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Entry date: 6-9-2024 – Productivity Rules – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday was another productive day. It felt really good. The day started off way too early, but that’s okay. One of these days I’m going to have no choice but to get a good night’s sleep.

 

I was awakened by the universe around 5:30AM even though my alarm was set for six. We had a carpenter coming over to work on the sides of our house. We had some woodwork that needed to be done and he was right on time. Around 7:15AM I went over to my buddy’s house to see if he could make my bumper look better.

 

Dave absolutely ruled it. In about 15 minutes, it was looking about 95% better. We had a good conversation and I headed back home to get ready for tiling. I spoke to Rhondi, and we figured a few things out, and I also put a new battery in her car. The old one made it almost three years. That’s awesome in this heat.

 

I had the new battery in pretty quickly and then I started measuring spots and cutting tile. This was tedious, but I got everything I wanted to do done and then some. There will be more today, but once I get done with the hard parts today, it’s pretty smooth sailing for the rest of it.

 

Knock on wood.

 

***** 

 

After I do some tiling, I think I’m going to have lunch with the fellas and then go to a Living Room Collective jam session. It’s not really appropriate to call it “practice” because we don’t really practice. We jam and record and make songs, but we don’t practice. I kind of love that.

 

*****

 

Happy Sunday everyone.

 

***** 

 

There are moments when you feel good about helping someone do something. Sometimes it is something small but can have a big effect on someone else’s day and other times it is something big that impacts people’s lives for a while. Being of service to others just plain feels good. At least for me. I can’t speak to how others feel about it and evidence shows that a lot of people don’t know the joy of being kind or serving others.

 

Today’s record is one that I had a hand in even though I wouldn’t expect any album credit. When Jeremy Randall, who is an almost irreplaceable guitarist left No Volcano, Jim Andreas reached out to me about possible replacements. I gave him two suggestions and one of them stuck.

 

Bill Goethe has been one of my best friends for almost 40 years. He also happens to be a killer guitar player. I thought his personality might mesh well with Jim, drummer extraordinaire and knob twiddler, Chris Kennedy, and bassist James Karnes (formerly of the great Les Payne Product), and I was right. Even though Bill and Jeremy have very different styles when they are just letting it loose, Bill is one of those guys that will work his ass off to get a song right. I knew he would be able to pull off the old No Volcano stuff and be great at helping them make something new.

 

In 2019, they put out Rubber Dagga. It was the first thing that Bill played on, and he brought a bit more rock and roll to the No Volcano party. In talking with both Jim and Chris, and I think James, too, it was evident that everyone was really happy with what Bill added to the mix.

 

For me, I love the record. I’m super fond of all the No Volcano stuff. They are one of those local bands that is just a cut above most other bands, for me, and it’s a shame more people around the world don’t know about them. They are also doing their thing, their way, and I have a ton of respect for that.

 

Jim’s lyrics are among the best I’ve ever listened to in this life. I’ve been a fan for 40 years and a friend for about 30, so it gives me great pleasure and pride to write it. On Rubber Dagga, Jim is up to his usual greatness and even utters a perfectly placed “F” bomb. I remember being so giddy the first time I heard “Mover,” the song in question.

 

In addition to the consistency Andreas brings to the songwriting, Chris Kennedy’s drums and production are also always on point. He did a great job of mixing the rawer sound of Goethe’s guitar into songs like “Extrovert,” which kicks things off with a bang and “Logged In,” which is a great track three.

 

As a big baseball fan, I’m always curious about the third and fourth songs of a record. For some reason, I need albums to have a really strong three and four hitter, just like a good baseball team. “Logged In” might be my favorite track on Rubber Dagga, but it is hard to pick just one.

 

The band got a great little guest stint from the rad Lonna Kelley on “Golden.” Her voice really compliments Andreas and I hope they collaborate again. It’s a short song, but it is like a warm embrace from an old friend.

 

Another favorite of mine on the CD is “Rocket.” It’s a bit slower in tempo for much of the song, but it has this hopeful bridge about love that makes me smile. No Volcano are the kind dudes that you just sort of have to root for. When they are happy, I feel good.

 

One of the things I happen to love about Rubber Dagga is that it is a really hopeful record and there is a lot of raw, yet healthy emotion on it. Andreas opened himself up a lot on this one. As his friend, it’s great to hear him put his heart on his sleeve and let the universe know that he was ready for what was coming next in life.

 

I wish other local artists would allow themselves to be as vulnerable. Phoenix is a town with lots of talent running around inside it. No Volcano sets the bar high for the rest of us.

 

***** 

 

See you tomorrow.



A million monkeys would need 30 years to type up the prompt I have the AI today.

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