Rememberies: 2019

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A Happy New Year to you, SlushBlog reader. Welcome to the latest annual diary that we call Rememberies. This is a very special installment because there’s a lot to remember! No time for a rambling preamble, let’s take a gamble on a gambol!

January

Your ace reporter rang in the New Year 2019 at the Casa de Bricabric, wherein the hot topic of conversation was the upcoming birthday celebration of everyone’s mutual friend Justin, the show that would be held to commemorate such, the performance I would give as part of said, and what name, if any, Justin would christen me from a shortlist I had provided. It turns out it was Eddie Cockroach!* And so, less than a baker’s dozen days later, the Eddie Cockroach show premiered. This act, dear reader, if you’ve not seen it, is me (Chris, Slushy, etc) improvising synthesizer noodles, accompanied by a lamp. I thought about rehearsing, but then thought better of it, and it was truly an on-the-fly-on-the-wall experience. It was pretty cool! And I did another performance not too much later at Bric-A-Brac Records, plus a couple of others as the year progressed. Meanwhile, recording began on two new albums, one of which was released to general acclaim in 2019, the other of which was not. Also, we played a couple of Slushy shows, at the Empty Bottle and the Sleeping Village, neither of which has asked us to return as of press time.

February

The shortest month of the year began with me practicing chewing gum and walking at the same time, and I must admit I got pretty close to pretty good at it. Valentine’s Day saw the release of The Bottom of a Rotten Flower, the Cowboy’s album that was recorded the prior summer, featuring 5 Cowboys and a whole heck of a lot of groovy tunes. To celebrate, we (4) hit the road and played some of those songs and some others for people living east of the Mississippi River. They seemed to enjoy it about as much as we did!

March

Finished up the Gauchos tour to find that my dishwashing job didn’t need me anymore. Oh well, more time to spend recording. Lots and lots of emails back and forth with Jason Steady as we planned a tour and swapped tracks for what would become “The Return of the Paisley Angels”, a country pop album of the highest order. After two tours of Jason backing me up, plus two of his own with other folks backing him up, we had a nice rapport with the Nebraska-out-to-California-and-back-to-Nebraska part of the world and tailor made a set of songs to do it again. When I wasn’t working on those, I was working with Max on new Lemons songs that are still in progress but sounding pretty dang good! Even had time to play a few cool Slushy shows in there, reuniting the European lineup at some point for good measure. Also Ray had a birthday. Happy birthday, Ray!

April

Played some Nobunny Easter shows and had a lovely Easter supper and lots of good eats for the first 3 weeks of the month then headed to Omaha. Spit and Polished all those songs, got garbed up, got in the van and off we went to present The Return of the Paisley Angels to a smitten public. We were charming, we were witty, we were well-dressed. What more could you ask for? We saw friends, we made friends, we were friends. We van-camped all over then made it to the promised land and survived on cheap tacos.

May

Touring to California is great and all but it means you have to tour back but hey it’s not all that bad! Saw some favorite places and some brand new places and everyone loved the suits that Jason made for us and we smiled a lot. Came through Chicago for two-or-three days to celebrate my birthday and show Jason around. Normally these tours are two or three weeks but we decided why not make it five and after we left Chicago we found out why. Ah but it wasn’t so bad, at least I enjoyed myself. Finished the month hanging with the whole family in Omaha. Then it was…

June

Off to Indiana to record the next Cowboys album! The 3 ‘boys were already holed up in a studio in Goshen when I arrived and had done some good work on some tunes I had heard demos of once or twice and I made some contributions and we played a show with an elephant on the stage and it was recorded but they goofed and forgot to record my guitar or maybe that’s just what they told us. Finally made it back to Chicago where there was a lot to do that mostly involved laying in the park and watching the sunset. Bric-A-Brac Records turned 6 years old and both Eddie Cockroach and the Cowboys performed at the three-day birthday party.

July

Took a flying machine to Oakland, Calif., to Nobunny it up at the Booger Bugaloo saw saw lots of friends (Twompsax!) and then came home where um no other distinct recollections but it was a wonderful month.

August

Played at Cafe Mustache with the now-classic brand-new Slushy lineup featuring Laure Elie on bass guitar and vocals (plus Justin and Chris). We’ll be showcasing this lineup again real soon as of this writing. I think a couple of Cowboys shows in there, too.

September

Sammy and Ayane got married earlier in the summer and in summer’s waning days they had their wedding party party at the Happy Gallery. Slushy the band didn’t play but Slushy the me did because hey Marian moved back from Arizona and Cookie played! And I joined American Breakfast on the recently-reacquired Farfisa organ! AB played a couple of other shows, too, this was the third one or the first of three in quick succession, hard to say which but what a fun band to be in, Cookie too!

October

When the Cowboys did an east coast tour coinciding with the release of a brand new album, it was such a success that we said, “Hey why not do the exact same thing but in smaller cities that are farther apart and let’s wait six months when the excitement of a new album isn’t there any longer!” And that’s exactly what we did in October, going to a bunch of tiny dots on the map of middle earth and playing for fingers of people (like you can count them on the fingers on your hand[s]). It was okay. The weather was nice.

November

I grew a mustache and went to France. I consumed a cornucopia of cheese and bread and wine and spent my whole life there, or so it seemed, but then I came back because there was a Nobunny tour and that will always bring me back. The Lemons second album “At Home” was released on vinyl record, a year after coming out on tape and a whole nother year after it was recorded so that’s nice to know that good things still come to those who wait.

December

Just good vibes ya know? The year ended with Nobunny at the Empty Bottle and then The Lemons played New Years Eve and we had a 10 person band and it was amazing, it was our second show of the year and the first one was when Michael Lennie was in town, I remember it was really nice out so maybe September or October? It wasn’t as nice out on New Years but it was still nice.

Play Much?

Oh brother that’s a good question let’s see….

  • Slushy: 7
  • The Lemons: 2
  • Nobunny: 6
  • The Cowboys: 33
  • Cookie: 1
  • American Breakfast: 3
  • The Paisley Angels: 30
  • Eddie Cockroach: 4

Total: 86 I guess. Decent, all things considered, and there may even be some shows I’m forgetting. It’s nice to break 100 though, I’ll have to do that this year.

Redictions

Every year I made pronouncements and guestimates of what my near-term future holds, and then see how they turned out. So let’s stick with tradition and do that thing I just said then, now.

  • Sing, Cowboy: This was a very informed guess, that Jason and I would do a singing cowboy thing. We did! Our suits looked amazing, our songs were great, there were CDs and tapes and we booked a whole tour and played all those shows and more. Great job!
  • Milk from Lemons: Album 2 is out now on vinyl, album 3 is mostly recorded, and album 4 is currently being written. We even played a show with the whole gang plus some new auxiliary members and those who could hear it loved it. Good job, Lemons!
  • Continental breakfast: Did you know Brent has been living in Australia? I did know that, and had schemes to go visit him and do a Slushy tour down yonder, but … it didn’t come together I guess because I didn’t try hard enough to make it happen. And then Brent’s house burnt down. Sorry Brent! Sorry Australia! Maybe next year?
  • Band Together: Justin is the king of showing up when we have a gig, and now Laure is on bass, so I guess that counts as a band, even though we’ve never practiced off stage but that’s good mojo. Thanks band! Maybe I’ll get some more people to really be in it, and maybe we’ll all record together some day…
  • Lots of bands, hm?: Well well, let’s see, I joined 1 band I’ve long been a fan of, reunited 1 band that had drifted apart, started 1 new band that’s really just a solo project, and if you noticed above, there were 8 distinct projects going. Downright decent!

Four out of five predictions came close enough to coming true for me to say, “WOW!” or maybe even “WOAH!” but not quite “WOOOOO!”

Now let me perceive what may be coming next for Slushy in all its forms…

2020 Visions

Simple goals that are easily attainable.

  • Play: Playing music is a good time, especially when performing for people who are enjoying it. I wanna do that! Lots!
  • Write: Playing the same songs over and over is a good way to explore the intricacies of subtle variations. On this we can certainly agree. But creating new pieces is, in my understanding, an incredible way to communicate with the universe/god/love/the well of endless possibilities. I wanna do that!
  • Record: As long as I’ve been involved in creating music, I’ve enjoyed the process of turning recorded sounds into a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Alchemy! The ancient mysteries! Yes, one and one can equal three of five or nineteen even! Even numbers can be prime! The square root of negative one is only imaginary so long as we pretend it is so! Uh mmmm yeah I want to record, my songs, your songs, our songs, whatever. Let me know.
  • Travel: I like touring and I like traveling and they are completely different experiences and I want do both. Very often or maybe just occasionally, who knows?
  • Love: One love, one life, let’s get together and feel all right.

Hey that’s a lot of writing for one day. I could go on and on and I probably will but those will be other blog posts, this one is just about done. I just wanna say thank you folks known and unknown who have giving me the confidence to keep being Slushy, I think I’ll stick with it.

Peace and Love to You and Yours,
Chris.


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