Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Trouble With Tribs

26 January 2009

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:  contemplative

I didn’t even think to check it until today, but you all remember that depressing site “Sorry Everybody” where people would post pics of themselves apologizing to the world on behalf of the U.S. for electing Bush?  Twice?  Well now that “change” has come, I think you’ll find the mood of that site a little changed too…

It’s been a quiet week.  I did a little shopping (finally got a cap I’m reasonably happy with… two actually).  Did I mention before that I finally went to this “Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe?”  This was Jamie’s idea, a famous place in the East Bay.  The food was good, and the décor was kitschy.  I can see why it’s a big hipster hangout.  Other than that, yeah it’s been quiet.  I tried to dig into my ~3,000 line “to do” list, and I got into some chunks of it that I jotted down while on the road back in like 2003.  It’s funny to see what notes I was making to myself back then.  And also depressing.  All those great ideas and plans that I’ve done nothing with in all this time.  Again, I’m forced to face the likely reality that I will never get through that list.

A combination of factors and experiences this weekend led me into another existential… breakthrough I guess?  More heavy stuff having to do with mortality.  More on that to come once I get my head around it, but I’m on to a new book in the same vein as Staring At The Sun, which I had gotten so much out of a couple months back.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

And in other makes-you-feel-old news, did you hear there’s a completely unnecessary remake of The Karate Kid in the works?

When I got home tonight, the guitar parts I ordered from the U.K. last week were already here!  This was some hard-to-find shit (hence having to get it from the U.K.), and it’ll all be installed on my Rickenbacker in time for next month’s TCB shows.  I want that Ric in tip-top shape for when I take on the Smiths’ debut album at the Blue Lamp and Club Fred.  Speaking of which, I ran across these kind words about TCB’s last Fresno show, and our fans in general.  I also heard from a few other people who saw a certain rival tribute band at Club Fred over the weekend.  Let’s just say that after both bands playing there a few times each, the jury’s in, and all the evidence points to Fresno being a TCB kinda town.  Which is good, because it also happens to be one of my favorite places to play.  It seems like everybody in the place always has such a good time, and I know I do.  Looking forward to another sold out show there in February!

“Never explain — your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”
Elbert Hubbard

This is my United States of Whatever.

20 January 2009

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:  sore

Well actually it’s Obama’s United States of Whatever now.  It’s hard to believe that the last eight years are finally over.  I think it’ll take some time to sink in, but wow… it’s a whole different feeling when you’re proud of your government.  I had forgotten what that feels like.

You’ll have to forgive me that I’m not doing cartwheels, however.  As I type this, I’m achy and suspecting that I’m getting sick again.  WTF?  I just got over a cold.  Now what is it?  This whole day has been weird though.  I fell asleep way early last night, then woke this morning from one of the most horrible nightmares I can ever remember having (which we will not be discussing), and then rolled out of bed and directly onto the phone with a guitar shop in the U.K.  I don’t know how many of you have woken up to an Englishman speaking into your ear, but… well, it wasn’t entirely unpleasant.

The weekend was pretty lax, aside from a packed house at the Cash’d Out show at the Blank.  They were pretty good, but it’s never fun to be in a club crowd that dense.  People were putting their hands on me left and right, squeezing by to and from the bar.  Not generally my idea of fun.  But Nick and Charlene were there though, along with some of their fairer friends.  Never a dull moment, and well worth the trip out to SJ.

And now, for no reason whatsoever…

This last weekend was also the winter NAMM show in Anaheim, which I believe is the largest tradeshow of instrument makers in the U.S., maybe the world?  It’s basically the time when Gibson, Gretsch, Boss, Fender, and all my other favorite companies unveil their latest products and some of their plans for the upcoming year.  Booths set up with all the latest and greatest, on display for the first time.  Usually this means I see a bunch of new toys to drool over, but this year nothing really rocked my socks.  This is based on what I’m seeing online of course.  I wasn’t there.  It’s not open to the public (and even if it were… it’s in Anaheim).  However a certain girl I know was able to get in.  And she owes me pictures!  As it always does, the start of the year means price hikes for all the big manufacturers, which puts a fire under me to make an irresponsible purchase.  But the last thing I need is another guitar, right?  (Right???)  The economy’s in the shitter, and I might need that money this year to, you know, eat and stuff.

Anyway, it’s time to down some NyQuil and hit the hay.  The quote of the week comes from this shirt:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself… and spiders.”

It’s great to be alive in Colma.

12 January 2009

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:  busy

Is this global warming again or what?  We had record cold temperatures over the last few weeks, and then today we had record highs, shattering many of the previous records by noon.  Looks like we’re in for a January heat wave, and a dry month in general.  I guess I shouldn’t complain though.  On my way home tonight, there was an almost warm breeze in the air, a taste of our long-forgotten summer.  Memories of many past summers came rushing back to me as soon as I felt it.  Warm air at night always makes me think of life’s possibilities.  It reminds me of summers with no school, playing under streetlights, staying out late with friends, freedom.

This weekend saw the biggest full moon of the year.  I didn’t make as much use out of it as I should have, but I did see a bit of it.  Pretty amazing.  Celestial events like that, the threat of global warming, and my own recent thoughts about mortality have given me a lot to think about.  The transiency and impermanence of everything.  Literally, everything.  The sun is dying.  The moon is moving further away from us every day.  The earth itself is slowing down a little every second.  No one gets out alive.  It doesn’t matter if you are the most important and famous person to ever walk the earth.  Eventually, you’ll be gone.  Everyone who ever knew you will be gone.  Our civilization will be gone.  Mankind will be gone.  And all life will someday be gone.  Plain and simple, it’s gonna happen.  It’s a tough pill to swallow to think that nothing you do, no monument you erect will be there forever.  It’s impossible.  But it’s forcing me to realize that beauty in the world can’t be dependent on its permanence.  All things will eventually be dust.  All things will change.  So it’s important to enjoy things/people/beauty while they are available to you, despite… or even because they are only here for a moment.  (Whoa, please excuse that tirade — it just came out.)

On to less philosophical topics, I was getting my car worked on last week in Colma.  I don’t spend any time there, generally, but I always got the vibe that there were a lot of cemeteries there.  Like way more than you’d expect.  In fact, it seemed like the town’s whole main drag is graveyards and tombstone dealers.  Seriously.  Somebody at the car lot was filling me in on some of the local legends.  Things like Wyatt Earp is buried there, and some woman was buried in her piano.  I decided I needed to read up on this place, and holy shit, it’s no joke.  This culture of death is no accident, because it turns out Colma’s buried population out numbers the living by thousands to one.  It is quite literally a necropolis, and we live right next to it.  This terrifies me.

Friday night was the return of Louder Than Bombs, this time at the House Of Shields… once affectionately known to Nick as the House Of Pancakes.  It’s a nice pub, and there’s a bit more room there than there was in the Beauty Bar days.  It was good to see all the familiar faces, many of whom I hadn’t seen since the last LTB lo those many months ago.  I got a little dancing in, saw my doppelganger, people-watched, and ended up at Sparky’s with Shel, where we also ran into Beauty And The Beat again!  It was a way late night, and it threw my whole weekend sleep pattern out of whack.  In fact, I was so beat after Friday that I stayed indoors all weekend save a short stint in the Haight, and seeing The Wrestler with Jamie (which was great, by the way).

If I wasn’t already getting enough Smiths this last weekend, I’m also boning up on that first Smiths album in preparation for the anniversary shows we’re playing next month.  It’s always fun to unravel a new Smiths tune.  And it doesn’t hurt to get to play them for people who love this stuff as much as we do.  I was thinking about my favorite TCB moments, and there have been many.  But to me, this video says everything about what TCB’s about.  St. (Steven) Patrick’s Day at The Blank.  Our bassist at the time hadn’t learned this song yet.  Eh, we played it anyway.

Which reminds me… The Smiths (or rather the record company that owns the rights) are finally synching up with MySpace, so some of their fine tunes, and eventually many more I assume, are available here.  Good news if you’re looking to gussy up your profile with some new music.  I’m just sayin’…

Well kids, Obama’s set to be inaugurated in just about a week now.  Here’s hoping this is the new beginning we’ve been waiting for!

“I either want less corruption or more chance to participate in it.”
Ashleigh Brilliant

I am sick, and I am dull, and I am plain.

7 January 2009

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:  sick

OK, we both know that’s not true.  But I am sick, and even as I type this, I am recovering from a nasty cold.  It kept me home sick yesterday, but I’m on the mend.  Lots of rest, fluids, et cetera.  Do they even make vegetarian chicken soup?

It’s been an awfully busy few weeks.  The holiday season was as hectic as I expected.  Despite all the running around and stress, there were plenty of good things.  Jared was in town, and I got to see him a handful of times.  It’s unfortunate our visits our just about once a year, but it’s nice that we can pick up again right where we left off.  Part of our visit took place at Nicole’s wedding which went off without a hitch.  The ceremony was at this amazing old chapel in Vallejo, and the reception was in San Ramon where Jeff (The Horseman) got hitched several years ago.  And actually, Jared was the surprise guest at Maya’s going-away party.  It was great to catch up with her a bit before she left the state, as well as see a few of her old friends I hadn’t seen in years.  So, yeah, it was a flashback couple of weeks for me.

As for the holidays themselves, they were tame.  I think I mentioned before that I spent NYE home relaxing.  Christmas Eve was a little more exciting (I watched Hedwig and ate Tofurky with Starla and her housemates), and Christmas day I made it out to Santa Cruz to visit my Grama and my aunt.  All of these holidays were so opposite of how things usually are, but it seemed right for this year.  Trying new things after all, right?

I’m sure you heard that sadly (and somewhat ironically), Eartha Kitt passed away on Christmas day.

There are some great shows coming up in the next few months, including The Reverend Horton Heat, The Eagles Of Death Metal, and Blue Öyster Cult!  Did I mention before that I caught the Dead Souls show at the Blank last month?  They were good before, but now with the addition of Orlando on guitar, the final piece is in place I guess.  That show was fucking amazing, and they brought in a huge crowd, helped by Reptile House (a new Sisters Of Mercy tribute).  Maybe it was just my mood, but I had an awesome time.

Speaking of awesome shows though, TCB sold out Café Du Nord for the third straight time!  It was a packed house, complete with good friends, Choir Boys, and even Moz Krew.  It was a long night, and a lot of it is just a blur of stage invasions and flowers flying.  But I had a good time once things got going, and I think the crowd did too.  My apologies to those of you who were turned away at the door.  Not that I could have done much to stop it, but I didn’t even hear about it until after the show.  Sorry guys!  :..

I must say, Threadless gets my vote for best Cure-related shirt, maybe ever:

Friday, I’m In Love!  Get it?  That place is awesome.  I hesitated and missed out on this awesome bear shirt, but there’s still time for this one… “Girl Afraid?

The quote of the week was culled from some horoscope or other.  I’m not normally one to pass around generic, feel-good, positive statements, but this one struck me this week, particularly in light of New Year’s resolutions and reflections.  So please forgive my temporary foray into this equivalent of those “hang in there” kitty posters:

“Making an attempt at something new, even if you fail at it miserably, is very important.  Trying is what teaches you the most — far more than success would teach, actually.  So don’t get caught up in looking good.  The sooner you get comfortable making a fool of yourself, the more you will learn throughout your life.  So if your daily routine is all about winning recognition, then you need to make some adjustments.  You won’t grow if you never let yourself take a risk.”