This is the middle-of-the-line drum kit I've been hitting lately. Last album, I played drums on five tunes. I was a semi-nervous wreck about the whole thing. I even brought in a real drummer for brush work, since my in-apartment electro set didn't allow for that. By the way, he sounded great. But now I'm drumming 24 tracks between two albums. So far, things are going well. There are a few problem children, but nothing that can't be shoved into place by tracking time - which is early August. In addition to the drumming, I'll also be playing saxophone and, of course, singing. I've been temping steadily since recording my last album, but I'm taking time off to get these tunes down. It's funny, I had this delusion that I would have everything down cold by the first part of June. As of today, I'm still trying to get tunes to scan; I'm changing lyrics left and right and altering beats. Funny how that works. One of the things that made drumming those five tunes difficult last album was that I had contracted a wicked case of tennis elbow. It was pretty terrible. Every time I flexed my right arm was like being moderately electrocuted. And I had to flex my right arm a lot. After getting the job done - amid a lot of grumbling from my engineer - I took some time off and started weight training for all the muscles around the problem area. You know what? It worked! These days I practice for hours and everything's fine. Sure, I sweat buckets, but that's normal. Everything feels good. I mean, I went in this morning and Anthony (one of many people I sure this room with) was there, drumming and also sweating profusely. He's better than me, as well. Everybody is. But it gives me a chance to get out of Belltown. The room is right in between Fremont and Ballard. It's actually in a fairly desolate area, which appeals to me. I'm really not liking Belltown right now - due in part to my lunatic neighbor, Devil-Talking Lady. More on that later. For now, I'll be doing this drumming-thing a lot. Every day.
Seattle is quite a beautiful city, no doubt about that. The Belltown neighborhood doesn’t swing that way. Much of it is downright hideously ugly. If not for all that ugliness, there’d be nothing to see. I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve only just started taking notice. Please join me on this odyssey of unsightliness as we try to figure out why poor Belltown looks so bad.