Blog entry

dharmapalooza is thruza

sorry i haven't written in a few days, since dharmapalooza started (thursday night) it has been non-stop. i picked matt (my drummer) up from the airport thursday night, we came back and rehearsed until 2:30 in the morning. it was so unbelievably loud we seriously worried the police would be over any moment. it also happened to be the first day my next door neighbors had been in their new house, and it sounded like a monster truck over here. they were really nice about it, i had warned them earlier in the day "it's not going to be like this, i swear, i'm a good neighbor, i play acoustic guitar" but then all night "COME AND SOAK IN DRESDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! BANG BANG BANG". marci came out at 2:30am and said "you need to stop. please. stop." so we did.

friday we rehearsed again, and had improved notably. it's rather insane, frankly, to take three guys that have never played together, have two rehearsals and then film a DVD from it. matt and i have played together for a long time though, and chad works incredibly, unbelievably hard. i have rarely seen someone so dedicated and focused with their practice. this dude is committed! you literally have to stop chad from practicing, he will practice until he falls over. when the band is done, he keeps going going going like there's a nest of energizer bunnies in him. matt and i have to have little interventions with thim "chad, put down the bass chad, step away from the bass now, over here..."

friday night dinner at Chez Thuy house was a blast. we had 75 reservations for the weekend, but curiously only about 55 showed up. i make a mental note that next year we'll have to get the reservations by credit card. however, the 55 that showed up were some of the greatest humans you could ever hope to meet. amazing! friday night dinner i hop from table to table and meet mystics and angels from utah, germany, virginia, georgia, iowa, minnesota, and CANADA. the canadians are so loving and kind to me. can i tell you something? i want to move to Canada. i have never met someone from Canada that i didn't like. the whole country is full of gracious, radiant people as far as i can tell.

we started saturday with meditation and then an introduction from me. there's been so many changes at dharma pop coinciding with the weekend that it's been challenging to keep my bearings. i open with the story of a meditation experience of being dunked in a subtle / causal field, and how it freaked me out, but ultimately was the inception of dharma pop and its mission (the bodhisattva's vow + pop music). i briefly discuss an integral approach as bodhisattva's technology. then Vid gets up and gives a Dharma talk that really polishes the mirror. it's quite surprising and so beautiful to hear a zen priest use his boxing experiences as illuminations on attentive mind. some very loud laughs for us at several points. a break for lunch, then james wagner brings us smack dab into our bodies and creativity with his transformative gaming. i have to leave after a bit to go to sound check at Trilogy for the show.

with four cameras for video and lots of equipment for audio, it takes us from 4pm until about 8pm to get sound and video all set. it's all in place when i start the night with IS and then the band breaks into Savoring Samsara. from there on out it's pretty much a rock show. songs i want to make sure end up on the DVD include Dresden, Sexy Messiah, Amsterdam, Savoring Samsara, IS, Swim, Doppelganger, Immanence, Babies, Smoke, Bell, Progress, Wizard, Universe Communion, Kid Mystic, Nothing In Between, Ladder, Rock Stars And Models, Fall Awake, Seven Wonders Of The Soul, and Eclipse. we have to have two shows on back to back nights, there's just no way we're going to be able to get keeper takes on all those songs in one night. many songs will be repeated to help increase our odds of getting usable takes. my voice feels about as good as it gets this weekend, which is so very fortunate considering my wife and daughter were sick with the flu and i used their toothbrush.

the audience is amazing! at the end of the night a bunch of them get on stage with us and we do doppelganger like a mad gypsy chorus. it's so kick ass. i feel incredibly honored to be able to hang and perform with all my new friends in the mystery. i get back home about 2:30, vid and i talk dharma and mystery till we crash, and i lay down with ringing ears, like Bob Seger said....

later in the evening
as you lie awake in bed
with the echoes from the amplifiers
ringing in your head
you smoke the days last cigarette
remembering what you said

except i don't smoke. so i just sing the first four lines and imagine myself naked driving a Honda....

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