Getting Rid of Angles

I got to the rehearsal studio on Thursday at 10AM, ready to drive to shows in Oregon, and up to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington over three days. We had last weekend off. My life had been still for four days. The outings were walks with and without the pug, and a couple afternoons in the big park reading magazines and watching the sky while the pug kept watch in the soft green grass. Sometimes, on his back.

When I arrived at the practice studio and for the first few hours of the drive up North on Thursday, my mind felt like a clear bell. My heart was so wide. Each of the days off I had walked through the San Francisco mornings for over an hour, breathing the cool ocean air, marveling at the crystal blue skies, gazing with fascination at the gorgeous architecture, and feeling that to live in such a palace would be a weight if it kept me out of these beautiful, simple and still days. I would love to just be able to walk through these places, to see how rooms are laid out, to feel how the air must be to face the Bay with a clear view and lie in your bed with the smell of those fragrant gardens and the salt on your lips and no worry about money, ever. read more

Reminding Myself to See

In the interest of full disclosure: in last week’s blog post I wrote about losing my kick drum pedal, and it looked like it had been taken from my suitcase while flying from Denver back to San Francisco. Two days ago, I opened the suitcase to store some things in it before the next trip, and lo and behold there was my kick pedal, tangled up in the towel I use to wrap around it for transport – the towel I had of course picked up and felt around in for the pedal in the first place.

This led in some ways to this blog, about what it’s like to look at something and completely not see it. I could write about what it’s like to blame others for problems that are purely caused by yourself, but instead I will say, my apologies, TSA employees. My original disbelief that you would take something so dirty and useless proved correct! I’m sorry for temporarily believing the worst about people. For my punishment, I received my tangled footwork at two shows at which I hoped to play better. read more

A Drumset Is No Place for a Mind

I lost the pedal for my kick drum last weekend. Last I checked, I was packing it in my suitcase, and then when I got back from Colorado, no longer in the suitcase. They’re not massively expensive items, but it’s one of those things that takes time to work in, to adjust in order to get the proper rebound and tension. I’d played with this one for three years.

For the non-drummers reading this, making the song feel good has so much to do with the kick drum. It’s the pulse in the dance song you love in the club, the relentless pounding on the quarter note that shakes the booty. In rock songs, it’s often that same pulse, but in rock it’s called “four on the floor,” which means you’re pounding all four quarter notes in a measure with the right foot on the biggest drum. AC/DC are masters of this. read more