Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stay on the rails no matter what

Apologies to the constant reader of this blog who silently passes months while waiting for me to get it together to write something (and to everybody else). I could say 'life got hectic' or something similar, but I've just gotten derailed from my regimen. School's back in for my effervescent children, so I will do my utmost to stop being like Tootle and stay on the rails no matter what.

No single yet. Technical difficulties continue to haunt progress. We do have a beautiful video filmed, thanks to the talent and graces of Dan Andrews and Mike Allen. As soon as there is vinyl in hand, we'll release this striking work that will accompany "Don't Mention the War." 

I got to be 'stick singer' for two songs at Be Loud Sophie 2016, the fantastic charity working to support adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their families at UNC Hospitals. Earlier in the afternoon, the Well Respected Men did a short set; I came back 6 hours later, and the party was still going on! Lots of local faves on that set of great tunes: Tim Smith, Mac McCaughan, Greg Humphreys (who smoked everyone with a powerful Hobex set)..."it's just stars after stars after stars"... I sang "A Million Miles Away" by the Plimsouls and "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung (!), and the audience seemed to dig it quite a lot; I never know what to do with my hands when there's not an instrument in them, so I played shaker egg with nervous energy on Wang Chung and gesticulated constantly on the other. 

I have made a conscious decision to get off Facebook. The amount of time and emotion I had tied up in my existence there was absurd. I will miss having contact with my many friends there (although I'm still available on FB Messenger and may have to maintain a 'music page' of some sort), but I'm getting off my ass and doing something instead of drowning. And I don't think I'll miss at all the uncivil and abusive political discourse that's accompanied this year's presidential campaign; my pulse rate has already subsided considerably. 

On a sad note, my sweet friend Monty Lee Wilkes died this past weekend from unconquerable cancer. Monty was The dB's soundman/tour manager for years, part of a fabulously successful career, working with so many different artists for years--everyone got Monty's best at the board, a formidable sound artisan. He had a snide wit, a good/bad attitude and loved his rock music; he made us sound better than anyone else ever did. We roomed together, poring over fashion magazines and microphone test results, using gallons of hairspray and listening to everything from the Shaggs to EZO. It was probably the easiest touring we ever did in that band, thanks to Monty's competence and spirit. The last time I saw him was when Hootie was on a festival lineup with the artist he was mixing, Lisa Marie Presley. Monty got to do it all, and he did it all so well. He will be loved and missed by his friends and family. 

Photo from Suburbs Archives

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