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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Big Robert Smith passed away the other day. This is before we got the album we recorded almost a year ago out. That is perhaps what I feel the worst about. However, now the pressure to get it ASAP is off, so maybe it will come faster. Thus far in 2006 Keith Coit and Big Robert Smith have died. Two guys I was very close to. Neither too old- both very experienced. Now I feel like I have a better perspective on where I stand as far as life and ddeath goes. I am not afraid of death, and I now recognize that for the rest of my life I will be welcoming children of my friends and acquaintances into my life (with mostly disinterest) and saying goodbye to people who have had an impact on my life. I'll be 35 in July, and I think 35 might be the age at which things turn in that respect. As for me, I'm in better shape than I was 5 or 10 years ago, and although my voice has faded somewhat, my determination to stay independent of chains that would bind me into complacency or predictability in my life has increased.
Musically I'm torn between essentially letting The El Orbits fade into the sunset to an extent and forging new groud rapidly on the originals front and picking up the pieces of The El Orbits, streamlining and learning a ton of new material. It looks like we'll soon be a regular three piece, as Thomas, our new singer, is so busy with Sig;s Lagoon and his family that I can't see him learning new material on his own or really bringing anything else to the table except dynamite backup cvocals, which are nice, but extraneous to the long term success of this band. I wish I knew a good young enthusiastic piano player. It's too late to add anyone new into this deal anyway.
If I head the "parties and public service shows only" route for The El Orbits (I'll decide after the summer's out) then I'll convert Casbeers and Flipnotics San Antonio and Austin shows to original roots rock music, cut Mondays at the Contintal for good, and just play Sambuca with The El Orbits. that, and I might re-open some private party options (like a few weddings) for the El Orbits if they're booked far out and pay well. That would mean I would put together a specific lineup for each gig, unlike now where we essentially play it by ear. It would be a pain, but would pay some bills as original music will not cover it on its own.
Otherwise, I've just embarked on the largest electrical project to date for me. That's saying a lot since I did the whole Big Top Lounge and Tacos A Go Go from scratch with minimal help (didn't do A/C wiring or vent hood wiring in either). The upstairs of the club, where I and about 12 other people live, will have new wiring for most all appliances and common areas. Also, the remaining 1920's wiring, of which there is quite a bit in the front of the building, will be trimmed back to nearly zero. we have a new 200 Amp box that I will be wiring in conduit off of. This should increase capacity to where we won't be under strain in the heat of the summer or dead of winter with the heating and cooling loads. It's a labor intensive job to say the least. Lots of minor carpentry and pain in the butt work. I'm charging the club $10 an hour, but am also going to charge them for tools this time, since my tools are wearing out. That will probably push it to more like $12 per hour, which is what I'll charge for work after the upstairs is done.
Between music and electric I should be able to earn a living this year as long as I work basically all the time. I think if I approach it like I do exercise (at least some every single day) I can win this deal. That seems to be the real way to make a lifestyle change. Not that I don't work all the time anyway, but a better balance between music and manual labor might improve my finances, which are in kind of rough shape right now.
Mojo Nixon played the club last night. He was really good. Very fun show. I was sort of amazed at the people who cme out for it. Lots of Bon Ton Room era folks. Definitely a loyal crowd- mostly guys. Older- like me, but older and a little more worn. The band is not worn, although Pete's piano playing, as great as it is with Mojo, is so muchh better in the context of The El Orbits and Light Rock with chord changes that aren't all 1/4/5. Mojo is a ridiculously good guitar player and no one ever seems to mention it.
I'm going to print up some El Orbits flyers now and go running to put them up. Finish my night off with a Pabst or two at the Big Top. Hopefully I'll wake up fairly early and hit electric in the hallway.

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