The Hemlock Pop “Crushing On What Might Be” album release show was a success! Quite a turnout, especially considering all the other tantalizing forms of entertainment afoot in Seattle that night — Capitol Hill Block Party, Bite of Seattle, Code Bros Battle to the Death, etc. (just kidding about that last one, but if that was on Netflix, I’d get a bucket of bloody popcorn, stat).
Also in the news…”Crushing On What Might Be” is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3, Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, YouTube Music and more, as well as directly from my label, OrangePants Records. Some video footage of the show is coming soon. Thanks to Don Farwell, Terry Mattson, and Levi Seitz for their assistance in making the album, Mike Lucero for setting up the show and playing keys, Brinn Cody O’Dwyer, Chad Hanson, and Wren Hanson for helping me make my video for “Something About Ruby”, Steve Gale for drumming, Chad Hanson for harmonizing, Patrick Porter for bassing and harmonizing, Ken Stringfellow with whom it was an honor to rock, The Breaking for masterfully opening the show, Steve Rydgren for filming, Emily Diehl for running my merch table, the High Dive for hosting us, David Miller for insisting on loaning me his Dr. Z amp and many analog stomp box pedals, and myself for crafting such a spectacular run-on sentence! The aforementioned gear loan was even more serendipitous, considering I was then able to loan Ken Stringfellow my Blackstar HT-60 combo amp, and my Gibson SG for the night, since I had other gear to use. Also of note (and really cool) is I’ve known Chad and Patrick since we were basically kids. In fact, Patrick taught me how to play octaves on an electric guitar when I was a 13 year old punk who put fingerprints on everything in the music store where he worked. I used that octaves technique Friday at the show! It’s all come full circle, haha! I’ve played shows with Chad, I’ve played shows with Patrick, they’ve played shows with each other, but this is the first time all three of us worked together on a musical project. Why it took twenty years, I don’t know. But, was a great experience and I’m stoked that went down and they were willing to rock with me. Thanks, dudes.
I don’t get out and do these sorts of things very often anymore, but I’m trying to change that. When I was a bit younger, it was all about the shows, and performing live was this sustaining force akin to a compulsion. Not sure what changed in the illusory passage of “time”. Maybe too many other interests crept in, or everything started to feel too heavy, or perhaps I became more balanced? (oh, and did I mention where monkeys may fly out of?). There’s a line in the movie, The Breakfast Club, where Ally Sheedy’s character, Allison Reynolds (the outcast batcaver/goth girl), says “When you grow up…your heart dies.” For a long time that haunted me and seemed to explain it all in a nice, neat, romantic sentence. Poetic, but, it’s bullshit (I still like the movie, though!). I can’t speak for everyone, but to get off my ass here’s what it came down to: I had to stop having reasons. As silly as it may sound, I had to stop even knowing what a reason was. For every reason, and everything I felt like I had to prove — all I could think of was all the reasons not to, and all the ways I could fail…and for a very long time I was just catatonic. Upon losing the reasons, and losing the proving…the weight lifted, and I finally put out this album and a momentum still sort of carries me. A very wise fellow once asked me to not only walk a line, but prove I was walking a line. It made sense immediately. When you look back with every step you take — to prove you are taking a step — how far do you get, and how clumsy is your walk? And with that, all I’m trying to say is…Imma play more shows and put out more music, haha </ExistentialistBlathering>. And all I’ve had is coffee today. Good thing it wasn’t Irish!
Next up, I plan to continue doing whatever promotion I can with this Hemlock Pop album (social media, radio, licensing, etc.), release a couple of album outtakes, book a few more Hemlock Pop shows. As well, working on getting my other heavy rock band, Crashdown Butterfly, actually, like…heavy rocking. Crashdown Butterfly is Steve Gale (drums), Bob Lyman (bass), David Miller (lead guitar/backup vocals) and myself (lead vocals/guitar) and we play our debut show (also coincidentally at the High Dive) on August 26th with Blue Helix and The Adarna. Our first “single” (and hopefully video) will also be released next month! I’m also talking with Braden Blake (of Super Deluxe) about supporting him on some of his harmony-laden endeavors, but that is TBD.
Thanks again to all who were part of Friday’s show. It’s kind of a blur, but in that warm-n-fuzzy, vasoline lens kind of way. And now, I have to go listen to that Stone Temple Pilots song and do the dishes that piled up while I focused only on this show for the last two weeks. METAL! 👿
Top featured image by Ted Porter