In the immortal words of Pete Galea, "what's crackin'?"
Over here at the MIT rock job not much is crackin' at all. Except, that is, my tenuous grasp on sanity. Much like you, I really need this four day weekend or I might be in danger of going absolutely postal (definitely my favorite expression of the past ten years with the exception of "turd burglar").
Yesterday, my boss comes into my office and asks "Joe, didn't they teach you in grade school how to dot your i's?" After I look at him with a look that he took as puzzlement, but was actually a mixture of smoldering resentment and absolute fury, he continued "you never dot your i's, didn't they teach you that?" At this point the only thing careening through my brain is "no, you asshole, they never taught me to dot my i's in grade school. In fact, they held a special class where they made me stand out in the hall so that all the other kids would know how to dot i's except me, you god damn smug old fart. And thank you for making this absolutely insignificant point in such a humiliating way in front of my coworkers, you turd burglar." Of course, what I thought and what I said were quite different. What I said was "I'll dot my i's from now." He said "good, please do" and walked away.
Life is, of course, terrible.
See you on Monday, as I'll be away from a computer until then.
So, on Sunday the FXA rock machine rolled into TT the Bear's Place for some International Pop Overthrow Festival action.
Now, we've played some bad festivals in our time, and although we knew this was actually a really good festival, we were still worried that our show was going to suck since we were on at 11 on a Sunday.
Well folks, I'm glad to say we had nothing to fear. There was still a healthy contingent of rockers (including one who drove all the way from the south shore - thanks Jay!) when we hit the stage.
This was a really good show for us, mainly because there was very little pressure and we could have fun. For Gordon that meant telling some off-color jokes and indulging his hatred for the Finnish people. For Jordan it meant wearing no pants and a cape. For Pete it meant thinking about poker hands instead of anagramming scrabble words. And for me it meant playing a lot of cowbell.
Ok, none of those things are true....except the cowbell. I somehow lost my mind and decided that since there was a cowbell attached to the drumset we were playing then I naturally should play it as much as possible. As in every song.
The people seemed to like it, although judging from the band's reaction it seemed to get old pretty quick. I tend to agree with them since by the end of the set even I was annoyed with the gimmick.
What can I tell you? Because of the present impending winter and holiday season, I have had to take stock of my fat ass lazy self and people, it ain't pretty.
So today I've decided to make the trek back to the gym after a pretty long absence. I could give a lot of reasons why I haven't gone in a while, but they would just hide the truth - I hate the gym, I hate pointless exercise and I really really really hate gym people.
I could go on forever about the various types of gym people I hate, but since time and space are limited I'll just focus on my least favorite - Overcompensating for their homophobia naked conversation guys. These are the guys who stand around in the locker room completely naked and talk about "guy" stuff in loud voices while their man bits are hanging out all over the place.
Now, I'll tell you what bugs me about these guys. It's not the nudity, it's not their wrinkled old penises, it's not even the "guy" talk. It's the simple fact that they're so eager to prove how cool they are about being naked and how not gay they are that they make this huge production out of it. It doesn't even make sense. I mean, if I were stranded on a desert island with a male friend and we had no clothes, then out of necessity we'd have to talk to each other while naked. But these guys have protracted conversations while naked when their clothes are like three inches away.
Doug: Pete, did you see the game? That was awesome when the linebacker's head split open.
Pete: Yeah, it was great. Hold on, let me just get my pants on.
Doug: whoah...hey there...this here is naked talk. Put those pants away.
Pete: Oh, sorry.
All in all, I just wish they would all just cut the subterfuge and make out already. Arg.
Do any of you loyal readers by any chance still watch ER? I mean, I know I shouldn't, but somehow I got sucked in this season and I find myself on the couch each thursday.
Anywho, even if we shouldn't watch it, can we agree that it and shows like it (i.e. based on dramatic trauma situations) are getting out of control? Every week the ER preview ads begin with something like "This thursday the unthinkable happens. A shocking new ER..." The lengths they'll go to avoid having actual character interaction are just silly. This week a helicopter airlift goes horribly wrong, causing the chopper to explode and crash into the ambulance area of the hospital, killing a doctor who last season lost his arm....in a helicopter accident. I mean, come on.
How stupid do TV programmers think we are that they think we need constant upping of the shock and violence? I mean, some of us do need that, but there's lots of people who don't. It's boring. And where can they really gofrom there? I feel like next week ER is going to be about how Jesus comes back and although he can heal people, he's a meth addict who makes scalpels fly around the hospital, killing hundreds when he can't get his fix. Then Hitler shows up and they do battle until the Taliban drops a nuclear bomb on the city of Chicago and ends the whole thing. Actually, I'd probably watch that one....
Sorry about the late post today and the no-post yesterday, but I've been busy as all get out.
Yesterday we drove the band van through everything that Mother Nature could throw at us and brought the rock show to NYC. It was our first time playing the Mercury Lounge and it was, in a word, fantastimagical. No offense to anywhere else we've played in our short yet fruitful careers, but this place rules. The sound was simply glorious. It was everything sound is supposed to be but never is: crisp, clean, everything audible etc. Afterwards we described it as akin to getting an early Christmas present, it was that good. It was really aural sex.
Anywho, with the power of a truly fantastic club behind us, and the power of our truly fantastic fans (who braved the aforementioned calamities of nature) we played a really solid show. It's always nice to feel like you have nothing to be ashamed of when you come off stage except for Gordon's BO, and that's how we all felt last night.
So, thanks to everyone who came out. We appreciate it, especially when we're on I-95 in the pouring rain at 2:30 in the AM just hoping to get four hours in before having to head into work to be undervalued and underutilized before the demoralizing act of picking up our paychecks.
The loyal readers among you know that I try not to get too serious in this journal, but today I feel that I need to address an important issue - namely the total mind-fuck that the almost always good Real World sucks balls this year and the always sucky Real World/Road Rules Challenge is awesome. WTF?
I mean, the Real World is stone cold terrible this year. The token hottie just isn't that hot, the token gay guy is snippy enough but not at all compelling, the token dumb guy is just dumb and there's a bunch of people whose names I still don't know depite watching a number of episodes.
Message to MTV: bring back the Vegas cast! All vapid hot people having sex all the time, god damn it! You can't go back to the days of Eric Nies and Alabama Julie. You've destroyed our innocence, now give us the soft-core porn we've come to expect.
The RW/RR Challenge, however, is a totally different story. I'm running out of space, so I can't go into everything I love about this season. I'll just list a few major points...
- How hot has Rachel from the second New York Real World become? Dag.
- Admit it, weren't you a little glad when Trishelle, the token hottie, took the digger that caused her currently swollen eyes and bruised face?
- I like that the gauntlet frequently requires batacca battles. On a side note, who thought those things were a good and healthy toy for elementary school boys to have in gym?
- Of course the main thing that is great about this show is just how seriously D-list celebrities take themselves, their status as D-list celebrities and games like hang-by-your-ankles-over-a-pool-until-you-fall-in-a-humiliating-manner.
The old axiom is still true, you can never feel bad about yourself while there's MTV...
In the immortal words of Pete "12-Gauge" Galea, "What's Crackin'?"
What's crackin' for us is that we played an ass-kicking extravaganza at the Hard Rock on Saturday. Now people, you know I'm a cynic, but even my objective take on this gig said it was going to suck ass. Big ass.
We loaded into the club via a freight ramp into a beer cooler/meat locker. Dag. From there we took an elevator to the second floor "green room". This room certainly lived up to its name, enough so that I literally began to feel nauseated by the intensity of the green wall paint. Aiding the nausea was the fact that I also drank a Mountain Dew Code Red because I was really thirsty. Have you ever had one of these? Holy Christ, it's like paint thinner and cough syrup mixed together with a dash of Red #5. To put it plainly, avoid this crap.
Anywho, after an eternity in the green room we made our one and a half hours late start. There's nothing worse than telling your friends that you'll be playing at nine and then not playing until 10:30. Arg.
But people, despite all of these problems, we still managed to kick some asses. There were a surprising number of people there and they were great. it actually turned into a really rewarding night.
I guess what I'm learning the longer I do this is that my instincts are always wrong. I think that, like George Costanza, if I want to be happy I should always believe the opposite of what I think is right.
Yesterday I got what I can only describe as a barrage of email, the majority of it being along the lines of "Dear Joe, you are a retard. Instead of licking envelopes, use a moist sponge, retard." Ouch.
Anyway, I feel the need to let people know that we in Fooled By April are in fact not retards. However, we are slobs and cheapskates.
Let's start with the slob issue. You see, we tried to use damp sponges instead of our poor mouths but the only sponges available in the rock house were filthy with the grease of a thousand nasty steak pans. We decided the chance of someone smelling our stale saliva on an envelope was better than getting a handfull of cow.
As for the cheapskate issue, our envelopes were weird. We tried other moistening methods (towels, wet t-shirts etc) and it actually just didn't work very well. The envelopes didn't want to seal under the pressure of plain water, it was as if the glue could only be activated by the probing tongues of a mediocre rock band. Ah well.
Anyway, so now I've defended us. And while I'm happy to report my papercuts have healed, I think I deveolped carpal tunnel syndrome while stuffing the envelopes. Life is, of course, terrible.
You all are lucky that this is a written journal as opposed to an oral one for a couple of reasons. One of these is the fact that I have really bad breath (not really, well, maybe). The second is that I can barely talk at all this morning.
Well, we in Fooled By April had quite an evening at the Rock House last night. You see, we've hired a radio promotions company to help spread the word on FXA to college radio stations all across this fine land we call America. Fortunately, they've agreed to work on the cheap because they like us. Unfortunately, for them to work on the cheap they need us to handle all the mailing. So last night the four of us congregated in the Rock House Living Room and proceeded to prepare 400 radio ready promo packs. Each pack included putting three stickers on an envelope, two on a cd, wrapping the cd in a bio sheet, stuffing the envelope, stamping the envelope and then.......licking the envelope.
Now, licking one envelope is OK, sometimes even enjoyable. You get a little salty sweet glue in your tum tum and everyone's happy. Not so with 100+. After about thirty you start to feel like you've eaten 3/4 of a horse and you find yourself taking swigs of Diet Pepsi (which you hate) between each envelope just to keep from gagging. At about 150, with papercuts all over your lips, you start yelling at Brendo Frendo and make him help.
Anyway, the point of the story is that although my mouth tastes like poo this morning, soon you'll hear us on the radio. All in all, I think it's a pretty good trade.
I'm not sure how, but I have become the laziest human being ever to walk on the planet Earth.
Last night, while sitting in a pile of spent M&M wrappers and Diet Coke bottles, I decided to watch some TV. However, I was sitting all the way across the room from said TV. Now, instead of getting up and turning the TV on, I instead sat and thought about my predicament for a good five minutes all the while scanning the room for the remote. When I finally saw it I realized that it too was pretty far across the room. Dag.
Luckily a roommate in the kitchen happened to walk by the door to the common room and I suckered him into getting the remote for me. Ah....finally...TV. Of course, the remote was all screwed up and I could only get either the cable or the TV to turn on at one time. Again, instead of simply getting up, I spent a good ten minutes futilely trying to make the remote work.
Finally, I gave up on TV and picked up a magazine from the coffee table that I'd already read several times even though I have a bunch of new books in my room, 15 feet away. Dag.
In short, I wouldn't have lasted long in the 1800's.
All I can say is that computers are dumb. Sure, they may enable us to live automated lives of relative comfort, but god damn it, when they come between me and the readers they have simply gone too damn far.
Anyway, that's why the journal has been incommunicado these past couple days. Our website's server has been crashing like, as Keith Moon might have said, " a lead zeppelin." Oh well.
It is hectic than a mug here in Fooled By April land. We got shows coming up, a new record, a new website, a new outlook and Pete even bought a new hamster.
To get away from the hubbub I spent the weekend jetsetting to the fashionable destination of Ithaca, New York, where I visited superfriend Eric Cranklin at the Cornell School of Law. It was supposed to be a relaxing getaway, but I'll admit I spent an ungodly amount of time worrying about whether the website was working and whether our orders were being shipped promptly.
When I did manage to take it easy I had a pretty cool time. Did you know Ithaca is gorges? Jesus lord do they pimp that slogan out there. Hooo-eeee. To their credit, I actually walked down into Ithaca's main gorge and it is pretty damn impressive. After that I fulfilled their slogan once again by stuffing myself with just about every kind of fried food the Ithacans can create. I also saw the new Matrix movie which, how do you say, sucked balls.
But now it's back to the grindstone. As the holidays approach it dawns on us all that the time to rock is nigh.
So last night I was tossing and turning, dripping with sweat and faced with a serious contradiction. You see, every time I would fall asleep I would inevitably go into the same dream. In this dream I was Dee Snider and was up on stage in front of thousands of people with Twisted Sister. Only it wasn't nearly as wonderful and comfortable as you would imagine Dee Snider playing with Twisted Sister would be.
For one thing, I looked like me, not Dee Snider. For another, I was wearing no makeup or the crazy shoulder-pads-and-codpiece TS outfit, but everyone else in the band was. And finally, the worst part, I was trying to sing "Cum On Feel The Noize" over the chords of "We're Not Gonna Take It." And that, people, is a mistake.
Needless to say, Jay Jay French was pissed and he let me have it. "You asshole!" he screamed. "That's a f#$king Quiet Riot song! Sing it right!" At this point I freaked out and just start screaming gibberish into the microphone, at which point the thousands of attendees started booing me.
I had this dream like five times. Life is, of course, terrible.
Here I am, bleary-eyed and exhausted, with nothing too much to report.
"Why so tired, Joe?" you might ask, and that's a fair question. Let's just say that I got bit in the ass yesterday by my habit of being a little "premature" about things because of overeagerness. And no, I'm not talking about that, you perv.
I made the mistake of saying the online store was all set to handle all our business for the new record, when that blatantly wasn't the case. A bunch of you undoubtedly got a message to the effect of "this piece of garbage is not ready yet, we'll send you an email, jerk." So, sorry for that.
The record is now ready and waiting, I promise. So go buy a bunch of them and sprinkle them around your social circle like so much love confetti.
PS. Yesterday I also said there would be a 50% discount on any you bought after the first one. Now you'll notice the site says a 30% discount. That's because I'm dumb. The discount actually applies to your whole order. Mathematically speaking, that works out to just about 50% off each cd you buy beyond the first one (Nerd Alert!!! Of, course, this figure is entirely based upon volume, the more you buy, the slightly less the discount.)
Last night we hit the Lizard Lounge for the final screening of Brendo Frendo's documentary about the band, "Nobody Knows."
Dealing with someone making a movie about you is sort of like a grieving process, except instead of anger, bargaining, depression etc. you get 1) worried about how you'll look and sound, 2) happy that you come off not as the biggest dick in the world, 3) gratified by a good audience reaction, 4) really really really sick of watching yourself trying to be profound but ending up sounding dumb. I'm happy to say I've reached level 4, people. And although I love Brendo Frendo and my bandmates like brothers, I never want to see that god damn movie, or all of the questionable haircuts contained within, ever ever again.
PS. Today is the first day the new record is on sale! Go to CDBaby.com/FooledByApril to listen to sound clips, see the cover and dagnamit, buy the thing. Also, every additional copy you order this week will also be discounted 50%. How can you beat that?
Halloween turned out to be the best day of Rocktober for FXA, as we took the travelling rock show to Westfield State College.
Now, we've played there before and everyone there is very nice, albeit reluctant to attend shows.
This time was no different. Everyone who worked at the show was very nice, which was good because they were also the sole attendees. Playing a show for literally no one is a really strange feeling. It's just like you're rehearsing, just in a bigger room with three bartenders watching you.
Anyway, we played a set for the aforementioned bartenders and then took a break. During this break the very same bartenders asked if we minded stopping for the night so they could close the party and go home. We said sure and that was that.
On the way home Jordan brought up the idea that next time we should ask them to book us to play wiffle ball on their field. It would require us to haul far less gear and more people would probably watch. Ah well.....