All kinds of inspirational things come to mind and fall right out because I never have enough time to write things down as I think them. Throughout the course of a day I try and jot down a few ideas in my Backpack for posts or things I want to focus energy toward. On of those things is how your list of feeds (assuming you are using some type of RSS reader) really define who you are and influence others. Now, I realize this isn’t going to apply to most people, but for those of us who keep so much of our lives online, make friends online, admire people from their blogs or sites or whatever, an OPML file can really define us. I take great pride in the gems that make up my list of feeds. And the fact that I can’t really share them very easily with others sucks. I want to know what other people are reading, especially the people I look to as being the tastemakers and early adopters.
So let me just start off by saying that Chicago is really cold. Seriously… REALLY cold. I arrived at the venue around 1pm to find that the production people had transformed Schubas. There were lights, meters, the smallest HD cameras you’ve seen and a bunch of people to figure out how everything works. Luckily the nice folks at Schubas had wi-fi, so I could actually get some work done while I was around. Did I mention that every single person at Schubas was incredibly nice. I think it’s a mid-west thing or something. KT‘s (pronounced like Katie, btw) bus arrived and everyone cleared out for sound check. As a small side note, she met her God Son for the first time. He played drums while she soundchecked a song, which was quite entertaining considering he was probably 2 years old, if that. Anyway, KT was sounding great.
We wanted to make sure there was SOME sort of company signage at the venue, so I made an emergency call to MN with JR, had him whip up some quick snipes, which AA from that-one-company took to Kinkos, brought back and then I started taping all the posters in the venue. I even used my teeth to cut the tape.
There was no sign of Willy though. Shortly after I started worrying about Willy (and I wasn’t the only one), I got a call from his manager who said he was on his way to the venue FROM NEWARK! He assured me Willy would arrive on time. Sure enough, a few hours later, he walked in the door. I happened to see him walking in, introduced myself and directed him to the stage for soundcheck. Everyone was gathered upstairs for dinner. Willy wondered in and I struck up a nice conversation with him. I knew damn well, that if I started talking, I would ruin the interview I was going to do a few minutes later. Oh well, I thought, we’ll just revisit a few things, which we did.
As soon as people finished eating, we moved everyone out of the upstairs area and conducted interviews. I did some research on KT and Willy earlier in the afternoon and prepped some questions.Willy and I talked about the differences between US and UK audiences, how he felt about being so well-known in the UK even though he was a US artist, how his parents are folk singers / artists and what artists have had an impact on his artistry. He was extremely talkative and we seemed to get along well.
The KT interview was fun. She was also very talkative and we had a good time talking about LA’s own Hotel Cafe, her guitar pedal (called "wee bastard"), Deadheads, other Scottish artists she was friends with and how cool it is to have a tour bus. Unfortunately, our interview was conducted while Willy was on stage, so I’ll be watching the DVD on the plane.
We took Willy in to the audio truck and video van (yes, it was a van), only to see Mike Drumm directing the shoot from a pillow on the wheel well of the van while a space heater kept the frigid air out. HOW PUNK ROCK IS THAT?!
We ended to the evening with a good meal and now I’m abou to pack up and pass out.
I arrived to Chicago 10 minutes early, at 1:10am. There was lots of snow on the ground and it was freezing cold outside. I was one of two people waiting for a cab and it took quite a while for one to arrive. Midway was desolate except for the few maintenance workers that were dressed for the occasion. Willy loaded me into his cab and immediately told me about singing backup for Cole Porter. I haven’t verified it yet, but I wouldn’t put it past him. He was talking my ear off the second I climbed in. I told him to excuse me so I could make a quick phone call. Willy is 65 years old, covers his bald head with the worst wig on the planet (I thought he was a woman until he spoke) and can sing about anything. He told me I was his third and final fare tonight. He was tired and has been writing a lot tonight. He sang me songs about whatever we were talking about. It was a real treat and I told him it was a pleasure to ride in his cab as he passed my hotel.
"I think you just passed my hotel, Willy."
"I know that, Brad, but you see, I had to finish my song. And I won’t charge you extra."
He dropped me off and drove 90 minutes to his apartment. His daughters were worried.
I’m sitting in a Starbucks preparing for my interview with KT Tunstall later today. We’ll be taping her show at Schuba’s tonight. The show will air next month. I’m really excited to see Willy Mason as well. I’ll report on the show later today.
Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in America tomorrow. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend attending one of Southern California’s largest celebrations of Dr. King at the World Peace Ikeda Auditorium at 9am tomorrow. The auditorium is located at 525 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. Yolanda King (Dr. King’s eldest daughter) will be speaking.
It’s been some time since I have read the famous "I Have A Dream Speech," so I decided to find the text and read it again (you can also download and listen). I recommend you do the same. It couldn’t be more relevant today.
I sign up for beta tests pretty often and sometimes I get chosen. Apparently, I’m one of the first 7000 to get chose for the Newsvine beta, which is awesome. It’s a new site that attempts to make it more enjoyable to read the news, comment, tag, share, etc. It looks really nice, thoguh I don’t know how much I will use it. I’ve gotten so used to reading all my news via RSS, that I have trouble going through a site to get news.I will make an attempt to use Newsvine for a couple of weeks to see how I like it.
I’m going to write more. There, I said it. I’ll repeat it every day if I have to. I even started a list of post ideas on my Backpack
site. I haven’t figured out a lot of my determinations for the year,
but looking back on the last year, I made quite a bit of shit happen.
Great great shit happened. There was also some real shit. 2005 was quite a year. On to the next one.
About 2 months before the holidays came around I got an email from a fellow KJHK alum (who now is the General Manager) asking if I wanted to do one of the freeform shows over the break. I haven’t been back to the station for probably 8 years now. I jumped at the chance and I think I was one of the first to respond. I got a slot for 12pm-4pm on Thursday, Dec. 29. I spent hours and hours coming up with my playlist. The plan was to split the 4 hours up into a best-of-2005 set and a local set. I kept the local set kind of open because I invited some friends in to play music (they didn’t end up showing).