what we talkin’ bout? we talkin’ bout practice

Still in shock I write the following: For the first time, Team USA has lost a second game in an Olympic year since NBA players were elligible to play. That’s hot! That means that everyone else is getting better and that when USA wins it will actually mean something. So that means, yes, I am still rooting for this team. Though I like Ginobili and Yao, I don’t really like them enough to root for their entire team and I have no ties to any of the other countries. Therefore, by process of elimination, Go USA!

Shack 2.0 was a success. If you have never had the pleasure of meeting Richard’s old roommate, Brent, you soon will (in song at least!) He, along with some good ol’ fashioned, Rolling Stones/Led Zep 3-evocative Nashville tuning, inspired the newest, hot Bras tune. As soon as I finish the new Bras website I’ll put it up for you guys to downlaod!

Tonight I’m going to see a free showing of Aliens vs. Predator – and I am fully aware of how bad this thing should be, but it’s free so … why not? I just hope a “safe” view of both characters is thrown out, and a definitive pro-Predator story is taken because the Aliens suck. (SIDENOTE: Please do not inquire as to my method of acquiring a free ticket as its legality is still in question). And, in case you are feeling nostalgic about the previous stanus.net desing, a replica is in the archive section. L8r on.

YEARS LATER: Holy shit I’m talking about USA Basketball a lot in these blogs. I can really empathize with my readers from back then – even I can’t stand to read these now. But I’ll leave all Olympics b-ball comments for the August 27, 2004 Years Later commentary.

Instead, I’ll discuss Shack 2.0! The Shack was an empty house in which bandmates Bill Bert, Richard Killiam and I rehearsed, wrote, and recorded with our band, Bras. In fact, for a good month or so, Richard and I even lived in this bathroom-less hellhole. But, as terrible as the living conditions were we actually were quite productive. We left with 62 recordings totalling at just over 2.5 hours of running time. Sure, a good portion of this material was garbage but the lessons learned about producing, mixing and living in a band were invaluable. There was talk of returning to the Shack in later years but it never developed.

The Shack also represented the apex of Bras. Shortly thereafter the foundations of the band started to deteriorate and we never recovered. However, when I finally left the JMU area during the summer of 2004 Richard and I were still attempting to resuscitate the dream and headed for his parent’s second house in Amhearst, Virginia. Sure the official mission for the trip was to go down and cut the spacious lawn now overgrown from months of neglect, but we packed our guitars and my computer and hoped against hope!

Instead of racking my brain for memories that have long since been deleted, I’ll go to my trusty Shack Diary – a compositional notebook full of band-related journal entries. Yes, deep inside, I’m a 12-year old girl.

Entry from August 17, 2004:

After Richard finds he has a lot of time on his hands (aka is fired from the web linking job) we travel down to his Amherst house to do a mini-shack 2. Due to a superhuman Killiam factor, we don’t even arrive until 1 am! I fall asleep on Toine’s penis … I mean the front couch in the living room to gymnastics in Athens.

Entry from August 18, 2004:

At the most appropriate of times, we woke up at 1:30. After eating the nutricious [sic] meal of Lizzie Killiam’s cake, we went through some of our most recent songs. Got interested in a couple, but kept hitting walls. Went to the nearest Food Lion, picked up some beers and hot dog buns and then cooked them out. Then we played basketball, and by that I obviously mean just walked around Sweet Briar College doing nothing. And on the way we met a nice man who was sitting in his truck in his front yard. What? Nothing weird about that! Upon returning the decision was made to simply tune our guitars to the (Steve) Nashville tuning and write as we went. Based on Rolling Stones stuff and “That’s The Way” from Led Zeppelin 3. “The Brent Song” was created!

Here’s everything else I can remember: We were there for 2 days and 2 nights and spent about 3 hours in front of my computer (yes, I brought every single component of my machine for the trip), trying to write and record. We wasted the rest of the time in fabulous ways: looking through Richard’s barn-sized storage building, walking around Sweet Briar, going through old sheet music and tab books in the “piano room” of his house. I was experiencing intense, conflicting emotions the entire time: extreme boredom at being in the middle of nowhere, profound frustration towards our lack of progress, and paralyzing laziness that prevented me from doing anything about anything.

On our way home we stopped at some dollar movie theater and saw Van Helsing. It was so bad I almost wanted my dollar back, but I didn’t want to put any bad karma into the ending of the trip as “The Brent Song” actually turned out to be a worthy little tune.

UPDATED LINKS: archive (01/18/2010)