Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
There's a first time for everything, and every gig is an adventure ....
So Friday night Mark, Pat and I played for Warren Riley's birthday at the Paradise. We started at 7:30 and the crowd was small but into the music and we had a blast.
More and more people started showing up. This is a small bar to begin with, and we crammed all the stuff in the front, then locked the front door.
Thanks to Keith Franx and Warren for singing with us ... spirited renditions of Roadhouse Blues!
So we are rocking away at about 10:45, and as we are nearing the end of our last set, a Quincy Police Department officer walks in. He very politely tells us they've had two complaints of loud noise, and he asks us to turn it down.
I could tell it was probably the last thing he wanted to be doing, but he was just doing his job, no complaints here.
This bar is in a residential area and they have to be good neighbors. We played a few more songs and that was that.
"Usually when the cops come I just turn it up," Pat said.
The Funions usually don't play in bars, and we've never been officially told to turn it down, though we are always told we are too loud.
That aside (and we won't even talk about near-brawl in the parking lot), I thought we played pretty well. You really have to pay attention when playing at a 3-piece band. No beer and running around without caring in this lineup .... it was still a blast, and I hope Warren had a happy birthday.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Supposed to go to Norwoods today with some other Whiggers who are off today.
Hate it when that big green blob on the weatherchannel.com map gets closer and closer and closer ....
At least we didn't get out there and then get hammered with rain.
Instead I went out and bought the new U2 CD, No Line On The Horizon.
My initial impression after listening to every song is that when you get to be a 40-something rock star, you can write stream of consciousness songs and everybody will still buy your new CD.
Just kidding. Sort of. U2 is so freaking pretentious, but they don't hide it. Part of the charm, I suppose.
The other thing about these songs is that U2 really should just have Eno and Lanois join the band and play weird instruments on tour, then mute them in the mix.
After a first listen, I like Magnificent, Moment of Surrender and Breathe.
The others will grow on me, like most of U2's CDS.
Monday, March 23, 2009
So I just got a knock on the door and it's the little girl from down the street, selling candy bars for Berrian School.
Berrian has a special place in my heart, and how the heck can you say no when those big brown eyes peer up at you and she points out the five different kinds?
Plus I'm a chocoholic.
Anything for Mrs. Reis, Mrs. Frank and the awesome people at Berrian.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Went to The Dock last night to hear Slick Woody, one of Quincy's better classic rock bands.
The singer, Todd Hessling, showed off some new inner ear monitors and said they were awesome. Hearing yourself on stage when you play is a huge issue for bands and to be honest, there have been very few nights playing with The Funions where I've been able to clearly hear what we sound like from our view.
Most bands rely on a PA with monitors, speakers in the front pointing toward the band. With inner ear monitors, each band member can adjust the mix to hear what they want. Kevin Vandament of The Classics swears by them and if you watch any big time band, look carefully at their ears, they look like hearing aids. Actually, that's what they are!
Slick Woody had some sound issues. It resulted in them naming a new song, "I Can't Hear &^%$#," which I thought was pretty good! They just bought the inner ear monitors and were working out the bugs.
The mark of a good band, however, is to overcome sound issues and still play well, and that's exactly what the guys did Saturday.
I'm hoping to get The Funions booked into The Dock this summer, their outdoor stage is one of the better venues in Quincy.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Couple of updates for shows ....
Mark, Pat and I are playing a week from tonight at Paradise Bar, 10th and Hampshire, for Warren Riley's birthday.
April 17 is Rock Against Rape and features Cheeks McGee, Blue Healers and Fielder at Backwaters. This will be one of the biggest and best shows of the spring.
Two days later is the Southside Boat club jam. We are kicking things off with a half hour set at noon sharp.
More shows planned for this summer, stay tuned!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Wore a bit of the green on St. Patrick's Day - Westview Golf Course style.
Got to play with Lynn and Dennis Semerad. A crowded golf course isn't so bad when it's a perfect March day.
Because of my back I've had to alter my swing. I'm trying not to take such a vicious cut at the ball.
Wouldn't you know it - the smoother you swing, the better the results. Who'da thunk it?
Sore? Yes. Ready to do it again? Absolutely ....
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Went to the Wings-Blues game Saturday and was in awe most of the time.
Sitting five rows behind the bench of YOUR defending Stanley Cup champions will do it to you.
Shey Fey got the tickets. Holy crap! I've been to a lot of hockey games but never this close. TV just can't do justice to the game .... the speed, skill, precision, how big the players are, how they absolutely smack into each other.
It's a lot fun seeing the jawing and behind the play stuff.
It's a lot fun seeing the jawing and behind the play stuff.
Unfortunately St. Louis had it's big St. Patrick's parade right in front of Scott Trade Center, so getting to Union Station was impossible. There's a reason you leave early for St. Louis events.
Eventually we ended up near 18th Street and parked in the Glas Haus lot, then walked the half mile to the arena. Beautiful day, nice walk, plenty of time to see the warmups, etc.
No live hockey experience is complete without DSG. You know, Drunk Stupid Guys. They are usually about 25 years old, always have a $9 beer in their hands, and they bellow the whole game. They never really swear or completely go over the line, but they make fun of the Red Wings fans, goading them with stupid comments. Then they get even more mad when all you do it point to the scoreboard or just smile and ignore them. Finally, at the end of the game, the usher came up and told them to shut up.
Anyway, great game (for Wings fans), nice walk back, nice German dinner, no traffic on the way home.
If you ever get a chance to see an NHL game from a good seat, don't pass it up!
Friday, March 13, 2009
This Is Spinal Tap is the best movie every made. Everything else is tied for last.
So .... glad to see the boys are still out and about. Just with they'd come to St. Louis, or at least closer than Chicago.
The interview after the performance is priceless.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
So tonight I am covering a meeting for work. After the meeting there is a "debriefing" just down the street.
If you think I find this stuff out sitting at a desk, you are thinking wrong.
Anyway, I'm sitting there getting the scoop when I notice Dave Scharnhorst and some of his Irish RagTag band crew come in. Seems they just got done with a gig and were have a post-show nip of the Irish spirits.
The next thing I know, they break out their instruments and it's a full-blown Celtic jam session.
Wouldn't you know it - there was a story and more about them today, click here for more.
These guys (and gals) really are guerilla musicians - they will play anywhere, anytime, anyplace!
Sunday, March 08, 2009
The thing about being hired to play at a dinner and event is that you are at the whim of the organizer.
That's the way it should be, and no complaints here.
The Funions were honored to play at the Children's Action Network dinner last night. Thanks to Erin and Clairice for taking care of us. Also a big thank you to Mark Aleman from Tony's Too at the new Holiday Inn. If there's a harder working guy in the restaurant bidness, let me know.
This is the CAN's major fundraiser, and we could tell it was going to be a while before we got up to play. The auction took a long time, past 10 p.m. So Pat, who is all about playing anytime, anyplace and anywhere, grabbed my guitar, sent Rockabye out to get his acoustic, told Jack to grab the sax, and we set up in the lobby and played acoustic.
After a short set on the stage, it was nearly 11 p.m. so we called it quits. Mark Aleman said we could set up in the bar and keep playing, but there were a bunch of happy party-goers in the corner who asked up to play, so we obliged, as the photo shows.
Music is so much fun, plugged in or out, on stage or off, at a party or in the backyard.
Also, we were auctioned off and The Funions will be bringing the World Parking Tour 2009 to Jeff Spear's place of choice in the very near future.
All good ... except losing that hour!
Saturday, March 07, 2009
— The work week is done.
— You clean the house on a Saturday morning. I had no idea we could open those windows ...
— You set up for a show the night before. Tonight's CAC dinner promises to be .... interesting!
— You get an important furnace question answered. Click here.
— You get ready to take the Calftown Border Collie of Doom for a long walk to Greenmount Cemetery.
— You realize your most important function in the afternoon is to watch golf and nap, and not necessarily in that order.
Friday, March 06, 2009
The Funions now have T-Shirts!
Ted's Shirt Shack did a bang up job for us. They are $10 and available at all Funions shows, Woodland Cemetery on warm spring afternoons, Calftown in general and wherever fine jewelry is sold.
Beautiful Day last night in New York, by the way ....
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Quite possibly the best Letterman Top 10 List yet ... click here.
The problem with Youtube is that you hear these songs live before you hear them on a CD, and the live versions are often superior.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
Sorry about the lack of updates. That's one of the things I harp on about other blogs, and too many in Quincy aren't kept up. Let's just say work has been challenging and life itself keeps happening, www.whig.com today for more and you'll know what I mean.
Getting ready for the CAC dinner Saturday - Elvis will be in the house at the new Holiday Inn, a venue we have yet to play in.
One of these days I'll compile a list of the all the places The Funions have played. Unless I sit down and really think about it, I'm not sure just how many there are!