Moving Day

I'm moved in Boston and I've moved in LA.  Very different experiences.  


In Boston, moving day is like a city-wide holiday.  And it's like all the bad parts of a holiday with hardly any of the good parts.  Because so much of the city is students, almost everyone moves on September 1st.  And I mean EVERYONE.  The best part is most students aren't from Boston, so it's out-of-towners and 20-year-olds all hitting the streets in their U-Hauls and over-stuff minivans.  It's a nightmare.  Most of Boston's road's are either cowpaths or designed for horses in the 1700s, with lots of tiny one-way streets and almost no grid patterns.  If you miss you turn, you've just added 15 minutes of "getting to the nearest road big enough to turn around in while everyone else is also moving" to your trip.  The last 3 September 1sts, I've usually taken from 10am-6pm to move, probably no more than 2 miles each time.  

In LA, there was no city-wide parade of clueless drivers.  Well, there was of course, but it wasn't any different than any other day.  I took 3 trips; one for all my clothes and guitars and such, one for my mattress, and one for my boxspring.  Took maybe 2 hours.  The hardest part was getting a full mattress up the stairs by myself, but once I accepted that I was going to get a clean mattress out of this, it became much easier.  This is the first time since August, almost 5 months ago, that I've had a room that felt like mine.  I lived at home for a month, which obviously felt like my room, but outdated by 5 years.  Brian Jones graciously let me live in his room while he was out with Gwen Stefani, which was an amazing and fun way to begin living in LA, but, of course, it was very much Brian Jones' room.  And then I had my sublet in Atwater Village, stuffed with old acting books from ceiling to floor, with the constant company of three cats meowing into the space underneath my door, which had a certain charm to it for about one afternoon.  Now it's just me, a room, and Little Armenia outside my window.  I think I had my best night's sleep in weeks.

In the midst of all this moving, The Sidemen played at the Escondite/Hideout in DTLA.  3 45 minute sets, which was just a complete dream to have.  I was pretty nervous about filling all that; that's a full show and takes a lot of songs.  We had one rehearsal the day before, 2 completely new Sidemen, and no piano player.  Thankfully, Will Trueblood is in town and played trumpet, which just made everything tighten up.  Will's the first trumpet player to play with the Sidemen, and has played more Sidemen shows than anyone aside from me.  To have him on trumpet was almost like another me; he knew most of the music, and he knows how to read my cues, so he could lead the horn section on the fly, meaning we didn't have to rehearse more.  Ethan Saxe was on trombone; he played at the Mint last month so he's fresh and has a little experience.  Steven Griggs played tenor at the recommendation of Logan Ivancik, and what a good call that was.  Steven's a quick learner, and could make his sax dance like a fire at the tap of his shoulder.  Sam Ward was on drums again, my only LA drummer, and he's just perfect.  Very lyrical, has a undeniable heaviness to his playing, and has the wedding band chops to straighten his priorities playing-wise.  Everything he does is to push the energy in the correct direction.  The cherry on top was Jeff Kinsey, who I haven't played with a Sunday Funday in late December 2015.  He's still really good.  I did the classic "ask the bassist you actually want for bassist recommendations and see if they recommend themselves," and it worked!  He put in a lot of good work, shedding all the tunes before rehearsal.  Sight reading works if you play horns, or maybe a chordal instrument, but the drums and bass need to know what they're doing from the get-go, and both Sam and Jeff nailed it.  We also met Dana!  She's a regular at the Escondite and was very appreciate of us, hanging out for all 3 sets, and getting a CD and a t shirt.  Hopefully we'll see her again soon.

It's been a busy few days.  Jeff, Steven, Sam, and Nicole (who will soon join us on piano) were all commenting how the last few days have been a blur, with the end of Christmas and all the commitments around it, traveling, the new year.  Hopefully I'll soon have time to focus on what's really important: building the lego millennium falcon.  I've posted our progress below; I'm afraid it's not going to do.  If we cannot increase production soon, I may have to bring the Sidemen to an end until we finish the Falcon.  

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