Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Inspiration comes in many forms...


Things have really been happening at Casa de Polack lately! Not sure if I've used that name on the blog yet but that's what I'm using as an "umbrella" name for any creative projects that I'm in charge of or at least that's how I've been referring to the place where I live in-lieu of any actual output...until now that is. We've been working hard behind-the-scenes at a various projects that are starting to come together. I've been working on some preperatory tests and drawings for a series of woodcut prints based on the lives of Texas musicians and I'm about to pull a small edition of the first print. It's just a small test-print but I like the way it turned out.

And on the music-front Saddle Tramp has been playing more shows including one last Saturday at the Goat with Los Lonesome Losers, and Dragna for Chadillac's birthday (and a farewell to Tennessee George). The show went over well and all the bands sounded really great. We packed the place and I was even inspired to show off my rarely-seen dancing skills.

And then there's the Top-Secret garage-rock project that I'm not at liberty to discuss just yet but I can say without a doubt that it's going to be awesome and unlike anything else I've ever done. We started practicing recently before the keystone of the band got sidelined by an injury...but you just wait!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's all TOO real!!!

A Polack Evolves...

I'm trying to find myself. Well not really....I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing with this whole "Pickin' Polack" project/comedy routine/trainwreck. It started innocently enough; Matt Powers and I thought it would be cool to fill-in for Saddle Tramp opening a show at the late RedBlood Club. We were just serious enough to present some semblance of a musical performance with minimal practice and familiarity with the material. In my twisted view of reality I wanted to believe we could be some kind of crappy version of the greatness that is Memphis' supreme duo, Jeff Evans and Ross Johnson but without the coolness, cred, ability , or sense of humor.

We've played four shows now to varying degrees of success, and with that experience under my belt I'm attempting to decide how to proceed. I started out with the idea that we had to "kind of fit in" with the bands we were playing with but now I'm not so sure. I hate limitations but there's actually a form of freedom in placing restrictions on yourself...sort of limiting your palette if you will. Too many options confuse the creative-process and sometimes the initial inspiration gets lost along the way. I want to keep it simple but I also want to be able to do different styles (at least half-ass), play with a variety of bands, and most importantly entertain myself and others. That being said I think we might find a bass player(possibly bass/drums rotation) and if someone I know wants to sit-in on keys, or some other instrument now and then that's nice too. (Zither anyone?)

It's a really weird time in the history of music to throw ones hat into the ring but a big part of my inspiration to do this has been my attitude about live music which can be summed up with the phrases "I can't believe they're getting away with that crap up there!" or "This is what I live for!". Yeah, it's pretty much all been done, but my lyrics are slightly-different ( than the first ten bands using the same chord progressions) and rock and roll/country/folk/punk/popular music in any form, etc, etc, is a folk-tradition well worth continuing relevant, innovative or not. -Love , The Pickin' Polack

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Probably our last show at the RBC!

Looks to be a fun weekend...

Band Practice on Friday night, my niece and nephew are graduating from high school on Sunday( party for them at my folks on Saturday ), and playing a free BBQ at the Redblood Club on Sunday afternoon/evening. Great line-up for what will most-likey be our last show at the RBC as they're shutting down after the 14th or so. Sad but true...I didn't go to a whole lot of shows at the place but I always enjoyed the ones I did go to or the ones I played there and it was nice to know there was at least one all-ages venue that didn't have a Christian theme. And it was fun to drink there on the slow nights too. Brad, April, and Justin put their hearts and souls into that place after taking it over and it showed.

The show will be opened by a young lady I don't know much about other than the fact that she is a very talented 12 year old (?), by the name of Caroline Danielson. I think we're playing next followed by Tennessee George and Wagontrash, and then The Truckstop Junkies. The whole deal's free (except for beer and liquor) and there will be food, raffles, and door-prizes. What more could you want?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Walking to New Orleans. (well, driving real slow at least...)

What's that blurry thing before my eyes?

Oh, yeah...My life for as long as I can remember. There are scientists that theorize that time is actually speeding-up, and I for one think they may be onto something. I don't believe everything that "those in positions of power and authority" tell "us", less-and-less to tell the truth, but that's one theory that seems accurate to me. And my recent mystery-ailment isn't helping any. Seems to be a cross between allergies and an upper-respiratory kinda thing with a little spacey-ness thrown in just for kicks. The wacky part is that I didn't think I had allergies. Damn Chemtrails! (oh, but I kid...)

I often struggle with the content of my blog; More often than actually posting it seems. I just feel so restless and creatively stifled, and I'm NOT going to bore you with what I had for breakfast, or any number of inanities. Two things would help alleviate this condition: Becoming a Sunday painter in the tradition of Rousseau (in my case it would be prints/painting/drawing), and starting a new band. Now I don't want to stop playing with the cats in Saddle Tramp but I'd like to do something totally different. The Pickin' Polack stuff is fun but the whole point of that is to play songs I barely know with very little practice and it's sloppy-as-hell (in a good way we think). I need to recruit some folks that are pretty competent, and very open to different styles of music. I just haven't been able to bring myself to placing some kind of ad because I know so many great musicians. What a conundrum!

But Candie and I are going to the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans at the end of this month so I'm pretty stoked...And yes, I'm going to EAT MY HEAD OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, and if anyone actually still reads this tripe I apologize for the broken audio-player to the right. Not quite sure what happened...guess I'll fix it.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bad collage of good folks...

Exciting Times in Dallas Music!

Bear in mind that I have a skewed perspective on music, both local and otherwise, but dang-me if there aren't exciting things going on these days in the Dallas music scene. I'd be lying if said I wasn't a midly-reclusive, music snob with artistic leanings that only intermittently checks in on said scene beyond slavishly perusing the Observer and various blogs but I'm still a big supporter in my own way.
While I still have to make the trip up to Denton for most of the really great shows, our fair city seems to be having yet-another musical and artistic rennaissance of sorts. The galleries seem to be out-numbering the progressive music venues for now but with the appearance of Sloppyworld, John Freeman's Swiss-Army knife of a cultural outpost and a recently revitalized (out of necessity) Bar of Soap and a remodeled RedBlood Club under new management to name a few, things are looking up. I'm sure I've left plenty others off the list...but Hey, I said I was a bit out-of-the-loop.
And then there are the numerous interesting new(ish) bands/performers such as Dovehunter, The Strange Boys, Tree Wave, Naptime Shake, Doug Burr, and The Lonesome Losers among others. Other than Tree Wave, about whom I've only read so I can't rightly say, all these folks play great, vital, live-shows that make going out worth it. However, I get extra-happy when I think about all the bands that are re-uniting every time I turn around such as Dallas' favorite sons of Garage- Rock(proper), The Blackouts (who just happen to be kicking-ass) and everybody's tequila-fueled band the Loco Gringos. Makes me pine for the days of a show like that one in someones cattle-corral in Gainesville back around '95 featuring the stellar line-up of Cornhole, Jet Screamer, Electric Freestyle Fantasy, the Dooms U.K., and Slobberbone.