Rememberies 2017

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Ah gee whiz is it cold in Chicago. That must mean we are in the thick of winter, 15 days in and only 3 months to go. Well, I guess it’s time to put the kettle on, curl up under the Mickey blanket and look back on another year in the books. Join me, won’t you, for some Rememberies.

January

The year really started off with a bang, everyone full of anxiety and uncertainty as we trust fell into the cesspool of 2**7. Me, I was holed up in my bedroom closet, which I had retrofitted with all the recording equipment from the living room since the living room had let me down. Moved in the 4 track and the sampler and tried not to go outside and worked on tunes for 3 weeks. Then as the month dawdled on, threw the sampler and a sleeping bag in Kenny’s car with James and Kdog for a getaway and state of the nation, working out the tunes I had dreamed up. We all got food poisoning in Florida and slept on couches and floors of varying degrees of comfort and cleanliness. Met the Bubble Boys, what’s up Bubble Boys!

February

The tour dragged on even after we all got sick of each other (haha just kidding, haha just kidding). Played at the Cowboys house which was a real treat. Made it home just in time for the Super Bowl. Go teams! Did some Nobunny shows at the end of the month, hanging out with Trevor and Sammy and laughing a whole lot.

March

Winter goes on forever in Chicago, March very much included. Played a couple of shows with the illustrious Gymshorts including the first ever mega-band 10 piece Slushy show and started talking to Jasom Sturdy about touring together but we’ll get to that soon enough.

April

Speaking of goofballs, we had a nice April Fool’s with a Lemons show at the perfect local watering hole, Cole’s! Bboy Brent Bunz came into town and we played a great show on a rooftop in the medical district with the Mope Grooves and the brilliantly named Judge Judy & Executioner. Hey, it’s pretty nice in Chicago in April! Something to look forward to! Also worked my last day at the office job after the FBI paid a visit to the office, but that’s another story altogether. Finished recording all of the tunes I’d been working on since January and got ready to make my debut as Chris Twist. Also Sammy moved in! Hi Sammy!

May

Got in the van and got the heck out of town as the calendar rolled over into the month of mothers and flowers and workers of the world unite! Made a pit stop in Mason City (Hi Karen! Hi John!) then on to Omaha for my pa’s birthday, then on to Jasom’s house to prepare for the Chris Twist tour. We were not sure what plan of action we would be pursuing but settled into a nice Jonathan-and-Tommy scheme, complete with gong. As we whiled our way westward we got real keen about finding cowboy hats but instead we found Jade in Oakland and turned into a trio for the remainder of the tour. Lots of nice times camping and laughing and occasionally eating. Had a birthday in May, just like every other year! Did a double dose of big band Slushy in Chicago to celebrate the release of “Hello, I’m Chris Twist”. 13 members and not one practice. Even went up to Minnesota on my own for a great show and another show.

June

Officially quit my office job after failing to come back from tour. So long and thanks for all the fish! Then used my newly acquired free time to sit around and read and drink coffee and pick my nose. Talking about a good time.

July

Nobunny was in high demand and I was honored to be pulled along on his ratted fur coattails. Took our first flight out to California and played the Mosswood Park Boogaloo, got to meet Mr. John Waters and lay eyes on Mr. Jim Osterberg, among many also-rans. Heck, good ol’ Brent was also in town for the shindig and we weaseled our way on one of those so-called aftershows that just so happen to take place after the main show. What a fun time! Hi Iris! Hi JT! The end of the month saw Slushy rubbing elbows with Santa Claus in Dekalb, IL, for their corn parade. Hi Santa! Also Today’s Hits released a full-length album on Randy Records. It’s really good! I play the bass.

August

The Bunny boys kept flying out to California all summer, mostly to hang out at Taco Boy and Juke Joint. In between jaunts, Max came downstairs and we started making a new Lemons album that will some day see the light of day.

September

Finished that Lemons album! Nobunny did some shows with Nickabrac, had less laughs. Miss you Trevor!

October

Had a couple of shows and had a good Halloween and Jason and Jade were hard at work booking a Chris Twist tour. I was Johnny Ramone as the Joker for Halloween, very layered. Oh and I had a beard for most of the month, quite the look!

November

Flew to California again on the first of the month to play a show in Pioneertown, an old Western movie set where Bob Dylan now lives and Paul McCartney sometimes plays. Hi Bob, Hi Paul! Then flew back to Chicago for one sleep and hit the road, drove to Omaha, picked up Jason, Jade was already in the van, and scooted on out to Kearney, Nebraska to kick off the 2nd Chris Twist Trio tour. What a time that was! Lots happened plus we got to see David! Hi David! I’ll tell you all about it sometime. Did that old Thanksgiving with the family in Omaha and squeezed in a few more days with Ryan and Kelly in the van, bought a book on Stand Up Comedy (be funny, have a good routine…) and a book by Kermit the Frog and a phone that looks like a golf bag. Went to Santa Claus, Indiana of all places! I think that’s about it.

December

Came home from tour like a clean counter: wiped! Ayane and Kumi from the Mellvins came from Tokyo to visit for Christmas and we got them a show while they were here. Kenny’s got a new TV show called “The Luke Tokyo Drifter Show with Ken Dog Millionaire”, look for me in a couple of episodes! Rang in the New Year with a Today’s Hits set at Thalia Hall with the inscrutable Twin Peaks. Love you!

How Many Shows was That?

Some rough guestimating:

  • Slushy: 53
  • Nobunny: 21
  • The Lemons: 2
  • Today’s Hits: 2
  • Jerkbox Jukes: 4
  • Cookie: 9
  • The Undertakers: 2
  • All Day Buffet: 1
  • The Pinheads: 2
  • Randy Tuesday: 3

Summation: 99 gigs.

All in all, a pretty solid year! Released a new batch of recordings of tunes of my creation, released a nice sounding batch of tunes of James’s creation, created a new batch of Lemons songs, listened to lots of good music, had lots of good conversations, ate lots of good foods, kinda hard to beat!

Some lessons learned: It’s a good idea to keep some kind of a diary because I definitely lost track of some of the non-Slushy shows, also it’s just good to have quick access to all the memories that were unmade as quickly as they were made. Some only last a day! Also, this is just an aside that I’ll tuck in somewhere else when I re-edit this, I got a nice camera from my pa that I need to put to use more often. I even got film for it in Bloomington but what the heck!

Looking Back at Looking into the Future

Every year I like to try to predict what might be in store for the year ahead. Let’s see how well the crystal ball did this time last year.

  • A New Slushy Record: Indeed there was, but with under the new Chris Twist name. New name? Same old Slushy? What gives? I dunno, dear reader, but I’m going to count this one as a success, just hold your horses though cuz Slushy isn’t done for either, return the flowers. Gonna give this one a A-minus since it was released on tape but not record.
  • Still in Nobunny: I made it the whole year and played every Nobunny show there was to play. Gonna try to keep up that track record going strong in the new year. Grading that one a A-plus.
  • Staying in Chicago: For all my dickering about someday leaving the Windy City behind, I did indeed ring in the New Year here and still call it home. Big thanks to Sammy on this one. The Second City will always be a solid Number Two in my eyes, maybe this is the year I find my Number One. With a grade of B-plus since not moving out of town is more a sign of laziness than anything else.
  • Jokes: I’m not sure what this was trying to predict or will into existence, probably my annual reference to doing stand-up comedy. I didn’t, but I did buy a book about it. Let’s call that a C Natural.
  • Grow Up: Did not. Good job. A-plus
  • Van Life: Not so many long stretches in the van but did 1 solo Slushy and 2 Chris Twist tours, getting the name and face and charm out there for better or for worse. Still lots of down time, maybe the most ever?? Oh well, we’ll grade that a B-minus.
  • A band and a record: Nope. F-plus.

Okie dokie, not exactly a fridge-worthy report card but it also doesn’t go straight in the garbage can. Maybe tuck that one under the microwave?

Crystal Balls Engage

All right, those of you who have been paying attention know that we end the Rememberies with predictions for the forthcoming year. So without any further ado, a segment that needs no introduction, please put your hands together, I pay myself by the word, the one and only futurecast.

  • Never stop playing: I’d like to play lots of shows in and around the world.
  • Squeeze the juice: Sometimes I halfway come up with ideas for songs that leave them at that, no longer! Let’s make some good songs and get them out there into the world.
  • Open mic every Wednesday: at Coles. Just get up there and do it, ya dummy! But no pressure.
  • Learn some skills: I don’t know how to do a lot of stuff, I should change that.
  • TV or not TV: I have a pretty good idea for a show that I should probably get to work on.
  • Clean house: There’s a lot of good junk in the house but a smaller proportion of regular junk, I should probably clean.

Ok that’s it, bye, I love you!


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