Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Now Dance!

Used Kids Radiation Room Remix
download it now.

Last year, The Columbus Roller Girls had Earwig play at their title bout at the fairgrounds. It was a fun gig and I ran into my old pal Paul Kavicky at the show. Paul is an audio professional and moderates a forum on live audio over at The WOMB, which is a gathering of minds for forward thinking audio engineers. Since I also work in audio and play in band, Paul asked me to do a web-interview with him there and it ended up being a good time. DJ Peter Carli, who creates professional club remixes and has a show on XM radio, heard Earwig through the WOMB interview and approached me about doing a remix of our song Used Kids. I must say, I think he did a fantastic job. He really took this track and ran with it, coming up with something completely new and different from the original version. You can download the song for free over at The Daily Chorus. It’s getting mentions in a few places online. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Year of the Used Kids

I remember being very excited to play CD101 Day at the LC in 2007. Pretty unbelievably, our song “Used Kids” was being played on the radio like crazy. 400 spins in 6 months. You do the math. We got our own dressing room and were generally treated like conquering kings. Earwig got the second to last slot, which was great. The place was packed and the audience was incredible. Despite our nerves, we actually didn’t screw up and played pretty well. It was one of the biggest and best shows we had played up until that point. Then FOX TV called and asked us to come in for an interview and to play the song on their morning show ‘Good Morning Columbus’. We had planned on doing the tune as a full band but, as usual, things went awry and we ended up on-air as an acoustic duo, just me and Matt. It was a happy accident though, since I don’t know if we would have been able to deliver fully functional rock at 7am. I bet the soccer-moms probably liked the stripped down version better anyway . Next, we somehow landed the headlining spot Friday night on the main-stage at Comfest. Despite technical difficulties (with my brain) we did an admirable job and went over well with the massive audience that’s a cross-section of free-music fans and beer lovers from the Midwest. We capped the summer off with another show at the LC, this time outside, and then a short tour (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York) to promote ‘Center Of The Earth’. At the end of October, a week after we got back from the tour, we went into the studio and put down basics for 14 songs that should comprise our next full length album. All in all, it was a fantastic year. You can see clips of Earwig at Comfest, The LC, CD101 Day, FOX TV and several stops on the tour in this new video for ‘Used Kids’, superbly edited by Matt Parker. Enjoy.

*BONUS* Look for the scene where I have Matt in a headlock and then throw him to the ground. We were playing in Cincinnati. I broke a string mid-song and, disposing of my guitar, finished the tune by flailing around the stage like an aerobics instructor on PCP. I guess that I got a little caught up in the moment. Matt, if your out there...I’m sorry.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Foshy Photo

My pal Allan Foster takes lots of pictures. I don’t think that he’d call himself a photographer, even though he’s very good at it. He’s actually sort of a jack-of-many-trades, being a kick-ass photographer is just his latest hobby. In the past he’s directed, edited and shot music videos, built websites (Earwig’s website!) and played drums in a smart and influential Columbus band (Po-Po Volcano). He also makes some wicked salsa. Allan is a very talented, yet unassuming type of guy who is always happy to pick up yr slack and help out in some way. I’ve got plenty of slack that needs to be tended to, so Allan is pretty much President and C.E.O. of “Team Earwig”. He took some great pictures of Earwig in December at the Lyle Gallery. Lately he’s been getting really into this Strobist group and building his own specialty photo and lighting equipment. It's interesting stuff. He got a new camera last year and his skills have improved greatly. In addition to portraits, he’s been shooting a lot of live bands like Watershed , The Editors and Hot Hot Heat. Columbus bands The Guinea Worms and Necropolis had Allan take their picture for an upcoming piece about the Columbus underground scene for some big British Music Magazine. The picture at the top is a shot Allan took of the Guinea Worms for the Columbus Dispatch. One of Allan’s nicknames is Foshy. Wil Foster from the Guinea Worms is his brother. You should listen to a few of the Guinea Worms/Wil Foster songs. Wil is unique, funny and legally bat-shit crazy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Phrases people say that never seem to be meant literally

"Don't go there": Why, is there a monster there? Where is that anyway?
"Talk to the hand": If I tried to do that you'd think I was retarded.
"She's kind of a butterface": I hope she lives in a colder climate, like Norway.
"Cut to the chase": Sorry, I forgot I was showing you a film, you impatient asshole.
"It blew my mind" also, see: "This blows": Yes, that POS fan does indeed blow.
"Level-headed": Yikes.
"Here's a quarter. Call someone who cares": That's a very archaic saying, as we all have cell phones now. Gimme that quarter!
"Would you like some cheese to go with that whine?": Why yes, I would. That is very thoughtful of you.
"I literally (insert past-tense verb)": I believe literally everything you say.
"Get out of town": Can I borrow your car?
"I love you, baby": Thanks, but I'm a baby and therefore can't understand the concept of love. Please keep your privates away from my orifices.
"... was a dead giveaway": I always show up right after the last corpse is given out.
"Bite me": Trust me, do not ask me to do this (I have rabies). Hey, that reminds me.
"Rabid fan": Sure, it creates a breeze, but the foam gets everywhere.
"Soft as a baby's bottom": Here, let me prove it to you. Hey, put your privates away!
"He's real bright": OK, he's an albino.
"He's real sharp": OK, he's a swordfish.
"All things being equal": What? I'll trade you this shiny penny for your yacht.
"I dig it": Another archaic expression. We have landscapers for that.
"I know, right?" Sure, but how do I know you're not bluffing?
"I almost died laughing": Everyone loves a survivor.
"Loose stool": A screwdriver usually does the trick.
"Who let the dogs out?": Follow-up question: do they bite?
"The cat's pajamas": I have learned from experience that cats don't have, nor do they even want, pajamas.
"You have my word": I do, and I think I'll keep it (hint: it rhymes with "witch").
"What's up?" Not to be cocky, but I think it's safe to say it is not the ground.
"You're retarded": So sorry, I'll stop talking to your hand now.

Low Fidelity

I like the sound of tape hiss. It’s warm and fuzzy. I like it when you fall asleep on the couch watching a movie. And when you wake up, the tv’s gone off and your left with a warm blanket of pixilated static (but not like in Poltergeist, that would be bad). There’s just something comforting about analog artifacts. Sometimes, with music, it helps blend everything together. Make it mushy. Like cake batter before the cake. It works in movies too. I loved how in Grindhouse (the movie by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez) they went to great lengths to make it an authentic tribute to B movies and exploitation thrillers. Right down to all of the fuzzy, out-of-focus camera work and stray hairs on the projector lens. My pal Matt Parker makes movies. He let me watch some cool exploitation style trailers that he tacked onto the front of a short horror movie of his called Hack.

I dig all of the after effects, the coming attractions, 70’s movie styling, the funky music and the foley sound work. It all makes me feel like I’m back at the drive-in. This is just stuff Matt does for kicks, he also edits video professionally ( Matt is working on a music video for Earwig. It’s a lot of rough live footage that I collected over the last year cut together to the song Used Kids. Matt has a great eye and he’s a very talented cat. It’s coming out better than I had expected. Some of the footage is well shot, glossy, bright and clean. While some of the other raw video I gave him is pretty low quality. Matt found a theme to tie it all together and used filters and other effects to get the footage to all work well as a video. He sacrificed the quality on the pristine footage to give it all a lo-fi feel. There are a few other neat tricks too. I like it. I’ll post the finished video here as soon as it‘s ready.

I like to write. But staring at a computer screen too long hurts my brain. The internet is digital and harsh. I think that coffee in the morning must be somehow analog. The more coffee I drink, the longer I can stare at the computer screen. They seem to almost cancel each other out.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Yard Golfing

When the sun comes out on a day like today, after another long winter spent indoors, I get the urge for new occupation. Today that occupation is yard golf. I live deep in the woods of southern Ohio and have no neighbors (excepting dogs, deer, cats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, chipmunks, beavers, weasels, raccoons, possums, turtles and the occasional wild boar). My yard is a couple of acres and surrounded on all sides by woods. I have never golfed before, but recently bought three used golf clubs from the thrift store for a buck each. I walked the yard to discover the best drive lanes and set three holes with plastic containers that I dug out of the recycle bin. My new yard-golf course is three holes. The first hole is a fairly long drive, with the chicken house and garden serving as hazards. I'd say par 4. I don't have any golf tees and after digging two pretty good sized divets out of my yard with my number one driver (a 9.75 Hogan) I hit a strong drive that sliced hard, just missing my van and hitting my garage. No damage. I chipped onto the "green" with my wedge and sunk the putt for a swell birdie. I was off to a good start. I cut across the yard, length-wise for a bogey on the second hole. So far so good, par for the course. I felt pretty good. That's when it all went bad. I ended up almost beaning one of my favorite St. Francais statues while trying to shoot around the brush pile on the third hole. 4 shots over par in the end. Damn.