Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street.

I can't believe that in 8 minutes it'll be June. Wow. Although I know that Summer officially begins on June 21, for my own practical use, tomorrow is the day. Here's a picture of Paavo (yes, that's a drawn-on moustache and giant foam noodle), who is also ready for Summer Fun. He asks each day, "Daddy, can we go swimming at the lake?"

After a couple of mentally taxing weeks, I'm looking forward to tons of fun, flexibility, and freedom in the next few months!

Here are some facets of life that I'm excited about:

DOMESTIC ENVIRONMENT
It's been one year since we moved to this house and in recent days Dawn and I have made great strides in finally unpacking and setting up the remainder of our stuff. We got a new vacuum that really destroys filth...it's been shock and awe for the carpeting around here. I purged a huge laundry basket sized load of clothes from my closet and dressers....we've raised the requirements on "clothing worth keeping" (why am I keeping shirts I haven't worn in 8 years?) in our family, and are preparing to flood the local clothing-donation places with fashions spanning nearly two decades.
Finally, we've reached glorious feng shui deliciousness in our basement family room thanks to the purchase of the 25-cubbied Expedit shelf from IKEA. Paavo and Svea's toys are now sorted into lovely species groups...wooden train stuff, round Fischer Price people, foam shapes, Lincoln Logs, army guys, Legos, etc. Our basement feels twice as big as before! And man, did Paavo and I have fun putting that shelf together. "Expedit" indeed! IKEA stuff is fun to assemble. Paavo manned the alan wrench, I tapped in the little fastener-pegs, and we had Alejandro Escovedo's newest album rocking in the background.

TRAVEL AND TOURING
Tomorrow we wake up and hit the road across the state of Wisconsin to the legendary Door County where we'll meet up with the maternal side of my extended family for a big wedding of one of my cousins. I'm looking forward to jacking my iPod directly into the Aux input on the car stereo and setting that puppy on shuffle. It'll be the first road trip in my family's new Saturn Vue Hybrid, and I'm excited to fly her down the open road.

Also, I've got some cool musical dates lined up in mid-month throughout Chicagoland. I'll have 5 gigs in 4 days...now there's a good use of time. All that, plus today I bought plane tix for a nine day zip through Texas at the end of June...it feels great to have the tickets purchased, reserved, rental car confirmed, etc. I'll get to play music in four states in June!

MUSICAL CREATIVITY
Last week I dropped off a completed recording with mix-master Matt Patrick (who did such a great job with many of the songs on my new Best of the 20th Century album). It's a song I initially wrote and recorded back in Fall 1999 for the Sound Theology project...with the awesome Matt Thobe of the band Dolly Varden playing drums. I scrapped the idea and it didn't make it on the album, and I kept the drums and guitar sitting around for years. Three different sets of lyrics later, I finally finished the tune, and rounded it out with bass guitar, shaker, tambourine, and stacks of cozy harmony vocals. I'm quite proud of the results...I think that after eight years, it'll be worth the wait. We'll see what Matt does to it in the mix!

Also, a couple nights ago I did something that I haven't had a chance to do for months: fire up the ProTools and work on unfinished recordings! This past week I edited the drums and rhythm guitar parts for a song called "World of Wheels" that I'm close to finalizing. The lyrics were written WAAAY back in the early '90s (I'm still reading them off of the original piece of scrap paper where I wrote them down) but I had totally forgotten about them for more than a decade. The music was written and recorded with my brother Tim in our hometown of Ishpeming, MI during a very fruitful recording session back in Fall of 2000. Tim played drums and I played a crappy electric guitar my brother found at the dump, with only three strings on it. The strings (all low ones) were tuned in some widely open power chord, and it allowed some pretty cool riffs. A couple months ago I realized I could sing the "World of Wheels" lyrics over the guitar/drums rhythm track, and BOOM, 'twas a match made in heaven. Or at least in Edina.
Now that the song structure is complete, I'll probably add additional guitar and vocals next. Eventually bass, acoustic piano maybe, more percussion. It's a very classic rock type of vibe. Cool fact: it shall be the first song I've ever recorded in F#.

Okay...gotta go switch the laundry. (Oh, and all the laundry-based frustration I expressed last week has been resolved. A couple days ago I did more laundry singlehandedly than I've ever done in my life before, and what progress! Folded everything, hung everything, put everything away, filtered out kids' clothes that they'd grown out of, purged my own wardrobe...it was profoundly satisfying.) Alright, down I go to the basement.

Comments

Lisa Herlocker said…
Glad to see things are looking up for you after the blog before last. What do you think of the Hybrid Vue? Matt's sorting through some car choices right now. Cute "green" family picture by the way.
Bridget Delaney said…
Seguin, TX. . .any info about that?

I was hoping that since you'd be in TX, at some point you may be a bit closer to Lake Charles, LA! My sister would love to see you, so we are considering a fun road trip, though (depending on the concert situation)!

Stein Auf!
Bridget

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