Thursday, March 17, 2011

MCE#no: fuuuuucck...

Been a while, huh?
It's hilarious in retrospect.

When I started this blog up again for the tour, I felt energized and determined. My journey created a much needed momentum and sense of purpose.

Things were going well. I saw some great bands, tasted great coffee, put a few burritos and doughnuts away, and taken some photos in the process.

And then one night in Boone, NC, ...I got shut down. HARD. Some friends that Hermit Thrushes were on tour with asked to borrow my laptop to project some images of Preditor (the movie!) over them while they were playing. I allowed it. A few songs later a mystery pint of beer dropped on my laptop. No more computer from November to January.

Luckily, all was not lost and I was able to retrieve the data. While, emotionally, the content may feel dated to me, it may still be relevant. In an effort to keep things going because documentations of my experiences are at least important to me and in hoping that this at the very least keeps me energized in an ever evolving good and bad world, I'm going to still release this material. Here goes nothing or something. I hope you enjoy.


TUESDAY: Feel really sad to leave my girlfriend. Get back to Philly @ 11:30PM. ‘Turns out Philadelphia is legitimately dirty. Took nine months away to realize this. Oh well, it’s not the only city on the East Coast like this (NYC I’m looking right at ya, pal-o-mine). Notice that dumb fucking1 Sugar House Casino is now up and running in the lower income area of Kensington/Port Richmond. So much for progress and community building…

WEDNESDAY: Meet up with Tim at Townhall. Grab a most excellent pour-over of Novo’s Amaro Gayo, courtesy of one Steve Hoffman.

Band rehearsal. Everyone is at the Castle (Castle Gay, our house) and it’s kind of overwhelming in a way that was hard to anticipate. Go to Bodhi to solidify plans for next week and grab coffee. Later visit former place of employment, Ultimo or decide. We chill it out, outside, to talk about all the things.

Later, I learn alto sax. Dumb 8 year olds do it every day, why not me? I mean I went toFRICKIN’ MUSIC SCHOOL! I’ll challenge any dumb elementary school student to a sax-off. See who leaves with the envy of the little dudes, the hearts of the lil’ dudettes… or dudes,and who leaves with a wedgey, alone…crying2.

EAT BAGEL PIZZAS WITH KEVIN AND CHRIS OF POWER ANIMAL IN KEVIN’S PARENT’S BASEMENT, LIKE ANY KID FROM NORTHEAST PHILLY. Drink some Yuengling Lager… suddenly tasting like nothing even close to acceptable (thanks a lot Trader Joe’s Vienna Lagers!)

THURSDAY: More band rehearsing. Grab a few slices at my old slice-grabbing-stomping grounds, Romeo Pizza. Holler at your $1.50 slices of greasy PLAIN (not “cheese,” you bunch of ignorant-West-Coast-pioneer-related, steelin’-up-all-the-Indian’s-gold, catchin’-all-the-Native’s-salmon, taller-than-everyone, good-gene-havin, hangtenin’, grape-growin’, makin’all-the-computer white dudes.) pizza; for they are most delicious. And cheap.

FRIDAY: Work the morning shift at Townhall. Rehearse again. Get more pizza. Go to JohnnyBrendas. Meet up with Little Teeth. Be joyous. Receive unfortunate information that my friend Anthony got shot in the throat with a BB gun yards away from the club’s entrance (WTF?), play a show with awesomely worn out embouchure. Hang with good friends Power


(great photos?)

Suddenly feel very overwhelmed to due to everyone I know appearing + there being almost more equipment to step around then people3. While I had a blast playing a much needed, newer set list that was timbrely eclectic, Little Teeth really ruled school that night. Those girls (and Sean) really put their hearts into their performance every night. I’m not sure how they do it. I mean, their songs are lyrically involved, melodically ever-unfolding with new layers, lines and counterpoints, and instrumentally orchestrated all over the place. And yet, with three people, they pull it off. HARD. Every time. That’s not even accounting the grating and brutal physical endeavors their music calls for quite often. Dannie and Sofia are singing impossibly high vocal lines one moment and screaming/barking out lines that make any seasoned hardcore singer seem timid the next moment, while Dannie damn-near destroys the stage floor with her percussion-clad feet and legs.

Little Teeth rule and are worth your time. I am stoked (yes stoked) out of my mind that we will be playing with them again in the South later on during this fall tour and I know that they’ll be bringing it.

SATURDAY: Holy crap, this sucked. Got home 3AM Saturday night, fell asleep for 3 hours, gotstuck in the most ridiculous traffic (Saturday Morning, WTF?) went to work at Townhall, locked myself into the GS2 until 2PM, got home ate a microwavable pizza (NE Philly, wut?), fell asleep from 3-6PM, ate dinner with my parents, my uncle from conservative rural Massachusetts, and my liberal cousin from Boston/NYC. And, you know what, it was okay. And that’s a blessing.

SUNDAY: Continued to miss the one (need it be mentioned?), worked another shift at Townhall, downloaded tons of awesome brutal music from the two days later defunct blog, “Life’s a Bummer,” practiced sax at the family’s house, scared my brother John’s dogs into the basement, learned the opening of Take the A Train (holler).

MONDAY: Worked a pour-over catering gig at a website design firm with Timmy Noble, survived despite one Townhaller MIA, rehearsed some more (happy pointless Columbus DAY!), did some HT press stoof, brought it home.

TUESDAY: made myself some delicious cups of Chemex-style coffee (a lil sunnen-sunnen I’m working on for the next tour… perhaps more on that later), went to Bodhi, rocked it with Grey and then Johnathon, met Tom’s business partner Bobby (woo side note, just saw a place on the road called “Steak and Lube.”…gotta get off the highway and do it, tbc), rehearsed, slept at my future apt, on my man Caro Liu’s bed who is in Germany, drivin’ the men and women crazy and getting a much deserved degree.

WEDNESDAY: Worked a shift with the people of Bodhi, witnessed unprecedented enthusiasmtoward the raucous world of Latte Art Throwdown, pulled some mean shots of Stumpy’s Gaja Ache, ate a burrito (oi vey, NEED TO GET BACK TO OLY), more HT press stuff, plus participated in unnecessarily hard and involved fabric sleeve cassette sleeve making.

THURSDAY: practiced

FRIDAY: practiced, checked out Daniel Francis Doyle. Daniel is a local foods expert from Austin, TX. Before getting into town, he housed 6 Tasty Cakes (how we do, baby). Later that night, he ate a cheese steak and soda after the show, only to wake up the next morning andlevel the tomato pie situation in Philly. Dude’s a king- a prince of steaks, if you will. Regardless of culinary prowess, DFD (as we fondly refer to him) is another diamond in the rough. In a world full of infidels, he is the bomb. He has single-handedly elevated two niches in music that are mostly wrought with shtickey dudes: Loop station doo-doo heads and one man band’rz.Daniel creates unique loops on the spot with his guitar that at once are not what they seem to be, and will reoccur later once DFD jumps on the drum set (mic strapped to face). From there, lines pop up like themes composed by symphonic and chamber music composers. The loop pedal is placed by his high hat stand and from there he has free reign over the future of his loops. It is a refreshing showing of compositional foresightand intense virtuosic-like prowess over musical form. Yeah, I just said that. It is likemusical Banagrams, except he knows what words he’s going to use, but has the freedom to place them however he sees fit. And it’s awesome.

Andrew Keller’s band Snowcap performed Friday night, as well. Andrew’s mind-blowingly-good album Baby Bird is going to be re-released soon, on vinyl. I had a chance to hear it. It’s been re-mastered and sounds so much more focused. Stay tuned for that. Later that night, Motorcycle Maus closed the show with a set of songs off his latest tape. Dan’s a brutal dude. He’s had a number of line-up changes over the last year for different reasons, but he always carries through, regardless.


SUNDAY: PRACTICED and prepped for leaving.


1Yep, just cursed. Seriously, though, fuck that place.

2Probably me?

3Every band that played that night, including HT, seemed to be of the aesthetic opinion “more is more is good,” with varying degrees of success.