12/31/2004 - As I look back, here at the end of this year, I never would have guessed how overwhelmed I would be by this year's events... My friends and I will be raising a glass at midnight tonight to ring out the old and celebrate the promise of a brand new year. A heartfelt thanks to them, everyone that I played with this year, everyone that let me sleep on their couch, lean on their shoulder, came out to a show, sang along, heckled, or just said hello, it means so much.

Beginning in January it looks like I won't be around town very much anymore, life has bigger plans for me and the prospect of playing shows locally doesn't hold the charm it once did at the moment. I have some dates out there on the calendar and schedule permitting I intend on being in town to rock all of them. I'm sure I'll book a show or two when I know I'll be around so I hope to see your smiling faces soon. It's time for a change though, a big change.

I'm looking forward to everything 2005 has to offer and I have a feeling it's going to be the best year yet. I'll have a new EP out soon that I recorded up in Atlanta and I hope to get another new record started soon. I'll be out in Austin for SXSW in the spring (I can't wait!), and I'm heading to Ireland for a vacation and some solo shows in July. As for the rest of the year, it's anyone guess as to where I'll be. I'll keep you up to date on the website, so check in from time to time.

Happy New Year everyone, thanks for all the good times.
~ John

12/26/2004 - A fun time was had last night at the New World Brewery. All the bands sounded great and it was wonderful to bump into old friends like Gerald Hammill, who was down from New York, and to make some new friends too. James sounded great playing bass with Hankshaw, Susie was wonderful as usual and the open fires in the courtyard went a long way in helping my Guinness keep me warm and cozy despite the chilly temperatures. I hope everyone had a great Christmas with family and friends.

12/25/2004 - Thursday night's show at the Uptown Lounge was very fun. The place was really packed, the beer was cold and the bands were loud, really loud in fact. Oh well, good times. I'm going to keep it short today. I'm out to the New World Brewery tonight to see Susie Ulrey, Hankshaw with James Salter on bass, and some other bands. It should be a fun night, maybe I'll see you there. Merry Christmas everyone.

12/22/2004 - Last night the men in Dank convened to rehearse for the final show of 2004. We met up at Circle Studios, played for two hours and celebrated the fact that it sounded just as good as it did 9 months ago when we last dragged out the amps and guitars. If you get a chance, come on out to the show on Thursday night at the Uptown Lounge. We play last but I don't think it's a school night for most of you. Check back on Friday for the recap and some photos.

12/19/2004 - Whew, what a hectic few days. On Thursday night Hugh, Natty and I headed over to Brian's to work on the Sparky's Nightmare recording. We wrapped up two tunes, One The Moon and I've Changed. They sound great and the CD should be done any day!

Friday night was a surprise birthday party that Gina threw for her Dad, a Sparky's Nightmare fan and all around great guy; it was an absolute blast. Sparky's played a few sets, the Johnny Mac Band got up and rocked a few tunes like Maria and No One Would Miss Us with Rebekah Pulley on second guitar, I played a newer solo tune, On the Line and Natty joined me for a fun version of 22. We backed up Rebekah Pulley on The Lesser of Two Evils. Carrie and Gina stormed the stage with Bob Anthony on bass, and kicked out a rocking version of These Boots are Made for Walking. Rebekah played a few more beautiful tunes by herself, and Bob Anthony played a couple of cool tunes too. The night wrapped up with Sparky's Nightmare and everyone up on stage (ok, in front of the sofa) singing Straight To Hell. Good times.

Saturday night's show at The Globe Coffee Lounge was our most successful one yet. The place was full of people and Brian, Martin and I had loose and fun sets. Brian's set was excellent, I love to hear those tunes acoustically especially the new version of Elli's Suitcase. Martin showed us up by playing all new tunes and Natty joined him to sing Love Hurts, Martin's Christmas tune and Revolver. Me, in the spirit of competitiveness finished one new tune called All Hail this Town especially for the show. I pretty proud of it, it has the word fuck in it. I was so glad Mom came out for the debut of that one. (insert embarrassed expression) After the show, we headed over to Hugh's house briefly to recharge before going over to Travis and Charlene's annual Christmas party. We chatted it up, drank dirty martinis by the fireplace outside (my god Carrie those were strong), and eventually called it a night. I hope you had a great weekend, what did you do?

12/16/2004 - Hey everyone, it's Thursday night, I'm just in from work and I'm getting ready to head out the door to go hear how the final mixes are going for the first Sparky's Nightmare CD. This weekend should be lots of fun and I hope to have lots of photos from both Friday and Saturday's events posted on the site by the time the new week gets going. This Saturday's show will be my last solo show until, well, I'm not sure, for a while anyway. Hope you can make it out.

12/11/2004 - So it goes, another show, another few tunes tossed out into the ether to dissipate over the sound of steamed milk, stirred sugar and orders placed. The show at Sacred Grounds Coffee to raise money for the PA was a good time. I got there a little late and left a little early, so my apologies to all that I missed on either side of my time there. Susie joined me for a sweet version of Juliana Hatfield's Might Be In Love and I stumbled and strolled through On the Line and Oh Angelina. I also returned the favor and jumped up to sing backups on Susie's tune, Number two. "It's easy to hang on, but it's harder to be strong." So true. Thanks to Jeremy Gloff for putting on such a fun show and to all the great performers that I saw like Nessie for playing, I hope they get a shiny new PA.

12/09/2004 - A quick hello and then I'm out the door to the first mix-down session for the upcoming Sparky's Nightmare CD over at Studio B! I'll fill everyone in on how it went tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I hope you get a chance to stop by the big benefit show at Sacred Grounds tomorrow night. It should be a blast!

12/03/2004 - What's up everyone? I am so ready for the weekend. It was a long week and I could use a few days off to recover. Nothing much happening this weekend and that's fine with me. I'm hoping to finalize the artwork for my new EP and maybe do a little writing over the weekend. Last night's art exhibition at The Globe Coffee Lounge was something special and I hope you had a chance to make it out and see all the great work. Hugh and Carrie did a great job and everyone had a blast. Thanks again to JoEllen for providing the time and place for everyone to celebrate their art. If you didn't make it by, the pieces will be on display for a few more months and, yes, they are for sale, so go pick up a Christmas present for someone that's been nice to you all year. OK, I'm out of here I'll catch up next week, oh, and, Happy December!

11/29/2004 - Evening all, I'm sitting here in the final hour of Monday, just in from finishing up recording all my parts for the new Sparky's Nightmare CD over at Studio B. Once again, Brian got some outstanding guitar tones and recording vocals through his setup is just effortless. I also got an opportunity to record some acoustic guitar on a great new tune of Brian's called My Next Life. It's a great song and I was honored to rock the acoustic for the recording.

11/28/2004 - It's always a great time when everyone from Atlanta comes into town and this weekend was no exception. Chris, Tina, James and Ali all headed down this week for the holidays. We all got together at different times and hung out, had beers, laughed, geeked out on guitars and computers and laughed even more. Saturday afternoon we got together for a practice at my house and ran through some new and old tunes for the Emerald show on Saturday night. That same night we all went out to dinner and then headed over to the Emerald for the benefit show. 1987MF was playing when we got there and the club was already smoky in the same way an oven is hot when it's turned on all the way for a day and a half. Edo was up next and then Hugh T Williams rocked the house with full on distortion. Bad ass. Next up was Scott's alter ego, Nessie. He played some great tunes and then we got set up to play. Once we kicked into our first number the PA was starting to collapse and by the second tune it had kicked up it's legs and died. So I jumped out in the audience to finish off Allison, yelling at the top of my lungs. We took a break to try and fix the PA but it was clearly beyond help. Hey, this is a benefit for a new PA anyway right? Luckily, James and the guys from The Mercy Seat had a PA in the car which was quickly set up and we were able to finish out our set. Good times. We played most of the rockers tonight and a few old tunes that we learned just for the night, like Holly's Tooth and the Great Mistake. We hadn't played those two live in the band so it was fun to trot them out for people to enjoy. The Mercy Seat was up next and they sounded great as usual, great tunes, and a great vibe. As the night wore down I caught up with old friends and chatted up a few new ones before heading out onto the painted lines and reflective buoys that guide the car home every night after a gig. Oh, and if I remember correctly, I was late-night dialing too. Nice.

11/25/2004 - Hey everyone, Happy Thanksgiving! Last night's show at the Bank was a great time. I know I say that all the time but I mean it, it was great to see everyone on this special holiday weekend and to see so many great bands all at one venue. The venue itself is cool. It's an old, yeah you guessed it, bank. There's even the old vault that you can walk into. There's plenty of rooms, different bars, and it looks like there must be a pretty rocking sound system in there on a regular night. When I got there it was raining so I just ducked the drops and ran in without the guitars to see what was going on. Squirrels Gone Wild was playing when I first got in. I checked out a tune and then headed back to the merch room to check in some CDs, sign in, and see where the acoustic stage was. The merch room had some cool hats painted by local artists like Sparky's Nightmare's own Natty Moss-Bond and Hugh T Williams. Out to the acoustic stage, Brian Merrill was keeping things running and sounding amazing. I grabbed a beer and started to check out all the bands. Everyone sounded great and it seemed like it was suddenly time for Sparky's Nightmare to play. I grabbed gear in the still rainy back lot, loaded in, and we got set up to play. We kicked things off with Money Changes Everything, Natty was throwing money into the crowd, I was gloving chords and it was fun. Next up was an original tune that Martin wrote called Meant For This. We closed out the set with a pretty damn rocking version of Police on my Back by the Clash. I loaded out and grabbed my acoustic guitar for my set solo 30 minutes later. I got set up, met some new friends, and got tuned up. The stage was pretty high, I felt freakishly tall. I started with Rescue by Echo & the Bunnymen and by the end of the tune I had had enough of the giant stage so I grabbed the mic and came down on the floor. Much better. The next tune was I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend by the Ramones. The people, they liked it. I finished up with Alright. Natty, Carrie and Martin were all singing along as were quite a few other people that I've never seen before in my life. Cool. After the set I gave away all the CD EPs that I had made up for the night. I hope that you got one, I had fun making them. OK, so the night wound down, numbers were exchanged, backs were slapped, shoes were sloshed in puddles of parking lots and cars were driven home. Thanks to Flee, Beverly and everyone that put the show together last night. It was a great venue and a great vibe all night.

11/23/2004 - Hey everyone, I hope to see you out at the big benefit show at The Bank tomorrow night. It's for a good cause and I'll have some free CDs that I made especially for the occasion. I recorded an acoustic cover of the Ramones' tune, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend and I've also included four live tunes from my shows up at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta including, High School Drunk, Take it Off, No One Would Miss Us and Alright. I'll probably be carrying them around with me so come find me and get one!

11/21/2004 - Last night's show at The Globe was lots of fun and I want to thank everyone that made it out. Hugh, Anna, and James all had great sets. I got a little help from Natty on 22 and for the first time in ages I spontaneously played Crush and a Superchunk tune called Iron On. I figured they were all in drop-D tuning so I might as well keep it going. After the show we headed down to Mastry's for a cocktail finale before we headed home. Well, I'm pretty damn excited, yesterday I picked up a new Apple iBook and an iPod. Hopefully by this time next week I'll be using the new laptop to do all my website development. We had a good practice today and once Chris rolls in to town we should be all set for the rock show this Saturday at the Emerald.

11/20/2004 - Good times last night at the Emerald where we got to see Brian Merrill's new band Starduster rock the house. Four-Star Riot put on a great show too. Good times. Hope to see some of you fine folks out tonight at the Globe Coffee Lounge.

11/19/2004 - OK, last night's show at the New World Brewery, this much I remember... Colleen did a great job of putting the show together! The night was a beautiful night to be outside. Everyone sounded great. I played a rock set. I stopped several times to cough and talk to people. Natty and Martin tore it up. I saw so many good friends. I made new friends. I tried new beers. Mark Bustin did a great job running sound. It was great to see people I hadn't seen in ages. I keep running into Billy from the Semis at the Castle. I didn't stop at Taco Bell on the way home. That was a good decision.

11/17/2004 – This week has been flying by pretty fast. Yesterday I spoke with Jared from Biirdie and we discussed some possible touring activities in the New Year, could be very cool. I also had Sparky's Nightmare practice last night. We ran through our songs for the Anarchy show at The Bank on November 24th and then called it a night. I'm really looking forward to the show tomorrow night at The New World Brewery; I hope the weather stays as nice as it has been lately. Hope I see you out.

11/14/2004 - Atlanta again!

Wednesday – After a pleasant drive up to Atlanta on Wednesday evening after work, I settled into my room at Georgia Tech. I met with friends in the lobby where we caught up and headed out to get some beers and meet up with even more friends. After a brisk walk down to were we thought the Varsity was we determined that we we're lost and that we could have bought crack from about five dealers, before heading back to the hotel.

Thursday - After a very full day of work I found myself outside in the chilly evening, dogging lazy raindrops, and crossing a street covered with a misty-grey backlit fog over to Barnes and Noble to pick up some OJ, scout around for some souvenirs from the college, and maybe a new book to peruse in the nights ahead. With only my OJ in hand, and after checking out some of the new Mac iBooks at the Technology Center, I decided to call it a very early night. Back at the room I found myself digging through mail I brought with me and I was intrigued by an invitation from Harvard to participate in a health and work study. I'm calling this week to get the details. Lately I've been feeling all academic, and I find myself wondering if I shouldn't dive back in and test the waters of a new degree. I also got inspired to jot down some lyrics to a new tune that I've been working on by listening to the mp3 of it on my laptop through its tinny, somewhat newly distorted speakers. Blasting the Beastie Boys through it has clearly taken its toll.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday - they came and went. I got sick and headed home early. Boo hiss. I did a little scouting around for houses and guitars in Atlanta before I headed back to the 'Burg, but nothing caught my eye like the stretched out Interstate heading south to my house.

11/09/2004 – Last night I headed over to Studio B with Brian Merrill and we finished mixing my cover of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend by the Ramones. It's going to appear on a CD sampler that's coming out at the “New Wave, the Early Years” show at The Bank in St. Pete the night before Thanksgiving. I'm excited for everyone to hear it; Brian did a spectacular job on the mix.

11/07/2004 - Friday night's show at the Uptown Cafe was a great time. Right after a fantastic family taco dinner courtesy of Carrie, I headed down to the club and got things setup, only to discover that my acoustic guitar pickup was not working. I frantically took the thing apart and got it working. After about 15 Patsy Cline tunes were played on the jukebox I jumped up and ran through the set. I scratched a few tunes and played a few other songs like Maria a bit differently for fun. Thanks to everyone that came out and sang along, that means more to me that I can ever say, such fun. Next up, the Steve Passo Band played a great set and I jumped up for No One Would Miss Us and one of their new tunes, Hush Little Darling. Saturday I had lunch with the Sparky's crew and Joe Popp or as Stace would say, "Jackie Popp!" Saturday night, John F. and I got together to talk about the intricate concepts of drums, guitars, amps, songs, beer, damaged goods and the propensity for people to skip out on their check if you order beer around the far corner at Limey's where nobody can see you. I'm also fairly confident we ended up at the Emerald briefly where were ran into Jon from Welcome, Matt, Paulina, Allen and er... was I even there? Oh yes, I have a flyer in my pocket that Heidi from Peephole records gave me, yes, I was there. Now, where's the car? Sunday I got together with John and Martin and ran through our set for the show coming up at the Emerald on the 27th, everything sounded great.

11/05/2004 - Greetings all, I'm just heading out the door to grab some dinner with the Sparky's crew before I eventually head down to the Uptown Cafe for tonight's show with the Steve Passo Band. Last night I got together with the guys from my old band Welcome. We gathered at the old practice spot and ran through some of the tunes off our CD for fun and a few new tunes that Martin has cooked up recently. It's funny, the last time we played a show was six, gasp, six years ago. We had a good time and I expect we'll get together again sometime soon to rock again. I'm outta here, hope to see you tonight!

11/01/2004 - Monday evening, pretty late. I'm just in from recording an acoustic version of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend by the Ramones over at Studio B. Brian is doing a great job and you'll be able to pick up a copy of it at The Bank show on November 24th. I ended up singing, playing the acoustic and electric guitar, and all the drums. I'll post a sample of it as soon as we've got a final mix later in the week.

10/31/2004 - What a great weekend! Friday night was full of great friends and multiple Halloween parties on both sides of the bridge. Thanks to everyone that hosted such great events. A quick summary of costumes and events is in order. There were men with coconut bras, a lovely dominatrix whipping the Cuban Sandwich Crisis guys, and Marilyn Monroe. In a scene straight out of Lost in Translation, I was dancing to some spectacular music with Japanese foreign exchange students dressed mostly in cat outfits and chasing around a yellowjacket. There was also a Daisy Duke and of course a Brittany sighting! Tina Taylor was in town on Saturday and a bunch of us met downtown for sushi. We talked about heading over to the State Theater for the Pinback show but we ended up at Limey's instead to enjoy some wonderful weather, a few drinks, some intricately carved pumpkins, and of course we checked out all the costumes. I wonder if we won the raffle? This upcoming week I'm going to finish recording a solo version of the Ramones classic I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend for an upcoming compilation CD. Also, I'm playing another solo show at the Uptown Cafe with the Steve Passo Band on Friday. Come on out!

10/28/2004 - Evening all! I finished up my guitar tracks for the Sparky's Nightmare CD over at Studio B this evening. Brian is doing a great job. I ended up tracking most everything with the 62 Tele and the 95 Stratocaster. The 59 Paul got used on a few parts and the Hummingbird got used all over the place. I can't wait for everyone to hear it.

10/26/2004 - I'm back from Atlanta and I miss it already! Here's how it went down...

Friday - Its 12:34 PM on Saturday afternoon according to my laptop, that's a fun time to type, 1234… I'm sitting in Octane drinking a decaf and nursing the slightest sliver of a waning hangover from the previous night's activities. The drive up to ATL on Friday was less than enjoyable. Despite leaving about 3 hours apart, Natty and I arrived in Atlanta within minutes of each other, thanks in part to I-75 being closed south of town because of an "All Lanes Blocked" accident that we were alerted to by a flashing overhead billboard on I-475 outside of Macon. Elizabeth from the cool Atlanta band the Swear stopped by on her way to the Morrissey concert with James. It was great to say hello and it was great to see that she was up and about after being in a nasty car wreck. Natty, her friend Walter, Tina, and I headed over to the Thinking Man Tavern for dinner and a few drinks. Once another one of Natty's friends Jim arrived those few drinks turned into a few more and suddenly people were stealing cutout cardboard Halloween cats and enjoying watching someone attempt 6 cartwheels "with my cell phone in one hand" in the parking lot. In case you're curious, only 1 cartwheel was completed out of the 6, that is if going face first into the pavement on the first one counts as 1. Out if pure style and entertainment value I counted it. After dinner we walked back to the house and soon the acoustic guitars were out, Natty and I sang Friday Morning Half Awake, I played On the Line, Jim and Natty played Little Black Egg, and more drinks were poured. Incidentally Jim and Walter were in the excellent dB Records' band the Chant in the 80s. Tina also started writing her first song and it's coming out nicely! Somewhere between 2am and 4am James and Chris rolled in and I think it was at this point that I passed out yelling "everybody out of my room!", which was in fact the living room. OK, it's 1:07 and I'm headed to Athens.

Saturday - Today seemed to fly by very fast. After the previously-mentioned coffee at Octane I looked at a few houses in the berkeley park and midtown neighborhoods and eventually I headed to Athens. It was at this point that I realized that my brakes were making awful scraping noises. That's not good, right?. I checked out the guitars at Music Exchange and stuck my head in the 40 Watt Club and the CD store in the front. It was a beautiful crisp Fall day and the streets were full of students passing out political leaflets, families with kids underneath turning maple trees, and locals out for a bite to eat. I walked down the main shopping district on Washington where there were frat-boy bars, antique shops, and a few cool record stores like Schoolkids Records, where I could have spent all day flipping thorough the racks of CDs and vinyl. After a few hours I headed back to the house, squeaky brakes and all. Natty headed out to see REM while the rest of us hung out, ate a great dinner, and a watched a movie. Eventually we moved out to the porch, had a few beers and called it a night just after heading down to the basement where we picked the acoustic tracks for the upcoming CD. (I'm not telling ya yet!)

Sunday - After a late start a group of us headed out for brunch at the Earl which was delicious, and there was an acoustic duo playing some cover tunes in the corner of the front room. We dropped off James at the Hiss house and headed home for some football and pumpkin carving. Football was watched, pumpkins were carved, and pizzas from Felinni's were eaten.

Monday - I was up early and out the door to meet Chris for lunch at the Lennox Mall, a little shopping was done and then I headed over to Guitar Center and Midtown Music. I always forget that Midtown Music is closed on Monday. I backed out of the parking lot dejected. I cruised some neighborhoods for houses again, picked up a few flyers from the info boxes stuck into the yards out front, peered into some windows, took a few pictures, and eventually headed over to Octane for one last coffee before heading back. That night the show at Eddie's Attic was a blast, Chris joined me on stage, everyone came out, and we had a great time. Back to the house we cooked up some pasta, fixed Tina's sabotaged pumpkin and passed out. Thanks everyone, I had a great weekend!

10/22/2004 - As Snow Patrol plays in the living room, the week is winding down like the last few awkward turns of a wooden top on the brick steps of my childhood. The slow orbital decay and the comforts of home are bringing the weekend to me one day early this week and I'm taking the liberty of skipping town and heading up to my second home, Atlanta. In a matter of hours I'll be drinking Octane coffee, catching up with great friends, playing guitar at Eddie's Attic with Chris and breathing in the acrid and sweet fumes from an altogether more active atmosphere. Mama Fu's for lunch or is it Felinni's again? Only one more coffee at Octane and I get a free one. There is something about a repeat customer card from a place 500 miles from my home that brings a smile to my face. Natty will be up in Atlanta this weekend too, she'll be hanging out with her best friends Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck, yeah, that's right she's REM best friend, jealous much? Tonight was spent enjoying the Cuban Sandwich Crisis with my friends Jon and Martin from Welcome and I finally got to meet some new MySpace friends. If I wasn't headed out so early in the morning I could have hung out all night and enjoyed the company. Alright I'm off to pack and sleep, I hope nobody hassles my friends that are house-sitting my place while I'm away, they get grumpy! I'll fill everyone in when I get home.

10/17/2004 - For some reason I always expect us to play one show at Dave's where the show is totally lame. Sometimes it starts out that way, and it's as if we have predicted the future by talking ourselves into the inevitable. But then, like death, taxes, and Old Faithful plus or minus 10 minutes, all hell breaks loose. Honestly you can never predict where it's going to come from either. It's like unknowingly running a red light, missing all the cars, and having a plane crash into you instead. However, anytime the following four events occur at the same point in time it seems like an act so unlikely that it doesn't so much beg the question "Does God exist?", but more, "What's his address and does he drive an SUV or a hybrid?" First off, there was a lovely couple celebrating their wedding anniversary at Dave's. That's right, I'll wait while you reread that last bit. Secondly, there was a lovely lady, her lovely daughter and her son-in-law celebrating her birthday that night at Dave's. Now that there's some pretty flowers in vases on the table it's not that much of a stretch I admit, but again, keep in mind it's the cumulative effect we're going for here. Number three, mix in a big group of fun-loving college kids out for a cheap good time at a dive bar to act all crazy and drunk. No need to go back over that one, it just make sense. OK, number four, and the most significant one. Somebody was wearing a Viking helmet. The fact that it was the cook and considering he wears it every time I've see him doesn't diminish from it's impact one ounce. It was the catalyst, the spark, the guy yelling FIRE in a crowded mov... well you get the idea. Anytime somebody's got animal horns in a Nordic helmet coming out of their head it's a license to go nuts apparently. There were birthday spankings, there was guy-on-girl lap dances, there was dirty dancing, there were more birthday spankings, there was the big group sing-a-long with Mikey on bass, the crowd rushing the stage, there were four girls groping me at one point. Ah, I can never do the events justice with words, but luckily there was a camera to document some of the finer moments. I've put one page up and I know Carrie has some good photos from her camera too so I'll post those when I get them, for now, I need coffee. Photos

10/15/2004 - Friday Evening, half awake, and I am completely exhausted from last night's Gloff-Fest at the New World Brewery. As usual, I had a great time playing some songs, catching up with old friends, and throwing back a few beers. Everyone that works at the New World always goes out of their way to be as nice as possible and it's greatly appreciated. Mark Bustin ran sound last night and did a great job. For the show's lineup, names were being drawn out of a hat and I got picked first! Up I went, 4 songs got played, Fallout, On the Line, Take it Off (Dedicated to Jeremy Gloff) and Oh Angelina, (dedicated to Jen Shamro). After I played there were cute go-go dancers, adult poetry by Susy Martin, stellar sets by Jade McNelis on the Rhodes piano, Anna O., Rebekah Pulley and well, everyone sounded great. Kamran from the Urbane Cowboys played a brief but rocking set that concluded with Hung up on You by Fountains of Wayne and I couldn't help myself, I had to get up and sing the harmonies on the last chorus. Nobody rushes the mic for backups any more, what the hell! I miss those days. Later on Will Quinlin and I discussed guitars with Johnny from The Mercy Seat and I hung out with my friend Kristen who stopped in on her way to the Castle. I chatted up the go-go dancer who, despite everybody cheering for some dude, clearly won the booty-shaking contest, seriously there was a booty-shaking contest. Also, I talked to some friends that I met through my MySpace site that made it out to see the show too. It was a very cool night indeed.

10/12/2004 - I just love having my picture taken, is that so wrong? It's narcissistic maybe, but not wrong. Carrie came over on Sunday and rattled off 100 or so great photos that I plan to use for the artwork on my new CD and promotional material. She's got a great eye for composition; check out the results on the Photo page! Yesterday the Sparky's Nightmare crew met up over at Brian Merrill's Studio B to record drums for the new CD. We laid down On the Moon, Meant for This, I've Changed, Lonely Before, Until You Try and a new song of Sam's called… um… actually the name of the song has slipped my mind. I'll figure it out and get back to you. Hope to see you out at one of the shows this week!

10/10/2004 - I have never seen so many people packed into Limey's last night. The club was crammed with fans and friends for the CD release party for the Cuban Sandwich Crisis. I played a well-received 45-minute opening set that drew heavily from the more up-tempo catalog pieces. In fact I changed the set list completely once I got started and everything got played with a little more spirit and verve just to keep up with the noise level in the room. The Crisis hit the stage next and sounded great, everyone was dancing, CDs were sold and the place was in full party mode. Good times. Carrie is coming over today and we're taking some photos for my upcoming EP. Now that I've reassembled my lightning-damaged studio PC I've begun pouring through some live acoustic performances to include as bonus tracks for the new release. This Monday afternoon Sparky's Nightmare is going to convene over at Super B's to lay down some drum and bass for our first CD. It should be a hectic week and I can't wait.

10/09/2004 - A splendid time was had out and about with friends last night, the jazz at the Garden was inspiring and the weather was perfect for the windows to be swung open, drinks to be savored, and dogs to be chased. Tonight is my first performance at Limey's Pub. I'm looking forward to seeing Cuban Sandwich Crisis at this, their CD release party, and enjoying the still-wonderful early-October air with a pint in hand. I play early at 9:45pm, so there will be plenty of time to cause trouble if you get there early and enjoy the entire show. Also, I talked to Chris yesterday and he'll be joining us for the show on November 27th at the Emerald! Excellent! Plans are also underway for John, Martin and I to record a few of the new tunes, like Oh, Angelina and 22 for a new CD. Which reminds me, we've still got to finish up Take it Off, High School Drunk and Allison that we started recording in Atlanta a few months ago!

10/07/2004 - "And I feel like some bird of paradise. My bad fortune slipping away." - PJ Harvey

10/06/2004 - Wednesday night got here pretty fast this week. Last night, Sparky's Nightmare did pre-production for our upcoming CD that we are going to start recording with Brian Merrill in the next few days. The songs have been picked, the artwork is being painted and in no time the guitars and drums will be tuned in anticipation of the little red light coming on on the computer. I can't wait to finally have something out on CD, it's been a privilege to play with such great people and talented songwriters. So, what else is new... I've been confirmed on the Eddie's Attic showcase show on Monday. October 25th in Atlanta. Chris will be joining me that night on stage so the competition doesn't stand a chance. 'wink' I'm also trying to work on another few dates up there that weekend at Smith's Olde Bar and another venue. I might as well get use to the place, meet and greet, shake some hands, kiss some babes. Finally, tomorrow there will be an article in the St. Petersburg Times written by Gina Vivinetto that discusses popular music and voter impact with the upcoming concerts that REM and Bruce Springsteen are playing to raise money for the Democratic party, I've got a few quotes in the article, check out the paper tomorrow or click the link to check it out from the comfort of your chair. - Original Story

10/03/2004 - Sunday morning, surprisingly awake, especially after the fun time that was had last night. The show at The Globe Coffee Lounge was a blast. We had a big crowd of friends and pretty new faces and now that The Globe sells beer and wine there was a few moments of additional chaos thrown in the mix as well. Susie was unable to attend the festivities so Brian kicked things off with a great, confident, and relaxed mix of old (Factory Black!) and new tunes that everyone loved. Lance arrived with his entourage of women and played some great tunes from his first CD as well as some new songs from his upcoming CD like Perfect Disorder and 70's Radio. I jumped up next and thankfully I had just bought a new guitar that day (yes!) because the battery in my main acoustic, the Larrivée, was departed. I played a few new tunes including On the Line, that I had just finished earlier that day, and the once-performed Oh, Angelina. Jini, Duane Stafford and Andy Stafford from Sentdown shouted out requests like X-Girl Friend. Sam interjected with "Do you have an acoustic version of We're the Same? I like that one." I played them. A guy dressed up as a woman came in so of course I got him on stage and yelled, regrettably, into the microphone for all to hear, "Show us your titties!" He obliged by showing everyone his electrical tape "x"-covered nipples and then kicked my beer over onto my cables, set list and pedals. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that that was probably the first legally-sold beer kicked over by a man in drag at the Globe. One for the record books folks; I hope you would come to expect nothing less. Cell-phones rang occasionally to which I would stop and yell "hello" when they went to answer. Hugh and Carrie laughed at me the entire time; I'd like to think they were actually laughing with me but at the time it was anyone's guess. Also, I'm pretty sure Luscious P. hugged me at least three times. OK, I think that about sums it up, I'm sure I missed a few minor details like Lance's girlfriend Shelly accidentally pulling a button off the red plush sofa and then trying to press it back in place, but those things will come to me eventually. After the Globe a few of us headed down to the Garden for a couple of drinks and called it a night before the sun came up.

09/30/2004 - Read a great story on Sparky's Nightmare drummer Hugh T. Williams >here< in the St. Petersburg Times. Speaking of the Times, Gina Vivinetto interviewed me for a story about the MoveOn.org concerts that are being held all over the country featuring REM and Bruce Springsteen and my view point on artists endorsements of candidates. I'll post a link to the story when it appears.

09/29/2004 - Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm going to SXSW 2005. The pass has been bought and the demo song has been submitted. If I don't get chosen to play I'll have a great time anyway watching all the bands, playing on the street corners, eating great food, and soaking in the vibe that is Austin, Texas in the Spring. The SXSW 2004 trip was a great experience and I'm sure this one will be just as fun. I can't wait to see who's playing! In other news, I've got a show this Saturday at The Globe that I'm really looking forward to. I'm going to try and play a few new original tunes and maybe even a fun cover song. At Sparky's Nightmare practice last night plans were made to record a five or six song EP in time for the holiday buying frenzy. We're taking your advance orders and your money now. If you'd like to suggest a tune that you'd want to hear recorded drop me an e-mail and I'll pass it on for consideration.

09/27/2004 - Monday night, falling asleep, and I'm just happy to have the power on this evening. Saturday evening we celebrated Natty's birthday at O'Mattie's on Gulfport Beach with lots of free drinks and Karaoke. As soon as I walked into the bar Martin informed me that the guy at the end of the bar had just won a bunch of money somehow and had opened a tab for the entire bar. Nice. Several long island ice teas later I'm singing Tempted by Squeeze and pretending to buy drinks for people that are just getting to the bar and have yet to figure out that everything is free. When the tab was finally closed we headed next door to a club that used to be called the Swamp Club. It was a really popular hangout in the late 80s where I must have played 100 shows. On Sunday hurricane Jeanne woke me up early in the morning, knocked on my door, my window, and eventually called my phone to make sure that I was awake to realize that the power was out. It was out and it stayed out all day like a dog that doesn't come home no matter how much you look for it or how much food you put outside the door to lure it back. It comes back when it damn well wants to. Today one of the guys at work likened this weekend to the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray; another repetitive lost weekend spent watching (listening to) the weather, reading a book and strumming a little guitar. I'm hoping that was the last storm that we have to worry about this year; I think everyone is just exhausted.

09/25/2004 - As the weekend sputters to a start, Jeanne is somersaulting towards us like an angry drunk suddenly forced to walk the line at a 2am inquiry. Plans for a road trip up north this weekend were scrapped in the anticipation of a fun Saturday night Karaoke rendezvous with the Sparky's Nightmare gang and the preparation for an open house on Sunday, which I'm sure at this point, will fail to be successful with the hurricane heading this way. Friday was an exercise in spontaneity. There was the 4:30 AM songwriting session, a nice lunch with a new friend, a quick trip to MacDinton's to catch the first set by the Paper Stanleys, who were great, and finally a midnight visit with some friends who got a hotel room out on Madeira Beach for the night. Sleep is overrated my friends and I'm having none of it.

09/23/2004 - Thursday evening and I'm feeling a little under the weather. Not too much happening this weekend except for the possible arrival of Hurricane Jeanne. Enough with the hurricanes already! Good thing I have a few books ready to read and songs to be written.

09/16/2004 - As the week winds down I find myself firmly established in a new book, writing lyrics, and nursing a three-day old pounding headache caused in some small part by my general malaise but mostly from my self-inflicted withdraw from caffeine. Going cold turkey was not necessarily the right decision on this one my friends, even my eyes hurt. Still, overall I'm feeling better, I'm writing songs (about headaches), I got a big raise and promotion at work, and I think I may dream this week's lottery numbers. Ah... not to worry, I'll split it with everyone. Tomorrow evening my best friend Brian is going to be getting married and it should be a great time... I should go to sleep now, I must rest up!

09/11/2004 - Greetings all, I'm just in from breakfast at Dave's with Hugh and Carrie. That place is always so good the morning after a gig. Those pancakes just seem to soak everything up like new sponges dropped into the sink for the first time. The pictures from last night's show at the Uptown Cafe are so funny, incriminating, and embarrassing that there are but a scant few that I can, in good conscious, and for legal reasons, post on the website. As always, I had a really great time hanging out with great friends, the best time I've had in a while actually. I started a bit late and had a nice crowd for my set. The Sparky's crew and everyone else came down after the Reverend Horton Heat show at Jannus Landing to shout requests, heckle, hang out, and have some beers. Thanks to everyone that bought a CD last night, there was quite a run at the merch table. Everyone must have thought I was selling plywood; I hope nobody is too disappointed. After my set the Steve Passo Band got up and played their first original set and sounded great. I joined them for a version of No One Would Miss Us that they had put together, nice work guys! Hunter crashed the stage and sang the choruses with me and I think I even yelled "take a solo!" to no one in particular. I busted a string and forgot words, so basically is was business as usual. Thanks to everyone that made it out, I'll see you all in a few weeks at The Globe Coffee Lounge.

09/09/2004 - So it appears that Hurricane Ivan is going to take a shot at us as the new week begins. Thank goodness there is still time for merriment, drink and song before Le terrible strolls through with an abundance of breath and spit. Tomorrow night, Friday, depending on when you are reading this, finds me rocking an acoustic set at the Uptown Cafe in St. Pete opening up for the Steve Passo Band. I hope you can find it in your heart to cheer us on; I start at 10PM sharp. Extra special thanks to Scott Harrell for the kind words in the Weekly Planet!

09/05/2004 - As Sunday afternoon gives way to Sunday evening I'm finishing up a great book and listening to some old Miles Davis and Pat Metheny while Hurricane, now Tropical storm Francis, litters the street out front with tree limbs, empty garbage cans, and one of my now-missing outdoor chair cushions, off-white with a southwestern pattern, if it should show up in your yard. I'm also experiencing what a friend of mine once described as a palpable loss when finishing a book; you become so attached to the characters, their lives, their story, and the author's cadence, that you experience a sense of real emptiness once the last page has been folded shut. Damitt Switters! Finally, I came to find out last night that a cousin of mine had passed away suddenly at a very young age. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family as always but especially now in this difficult time of loss, if there is anything I can do...

09/04/2004 – It's September already and the year is slipping away like the last few days of summer before school started when you were 14 and yearning for just one more week of freedom. I'm home bound this weekend, the prospect of battling a long drive through clogged Interstates, questionable gas availability, and oh yeah, Hurricane Francis has me listening to the Weakerthans and Sarah Harmer, strumming my old Yamaha acoustic guitar, mowing yards, finishing up a Tom Robbins book, and doing laundry. Ahh... all the quintessential elements of a quality "backyard vacation" are in perfect alignment. Somebody please tell me Fall weather is just round the corner, it seems like every year about this time the Florida heat gets so bad I want to die. But then comes a sudden cool in October that gives me a reason to live for a few more months and everything falls back into place. I've never gotten use to the summers in Florida; I still miss the crisp August mid-70s off the California coast in the evenings from when I was younger. I need to get back there soon, even if it's just to say hello to my old street and go for a walk around the hilly streets and ivy-covered embankments that lined my walk to school. There's not too many more shows booked at the moment through the end of the year and I think that's a good thing. So many things are in flux for me at the moment that I need some time to step back, do some writing, and really enjoy the impending cooler weather. Keep an eye on Francis, grab a good book or some good music and kick back for the next few days.... oh and I'm saving up for a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic if anyone has any leads on a nice one.

08/29/2004 – Sunday morning, I have never gotten the hang of Sunday mornings. Last night's show at the Emerald Bar was really fun. We had a packed house and All Night Movers (from New Orleans) and Michele Ari sounded great. Last night was also George's birthday so people got there early, drank hard, danced to the bands, and stayed late. Chris, Martin, John and I hit the stage about midnight and busted out some new live tunes like Check 1, 2... , Angelina, and 22 (I'm about to lose you) the later which Natty sang with us and absolutely stole the show. Wow. We kept No One Would Miss Us to ourselves last night and it sounded great except for the fact that my guitar stopped working during the last verse. After I inadvertently skipped two songs on the set list, and with a new guitar cable in place, we finished out the set with Take it Off, Angelina, Alright and a nearly guitar-neck-breaking version of Kool Thing by Sonic Youth. There's no shows planned for a few weeks so it's time to recharge the batteries in preparation for a much-needed long Labor Day weekend as long as hurricane Francis stays away.

08/28/2004 – As the week draws to a close I am nearing the final chapter on the house that I have been fixing up for the last few months. Check it out and make me an offer! I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night's show at the Emerald Bar with Michele Ari and All Night Movers. It should be a fun time and I hope you can make it out. It's possible that it's the last band show I'm going to play around here for a little while. Lots of things happening with me at work and with life, but that won't stop me from dragging the acoustic guitar out on weekends and crashing some clubs near you somewhere.

08/23/2004 – Monday night, half awake… This weekend flat wore me out. Sparky's Nightmare had a fun show at Dave's Bar and Grill on Friday night with Spot Lucy opening the show. For some reason Dave's was rocking from the first jarring note until the last headstock-smashing note of Straight to Hell with a stage full of people. Saturday night was a big blow-out party at Martin and Natty's place and I'm still recovering. Sunday afternoon we had John McNicholas Band practice. We hashed out a newer tune called 22 (I'm about to lose you) and worked up all the other tunes for next week's show at the Emerald Bar. Chris Skogen will be joining us on guitar for the show so we hope to see you all out there.

08/18/2004 - Greetings all, I had a nice time last night at The New World Brewery playing with Susie. I talked with Keith, Jimmy, John from Hankshaw and lots of friends I haven't seen in quite a while. It was great to catch up and everyone had a great time. Earlier in the evening the rain came through, Candybar took the stage with some angular rock and spacey sounds, next up Karmen and Mike from the Urbane Cowboys played a fun acoustic set. Next up were Susie and I, we ran through about 7 tunes and the crowd seemed to enjoy us although the heckling was very second rate. Will Johnson closed the night with some great solo tunes and some wonderful Centro-matic tunes like Flashes and Cables.

08/16/2004 - Monday night, pretty late. I'm in from practice with Susie and I can't wait for the show tomorrow night, should be really fun. I'm a big fan of Centro-matic and I spoke with Will Johnson briefly when I was out in Austin in March. He's a great guy and a great songwriter as well. I'm guessing the show kicks off around 9PM and we play 3rd.

08/14/2004 - We really dogged a bullet here yesterday, and we are very grateful. We put the hurricane shutters on the house, got some beers and prepared for the worst. My prayers go out to everyone that was in the path of the storm.

08/11/2004 - Wednesday evening, a little tired. After the party cleanup on Sunday morning and after the final guests left me alone with my aspirin and water, the house was cleaned, coffee was made, and guitars were re-strung in preparation for 2PM practice. John and Martin headed over and we proceeded to rock about 14 tunes as if we had been practicing 4 times a week for a month. We also worked up a few new tunes that I had played acoustically over the weekend that included 22 (I'm about to lose you) and Angelina. We are also working up a little surprise tune for the closer that night so you should come on out! Monday night I got together Susie to work out our acoustic set for the August 17th show at the New World Brewery with Will Johnson from Centro-matic. I learned a few new tunes of Susie's and everything really sounded great. Tuesday night was Sparky's Nightmare practice where we worked on a few new tunes including a version of 22 with Natty singing the lead. For those keeping score we will not be performing at the Hard Rock Cafe this Thursday night, we are going to get rescheduled for another date.

08/08/2004 - Three words, "Ow my head..." is "ow" a word? Good time last night on the home front. Thanks to everyone that weathered the early evening storm and a big thank you to everyone that played! I also want to thank Chris and Tina for the 3:00 dial, it was amazing to hear from you guys and I'll see you very soon.

08/07/2004 - Happy very early Saturday morning! I'm just in from hanging out at the Uptown Cafe and the show at The Globe Coffee Lounge. Thanks again to Joran, Scott, Steve and everyone that made it out. The show was a huge success and we had a full house. I got to debut three new tunes too! (22, All the Things that Hold You Here, & Angelina)

08/01/2004 - Happy August! OK, it seems like half the people I know have a birthday in August so expect to see lot's off "happy birthday" messages this month. Last night's show at Dave's was fun as always. The rain kept some folks away but the people that came out had a fun time. Knowing Stu opened up the show and they sounded great.

07/29/2004 - Uh-huh, so it's like this, Sparky's Nightmare is playing Dave's on Saturday and I can't wait. Dave's is always hilarious... you just have to go to see for yourself. Tonight I'm headed out with good friends for conversation, laughter and a beer or two (3?). I'm still in writing mode so taking a break is a good thing. I'm really looking forward to the acoustic shows next weekend. I hope to have some of the new tunes ready to go (cheat sheets in hand) to play for everyone. My great friend James Salter from Atlanta will be joining me both nights and I'm sure there will be lots of surprises in store.

07/28/2004 - What the f*ck!? OK, so I worked on like 15 songs last night. Where has this inspiration been? All hail happiness and all hail this town, this f*cking town!

07/26/2004 - Ahh... the weekend has come and gone. Happy birthday Hugh! This weekend was a pretty hectic one for me; I flew up to Atlanta on Saturday morning to finish the record with Russ Fowler. Strangely enough joining me on the plane were local musicians Twitch and Steve Vessenmeyer! Chris picked me up at the Atlanta airport with Sam Shaber, a great singer/songwriter from NY. We dropped her off to get a rental car and from there it was straight to Octane for coffee (nice new t-shirts!) and then to Berkeley Park Studio where Russ had already started the mix for Check 1, 2. I let Russ do his thing and it sounded great. Lunch was had at a nice little English Pub called the Fox and the Hound just north of the studio. The fish and chips were good and it was nice to sit outside and get out of the studio for a while. After lunch we finished up the first tune and started working on No One Would Miss Us. Karin Russ stopped by the studio for a little while to work with James on a mix in the front room. Last time I was in Atlanta I had put some guitar tracks down on three songs and I really enjoyed working with her. We mixed until about 10pm and called it a night. We headed back to James' place to have some beers and talk about some stuff that was so unbelievably funny that I'm pretty sure I spit beer at least three times. Tina was pointing at all of us by the end of the night.

Sunday morning came around pretty fast and we loaded up and headed down to the studio to listen to mix. No One Would Miss Us was wrapped up by lunch and after a couple of slices of pizza we started working on the final tune Maria. As Russ was getting that one started I headed over to Stonehenge Recording next door to track some new guitar parts on Karin's record. I played Vic's amazing flame-top Gibson 57' reissue through Chris' Matchless combo, no pedals, just sweet amp tone. It sounded awesome and James did a great job coaxing some nice parts out of me for a song called Watching Love Unfold. Back over to Berkeley Park we wrapped up Maria by about 5pm and proceeded to make copies and backup all the files to disc. After a quick and productive weekend everyone headed out, Chris dropped me off at the airport and I headed for the gate. Storms rolled through, flights were delayed so I kept reading a collection of essays called How to Be Alone by Jonathan Franzen, same title as my last record, as everyone waited for the plane to hit the sky. Got home late, got some sleep.

07/18/2004 - Despite all outward appearances I had a fun time last night. For those of you who thought I was aloof and quiet I had almost completely lost my voice and man did it hurt to talk. I need a notepad! So if I had a conversation with you last night consider yourself one of the chosen few. (I'm joking!) Anyway, it was Mimi's birthday from Star Booty and the entire scene was out to show the love at a new venue called the Uptown Cafe. The stage is right next to the door so I was bumping into people the whole time we played. It was also assumed that you could grab my ass, poke me in the side, hump me from behind, or shove me out of the way depending on who was coming through the door. Good times. I'd also like to thank Scott Harrell for sporting the finest in John McNicholas t-shirts and to Shannon, Brett, Piper and everyone for all the kind words last night. OK, I'm rambling, off to do some writing!

07/15/2004 - I'm just back again from girl's night at The Globe Coffee Lounge where Gina and I shot the shit, Natty told funny voodoo stories and Carrie kept making me laugh. I called it an early night though as my voice has gone away on vacation in anticipation of Saturday night's show at the Uptown Cafe. I had practice with Sparky's Nightmare this week and worked an a few new tunes (22, Angelina, I'm Falling for Her Again) that I'll have ready for the solo acoustic show the first week of August. OK, I'm off to bed early.

07/08/2004 - Just in from hanging out with Martin, Natty, Hugh and Carrie for some grub and then I crashed girls night at the Globe Coffee Lounge where we swapped stories about Parade In Paris, River Phoenix, Club Detroit, a girl named Bonnie and "who was that DJ back in the day..." Sorry Hunter and Joran I didn't make it out to the rock show, I hope it kicked ass, I'll see you at the next gig you guys have.

07/04/2004 - Hello all! I got together with some great friends to watch the fireworks in downtown St. Pete this evening. I especially enjoyed American Music by the Violent Femmes blasting during the show! Hope everyone had a fun safe night.

07/1/2004 - OK, just now settling back in from the trip up to Atlanta last weekend so I though I'd catch everybody up on what the weekend was all about.

Friday - I headed up to Atlanta about noon, the 7 hour drive was a tough one with the eye problems that I have been having and I took frequent stops. Once I got into town I headed to James' house where Pete, Chris, James and I were going to practice/rock/hang out. Chris, Tina and Ali were there so we chatted until Pete arrived. It was great to see Pete again, he's hilarious and a great friend. Pete was the original drummer for my band Spiller. Once James arrived from the studio we headed down to the basement and rocked for a few hours, blew off some steam and really had a great time. Considering we've never all played together as a band the stuff sounded great right away. We even worked on a few new ideas (I'm About to Lose You, Falling) that I've been working on that sounded great, thanks guys!

Saturday - Happy Birthday Ali! Got up early and headed over to the Berkeley Park studio with Chris to meet Russ Fowler and get the session started. We headed up to Octane for coffee and then we began. James had already tracked most of the bass before I got up there so we tracked final bass parts for No One Would Miss Us. Russ played the verses, Chris played the choruses and I added the Sonic Youth distorted bass line in the last verse. We also threw down some acoustic guitar on Maria, Russ added percussion to a few of the tunes, and then I sang Check, 1, 2 and re-sang No One Would Miss Us. Finally we added some harmonies and called it a night about 11pm.

Sunday - I haven't been sleeping well so I got up early again on Sunday and headed to the studio to meet Russ. On the way I looked at a few houses in the neighborhood. There is a particular house that I'm looking at so we'll see; it's been on the market for a while so I may make a low offer just to see what happens. It's a 1920's Craftsman style bungalow, very cute, fenced in back yard, lots of trees. Today was spent wrapping things up with the recording, I sang Maria and added harmonies, we added a few more percussion ideas, James put down some sweet Hammond organ B-3 parts in all three tunes. I played Russ a few new acoustic ideas that he liked. I'm already starting to plan the next batch of tunes!

Monday - I was supposed to head back today but I had a little car trouble so I put the car in the shop and hung out at the studio all day. Turns out there was going to be a session on Tuesday that James asked me to work so I decided to stay the extra day since the car wouldn't be ready in time to get back for work on Tuesday and take a shot at my first guitar-for-hire-session gig.

Tuesday - Karen Russ was the artist. She's a complete sweetheart, she's got a great voice and some great tunes; it was going to be fun. Peter Stroud from Cheryl Crow's band has been doing guitar parts for her album so I was absolutely thrilled to have to chance to participate in the recording. Also involved with the session was Russ (engineer), James (producer), and Derek Murphy (drums). The session went great and I had the best time working with everyone. I put down guitar tracks for 3 songs so I'm curious to see what gets used and how the final recording comes out. Hopefully they will use the stuff I recorded. I headed out of town about 6:30pm, hit a little Atlanta traffic and got home early Wednesday morning. It was a great trip, thanks again to everyone up there that let me bend their ear, sleep on their floor, eat their food, drink their coffee, disturb their neighbors, use their shower, play their songs, and allow me to vent. You rule and I am forever grateful for true friends.

06/24/2004- No updates for a week! Well, oh well. I got together with everyone this week for a little practice and I'm headed up to Atlanta to try and finish up the recording sessions with Russ Fowler for the next batch of songs. I'm getting together with Pete, Chris and James up in Atlanta to jam on some tunes Friday night so it should be a fun and busy weekend. I'll fill everyone in next week and maybe have some new song samples to post up on the website. Yes, of course there will be lots of photos!

...and in closing some deep thoughts...

"When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us." ~ Alexander Graham Bell

"Don't stare at the door!" ~ Natty Moss-Bond

06/17/2004 - Hey all, I had a fun time last night jamming with Brian, Ted, Michael and Stan. We ran through a few tunes, talked a whole bunch and kicked over a beer or two in the process. I'm sure we're going to get together again next week and get a few more tunes down... who knows... we may even play a show sometime!

06/14/2004 - Monday evening and it's pouring outside. Summer is officially here when it starts raining every day. This Wednesday evening I'm headed over to Brian's to jam with him, Ted Lukas and Stan and Mike from Barely Pink. I went out to Dunedin Brewery the other night to catch one of their last shows and it was a scorcher. They sounded great as always. I think this new project will be the five of us all bringing in tunes and we hope to play a show in the not too distant future. No stress, not mess. Should be laid-back and fun.

06/09/2004 - Just now finding the time to catch back up from last weekend's shows. The show at The Music Spot was fun, Brian Merrill got up a rocked the first set. Joran, Suzie Q and Rich played a great second set and I closed out the night with a bunch of requests from Stacy because it was her birthday! The following day, Saturday, was the big Bob Dylan Tribute at Skipper's Smokehouse put on by WMNF 88.5 FM. There were about 30 bands stretched out over the 10 hours and it was a really fun time. I will admit to being totally exhausted by the end of the show however. I got there about 4pm and played an acoustic set at about 5:30pm. I played two quick tunes, Boots of Spanish Leather and I Shall Be Released. After the set the waiting game began as I didn't play again until about 11:45. The time spent in-between sets was spent talking with friends, having a few beers and grabbing a bite to eat. Kate Brawshaw was going to be performing It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry with Sparky's Nightmare tonight so she and I spent some time out front going through her tune, which I had not been able to practice. She's got a great voice so I was really looking forward to the set. By the time out set rolled around the show was running behind to the point that they didn't know if we were even going to play, they have a midnight curfew for the outside venue. Things sped up and we hit the stage at 11:55pm to rock our three tunes, which we managed to get through by 12:05am... THANKYOUGOODNIGHT! Kate's tune went great and I busted out my Stairway to Heaven solo on All Along the Watchtower. Nice. Not much planned for about a month as far as shows go. I'm supposed to head up to Atlanta this weekend to play with Pete, Chris and James but with everyone's schedule and my bad eye I'm not sure it's gonna happen. Also, I'm headed up there on the 25th of June to work with Russ Fowler again so maybe I'll just have to hold my breath until I make it up there.

06/01/2004 - It's funny how I always seem to get sick on weekends and holidays. Not much happening this week except for me putting drops in my eyes and staying in dark rooms. Got shows on Friday and Saturday so hopefully I'll be able to see by then.

05/29/2004 - Greetings all, we had a great time last night at Yeoman's Road Pub, there was a nice crowd and everyone played a fun set. Brian Merrill busted out Julie, I - an old Factory Black tune that sounded great, Steve Alex played some nice new tunes and Ted brought back some great tunes that Barely Pink was famous for back when Ted was playing with them. Really enjoyed the conversations last night, glad some new faces made it out to the show.

05/22/2004 - Saturday morning, completely awake. I didn't have a chance to catch up from the In the Raw show on Wednesday so here goes... It was fun. Everyone sounded great, the place was packed and we all had a great time. There I'm done.

05/17/2004 - OK, to recap last weekend... Friday fun, Saturday funner. That's all I got, OK, well, Sparky's Nightmare played at Yeoman's Road on Friday night, Joran, Rich and Suzy Q opened the show with a great set of acoustic tunes that really sounded nice. So nice in fact that they should have played all night. Sparky's Nightmare got up and we rocked it like we got thrown out last time for rocking it, which is to say we were a little tentative when we should have ROCKED IT! OK, but we had a great time, we always do though don't we. Saturday night at the Emerald was much more funner-er. We ROCKED IT. Well, maybe I'm biased but I though we had a great set and the crowd dug it, not to say Friday's crowd wasn't good, because they were great too, but, aw jeeze forget it, you know what I mean. Lance Rowland opened the show with some damn fine acoustic tunes, we rocked a set, heckled the crowd, Lance and Joran joined us on bass and guitar for No One Would Miss Us, some guy took his pants off and then Barely Pink hit the stage, rocked it, I sang with them on Diane by Material Issue and then sang the lead for Fountains of Wayne's Radiation Vibe. Good times!

05/14/2004 - Uh, OK so, uh, I got a few shows this weekend, should be a good time both nights. Joran Oppelt is performing a solo set before we play on Friday night and Saturday night will mark the last Johnny Mac band show for a little while, I'm going to take some time off to do some writing and hopefully get things cranked up in Atlanta as well as back down here when I've got some new tunes. I'll still be rocking the solo guitar at shows though so don't your fret none. Hope I see you soon, hope I see you soon.

05/09/2004 - Good times at The Daiquiri Deck last night. It was the first time Sparky's Nightmare has played out there and we had a blast. Thanks again to the Hazies that had us out to open up for them, they sounded great. Let's quickly recap the evening. I did the "shopping cart" dance and I learned the "bus driver.", Natty and I jumped up and sang backup and I even ended up playing piano on Jumpin' Jack Flash, good times.

05/05/2004 - Friday - The drive up to Atlanta was an uneventful one if you don't count all the rain and traffic I encountered getting out of the state of Florida. Once in Atlanta we all met up at Berkeley Park studio where James was putting the final touches on the new Pageant record. After things wrapped up we headed over to the Thinking Man Tavern for a quick beer and then off to bed.

Saturday - In the morning we headed out to the studio and got to work early. Derek put down some spectacular drum parts, Russ dialed in the sound and James played some cool bass parts. Between us all I think we must have polished off about 3 pots of coffee and quite a few slices of pizza from Felini's. Once we started tracking we decided not to pursue Fallout and instead chose to work on a new tune called Check, 1, 2... After drums were cut Russ and Derek headed out and James polished off some bass tracks before we called it a night. This was a good thing because a storm rolled in a knocked out the power just as we were finishing up. After the session we all headed out in the rain for beers at the Thinking Man Tavern before we called it a night.

Sunday - I was supposed to be at the studio at about 10:30, I woke up at 10:30. 20 minutes later I'm pulling up to the studio as Russ is unlocking the gate, perfect timing. Off we ran to Octane for coffee and then got to work tracking guitars for the three songs. We used a variety of amps including Chris' Matchless DC-30, Vic's master-volume, silver-face Fender Twin and my newly acquired Matchless Clubman 35. As far as guitars go we tracked all the lead lines in Maria and Check, 1, 2… with my '83 Fender Strat Elite with the amps set at “melt-down.” No One Would Miss Us was all red Jazzmaster on rhythm guitar and Sea Foam Green Tele Custom on lead lines and picking parts. The rhythm parts on Maria were Firebird and '59 Les Paul, and the rhythm parts on Check, 1, 2... were mostly Jazzmaster or Tele, can't remember. As I was tracking guitar Chris was rocking the Music Midtown festival with the Swear so while he was away we decided to start tracking vocals for No One Would Miss Us. Once Chris was back he tracked his guitar parts for No One Would Miss Us with the Tele. The end of the session was rapidly approaching so we wrapped things up, made some CDs to listen and headed out.

04/29/2004 - Thursday evening and I'm just back in from the Sparky's Nightmare show at the USF Tavern at Bayboro. Last night's show at The New World Brewery was really fun. Susie and I played a brief yet well received set as part of Gloff Fest put on by Jeremy Gloff. It was a wonderful night, the weather was nice and cool and everyone played a fun set. Gina and Curtis brought down the house with their opening song, Christina Aguilera's "I am beautiful". Yes you are, yes you are. They should have changed the words to "I am eye candy" but that's another topic entirely. Tonight's show at USF was quiet and fun. It was the last night of final exams and there were groups out celebrating that final paper or final presentation. Travis jumped up for a rocking version of Bite It and The Hunter. Good times. Well I'm off to Atlanta tomorrow to record and I'm really looking forward to it. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll update the site as soon as I get home with all the fun details.

04/27/2004 - Hope to see you at the New World Brewery Wednesday night. I'll be backing up Susie Ulrey for a few wonderful tunes.

04/25/2004 - Two shows this week, come feel the rock. New photos from The Music Spot have been added to the Photos page.

04/24/2004- Sunday night and the weekend is winding down. Friday night's show at the Emerald Bar with Sparky's Nightmare was a good time. We opened up for the Vodkanauts and really had a good time rocking a 1-hour set. Drinks were drunk and so were we. It was the first time I had seen the Vodkanauts with their new keyboard player and Steve Alex singing lead and they sounded great. Saturday night Trish and I headed downtown for Eric Snider's 50th birthday and had a great time hanging out with Scott, Shannon, Travis, Sam, Jen & Joran and everyone else that was there. It was a who's who of the St. Pete music scene in attendance to wish him well. This week is going to be pretty hectic, I've got practice on Monday, a show on Wednesday at The New World Brewery and Thursday at Tavern at Bayboro and on Friday I'm headed up to Atlanta to record with Russ Fowler all weekend.

04/23/2004 - Happy Birthday Eric Snider!

04/22/2004 - "Yummy Sangria", that's what I was drinking last night and that's the only proper explanation that I have for my pick-dropping-word-forgetting-tied-up-finger performance. Oh yeah, I rocked, it's just that shit was flying off the car as it headed down the track. Last night was funny and fun. Luscious P. kicked things off with The Dave and the usual volatile word play they are known for, smart and funny, irreverent and poignant at the same time. They also played an excellent version of the Cocktail Honey's gem Pay Attention. Nice. Next up Michelle Ari performed some lovely originals and a rocking Blondie cover of Dreaming. So, then I stumble up there and proceed to not follow the set lest, get heckled and drop picks. Nice. Molly's Lips, Holly's Tooth... whatever... I get so confused. Scott Harrell closed out the evening with a pensive and cathartic set of some great new tunes about great new characters that he's been working on including one he had written the night before and a few Cocktail Honey's tunes. His parents were in the audience and they looked proud. As the evening wound down everyone chatted each other up, I talked with Singer songwriter from England named Cat and her husband, she had seen me when I opened up for Thea Gilmore at Skipper's. Everyone swapped numbers/e-mail address and headed out. Thanks again to Scott and everyone at the Globe for having us out!

04/20/2004 - Happy Tuesday everyone. Sunday's Swap Meet at the ACL was a great time. There were lots of vendors with great rock and roll merch and everyone was in a festive mood. It's always great to see a bunch of people in all black milling around outside in the sun on a Sunday afternoon. All the bands sounded great especially St. Felons, Car Bomb Driver and The Bad Touch. They just ripped it up. After the show most of the gang headed over to Tijuana Flats for more food and beer before calling it a day and heading home. Good times.

04/17/2004- Saturday morning and I'm up and ready to go. Last night's show at The Music Spot was really fun. I suppose I need a new word to describe the show because I always use "fun"... hang on, where is the Thesaurus, OK, last night's show provided levity and entertainment, a welcome diversion from the norm. Anyway, the guys at the Music Spot have a great bistro in the back of their record store with a small but wonderful menu for dinner, I had the stuffed green pepper appetizer and it was great. We had a packed house so Lance Rowland kicked things off and he sounded great. I especially like his song about Nashville called "Miss You Tonight". Next up Susie Ulrey and I played and joked our way through about 10 tunes of hers and mine. We played a brief game of "Did you know?" local trivia and debated briefly the merits of following the set list, which we did for the most part. It was great to see lots of her friends out at the show, as well as some people that I haven't seen in quite a while. Michael Canning, Jimmy Reese from Tomorrow was there as was Brad from Pohgoh and current WMNF DJ, friends from my work and even the legendary guitar hero Sam Bond made it out to the show. I closed out the night with about six more tunes, the highlight for me was No One Would Would Miss Us with Anna O. rocking on the house piano and Lance rocking the acoustic guitar. A very fun... er... convivial evening indeed. Thanks again to Manny and Mike for the great venue and great hospitality. On a side note, I got home just in time to see Grant Lee Phillips perform Calamity Jane on Jay Leno and he was awesome. I caught him out in Austin a few weeks back when he played before Juliana Hatfield and really enjoyed the show, I need to pick up his new CD.

04/16/2004 - Last night's show at The New World Brewery was really fun. Even though it was tax day there was a nice turnout to see some acoustic music in the chilly night, perhaps they were drinking their anticipated tax refunds. It also happened to be the 9th Anniversary of the bar and they were giving away free beer! Yes! Brianne Gallager started off the show a little after 10, I jumped up next, Jen Shamro followed and then another guy that was at the bar, whose name escapes me at the moment jumped up and played some Dave Matthews inspired tunes. Thanks again to Jen for getting the show together before she heads out on tour. I'm really looking forward to the show tonight at the Music Spot with Susie and Lance. Hope to see you out there.

04/12/2004 - Back from ATL. Had a good time this weekend up at the studio recording. Originally we were going to finish the three songs that we started a few weeks back but we decided to record some live acoustic tunes. I got up there on Friday evening after a 10 hour drive filled with lots of traffic. Had some pizza with Russ and we talked about upcoming plans for the recording. By the end of dinner it was pretty late so Chris and I headed back to the house and walked over to the Thinking Man Tavern for a few beers before crashing out. Saturday we hit a good breakfast spot by the studio with Ali and headed over to Berkeley Park Studio to start recording. We recorded about 17 songs with just two microphones, one in front of the guitar and one for vocals. Hopefully I'm going to tinker with a few of them and then I'll have a 10 to 12 song acoustic CD that I can send out to clubs and see at some shows. OK, this week is a busy one so I'd better get going. Hope to see you at one of the shows this week.

04/08/2004 - Happy Thursday evening everyone. I'm getting ready to head to Atlanta this weekend to do some recording, have some beers with Russ and Chris and just create some general chaos while I'm up there. On Friday evening I'll be meeting with Chris and Russ Fowler to discuss my recording plans for the first weekend of May. We'll be working on three tunes that have yet to be determined and then hopefully we'll send out some copies and have a few meetings set up with various folks in the biz. Either way it should be a great time and I can't wait. This weekend Chris and I are going to concentrate on some acoustic recordings. Over the last year or so I've been playing lots of solo acoustic shows and I've had many requests for some acoustic recordings so hopefully we'll get some good takes this weekend that I can make available at some upcoming shows. I've got about 40 songs that I'd like to throw down to tape to see how they come out. I'll probably bust out some old chestnuts as well as some brand new unreleased and unperformed material too. I've got a new tune called May that I'm anxious to record as well as a few unrecorded tunes from over the years like Inside Out, Check 1, 2... . I suspect I'll throw down a few cover tunes like Allergic to Love (Eric's Trip), Girl in a Box (Blake Babies), I Think I Might be in Love With You (Juliana Hatfield), No Expectations (Rolling Stones), Panic (the Smiths), Asshole (Beck) for a little CD-EP that I'd like to have at shows just for fun. OK, hope everyone has a great weekend I'll catch up on Monday.

04/04/2004 - Four, four, Oh-four! It's late Sunday evening (all alone) and I'm crashing out soon. I can never get use to this whole daylight savings time. I just hate losing that hour come Monday morning. Last night's show at the State Theater was really fun, there was a nice turnout and it was great to see E up and out at his own benefit concert. All the bands really sounded good and everyone seemed to have a great time. I caught a brief set by Glitter Guns that was pretty cool and Rebekah Pulley and St. Felons sounded great. Well, I'm out of here, there is a busy week ahead. I'm getting together with Susie tomorrow to run through some acoustic tunes, Sparky's practice on Tuesday and I've got to get ready for the weekend of recording up in Atlanta at Berkeley Park Studio.

03/30/2004 - I know it's Tuesday and I'm just now getting around to updating the journal from the weekend but it's been a hectic few days full of practice and work. Friday night's show at Skipper's is still swimming around in my head, that was so much fun. My friend James in Atlanta went and talked to Thea the next night when she played Eddie's Attic and picked up a few CDs for me, very cool. The show Saturday night at Dave's was hilarious as always. I love that place... there I said it. Check out some photos! Monday night I got together with Susie and ran through some new material for our acoustic show at The Music Spot in April. I encourage everyone to make plans to be at this show because it will be something special. It's a free show and they have a great kitchen. Alright, it's getting late and I'm off to strum some guitar and write some songs!

03/27/2004 - Last night's show at Skipper's Smokehouse with Thea Gilmore and Jeffrey Foucault was a really great night. Randy and everyone at WMNF did a great job putting the bill together and I was grateful to be playing with such talented people. I started the show off with a 35-minute set of songs off the album and three unrecorded tune that seemed to go over well. Next up Jeffrey played a mellow set with some nice fingerpicking and great words. Thea headlined the evening and she was just amazing. She's got a great voice, a great band and some great songs. As the evening wound down I had a chance to sit a chat with Thea, Jeffrey and score some pointers on "the business" that I hope to put to good use in the near future out on the road. Being part of a great show like that really make me anxious to get out on the road. Tonight Sparky's Nightmare is going to rock Dave's Bar and Grill, I think I need to start drinking early tonight, we're playing three sets.

03/21/2004 - Wow, SXSW was so much fun. I will definitely be headed back next year! Monday was spent driving out to New Orleans where we enjoyed the sights, smells, and tastes of the French Quarter.

Tuesday we rolled into Austin to discover that Sonic Youth was playing at Stubb's BBQ. The opening band Comets on Fire was noisy and cool but Sonic Youth rolled out a set of almost entirely new material from their upcoming album and just sounded amazing.

On Wednesday everyone convened at Club Deville for the Flamingo Bandingo. Skipper's Smokehouse provided some delicious food and all the bands sounded great. We managed to get Rebekah Pulley and Ronnie Elliott on stage for a fun rendition of No One Would Miss Us. Rebekah kicked out some mean guitar riffs while Ronnie handled vocal duties. After the show we sold some merch, talked with friends and new friends, and drank lots of beer. Flee, Norwood and everyone involved did a great job putting the show together and everyone had a great time. Eventually we all headed out to get some pizza at Roppolo's and started checking out bands. I'm not sure who everyone else saw but here's a rundown of the groups I saw on Wednesday: Division of Laura Lee, The Von Bondies, Joan Jett, and The (International) Noise Conspiracy.

Thursday we got up early and headed downtown again to catch more daytime shows. We headed over to the Merge/Touch and Go records day party and caught TV on the Radio, The Radar Brothers, and Coco Rosie. By the time nightfall hit Trish wasn't feeling well so I headed out solo to meet up with the guys and check out some more groups including... Supagroup, Stinking Lizaveta, (Rounder records Showcase: Grant Lee Phillips, Sarah Harmer, and Juliana Hatfield. Juliana played My Sister, Robot City, and an almost entirely new set of material from her upcoming new record. All the new tunes sounded great and I was glad I finally got to see her play live.

Friday was filled with more day shows and packed clubs all night long. During the day, thanks to Flee and Randy Wynn, we got in to see the Thrills play a stellar set at the Filter Magazine private party. That day we also bumped into Juliana on the street and kissing her guitar player in a cab, Patrick Park cruising outside of Stubb's after his great set, and I swear I thought I saw Fiona Apple at the Thrills party, I could never get close enough to find out but she looked just like her. Some of the other groups we saw on Friday were: Throttlerod, Response, American Analog Set, Patrick Park, Trans Am, Metric, The Metermen, Bands I missed that I wanted to see: Liz Phair, Pete Yorn, Rhett Miller, Snow Patrol, Bettie Serveert, Calexico, Portastatic. The best band name at the convention goes to: I Love you but I've Chosen Darkness.

Saturday we drove home, Martin flew home and John stayed for the Saturday shows. Time for sleep.

03/13/2004 - Hey everyone, you may have already noticed but tonight's show at The Music Spot has been canceled. I have lost my voice. We played Gasoline Alley last night and after about 4 songs it was pretty much gone. It had felt strange all week and it finally just decided to go on vacation. Thanks to the guys from Spot Lucy, Tony Purnell, Gary, Ed and everyone that made it out. Jeff, sorry my amp blew up just as you got on stage. I'm off to rest my voice with hot tea, honey, saltwater gargling and a little sunshine.

03/10/2004 - Just in from practice with Susie. We ran through some songs that we're playing on Saturday at The Music Spot and tried to keep the music trivia conversations to a minimum. Lance Rowland is going to get things started on Saturday and then Susie and I will get up and tell stores, music trivia and eventually get around to playing a few tunes. Come on out and check out the store, it's a great place and I hear the food is wonderful too!

03/07/2004 - Another fun show at the State Theater last night. Thanks to Flee and Norwood for doing such a great job organizing the show, everything ran smoothly and all the bands sounded great. I got there pretty early, got my stuff loaded in and Joran helped me set up the merch. The Crippled Masters put in a great blistering set, they get better every time I see them. Next up, Red Tide got the crowd moving and thinking with a frantic set. Next, The Mercy Seat, and it was clearly their crowd last night, put on a sublime and explosive set that proves why they are headed out to Austin. After their set Chris had still not arrived from Ft. Myers so we set up as a three piece. I introduced us and proceeded to tell everyone the practical joke that we were going to play on Chris. Since we hadn't had any time to practice with Chris before the show I thought it'd be funny to write up a fake set list with a bunch of new song titles mixed in with some ones he knew and then start out with a brand new song. Natty yelled, "Play it anyway!", so I did. After the intro we kicked into our regular set and the stage sounded really good, the vocal monitors were really happening, the band was tight and it just felt very comfortable up there. Then just as we were finishing High School Drunk I spotted Chris coming through the crowd, guitar and pedals in hand. As we played Take it Off he got set up and by the time we got to Friday Morning Half Awake, he was ready to rock... for 18 minutes. A three hour drive for 18 minutes. You gotta admire the guy. The rest of the set was fun, Natty sang No One Would Miss Us with us and we ended with the self-appointed feel-good-song-of-the-Summer, the newly recorded Allison. We said good night and made way for Anna O.'s set. I swear she gets better every time I see here, if you don't have any if her CDs you really need to seek them out, great recordings of great songs. Next up, Rebekah Pulley closed out the evening with beautiful vocals, tight playing and some great tunes. As the evening wound down Chris headed back to Ft. Myers, discussions about SXSW were had, amp/drum/drummer sharing deals were struck and I cannot wait for this trip!

Just to back track a little bit, earlier in the day I headed over to Bay Sound in north Tampa to record some guitar tracks for Joran's band Auditorium. As soon as I got there Jerry Outlaw was just wrapping up his session, we caught up and then decided that we were all hungry. Publix sushi was decided on and we filled up. Good stuff. Once in the session my job was to layer in some noise at the end of a song called Spinning. It's the epic song that Auditorium closes their set with and clocking in at a little under 10 minutes there was plenty of room for some noise. I brought the red '64 Fender Jazzmaster , the blue Fucker (Fender) Jazzblaster and the '66 Fender Electric XII for the session. We started off layering a wide bed of feedback facilitated by plugging both Jazzmaster/blasters into the amp, max-ing out the Rat 2, max-ing out the amp, insert screwdrivers and let it cook the tubes. Wow, what crazy tones, the first pass ended in something that sounded like a huge analog synth throbbing and bursting. The second pass utilized just the red Jazzmaster and a few screwdrivers over the pickups for some harder industrial noises and even some really vocal sounding higher melodies. Whoa. The third pass was fairly straight forward with me playing along, accenting the chord changes, and hitting some different climbs and some unique turnarounds that jumped around some different octave parts. Cool. Next we threw down some XII parts in the verses but I think we decided that they didn't fit. As we wrapped up I got to hear some of the stuff that's already recorded and it really sounds good! Thanks again to Dan and Joran for having me over.

03/06/2004 - Good times at the USF show last night. Lots of friendly folks, sumo wrestling outfits, dogs everywhere, good eats and cold beer. Thanks again to Jason from Cuban Sandwich Crisis for having us play. They sounded great and everyone had lots of fun! Really looking forward to the show this evening at the State Theater for the SXSW Fundraiser. Chris will be in town for the show, so tonight we'll be a four-piece rock band. Yeah! I'm headed out right now to record some guitar for Joran's new band Auditorium's first record. He needs some noise on a track and he picked the right man for job. I'll recording with Dan at Bay Sound Studios, the man responsible for recording the In the Raw CD. It should be fun.

03/04/2004 - Quite the fun evening last night, right after work I headed over to Susie & Keith's house to learn some tunes for an acoustic performance that's coming up on April 15th at the New World Brewery. We talked music trivia, local history and she played me some great new songs that she's written. I'm really looking forward to the show. I'll keep everyone posted as we get the material together.

02/29/2004 - Sunday evening and the silence of the house stands in stark contrast to the weekend's activities. Friday evening was practice with Sparky's Nightmare and a set of the Mojo Gurus at the Ringside Cafe. Saturday was filled with trips to Legends Music to ogle guitars and to Manny's great new record store on Dale Mabry called the Music Spot. Saturday night brought the Sparky's show at Dave's Bar and Grill with Rebekah Pulley and her wonderful band, and lots of friends and funny stories (Pictures will be posted soon!). Sunday started early after the show with a trip over to Hugh's with Trish and Duncan and more friends, before drifting home around 5am. Midday Sunday was band practice with Martin and John, and it sounded great. I'm really looking forward to next weekend's shows and SXSW, it looks like John and Martin will be heading out with me after all! Sunday finally creeps to a close with a little television and complete silence in the house. It's quite comforting and it only makes me anxious for everything to get noisy again this week with more music.

02/28/2004 - Saturday morning, totally awake, yet feeling hungover somehow even though I didn't drink a drop last night. Perhaps it was just being in the Ringside Cafe last night watching the Mojo Gurus rock the crowd that's responsible, hummm... perhaps it's just me settling back into the Florida scenery from my seven weeks in Indianapolis. Well I'm back for good, or for worse, that's yet to be determined. Lots of things to do now that I'm back full time. I'm getting calls for shows so I need to get the band situation figured out here pretty soon. John and Martin will be rocking with me at the USF St. Pete campus and SMLG SXSW warm-up show at the State Theater next weekend and for that I'm eternally grateful. At the moment it looks like the SMLG SXSW Austin showcase might just be me playing solo, in fact I think I can guarantee that at the moment. Hopefully I'll tag a few shows out and back to fill up the calendar, I need to get on that right away. Out on the horizon I'm seeing another trip back to Atlanta in the not to distant future involving some record, mixing and coffee. Man, that sounds good already. Also there may be a few new band/recording projects sitting out there that I'm going to be involved with but I'll spill the beans as that actually happens. OK, I seriously need to get some aspirin and get my ass in gear this morning, so much to do!

02/21/2004 - I know, I' know, I've been slacking on the Journal lately. Well, I've been busy racking up the frequent flyer miles for the last 6 weeks at work. OK, so last night was a good time at the New World Brewery watching St. Felons bring down the house. Bumped into lots of friendly faces that I haven't seen in a while, CDs were exchanged and beers were demolished. I mean really demolished. I still have a headache. Ugh. OK, so anyway next Saturday the 28th Sparky's Nightmare is rocking Dave's Bar and Grill on Gandy Blvd. and tomorrow we're gonna run through the tunes so we are all ready to rock the crowds. I found out last night that Josh Ritter has dropped of the show at Skipper's Smokehouse on 3/26 but Thea Gilmore is still gonna be there and it should be a great show! Alright, I gotta go take some aspirin and pick some grapefruit to make some juice.

02/16/2004 - No time for a massive amount of detail but the road trip to Atlanta was a blast and we got three tunes recorded and sounding great. Trish and I headed up Friday night and got back in town on Sunday. James played some stellar bass on Allison, Chris played some grooving guitar, John added percussion and I sang all hunched over in a chair in the main room. Coffee was drunk, X-Box was played, and it never stopped raining for a second the entire time. Check out the photos! Not much happening this week, time for some writing!

02/07/2004 - Another week out of town and the following weekend I'll be in Atlanta working on 3 or 4 tunes for the next CD. John and I are headed up on Friday evening and will be prepared to rock the studio with James and Chris all weekend. The tunes on tap for this session will be High school Drunk, Take it Off, and Allison. If there is time we might try a live tune or maybe an acoustic track to round out the weekend. Any requests? Once again this Monday night I'm going to try and make it out to The Melody Inn in Indianapolis for their open mic feature. So... if you are in the neighborhood come on out!

02/02/2004 - Well I didn't make the Open Mic show in Indy this evening, crummy weather and I didn't get out of work until about 10pm. I was however asked to play an AMAZING show on March 26th at Skipper's Smokehouse with Josh Ritter and Thea Gilmore. Check out their websites I think you'll love them. Well. That's all for now, I'm gonna run.

02/01/2004 - Are you ready for some Football? Strangely enough, I have little to no interest in the big game this evening. Maybe it's because last year's game with the Bucs was such an amazing game. Got a phone call from Flee this afternoon and he has invited the Johnny Mac band out to SXSW to perform at their independent side stage at Club De Ville on the first day of the festival. I can't wait to play, hopefully the band will be able to make the trip otherwise it will just be me and a geetar making the trip. Anyway, this week should be pretty fun, I'm going to crash an open mic at The Melody Inn this week up in Indy and I'll be looking for some other places to play on some other nights too.

01/25/2004 - Sunday morning, surprisingly, completely awake. Had a great time last night at the Dubliner watching Steve from Ask Erin work the crowd with the acoustic guitar. Threw down and few pints and talked guitars with Ted Wray and his friend John. Steve got me up for a quick couple of tunes and I swear if he keeps introducing me with these big grand introductions... well.. I appreciate it but the punk rock kid in me is humble, ya know? haha.. Anyway. After the set the owner Noel even bought Trish and I a round. Thanks! Not much happening this week, I might have a show lined up for the middle of the week so check back on the web page.

01/24/2004 - Had a great time at SMAsh Fest 5 last night at the State Theater. All the bands sounded great and it was great to hang out with so many friends. I'm out again this evening to see Steve from Ask Erin play at the Dubliner in Hyde Park.

01/18/2004 - A fun time was had by all last night at Romeo's, thanks to everyone that made it out! Turns out that Jackson Davis went to school with Jeff and Joelle from Stitch so we talked for a while about the old days and some Lie shows that he a had been to at the Brass Mug! Cool. Jen was her usual funny, sharp and frenetic self on the guitar and the coffee was great. The venue is a pretty cool spot right next to Twilight on 7th. Well, I got nothing booked for the immediate future but be on the lookout for some solo shows sometime soon.

01/17/2004- Greetings all, hope that you having a fun weekend. I'm looking forward to the acoustic show this evening at Romeo's Studio 1515 on 7th Ave. in Ybor City this evening. The show is free but donations are encouraged. I hear that it's a nice spot and that the coffee is wonderful. The show starts about 9pm and I'm not sure what time I'll be playing, but the show will be ending by about 11:30 before all the dance clubs can crank up their speakers and drown out our little acoustic show. Should be fun and it will be the last show I have booked for a little while so I can concentrate on the new record and writing some songs. I'm sure a show or two will pop up occasionally for now that's all I have planned.

01/11/2004- Brrrrrrrrrrrrr.... man it was cold last night. Dank rocked the Emerald with Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes and the Crippled Masters last night and we had a great time. The place was packed and everyone was in the spirit or at least they were drinking spirits! OK, no time for too much chit-chat today, I've got a busy day ahead of me and all I want to do is read a book...

01/10/2004- I'm not sure how it happened, but Gasoline Alley turned into Dave's Bar and Grill last night.... I'll explain later. I'd have to go over to the shows page to figure out the last time I played Gasoline Alley, let's see... the day after Christmas 1998. So the place was always a cheesy rocker bar, and that hasn't left the building completely, but Mike Sears has done a real nice job of getting some cool bands in there and playing some great in-between set music that I was digging. OK, so Red Skyline and 2nd Day Broadcast (with x-Spiller alumni Pete and John!) were really great to hang out with and I dug both of their sets. If you are into the Modern-Alt-Rock-Metal sound you'd dig both of them and the club really has the sound dialed in nice. It was also great to see Vinnie and Brian from Lukali out as well as Jeff and John from Spot Lucy, Lani Daniels, and a majority of the St. Felons, Ask Erin and Sparky's Nightmare crew along with many others. So we hit the stage about 12:30 as a three-piece and played a "loose and fun" set of oldies and brand new tunes. OK, so here's where it turns into "Dave's", and for those of you that don't know what I mean, Dave's is a little blues club that Sparky's Nightmare plays on a regular basis and it never fails that the craziest stuff happens while we're playing... so anyway... in summary... people are falling down on the dance floor - literally crashing to the ground, Martin and I are out of tune, Trish's friend Michelle came up on stage and sang a blues tune with us (with hilarious lyrics), Martin jokingly asked someone to buy him 17 Coronas and somebody did, I screwed up Maria, people kept requesting Satellite after every song, and Brian from Lukali played a few ripping solos in No One Would Miss Us... all in all I think it was our "worst sounding/most fun" set ever. Hopefully I'll get some photos posted for everyone soon. OK, so tonight's Dank show at the Emerald promises more of the same so if you are feeling brave come on out and embrace the chaos and lack of clean-air ventilation.

01/03/2004- Happy New Year everyone! I'm finally getting down to updating the Journal today after a hectic few days of fun. New Year's Eve was a blast over at Martin and Natty's and the parties on New Year's Day were every bit as fun too. I think this year is going to be the best yet! (fingers crossed!) I worked on a few new ideas yesterday evening before heading out to Four Green Fields for a beer last night, then my throat started killing me and I made a beeline for home. It's still feeling a bit scratchy today so I think I'd better take it easy so I'm ready to go for next Friday's show at Gasoline Alley. OK, I'm out, time to get some orange juice and vitamins. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTIN!