Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last of the year

Waking up on a day like today takes a million years. And I’m still waiting. Begin these hunted moments. Scheduled to start mixing on January 11th … a lifetime away. Sleeping days roll by like water, sounds of Monsters in the hallway. All these things are waiting, kept at bay…

Shiny Morning

Yr never on my side
If winter comes and I can’t keep you warm…
Yr moment has begun, yr shiny morning in the sun

All across the Universe
Forgetting stars, if I could let you run
We’d run ‘til we got caught and sing the songs that we forgot
Let’s sing the songs that we forgot

And I wave as the cars pass by
On this shiny morning
When your moment has begun
It’s been a long time coming on


To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop


Thursday, December 17, 2009

An LFM Christmas Krissingle

Back in the glory days of LFM we would have a grand Christmas party every year. One year we decided to have the party at Bernie’s and release a cassette known as the LFM Christmas Krissingle. I’ve still got a copy and we listen to it every year during the holidays. And it seems like every year someone is asking about how they can get a copy. I’ve been wanting to post it online and last night, out of the blue, I got a call from my awesome mind-reading webmaster, Allan Foster, to say that he was going to post the songs online. You should read Allan’s blog to see what he has to say about this cassette. http://allanfosterphotography.blogspot.com

The cassette has 4 songs.

Bigfoot - Silent Night
Earwig - Feed the World
Coronado - Mrs. Christmas
Preston Furman - A PF Holiday

We wanted a special one-off release for the Christmas party and about a week or so prior to the show we came up with the idea of a holiday cassette. We put the word out to the LFM family bands to see what they could come up with on such short notice and these 4 songs are the ones that made the deadline. Bigfoot kicks off the affair in rare 4-track form replete with cassette tape mayhem and vari-speed glory. David and Melanie Holm from Bigfoot now play in Total Foxx with Sam Brown. Bigfoot’s drummer, Brad Swiniarski, now runs Horny Records which just helped release the new (and great!) Bush League All Stars record.

I bought the Band Aid single when it was released and I still have the 7”. Earwig used to play this song every Christmas at shows. You may be interested to note that Brad Swiniarski was also the drummer for Earwig for a short time during this period. His stint behind the skins for Earwig included a handful of live shows and 2 recording sessions which yielded this holiday track as well as Anatomical Gift and Two Dragons from the album Perfect Past Tense.

Rich Cefalo, Earwig’s then bassist, during this same period started his string of side bands that would eventually give birth to the great Po-Po Volcano. Coronado also features David and Jason (now the drummer for Grafton) from Preston Furman. Listen closely and you’ll also hear our very own man-about-town Allan Foster playing the paper bag. Allan went on to drum for Po-Po Volcano.

Ahhh, what can be said about Preston Furman? As young musicians they seemed to be just finding their legs, yet making some incredible savant-vibe music in the thick of it all. This song shows off the comedic song-writing skills of the one and only Matt Wagner (Earwig’s now bassist!). If you by chance happened to know the guys in the band, it’s extra funny as they each sing their lines in character.

Enjoy these holiday tunes as a gift to you from the ghosts of Christmas past.

Catch up with Earwig on Twitter: www.twitter.com/earwigtheband

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bring on the dancing keyboards

As Kermit the Frog would say “Moving right along…”

All of the guitars are finished. That fact is sad and beautiful at the same time, if you understand where I’m coming from. Earwig is a guitar band and the guitars are like the potatoes. Now all we need is the gravy. More sounds! So for this most recent session Landy pulled out the cool keyboards and we made some noise. I added bitchin’ sawtooth-wave hoo-hah to a couple of songs. It worked out well. We passed off a couple of tracks to an “un-named party” to add some bleepity-bloopity and see if we like it. No results there yet. But yesterday we spent the day in the awesome presence of the one and only Thomas Boyer, the man with the magic fingers. Thom is actually the producer that introduced me to Mike Landolt and I’m still working with Thom to finish up recording/mixing the other Earwig EP ‘North High Alumni’. Did I mention Thom is great? He put some pound-along roughhouse piano on Trees, sad Hammond on Her Heart, dirty Rhoads on Lovesong Cockroach and a church organ on Star Cross’d. I’m pleased as punch and can’t wait to start mixing in January now that the tracking is 99% finished.

One song that you won’t hear any keyboards on is Wicked. It’s one of my favorite new songs and strictly a six string affair. You can download the acoustic here

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

I’m working hard these days to get all of my ducks in a row for the release of this record. I’d like to offer some sort of pre-sale, but have not figured out exactly how just yet. The new website, the digital release…all kinds of good stuff coming up soon. So stay tuned. Also, I’d like to mention that I’m still in need of a few investors to get this thing totally off the ground. I had a few Super Fans step forward (Thanks Jamie Clark! Thanks Foshy! Thanks Russells!) to kick-in some $$ goodness and help out the cause. They’ll get it back in spades. I’m still looking for a few more to contribute so we’ll have the dough to get this party started right. So if you, or someone you know, might be a candidate to help out, please get in touch with me at lizard@lizardfamily.com and I will fill you in on the small print and see if you too can be a part of Team Earwig! As always, thanks for reading the blog and pass along this song to everyone who’d like to hear it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let the waiting begin

Matt came in last week to sing some songs and slay his fuzz-wah bass solo on Lovesong Cockroach. It was a revelation. Up until now it’s just been a whole lot of “Me” getting spread all over this record. Getting Matt in there proper really helps make it sound like a “band” again. All of the best records have multiple elements contributing to the final mix, be it other band members, songwriters or producers. With Matt kicking in and Landy on board for the long haul, I think we’re heading in the right direction. We made a few rough mixes and upon first listen I was disappointed. I’ve had a bit of time to listen to them and investigate what’s actually there and my current diagnosis is that it all sounds great and this is going to be Earwig’s best record yet.

Live, Matt’s backing vocals are pushed towards the realm of punk-rock. In the studio I can really hear what he’s doing, why he’s doing it and what he’s adding. One song that this effect really stands out on is Glorious & Gloom. On the pre-chorus (‘You think everyone is poison…’), Matt sings a contrasting vocal line that makes this part seem like it’s in a minor key almost. It’s neat and it really works well for the song as a whole. Here’s the live solo acoustic version of Glorious & Gloom for you to memorize.

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

The sad part, for me, is that with the holidays upon us Mike and I only have 2-3 days to work before the end of the year! This seriously throws off my schedule as far as getting this record done in time for my original release plans. Oh well, anything good is worth waiting for. Or so I’ve heard.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I know what I want

Staying focused, that’s the key. This stage of working on the record is where darkness and self-doubt start to slyly creep in on me. It’s easy to get lost. We’ve completed a LOT of guitar work and it all sounds undeniably great. But I start to wonder, is it the ‘right kind of great’? This album has been alive in my head for a such long while now and there is some difficulty for me in it actually become animated. It means that I will have to let go of it. That can be a tough thing for me to realize and to accept. In my mind’s eye these songs are awash in greatness, no questions asked. Once I spit them out, that greatness is open to debate. Landy and I have been dealing with this by re-cutting some questionable guitar parts with a different purpose in mind. Approaching a few songs from alternate perspectives to see if there‘s a better fit. A different guitar, a different amp, a different vibe. Sometimes the results are fantastic. Other times it’s hard to tell. Add in the prospect of all of these new options and we’ve created some cold work to sift through. Since Mike (Mike Landolt is the producer and I sometimes call him Mike, sometimes Landy. But I’m talking about the same person.) is a bit newer to these songs he is not as attached to ‘the way they were’ as I am and it’s sometimes easier for him to hear if a new part is working or not. Often I might not be sold on it right away just because it is different from what I’m used to. But I want these songs to break away from what they were and bloom into something new. I know what I want this album to be. It’s how it has to happen.

On the song ‘Next Christmas’, I’ve added in some guitars and a solo that I’ve never played live or even considered for this song before. They’re still settling in. I do like the new solo though, it reminds me of the Cure...just a little bit. You won’t hear any of these new guitar parts on this acoustic demo. Too bad. You’ll just have to wait for the record to be finished like the rest of us (us?!). Regardless, I hope you’ll enjoy this new MP3 of ‘Next Christmas’. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the new songs. I don’t know how many people actually read this blog, but if it’s 2 or 2000, thanks for listening. Yes, I mean you.

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

Friday, October 30, 2009

This guitar’s been dreaming

After recording Mayfeeder, Earwig‘s first album, I listened back to the songs and had a revelation. Every song was about Sleeping, Dreaming or Dying. Since then, I’ve noticed that each Earwig album seems to organically develop a theme that ties the songs together. It may not always be so obvious but, at least for me, it’s there. I mentioned in an earlier post about how all of the songs on the new record have come to me in some shape or form through dreams. The album title came in a dream too. In the dream, I’m sitting in the center of a huge movie theater all alone. It’s an older, well kept theater with a balcony, very much like Cinema East. The screen is monstrously tall and wide with velvet curtains hanging on either side. The silence is broken by the familiar sounds of the film starting it’s roll through the projector as the house lights go dark. The film is running, but the screen is blank, no images. As I sit patiently, a white light glows through the movie screen, filling it with large block letters. They read “Name your album GIBSON UNDER MOUNTAIN.” Simple and direct, with no sound or other images, the letters hang on the screen. After a time they dissolve and I can hear the sounds of the film rattling into the take up real as the screen goes blank. Not long after this dream, I started writing most of the songs that would become the new Earwig album. I can’t say exactly what the title refers to, but it seems to make sense as a title for this album if only because these songs are collected from dreams as well.

An interesting note. I had this same dream once before, almost exactly, as a teenager. The difference is that that time the message on the screen told me “Name your dog PINK LEADER”. Strange, huh? I thought it was pretty odd, but I wrote down the message and carried it around with me for some time. I never did name my dog Pink Leader. But I’ve always remembered that dream and wondered what would have happened if I had taken the advice to heart and followed through. This time around, I’m going to find out.

To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

This week’s song is Sleepyhead. I actually wrote this song as a teenager and the opening melody and basic story were in a dream I had around the same time as the first movie screen message dream. In this acoustic version I play the opening guitar lick in a sort of choppy, old fashioned way. For the full band version, that lick is much more aggressive and fluid. And louder, of course. And the middle bridge is filled with glorious 12 string guitars that would make Johnny Marr turn green with envy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Undecided Decisions

So many decisions to make, so little time. That’s what my life seems like lately. In a good way though, so I don’t mind. It’s just a matter of getting things done. I didn’t post a song last week because my web-guru, Mr. Allan Foster, was out of town on vacation. Good for him. Now that he’s back, here’s this week’s (or last week’s!) song…Lovesong Cockroach.


To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as

and store the file on yr desktop

Generally speaking, I write two types of songs. Forlorn love-songs and ‘Fuck You’ songs. Despite a forlorn lyric or two and even though it has Lovesong in the title, I’d say Lovesong Cockroach has it’s feet planted firmly in the ‘Fuck You Song’ category. It says “I’ll do what I want and I don’t need or want yr approval”. The full band recording is turning out well. I put in a couple of tasty whammy-solo bits and next week we’re going to record Matt’s earth-shattering bass-wah solo. I’m looking forward to that. You should too.

Last week, Landy and I tackled guitars for Rumplestiltskin. As some of you may know, Rumplestiltskin is a very important song for this record, it’s awesomeness is the stuff of legend. It also features a cool/loud guitar riff that demands to be recorded with a high degree of ROCK. All we need are amps that go to 11, right? Well, it turns out that’s harder than it may seem. We selected the most righteous guitar, plugged in through a heinous array of pedal effects, set the amps to stun and let loose the dogs of war. After several hours of sifting through the ensuing rubble, we found nothing satisfying and were left cold and defeated. Beware…high volume guitar noise can kill. Unfortunately, this flawed process continued and the mythical beast that is Rumplestiltskin eluded us for two whole days before Mike realized what the problem was. As usual, I had found a hub-cap on the way into the studio that week. I brought it inside but forgot to tell Landy, so he never hung it up on the vocal booth wall, which is our routine. It was laying unattended to and un-loved by the door begging to be rectified. As soon as Landy hung the metallic talisman up, the tides of battle shifted and the shackles fell loose from our creativity. Victory was ours. When the dust cleared we found a plethora of cool guitar riffs that sounded like anything from Nine Inch Nails to MUSE. Don’t worry, in this context that’s a good thing. Industrial to be sure. We also had some old friends stop by the studio this past week. John B./Fletch stopped by and my pal Jamie Clark dropped in for a visit one evening. It was good to see them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Intuitive Golf and broken hearts

I wish you were here. It’s a beautiful day. If we were drinking some tea together and relaxing on my front porch, then maybe I’d be able to directly explain my recent fixation with the dimensionality of space and the fourth form of consciousness – the intuitional. I’m sold on the power of random direction. I don’t necessarily need to know why I should be doing something or making a decision to move forward in a new way, only that I feel some discernable compulsion to go in that direction. There are certain activities that lend themselves well to letting go and tapping into the intuitional muse. For me, one of those activities is golf. I live deep in the heart of nowhere, on the edge of Ohio’s largest state forest. Last year I had the impulse to put in 3 holes of yard golf in my large front yard. It was a good decision. And now a nice Sunday afternoon usually means one thing, 9 holes of yard golf. I’m a terribly untrained golfer, I have no real base of knowledge about how to golf in the traditional sense. When my friend and I play a round on Sundays, it’s a great opportunity for me to let my intuition take over and drive my golf-game decisions. It helps clear my mind and bring into focus other things I’m subconsciously working out. Like recording with Landy. Right now, we’re taking off two weeks from our recording schedule and the golf sessions help me to work out problems and questions about songs, parts and other recording details that have come up for us. When we start again next Monday, I’ll be fresh and full of new ideas. Another way that I’ve been able to access intuition is through dreams. I often wake up and jot down some quick notes on the best bits. I try to let them guide me without spending too much time trying to understand why. While I’m on the subject, I should mention that songs often come to me in dreams. Little bits and pieces of a melody, lyrics, titles, random situations. I don’t always write this way, but a lot of my favorite Earwig songs have come directly out of dreams (Dinosaur Song, Used Kids). The title for the new album came to me in a dream and it’s a collection of songs that also came to me in dreams.

For a time, my family lived on an awesome, secluded 600 acre farm in Pendleton Co., West Virginia. We loved it there and it was hard for us when the time came to leave it all behind. After we moved away, a woman came to me in my dreams. She was dressed a bit like the Swiss Miss lady and sewn to her breast, above where her real heart would be, was a prominent red patch (I was re-reading The Scarlet Letter at the time…). The patch was of a simple red heart, broken down the middle. She came up very close to me and gesturing to her broken heart, she said “I’ve been torn in two.” This week’s acoustic song is ‘Her Heart’.


To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Have Not Yet Begun To Sing

In the spirit of John Paul Jones (the revolutionary naval commander, not the Led Zep bassist), I have not yet begun to sing. There is a serious possibility that I am in love with the sound of my own voice. There's nothing I like better than cranking the band in the headphones and giving my all for a keeper vocal take. And when we're done, I want to go again. Alas, nothing lasts forever. Landy generally shuts me down after 3 full takes, which is a good thing since I'm usually spent at that point and it's basically a case of diminishing returns. I'm starting to respect Mike's instincts in these matters. He knows what he's talking about. Last week, Mike also clued me in to a crucial element that's missing from our session. It seems that on all major important recording sessions, the band and producer work off of a 'Progress Board'. You can see Earwig's very own progress board for the Gibson Under Mountain sessions above. The board has each song listed in graph-style with specially selected magazine photo cut-outs pasted to show what elements of the recording (drums, bass, guitar, vocals, etc.) have been completed. It's encouraging, in a gold star for potty training kind of way. Whatever that means. I like it.

Things are moving right along. We got a lot accomplished this week and I even found a new hub cap! We worked on Star Cross'd, Lovesong Cockroach, Her Heart and Shiny Morning. We'll be taking the next two weeks off and then be back at it in early October. I'll still be posting a new acoustic song each week though. This week's track is Not About You. Enjoy.


To download the MP3 go to File -> Save as and store the file on yr desktop

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baby Jesus gave me a hubcap

Over the past year, the Universe has been speaking to me through abandoned hubcaps. Whenever I see one on the road-side I take it as a sign that the Universe is pointing me in the right direction and helping deliver me to awesomeness. I've started collecting these lost hubcaps and covering the side of my out buildings with their tainted glory. On the drive to CBus to begin recording this week, my eye caught something shiny on the side of the freeway. I stopped to collect it and brought it with me to serve as inspiration in the studio. Mike was a bit baffled when I tried to explain the whole idea to him, but he catches on quickly. It didn't take long for him to hang the hubcap up on the wall of the vocal booth to help provide the needed connection with the unknown.

From there, you'll be happy to learn that things got off to a smashing start at the Curry House this week. Recording with Landy is fun and we share an appreciation for many of the same bands and albums. The level of communication is good between us and the brightest moments we've had so far involve us throwing caution to the wind and going off the deep end with some whacked-out sounds and new parts. We started out on Monday/Tuesday doing guitars and vocals for 'Not About You' and 'Wicked'. Both worked out well. Our pal Andy H. was kind enough to bring us over a swell Les Paul, a Stratocaster, a killer VOX amplifier and a handful of cool sounding effects pedals. These provided the inspiration for diverting from our expected path and really experimenting in a few spots. On Wednesday we started tracking guitars for 'Star Cross'd' and everything was super crunchy and great sounding. When we came to the bridge, Mike suggested just throwing some crazy, direct fuzzed-out guitar in there. It wasn't what I had planned, but man...it sounds incredible! It really elevated the part and is taking that song to another level. I hope that these types of sounds and experimentation continue to really shape the feel of this record. If they do, yr in for a real treat. For now, you can enjoy the no-frills, acoustic version of 'Star Cross'd'. But don't get too used to it, the full band version is going to seriously kick yer ass. Here's the link to download the acoustic version.


To download the MP3 go to File -> Save page as and store the file on yr desktop.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Own Private Listening Party

I’m set to begin the final stages in recording the new Earwig record with producer Mike Landolt . We’ll be tracking overdubs and mixing at his studio, Mike’s Curry House, or MCH, in Columbus. One of the first things we need to do is to bring Mike up to speed and get him familiar with the new songs. So last week I sat down on his couch with a tiny acoustic guitar and played all 11 songs for him. He set up 1 microphone and recorded them direct into the computer. I got one shot at each song and we didn’t fix anything or take too much time really worrying about the sound quality or the mix. I didn’t get all of the lyrics right or sing awesomely in tune (when do I ever?), but we ended up with a decent take of each song. These are no-frills, solid working versions of the new tunes. Listening back to them, I thought that you might like to hear them and that it might be a good way for you to get to know the songs before the album is complete. I'm not going to “officially” release these rough tracks, but I’ve decided to post these acoustic versions on my blog as we work on finishing the album. Consider it something special for those of you that are kind and cool enough to actually come here and read my blog. I’ll post one song a week here and if you collect them all you’ll have a nifty acoustic bootleg of the new Earwig record. So spread the word and feel free to share these MP3s with others.

I’m posting them in the same order as what I think the track listing for the new record will be, but that could change. Who knows? Please feel free to leave comments here and let me know what you think. The first track is ‘Trees’, a song which came to me in a dream.

These Trees turn black in winter

And a sap runs through my veins

All these decisions that I haven’t decided

Are just mistakes that I haven’t made


To download the MP3 go to File -> Save page as and store the file on yr desktop.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's coming! It's in the Trees!

Looking to the upcoming release of the new Earwig album, I’m very interested in ways to grow our audience. It’s a great record and I want everyone to hear it. I have this blog, which I don’t update very often because it’s hard for me to see the effects of it. Previously, I’ve tried to keep the posts more focused and informational. I know that people come here to read it, but I don’t know how that translates into anything tangible for the band. Well, I’m entering in to the final stretch of the recording process and I’m toying with the idea of really busting out more frequent and detailed blogs that let you in on the process. Posting pictures and rough mixes of songs and generally letting you know how it’s coming along. I want to give you a slice of what I’m doing to work the album, release and promote it as well as record it. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m also going to let you in on what the band is doing. This week, that’d be practicing (see the pictures above). We’ve got a show tomorrow (Thursday 8/27) in Columbus at Rumba with Karate Coyote. Earwig plays first, from 10pm-11pm. If you live in town and have not been out to see us in a while, you should come. We’ve got a brand new song we’re going to try out. It’s called “I Don’t Want To Go”. I wrote it last week and just showed it to Matt and George last night. It’s clever, but short. You’ll like it.

AND! I have one last idea...I’d really like to increase our followers on Twitter. So if you have a Twitter account, follow me at www.twitter.com/earwigtheband. Then think of at least 2 of yr friends and suggest that they follow Earwig on Twitter. With yr help, I can increase Earwig’s followers before the album release. Go!

Monday, July 20, 2009

North High Alumni

I'm working on mixes with our producer Thom Boyer for Earwig's upcoming 4 song EP "North High Alumni". The record will include 'High Street Star', 'New Fight Song', 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around' and 'Love Song Redux'. The first 3 are songs were recorded with Justin Crooks on drums at the same sessions for our upcoming full length album. The last song, 'Love Song Redux' was recorded at our practice space with Earwig's fantastic new drummer George Hondroulis. The title for this EP was the working title for a long time of the full album we're releasing later this year. As work on the new album has progressed, it seemed a few of the older songs no longer fit with the mood of the rest of the record. So we pulled those songs off to make this shorter record and decided to use the working title for this 4 song EP. 'North High Alumni' will be available before the new album and we're working on details for something special with this release. Say tuned. The picture of the cover above is just my rough idea for the design. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Music of Action Sports!

I’ve mentioned a few times on Twitter that we’re working on a new song for a compilation CD that will be out this summer. The compilation CD is a promotional item for a sports marketing company out of Michigan called AGA (Adrenalin Games Alliance). Their aim is to produce quality action sports events in the Midwest and develop a distinct brand and style that also includes music. I’ve been in touch with them and am helping them to develop the music side of what they are doing. I’ve put together a collection of up and coming independent Midwest bands for this initial release on AGA Music. The CD will only be available from the bands involved and as a free give-away at AGA sporting events. I’m having my pal Pat Crawford at Spindle Studios in Columbus do the cover design and I’m having it mastered by Jon Chinn. Doing my best to keep it all local. The list of bands so far includes Earwig, The Hard Lessons, Hot Cha Chas, Javelin, Bookmobile, The Lost Revival, Chief, The Safes, The Silent Years, Mason Proper. There will probably be a few more. This compilation should be available at Earwig shows in August.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Earwig’s Bionic Arm

Well, well, well. It has been a long time. No excuses...but there are reasons that so much time has passed since we last updated this blog. One of the biggest reasons is that I’ve been occupied dealing with an injury. Last fall, I crashed while skateboarding at the Athens skate-park and grandly smashed my elbow. I knew my elbow was messed up and it hurt, but I didn’t have it X-rayed or realize that it was actually broken until January 2009. The Radial head in my left arm was broken and there was a piece of that bone lodged in such a way that I couldn’t fully straighten out my arm. I had also severely damaged the tendon in my elbow. I ended up with an orthopedic specialist in Columbus and had joint replacement surgery in early February. They cut off the damaged end of my radius and fitted me with a titanium replacement. Even cooler than that…they grafted a harvested cadaver tendon onto my old one and attached it to the bone with little screws.

I know what yr all saying. Instant bionic arm. Awesome! Right? Well, yes and no. At least I now have the prospect of being able to recover the full range of motion in my left arm. After the surgery, I was in a cast for several weeks and then I had to wear this radical robo-brace on my arm to restrict my movement and make sure I didn’t re-injure it. As a consequence, I couldn’t type (good-bye blogo-sphere), drive or play guitar for several more weeks. Even now I’m still in physical therapy to get everything working normally again. No complaints from me, I feel lucky that the cadaver tendon hasn’t taken over in a struggle for control of my arm like something out of a cheap zombie slasher flick. I do still have some trouble playing guitar and it’s caused quite a delay in the recording for the new Earwig record. But things are back on track now. Check out these pictures of me rockin’ the robo-brace!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wags' 2005 Tour Diary: Deluxe Expanded Reissue Vol. VII

Outside Las Cruces, NM
What a weekle! Where to start? New Orleans is tremendous fun but very dangerous for someone like me. I knew there was a reason I live in a city with no 24 hour bars. We rolled in about 10:00 Sunday night intending to wander around and visit some bars all night, and then get a motel room the next afternoon. The first bar we stepped into, THE ABBEY, was just like home. Just a total dive w/a great jukebox.* J and I were in heaven. We pretty much stayed all night while Liz slept in the van. Our bartender Gillian was a badass. Way out of control. As the sun came up, about 2 hours after we became officially stupid, I overheard the dude on my right talkin' to his friend: "Man, those are some heavy glasses". His friend said: "Well, I have mass." I decided to interrupt. (Backstory: for a couple of years in the late '90s I was in a band in Cols. with my friends LOU POSTER and BETH SHAFFER.** POST went on to form GRAFTON with another bandmate of mine. Stealer! Anyway, our band was named I HAVE MASS.) I don't know why I felt compelled to interrupt - after all, it was such a random comment; it could've meant anything - but I was pretty curious. Long story short, this "friend" is named LLOYD MILLER and he's a Cols. expat with whom we have several mutual enemies and friends and he was indeed referring to my old band and do you guys need a place to stay or at least a run-on sentence? Is this a crazy world or what?

Lloyd is a stand-up guy. If you see him give him a kiss on the cheek. Or if you are a germophobe, give him your ATM card. He deserves it.

Road rule #48: If you leave New Orleans early in a Tuesday morning, don't leave your video camera at Lloyd's house. You will regret it as soon as you realize what you've done. And by "you", I mean "Justin".

Yeah, NOLA is pretty much a tourist trap, no 2 ways about it. But the people there (at the bar, where we were) were friendly. "Where we were" - that's an interesting phrase. Same letters over and over, with no hard consonants. Dig on that, Jack.

Texas is big. I mean, you see that junk on a map, you be like "Damn shit is big!" But you just don't know until you get there. That fucker is HUGE. And it's true. Everything IS bigger in Texas, except me.

When we got to Dallas, we slowly realized that "oh yeah, we're a band on tour!" It seemed like a year ago back in Florida. Here's some fun trivia for the kids: How many people came to see Earwig in Dallas? How many people even came into the bar for a beverage? If you said "more than zero" you need to back up, buddy. Dallas fuckin' sucks. Didn't make a dime. Hell, I feel bad for the bartender, door guy, sound guy for wasting their time. Maybe if there had been a local band on the bill? I mean, I'm no expert. Why didn't we play Austin instead? Yup - you guessed it. Jerks. Tex-Ass.

The weather has been remarkably kind to us so far considering our AC lasted FOR ONE DAY. We've been lucky with the temps. I'll talk about New Mexico*** after I catch a little napsky and kill my pen for being SO SHITTY.

P.S. That thing I said about the weather? Too soon. Arizona has changed all that.

*I probably played "Metal Guru" 15 times that night.

**Beth is now known as Eli and he lives in New York City. We are friends on myspace.

***You'll notice that I won't.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wags' 2005 Tour Diary: Deluxe Expanded Reissue Vol. VI

Earwigay Ourtay Iaryday
Ever been to St. Augustine, Fla? No? Let me save you the trubba. Ever seen the RIGHT side of the tracks? St. Augustine hasn't. I ain't tryin' to complain, I'm just serving you some facts. That town is no good. Even Jeff Foxworthy would make fun of it. And he's a giant poop-anus. We played last night at the Fusion Grill and Bar. Sound guy was a big Ding Dong Lik-M-Aid. He kept telling Liz to turn down, and when we were done he blasted "Master of Puppets" at ear-splitting levels over the PA as if to say "You should've played real quiet-like because I'M AN ASSHOLE!" There was a lady there, Dina, who really wanted to party with us and I guess we really disappointed her 'cause we had to leave right after our set to drive 3 hours to Tampa. She was acting weird, like maybe she had just gotten into a fight with her husband or something -- real desperate. But sweet. She bought a couple of CD's, so she is worthy of note.

Some people refer to Tampa as "the city by the bay". Does Journey know about this? We are staying at Justin's dad's house. It is my first time meeting him and he's a pretty nice guy (heck, he's J's dad. Ya gotta be an ax-murderer not to raise someone as nice as Justin). Liz and Jr. are going over the atlas and it is dawning on us that we're royally fucked. The distances between the places we are playing are too far to reach in the time we have between gigs. This is a big ol' trainwreck. I would like to meet the person who booked this tour so I could hit this person with a pie. No, a brick. We drive a million miles on no sleep only to play at some podunk-shitstick-"y'all ain't on the bill"-sub-pizza-hut-outhouse-in-the-middle-of-nowhere. And maybe we'll get $20. Like I said, I ain't complaining. I'm just here for the beauty of the ride.

Lizard is obsessed with seeing Alligators while we're here, but all I've seen so far are tiny Lizards, ironically enough. Tomorrow we practice.

More later, honey. -> Me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wags' 2005 Tour Diary: Deluxe Expanded Reissue Vol. V


7/28/05 Between Charlotte and Florida
There is an island off the coast of Virginia named Assawoman. Modest Town is next to it. There is a Dairy Queen in Bland, Va. that totally lives up to its name. There is a band called Drunk Horse that will rattle your testes loose, serve them to you and there will be no second helping but you will want more. Turns out the Melvins/Skynyrd comparison is right on. Their leadey singey guy, Eli, looks a lot like our friend Will Foster. They are good.

Road rule #47: Don't charge your cellular telephone at the club. You WILL forget it. And by "you", I mean "me". This pen is not good for left-handers. Smeary. I will see my phone in ALBBQ,NM when I see our friend Karl.

The last two nights we stayed with our friends Ryan and Brianna and last night we played with Ryan's band, Tonka Kong. They have a song called "The Human Robot". R + B are wonderful people and terrific hosts. I am so exponentially tired after last night's marathon of southern hospitality. It's all a kind of family thing down here, and most people are really eager to please. ------> Fun, Fun, Fun.

We are listening to a christian country radio station. Suddenly, life doesn't seem bad at all. Hey, southern radio sucks, but guess what? We got air conditioning, so feck it.

Somewhere there is a photo of Liz and I sleeping angelic-like in the same bed. Somewhere there are lots of photos. It is so hot down here. It's like the cover of Bebe Le Strange (<-another weblink perhaps?). We may stop at Bojangles' Chicken while we're out here.* I have made some new friends, including the Duchess of York.** She is nice. I look forward to some delicious sweet tee. And a nice nap.
Meet you on the other side-
Open up my mind, I'm Matt

*We didn't.

**Not the actual Duchess of York.