I can NOT believe how busy life has been for these last two weeks.  I had two huge shows, both of which required tons of preparation and rehearsal with the various groups.  The first one was on St. Patrick’s Day with IrishBand. . .

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. . .which was a total blast.  We played for four hours that night, with a couple one-hour breaks while another band played in between our sets.  We kept people there, singing and dancing and rockin’ out until 2:00 a.m.   Since then, we had a smaller (but just as fun) show and started doing more recording at my place.  We finished the drum tracks for one song, and started them on a second.

The next huge show after St. P’s Day was the CD release party for Susie Blue, which took place at the new-and-improved Mississippi Studios.  That was already one of my favorite places to play, but now it’s been revamped and enlarged, turning it into quite possibly the best of the medium-sized venues in Portland.


Without getting too far into geek-out territory, after the second song, I looked down to find that the lights on my big keyboard were off.  I had accidentally set the accordion on the power strip switch and turned it off, which meant that I lost all of the good sounds I had loaded into it specifically for that show.  I had a nice little freak-out moment onstage, and told Susie, “I lost power.”  “How long will it take to re-load everything?” she asked.  “It’d take way too long.  I’ll figure something out.”  Luckily I had my tiny Casio (which you can see on top of the big keyboard) there for one song, because I ended up using it on lots of songs.  It totally saved the day, and the show went off without another hitch.  For an eleven-piece band (most of whom were not onstage during the song that was being performed when this picture was taken), that’s quite a feat indeed.

Incidentally, here’s a song from Susie’s new CD called “Fading” on which I play accordion and drums, and also was part of the hand-clapping and cheering.  I play accordion on a bunch of the other songs, as well as piano and Omnichord.  If you’re interested, you can check out our web site, and listen to or buy some songs from CDBaby.

Three days ago, my life got overtaken by a project that a bass player friend of mine called me to fill in for.  There’s a dance group in town called Bodyvox, who created dance interpretations to a bunch of Tom Waits’ songs, with a live band and a handful of opera singers.  The guy who’s playing accordion and electric guitar (as well as saxopohone and slide guitar) can’t make it to the show on Saturday, so my bassist friend, who is the musical director for the show, called me in a panic on Tuesday.  Since then, my life has been thrown into a frenzy of learning songs, as well as attending rehearsals and performances as an understudy of sorts.  The show I’m playing is the matinee show on Saturday afternoon, and I’m feeling confident about it.   I’m listening to the CD as I’m writing this, as a matter of fact.  I’m on the song Hoist That Rag, which features one of my favorite guitarists, Marc Ribot.

Add to that the recording sessions I’ve had at my place recently, both for money and for IrishBand, and you get a very busy Todd.  SO busy, in fact, that this is the first time I’ve had to write anything at all, aside from the occasional link to a video or something.  I almost added a clip from “Girl on the Bridge” an amazing French movie which I watched last night.  It just came out on DVD, which is strange because it’s only about ten years old, and I can’t imagine why its DVD release was held up for such a long time.   Well, what the heck, here’s a link to what is probably the most famous scene.  I love this movie, because it never quite goes in the directions you think it’s going to go.  Very similar to Angel-A.

The song (sung by Marianne Faithfull) is also amazing.  If you’ve ever seen “City of Lost Children”, you may recognize it from the ending credits; that’s the movie for which it was originally written, but it’s since appeared in many others as well.

Well, that’s what’s been going on with me lately.  I know it’s a lot to handle in one blog entry, from songs to pictures to movie links and clips and everything else, but. . .well. . .welcome to my world these days.  I had a lot to share, and it may be another few days before I have another chance to write again, so there’s that.

Hope all in your world is well!