Thursday, April 24, 2003

Hey. This place is now in suspension. go HERE now.

Go on. Don't be shy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Hi folks
This blog will be temporarily, and most likely permanently, discontinued. Too many nuts in the world, not enough squirrels.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Thanks to Henning of School for the Dead (a great, GREAT band) for providing space for a link to the Mudpony shot.

You can view it here. (It's a big file so you may have to scroll around for now 'til we figure soemthing else out!)

Also checkout SFTD's blog...the first band blog in the area, as far as I recall!
My band Mudpony (well, not just my band, but the one I'm in) had its dreaded band photo taken last night. Band photos can be a nightmare. So many ways to look stupid, so few to look good. My editor complains that bands never look like bands because they always go for some shot of them standing around with nothing to indicate that they play instruments or do anything musical. This can be attributed to the "cool" factor, where bands, God forbid, don't want to look like the actually care about playing!

I agree that posed shots with guys holding guitars and drumsticks can smack of wedding band photos ("Joey Panata and the Belltones!") and the like, but a bunch of people moping in front of a brick wall has been so overdone (brick wall = street toughness; moping = we are so rock n' roll, like Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain, etc.) that it's now mocked by anyone with any sense (see link below.) Also overdone is the we-look-like-junkies (even though we faint at the sight of needles in a doctor's office) look.

So we went with (my idea!) of just sitting on the floor in the tangled mess of our rehearsal space. It's ain't pretty, but it accomplishes a couple of goals: it shows some instruments without us holding them like trophies; it shows us in a casual setting (we're a fun, rag-tag sort of unit, although we pride ourselves on a reasonable precision in our arrangements and harmonies) and the shot also doesn't involve some overt attempt at humor (which many bands attempt and fail.) There is a stuffed animal pony subtley placed on the kick drum, but that's about it for cuteness.

We are not a real "serious" (as in Sting-like) band. We take our music, but not ourselves, seriously. I hope the photo expresses that idea. I'll try to put a link to it somewhere where any reader can see it, but I can't do photos here on this blog. Let me figure it out. I'd like to get feedback.

Anyway, if you want to know why I worry about band photos, check out this site from Rock and Roll Confidential: real photos of real bands: hilarious, and sad. (There's also other funny stuff on R&R Confidential site too -- look around.)

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Lots of good music coming to Western Massachusetts soon. Lloyd Cole is playing The Iron Horse on Monday, but I'm going to have to skip LC (whom I've seen four or five times) in favor of The Sea and Cake at The Iron Horse's sister club, Pearl Street.

I like Sea and Cake a lot, but who I really want to see Monday is their opening act, The Circulatory System. This is Will Hart's new band. Hart was a founding member of one of my favorite bands Olivia Tremor Control, so I'm hoping for a great show. The band has a few Olivia alum (except for Bill Doss, my favorite guy, but still) so I'm excited!

As the Olivias sang: "There is no growing in knowing where you're going/ Without the light inside"

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Terrorist alert? Maybe they're resorting to low budget means: radio-controlled vehicles. Need proof?Read THIS STORY, then THIS ONE.

Coincidence? or Conspiracy?

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

From my friend Neil, who is somewhere in the thick of things over in "Operation Iraqi Freedom"
(This is his unedited copy. I offer it unadulterated to readers simply as a view you may not get elsewhere.)

He writes:

As the war winds down, a quick note from this transmogrified middle manager
cum military medic who's been "in theater" ( 4 star review for this
play) a couple of months.........

While I'm thankful that I was sent here to heal rather than hurt other
humans, I must admit that I am proud of those who have gone the extra mile
and done the job that was given them. While that may be a somewhat
pedestrian thought at the dawn of the new millenium, the "warrior class"
created by the all volunteer force showed the world that given a task, even
if they don't agree with it, men and women will carry out and carry on to
the best of their ability and training.

I have met some fine people here, and some real assh*les as well. Sort of
like walking down any city street. The only difference being that everyone
you meet carries a weapon of some kind, so you tend to be more polite than
you might otherwise be.

It's a bit difficult to write of what has happened, and I honestly don't
know if I agreed with why we came and what we did, but as it comes to a
close, I am more thankful than ever for life, and love and the sense of well
being a shower can bring!

Scott sends me digital congratulations for my betrothal and wonders what our "first dance" will be at the wedding. If anyone has suggestions send them along. (Bear in mind this is not the first marriage for either of us...and we all know that second marriages have often been termed "The triumph of hope over experience.")

I like having hope. I like having faith. But I love having love.

Why the Amish don't have sports

Remember, friends don't let friends drive drunk. Be a friend, take the four-in-hand!
More anti-Internet stuff:

Top Five Bad Things about the Internet:

1) The proliferation of pornography
2) The access the Web gives pedophiles to innocent children
3) Matt Drudge and his ilk. (i.e.fake jounalists with an agenda...but hell, Fox News is TV and they do the same. By the way, I have no problem with editorializing or advocacy journalism, as long as it's labeled as such.)
4) "Chat rooms" where people can hide behind secret identities and attack people (secret identities are OK, its the anonymous attacks that bother me. As you see, I don't name names here when I complain about people personally.)
5) People who lack basic communication skills "communicating" with the masses. There's a reason I don't have a plumber fix my car or a painter set up my guitar. Writing is a skill and talent that should be respected like any other.
Please again excuse this "Dear Diary" personal note, but I'm sure the five people who may read this blog will excuse it, as this type of stuff is pretty special when it happens to you: J. and I got engaged Saturday. That's all I'm going to say except that I'm the luckiest -- and happiest -- guy alive.

Now back to your regularly scheduled complaining:

The internet (like many things, but moreso) is a double-edged sword. It's great that we can all communicate so quickly, but not always. And the way things occur between people sometimes makes me sad. Even though I blog, give me face-to-face contact anyday. it's too easy to "hide" on the Web. Me? I never write anything I wouldn't say to someone's face. I may not be right, and I may regret some things, but I don't say one thing in real life and another here. I'm wrong plenty; it's a shame more people can't admit when they are. As either Miss Manners or Ann Landers once said: "If more people would take some blame, there would be less of it to go around.'

For the record, concerning this blog: if anyone wants to respond to what I write and have it published here, just make sure your response is coherent, respectful (it can be angry and still be respectful) and I will publish it, even if I disagree. I have already done this with Sean, but he's a friend. Please know I will do it with anyone, as long as you conduct yourself properly. Just click on "email me" in the box above.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Talk about your bunker busters !
Now here's a way to get people more willing to serve when called for jury duty.

Ol' Ralphie really knew how to take the "judge" out of "judgement."
More health news from Great Britain: We all know that the Brits are allegedly supposed to have bad teeth. Now it's the law.
The latest in psychological methodology from Great Britain.

I guess Northern Ireland isn't the best place to get your therapy.

From the "Seemed like a Bad Idea at the Time Dept.": This story of two angry men who decided to work together, and the chicken who gave its life to save them.

OK not really, but it just goes to show: It's probably not a good idea to socialize with people you meet at rehab or similar meetings. For example: If someone asks you to out for a drink with them after your AA meeting, you should probably pass. Same idea could fit this story.
We're going to see "Rivers and Tides" this weekend. I'll put my take on it here after we do, but it sounds like the perfect tonic for these stressful times. For now, here's the L.A. Times review.

Although I'm no Nature Boy, I appreciate, even cherish certain natural phenomena. I especially love to wander through stark, brutal landscapes (and lush gorgeous ones too of course -- and I'm also a sucker for sunsets and sunrises, as Hallmark Card-ish as that makes me seem.) Nature's beauty, like love's, is wrought from the passionate tensions and rough-hewn truths it contains.

I particularly embrace spring's craggy, muddy vistas; the way the changing light casts a cool but life-giving glow to resuscitated tree branches, nascent buds, emerging grasses and melting streams. The air, not yet burdened with summer's swelter, is like a fresh coat of paint for the atmosphere... and and the chance for some last gasps from the wraith of winter keeps us alert yet forward-looking to the warmer days ahead.

April may be the cruelest month, but it's also coolest month (and not just temperature-wise.) Enjoy it while you can.