2/14/2000

 Monday, February 21st is the official release date of Solitarium in the UK, through the courtesy of Castle Music.  It is one of the front-running items launching Castle’s new When! label, and the advance buzz from London is pretty good.  Several widely-read publications have given the record high marks (see the ‘press’ page for the full texts), and BBC Greater London radio is giving steady airplay to various tracks, including Funky Flying Chair, You Must Be Wondering and Big Pink Glasses (Bad Jim from my hometown heard FFC while passing through London and suddenly felt right at home!). 

 I wanna say thanks to all who made this possible, particularly my pal Alan Robinson for getting the word out on the industrial end (and getting me pissed in the pubs), and Bill Forsythe at Minus Zero Records for selling all those imported copies (I know they’ve been scarce lately, but there’s plenty to go ‘round now).  And of course this whole thing would be nothing more than a brain fart in the back of my mind without the work of Darrell Clingman at Copper Records here in the U.S.  Thanks, D. 

 Record buyers in Britain will get an upgraded version of the album’s packaging, including new photos, new CD art and lyrics.  The rest of you in stateside will have to settle for the lyrics page at this site, I’m afraid.  Perhaps my webmaster could rig up a bouncing ball just for you.

 Many have asked if and when I’ll be visiting England to promote the album, and the answer is, we’re working on it.  It’s certainly a goal for this year and the groundwork is being laid (are you?) Keep checking in frequently for details.

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

 D

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 4/20/00

DARIN: THE FIRST UK TOUR

Okay, it's a done deal.   The first DARiN UK tour will be a short one, five dates in all, but one which will be well promoted and hopefully well attended, too.  It will also coincide with the first Trish Murphy UK tour, in which I will play drums, as mentioned in last month's posting.  On five of those bills, I'll be the opening act.  For details, see the "dates" page.

Playing live is a tough issue when it comes to assembling a band.  Currently I have two rhythm sections and one guitarist, whom I use according to who's available.  They both play with other local bands (the Real Heroes, the Media Creeps, Love Supreme), and sometimes no one's free.  So in lieu of teaching  the same repertoire to yet a third set of musicians, I created an emergency back-up disk.  I sat down, pounded out my own drum and bass tracks, and mixed 'em down to a CD.  I took the set to La Zona Rosa and played and sang along with it before an audience of 300 kids who had no idea who I was.  The result...magic (okay, there was one heckler, but otherwise...).

So I've come to realize that the E.B.D. not only gets my ass out of a sling when there's no personnel, but also cuts touring costs to an absolute minimum, and everyone involved is just giddy about that (except of course for my band, and all the other session cats in Austin who wouldn't give me the time of day until I dangled a Union Jack in front of them).  You, the Brit audience, may very well have your own reservations, but keep in mind this is only the first in a series of baby steps which will no doubt grow larger with time.

and it sounds pretty f--kin good.

Meanwhile, more new material is being written and recorded.  I'll keep you posted.

Happy Holidays.

D

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6/05/00

 Well I’ve just discovered a sure fire preventive measure for jet lag, and it’s very simple: stay up for forty-five hours straight. 

That’s what I did on the last day of the tour.  All you have to do is wake at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast and exercise, spend the day hiking in the Swiss Alps and sound-checking before dinner at 6:00 p.m., drink before the gig, drink after the gig while watching Steve Earle’s set (boy, is he good) and drink and sing loudly at the hotel bar until 6:00 a.m. when it’s time to load up and leave.  Don’t feel guilty about catching a few winks during the three-hour drive to Zurich Airport; sleeping in the car doesn’t count.  Once your plane is in the air at noon, start drinking again.  The seat is too small and cramped to sleep comfortably, and the over stimulated toddler with the shrill voice two rows ahead will help keep you from nodding off.  There’s plenty to eat and bottomless glasses of free booze.  Thirteen hours later, after a flight change and customs check in the US, you’ll be landing at your final destination.  After leaving the airport, don’t go home just yet.  Go have a couple of drinks and some dinner first.  By the time you get home and settled in, it should be about 4:00 a.m. on the third day.  But you’ve gained seven hours by flying west, so wind your watch back to 9:00.  Hey, you’ve got some time!  Hang out a couple more hours and slam a beer or two, then sack out at 11:00.

 It’s that easy!

 My sincere thanks go out to everyone who came and saw the British shows. Some drove over an hour just to see a forty minute set that was only 50% live!  I’ve received several emails from the UK and it was great meeting some of you in person.  I also hope you enjoyed watching my sister’s headlining sets, which were some of the best shows she’s ever performed in Europe (the last show in Switzerland was especially good, and broadcast on national TV and radio).   Those of you in the London area can tune in to BBC/GLR and hear one or two live acoustic performances recorded on 1 June, ’00.   Big Pink Glasses is one, and the other is a new song called “Masterpiece” which is not yet released.

 An extra big thank you goes out to our road manager Steve Guest from Mean Fiddler Productions, who was like a brother to us all and a joy to hang with.  But after a thoroughly exhausting experience looking after us I don’t think he’ll be quite the same again. 

I apologize to his girlfriend and his family.

 Cheers to all.

 D

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7/02/00

In order to fulfill a spiritual requirement, and, as added incentive, get paid, I've been playing a lot of drum gigs lately.

I mean a lot.

Trish, Love, Shane, Rick, Paul, George, Mick, Keith...it's hard to keep up with 'em all.  Almost as hard as juggling lovers, which I packed up long ago.   It's not all that different, though.  One band comes over to rehearse, you get in the mood, then you rock, then you wrap it up, get the band outa there and clean the place up before the next one arrives; the other bands get bitchy when you won't commit, and they stop coming to your gigs 'cause they might see a member of one of your OTHER groups there; and then they hang outside your window with a jam box blasting out one of their tunes, y'know, the one that shows how great y'all are together, meanwhile you've stopped visiting clubs to avoid running into two or more other bands you play in and setting off a bloody brawl...

But I enjoy it, I really do.

These gigs have not, however, managed to interfere with my own agenda (if anything, it's helped).  In mid June I called up my engineer/producer pal Lars Goransson to ask about the possibility of working together again, since we gelled so well on Solitarium, and two days later we were tracking at Music Lane. It was just like the old days; fresh fruit, good coffee and my favorite amp frying on me in the middle of a take.   Right at home!   We've cut three new songs so far and they will eventually be issued in some form, perhaps as a single in the immediate future or a full length album by 2001.  But you will soon find them available as MP3 files here at darinmusic.com.   The finished tracks are titled Blackberry Plain, Masterpiece, and Metro B.

At the end of this month I'll be making a second appearance at the International Pop Overthrow in Los Angeles.  This year I'll be playing a new club in Hollywood called Vynyl, which promises to be great sounding and great fun.  Those of you attending this year's festival, come check it out on Thursday, July 27.

Happy 4th of July to all in the US, and while you're shooting off fireworks, stop for a moment and meditate on those original pioneers of the Revolution, who laid everything on the line so that Americans could be free to oppress people religiously, racially and economically, making it possible to have rock & roll today!!

D

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9/03/00

Hi.

For those who've seen the dates page recently and are wondering, yeah, it's true.  I do a lot of Hoot Nights. 

Hoot Nights are a growing tradition in the Austin music folklore, in which several local bands converge on one stage to pay tribute to a selected artist.  Past hoot nights have been devoted to the likes of The Who, the Go-Go's and Prince (and fortunately everyone has steered clear of the Beatles, because...uh-uh), and my first hoot night appearance celebrated The Kinks.  I've done several since then and the reason has always been clear.  The place is always packed (with a lot of the same faces) and I always put on an ass-slaying representaion of whatever rock legend we're paying tribute to at the time, so it's a fun  means of promotion and exposure, which in this town is priceless.  It's also a good way for "established" artists to maintain some visibility when they're not playing so much.  It is very important, however, to exercise dicipline about the number of events one actually plays, lest he become forever known as "that Hoot Night guy".  No danger of that for me...yet.

Besides continuing to compile songs for my current recording project, I'm still taking on other projects, such as producing a new demo from Austin based songwriter/swing crooner Craig Marshall, and of course I'm still drumming for Love Supreme and Shane Bartell, both of whom are rapidly making names for themselves.  The rest of the time we're all just trying to keep from being reduced to piles of charred and salty flesh matter by the relentless heat outside, which has averaged about 102 degrees since the middle of June.

It's harsh, but it oughta clear out some of the carpetbaggers from up north!

Happy Labor Day.

D

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11/20/00

Okay, I've got news, y'know, but news to me ain't always news to you, so I ain't tellin' you most of it, unless you'd care to waste your precious rock time on the subject of my bathroom.  You wouldn't, would you?  Okay then.

I completed three new tracks recently with the help of several friends.  Drums were recorded at the home studio of Billy Harvey, songwriter, producer and Trish Murphy's guitarist.  The rest of the tracks were stacked by Lars (see 7/02/00) at his studio.  And at my home the main bathroom underwent the first in a series of facelifts planned over the next few...sorry.

A few sidenotes to chew - each of these six new tracks are recorded entirely on Pro Tools hard drive recording systems, which has never been more fun (and on the other hand, more monotonous).  This has somewhat enlarged the playground for us, and allowed us to take each song to its potential (but never beyond).  Also, in contrast to Solitarium, each song that we've recorded has got at least one other musician credit on it.  Austin's Real Heroes' guitarist Paul English and bassist Kenneth Dowling, both of whom have played with me live, make guest appearances, as do guitarist Jon Sanchez (Ginger McKenzie, Superego) and keyboardist Phillip Edwards (the Love Supreme).  Plus, Brian Standefer, who worked on Solitarium, pays a return visit to add a cello section.  Brian is an excellent and inspiring musician, and he's also an excellent and inspiring home improvement guy, which I admire alot, y'see, cause I've been putting up tiles in the tub enclosure, and...sorry.

The most recently finished tiles - I mean, TITLES - are Ginger Granite, Flat, and The Heavens Cried for You.  Currently I'm planning on a total of ten tracks for this project, which up to now has been operating under the working title of Haunted Gardenias.  That could change anyday.  There are more lyrics to be written and new themes could be introduced, then there's all that caulking and sealing to be done...

GODDAMMIT!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the States.

D

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