Monthly Archives: July 2007

Soup Can 1, Benjamin 0

26 July 2007

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: rushed

So I’ve been on a mission to eat whatever remnants of forgotten groceries I have in my cupboards, and I’ve been putting off grocery shopping until I do it.  The reasons are many… clean house a bit, be more financially responsible, maybe healthier, and just to get a little Spartan I guess.  I wanted to start over with an empty kitchen.  I pretty much succeeded, for better or worse.

The other night I had decided to make use of a can of minestrone from God knows how long ago.  I don’t have soup that often, and when I went to find my can opener, I discovered that it was broken.  I tried my best to make it work, but after a half hour of mangling and shredding the can half open, I decided that enough aluminum shavings had seeped into what holes I was able to fashion as to make the soup unsafe to consume.  I couldn’t pour it out even.  It went straight into the trash, utterly defeating my financial responsibility goal.  Luckily, there was one other can (a carton, actually) of soup… unluckily, it had expired in December.  I forget what I ended up having that night, but it wasn’t soup.  As of tonight, my kitchen was pretty bare, save for a few ancient Otter Pops in the freezer.  I went grocery shopping tonight and saved $20 via Safeway Club Card.  And I bought a new can opener.

Things really turned around for me in the last week.  You’ll recall it was last Thursday that I wrote something here, and it was less-than-chipper.  Well all that’s changed.  For a number of reasons, I feel 100% better than I did a week ago.  Most of it had to do with an amazing weekend…

First off, we sold out Café Du Nord!  It was a great show.  We all played well, introduced some new songs, had Unwoman playing cello along with us, DJ Helena of Louder Than Bombs spinning, and Sik Luv opening up the night (and their new sidekicks “The Cold-Hearted Dames” made their stunning debut!).  A ton of folks came out to see us, and I heard nothing but positive feedback.  Among the attendees were Sus and Shel of course, the latter of which made her first on-stage appearance.  Also there was Anna and her new man-servant Sean (who was trés awesome).  Many others as well.  I had a late Sparky’s dinner with Sus and Colin Nasseri (co-author of You, Me, and Morrissey).  He also is shaping up to be an awesome guy, and naturally has great music taste.  I think we managed to put Sus to sleep with our music-related banter, and that’s no small feat.

Then Saturday I went and checked out Wally’s new project, the Duran Duran tribute “Sing Blue Silver.”  That was a lot of fun.  I guess since the parts are easier, Wally was able to ham it up a bit more, and the rest of the band are all good at what they do.  Their new guitarist is some ringer that used to play with NIN.  Also on the bill was a great rockabilly band called “Spinout,” and then Japanese Baby and For The Masses.  All in all, another fun night.

And then to top it all off, I met up with the first of probably many musicians for my fledgling spaghetti western project.  I’ve been getting a ton of Craigslist interest, so little by little we’ll see if we can’t get this thing off the ground.  More details to come.

Next Friday, This Charming Band will be playing a benefit/charity show in Pasadena put on by the Moz Krew.  It will include DJ Helena and a special guest appearance by legendary L.A. DJ Richard Blade!  And my own personal motivation is that we’ll be unleashing no less than three new songs.  And they’re good ones… ones that the other tributes are afraid of.  It takes a TCB to do them justice, and they know it.  If I can put my militant hat on for a second, as you know, I have no tolerance for those other bands that try to fake their way through the songs that saved our lives.  If you want to hear these songs the way they’re meant to be played, well you know who to come and see.

Damn it… between work and practice, I have no time anymore to catch up on anything else.  I’ve been terrible about returning phone calls and emails lately.  I’m just so busy all the time.  I guess that’s good and bad.  But I feel like I’m always behind… always a list of 20 things to do when I get home each night, and always 15 of them left undone when I go to bed.  If you’re one of those 15, I apologize.

“You will return one day
Because of all the things that you see
When your eyes close.”

You have destroyed my flower-like life. Not once — twice!

19 July 2007

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: disappointed

I don’t know about you, but I had an awful weekend.  And this week hasn’t done too much to improve matters.  But let’s focus on the good news, as there is so precious little of it.

Last Thursday night, I went to the Parkway Theater in Oakland, which I’d never been to.  They have couches and tables set up, a stage and a movie screen, and they serve food and drinks.  I guess they have weekly showings of Rocky Horror, and the crowd is mostly locals, etc.  Super casual.  My goal this night was two fold.  First, I wanted to see my buddy Danny (of The TomorrowMen) play a one-off show of spy music with some members of Pollo Del Mar… all as an opening for a special showing of James Bond: Thunderball.  Danny was actually on keys instead of guitar and they did a fine job of classics like “Out Of Limits.”

My other intention was to meet up with the first of hopefully several interested musicians in an original project I’m putting together.  He seemed like a great guy, and we were definitely on the same page.  I’ll give you more details as things mature, but if you like Morricone and you like Deadbolt, then I think you’ll like what we’re up to.

Also, despite my attempts at putting a kibosh on guitar collecting, I picked up an Epiphone Coronet which I’d been on the look out for now for several years.  It’s basically Epiphone’s answer to the Telecaster.  Our friend Mr. Marr had one and wrote “Headmaster Ritual” and “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” on it.  It’s awesome, it’s inspired me to learn a few Smiths/Moz tunes that require a special tuning.  So look for a few new songs and this new (purple) Coronet to make their debut as early as our benefit Pasadena show put on by the Moz Krew on August 3rd.

As far as the bad news goes… among other things I had the awful and embarrassing experience of drinking myself very sick.  And that was only the beginning.  I’m not even going to get into the rest, but by the time I went to bed Sunday night, I was feeling pretty destroyed.

I will of course be expecting to see you all tomorrow night at Café Du Nord, where This Charming Band will be headlining and I will personally be rocking your ass to pieces.  We’ll be well-supported by our friends Sik Luv and DJ Helena (LTB).  Nick tells me the advanced tickets are going surprisingly fast, so don’t miss it… or you will never forgive yourself.

Well, fuck.  It’s been a rough week kiddies.  I’ll see you bitches tonight at Louder Than Bombs.

“How many times
Will I regret the chances taken?
Why do I end up
Always the one who is mistaken?”

Rock The Casbah?

8 July 2007

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: cranky

Or confuse the hell out of them.  I’m betting on the latter.  More on that in a moment.

I have neglected to write anything for a while, and consequently I have forgotten a lot of the things I probably would have otherwise mentioned here.  My birthday passed, and I got to see many friends over the course of that week.  I participated in my first “Eating For Sport” event.  Saw some movies.  Went to some dinners.  Received some very thoughtful gifts that I did not deserve.  Good times.  I don’t usually like to make a big deal about it all.  Again, if I had written this last week, I probably could have written pages about just that much, but alas, I am tired and forgetful.  Thank you all who sent birthday wishes or who I got to see or who tried to see me.  It was a great birthday week!

San Diego
This was a great 4th of July, even though it fell in the middle of the week.  I had an amazing weekend last weekend, then two days of work, a lovely and romantic night of watching fireworks and singing Neil Diamond, and then off to San Diego.  Thursday afternoon, I drove down with Orlando and stayed with friends down there.  I drank an entire beer for the first time ever… it was awful.  Slept on a couch in the humidity of a hot, SoCal night.  We all woke up and went to breakfast at a place called “Hash House A Go Go,” which is billed as “twisted farm food” but really amounted to an orgy of creative dishes that might be thought of as the Claim-Jumper-of-breakfast-places.  A friend’s sandwich came out with a full-sized wooden-handled steak knife down the middle of it, to the hilt, holding it all together.  “Pancakes” really means “one pancake, but as big as your head and an inch thick.”  I had the special… blueberry and Cap’N Crunch pancakes.  Ridiculous.  Jared would have fainted.

It turns out this place was in the gay hub of San Diego.  I began to suspect when we all waited for our Hash House table in a gay bar next door, drinking Bloody Marys at noon, and listening to Rick Astley.  (Relax, I had a Coke.)  Nearby, we found an adult store called The Crypt.  It was your average BDSM supply depot.  Lots of masks, whips (and canes and paddles and rulers), latex devices, etc.  Orlie bought some props for the Casbah show, including a pair of handcuffs to wear while singing.  I think the hope was that someone might cuff themselves to him during the show…

The Casbah
So the show was… strange.  I think we all sounded good while we were actually performing, but the key word of the night was “distractions.”  We were all distracted by a myriad of things leading to all of us being a little off our game.  There were more, but the issues I can think of include: a pile of dollar bills thrown at me during a song, a wind-up plastic monkey that strokes itself (another of Orlie’s Crypt purchases) being wound up and demonstrated on stage, a number of strange crowd participations (involving Adam of “Blasphemous Guitars,” some coworker or Orlando’s, “Big Mike” the rockabilly midget, and several others), flowers being whipped around with petals landing in my hands while playing and stems hitting the strings, enormous pauses between songs, and God knows how many other things.  It was like a carnival up there… not what you might call a “tight” show for us, to say the least.

But for all the strangeness, I still had a blast and I think most of the crowd did too.  We got a lot of compliments after the show, and lots of people stayed until the end.  Mingling with all our friends before the show was great, and watching the parade of people walking Nick’s drums out the door at the end of the night was alone worth the price of admission.  My pedals were covered in petals again.  Total party show.  Despite the fact that I couldn’t even finish a massive plate of gnocchi before the show, we all managed to set out for Denny’s afterwards with some of the band, some of the band friends, and some of the Moz Krew.  There was still alcohol in many people’s systems, but I do recall at least one discussion topic where someone admitted to a “rusty trombone.”  As much as I would love to recount that story in its entirety, I will leave it at that to protect the parties involved.  But you know who you are!  So many good topics of discussion and impressions performed.  I wish I had that whole Denny’s conversation recorded, and I wish I could spill it all here, but I’ll keep my big manpleaser (this weekend’s new slang term for mouth) shut.  For the protection of everyone, it will have to live on only in the memories of those that were at the table.  Sus and Shel were good enough to drop me back off at Orlie’s friend’s place, and I unloaded all my gear at about 4am, trying not to wake the whole house.

Hootenanny
Saturday morning, Sus and Shel snatched me up and we headed to Huntington Beach to the Electric Chair and some lunch (sushi).  We were running late, so I demonstrated my EFS promise by power-eating three veggie rolls in a matter of minutes.  That area, not unlike San Diego itself, is full of meat head guys in board shorts, wife-beaters, and sideways baseball caps.  Absurdity.  We headed out to Hootenanny in Irvine in time for the last few acts.  We did a little shopping (I bought a belt buckle, Shel finally found a Social D shirt she liked, and Sus got a baby shirt for the child she secretly hopes we’ll all someday help her genetically contribute to), and then we all watched Social Distortion.  I still think they’re pretty boring, but I started to gain some respect for them at this show.  We’ll see if they grow on me.  We ran into Monica (and Shannon!) and later Nick/Charlene and the gang.  Lots of beautiful and not-so-beautiful people in attendance.  No shortage of manatees (this weekend’s new slang term for man-titties) on display thanks to shirtless old biker guys.  But other than that, it was all cuffed jeans and pomps.  Nothing like looking out into a sea of people dressed just like you.  Hootenanny = the mother ship.

Afterwards, we hit Claim Jumper and then I was dropped off at a hotel in Irvine.  Jessica and Paulo came to meet me for late night tea… it was great unexpectedly getting to catch up with them!  Then this morning, Orlie scooped me up on his way back to civilization and well, here I am.  And now it’s time to get some real rest before starting the work week again.  G’night y’all!

There was much competition, but the quote of the week comes from Jessica.  The context is irrelevant.

“You will discontinue your insolence and be my hippo!  Hmph!”

The past never dies… not really.

3 July 2007

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: hungry

Craig Ferguson discusses the town I grew up in on The Late, Late Show: