Greetings, programs! I made it. I put in my time, I learned the songs, I played the gigs, and now I can relax...for a while. So, the past two weeks have been busier than most. The Grift and the Laura Thomas Band had a great round of shows last weekend. First was the penultimate gig at The Wife in Manchester, then a trip down to Boston to play at a club called the Lizard Lounge. It was a cool little club where our Midd fans showed up in droves. I got to see some people I haven't seen in a while including my good friend Feebee. That evening ended with the usual "scour the entire city of Boston for a parking spot for Vanna White and wind up at a hotel at 4AM". That was, however, easy compared to the next day's trip to NYC. It took us a mere 6 1/2 hours to get from Boston to NY. The worst part was there was no construction or bad accidents, just a serious number of cars on the road. We finally got to NY and by the grace of Jebus we found a parking spot right next to the club! We got there in plenty of time to hit up my favorite burrito spot, Chipotle. MMMMmmm...burritos. Oh yeah, the gig was good too. It was a good crowd for August in NYC and both bands rocked it. It was really fun to play some bass again. After 12 years of ownership, my bass also finally acquired a name: White Chocolate! (you have to say it with the exclamation mark). Notso and I got a good long laugh when I came up with that.
On the following Wednesday we played our final Perfect Wife show. It was a great show, monetarily the best Wed. night the bar has had there. Why would we stop playing there then? Well, the owner wants to focus more on the dinner side of things and as successful as Wed. nights have become, she wants to keep the late night music scene to only the weekends there. So, we decided it was best if we kept the late-night thing going, just somewhere else. We're moving down the road to the Manchester Bar and Grill. It's not as nice a space as The Wife and I'll miss their ever evolving dessert menu, but it's good to shake things up every once in a while. I'll keep you all up on how it's going there.
This weekend I had a show in the East Coast gambling mecca of Atlantic City. The show was at Harrah's Casino with a band called Keith Lewis and the Shift. I got the gig through my good friend Russ Lawton who plays drums in the group. They play a few days in a row at the casino every couple of months. On this occasion, their bass player couldn't make the Saturday show and as The Grift had the weekend off, I went down and filled in. It was one of the more big pimpin' gigs I've played. The stage had all it's own backline equipment, we had our own hotel rooms (the photo is the view from my window), and there was a cafeteria that is free to employees and open 24 hours. I tell you, there are few things better than getting done with a show, carrying only your bass off stage, dropping it off in your own room, and hitting up the caf at 2AM for post-gig donuts and ice cream. I was so excited with everything else, I forgot to gamble. The slot machines were so ever-present they seemed more part of the decor than something to be "played". There was also a huge pool area. That's the "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" looking structure in the photo. In the dome there is a pool and hot tub, but also you can rent these cabanas all around and there are a couple big bars as well. Late night they have patries there complete with rave lights and DJ's. Actually, the day after we left ?ustlove of The Roots was spinning there. The gig itself went really well. The guys in the band were super cool and great players. It's a special thing when you can play with people you've never met before, get along instantly, and really put on a good show.
I did get out to walk on the Boardwalk one day. It was nice. It reminded me of when my family used to come to Jersey in the summers to go to the beach. I had a hankering for some salt water taffy. People always say what a cesspool AC is, but it was ok. I'm sure there lots of parts that are not, but getting too and from the boardwalk area was fine. They could probably help themselves out by changing the name of the street the boardwalk is on though (see photo #2). I never saw AC in it's heyday (if it ever had one), but it still seemed a vibrant place to me. Then again, I live in VT.
So now we're just gearing up for a full Fall. A couple more weddings and prep schools shows will be starting up again. Til next time...
Sdtk: Springsteen's "Born to Run" album. (I listened to it twice in a row while driving through NJ)