Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Didn't Drown in a Lake (But I Have Been Busy)

The evening news is a crumby way to learn that one of your friends has died. And though none of my friends had that experience this weekend, many of them thought they did.

See, that's the thing about television news. You can't tell how names are spelled. A 27-year-old Northeast Portland man named Jason Sims drown last Saturday in a Hagg Lake. Meanwhile, a 24-year-old Southeast Portland man named Jason Simms was hosting a party at his house when he started getting texts, "Are you OK?"

The next morning I woke to messages and emails from a lot of people. It was an interesting group, mostly people who don't know me well enough to be certain of my age. From music industry acquaintances to a couple of sources for this story, who wrote to say they were greatly saddened by the news of my death, more than they knew they would be. Not being an early riser on a Sunday after a party, they hadn't heard back from me and eventually checked in with law enforcement agencies and discovered that Sims was black. Turns out he was also a father according to a comment on this news story.

So, if I ever drown, call me a fool. I've been warned.

Instead of drowning, I have been busy. Here is a summary of recent events.

Mark flew up from LA on Thursday to do a 54 Pages of What recording and fill in on keys for the Metal Shakespeare Company on tour. We rehearsed nonstop after he arrived, pausing to play a very polite and cleanly birthday party for my friend Audrey at my house on the day my death was announced.

Then we made a grownup recording at the Ship with Mike Stanioch. It was grown up because I played bass and at least 2 guitars on each track and Mark played drums and piano on it. The out of tune piano adds a lot to our cowboy hardcore sound.

That night, we went Soobies, a strip club on 122nd and Stark. We were literally driven out by aggressive strippers biting our necks and demanding outrageously frequent tips. A strange experience after recording for 10 hours.

Now we are driving to Boise for the first show of our tour.

Image: Hagg Lake.

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