Not too much new news to report today, people, but I'll give it my best shot...
- Brendo Frendo has completed work on the movie he shot about us and it will be making it's world premiere on Wednesday, July 23rd, at the Allston Cinema. Although none of us have seen the movie, I think we're all too cognizant enough of the fact that we're whikked jerks to be too worried about how we look on film. So you should all get ready to come support the burgeoning Brendo Frendo movie career and make it out to see us on the big screen. I'm told we'll be three times as tall, three times as fat, three times as loud and, ironically, only twice as ugly.
- Yesterday, as we were sitting around between Wiffleball battles, Jordan "Samurai" Siegel decided to make a McDonald's run. We were all in and gave him our orders. Then MCat walks in and says "you're going to McDonald's?" And then turning to us he asks "What's good there?" What's good there???? What's good there????? How can you not know what you like at McDonald's? It's f*&king McDonald's. Even discounting the fact that MCat and I have eaten at McDonald's together maybe seven million times, their menu is essentially engraved in the human brain while you're still in the womb. I mean, I think you could ask that question to a Peruvian tribesman and he'd say "Quarter Pounder, super size." What's good there? It was high-larious.
Finally Fooled By April is settling down. June was perhaps the busiest and hardest month we have ever had in this band, what with the residency, recording, re-recording, playing in NYC and DC and at my high school and of course getting no sleep.
So it's nice to be easing back into old routines again. The past few days the crew at the Somerville rock house has taken to the backyard to resume our relentless pursuit of wiffleball, or in common parlance, woob woob.
Our break from the game has given us renewed purpose and subsequently there have been a few rules changes. First of all, the toilet has been removed from the outfield, so there's no longer the chance to automatically win the game by hitting a swish into the bowl. In it's stead we've strategically placed a grill. So now any ball that lands in, and stays in, the grill ends the contest.
Other additions include the Pete Galea rule. Pete now leaves his windows open and any ball that lands in his room is a dinger. We haven't figured out what happens if it breaks a lamp or something, but I assume that that might be a ground rule double.
We've also had to accomodate our neighbor's giant ladder and patio furniture. This is actually fortunate because it increases the broken leg factor, an important aspect of any serious wiffleball game.
All that's left is to figure out a way to get a weatherproof fridge full of beer behind home plate. How 'bout it science?
So, those of you who have followed the recording saga are prolly ass-bored with it by now. But I do feel that I would be remiss in my duties as "the chronicler" if I didn't quickly finish the story.
When we left off, it was Monday of last week and we were woefully unfinished with the new rock masterpiece. As we left Brooklyn we made plans with Mike (producer extraordinaire) and Tim (engineer extraordinaire) to return on Friday for just a little more rock.
Here are the highlights:
- I drove down with Jordan, Beth and Sarah. Now people, this is a party crew. Unfortunately, the car we were in began having steering problems, causing it to pull dramatically to one side and then the other. The only remedy was for Jordan to rapidly turn the wheel back and forth in ordrer to make the car go straight. He did this for 5 hours and swore he'd never be able to masturbate again.
- Sarah and I were going to go stay on the floor that Gordon and I had christened the week prior. Unfortunately that meant getting to lower Brooklyn from upper Manhattan at 11 PM. Arg. En route, I fell down the stairs of the subway, had a panic attack and essentially became sure the world was against me.
- Door to door trip time? 8 1/2 hours
- We slept on a different air mattress than Gordon and I used, which was great because it had a tiny leak in it that hissed really loudly and necessitated re-inflation every hour and a half. That, people, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.
- Saturday we laid down the sweet sweet rock like it was not only our duty but our god given right.
- The next night, Sarah and I tried to patch the air mattress and succeeded in making the leak leak twice as fast. Booo-ya. We had to get up every 45 minutes to pump it back up. It was like a having a vinyl newborn...who you hate.
- Sunday we pumped the Pro Tools rig full of sweet, sassy, and dare I say sexy rock. Seriously, we finally finished and everything came out really well. I can't wait to get it all packaged up and delivered to you, the true rock fans.
Well, I guess that's it folks. That was the record that was. Tomorrow we'll return to the stories of poop that I know you're missing by now.
Before unleasing the story of the 5th and final day of recording, I want to take a second to thank everyone who made the Lizard Lounge residency such an overwhelming success. And even though we may not miss your smiling faces as much as the hot bartenders and $1 beers, we appreciate you, people. Seriously, thanks.
After picking myself up off the cellar floor I headed upstairs for a little coffee. This was to be the last day of recording, but as I sat sipping the worst cup of coffee ever and listening to the tracks I realized there was no way we would finish that day. And people, that sucked. Hard. It was like finding out in the last hour of the last day of work before a vacation that you have to be in the next day. It was also like having to pay $1,500 for a candy bar you thought cost 99 cents. Ah well.
Anywho, we made a valiant attempt to get what we could done. Gordon laid down some serious vocals and I let my guitar rip like the seat of my pants at an Arby's. And in the end, we almost finished, but it turned out we would have to come down again to polish the bad larry off.
We were miffed, but Gordon and I consoled ourselves with beers and sandwiches from The Pork Store, this incredible deli around the corner from the studio. Seriously, if you like to eat things that were once alive, and you don't mind being glared at by a bunch of angry looking Italian guys who are just making sure you aren't checking out their sister (and I was - she's hot), then you really need to go there.
All in all, a good time.
Stayed tuned, as next I will relay the story of the past weekend, wherein we finish the recording, sustain various weird injuries, eat at the Pork Store, suffer the indignities of the cellar floor and drink a lot.
So, on Sunday I woke up in my usual spot next to Gordon on the air mattress on the floor, and I couldn't help wondering whether I really knew anything about this person I'd been sleeping next to for a week. Ok, maybe not, but I did find myself wondering why I was happy to be sleeping with Gordon on a floor when I have a warm and somewhat comfortable bed at home. The rock works in mysterious ways, people.
Anywho, I headed upstairs and settled in for a serious amount of guitar playing. I felt like I was in ELO or something as I laid down track after layered track. Luckily Gordon was there when I got a little off the path.
Gordon: That solo sounds really good.
Me: Hey, thanks dude.
Gordon: No, like too good. Why are you playing it like a good guitar player? Play it like you really play...hack away at it.
Me: Oh, ok. Hmmm.
Of course Gordon was right, so I got a beer, stood up and let it rip like I actually play, which as you all know is sloppy, out of key and incredibly derivative of Chuck Berry. With Gordon's advice I think I actually put some good stuff down.
The rest of the day was taken up with singing, so I headed downstairs and watched a B-movie called ILSA: Queen of the SS She Devil's or something. It was really bad.
Later I had Turkish food and it gave me a whikked stomach ache.
We're back from another weekend of recording and, although everything worked out swimmingly, we are simply beyond tired and have officially entered the realm of "dead on our feet." Lots of crazy things happened this weekend people, and we'll discuss all of them, but when we left off on Friday I believe I was in the middle of a story......
Saturday I woke up with a full-on hangover, which I don't know....may have been helped along by sleeping on an air mattress on a cement floor in a basement? Who knows? Anyway, the head was pounding and the mouth was dry so I drank approximately ten gallons of nasty Brooklyn tap water and weaved my way upstairs to the studio.
And so even though I felt like the ass of an ass of an ass I was still excited because today was my day to R-O-C-K. After two days of sitting around I was ready.
Now, recording is fun but it also sucks. It's fun because you get to use a bunch of really expensive equipment that you probably shouldn't ever even be allowed to see, let alone touch. I mean, you seriously get asked the question "Would you rather use the '62 tele through the Matchless, or the '57 Special through the Vox?" That's stone cold fun, folks. But it also kind of sucks when you're laying down the guitar track, the one took you forever to write, the one that makes the girlies scream, the one that's going to change the frigging world...and the producer clicks in through the headphones and says "Joe, I'm not really feeling that. Play it more like Keith Richards would have if he was in the Beach Boys covering an Adam Ant song. OK, you got it baby. Rolling tape..." That is stone cold stressful.
And that's pretty much how my day went. Lots of stops and starts, rewrites and frustration. But when it was over there was some pretty good rock and roll in those ones and zeros, so I can't really complain.
Anywho, tomorrow we'll talk about Sunday, when everything went CRAZY, and by CRAZY I mean when Gordon tracked a lot of vocals and I played some more guitar. Whoohoo!
Friday morning I woke up alone on the floor, as Pete had commandeered my spot on the air mattress. I asked him why he got the mattress instead of me and he said something about his prison time and a knife he had in his bag. Fair enough.
Anyway, Friday turned out to be another ass-boring day for me. Pete was busy almost the whole day laying down the sweet thumping bass that will hit you like a can of mace and leave you with a smile on yo face later this year.
While Pete was so occupied I took the time to do a little reading, figure out some guitar parts and watch a LOT of the new Zeppelin DVD. And you know what people? Zeppelin is overrated. There, I said it. I mean, I know to some people that's like saying Jesus is gay but I'm afraid it's true. There is so much wanky lame bullshit in the Zeppelin live show it boggles the mind.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm fully aware that saying Zeppelin is lame is like saying a major league baseball player sucks. Of course that's not true, even the worst major leaguer is infinitely better at baseball than 99.99% of the world, but that doesn't change the fact that he might not be as good as his peers. And that is Zeppelin to me - great writing, great songs, great rhythm section, but wank ass lead guitar player, lame singer and horrible, I mean execrable lyrics. They just weren't the Beatles people, or the Stones, or the Who, IMHO.
Anyway, that was Friday. Saturday I actually got to do some tracking, so look out!
So Thursday morning I woke up on the air mattress with Gordon, and after trying to fight off his attempts at snuggling for nearly twenty minutes I finally gave in. Eat your hearts out girls. (Ed. Note - who finds that image attractive and/or enviable?)
Actually, I woke up with my ass pretty squarely on the tile floor, as the air mattress had apparently taken a cosmic leak in the middle of the night. Oh well.
The first day in the studio for us was a drum day, so it was all in the hands of the human percussion machine Jordan. The rest of us had literally nothing to do as Jordan, Tim and Mike set up drum sounds and got the sweet tracks on wax (or Pro Tools, as it were). So my time was divided between playing X-Box with Pete, fetching lunch, reading and watching Two Weeks Notice.....er....um.....I mean porno! Yeah, it was definitely porno and not some chick flick romantic comedy finally matching the charm of Hugh Grant with the wit and elegance of Sandra Bullock. I mean, who'd watch that? Right? Oh well.
Well, that's about it. As you see, rock and roll can be a very dangerous business...
Tomorrow - Friday (second day of recording and an account of Gordon's first dance with Horse (not really, but hot damn would that be a good story))
Seriously, I'm sorry I delivered none of the promised recording updates, but there was just no time. Of course, now I have nothing but time, so here goes:
So we packed up the rock van and headed for the big apple with stars in our eyes and a dream in our hearts. When we got to New York, we met up with uber-producer Mike Daly and made our way to a practice studio to get in a little pre-production.
Now people, it's almost hard to practice in NYC, since the rehearsal spaces are set up in a completely different way than we (i.e. poor schmucks with lousy jobs) are used to. Unlike our basement, these practice spaces come fully equipped. That way, you don't have to lug all your very heavy gear all over creation, which is great. The only problem with this arrangement is that there ends up being a million expensive new toys for you to play with which, how do you say....can limit focus. Oh well.
Anyway, we got the tracks in order over the course of three arduous and wank-filled hours and then went our separate ways. Gordon and I headed to super engineer Tim Bright's place, where we got thoroughly trashed on his uncle's beer, watched Old School and then passed out on an air mattress. As days of preparation for a recording go, this was a pretty darn good one.
Last night was everything that the doctor ordered to cure you of a lack-of-rock-induced-coma of boredom. Seriously, the bill was one of the best I've ever played on. We were amazingly lucky to get THISWAY (possibly the greatest band alive) as well as our new friends in Bishop Allen, who are, in a word, hot. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it as good as it was.
The only downside of the show came when this chick whom I do not know, but who for the time being we will call Bitchy O'Poopiepants, came up to me to start beef about my shirt. Now, I'm wearing a "Team Wendy's" t-shirt that has a silly football scene on it and is, in a couple words, pretty damn sexy. Furthermore, no one should ever be offended by this shirt. It would be like being offended by a kitten wrapped in a towel. But Bitchy O'Poopiepants thought it was a perfect time to come up to me, a stranger, and start some shizzit:
B O'P: Um, you really should read Fast Food Nation (subtext - "you're a moron")
Me: Uh, ok. I did read Fast Food Nation
B O'P: And you still wear that shirt? (sigh) (subtext - "monster")
Me: Yeah, it's a fucking t-shirt
B O'P: (sighs) gross (storms off)
The reason I write about this is not because I'm all that bothered by her completely inappropriate self-righteous overly PC bullshit comments, but more so because I wish I had something better to say in reply. Like "I'm sorry, my 'If you believe you can change the socio-economic policies of major international corporations by interrupting me when I'm speaking with a friend I haven't seen in while then please do so' t-shirt was in the wash", or "you know what? You smell like farts." But unfortunately all I could muster was that it was, in fact, a fucking t-shirt. Life is, of course, terrible.
Anywho, enough downers. Still high on our rock hangovers, Fooled By April is about to head out this minute for the confines of a Brooklyn recording studio where we will hopefully make the magic happen. I'll try to update our progress as often as I can for those of you interested (hi mom).
On Saturday FXA wended their way to the seat of our country to directly tickle the rock and roll grundle of this fine nation. And for the most part it was worth it, maybe.
First of all we got to drive ten hours in the van to get there... in the rain... which sucked. But once we arrived we were greeted with free beer (courtesy of very rocking, beautiful and multiply tattooed Heather) and that, to quote Jordan, "was bad ass."
In addition to the drinking we also got to hang out with our new best friends in Orange Park, a band you should do yourself a favor and check out. They were really good and are also very cool guys to get hizzzammered with.
Actually, I guess the only real downside to the trip was that we played like a bunch of nursery school children who have been blindfolded and deafened and then asked to play rock songs they've never heard before on instruments they've never touched. It weren't pretty, people. Oh well, a bad one once in a while keeps you honest I guess.
After that we hit the road to bring our battered rock machine back home for a few small repairs. She's up and running again though, and tonight's show at the Lizard is going to be so damn hot that I'd wear sunscreen if I were you.
(PS. We head to Brooklyn tomorrow to begin recording. I'm still going to try and post about what's going on, but the entries may have to be posted at night and I may miss a day or two. Rock)
The fact that I have somehow pulled myself out of the morass of tiredness that is my life right now to write to you, the true rock soldiers, is simply amazing. Out of the last three days of my life, 24 hours have been spent in a van compared to 9 hours spent in a bed. Damn.
Friday night we headed up I-95 to see our new friends in Portland, Maine at Geno's. Now, we'd never played there before and people, it was a dive. I mean, it was like the 30-meter platform if you get my drift. But it actually was a dive in the best sense of the word - punk rock family atmosphere, colorful regulars and the actual Geno serving drinks (when I met him he said "hey, how the f*&k are ya? We're happy to have ya. This is Barb, she's going to take care of you guys tonight." Barb - "Hi hon, what can I get you?" It ruled).
As for the show, it rocked. We played better than we've played in a long time and the pretty sizable crowd was appreciative for the most part. Our good friends Doug from WQRI and Mary from the very rocking 'zine Kelp made it out and it was good to see friendly faces in an unfamiliar place. The only downside was this table of frigging yahoos that yelled either "Skynyrd" or "Free Bird" after every song. It's like "dude, we get it, but I honestly feel less insulted by your distaste for our music than by your complete lack of originality in your heckling." I wanted to stop the show to walk over and give him some tips, like "dude, the Skynyrd thing works once, but know when to cut bait. I suggest commenting on my being overweight, or maybe something accusing us of being in a secret four-way gay relationship or, better yet, request something funnier and more creative like "Careless Whisper" or some Frankie goes to Hollywood. Just spice it up is what I'm saying."
Anyway, it was a really good night all around despite the jerk-offs. We hit Domino's afterwards and made an absolute mess of the van by eating the entire way home. Rock.
Tomorrow we'll discuss the much less rock experience we had in DC. Arg.
So last night was the sexy rock show at my old alma mater and it was....well, it was actually pretty frigging fun. I was certain I was going to feel really weird standing up there on the stage where I played my first humiliating show but it turned out OK.
- Both opening bands were really good and reminded me of myself at that age, except much better. Bastards.
- The guitar player in one opening band's name was Mothball. For real, his parents even call him Mothball. And it's a name that fits.
- A HORDE of teenage girls all fell in love with Jordan. They all sat up front and screamed "Yay, drummer!" over and over and over and over and over and over and over. C'mon girls, he's not a piece of meat. There were precious few (i.e. not a one) screams of "Yay, socially awkward guitar player!"
- The Rockland Party Posse showed up. And there ain't no posse like the Rockland Party Posse, 'cuz the Rockland Party Posse got hype.
- When we were just about to start our hour long set I realized I really had to pee. Of course when I realized just how badly I had to pee the curtain was already opening. Damn.
- We sort of forgot that since we were our own sound guys we wouldn't be able to adjust the sound during the show. And we desperately desperately needed to. Oh well.
- I realized that I still hold a grudge against a teacher who accused me of cheating in the 9th grade. I'm a grown up.
- The band is replacing me with Mothball.
Oh well. Tonight we're in Portland, Maine and tomorrow in D.C. I plan on sleeping sometime in 2005....
So tonight we're bringing the big rock show to the unsuspecting denizens of Hanover, Massachusetts - specifically the unsuspecting denizens that pay five dollars to be cramped into my old high school auditorium. This one has the potential to be very weird for Mr. Joe Welsh folks, and y'all will be the very first to know.
Last night we drove to Hanover to do a tech rehearsal. And as we're getting on the highway we get stuck in a little traffic, leaving us directly next to a medium security prison. Now, the prison is built literally five feet from the on-ramp and you can actually see the prisoners in their cells. And being prisoners, there's not so much to do besides look at traffic. So dudes are waving and giving us peace signs, and of course we're waving right back and squeling with giddy laughter "we're talking to dudes in JAIL! This rules!"
Anyway, as we inch along we come up on two angry looking dudes in their cells. They are definitely in there for murdering puppies or something, cause these dudes look mean. As I'm about to cautiously throw them a wave, one of the dudes gives me the finger. And of course I'm immediately a combination of scared out of my mind and righteously indignant, eager to defend myself aginst this slight. But then I realize "this dude's in jail! F%$k you, dude, what are you going to do?" And the fingers went up.
It was perhaps the single greatest moment in my life. I mean, every time you give someone the finger there's always that chance that they'll follow you, fight you or find some other way to kill you. But this guy had absolutely no recourse. It was like I was giving the finger to every bully I've ever known without any of my natural cowardice getting in the way.
Plus, it wasn't my car, so if he took the license plate down then Gordon will certainly be the one to be brutally murdered in three to six years.
Last night was the first night of our June residency and many many thanks to everyone who came out. Hell, thanks to everyone who didn't make it out but is taking the time to read this anyway. We appreciate that as well. So essentially, two thanks to everyone who came out last night and is now reading this and one thanks (albeit still a heartfelt one) to everyone who's just reading.
OK, I'm glad that's out of the way. Now, for everyone who didn't make it last night let me assure you that the show was Rocktacular (and that definitely is with a capital "R"). Both Huck and the So and So's were like giant rocktopuses patrolling the rock and roll ocean and had me floating on salt water, or maybe that was beer. Which brings me to my next point - I drank way too much, as I am sometimes wont to do, and have a H-A-N-G-O-V-E-R. Damn.
I had so much to drink last night that when I got home I had that drunky feeling where you desperately need to eat something, anything. And like many such nights I found I had no food to eat. Damn. I had to settle for a hearts of romaine and mustard sandwich on wonder bread, which I'm sure grossed everyone out but also which, at the time, was simply a little slice of heaven here on earth. I may go have another right now, but first I should drink like 200 beers. Ugh...
Like a really soft pair of undies and a worn old t-shirt, Fooled By April is vowing to keep you super comfy as we kick off this, the summer of rock. That's right people, we promise that coming to see us tonight (and, shameless plug, on every tuesday in our June residency at the Lizard Lounge) will be like a kiss from an infant - wet and sloppy but nonetheless filling your heart with love. Ah yes, we will be like a baseball that you hit perfectly, a quick dip on a scorching day, a tall glass of lemonade against your brow. Sort of like rainbows on roses or whiskers on kittens, but certainly unlike when the dog bites or the bee stings. Like eggs and bacon when you find yourself hopelessly hungover, or the comforting hand of a friend when times are tough, Fooled By April will be there.
Honestly, we really are here for you, people. We'll be your lover, we'll be your friend, we'll be something that you cannot comprehend. Come feel the magic....
I think knocking the toilet over was a bad idea (Ed. Note - see friday's entry).
Ever since then everything I touch or have gotten involved with has broken. Seriously. Don't believe me?
- I thought it would be neat to hook up my air conditioner, which has never ever had a problem. Broken. Just a frigging fan now. WTF?
- I turned on my computer and it said "Cannot read Captain Handsome's Profile." Yes, I know it's perhaps a little silly and vain to call myself Captain Handsome on my computer, but that doesn't mean the bastard shouldn't work. Now, for all of you not in the computer know, "Cannot read the profile" translates to "Dude, I'm wicked sorry, but I got a wire crossed and well, I had to erase EVERYTHING. Again, sorry. You want me to pester you to download a bunch of Microsoft stuff you don't need? Cool."
- During rehearsal I broke a string. No problem, I put another one on. Broke it. No problem, I put another one on. Broke it. No problem, I put another one on. Broke it, end of rehearsal.
- My beautiful wonderful wicked awesome four track broke.
- Upon recharging, my Palm Pilot's entire memory was erased. All my addresses and phone numbers for friends and admirers gone in a single melancholic flash. Now, I know that it probably won't be that hard to get these three phone numbers again, but it's still annoying.
I mean, I was so annoyed by last night that I gave up and just sat down and watched some TV. The TV actually worked and I was grateful, especially when Mullholland Drive came on. And yes, to answer the burning question in your mind, after a certain scene I did think about it, but with all the breaking it just seemed too risky and so I just hit the sack...