« Circular Motion »

Today was a clear milestone in my moving progress. Nearly every piece of my musical life was trucked out of here in two trips. Drum kit, complete with absurd number of cymbals that collectively weigh a ton, four snare drums, rack, djembe, hardware, more hardware, percussion toys. And then the guitar stuff–head, cabinet, pedalboard. And bass cab. A couple tubs of cables and mics, and studio monitors. Mic stands. It was a lot of stuff, but less than if this were a week or so ago when the Rhodes piano was carted out to some dude who actually paid $70 more than I paid for it five years ago. Or, this collection was vastly less than if this were 2001 when my studio swelled to ungodly size for a hobbyist.

The irony here today was that this whole bunch of stuff was taken back to my dad’s house, where once upon a time my life there was uprooted in about two hours back in August of '96, a day that will always be known as one of the most hellish days ever for me. But now, nine years later, I am calmly moving all my music stuff into the same room where it was set up and ready to use all those years ago. (Actually, about the only common stuff from then to now is the drums, or rather one of the kits—I had two kits back then.) This time around, all my stuff is in bags or tubs, all neatly organized instead of being heaved into my car or Robin’s mother’s minivan and evacuated out of his house to this house where I am now leaving.

His house is being cleared out of some really filthy tenants who have just ransacked the place for a couple years. It's hard to tell where his quick-and-nasty workmanship leaves off and their slop picks up. I am an outspoken critic of his workmanship regarding my house, but it has been pretty rare for me to get into his house since I left. Only a year later he was already renting it out, so most of the time it has been rented out and off limits to me but I’ve seen it a couple times recently and it's just dismal. It's ghetto style now. It is barely recognizable as the place I spent my first 23 years. I mean, it's bad. The kitchen has had the greatest degree of facelift but all else is just ridiculously bad, and it's hard to imagine what would be able to fix it right but for a total rebuild. It made me sad to see it that way, but with my dear house here being taken from me, I am effectively over it all for at least a while. But, since this room he let me use was going to be available for a few months, and it was inside a place I could reasonably trust, it was just nice to know that my precious gear was not going to some distant storage locker or a rehearsal studio where opportunistic musicians and their riff-raff buddies might take nicely to such a nice stock of gear all in one package. Until I figure out how much I can fit and then get away with in the apartment, my entire collection of gear shall remain at his house.

It was seven years ago when Hog Heaven was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and it was always the place where my growing collection of gear (and whatever anyone else left here while sessioning, or letting me use stuff for months on end) would be in a windowless room behind one locked door to which I alone held the keys. It was as secure as could be. After being trained on that luxury for longer than any other single storage and playing arrangement I’ve ever had, anything else just scares me. But it's just gear now, and most of it seems to get less and less use. I sometimes got to wondering if the sheer convenience of having all my toys in my own sandbox made me complacent. I guess we shall see. The last time I lived in an apartment, right after leaving my dad’s house, and before living here, I did record a lot. Granted, I barely ever got to play drums, but I kept recording whatever else I could get away with. I used a guitar with a pitch shifter to fake a bass. Or a small keyboard that would stand in for bass, and perhaps some crappy percussive noises. Whatever I could do, I did. I got real resourceful. I always did what when I didn’t own everything myself. Now that I own everything, and its all basically good stuff, I use it less. So maybe being confined to acoustic and VS-880 would focus me a bit more. But really, ProTools is my platform now and it doesn’t take much to make it work, but I will have a hard time putting anything into it. I am all about live guitar and bass now, and live drums. I don’t use any electronics now, or amp models, though I suppose I could lay out $300 for Amplitube and play that game. We’ll see.

my new studio space sort of cluttered with stuff in anticipation of moving house.Well, hell season is coming to an end soon. I start work on Monday and am supposed to wrap up the housing then too. I will be moving the bed and my computer over to the new place by the time any of you read this and will be more or less fully into the new place. Not much left here to make it feel like home. Just a mess that says some people lived here.

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