Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I missed the dawn of Michigan Spring while on the road out West ... I'm back in A2 and beholding the wild splendor of our backyard through the sliding glass, noting not only aggressive outbreaks of dandelions but actual living/breathing leaves on the trees that I've only known as barren. We got here last November, and had time to rake the yard once before the snow took over, so my first months in Michigan were bitter, frozen days that had me stuck inside or shoveling the driveway, muttering curses.

I lived in Altamonte Springs, Florida for one month back in 1986 (hi Scott) and returned to Michigan on Halloween night, a beautiful blustery cool night that held so much more mystery than the humid torpor of the South, and for the first time in my life I appreciated the natural graces of my home state. I never knew Fall was my favorite season until I missed it that year, and I experienced the same kind of atmospheric disturbance when I returned from the Big Trip ... over the twenty two days I was away, Spring happened in Michigan, and now that I see it, I understand the value of this calm before the Summer bloats us with wet heat, angry sunshine and thirsty mosquitos.

The End Times shows were successful. Despite only a few brief practices, there were no major meltdowns and I believe it all came together on those stages, me & Abi & Tyson were back in step once the uniforms were on and I'm way proud of what we did. Thanks, guys. Thanks to The Pillow Army and Keg (The Lone Ranger of Rock), The Mix and New Frontier Tavern too. The End Times operate out of Michigan now, and plans are being laid to record a single to release this Fall -- if anyone is interested in signing on for The Blacktree Singers (MidWest Division), please let me know, I'm assembling a mailing list for future projects ...

So anyhow, the final trio performances were very emotional and I spent nearly every night in a bar, so I'm feeling drained yet relaxed and ready to muscle through. I made a lot of peace out there.

HonkFest was as retarded as I expected it to be, but goddamn if ol' Tyson didn't pull off a weekend-long traveling block party with the city's blessing no less. I had a great time the whole time, drank Four Loko in the streets, made fun of hippies, did a little pickpocketing, just generally set my chickens free. Seriously, there was a lot more variety to each act than you might expect out of an exclusively marching band format, and the groups ranged from Merry Pranksteresque amateurs with more spirit than rhythm to the military precision of local sports team bands. Who knew this was a genre? Anything that furthers the trombone's ascendence to its rightful place next to the electric guitar as a cultural symbol of youthful rebellion is okay by me. Someday our children (or nieces/nephews) will be telling us to shove it, locking themselves in their rooms to smoke dope and bleat and blurt the teenage blues on their battered brass machines while we plug our ears and curse those kids and their damn racket. We'll deserve it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The shows were fine. The trip was life-altering. The company was good. The worst was avoided. I sleep in Wisconsin tonight. Back home tomorrow. Starting a new choir. More later. I miss everybody.

Thursday, April 15, 2010