Friday, December 30, 2011

Thanks to Kip at Outlaw Radio for choosing to include The Great Tribulation's long-player as one of this year's best ... I don't know what kind of company we're in, but he'll have the whole list on his December 31st podcast.

2012 can't come fast enough, although I'm old enough now to know that not much changes between December and January. It might take a few more months before I can look people in the eye again.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This just in ... if you type in a search for this particular blog and misspell it as "" then you get directed to this extensive Biblical study website. Check it out.

As the winter grows increasingly bitter, I retreat appropriately. It's been a very hard year and I need to regroup, assess my path and direct my remaining energies at a specific target. I've been taking a scattershot approach since landing back in The Mitten, blasting out randomly above trees and into clouds in hopes that I'll jar loose some lightning, but my shoulders are tired and my ears ring. I will rest and grow limber again, then set the Spring on fire.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Great Tribulation's album The Flood Brought The Fire earns kind words from Rust Magazine, publishing out of Gainesville GA. Thanks, fellas.

If you hit it quick, you can still get a free download of The Flood Brought The Fire ... offer expires in November, if I remember correctly. Give it a whirl, I personally guarantee you'll feel like you got your money's worth.

Happy Halloween. Let me recommend something for the holidays ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

My mother, Diane Josephine Storz (later Beldin, then finally Meier), died on October 9, 2011 after a six-month battle with lymphoma. The initial prognosis was good, the doctors believed that the type of illness she had was treatable, so while the situation was serious, we all were optimistic about her chances. However, she took a sudden turn last month and spent her last weeks in the University of Michigan hospital, surrounded by family who took turns keeping her company as she declined.

Diane was a kindergarten teacher in the Flint school district for much of her education career (a vocation she chose for herself as a little girl), travelled the world with my stepfather Roger during their retirement, was active in her local Methodist church for 30 years, was proud of her German heritage and collected Hummel figurines, played pickleball (what? it's this), hated cats but loved cat-sized dogs, and was frankly a pretty lousy cook ... everything I ate in my childhood was either boiled, microwaved or distilled in crockpots. She raised two boys alone for several years after her divorce from my father, lean times which surely informed her mania for saving money later on when she was more financially secure -- scouring newspapers and the internet for deals on things she either didn't need or didn't need in the quantities required was her greatest hobby, always a great victory for her to stock up on a dozen extra toothbrushes or travel-sized shampoos, which she would eventually bag and present to various family members with pride.

I have had very little experience with death, even at age 44 -- my people tend to last a long time and I still have living grandparents (both maternal and paternal) in their mid-90s, so her passing at 68 was a shock. I'm gradually recovering from the stress and tumult that any large event might create, but I feel that the true impact of her absence will hit me at some time in the future. We were fundamentally different people but also essentially similar, two identical machines fueled by contrasting solvents. My lifelong dedication to the baser arts caused her much concern at times, but she eventually grew to respect my drives as an expression of my essence and not simply a desire to shock and upset her. I loved her, and my upcoming birthday will not be the same without a phone call from her insisting on singing "Happy Birthday" to me as I cringe and roll my eyes.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Great Tribulation strikes again at the Lager House in Detroit, this time celebrating not one but two significant birthdays (if any birthdays can be, these are as much as any), not to mention the band's return to public life after a summer of contemplation and songwriting, as well as yet another chance to herald the fact that our first two years have been captured in semi-permanent disc form via The Flood Brought The Fire ... but you already know that, right? Anyhow, if you're in Detroit on September 24th and wanna say hello, I'll be easy to find.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lori and I bought ourselves a cat over the holiday weekend. Using the word "bought" for a living being seems dismissive at best, but I'll stick with it ... I am not a cat person, I grew up with a mother who actively disliked cats (she has loved a series of cat-sized lapdogs in her life, but her antipathy for felines is no secret), plus I'm allergic to boot, however, I have lived in houses with cats over the course of my long tenure of rental residences and found that unpleasant symptoms generally subside within a few months (as long as my sleeping quarters remain hair-free), plus as I age it seems that all of my human senses are prone to dimming, and susceptibility to allergens is, thankfully, on that list ... my old lady loves cats, has been deprived of them for too long, and our collective lifestyle is far more conducive to the inherent independence of the feline than the childlike need of the canine, so once I felt my own instinct for a dependent start kicking, it only made sense to brave the physical symptoms of cat ownership rather than the alternative.

Lori and I spent the long weekend tending to the curious wiles of what we are currently calling Gomez, a fairly ordinary Humane Society specimen aged 11 months ... he's pure black save for a wisp of white along his throat, has an unusual interest in dripping faucets and as yet has not suggested he'll be any more or less behaved than any cat. I spent a couple days on Benadryl, but even though I definitely feel a change in the air with the addition of Gomez's dander, I'm already acclimating and beginning our slow bonding process. He doesn't have much interest in catnip, but does seem to enjoy sitting on the couch and watching movies with us, so maybe that's something we can have in common.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here's one track from the upcoming End Times 7" vinyl single (BSH-003), due this Fall 2011. The song is by Scott Sendra, the artist behind down mf ... this was an ELHC standard in the mid-90s when I was bassing in The Apollo Nine, I've always loved this song and wanted to resurrect it in some fashion, so here's my shot. Personnel includes me on guitars, Jennifer Green on vocals and John Nipper on percussion and piano. Recorded by Brook Davis at Backseat Productions in A2 MI. If all goes well (as it usually does), I ought to have this in hand by October.

The Great Tribulation has been spending our summer in the woodshed, prepping new songs and rediscovering our identity. Next gig is September 24th at the Lager House in Detroit with Doop and The Inside Outlaws.

Is that you? I miss you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Metro Times coverage of THE FLOOD BROUGHT THE FIRE

"The Great Tribulation’s The Flood Brought the Fire (self-released) is a gem of a record. It’s female-fronted country, but not in that nasty Faith Hill sort of way. Rather, these tunes are honest, gritty and sublime." - Brett Callwood

How we'll spin it for future press releases ... "Female-fronted country ... in that nasty Faith Hill sort of way." The rest of it is good too, though. Thanks, Brett.

Meanwhile, an Austrian music distributor is selling our CD online, somehow. It must be a CD Baby connection, or else they're the worst bootleggers ever. Anyhow, it'll run you nearly $20 if you order it from them, and I assume the lyrics and liner notes will be translated into German, which is arguably the world's most beautiful language.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A nice snap from the Great Tribulation CD release gig back a couple weeks in Ypsilanti ... thanks to Tony of The Blueflowers (who opened for us that night) for documentation.

More soon, or sooner or later ...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I've been ignoring this blog as of late, but so be it ... if I have nothing to share, there's nothing to share. Fuck it. I don't even know if anyone is looking anymore, at least those who might have once so far as I know no longer do, again, so far as I know. If I am wrong, please don't correct me -- I'm more likely to be candid and prompt here if I can actually believe there's no consequences to my actions.

Dig my latest proudest moments:

"Shine That Silver Bullet," written by Jeni Lee Richey, performed by The Great Tribulation, first track off our debut compact disc collection The Flood Brought The Fire. My favorite of our entire repertoire, it feels like everyone on board does what they're best at in service to one of Jeni Lee's greatest songs, captured by my hero Jim Diamond at the legendary Ghetto Recorders in Detroit, MI.

"Sure As The Rain," written by me, performed by The Great Tribulation, ninth track off our debut compact disc collection The Flood Brought The Fire. The first song I began and finished during this latest (final?) tenure as resident of The Great Lakes State. Easily the longest guitar solo I've ever attempted, let alone completed. Credit where credit is due, this track is recorded by Jim "The Other Jim" Roll at the soon-to-be legendary Backseat Studios in Ann Arbor, MI.

I am currently happy. There is no shortage of stressors, such as my mother's current serious health issues (seriously serious, I'm afraid, but considering the doctors' prognosis and my Mom's indefatigable optimism, I can only expect the best possible outcome at this point -- knock wood for me, if it's nearby, thanks), and it's not like I love my fucking job, but I've known so much worse, I really have no space to complain for now. I'm fighting some medication withdrawals and typical seasonal mood shifts, but for the most part I am essentially sane ... it's a fairly beautiful world these days, despite the nagging ugliness of the past and the potential chaos of the future.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dig The Gentleman's Club ... if you had told me twenty years ago that I would end up in a band with Norm Fuckin' Zebrowski, I would've been thrilled. If you had told me ten years ago, I might have wept. But these days it all seems utterly obvious that I'd be back in a Lansing living room off Michigan Avenue (better known these days as "the Green Mile" for the surprising plethora of medical marijuana dispensaries) knocking out blues riffs for Norm's cantankerous poems. It's still very much in the project zone, but we did step out last weekend to play a Dylan cover for a theme party at a local art gallery -- I think getting Norman Bates to sing "Lay Lady Lay" in public is one of my greatest artistic achievements, so thanks again Ed for the canvas. We're joined by old pal Matthew Bour on guitar, still working up songs to figure out exactly what it is we're doing, but it's always good to have an excuse to drive to Lansing.

I also did two songs with Mark Lansing and a take on "Diamonds and Rust" (the Judas Priest version, counts only because it's about Dylan) with Jen Green, the latest End Times vocalist. I propped up the sign and made it official ... going back to Backseat tonight to mix and to edit the new single, which I expect to be ready by the end of the summer, and then I'm hoping to con Jen into putting on a true End Times performance at some suitable venue (gallery, theater, nothing with an operational television set).

Also, The Great Tribulation officially announce the release of our debut CD The Flood Brought The Fire, available now in digital form with physical copies ready in time for our June 17 gig at Woodruff's in Ypsilanti. Rumor is we'll have t-shirts too ...

The new job with Prime Research is perfectly adequate, but I'm definitely due for a health kick ... I've ballooned to 250 lbs, haven't shaved in weeks (strangely the only thing that grows aside from my sideburns is a huge 1890s-style moustache), my hair is down to my shoulders but I never wash it, for some reason my feet have shrunk down about two shoe sizes and I think I've developed x-ray vision (but not enough to make it worth while). So once the rainy season ends, maybe I'll start walking to work ...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

So as of one year ago, I was planning my big trip West for the End Times' LP release "parties" ... now we're on the cusp of finishing off the Great Tribulation's first long-form release, so I guess I'm back where I started, except farther up the board.

I'm also gainfully employed as of now, slowly assembling a new End Times 7" vinyl record and past the ugly Michigan winter, so I'm definitely more settled and certainly more positive about the next six-to-nine months than one year ago. So hurrah for me, I suppose ... if anyone is still watching this space, let it be known that all is well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fascinating documentary about the dawn of television ...

Monday, January 17, 2011


I didn't get a job I wanted. That's worse than actually getting a job you don't want, in the long run, at least, in the short run such a thing is good but it ultimately wears on you, especially if you're talking one bad job after another, and another and another ... of course, this is what I'm back to hoping for, another series of bad jobs so I can keep it all together, whatever it is. Gotta say, though, in Michigan's economy it's always exciting to see a good job open up, downright ecstatic to get an interview, and ultimately that much harder to take when it doesn't happen, even if you never expected it to in the first place ... thanks anyways, guys.

The Great Tribulation is all I talk about here anymore, because it's the brightest spotlight on my personal horizon. We had another great night last Saturday, did the Lagerhaus with Scarlet Oaks and Doop & the Inside Outlaws. I miss Noelle on drums, but ScarOak's new lineup kept all the pieces together otherwise, and I finally understand everyone's collective boner over the Inside Outlaws (Doop's cool, but this is clearly Katie Grace's band right now). We made twice as much dough as I expected, got just drunk enough, and at some point we'll have some live video/sound/photos from my pal Jason too, although his old lady has a new boy coming any second now, so we might have to wade through some postpartum excitement to get our results. We sounded good, it was our last gig with pedal steeler Paul Delamater and while I had the usual difficulties battling this newfangled electronic guitar technology, I know for a fact we blew a few minds. Don't forget, we're looking for a lapsteel player and/or organist, so if you got a lead or a pitch, please let us know at At the end of the month we go to Backseat Studio to record more new compositions for a projected full-length release of some kind, so you can expect more feminist diatribes, Satanic screeds and re-written outlaw country ballads sometime in the very very near future ...

Speaking of Backseat, I've started some further End Times recordings there with my new ginger-domed pal Brook ... he's helming the eventually-upcoming single, which I hope to have finished within another month (finances willing). Thanks to Jennifer, John and Cory for filling in the spaces between signature licks ... if it all works, the spring should see at least one End Times recital in the mid-Michigan area plus a new vinyl release. Don't quote me yet, but still, that's the target.


Monday, January 3, 2011

PS. The Great Tribulation is establishing a new internet presence. Look at it.