Indoria Post Lyric Video For Ode From The Road

Just before the end of 2018, I started to research lyric videos and began learning a bit about imovies on my computer. Throughout january I searched my destroyed hardrive for video clips (damn, I lost so much good stuff) and found enough clips of our kids and videos with chuck to through together, what i consider) a good representation for our band and the song.

Ode From The Road was inspired by missing family as we toured and also Owen, Mara, and I missing michele as she traveled extensively for work. In fact, the kid you hear singing a tune at the beginning is Owen, who wrote a song about missing mommy when she flies to “Canyafornia”. If you look at the title of the song there is another nod to my son, Owen Dean Esper. His initials are ODE. And yes, we were nerdy enough to plan his initials to form a music and writing related word.

My parents only had MTV for a short time before I moved out and by then music videos only got played here and there between reality tv shows, so I didn’t grow up with them (though I heard about Faith No More for the first time via their Epic video). I don’t know a lot about music videos, but I knew enough to understand we didn’t have a budget or enough found footage to make something to compare with mainstream bands. I also guessed that if our band tried to show skin like Madonna, we would only manage to scare more people away.

Luckily, the song’s subject matter and tone fit us adding in clips of our kids and each other as they are who the song was about. While I put the final touches of the clip, our guitarist Donald Spak and his wife had their first child. Perhaps, down the road, I can do a remix of the video and include footage of their family. He brought the original guitar riff and demo to the table, so it only seems fitting.

When I first heard the song, I enjoyed the vibe, but Indoria has always favored short songs so it took me several more listens to attempt patterns and lyrics. Man, typing that out makes me sound truly lazy…which, I am.

As it usually happens, Adam and I got together to work on filling out the song. I recorded several scratch tracks of vocals as I trimmed and edited the lyrics. Chuck and Michele then came over and brought the lyrics and melody to life. Chuck spent several hours working on a few dozen ideas for the end of the song, building and layering one track over another. He took a simple idea and made it better and better and better, though before we had all the separate tracks playing together, Adam and I had no idea where he was going with his backing tracks. Chuck did this a lot. He heard layers of sounds and knew how to take all these random lines of notes and get them to gel.

Adam had his work cut out for himself now, with all of these tracks he needed to make sense of. He paired things down to a manageable mix. Ode From The Road was one of the first couple of songs completed for what was then a new Chuck acoustic project, but before long we realized it made more sense to release it as an Indoria EP.

We never got to play the song live with Chuck, but may play it live in his honor someday. I can’t promise to do Chuck’s voice justice, but…well, no promises, okay?

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Old Mike Patton Email Interview

I had a chance to email a quick interview to Mike Patton as he promoted the Peeping tom album. The interview was posted on a site, but got lost over time. I found the email while organizing and thought I would post it in case anyone cared and so I made sure not to lose it again. BTW, though he was proven right about the Cavs, we eventually won a championship while Mike’s Lakers have been bad for over a decade.

Douglas caught up with Mike Patton to get his views on the Cavs and Lakers, his starring role in Steve Balderson’s film, Firecracker and the self-titled debut release from Peeping Tom.

Douglas R. Esper: The Lakers are looking good this spring. How far do you think they will go? And will you be mad if they lose to The Cavaliers in the finals?

Mike Patton: No offense, but the Cavs are not even on my radar. We got a lot to do to get there, as do the Cavs. The Pistons are going to be impossible to beat in the east. We are finally gelling, but I don’t see how we would be able to beat the Spurs if we meet them. You never know though. NBA is FANtastic.

D.R.E.: In Firecracker, you were originally cast as a henchman. How did you end up playing two main characters in the film?

M.P.: I believe Dennis Hopper dropped out, believe it or not.

D.R.E.: Did you ever take the mortician at his offer and sneak in to see some dead bodies while in Kansas?

M.P.: Of course! What else are you going to do in Kansas? I met some very interesting people.

D.R.E.: Steve Balderson said of your acting that, “Patton is willing to just be vulnerable onstage and just let it loose, while still maintaining control, so his voice and his being is doing what he planned. That makes an awesome actor.” How did you prepare for your roles and how do you feel you did on set?

M.P.: I listened to Steve as much as I could and the other actors as well. I tried to get as far from being me as I could. Focus can be difficult. I think I did ok. I’m not giving up my day job!

D.R.E.: You had been offered several roles in other projects before this. What made this the right one for you to try?

M.P.: It was a bizarre story, bizarre parts and the timing was right in my schedule. Plus Steve is very persuasive!

D.R.E.: Will you act again?

M.P.: I hope so! It is out of my hands to some degree.

D.R.E.: How was Steve Balderson as a director? What was his style/demeanor on set?

M.P.: He was great. Always in control, yet not overbearing. I would hate to work with a director that does not listen to the actors. Don’t get me wrong, this was Steve’s baby, but he really helps and supports the actors.

D.R.E.: In May, you are set to release the self-titled debut disc from Peeping Tom. How good will it feel to have it out after such a long period of working on it?

M.P.: A relief! Of course, then I have to put the touring band together. We are playing the Conan show on May 26th, so I have a deadline. This project has been a struggle at times, but well worth the sweat. I’ll be happy to buy a copy of it at a record store! We just did a great video for the song “Mojo” with some cool cameos in it.

D.R.E.: Looking back on Ipecac, what surprises you about the catalogue you have released? And looking ahead what are you looking forward to releasing?

M.P.: The surprise is that we have been as successful as we have been without compromising our original vision. It has been an adventure, but a fun one. We have put out a lot of very interesting records and worked with some great people. I look forward to all of our releases including new records from the Melvins, Isis, Dalek, Mugison, Kaada etc etc. Get ’em all at www.ipecac.com.

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the music career that wasn’t (part one)

In 1999 I joined my first band, Fromandafly. There was a lot of things that led up to that moment and a lot that has happened in the twenty years since. These are the stories of the music career that wasn’t:

I always thought of myself as a performer. I liked crowds. I liked telling bad jokes and doing dumb things for a laugh. I liked it so much, my brother told me I enjoyed getting into trouble because it meant I got attention. So, it seemed natural that I would sing for a band, right? My first tryout happened at a friend of a friend’s house when I was, I think, fifteen. There were three of us set up in a basement; guitar, drums, and me. The guys, Ben and Andy, started right up, playing Metallica and other 80’s thrash. This must’ve been like ’94. I didn’t have a metal background at all. I was deep into Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Mr. Bungle, and, I dunno, Beck.

Beam me up the microphone, I’m too lazy to grab it myself.

Anyway, the point is, when they started playing “Sanitarium” and I didn’t know the words, that was basically the end of the try out. I had come thinking we would jam out new things together, but I get it…you need some common ground. We played more and I tried to sing, but I wanted to write down lyrics mid-tryout and they weren’t looking to wait around. I tucked my tail between my legs, got on my bike, and pedaled home. I questioned all my dreams and plans of performing live and went back to writing stories for a while.

My brother, Craig, joined a hardcore band called, Skipline, at some point in ’95. Watching him face his fear of crowds with reckless abandon got the juices flowing again. He owned the stage and the crowd. He was a force. He was T’n’T up there because he would say or do anything even if it hurt him. I was proud and jealous and itching to get a chance for myself.

One day Craig came home after spending the day in the studio. He popped in a cassette to play an unfinished version of a song called, “Can’t Deal With It.” Whoa, they had the ability to record multiple vocals tracks, so Craig and Mark, their guitarist, could do a call and response chorus. The guitars shredded and the drums thundered. I loved it.

They released a tape and started playing out of town and out of Ohio. I started to see their name in zines (this was before the internet came to my house, folks) and people wore their shirts around town. My friends started telling me how cool my brother was and other band’s started talking shit about Skipline, the surest proof that they were catching attention.

I shopped at Perry’s Rockpile, a local music store run by a unique dude. He had Skipline shirts hanging up and cassette tapes for sale right next to Ringworm and Integrity seven-inches. Skipline played a bill at the Odeon with a dozen other bands, and they had a song called, “You Can’t Win”, included on a compilation called, Industry. The comp was organized and released by Jason Popson (Mushroomhead, The Alter Boys, Unified Culture, State of Conviction, CrossFader, Integrity 2000, (216), Pitchblack Forecast, and others) under his Dog Collar label. Here, give the song a listen:

Skipline played a lot of shows until their van got stolen in the northeast of the USA while on tour. They hitchhiked home. They lost their van, the merch, their luggage, and a full head of steam. The band fractured due to this and to issues with my brother’s work ethic and his ability to help pay for stuff. Mark, Ben, and Jim were all serious about where music could take them, but my brother saw it more as a fun time with friends. By the time their 1996 Demo cassette and bio was ready to send to labels and radio, the band had split from my brother and Mark had taken over vocal duties.

The only song I recall them releasing from that time was called, “Refuse To See”, on the Uprise comp. They had originally played the song live with my brother on vocals, but the recorded version took the band in a vastly different direction. They sharpened their edge, favoring metal screams over hardcore yells. Ultimately the band split and the members moved on to new projects.

I met a bassist who was in a band looking for a singer. He liked Faith No More. In fact, we met at Ozzfest when I stopped to listen to “Last Cup of Sorrow” being played by a rock station that had set up a tent. It was June 3rd, 1997 the day Faith No More released Album of the Year in the USA. Their drummer, Mike Bordin, was in Cleveland that night drumming for Ozzy. At the time I was interning at a competing radio station so I had a media badge. I bullshitted my way backstage by telling everyone who asked that I had gotten sent to the show by my station to interview Mike Bordin. Anyway, the bassist gave me his card and we set up a tryout. After two years of self-doubt from failing my first audition, I felt poised to kill it.

I met the band at a bowling alley parking lot in Parma Heights, Ohio. I followed them to their practice space, a warehouse on the near west side. The band started playing me stuff, but a friend of theirs took the mic and began singing along. He sounded okay. I mean, he at least had heard the tunes and knew when changes happened. His style varied sharply from what I was hearing in my head, so I started to second-guess singing. The guys pushed me forward a few times, but I offered lame excuses. The drummer, Sean, peered at me from his kit, annoyance clear in his disappointed gaze. I knew if I didn’t try something, I would lose my chance…possibly my last. I went to the bathroom. When I returned, I strode to the mic and took charge…by telling the guys I had gotten a page (yes, a page) from work and that I had to go in early. The bassist asked if I could just spare another few minutes to at least try one song so they could hear what I sounded like. I could not. I tucked my tail between my legs (again) and sped off.

If memory serves me, I drove to Chris’ Warped Records in Lakewood, Ohio for a Mushroomhead in store appearance. I think it was the release of their remix album or maybe it was that live video they put out, maybe both…I remember going to the Grog Shop for a release around the same time, so I can’t recall. I think the Grog Shop was the vinyl release and Chris’ was the cd and video release. I drove out east, getting lost as always when trying to find Coventry, and was relieved when I wasn’t carded for entrance. The band was passing a nasty flu around to each other. It was the only time I remember seeing them at the old Grog Shop. The stage was way too small for their show. Anyway, I never tried calling the band to ask for a second chance.

Though my brother’s band only had a short shelf life, people had connected with it. Skipline set up a reunion show, requiring my brother to make a rare visit home from college. It happened on February 14th, 1998 and is now known as the Valentine’s Day Massacre… to be honest I’m not sure anyone actually called it that until right now, but I like the name.

The band, full of nerds, had recorded a Star Wars themed song as a joke/hidden/bonus track on their tape and it always got a big response from the crowds. During the song’s breakdown, Mark had a death metal growl verse that proved difficult to pull off live while also playing, so they asked me to come up and fill in. I don’t know if there was any logic behind the decision other than, “oh, you’re here and clearly have nothing more important to do.” Which was totally legit.

Skipline had a flare for the dramatic, so they cooked up an intro including KISS drums loops, smoke machines, ambient/heavily effected bass and guitar, and they wore KISS make up that night. The guitar intro was played by my buddy Pooch, while I “handled” the bass. The two of us fumbled across the pitch black stage to find out instruments. I kneeled in front of the bass, having never played one, and scraped my fingernails up and down the strings, plucking random notes from time to time. Jim, the bassist, had engaged pedals that gave the thick strings a haunting, echoey sound. The band started to play. Pooch and I ran to the front of the stage and as the song kicked in the lights flipped on and we went airborne. I have only stage dove once, and this was it. Why? Well, I am not skinny or small. I leaped over friends and strangers in the crowd and saw the panic in their eyes.

Skipline 1998

The last song in the set was called, “Louie”, the secret Star Wars song. It had a gang vocal chorus, so the band gathered a few other friends to join them, including Brian, who actually wrote the lyrics and sang the verses in the studio. It would be my first time onstage…and the band asked me to wear a Yoda mask. For reasons unremembered, took my shirt off before I went onstage. This also was the one and only time this should ever happen without people holding singles up for me.

My first duty in the song was to imitate R2-D2 when…well, here have a listen to a recording of the event:

As we are playing, I am singing and holding the microphone out to crowd members to add their two cents as hardcore singers do. Someone reached out to grab the mic, but they latched onto my belt instead and as the crowd pushed and pulled them, my shorts got yanked down. No shirt, no pants, nowhere to hide. Of course my parents had attended to see their two boys sharing a stage. From their point of view, all they could see was one second shorts…the next second…no.

The song ended before I got my bearings, leaving me buzzing with excitement. I was hooked. I wanted more.

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The Tent In North Ridgeville

The first time I remember seeing the tent was during the summer of 2007.

My wife, Michele, and I were newlyweds living in a duplex in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. We worked our tails off, but week-to-week we were just managing to pay the bills. Who needed money when everything was new and exciting though, right?

The Browns were back, but they had been awful for years. The Indians had struggled through several seasons. Long gone were the powerhouse Tribe teams of the 90’s. The focus of Cleveland sports nation fell squarely on the shoulders of Lebron James and the Cavaliers, who were finding a rhythm in the playoffs.

For twenty bones, I managed to get my wife and I into a first round game against Washington at halftime. The Cavs had battled the Wizards in the playoffs the previous year, but this time it was all Cleveland. Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler were both injured. So we reveled in putting that dirt mcgurt, Deshawn Stevenson in his place. And don’t get me started on Brendan Haywood.

During the conference championship round, Lebron single-handedly faced those thugs from Detroit and refused to lose. Not this year, Pistons. The entire city cheered as Rasheed Wallace purposely got kicked out of the game to avoid being on the court as the clock struck zero. #Dontletthedoorhityou

Not since Albert Belle slammed home runs and doubles at a Hall of Fame pace had we witnessed anything like this.

A day or two after the Cavs advanced to the Finals, I saw it. Someone had set up a merch tent on the corner of Lorain and Lear Nagel in North Ridgeville.

The tent was bright, though obviously well-worn.

A woman hung shirts, jackets, and other Cavaliers inspired merchandise on each side. Large signs, black marker on neon paper, offered pricing info.

Over the next couple days, I passed that tent several times without stopping. I thought even though I was tall and fat this place might have my size. A t-shirt, a jersey, or anything else I could wear to show my love for the team.

But still I didn’t go.

The Cavs looked overmatched against the San Antonio Spurs. That’s as positive a spin I can put on the first three games of the series as a total Cleveland homer. They had no answer for Tim Duncan or Tony Parker.

While picking up lunch in the Coventry area, NBA great, Grant Hill, passed right by me on the sidewalk. I didn’t interrupt him, but I thought it was cool to see celebrities hanging in my neighborhood. Look, Cleveland doesn’t get much attention or respect on a national scale and we have a complex because of it. We aren’t flashy. We aren’t used to the spotlight. Our beards aren’t trimmed, our clothes aren’t in style, and we don’t care. Tony Rizzo, a sportscaster on WKNR disagrees with my blue-collar Cleveland take, but I can only go with what I see, hear, and smell around town. Grab your thermos, lunch pail, and for goodness sake, don’t forget your hardhat!

Before the fourth game I found myself in North Ridgeville again. This time the tent had a new sign, “50% OFF EVERYTHING.” Apparently, they didn’t have any confidence that the series would extend beyond the next game. I laughed. There was no way Lebron would allow the series to end so quickly, especially at home.

I approached the tent. A few other patrons were picking through what was left, which wasn’t a lot. I left with a pair of junior-sized overalls and a cheerleader outfit for the son and daughter we didn’t have.

Before you could say, “Bad prediction on the comeback, Doug,” the finals were over.

The tent remained for another week, now emptied. One final reminder of what could’ve been.

Later that year my wife and I bought our first home in Brook Park, setting in motion the biggest housing market crash in a century. Everything we saved for got swept away quicker than the Cavs in the ’07 Finals. We would’ve been better off buying the tent.

In 2008, 2009, and 2010 the tent made brief visits as the Cavs failed to advance into the Finals.

Rumors of Lebron leaving town swirled through the newspaper, TV, and radio shows every day, all day. When the Cavs fell behind the big-three-fronted Celtics and Lebron developed a phantom elbow injury, it was painful to watch. Lebron left the court and tore off his jersey as all the pressure to break our curse fell off his back.

On the night of The Decision I was at my buddy Adam’s house to listen to new snippets of songs he had cooking. We have a music project together, called Indoria, which we have worked on (and off and on again) since we met, back in ‘98. One of the songs had a folk-pop feel that intrigued and intimidated me. I tried a few patterns but it wasn’t clicking.

Adam didn’t have cable, so when it came time for Lebron to announce where he would play the next year, we had to shuffle to the bar next door to witness it.

We ordered beers and shots…Cleveland.

As number twenty-three spilled the beans on where he had decided to take his talents, we downed our shots. We then joined in with the bar patrons to boo, jeer, and vent our frustrations. Here was Cleveland getting shortchanged again. Here was a homegrown guy leaving for greener (or at least sunnier) pastures. Here was a kid that I had taken my dad to see play in a high school game shunning our city. Adam bee-lined for the entrance. He yelled, “(edited for the younger readers)”, and slammed the bar door.

I drank my beer, listening to that smarmy Jim Grey spewing whatever nonsense, rat poison he wanted. Then I drank Adam’s beer and stewed before stumbling back to his place.

“Put on that pop/folk song again,” I told him, adjusting the headphones and stepping to the mic.

I didn’t have lyrics, but I had a theme. It wasn’t abandonment or betrayal. It was the weight of expectation and doing something despite feeling torn, exhausted. It was about frustration. It was about needing to leave the nest to experience the world at large. It was a coming of age tune for college freshman, which in a way, Lebron had become. Within a couple of weeks my wife and I recorded our vocals for, “South Bound”.

The song wasn’t perfect, but it made me feel better, and I never turn down an opportunity to hear Michele sing.

In January of 2011 my wife and I welcomed our son into the world. I knew someday Owen would proudly don the overalls I got in the tent.

The Cavaliers plowed through their first season sans Lebron. Draft talk was already the media’s focus during summer league. We cheered on the “Maveliers” in the Finals. We delighted in watching them defeat our former hero. Petty? Yes. Deserved? Hell yes. Would I do it again? Hopefully, I don’t have to find out.

I didn’t see the tent that year. Or the next. Though, we did welcome our beautiful daughter, Mara, to a life of Cavaliers fandom. I knew one day she would rock the cheerleader outfit that I found in our tent.

2013 brought no kids or tents.

Adam and I started to discuss the next Indoria release. I told him I wanted to redo one of the songs from our previous CD. “Southbound” no longer sat well with me. It was bitter. Not that it sounds angry, but the memories tied to it certainly were. I’d never seen Adam slam a door, before or since. I’d never seen Adam abandon a beer before or since. That day was dark, man, dark.

I decided the hook should change from, “I’m headed Southbound,” to, “I’m headed home now”. I wanted to focus on redemption, rebirth, and second chances.

On July 11th 2014 I got in my car, flipped on the radio, and heard breaking news. Lebron and Lee Jenkins penned an essay in Sports Illustrated titled, “I’m Coming Home”. The radio buzzed from Cleveland to Tokyo. Aaron Goldhammer read the essay over the airwaves. I teared up as I heard, “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned.”

I got chills.

I told my dad, “Lebron is coming back!” to which he replied, “There’s no way.”

I waved him over to my car so he could listen. We nodded at the maturity and respect and cold hard truths Lebron had spun.

The essay is stunning. Go read it. I don’t care if you’re a Cavaliers fan or if you hate Lebron, it strikes a chord. As a sports fan, a son, a father, and as a Clevelander, I beamed with pride.

Within two weeks, “Home Now” got recorded. This time we celebrated renewal, forgiveness, and the hopeful return of our tent. The lyrics reflected the spirit of the essay, sometimes verbatim.

My wife and I bought a bigger house, in North Ridgeville. Every time I went to and then returned from work I passed the tent’s spot.

The Cavaliers did indeed reach the Finals in 2015, minus two of their best players. My kids sported the gear I bought them eight years before. The Cavs came up short. I didn’t ever see the 50% off sale, but I did visit my tent a couple of times.

In 2016, I joined Chuck Mosley on a rock tour headed all over the country, the United Kingdom, and to France. The Cavaliers got back to the Finals, but I wasn’t home to see the tent. I purchased my family (officially licensed) Love, Thompson, and Kyrie jerseys. I bought myself one with Shumpert’s name on the back. I rotated wearing it with my Larry Hughes jersey in every small club we played from San Francisco to Paris.

Before playing a concert in Seattle I walked around the downtown area to find a bar to watch Game Seven, but no one had it on. The city had a team stolen from them, so nobody wanted to give the NBA any attention. Luckily the club we were playing put the game on. I watched with a great couple from Beaumont, TX. They had no skin in the game, so they cheered with me.

I stood as Lebron made, “The block”.

My heart stopped as Kyrie drew up and shot the eventual game winner.

My jaw hit the floor as Kevin Love shut down Curry.

I peered around in disbelief as the seconds ticked away. Those weekend Warriors couldn’t get the ball out of the corner in time to do anything.

Cavaliers win. Cavaliers win.

The world stopped dead in its tracks as the overwhelming truth of the joy I felt washed over me.

The Cavs defeated that ball-kicking caveman Draymond Green. They silenced that boy band cast-off Klay Thompson. And best of all, that kid with super-glued hairs on his chin hid under a towel. Hey, Steve Kerr (a former Cavalier), take your smug grin and your goon squad of Zsa Zsa, Iguodala, and West, and go home.

For once, the good guys proved victorious.

Lebron announced, “Cleveland, this is for you!” on national television.

My wife and her friend Donna, screamed, cried, and from what I gather, doused a downtown bar with a shower of beer. They FaceTimed me from inside a parade of thousands of the happiest people that ever lived.

Chuck and I drove forty-nine straight hours home, the tent greeting us as we exited the turnpike. Over two million people gathered downtown for the official celebration. Most of them, like J.R. Smith, went shirtless.

Another tent got set up near where we were recording the next Indoria. Instead of two times, I started passing a tent four times a day. And they stayed, boy, oh did they stay in business. June turned to July turned to August and still, as the school year began, we had championship fever. And tents.

A few short months later, the Indians took us to the series, and yes, the tent returned. The Tribe battled the Cubs to a thrilling game seven. My father came over to watch and I had convinced him to stay, even after the Tribe got belted in the early innings.

On my deathbed I’ll remember the moment Rajai Davis belted a home run with two outs in the eighth inning. I glanced at my dad with dumbfounded disbelief before we cheered our heads off. The home run tied the game and gave the Tribe all the momentum. The contentment I felt at having my dad there to share the moment with felt as great as winning.

And then it rained.

The Cavs failed to repeat in 2017. Kyrie appeared to have better things to do than fight for the win. It was no surprise that he requested a trade not long after.

I had to witness those fleabags from the Bay Area win due more to our inner turmoil than because they earned it. Adding insult to injury, a hotel we stayed at in Oakland hosted a championship trophy event that day.

Good grief.

All six of the fair weather fans showed up. I wore a Cavs jersey and held my head up high.

The next season boasted an amount of drama that I hadn’t experienced since high school. Players came and went, rumors flew, and the team never gelled. Thompson and Love battled injuries. J.R. waged a war inside of himself. Our new point guard missed the first half of the season and appeared clueless when he did take the court. Hood and Clarkson joined the team. Both players can score, but something held them back.

Larry Nance Jr. came via trade. It was a treat for Clevelanders and for his father, a former Cavalier who still lives in the area.

They limped into the postseason and almost got bounced by Indiana. Toronto folded in four. Boston came out swinging. No one gave the Cavs a chance. The tent still wasn’t set up as the series evened to three games apiece.

But then, the Cavs found something. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t…it didn’t matter. Lebron lifted the team onto his shoulders and repeated the run he had had in 2007, all those years ago. Down went the Celtics. Down went the hurt from 2010. Down went any doubt that Lebron wasn’t the best I had ever seen.

I came home from work two days later and there it was, the tent. It stood in the same spot, as always, though the merchandise now featured the slogan of the season, “Whatever It Takes”.

On the night of Game One we watched the referees destroy any chance the Cavs had to win the series. You could see it in the player’s eyes even before the game went into overtime. Lebron played a game for the ages, but the men wearing whistles ripped victory away from him.

With the Cavs down three games to none, I decided to pick up a discounted rally shirt at the tent. I wanted to cheer their comeback. I wanted to show, again, that I’d never give up on them.

The tent was empty, already abandoned.

It was a punch to the gut. How dare they? The Cavs still had a chance. That night they would defend the land in game four. Sure, victory in the series would take a miracle, but, wasn’t it our team that came back from down 3-1 only two years earlier? I passed by the empty tent caught off guard by the feelings it brought up. The last sweep in the NBA was in…oh yeah, 2007, the first time I set my eyes on this failed camping accessory.

Unfortunately, many of the Cavaliers had already joined the tent operators ‘in Cancun’. Game Four was a sloppy affair from the opening jump. I watched until the bitter, bitter end.

The tent is gone again. The frequency of times I’ve seen it is a testament to Lebron’s elevation up the NBA hierarchy. He stands with only the best of the best of the best as peers.

He’s a free agent again.

I saw Lebron play for the first time shortly after I turned old enough to drink. Now, I’m thirty-nine. My wife and I started dating during Lebron’s rookie season. We got hitched over eleven years ago. My kids are seven and five. We’ve gone through several cars, a few jobs, three apartments, and two homes since Lebron joined the NBA. We’ve recorded over thirty Indoria songs since I first saw the tent. I’ve written three novels, a nonfiction book, and a couple dozen short stories since, “The return”.

As I type this at a bar in Tremont, the trio at the next table is talking about Lebron, stay or go. The bartender and five or so patrons are discussing it too. The folks on the TV are dissecting rumors and theories of why Lebron could remain a Cavalier or relocate to Los Angeles. Read the paper, turn on the radio, or visit any sports website and you’ll find the same story.

If Lebron goes, the team will have a lot of work to do to succeed in a post-James era. If he stays, the Cavaliers may not acquire enough firepower to earn more Finals appearances before he retires.

So, no matter where Lebron plays next the tent might stay gone for a while. I may have to search out a new landmark to document the passing of time in my life. At least for the next few years, until Lebron’s eldest gets drafted here in Cleveland…

 

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Primus and Mastodon concert review

Like the post’s title suggests, I recently reviewed the Primus and Mastodon show I caught last week in Columbus, Ohio

The review was published by DomainCleveland and can be found here.

In other news, I have completed the first round of edits and a rewrite on my third novel, Antichroma, which is book one of a series of young adult adventure stories. I am looking for a few beta readers (especially teenagers) to give the book a read and offer feedback. interested? message me on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll send it your way.

I also submitted my rough draft of the book about my time with Chuck Mosley to a publisher and I am (In)patiently awaiting their feedback.

My vocals have been underutilized the last few years, so keep an eye out for new music from The Firmary and from a few projects i have been developing this year. Can’t wait to get new music out in the world.

What’s new with you?

 

Posted in artists i like, concert/cd reviews, my writing, songs i'm involved with | Comments Off on Primus and Mastodon concert review