People, FXA gets back on the rock train this Saturday on Cape Cod. It's been awhile, but the tunes will still give you a case of ass-kickitis which, unfortunately, is incurable. Ah well.
Speaking of Cape Cod and all things unrelated to it, I, your trusty narrator and dearest friend, was almost killed this morning on my bicycle. As I made my way down Beacon Street a big white van pulled out right in front of me and stopped. I hit the brakes like a brake hitting maniac, and with some cute little swerving I narrowly avoided my tragic end. Of course I was mad as hell and started CURSE-ing. I threw out just about every word I know, including (gasp) the F-bomb. However, as I was about finished with my rant, this 700 year old woman leaned out of the van and said "I'm so sorry dear. Are you OK? Oh, I feel terrible." I of course said it was all OK and climbed under a rock.
Point of the story? This seems to be my life, not expressing justifiable anger to those people who really deserve it, but going off on poor old ladies who prolly don't hear the F-bomb all that frequently. Arg.
Last night the Brendo Frendo and I headed out to see our new good friends Steadman at the Paradise. If you haven't already, go and buy their record. They are very good. They are also very British. I mean, there's an abundance of "cheers mate" and "me and the lads..." and "taking the piss out" and "having a giggle". It's very charming and, well, let's be honest, pretty damn funny.
The biggest challenge of the night was not mocking the British accents of our new friends. You do it once and it's funny, twice and it's half a giggle, but from then on in it's just very annoying. It seems that people don't like their heritage being the object of ridicule. Go figure. Anyway, Brendo and I decided that as a measure of respect we'd try to have one interaction with the lads that didn't include us slipping into an accent. And people, it was tough. We finally succeeded and eventually even got the drummer Russell to mock us in an American accent, thus taking the piss out of us and hopefully evening the score.
Wow, this entry was boring. Damn. Oh well, they can't all be winners, can they?
Last night Gordito and I loaded up the band sub-compact Saturn (of Dukes of Hazzard fame - see yesterday's entry) and headed for the Big Apple to master the disk of the new sweetness. "Why head to the Big City, country boy?" you might ask, and that's a fair question. Uber-producer Mike somehow finagled it that we could master at the Sony offices (yes, that SONY). And people, when SONY calls you you only ask yourself two questions: "What time?" and "Where can I park the Saturn?"
Honestly, we were a little apprehensive to master our modest indie record at a major label's studios, but Mike eased our minds. He said "the masterer Steve is a really weird guy. You always have to call him 'Master', you shouldn't make direct eye contact and he may punch you in the face." Um, thanks Mike.
Anyway, this proved not to be true. Although Steve did punch me in the face (repeatedly), he was an A-OK guy. The only problem we ran into was when he was going on and on about how Metallica behaved when they remastered something together the week before in the same room. I was like "Blah blah blah. You know what Steve? We didn't come here to be overwhelmingly undercharged for a $500 an hour mastering room to hear you dither on endlessly about these Metallica people, whoever they are. Also, keep your pretty juicy gossip about Fred Durst to yourself if you don't mind." After that he straightened up.
OK, OK. Actually last night was a blast. We were way out of our element, but ended up getting the best sounding disk we have ever had. We are really excited to get the packaging together and get it out there. Big thanks to Steve and SONY studios and even Mike, although he sometimes smells like a turd.
You wanted the best, you got the best!!!! The hottest band in the world!!!!
That's right folks, last night the band van rolled out to Mansfield, Massachusetts to witness the rock spectacle that is Kiss and Aerosmith. And all I can legitimately say is "dag!".
Kiss was up first, and what they lacked in musicality they made up for in their sheer non-gimmicky stage show. Oh, wait a minute...
Seriously, it was actually really fun to see Kiss. They deserve their place in the rock pantheon for pioneering the ridiculously bombastic rock show. They also deserve their place in the rock pantheon for being the silliest thing I've ever seen delivered without irony. The breathing fire, the spitting blood, the incessant pyro. I mean....dudes. Seriously....dudes?
Actually, my only complaint about Kiss was that they only asked me if I felt alright and if I wanted to rock about seven million times. That's just not frequently enough for me to feel connected to a performer. Also, they also only asked me to put my hands in the air three milion times, another minus.
Aerosmith took the stage next and, even though I've seen them sooooooooooooooo many times before, there was something special about this show. Aerosmith is still a very very very good band, despite the last four records they've made. It was non-stop rock and definitely the best I've ever seen them. They simply blew Kiss off the stage.
After the show Brendo Frendo, Pedro Galiano and myself waited for over an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot. To pass the time we played "The Dukes of Hazzard" with Pete's car. To play this game you roll down the passenger side window and attempt to jump into the car like one of the Duke boys. Unfortunately, Pedro drives a sub-compact, and so we all ended up looking a lot more like Roscoe or Cooter (I think once I looked like Boss Hogg). We also scraped and bruised the living hell out of ourselves, but on the flipside some drunk girls cheered for us.
You all pull the trigger of my............................love guh-uh-e-ah-uh-unn.
Brendo Frendo and I spent the weekend like we always do...on our asses. Well, not the whole time, but apart from some wiffleball and party-hopping, there was a lot of ass sitting.
A good deal of that ass-sitting was spent in front of the Saugus little league team games. Those kids are amazing. I mean, they look like fetuses in shoes, but then they play like they're little major leaguers. They're out there turning double plays, hitting home runs, making amazing catches and spitting. Lots of spitting.
Of course, after an hour or so marvelling at the ability of the tykes our minds went where they always do. I turned to Brendo Frendo:
Me: How much play do you think these kids are getting?
Brendo: Jesus, dude. They're twelve.
Me: Wait, I made out with a girl when I was twelve. Me. Not Brad Pitt or Lorenzo Lamas. Me.
Me: So, if my fat pimply awkward lame ass could make out with someone at twelve, you think kids the same age, on national television, who are really good at sports and spitting aren't having like twisted, whipped cream filled eight ways with 19 year old strippers?!?!?!?
Brendo: Um. I concede the point.
Me: Thank you.
Brendo: Pass the Doritos.
Me: With pleasure sir.
Love me while I'm here, because I may be going away soon. That is, I think I may be a wanted criminal.
It all started the other day on the bike ride home from work. Now, the last half mile of this ride requires me to blatantly ride the wrong way on two long blocks of a one way street. No one likes this. I don't like it because it increases the chances of me being hit by a car, cars don't like it because it increases the chances that they might hit me or a parked car, birds don't like it because it messes up their poop strategies, and cops don't like it because...well...because it's illegal.
Anyway, at the end of the first block of my clandestine one way adventure, I approached the intersection that I've crossed a thousand times with no issue. However, this time there was a squad car there parked on the side of the road. The cop watched me pull up to the intersection and kind of sized me up. I of course freaked out and made like I was going to turn instead of continuing down the one way street. I pulled away and he turned on his lights. And being the law abiding citizen that I am I did what any law abiding citizen would do....I rode away as fast as I could and ducked into the first available one way street where I would be against traffic, thus disabling the officer's ability to follow me. Following this chicanery I rode as fast as I could until I got home, successful evading what surely would have been a $15 ticket, or more likely, a stern warning.
I apologize. I sincerely do. I had a barrage of email yesterday taking me to task for not mentioning there would be three days without a diary entry. Some people, like John D. from Maryland, were so upset they used this weird code to tell me how upset they were. He writes "you god damn bastard! If you don't stop sleeping with my wife I will break your knees with a hammer and cut your eyes out with nail clippers. P.S. you're not my son's daddy." OK John, I get the picture, I will let you know when I'm not going to update for a couple days. Geez.
In other news, as I woke up this morning from a very ill-advised night of drinking with the MCat, Ladyfriend Sarah woke me up with this important question "why would you be the best man at your best friend's brother's wedding?" (to the sorely hungover this question is like being asked to do some kind of insane calculus problem while a beaver eats your toes) Anywho, I said "you wouldn't." So she said "but your best friend Harry has a brother Larry and in five days from now he's gonna marry. You're hoping you can make it there if you can, cause in the ceremony you'll be the best man." Sarah wins
I'm back after a few days on the road. Have you missed me?
On Friday night, Brendo Frendo, Lady Friend Sabir, Flash Gordon, Karen the Baron and Myself all headed down to my hometown to help my parents celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. It was weird, people.
To start with, my parents rented a 30 ft (appropriate) stretch SUV to travel to the banquest hall in. If you've never ridden in one of these, well, imagine traveling with twelve other people in the belly of a large chihuahua who's been drinking. It was pretty fun, although it very well may have been made fun by the three bottles of champagne that the assembled downed during the course of the 10 minute ride.
Anywho, the party. I have to say that you really don't know your parents until you've seen them piss-drunk and dancing. And boy did I see that on Friday. I was very proud of my mom and dad, not because they've reached this milestone in their relationship, but because they cut the rug so hard it can never be repaired. My dad was up on chairs, singing at the top of his lungs. My mom was shaking her groove thing and asking me to get her jello shots. Who the fuck are these people?
So last night was the final interoffice softball game of the season...and man did it lick balls. We were in the "playoffs" and were slotted to play the dreaded Psychology sqaud. Psychology is a dreaded team not because they are particularly good, but because they take what should be a fun relaxed game and make it as serious as trench warfare in Somalia.
Seriously, these guys were rough. They all wore batting gloves. They yelled at each other for not making plays. They yelled at each other for not tagging up (tagging up, in a frigging softball game!). They yelled at us when we asserted that somebody might be safe. They did a lot of yelling.
They also did a lot of scoring. And scoring. And scoring. By the fourth inning (of 7) it was 25-1, yet they would not let up. In Brendo Frendo's words, it was like "dudes. dudes?" I mean c'mon, assbags, you won already. There's no need to try and stretch a double into a triple when you're that far ahead. It's just bad form.
Anywho, we decided we hope they all get cancer and die. (Ed. Note - Joe was the only one who decided this, and he later regretted it and took it back. Cancer is bad)
After the game we went and had some drinks and celebrated an otherwise really fun season. Here's to you, team, it was a fun year...
So, one of the main joys of being a very broke aspriring rock star is that you get to have a menial job that is well below you but that is to afraid of you quitting to bitch too much when you go on tour.
Now, I know I've discussed my menial job many times in the past: crotchety boss, underutilization of skills, unnecessary demands on my important morning sleep time etc. But I still thought I'd give you an update today because...well...I really have nothing else to write about except this rash I keep getting, and believe me, no one wants to hear about that.
Anyway, currently in my menial job I am typing up a 150 page manuscript that my boss wrote in longhand. Now I know you're all thinking that that isn't so bad, that the manuscript is probably about strippers and candy and that if you sniff the paper it's like pure Columbian white. Unfortunately, this is not true. The paper is about tetraethyllead, a gasoline additive used to make leaded gasoline. One-Hundred-and-Fifty-Pages!, much of it chemical equations. Arg. To paraphrase Mr. Byrne "this is not my beautiful life, this is not my beautiful record company money, this is not my tour bus. Same as it ever was." Oh well.
Oops, gotta go, the Big Dig people are on the phone. They want to see about running part of the project through my formerly useful carpal tunnel.
I know how trite it is to complain about the weather, and I also won't be one of those people who say "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." No shit. That's like saying "it's not the bullet that kills you, it's all the damage it does inside you."
Anyway, those disclaimers aside, this sucks. We have had hot, disgustingly sticky weather and thunderstorms for two weeks. That's it. And as someone who rides his bike to work (thankfully somehow without all those annoying side effects of exercise like losing weight or looking any better, thanks) I am faced with either sweating through my clothes every day or being soaked by rain. At this point I actually prefer the rain.
But why the rant today? Well, it's hot and disgusting sticky right now (see above) but it also just rained (see above). So this morning I got the benefit of both kinds of weather. I sit here both sweating profusely and freezing in the air conditioning of my office plus I have a soaking wet ass from riding through puddles. Life is, of course, terrible.
As any true rockstar would, I went to bed at 10:30 and 11 PM respectively on my two weekend nights. I also read a book, took a couple walks, played wiffledball and took a bath. Now, before you start thinking of me as some nouveau riche man about the manner, a man who lives a ridiculous life a liesure, I will say in my defense this is the first weekend I haven't had to make insane drives to insane gigs for over two months. My newfound freedom was like a drink of water in the desert....for a while.
On Sunday, after a day of having no restrictions on my time, I went a little cuckoo and found myself missing the band. These three people drive me absolutely frigging crazy, but I started wishing we had a nine hour drive to a dive in Baltimore to play for two people. The rock and roll works in mysterious ways, people.
Eventually the feeling passed and I ended up passing out in front of the Red Sox game. Then I ate a sandwich. It was a good day.
Last night was perhaps a little too much rock (gasp!) for a Thursday. I am hung over like a baby on a balcony in Michael Jackson's arms. Oh well, the prices we pay.
We started out at Drugless Douglas's farewell show at TT the Bear's, where we played a rousing rendition of "Don't Want You Around." It was all very rock when I started playing the solo (a solo I wrote, in a song I wrote) in the wrongest of wrong keys. I mean, how many frigging times have I played that solo? It was weird. Anywho, here's a tip for you aspiring rockers, when you hit a real bum note in a solo, just keep playing it. That way people think "wow, he's out there, he must have a really deep understanding of jazz theory. He's awesome" instead of the truth, which is "wow, he licks ass." It's all about the confidence. I've played tri-tones all night before and had people say they thought I was really good. Wrong!
After the rocking there was the rock afterparty, which doubled as Maura's b-day bash. Jordan, Brendo Frendo and I spent the night crooning three part harmony versions of hair metal songs (unfortunately, not kidding) and, oh yeah, drinking way way way too much. I slept with my contacts in and I'm pretty sure I'm still loaded
Oh well, I may be in pain, but I live to rock another day....
Last night was a rock and roll circus wrapped up in crunchy candy shell. It was just that good....
We all arrived at the Middle East feeling like absolute ass. Gordon and I have this scratchy throat thing going on, which he thinks is from doing too much blow, but I think is from smoking too much meth. Actually, we're pretty sure we caught it in New York while walking around in this interminable god damn rain. Ah well, not too rock, but still a pain in the ass.
Anywho, even though we were in the dumps, there was a great crowd for a Wednesday and they deserved some rock. And frankly, at that point, we were glad to provide it. Thanks to everyone who came out.
After us came the boys of Scamper, who kicked so much ass the sound man asked them to please tone it down lest someone get injured. Congrats to them on the new Ep as well as for generally being amenable and not too hard on the eyes.
Finally came Runner and the Thermodynamics who, in a word, rocked. The only problem with them was that after the show I tried to talk to the singer, but he just kept rambling about the benefits of jogging and the energy require to raise the temperature of one mole of calcium sulfate one degree centigrade. Weird.
So I was thinking on the bike ride today that I have a huge frigging head.
Now, I've always known this. Taunts of "egghead", "huge head" and "you're a jerk with a really large head" have followed me my entire life. But I was reminded of it again today while thinking about my "custom helmet".
What does that mean? Well, when I was shopping for my current bike helmet I was eager to try on all the latest models, the ones the kids and pretty girls would admire. However, none of them fit my aforementioned gigantic head despite being one size fits all. So the salesgirl said to me "we'll have to get you one from the back" and then to a coworker, in a voice no less than a shout, "do we still have those discontinued helmets for people with huge heads?" Alas, they did. Of course, everyone with regular size heads snickered as I paid for my enormous piece of protection and, with as much dignity as I could muster I slunk out of the store.
So why was I even thinking about my helmet this morning? Well, people,.....I think it might be too small. It leaves horrible red marks on my forehead where it digs into my skin and it pretty much hurts to wear.
On Saturday Jordan and I were dining in one of New York City's finest restaraunts, McDonald's, on 8th St. and 3rd Ave. You've maybe heard of it, I think it's gotten five stars in Zagat's or something.
Anywho, as we're waiting to be served we see a new installation on the wall. McDonald's has put up a huge display of their nutritional information, including pamphlets with advice on eating healthily. That's all fine and good, but there's also a sign on the wall that in effect says "yada yada yada. We're McDonald's. Yay. Anywho, we're being sued by a bunch of people who got fat from eating our food, so be aware that it might not be the healthiest stuff on the planet. Yada yada yada."
Is this really what the level of personal responsibility has slipped to in this country? McDonald's isn't healthy for you. No shit. Smoking also isn't good for you, and neither is bashing yourself in the head with rocks. It's common sense. If you got fat from a steady diet of McDonald's, and you claim that you were unaware this would happen, then you shouldn't be suing McDonald's, you should be suing your parents for making you stupid. I mean, come on folks.
Anyway, that's my rant for the day. Ooops, I just scraped myself on the edge of the keyboard. Someone will pay for this........
Friday we loaded up the band van and made a mad rain-soaked dash for New York City. We got to the club just on time and pounded our way through a blistering set of what many critics have referred to as "post hardcore non-screamo eroto-rock." We had a great turnout as well, so thanks to everyone who made the trip.
Saturday we beat our way downtown for a rare afternoon all-ages rock fest. Jordan and I were both very hungover, so we each drank three liters of water in an hour. Now, I don't know if you've ever done that yourself, but three liters of water in an hour water equals a lot of peeing. Luckily the club hadn't cleaned the urinals since approximately 1497, so I wasn't exposed to an eye-peeling throat searing pee stink everytime I made the trip. Oh wait....
Saturday night I was lucky enough to be put up by engineer extraordinaire Timmy B. at his swank Brooklyn pad. I took a little Tylenol PM for the head, watched The Quiet American and hit the air mattress hard. It ruled.
And yesterday....we finally finished this god damn record and, folks, it's really good. It was a lot of work but I'm very proud of it. When we finished up we were all so giddy that we had a couple beers and watched super producer Mike show us what he's learned in belly-dancing class before we hit the road.
On the way home we all bonded over a good old fashioned sex talk. Gordon's number one lady Karen was with us and she got a maybe too close look into the minds of men. But, as Tommy Lee might say, it was all good. It was especially all good when Karen and I became "beer brothers" by splitting one on Interstate 84. And people, that's a bond for life.