Jul. 14th, 2014 08:02 am
ericcoleman: (Default)
I was in a wistful mood yesterday. gundo posted about Toyboat practice, then we all went to Guitar Center and I was foolish enough to go back into the drum room. I am shopping for a djembe (probably next year), but there are other drums in that room.

I miss playing the drums. I miss playing in Toyboat. And I have had 4 surgeries on my hands, and I don't want any more.

Yeah ... sigh.

I want a Handsonic 10, which would at least let me simulate the sound of a drum kit, but they are pricey. I want more hand drums, since I can play hand drums.

Doesn't change that I would love to be able to put a pair of sticks in my hands and pound away.
ericcoleman: (Default)
It hit me Wednesday and it hit hard. I've been afraid of this for longer than I wanted anyone to know. My hands had been a problem for a couple years (as anyone who ever saw me warm up for a show can attest to) and the trigger thumb really sent it over the edge.

The thing that hit me was when gundo made a comment about playing Confusion. My first reaction was "hey, no one told me". I told him this on chat a couple days ago, I think he got the same wry chuckle out of it I did.

They haven't announced the new drummer, so I won't either, but it's a good fit. The person in question is coming to get my practice electronic kit next week. I can't use it anymore so it's going to a good home. The person in question said that they can never "fill my shoes". Of course not, they aren't me so they can't and that's the point. Bands change. Toyboat changed a lot when Raven joined. It will again. Change and grow.

The first time I see them play will be ... interesting. Maybe as soon as OVFF.

I can't wait.
ericcoleman: (Default)
This is hard to write. Let me get right to the point, then some details. I am no longer a member of Toyboat. I have spent much of this year trying to get my drum chops back together after the surgery and my left hand just can't cut it. I can do rudiments, shuffles (for a little while) but if I try to play as needed in a band like Toyboat my left hand hurts, and it hurts a lot.

The Carpal Tunnel surgery did all that it should, I don't lose feeling in my fingers anymore. The Trigger Thumb surgery is the problem. It weakened my left hand. I don't want to damage myself any more than I have already. I don't want to find myself, in a couple of years, losing all of my ability to play music.

There are going to be some things said, I want to nip them in the bud right away.

This is not because of Cheshire Moon, this is not because of Lizzie. Cheshire Moon is the most satisfying thing I have ever done musically, but it does not match the sheer visceral insanity that is a Toyboat show (or rehearsal for that matter).

There is at least one person who has expressed anger at my playing shows with Cheshire Moon and "ignoring" Toyboat. In the time that I have been hurt, Mike broke his wrist. There wouldn't have been any shows anyway. Almost half the band was on the disabled list.

The more important thing about my playing shows with Cheshire Moon, it doesn't hurt. In fact my surgeons advice was, as soon as the bandages were off, to start playing stringed instruments as my therapy. Fretting with my left hand doesn't have the impact that hitting a snare drum does.

I will miss the drums, I will miss them so badly. I had just gotten started backing up other musicians with my little piccolo snare and a couple of cymbals. I have a full set of drums in my basement now. My kids will use them. I will want to and I won't be able to.

This is really hard. This band means so much to me. It started as a silly idea that I had and went further than I ever imagined. I will miss the rehearsals, the shows, the jokes, the twisted things we did to songs. I will miss being a part of that gang, because that is what a good band is.

Toyboat will continue. I want the second album. The newer songs are amazing. Keep tearing audiences up. I'll be in that audience when I can.
ericcoleman: (Default)
I took off from work middle of the afternoon already tired. I finally stopped in Morris IL and got a hotel room. After a terrible nights sleep, I drove to gundo's and picked up gear, waited a few minutes for Mike and headed downtown.

But wait, there's more. Now how much will you pay? )
ericcoleman: (Default)
I've been asked a couple times in recent weeks about performing solo and songwriting so I thought I would address them.

I like to perform solo, but not enough to have a regular schedule of shows. Between Toyboat and Cheshire Moon and real life (I do have three kids ya'know) I'm a little busy. I don't seek out solo shows. I'm not going to. If someone wanted me to do a solo show, I most likely would, but I don't see that happening.

As for songwriting. In the last 5 years I think I have written 5 songs. A lot of my songwriting was fueled by strong negative emotions, especially the funny stuff. That isn't a part of me now. I'm looking for a different point of view, but it doesn't seem to be coming. I have two funny songs that need a bit of work. One I am going to hand over to a fellow songwriter, to see if he can doctor it up a bit. The other may just fall by the wayside. The others really aren't any good.

As soon as I remember to schedule it, there will be a nifty live version of Pine City Motel Blues up on the Fump (courtesy of the Mahtowa Folks Festival), and maybe the other song mentioned above. I do need a decent recorded version of FPN, I may get that done during the Cheshire Moon sessions. If that happens, it will show up on The Fump as well.

I don't write for Toyboat (except Would You Like To Play A Game). gundo and I were talking about that yesterday. Originally it was so Toyboat wouldn't be thought of as "Eric's band", since I was the best known person in the band. That has changed (except for one funny instance this week). Mike has become the primary lyricist, and usually the person who starts the music. gundo is the arranger, and the other person who starts the music. Raven, Jason and I are the facilitors. Once the basics are done, we all get together and start throwing things around. Having Raven in the band has changed the voice of the band a lot. It's fuller, and in a lot of ways more aggressive.

Between Mike and myself being hurt, Toyboat is, more or less, taking this year off. The new album is getting worked out, hopefully to release at Marcon next year. Mike is recovering. Starting in a couple weeks I go back to work on the drums. We're going to come back stronger.

But, back to the songwriting. More than anything, I don't write for Toyboat because my songwriting has always been a more personal thing than would fit in Toyboat. Game is actually a good example. It is very much about me and what I love. If I come up with anything else like that that is geekish, it will be a Toyboat song.

But words just aren't what I do at the moment. Everything I have to say is being said either with drumsticks or the various stringed instruments I play in Cheshire Moon.

Cheshire Moon. It really is the band I always wanted, but wasn't able to do on my own. Lizzie's magnificent voice and amazing words are something I could have never managed. That means, as a player, I can do the things that I always wanted to. Grander, larger, more cinematic. CM is very much about the imagery. Cheshire Moon satisfies my soul. I dig into my instruments and find myself.

Toyboat is the most fun I could have in a band. In rehearsal, on stage, it's just fun. Especially gundo and I. Watch us onstage. We get to be rockstars, at least in our heads. And the band just keeps getting better. We started as a cover band, and more and more it's about our songs. And it is very much our songs. I, jokingly, referred to us as an autonomous collective in an email this week (that funny instance mentioned above) but it's true. We don't have a leader. And that is a lot of what makes the band so good. Everyone contributes. I can't wait to get my hands back in shape, and back to rehearsal.

So, a morning ramble ... a bit self indulgent.

How are you this morning?


Feb. 7th, 2012 12:09 pm
ericcoleman: (Default)
Hmmm, I'm a little busy this weekend.

Concert Setup and Sound Checks (Friday) - Friday, 02-10-2012 - 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm - River AB (Programming - Media)
Concert setup and sound checks for Bill & Gretchen Roper and Cheshire Moon.

Cheshire Moon Concert - Friday, 02-10-2012 - 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm - River AB (Programming - Media)
Cheshire Moon is the fanciful collaboration of trickster bird Lizzie Crowe and crazed magician Eric Coleman. What began as a simple joining of two talents in song circles, and occasionally during the mad-hatter antics of Eric Coleman on stage, whipped and frothed into the most likely of pairs. Eric’s love of punk, folk and prog rock gives them an eerie, otherworldly sound, while Lizzie brings the voice of that otherworld to life in chorus and verse. Together they bring about a torrent that is as playful as it is lightly sinister, all wrapped up in a pretty little beribboned box. Do you dare to open it?

SF/F Music that Isn't Filk - Saturday, 02-11-2012 - 11:30 am to 1:00 pm - Birch A
Science Fiction and Fantasy has inspired more music than just filk. Artists such as David Bowie, Rush, Styx, Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, and Janelle Monae have incorporated genre tropes and stories into their songs and albums. We discuss some of our favorites.
Ooh, I'm the moderator on this one!

Forgotten Role Playing Games of the 1980s - Saturday, 02-11-2012 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm - Birch A
Do you remember Paranoia, Space: 1889, or Champions? This panel will reminisce about some of the best role-playing games of the 1980s other than Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Concert Setup and Sound Checks (Saturday) - Saturday, 02-11-2012 - 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm - River AB (Programming - Media)
Concert setup and sound checks for Toyboat and Il Troubadore. May be able to start later... this is my "worst case" time slot until I have confirmation from Dave Ifverson of how much time we need.

Toyboat Unclogged! - Saturday, 02-11-2012 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm - River AB (Programming - Media)
The question Toyboat is most often asked is "Why are the guitars distorted? Is there something wrong with the guitars?". So, due to underwhelming demand, Toyboat will leave their electric instruments at home (except for Raven, he'll still bring his organ, we tried to get him to play the accordion, but he just looked at us like we were crazy, still, he always looks at us like that) and bring … yeah … acoustic guitars, standup bass and real drums. There is still no safe minimum distance.
ericcoleman: (Default)
We will be streaming the Toyboat concert at 7:30 EST here:
ericcoleman: (Toyboat)
The Toyboat website finally has stuff!

Thanks to Raven for taking things in hand and setting all of this up! There are bios (double check them, you may be surprised), things to listen to, things to watch and information on shows, past and present.

Preparations are beginning for the shows in the fall, be afraid, be very afraid!
ericcoleman: (Toyboat)

Yup, the entire show!

A response

Nov. 26th, 2010 10:18 am
ericcoleman: (Default)
To a request from Teresa on FB. I felt it needed to be posted here as well

I am thankful for my chosen family. I am thankful for those members of my chosen family with whom I travel around and make large noises. I am thankful that, me the loner who usually only has a friend or two, has a whole group of friends who are as close as those usual few. I am thankful for the wonderful mutants who make up the WSPA, both charter and auxiliary members. I am thankful for the marvelous woman who, for reasons that baffle everyone, has made my life so wonderful. As the saying goes, life could not better be.
ericcoleman: (Toyboat)
Even though I've known for weeks ...

Toyboat is SFContario's 2011 Filk Guest Of Honor.

Whew, it's good to get that off my chest finally.
ericcoleman: (Default)
I suppose I should write about last weekend. I think I mentioned everything I wanted to. If you think there is something else that I should rant about ... let me know.

I'm not sure I can do it justice. )
ericcoleman: (Toyboat)
Coming up tomorrow on The Fump, a very special Halloween Sunday Fump from Toyboat. Our sweet and tender love song, Zombie Momma.
ericcoleman: (Default)
I've been talking about this stuff over on FB this morning ... it's easier here.

Ok, I have been working since the first of the year to lose weight. I topped out at 315 late last year and it was doing terrible things to everything in my life. I am down to 277 the last two mornings, just a bit away from a full 40 lbs down. My goal is 50 by the end of the year, and another 50 by the end of next year. If I don't quite make the weight goal I will be happy, long as I am comfortable. Those of you who have seen Toyboat the last few months have seen the difference. We played a longer show at Musecon (about an hour 15) and I came off stage ready for more. The last year 50 minutes practically killed me. I could do it, but I was dead after.

Today I have on a new shirt, it is 2 sizes smaller than the shirts I have been wearing the last couple of years ... and it fits.

This weekend I finally got my house back in order. Instruments are out on stands as they should be, cases are put away, clothes are hung up, mail has been sorted and either filed or disposed of. I could actually let people into my place now.

This weekend is a reunion of the theater department I graduated from. It's going to be insane. It is also the reason I am missing OVFF, on a year when I really don't want to miss it. I am still amazed at the Pegasus nomination, I am deeply flattered and humbled that we were chosen for this. That said, I voted for [ profile] s00j ... hey, I've been saying she was amazing for years now! 'bout time the rest of you caught up. Filk has really become a part of my family and it is so good to see others who I love welcome into that family. Kick ass next weekend sister!

And some of you know, and some have guessed, yes I am dating the lovely Lizzie. It's wonderful, fun, tricky. We have ups and downs, but mostly ups. We have found we got a lot more than either of us bargained for, and are so happy that we have. And just wait till you hear the music we are making. Cheshire Moon debuts at Duckon this summer, but I expect to have some demo tracks up on the net around the New Year.
ericcoleman: (Default)
Musecon0 sure looked like it worked to me. I had a marvelous time, and expect to have a better time next year. I went back and forth as to whether I was going to go to Mahtowa this year, and I certainly made the right choice.

The panels I got to were fun. WSPA-2 was along and went to the harmonica panel and the blues panel. I looked in on a lot of the craft stuff, and there were always a bunch of folks in the back of the music room knitting, painting and lots of other stuff.

If you are into anything creative, this may be the con for you, even if you aren't a geek.

Now for the band and personal stuff ...

First of all I have a new rule. Always room with two fabulous babes. Always. It's good for you.

The band had a blast. It wasn't our most musically perfect show, but which one is really? Here's what we played.

Sunset Boulevard
This Island Earth (new arrangement)
Wheels (Foo Fighters cover)
Reach For The Stars
Poolhall At The End Of The Universe
Son Of A Witch
Zombie Mama
Rocket Launcher/Gimmie Shelter
Roman Wall Blues (two versions starting with it done ala the Stray Cats, yeah, the Stray Cats, it damaged poor [ profile] beige_alert)
Last Ride of the Cthulhu Kid (our new filkabilly song, yes I said filkabilly)
Banned From Argo
Would You Like To Play A Game?

I played some both nights. Music circles were small but wonderful. [ profile] lizziecrowe and I did Follow That Road (Anne Hill) and Swamp Witch (Jim Stafford). I'm getting more and more excited about working with her. It's looking to be very cool, very eclectic and very very fun.

I did FPN both nights, with mostly different verses. I have now put the printout in my book into alphabetical order. It keeps growing. I also did Bang My Bald Spot and Hides, with WSPA-2 playing along, so I got a lot of music in. The funniest thing for me all weekend was a very lovely woman who sang along with both FPN and Follow That Road. I need to be friends with her, and not just because she's lovely, I mean come on, she's got to be fairly twisted.

I swam a lot. WSPA-2 and I went Friday, [ profile] exapno, WSPA-2 and I Saturday and [ profile] lizziecrowe, [ profile] exapno, WSPA-2 and I went Sunday morning. My shoulders are a little annoyed with me, but it feels good.

I did wear one of my Mahtowa shirts all day Saturday. But going to Musecon was really the right thing. A lot of my friends need to go next year.
ericcoleman: (Toyboat)
You can now find our CD on CD Baby. There are samples there to listen to if you have wondered what we sound like. We should be on ITunes and Amazon shortly.

Also, as someone pointed out elsewhere, Filk dealers all over the US have it now, so support your local Filk dealer if you can.
ericcoleman: (Toyboat)
Gone Filkin
Poolhall At The End Of The Universe
Sunset Boulevard
Son Of A Witch
Zombie Momma
Reach For The Stars
Rocket Launcher/Gimmie Shelter
Banned From Argo
Would You Like To Play A Game

Thank you to everyone who made this such a fun show, all the folks who danced and sang along and shouted at us and everything else. You are the reason we do this.

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