Travel Back With Me

•February 24, 2009 • 2 Comments

I stole this from a blog by a woman named TseYui, but I am not sure where she stole it from.

I stole this from a blog by a woman named TseYui, but I am not sure where she stole it from.

I have a lot to read tonight, but need to get these things out before they fade from memory. I can already feel them flitting out of my mind through my ear canals.

I’ll start with today and work backwards:

Monday

I woke up early to meet my group for magazine management class. We are creating a childrens magazine prototype with a focus on education and nurturing bonds in family.

Next was Editorial and Op-Ed class with a guest speaker. He has a large nose, deep voice and receding hair line. He is extremely intelligent and has been successful in journalism as a publisher and editorial writer.

I remember him interning in my editing class. He taught some classes on basic math for the stereotypically numerically challenged journalism students.

I then went to Wayward Council and scrounged up enough change for some CDs. I brought in a Painted Black CD that was in randomly in a Paul Beribeau CD case that I had purchased last time. I didn’t realize Paul Beribeau was sitting right there when I announced this fact. He joked about it being a bonus disc. It was weird. It’s really cool that he is in Gainesville now. I also dug in the free bin for some various patches, a Stress Face sticker, an outdated Vote 2004 poster and a flathead screwdriver with a wooden handle. A good hunt.

Now that I think about it, my bike is still in front of Wayward.

I’ve been reading a lot for a busy day tomorrow. “The Algerine Captive” and “When Species Meet” if you must know.

Sunday

A rough day after I broke up with my girlfriend for the second time. My bandmates kidnapped me and we went and ate at Saigon Legend. We roamed around town for the day. I went home and they went to a show.

Saturday

I can’t quite recall the day, but it was mostly spent hanging out and watching my bassist and his roommate play Street Fighter 4 and intermittently playing our guitars. Making Eyes then had a fun, intimate show at The Kickstand with For He Who Hung The Moon, Little High Little Low, The LefT its and The Koda Kit.

Afterward, we got word of a punk folk show at Hell’s Kitchen (a diner open really late and praised highly in a Fest brochure). We went and I met a member of Mythological Horses. He handed us a flyer without knowing that we were there to see him. He had a lot of stories to tell. He’d been on tour for well over six years and told me about the random connections he’d made on the way. The flier that he had handed me earlier was drawn up by the Ren and Stimpy artist. I looked at it closer and was surprised by its signature style, bad-ass unicorns with eyes straight from my childhood cartoon. He also had been touring with Kimya Dawson and roomed with a Voodoo Glow Skulls saxophonist. He was extremely nice and gave my tambourine player a cardigan since she was cold.

He then played a small show in the food storage room of the restaurant. The words were clever and catchy. He totally blew me away. It was anti-folk at its roots. His girlfriend, under the name Saucy Yoda (a silly hip-hop moniker), performed next, but I didn’t stick as it was late and my tambourine player wanted to go home.I meant to see her at the Kickstand show Sunday night, but we all know I didn’t make it out to that.

That night my tambourine player and I had a falling out. She ended up going to a friends’ and I layered up and biked three or four miles home.

Monday through Friday (16th- 20th)

Lots of school. Somewhere in there student government election campaigning started and I was bombarded with pamphlets and people following me as I walked. On Thursday me and my tambourine player celebrated a “hand-iversary” (the months we’d been together could be counted on a hand) with fancy cheeses (we picked terrible ones), wine and a dirty movie. Afterward we spent some time at the Atlantic to hang out with friends.

Friday’s major event was a free show at the Reitz Union. Band Marino and Wait Wait played. A band that supposedly sounds like they ripped off The Beach Boys played, but we left before their set. It was a fine time and I saw many people that I know. I ate free popcorn and chugged free soda.

Valentines Day Weekend and before

Valentines day was the first falling out between me and my tambourine player. The day before Valentines day was a Friday the 13th house show with Making Eyes, Dirty Fist, Toothache, some other girl, Little High Little Low and Dante Campanero. Thursday was a sweet show for the V-Day Fest (V standing for V.A.G.I.N.A., which in turn stands for Violence Against Girls is not Alright) with Madeline, Ghost Mice, Chelsea Carnes and Cassette.

Somewhere around the 10th or 11th

I rented a Uhaul and managed to incur only about $25 moving across town to my old house. The stuff is still stacked everywhere and is quite chaotic.

I move tomorrow

•February 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I constantly go back to old posts and edit for grammar and spelling (never content) even though I know no one will go back and read the changes and think more of me.

Lately I have been missing the hay days of Live Journal. The site has been replaced by a plethora of other mediums, including Facebook, but in the end I feel like Live Journal had the most substance. Of course it depended on the person.

It’s not all bad. My favorite part of Facebook is the network of photographs that people tag and comment on. It is an amazing feature. I love scrolling through the photos and seeing how everyone knows each other and witnessing how people have changed. Some of the pictures are stunning. Even the most amateur  photographer can capture a gem every once-in-awhile by pure chance. The same reasons apply to why I love Flickr.

My social life is entirely dependent on the Facebook events application. I am sad and happy to admit this. From free films to local parties to shows,  Facebook has truly revolutionized the way we interact.

I realize that all these comments are a little outdated, but I am in a unoriginal contemplative mood.

Mostly I am sad because I feel like text-based, longer forms of blogs like this one are dying. This is no Tumblr or Twitter. I enjoy those, but they are like the ADHD version of blogs.

I have a weird compulsion for this. It comes out in the music and blogs I write.

On to other things:

As far as my relationship goes, things have smoothed over a little. I will give it some time and see.

It is an almost morbid thought, but I constantly wonder if my ex would take me back. You know you are officially cut off when you cease to even be Facebook friends. That makes two ex-girlfriends. Not that I’m counting. But I am.

I think this post is a result of reading too many damn “25 things about me” lists on Facebook.

Amazing, Levon Helm is playing on Conan. The Band is one of my favorite bands of all time. My girlfriend recently bought me some of their vinyls in excellent condition during her stay in New York. Helm’s singing and drumming are such an influence on me.

Speaking of music I love, both Madeline and Ghost Mice will be playing later this week.

I love being into folk punk. Albums and shows are always cheap. Oh, and the music is grand, visceral, real.

And I write for all the internet to read

•February 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A writer for the Huffington Post owns this dog.

A writer for the Huffington Post owns this dog.

The following is very emo. I deserve any of the anonymous rude comments that these kind of posts tend to attract:

So, I don’t know if I’m falling out of love and projecting those feeling on her or whether she really is starting to hate me. I would like to believe it is mutual, for conscience’s sake. Beneath every sentence and action is constant tension waiting to surface. It’s aggravating. We are aggravating.

Continuing with the sef-centeredness, but on a much happier note: tonight’s show.

I don’t think my band did amazing, but we were surrounded by so many epic musicians.

Kathy Sohar was first and despite it being extremely early, the turnout was great. I liked her song called “The Devil Gives Good Head.” It was clever and catchy.

Lars Din played next, backed by a old trumpet guy who would go into spurts of maniacal laughter, and a curly hared fellow who played hand drums.

I did not realize until the show that I had seen Lars before at Tim and Terry’s with Dirty Fist.

Tonight he played all depressing songs. He said that ‘s how he has been feeling as of late. I thought the performance was great. Lance is a charming guy with his early graying hair, sad eyes and obscure lyrics.

Next was Waylon Thorton and the Heavy Hands. The married duo erupted with energetic, hard-hitting tunes. Meg hits her drums with such an unexpected ferocious attitude . It goes perfectly with Waylon’s wail and crunching guitar.

I had Facebook messaged Waylon the other night about how much I liked his past projects and how I looked forward to playing with him. He’s a really nice guy. He even jokingly dedicated a song to me during the show. It’s always great when the people behind your favorite songs happen to be cool, like Sean and Ben in Andrew Jackson Jihad. Waylon and Meg also played the Cara Del Gato favorite, “Fruit Bat.” As I creature I wish to reincarnate into, the song is close to my heart.

Anyways, I got to talk to Waylon for a bit and that made my night. My band member got his number and there is now vague plans to go to Meg and Waylon’s farm outside of town and ride their pony and maybe record some music. They also have a tepee, I hear.

After them it was time for Making Eyes. I joked that we were sandwiched between such great bands and were unworthy. We were like rotten lunch-meat between gourmet slices of bread, or something to that nature.

A few things that went wrong:

During sound check it was discovered that my pickup was broken. Jen from 1982 lent me her acoustic guitar. I ended up breaking a string after a few songs. Waylon then handed me another guitar, a beautiful hollow body. My hands were not liking the switch-ups, but I got through fairly unscathed. Not that I didn’t mess up everything, but I rolled with the punches. Mostly, I was upset that my voice was not working, a result of just getting over a cold. I resorted to barking like a dog, although a friend says that this is not what I sounded like. I had trouble hearing myself. My girlfriend was even worse off though as far as scratchy voices go. She caught my cold and was still sick.

In the end, I had a blast — no matter how much I complain in these posts. I love playing my songs and hope I can do this for the rest of my damn life.

Gainesville Liberation Orchestra was next. I love the way in which the three singers meld together. They each have such distinctive voices. Jen is the female punk voice in the band a la Discount. Sterlo has more of the pop punk voice reminiscent of Blink-182. Jon owns the raspy punk voice that reminds me of Hot Water Music. Combined with the fiddle and the hilariously misplaced, badly timed elderly tambourine player, they are a hell of a band.

Last was Three Legged Dawg. Honestly, I heard their MySpace and was not too impressed. I obviously should have given them a harder listen.

My singer wanted to leave before they started, but I convinced her to stay for a few songs out of politeness. We ended up staying for the whole set. Their take on alt-country is fun and refreshing. Krissy Mae is one of the best drummers I have seen in Gainesville. She is charismatic and musically, knows just what fills to put in and what beats to hammer out. Her voice adds so much to the band. I think what is fundamentally wrong with the tracks on their MySpace is that the recordings put the guitar in the forefront, when it should obviously be her drumming. Their self proclaimed genres of country, garage and crunk on the MySpace page says it best.

I bought a pear baked good at the show for $2. It was delicious. By the way, the show was a baked good sale benefit for a local radio station, WGOT 94.7. A station I personally enjoy on the weekends for their crazy variety and true alternative tastes. They are run through the Civic Media Center.

That was my night and now it is late, so I better go. I wonder where my girlfriend is at this hour?

My Favorite Gainesville Bands

•February 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Infamous: Snare and a Chair with flaming piano in street

Infamous: Snare and a Chair with flaming piano in street

In no particular order, my favorite musicians in Gainesville:

–Snare and a Chair

I said in no particular order, but that was a lie. These guys are first for a reason. Too bad they don’t exist anymore. I like to remember the band as just two guys: Mark on thunderous alien organ and Eric on wacky drumset (Eric later switched to guitar, bass and percussion when they added a third member, Greg, who played drumset).

The passion and uniqueness of Mark’s voice helped cement my love for the band. It was chilling, it was primal, it was beautiful. The keys were amazing as well. They sounded like an organ tripping on acid and scaling Dante’s seven terraces of Purgatory. Add some folk acoustic guitar and harmonica into the mix for good measure. The drumming was simple and complimented the music perfectly.

They are not just one of my favorite local bands, they are one of my favorite bands, period. I cannot safely place them in a genre and wouldn’t want to. They are Snare and a Chair and that is enough for me.

–Cara Del Gato

Another band that no longer exists. I’ve always associated them with Snare and a Chair since I discovered them on the band’s top friends. Cara Del Gato also played at Snare and a Chair’s last show. I am happy to announce that the band has been resurrected in a stripped down version, known as Waylon Thorton and the Heavy Hands.

My band is playing with them this Sunday at 1982 and I am more than excited. Their music is primal like Snare and a Chair, but set deep in rock and blues. The music is full of catchy riffs and a plethora of wailing. It is like garage rock at it’s most basic and beautiful.

–The Most

Yes, another band that broke up. After them I will list some bands that don’t age myself. The Most were the one band I expected to make it big. Charlie had the most powerful set of lungs ever witnessed in Gainesville since Tom Gabel. He hit the most striking notes with his baritone voice. He oozed charisma and as a result, their live shows were amazing. He commanded the audience. The Most even had these weird groupies that looked  like mole people. I believe this is who Charlie refers to in a later quote.

The band was genius at blending soul and arena rock into a contagious, goofy-grin mixture. Chris’ guitar playing was superb and fueled the band’s stadium worthy songs. Most importantly, they always had a sense of humor (insert image of Charlie running around campus dressed as a caveman for their CD release show).

Here is a blurb from Charlie concerning the band’s breakup:

“I thought  we could go all the way, and in a way, we did. If ‘all the way’ means playing with Just A Scientist at the Rion Ballroom at a show no one  knows about, while random people jump onstage and make us feel awkward. In that case we made it big time.”

–Dirty Fist

I have seen them a few times and they grow on me with each performance. The band consists of Chelsea C. on banjo/trumpet and Chelsea K. on accordion. The first time I saw them was about a year ago at Tim and Terry’s when I played with them as a part of The Impossible Shoelace. Politically active, witty, unique: they are always entertaining. To confine them to a genre would probably put them in gypsy folk punk, if such a genre exists.

I tend to turn music that I enjoy into an infatuation. Going with this trend, it seems I am falling in love with anything Chelsea C. does these days. Her voice is so unique and so moving. I love The Cigarette Song that she does as part of her solo project.

Whether it’s her solo stuff or a new riot grrl inspired project she has called the LefT its, I eat it all up. I even messaged her over MySpace telling her how much I liked her music, especially what I had seen of  The LefT its. I probably should have just told her all this after a show. I never got a reply and am now paranoid that it was a creepy message to send. Hopefully she was flattered. Otherwise, it will be really awkward when I play a show with her in the next week or so.

–Kiiks

I may have the good fortune of playing drums with him. In response to my request, he said something along the lines of, “It couldn’t hurt to try.” Kiiks is also known as Francisco, of Devin and Fran’s Tabletop Soccer team fame.

It is a solo side-project where he plays nylon string guitar and sings thoughtful, folky songs. It is like a cross between Bob Dylan and the botched up folk music that Gainesville tends to produce. His voice is matter-of-fact and the guitar picking impeccable. One of my favorite lines of his comes from the song  Nothing To Be Done: “So, why do I think of you when I think of leaving?” So simple, yet so effective.

–For He Who Hung The Moon

This is yet another solo acoustic project. The man behind the ambiguous name is Matt. His voice is a cross between a goat and Patti Smith if Smith lived in 18th century America. Although this does not sound flattering, it is. Trust me, it is. His songs take you back to when folk first rooted itself in the Appalachians. The words sound like they were snatched from the dead clutches of fallen Civil War soldiers.

However, his covers of a diverse range of bands including Jay-Z, Madeline, Randy Newman and Against Me! adds a dynamic that counteracts this old time feel. His newest project is an over-arching theme to tell the story of a fictional character named Levi V. Mathias. It is ambitious and I am excited to see how it works out.

–Dante Campanero

Dante Campanero is in the same vein as optimistic folk punk masters Ghost Mice and Matty Pop Chart. Always through the cheery nature of the music lies pain. It is like the care-free, sometimes naive, five-year-old who is confronted with the notion of death (after lets say, a grandma or hamster dies), but is then consoled with an ice cream cone. Dante’s deep voice is not good in the traditional sense, but works perfectly within the context of the songs. It is as if Shaq had talent outside the b-ball court and could actually rap. I hope that allusion makes sense to someone besides me.

The truth is, I really like Dante’s voice. I cannot picture anybody else singing the lyrics. Cigarettes, bicycling, beer and friends make up 90-percent of the material. It is Gainesville to its core (at least the amusing sometime aggravating portion of Gainesville that rides fixies and wears baseball caps with the bils flipped up). Who better to represent than someone who has lived here his entire life? As Dante sings, “To hell with this I’m never leaving/ I love this town through and through.”

–Bang Bang Boom

They make you shake it. They are fun, fantastic and a whole slew of other appropriate and inappropriate F words. The band finds a great singer in Darren who channels a higher pitched Jimi Henrix crossed with Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.

The fairly recent addition of his brother Lem, tambourine player extraordinaire, truly completes the band. Lem adds incredible backing vocals and an energy that is unparalleled in Gaineville music.

Luke  is one of the most precise and talented drummers in Gainesville rock. His approach is meticulous and grand and the sound hits the audience like a marching band drumline.

Ryan is an equally important asset to the band, a guitarist who obviously fostered his abilities on classic rock standards. On stage he hides in the back, but his sound is quite the opposite of his persona.

Last to mention is Travis. He is one of at least three bassists that have swept through Bang Bang Boom, but I think he is the best fit so far. His stage persona fits in the stereotype of a funk bassist perfectly: the stance, the straightened posture and the involuntary tics. The bass grooves definetely helpto drive the playful and funky music. He has a charm and style of playing that fits into the groove of the band like a puzzle piece.

Overall, they are a great live band and have some great music that is perfect for blaring in a car or party.


Those are off the top of my head. Maybe I will do a  runner up list someday. I think Oh Sanders and Oh No and the Tiger Pit are worthy bands. I am just too tired to continue.

You Know It

•January 28, 2009 • 1 Comment
Shes got my back.

She's got my back.

Had the worse show ever with Making Eyes the other week at Orange and Brew.

It started before the show. Got in a spat with the landlord over being able to play music in the house. I think he has something against us. We are an acoustic band and never play past 9 pm. He said that we could not play music inside anymore, but that our roommates could continue smoking inside because “smoking doesn’t make noise.”

I was all in a huff and forgot much of the equipment, including my own damn guitar. Eventually got the guitar, but had no capo or means to amplify the guitar. My string broke mid-song and I had no backup. The set was cut short after attempting a few songs on the maimed instrument. It is strange to play a guitar with a missing string. It is like using a prosthetic arm to type. My finger kept looking for something and pressing down on the wrong string.

I found a new place to live though. A place with a garage to play in.

Before the Orange and Brew show was a show with Iconicons at Wayward Council. It was mediocre.

My girlfriend has a rabbit now. It’s name is Kill Kill Murder Kill. It is ferocious I swear. I give it walks with a miniature harness.

My classes are going quite slowly. I need to start speaking out in some of them to get noticed and get good grades.

I have been sick all week. Yesterday was the first day that I felt better since last Wednesday.

I am going to New York for spring break. I found out that I fly fee again through my mother’s airline benefits.

I think that is most of the news for now.

These posts are only my memories.

•January 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment
This is not a photo of the two girls I mention below.

This is not a photo of the two girls I mention below.

School has started. I think it is going to be a good semester.

Some fun courses I am taking:  script writing (Hollywood, here I am come),the first US novels (Mark Twain? Washington Irving? Beautiful), magazine management (we get to create our own magazine as a semester project), public opinion and editorial analysis ( a revived class from 2001) and animal theorists (a healthy does of animal rights literature).

Most of the professors seem good at their trade. I know two them are going to be great, since I had them last semester.

An article I wrote about Nova the “crust punk beauty” (a headline made by the editors) made it into The Fine Print recently. I forget if I have mentioned how it got to being published. Oh well, it’s not that exciting a story anyways.

One of the people I paraphrased in the story claimed that they were misquoted. Ignoring the fact that I did not quote the person, I still took offense. Some people just don’t realize what they say. I think the article was light-hearted and appropriate.

I keep getting distracted. This post is taking ages to write.

I hear P.J. O’Rourke likes to write on a typewriter because he has the same problem as me.

Some more updates before I give up though.

My punk band, Iconicons, had a show last night. We went last after Rio De La Muerte (who got us the show), two acoustic girls who hitch hiked into Gainesville, some experimental techno duo, and a Beastie Boys tribute duo (I don’t think they meant to be a Beastie Boys tribute group). It as an eclectic mix, if I am allowed to use that word.

I think the techno and hiphop duos hailed from Michigan or something. Now that I think of it though,  Michigan is probably way off. I want to say that the state started with an “M.” One band was named Unicorn Basement and the other was MCVL.

My band played sometime after 1 am. We were tired by the time our turn rolled around. My arm felt dead on some faster songs. It was like rubber at one point and I could hardly strum. We did not really practice this week and probably tired ourselves out practicing right before the show. It was not a good combination with such a late show. To make matters worse, my string broke half way through our set, but I trudged on anyways. I don’t think anyone could hear my vocals. I had lost my voice earlier in the week and the mic was not very loud.

Despite all this, I still had fun and I am glad people stuck around to watch. I hope they had fun too. It’s punk rock. It can be a little dirty. It should be a little dirty.

As I left, I told the two girls who played “nice hitch hiking”. My girlfriend asked if I meant that they had done a nice job of hitch hiking or if I was wishing them good luck in future hitch hiking. I meant the later by the way, and while this seems insignificant, I just thought it was funny and awkward.

All my extended family is starting to friend me on Facebook. It is kind of unsettling, but I have nothing to hide. I don’t want to be a senator or anything, so I don’t mind semi-self-incriminating photographs and comments.

I have quite an extensive online trail littering the inter-webbed highway. I imagine my trail like trash falling out of a pickup as I steer through life. Maybe boxes of old produce instead of just trash. Oranges or something.

I should look up what I have to look forward to tomorrow. Despite some fun classes, I have a feeling that there is going to be a lot of work.

Finally, Christmas music will start fading out of grocery stores and commercials

•December 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment
I think Charlie Brown looks a little too smug in this one.

I think Charlie Brown looks a little too smug in this one.

It is now Christmas by about thirty minutes.

I am with the family, which includes: my nephew with a lumpy Charlie Brown head who is just learning to stand; his kind-of “blonde,” red-headed mother who likes heavy metal and Kelly Clarkson; her husband and my step-brother who did not have enough gas money to make it here (my parents drove out two or three hours and saved him); my slightly anal step-brother who incessantly quotes that episode of “Family Guy” where Stewie keeps saying “Cool Whip” with an extra “H” before “whip”; my goofy autistic step-brother who owns three copies of “Fantasia” on VHS; my loving, almost to the point of smothering, father who likes to fool around on Linux systems; and my step-mother who is crazy.

Let’s do this again next year.

Merry Christmas.