8.26.2008

AS LESSONS LEARNED GO DOWN THE DRAIN


(on the Hudson with the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea)

Still on the water, very little access to computers, internet, or even electricity. I'm a bit worse for wear, but holding together. Worst casualty has been a camera that went down due to too much water, working on a contingency plan now. Hope to have a bigger and better update in the near future. It's amazing how different a life you can lead just an hour outside of NYC. . .



MP3:

• Dauntless Elite - I Am Ninja, My Life Is Lonely And Difficult

A band's place.

8.13.2008

YOU SEE YOUR IDENTITY AS A COLLECTION OF FEARS










(photos of CSS in Philly, Ms. Maggie Lee, Nick's studio, and Matt tries out a new instrument after he decides keyboards aren't punk enough)

I'm up north in Troy, preparing for the voyage down the Hudson River of the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea. It is a collaborative raft project headed by Swoon, with performances happening on the rafts at various points down the Hudson. The crafts will eventually swing around the south end of Manhattan and dock in Long Island City to join Swoon's second solo show at Deitch Projects. The crew is around 40 strong and pulls from both coasts and everywhere in between. There's even an honest-to-god paddle wheel steamboat that came all the way from San Francisco. We leave on the 15th and have a performance in Troy that night. I hope to be able to post photos and stories of the trip, but I don't have a computer and electricity and internet may be scarce. So check the website for schedules and more info. And if you can't venture upstate, you better make it to Long Island City on Sept. 7th.

PS. Mike Watt is really funny when he's drunk, even if he just got all his equipment stolen.



MP3:

• P.O.S. - P.O.S. Is Ruining My Life

A band's place in myspace.

8.05.2008

NEVER TRUST IN "NEXT TIME"










(more photos from touring with CSS and Matt & Kim)

- Matt & Kim doing an impromptu song live on radio KUOM. Matt had to play a piano and Kim had to drum with a broken drum stick, a hammer, and a wad of borrowed keys as a cymbal.
- Late night drunken dancing on cardboard in a Milwaukee parking lot with Matt & Kim fans.
- Asking the security guard at the employee entrance of Lollapolooza where the VIP entrance was, his answer was a blank "dunno." When asked where the main entrance was, he just shrugged.
- Exploring some raised railroad tracks in an industrial swath of Chicago. Which of course meant I would have the good fortune of catching a random patrol cars attention. While they did come up into the rail area, they didn't seem to be bothered enough to actually catch us.
- Seeing some of the familiar faces in CSS.
- Meeting the Mr. nice-n-laid-back David, tour manager for the Go! Team. I think he only owns one shirt.
- Panera bread is a lifesaver when you are on the road.
- Getting to hear the new Matt & Kim album. It is awesome, and no I'm not just saying that. It's not too often I get a song stuck in my head for days, much less an entire album.
- Running into BJ from Parts & Labor on a random street corner in Chicago.
- Getting to hang out in Cleveland with some family and friends.
- Learning that Matt has cardboard and plastic wrap underneath the keys of his keyboard to protect the interior electronics from all the drinks that get thrown on it.
- How much better I like driving on tour when there is cruise control.
- Learning why people have satellite radio: the punk channel.



MP3:

• Shooter Jennings - I'm A Long Way From Home

A band's place in myspace.

8.03.2008

GET OLD OR DIE TRYING










(photos from touring with CSS and Matt & Kim, with a guest appearance by Lollapolooza)

Well I got a shout out in the recent NY Times article on the F Yeah Fest, only problem being that I was attributed to Brooklynvegan.com. But the article is extensive, with lots of video and a tour diary by both the reporter and Sean the founder, definitely worth checking out.

I'm still on the road with Matt & Kim, playing the part of their surly and exhausted part-time merch guy. Its been a pretty fun tour so far, although M & K had some technical difficulties in the beginning. Got to hang out at Lollapolooza and meet Elijah Wood with his girlfriend in Gogol Bordello. Thanks again to Ms. Hopper for making that happen. I'm not much of a festival goer, but I do have to say that the Lollapolooza entrance/pass process was very poorly planned and executed for such a large-concert-thing. Maybe there was some sort of crowd-management-through-excessive-complications logic to it that I don't understand, but from an audience members view it was a pain in the ass, and the festival had some scary no-room-to-move fire exit issues.

Matt & Kim's new album is going to knock your socks off, by the way.



MP3:

Ever wonder what Matt's (of above-mentioned Matt & Kim) first band sounded like? Note the intentional avoidance of a verse-refrain-verse structure.

• Aristocracy - Take The World Back

8.01.2008

SELFISH, NEAR-SIGHTED, SLIGHTLY DUMB, BUT THE MAJORITY










(classic photos from back-in-the-day Critical Mass)

I know I am pretty tardy getting this posted, and I know some friends were sending me emails with all the info I needed (thanks J and Xris). But I'm just useless when I'm on tour, or should I say my lemon-of-a-mac is the useless one. Anyway, better late than never.

A police officer full-on body-checked a cyclist riding in this past July's Critical Mass. The rider was thrown off his bike and on to the curb, where he was tackled by two cops, arrested, and charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, among other charges. What makes this different than any other Critical Mass rides post-RNC (remember the woman who ended up in the hospital after a cop doored her in the bike lane on a CM ride?) is that this time the cop was caught on video, by a tourist, who uploaded it to youtube. And even more shockingly, the mainstream media took notice (slow news week, perhaps). Check out the links below for the video and compilations of the news coverage (fun to compare/contrast how the different networks spin it).

I know a lot of people don't understand this "bike persecution" thing that is talked about here in NYC. Well this is a good example. You don't see cops tackling jaywalkers, or checking illegal street vendors. Its a weird target for the NYPD to be so aggro about, I don't even think most cyclists understand where the anger is coming from. Considering the rise in numbers of bicycle commuters all over the country and the increase in cycling infrastructure in the city, it would seem like the NYPD is picking on the wrong boogeyman.

The NY Times wrote an article about it.









MP3:

• The Morning Benders - Crosseyed

A band's place in myspace.