13 Thoughts Going Into the Weekend

1. I’d forgotten what a good night’s sleep can do for one’s well being. Thank you, Unisom!

2. Wednesday night was one of the worst nights of my life. Thanks, Atlanta Braves!

3. Nashville has the most stylish men I’ve ever seen. Highlights, designer jeans (even designer Tshirts), sunglasses worn inside, fake tans, plucked eyebrows, scarves (neck and/or wrist) and other accessories… seems like these guys wear “outfits” in a way that previously I thought only women did. Shows how much I know.

4. I am terrible at drinking coffee.

5. I am great at parallel parking. ALL the Beaver men are.

6. I will be 33 in just over a month. Yeesh. However, my birthday present came early in the form of a badass record player (thanks, Jess!). Too bad I don’t know how to put it together.

7. Natalie Merchant in one ear and Stevie Nicks in the other is my idea of hell.

8. It looks like I’ll have to wait until Spring for that riding lawnmower.

9. It’s way too nice outside to be inside, yet I’m working a twelve-hour day today.

10. I’m going with Josh to the Wilco show at the Ryman tomorrow night. I’m not a huge fan (of Wilco), but even still, I have a feeling it’s gonna be a hell of a show.

11. Hank’s gonna be just fine, thanks for asking.

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12. Last Saturday’s show at Birmingham’s The Nick was so awful that I’m still not ready to talk about it.

13. Here’s to hoping this Sunday’s show at Nashville’s Hard Rock will make up for everything last weekend lacked.

-nb

For The Kids

Many years ago, I performed my song “Open Water” at a graduation in Roswell, Georgia (The Cottage School, where Ellen worked at the time). I met a nice lady that day named Dani Starr, who now serves as the Atlanta/North Georgia Eosinophilia Disorders Support Group Coordinator.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Dani contacted me for permission to use “Ask Anyone” as background music for an awareness video for children with eosinophilia disorders. How could I say no?

Go HERE to check out the video. Thanks for including my song, Dani, and for dropping my name and URL at the end! I’m glad to have contributed.

I just learned that a primary symptom of eosinophilia is asthma. Too bad Dani didn’t request “Breathe.”

-nb

On an unrelated note: despite Hank’s greatest efforts to change it to Animal Planet (note the red light), I’m sticking with the Braves game. Down 0-3, but I got a feeling we’re gonna pull this one out.

RemoteControlHank

Thanks Jess, for the pic.

Performing FRIDAY NIGHT at Eddie’s Attic

Hi, friends.

You guys have heard me mention my good friend Mike Killeen, right? You know, my great friend and former bandmate from my Athens days? The guy I’m still lucky to get to share the stage with, even after all these years?

(This guy?)

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Well, I have the pleasure of performing an opening set for his CD release show FRIDAY NIGHT at Eddie’s Attic. It’s a big night for Mike, as he’s playing an early show (7:00) AND a late show (9:30) to celebrate the release of his latest studio project, Poverty is Real, produced by the incomparable Will Robertson (I’ve heard it, and it’s fantastic… seriously, I’m anxious to record another album just to compete with it — he’s set the bar very, very high).

My good friend Spencer Smith opens the early show, and Mike has assembled a kick-ass band for BOTH shows (Guy Strauss, Will Robertson, and Ryan Rockitt). They will NOT disappoint. PLEASE do yourself a favor and make it to Friday night’s rock show (which will sound even louder after my acoustic bullshit).

Get tickets HERE. Can’t wait ’til Friday night to get your copy of Poverty is Real? Go HERE to get your advanced copy (though you owe it to yourself to come to the show).

Okay, hope to see you Friday night (and sorry about all the parentheticals).

-Nate

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On an unrelated note, Jess just gave Hank a Busy Bone and I couldn’t help but think of this guy.

I’m So Excited About Tonight I Could Pee My Pants

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Some reasons for my excitement, in no particular order:

1. This is my first show at The Earl, and they say you always remember your first time.

2. I get to hand out new, slick looking EPs which include two NEW songs (if you’ll recall, Universal You was a five year project, so all of its songs felt “old” by the time the album was finished). Additionally, the “Everybody’s Out Tonight” EP just looks damn fantastic, thanks to Scott Sanders of REGR.

3. I’m playing with a backing band, which is something I rarely get to do… this time around I’ll be joined by Kevin Leahy (a real pro who has played on my records but until now has been too busy touring to perform live with me), John Tuggle (a guitar virtuoso whom I’ve known since my days as a budding musician in Athens, GA), Kelly O’Neal (an old friend with big, big pipes), and Will Robertson (the mastermind behind “Everybody’s Out Tonight” and Universal You).* Last summer, Will was unable to join me for the UY release show — so glad I could lock him down for tonight.

4. ‘ve got a bit of facial hair. Nothin’ really to write home about yet, but I’m excited about its potential (very “alt-country”).

5. My good friend Mr. Silon and his lady friend Chelsea have driven down from Nashville to see the show.

6. I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my “new” guitar, even though I’ve had her for well over a year. Love, love, LOVE strapping her on and performing (no jokes, please).

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7. ‘ll get to meet the guys and gals of Violet Lane and JK and the Lost Boys (I’m hoping we’ll all be friends).

8. We’re opening the second set with a cover, and NOT one of the five or six that I’ve been known to go to throughout the years (I hinted at this awhile back, but it looks like it’s really gonna happen tonight).

9. I’ll get to hang out with my good friends Richard, Mike, Scott, Tali, Anna, Ryan, John, and Matt of REGR, without whom this EP and release show would not be possible.

10. Though I don’t expect to pack the 300-capacity room, I’ll get to perform in front of some real fans who do everything in their power to make me feel welcome and appreciated as an artist AND who are as excited about this EP release as I am. I imagine that some performers never get to experience this feeling, and I do NOT take it for granted. Can’t wait to see y’all!

See you tonight. Doors open at 6:30, I should hit the stage at around 8:30. Arrive early, let’s drink a beer together and catch up.

-Nate

11. Oh, and The Earl has great food. You should definitely arrive in time to catch dinner.

*Not sure if this sentence’s use of “whom” vs. “who” is grammatical.

The Lord’s Supper?

Last night I dreamed that I was playing a show in a small church.

About five minutes before I was to go on, I realized I was hungry. I looked out at the crowd, saw that only a few people were there (including someone I’d known from high school whose name I couldn’t remember), and decided to grab a bite before hitting the stage. I remember hoping that this would give more people time to trickle in, anyway.

I walked downstairs to my dressing room. Some mouthbreathing kid was maniacally strumming my guitar*, using a quarter as a pick, as his A/V club friend captured the sound into a portable tape player. I yelled “NOOOOO!” and snatched up the guitar, but it was too late. The wood had been all scratched up to hell, with deep splintery grooves all across the box and high up on the fretboard.

Furious, I pushed the kids out of the room. Just before I closed the door behind them, the mouthbreather said, “sorry, we just needed it for our project.”

I was still hungry, but knew it was time to perform.

What does this mean?

-Nate

* THIS guitar, which remains unscratched in real life thanks to Hank.

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Nobody Puts Hankey in the Cooler

Last night I dreamed that I’d just opened a Taco Mamacita in Conyers, Georgia.

It was the afternoon of the grand opening: lines of hungry people waiting to be seated, kids running around everywhere, staff bumping into each other, etc.

Amidst the chaos I was surprised to find that my dog Hank was also there, doing his best to avoid getting trampled by the crowd. I took him outside, tied him to a lamppost for his own safety, and returned to the seemingly hundreds of clamoring patrons.

When I stepped outside a few minutes later to check on him, he had wrangled himself loose and was headed up the sidewalk of a five-lane highway. I chased after him and yelled his name but the sound of the traffic drowned out my calls. I watched in horror as he turned to cross the highway — dodging several skidding cars along the way — and shuffled through the automatic doors of a convenience store.

I crossed the street and followed after him. I found him just inside the door in a cooler, floating among the icy Coca-Colas and Mountain Dews, looking at me as if I had no business there (not unlike the look he’s giving me here):

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What does this mean?

-Nate

Everything is Satisfactual

Good evening, friends. I hope everyone had a great holiday.

I wanted to make you aware of an upcoming show…

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…on Tuesday, January 19th (6pm), I’m playing “in the round” at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe with singer/songwriters Ron Brunk, Allen Haynes, and Lynne Timmes. The four of us will pass the mic for two hours. It should be a great night!

THIS IS A FREE SHOW. Table reservations are available, but since it’s a tiny room I expect these to fill up soon — the rest will have to fight over the pews and bar stools in the back (though you’ll get better service there). Full details and reservation info can be found HERE.

Hope to see you on 1/19!

Happy New Year,

-Nate

P.S. In an unrelated note, Hank needs a haircut, big time.

Hank

Master Plan, Initiated

Those of you who have kept up with this blog since its inception have seen many references to my “Master Plan.” Well, it’s that very plan that has kept me out of the blogosphere for the past week — my sincerest apologies.

Since we last talked, I’ve quit my job, sold my truck, packed everything I own into a new car  (and by “new car” I mean a 1999 Buick Century) and moved to Nashville, where I now live with my wonderful girlfriend and her roommate. And Hank couldn’t be more excited!

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Long story short: I moved here to give a music career a real shot and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to do so. And though it may take a few weeks for poor Hank to come around, I couldn’t be happier now that the Master Plan is in effect.

So: whether I fall into fame and great fortune or fail miserably, I’ll continue to document  each step along the way. Please stay tuned.

Oh, in regard to record — the other half of the Master Plan — it’s still in “mixing” phase, and I’m still totally helpless. More to come…

May God have mercy on my soul.

-Nate

Three Hump-Day Thoughts

1) Last night I met with Gilda Sue Rosenstern and Enzo to rehearse Gilda’s final number for Friday night’s show at the Red Light Cafe, marking my first ever collaboration with an accordion. They say you always remember your first time…

2) Tomorrow, I’m back in the studio to lay down acoustic guitar for “The Common Life” and “Ask Anyone,” the record’s two remaining acoustic tracks. This will clear the path for Kevin Leahy (drums), Clay Cook (electric lead), Matthew Kahler (percussion), Mark Van Allen (“Mark Van Halen,” pedal steel), Ryan Rockitt (acoustic lead), and others to parade through Will’s basement next week to contribute in their own unique ways. Next week promises to be special, and rest assured you’ll be hearing a lot about it from me.

3) Hank feels much better, thanks for asking.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

-Nate

The End of an Error

Goodbye, 226 DeGress Ave.

Goodbye, front porch.

Goodbye, creepy basement.

Goodbye, epic ping pong battles.

Goodbye, bathroom skylight.

Goodbye, shitty pocket doors.

Goodbye, Hank’s favorite spot by the window.

Goodbye, Hank’s second favorite spot on the recliner.

Goodbye, wonderful church bells.

Goodbye, weird gay neighbor who leaves a key out for late night vagabonds to come and go as they please.

Goodbye, vagabond who gruffly exits gay neighbor’s house around noon every day.

Goodbye, The Albert, whose cold beer and angry service I will miss and on whose trivia video game Spencer and I still own the high score (so sorry, “WACKINGBOY”–nice handle, by the way).

Goodbye, MARTA station, whose access to concerts, Braves games, and airports made my life easier.

Goodbye, Inman Park.

Goodbye, Little Five Points.

Goodbye, Savage Pizza.

Goodbye, The Plex.

Goodbye, bird, you motherfucker.

Goodbye, big Saturday morning breakfasts.

Goodbye, piano, whose new owners will have to move you.

Goodbye, Fat Gabe.

Goodbye, elitist neighbors who resent our lifestyle.

Goodbye, Joshua Vanderhooft–it’s been nice knowing you.

Goodybe, Spencer Smith–thanks for the memories.

(sigh)

-Nate

It’s 7:35am and I’m already angry

“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven -
All’s right with the world!”

~Robert Browning

Go fuck yourself, Rob.

No, really, I get it. It’s Springtime, the season of renewal and rebirth, a time of rejoicing for all of God’s creatures…but do they have to start rejoicing so early?

I was awoken this morning at 4:15 by a bird “rejoicing” just outside my window. It wasn’t really singing as much as it was squawking–think Steven Tyler in the final chorus of “Dream On”–and it carried on for hours.

Hank slept through it, but I’ve been up ever since.

(Hank, sleeping through it)

(Hank, sleeping through it.)

Unrested and restless, I got up to make my lunch for the day. I packed a spinach salad, Sun Chips (Harvest Cheddar flavor–they were out of Garden Salsa), and banana before building my sandwich: two slices of whole wheat bread (a razor-thin layer of mayonnaise on one and an aggressive layer of honey mustard on the other), oven-roasted turkey breast, romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, two Claussen “Sandwich Stacker” pickles, fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of kosher salt.

It was then time to add the final and my favorite ingredient, the cheese.

(Someone once asked me, “what would you rather live the rest of your life without–cheese, or oral sex?” I had to think about it.)

I had picked up a quarter-pound of sliced Vermont Cheddar the night before at the Kroger Deli and couldn’t wait to select the perfect slice for today’s sandwich. You can imagine my disappointment upon removing THIS from the deli baggie:

What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?

How am I gonna pull a nice, clean slice from an indiscernable wad of melded cheese trimmings?

Thank you, Mr. Kroger deli man. Oh, and thanks for keeping me waiting for 20 minutes, too–I suppose it took you ten to slice the cheese and another ten to roll it around in your greasy little hands, packing it tightly like a snowball?

This day can only get better.

-Nate