not that I want you staying up late after every gig Susan! You need your sleep!)

Sunday morning came, and I got up first this time. We fired up the new eggamuffin toaster for its inaugural run. (Eggamuffin is what my late friend Tim called any breakfast sandwich. It enabled him to talk about such without copyright infringement!) Then it was off to church! Pastor Dave had a very moving and powerful service! God was in the house! We had people at the altar seeking renewal, people asking for healing, and nary a dry eye anywhere. It was great to be there. After several weeks of schedule mess-ups, we were back to the regular routine of lunch at Mom’s house, and Susan made a good lasagna, and an ever better banana cake! Susan wanted to stay at Mom’s house for the afternoon, so she kept the kids with her, and I went home and fixed all the wallpaper where the stupid cat sharpened her claws on the wall. I fell asleep on the couch for 1/2 hour until the phone rang. Then I watched some show on Discovery on how to translate motorcycle gang tattoos. Then back to church for evening service, then home.

Weekend Wrap Up

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Let’s see how much of this I can remember. After I rode my scooter into the lobby of the office on Friday afternoon, I went home. I don’t remember supper. I do remember that we put the kids to bed early, and Susan and I spent some quality alone time snuggling on the couch, watching the Barrett-Jackson car auction. She made the remark that I like my cars like I like my women: Curvy! I think she exclaimed that after a shot of a Corvette rear-end with which I was enamored!

Saturday morning. Omlettes for everyone. Washed dishes. Ran some errands. A basic “clean the house and get caught-up” kind of day. In the evening, Susan made a fantastic supper which was a high point of the weekend: beef tenderloin with a mushroom/bleu cheese gravy, baked potatoes with sour cream and green onions, and green beans with rosemary. For dessert I whipped up a little creme caramel. We went to bed early, as we needed to be up early.

My alarm went off at 5am. It’s the first time since Susan bought me my new alarm clock back in December that I haven’t woken before the alarm. (Apparently, my internal clock is pretty durn good!) We woke the kids up, and went to Easter sunrise service. It was cold and windy! After that, it was breakfast at the church, which was good. We came home for an hour or two, then back to church for Sunday School and the Easter Cantata. Then to my Mom’s house for an Easter egg hunt. Ma’s house for lunch. Susan wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed at my Mom’s and laid on the couch. We came home, and she went to bed. The children and I hung out, playing with Easter toys and watching some Electric Company and stuff. At 5:30pm, I woke Susan up so I could go to evening church. Then I came home, and had a delicious supper of, well, leftover tidbits in the fridge. I went to bed relatively early.

The Interesting Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, March 9th, 2009

The weekend started Friday night at the Black Bull. Blind Albert and I had a duo gig there, 9:30-12:30. A new guy who’s moved into the area sat in with us. Frank Sambiase moved up here from CT, I think. He’s been jamming with the local cats, paying his dues, looking to make in-roads with the locals, trying to get gigs. He did a great job with us, and I really like his playing. And, it was a treat playing with two guitar players. Rarely do I play in a band that has two guitar players; the local clubs don’t pay enough money to have bands with lots of members. Usually, I play in trios, or quartets with a horn. It was nice to have that extra voice, and it added a lot to the sound.

I got home from the gig around 1pm, maybe a little later. As I was getting ready for bed, I noticed I didn’t have my watch on. (Pay attention, this will mean more later.) At my gigs, I take my watch off, and put it in my stick bag. I don’t like to wear a watch when I play. I also take my wallet, keys, and phone out of my pants pocket, and put them in the bag. Anyway, I had left my watch in the stick bag. Since I knew I’d want to wear my watch in the morning, I went out to the car, got my bag, brought it inside, got my watch, and put it on the table.

Saturday morning, I “slept late,” and got up at 8:15. I made blueberry muffins for the family. I washed some dishes, took a shower, did the usuall Saturday AM things. It was pretty warm out, and thoughts of my scooter danced in my head. With my plastic snow shovel, I was able to get enough snow away from the garage door to get it open a crack. Once inside the garage, I was able to get a metal flat shovel. And with that, I was able to chip enough ice away to get the door open! Scoot, here I come! But first, I had to make a trip to the dump. OK, I did that, back to the scoot… I put the battery in, which had been in my garage on the battery tender. I siphoned out the stale gas that was in the tank, and replaced it with fresh gas. I jumped on the kick start a few times, with the key off, just to get some oil into the cylinder. Then I touched the electric start. She roared right to life! I let it warm for a little bit. Susan was running errands with Julia, so as soon as she got home, I went for a ride. I went down to the Keag Store, down Dublin Rd, a left onto Ash Point, South Shore Dr, downtown Owls Head, North Shore Dr, then Rt 73 to home. It  was a nice ride, but the roads in Owls Head are tore up! That was a bone shaker of a ride.

After my ride, I took a quick nap. Then I headed out to Winterport for my gig that started at 8pm. I had the mushroom/swiss burger, which was delish. I brought my gear inside, and started to set up. Then, it hit me: where’s my stick bag? Yup, you guessed it. I left my sitck bag at home from the night before! Panic started to set in. No sticks! But wait! Didn’t I stash a pair of sticks in the spare tire compartment? If I did, they weren’t there. God’s provedence was with me, though. The week before last, we played a gig and had a hand percussionist sit in. I have a big bag of hand percussion items, so I brought that bag for him to borrow. I hadn’t taken it out of the car yet. Inside was a pair of sticks! They weren’t my regular size, and they were pretty beat up, but at least I had some sticks! The gig was well attended, and people danced all night long. I broke one of the sticks, but it was just the tip, so I was able to complete the gig. The sitcks went into my cymbal bag, so now I’ll have a back-up pair! When factoring in the time change, I got home a little after 3am.

Sunday was pretty typical. Church in the morning. Lunch at Mom’s. In the afternoon, I was able to take another quick scooter ride. It wasn’t as long as Saturday, as it was a little cooler. I was able to fit a 1/2 hour nap into the afternoon, too. In the evening, it was back to church. After that, I went to McDonalds for the boys supper, and to Subway for me and the girls. Chicken bacon ranch, of course! The kids went to bed, and then Susan and I had a little snuggle time on the couch before we went to bed.