I took a little vacation from the computer for the last week or so. I still check my iPhone every five seconds so it's not like I've been out of touch with, what?, Facebook, Email, Local News, Weather, Twitter etc. I'm always connected. You got a problem with that? I'm trying to figure out a way to get internet connectivity in my dreams so I can check my email while floating over the flooded streets on my friendly dream Yak named Glimpsht.
So what happened while I was away? Well, I had a couple Christmases. Caught up with family, saw the nieces and nephews a year older, ate a lot of cookies. I watched a few movies. I went on a brief overnight trip to the twenty ninth floor of a casino hotel - that was a safe, quiet, and relaxing place to be after a restless night the night before in a neighborhood that had just been the victim of arson attacks. Yep, arson. Maybe you saw it on the news (it made it to the top story on CNN), Northampton center had a string of somewhere between nine and seventeen fires lit in the wee hours of the morning on December 26th. There have been suspicious fires now for years in one small neighborhood. This year the arsonist(s) expanded a bit and lit a series of fires in a half mile wide circle around the city center. Most were car fires but a few were houses. In one of the houses, two people were killed.
It pretty much has shaken the community. The next night, police cars and fire trucks patrolled the streets regularly as we lay in bed listening to all the sounds that the house makes. Most of the houses in town now have their porch lights on all night. It's actually kind of nice looking, like the whole town is up and waiting for you to come home. But it's creepy.
What else happened this past week? We had a practice for the big Tom Petty tribute night coming up on Thursday. This event has now become a benefit concert. The Iron Horse Entertainment Group and the performing musicians are donating all ticket proceeds to the local First Cross. It's this Thursday. You should go, it's gonna be a great night. It's also probably going to sell-out so get your tickets now.
We played a few shows on New Year's Eve as part of Northampton's First Night celebration. Both School for the Dead and the Fawns played to wonderful audiences who earnestly seemed excited to be seeing us and hearing our music. I think we made some new friends and fans. At midnight, Lesa and I went out into the center of town to watch the ball rise and to scream at the night sky with the throngs of revelers. We were too far back in the crowd to hear the countdown and when Lesa casually glanced at her phone, we discovered it was 12:01. Happy new year.
Now it's 2010. The new year is starting off real busy for us here in the bands. On Thursday we have the Tom Petty show. On Friday Brian is playing with the National Convention at the Apollo Grill in Easthampton, MA (In fact, he's doing that most Fridays this month). On Saturday, The Fawns, Me, and Sitting Next To Brian are playing another fire benefit concert, this one at The Elevens. Next Thursday is a Goldwater concert at The Sierra Grille and the Sunday after we head into the studio to start the debut Goldwater album. The week after that we'll have a Sitting Next To Brian CD Release Concert and the week after that we'll have The Great Mix-CD Mix-Up (Disk 2) on January 29th!
This month is going to be over before you know it. By that time 2010 won't look strange anymore. But right now it still looks strange, and I dig that.