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Date: Sat 03 Aug, 2002 at 00:00
Headline: Reality Check
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Greetings and Salutations!

So, how are things?

Busy. And about to get even busier.

Thanks to the unflagging support of our friend Timmy Cruz, we have a chance -- the first one in nearly a year -- to prove ourselves at an A-list club, and we plan to take Harry O's by storm on Tuesday. Though it seems that the club is only advertising the FloydShow aspect of our performance, we will in fact be pumping out a bunch of our tunes as well. Very much looking forward to it.

In addition to that gig and the upcoming Alternative Grounds re-opening, we also have several shows lined up through the end of September. We may be headed out of town for a jaunt or two, and then we're essentially going to be the house band at Getty's for a few weeks. We have two gigs bookending the FloydShow on Sept 6, all three concerts being two weeks apart. And this, after our much ballyhooed return to the club last week proved to be less-than-stellar in terms of box office. Are we insane? More to the point, are they? Well...quite possibly, but we will be making the best use of our time and space in several ways, some of which I dare not disclose at the moment for fear of jinxing our success.

Speaking of our most recent outing, I have finally seen the videotape and I have to confess that...we didn't suck. To explain: after all of the anticipation building to this gig, I felt it was something of a letdown. The thinner crowd and constant technical problems combined to suck the life out of us to an extent, and I was certain that it showed in our performance. After viewing and hearing the recorded evidence, however, it seems that I was wrong. We acquitted ourselves rather well, all things considered. The new songs went off without a hitch, Tim and Daryn played with gusto, and as much as I have enjoyed exploiting the power trio format to the fullest extent possible, Matt Meldrum's presence on keys and guitar really helps to take our sound to the next level. Now, if we can just sneak that voice of his into our harmonies, we'll be invincible. :-) As for me, I tried to channel my discouragement and frustration into the music, and achieved a sort of manic froth that kept the train rolling. If it seemed like I was overcompensating, well...I probably was, but at least I was able to keep my head in the game.

I don't mean to give the impression that the whole night was a downer -- far from it. The folks who showed up were very enthusiastic, even though many of them were more there to hear the Floyd covers and we kept them waiting an awfully long time. After the show, we got many compliments, particularly on the "new guy", and were subsequently offered a blank check for future bookings. I might also add that PI was terrific that night, the tightest and most powerful I have ever seen them. It's obvious that they have been putting a ton of work into their show lately. Jesse Brooks confessed to me before their set that he was so unbelievably exhausted he wasn't sure if he would even be able to remember the tunes, but he, like the rest of the band, was just so on that it blew us away. Great job, guys!

So overall, it was a worthwhile experience. However, I will say this: should I ever in the near future receive some unexpected windfall of cash, I will replace every single cursed nut and bolt of Tim's gear...right down to his sneakers...before even thinking to put it towards "luxuries" like food and shelter. And that is all I have to say about that. ;)

I spent some time with John Clark last Sunday, trying to untangle the increasingly complicated mess of remixing and re-recording parts of the first SoN album. Since we have been scouting out locations, people, and musical material to begin working on a follow-up, one that defines us more as a band - a real, cohesive unit - I have been embroiled in the process of pulling a George Lucas-esque Special Edition job on the first album, just to fix some of the more glaring errors and hopefully turn the record into a true definitive timepiece, rather than the stop-gap solution to which it has been relegated with the passage of time. The options are endless, and we are exploring them all.

So, how are things?

Busy. And about to get even busier.

Can't wait...

your humble correspondent
Thom Bowers