Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Bees Knees and a Christmas Mix

So, our Christmas album is finally recorded and mixed thanks to the hard work and discerning ear of Robert Cheek. Next Friday I hope to have the project mastered and then we'll go about getting the art done and the cd manufactured in time for the holidays.
I had a lot of fun finishing up the recording and mixing but the best experience I had was hearing some music by a new artist that absolutely floored me. Jules is a local Sacramento musician who goes by the name, "Sea of Bees". Now I don't know what it is about the word "bee" but many of my favorite albums have the word in it. From a recent favorite "The Bird and the Bee" album, to my favorite Soft Boys album, "Can of Bees", to the best Guided by Voices album, "Bee Thousand", I think it might be impossible to have a bad album with the word "bee" in it and I know that the "Sea of Bees" album will be no exception.

The story goes that while on break from recording with the band she's in as a side person, Jules was singing and strumming away on guitar when John Baccigaluppi, The Hangar studio owner and engineer, heard Jules and asked her if she'd like to make a record. And so they are.
I was privileged enough to be asked to come into the small recording room they were working in to hear some of the tracks they had in progress. I was blown away by the quality of the songs and Jules quirky, inviting voice. John's arrangements are inventive and perfectly frame Jules' voice and the songs. I've heard at least half the album now and can say that "Sea of Bees" has a big future ahead.

Fortunately, Luxury Wafers (awesome blogsite...check out the amazing bands, including one of my favorites, The Heartless Bastards) was able to film Jules performing a few of her songs live at The Hangar.

Here's my favorite:

Sea of Bees - Willis - Luxury Wafers Sessions from Luxury Wafers on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mommy the Superhero (free download)

Sorry Dads, but Mommies just may have an edge when it comes to superhero attributes. It's just Dads have the better PR department while Moms' accomplishments are much more inglorious.

Fortunately, we have a day to give Mom her due and sing her praises...which we in The Hipwaders are more than happy to do:

Always Mom - The Hipwaders

(from "Goodie Bag" EP)

Mommy & Me

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Hipwaders at Suisun's Kids Festival

Life's richest moments and memories usually consist of both the good and the bad, the Yin & Yang, the sweet & sour. The bittersweet does provide the best memories and The Hipwaders just had that kind of a show.

The City of Suisun put on a Kid Festival yesterday and event chairperson Anita Skinner did her best to provide local kids and families with an awesome event. Cities are usually only able to put on one kid-oriented event a year and yesterday was that day.

But, it rained.

Now, normally, that'd be the end of the story. People wouldn't show up. Vendors would rue the day they paid their fee to hawk their wares as families won't show up to an event if a downpour is in the forecast.
With us it's a little different. Fortunately, the rain let up about an hour prior to our show and we were able to set up. Surprisingly, Lt. Governor John Garamendi showed up to the event as he had a meeting with the local city politicos later that day.

Our friend, Alan Blondin, did think that Garamendi went a little overboard with the Stormtrooper security.

I had the chance to speak with the Lt. Governor and took the opportunity to ask that he lend an ear to the concern of my fellow paramedics who don't have the power that police and fire unions have to highlight issues important to their profession. He reminded me of his role in the 1982 California State Senate bill that led to the licensing of paramedics. I also thanked him for his role as State Insurance Comissioner and Prop 103 in his fight to end corruption in the insurance industry that led to massive rebates in fees to car and homeowners.

Word on the street is John Garamendi may be running for Governor next year. I think he got The Hipwader vote when he introduced us to the crowd at the Suisun Harbor.

While "crowd" perhaps isn't the right word, people showed up from as far away as Sacramento and Brentwood. It's always fun to see our friend Alex rocking out. We were also happy he requested "Field Trip" off our new cd. It's probably our favorite song to play.

So while the people danced away - as a did a giant Subway sandwich (?) - we were able to have fun for and hour and a half until the rain returned and we had to cut the gig short. It was supposed to be a 3 hour tour!

We promised Anita Skinner we'd do all we could to help her in her quest to get Suisun City to have another kid-focused day this summer. While most of the planned events got rained out and the vendors got soaked (pun intended) we had a blast and got to meet up with old fans and made some new ones, too.

Oh, yeah, and the Lt. Governor asked for business cards. We also hooked him up with some cds (he's got 10 grandchildren). Perhaps The Hipwaders will be performing at a family function at the California State Capitol for "Governor John Garamendi".