Snow Spring and Free Masons

louise-guitarIt’s the first day of spring and it’s snowing again. I love the snow but I’m ready for a change in temperature and precipitation. It’s also been two weeks since my last blog post and I’m publicly acknowledging that I’ve broken my commitment to blogging and putting up a piece of art each week. Well, shoot damn! Life has definitely been full, with lifey stuff which I’ll get to in a bit… however, anything I would write as to why I didn’t blog would only be an excuse.

A couple Saturdays ago I played a gig with Tommy Stinson. The gig was at a little lake house in north Jersey. On the way down we stopped at a truck stop to take a leak. After relieving myself, I stepped outside for a minute until I realized I wanted a beverage of some sort. I walk back inside to see Tommy by the vending machines talking with this middle aged guy who seemed very enthusiastic about their conversation.

tommy-reststopTurns out, he was the grand puba high priest of the free masons and was coming back from a free mason conference. Tommy asked him how one gets to be a free mason. He said you just have to know one. Cool! Let’s be free masons. Sweet, I’m in!

We both realized after the conversation we didn’t really know who the free masons were or what they do. You know, it’s like a phrase or something you’ve heard before but you don’t really know much about it. Like the illuminati…with a dash of conspiracy.

After getting in the car and cracking up about how trippy life is, I asked how he met the guy. Tommy told me, “So, I was taking a piss and this guy turns to me and says, “Tommy?” Not being one to talk in those situations I went outside. I was getting a coke from the vending machine when this guy says, “Has anyone ever told you you look a lot like the Tommy Stinson from the Replacements?”” Conversation ensued proceeded by a couple of pics by the restroom sign.

kites-nest-machinesThe gig was fun, with a great turn out and attentive audience. It’s a blast playing with Tommy!.. such a treat and honor.

Other highlights in newsy news from my point of views… I have a performance with Kite’s Nest this weekend. It’s their EXPO where each class shares what they’ve been studying and learning for the past 10 weeks. In my class, the kids will be performing 3 songs they composed. One song is called, Cannibal Animals, an original that we wrote as a group. It combines a loop of 4 different chordal sections they composed. I’m running the loop through Ableton Live and some of the kids are playing live percussion to follow the steady pulse of a loop and others are singing about a farm that had too many animals, and all the animals got hungry and ate each other.

disney-princessesIt’s been interesting watching the evolution of this song because when we first started this exercise, I had them individually and in small groups choose a subject to write about. On the last day of class, one of the girls told me that she liked how I rolled with the Cannibal Animal song and idea because they were first writing it as more of a joke then something a they thought a song could be about. I wanted to challenge them to go with it and see what happens if they were to write about cannibal animals, something I don’t think they were expecting. By the last day, they were analyzing the lyrics and thinking about it a much deeper way, like, “maybe the chickens are really Monsanto chickens… Ahh!!”

Louise is doing great! We’ve been spending some quality time together. She’s definitely into Disney and princesses right now. We’ve watched The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Snow White together. We’ve also read various books on the stories as well as I’ve been drawing some of the characters from the movies and Louise has been coloring them in. She told me after finishing Jasmine, from Aladdin, “Dad, you’re really good at drawing princesses!” Thanks, Louise!