Archive for March, 2012

We sat around waiting for Lemmy

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 by oldmandub

We sat around waiting for Lemmy to show up. Nicole wanted to see him before she left L.A. for it’s older and more respected sister city San Francisco. If California were the Sopranos, S.F. would be Meadow and L.A. would definitely be Anthony Junior. Constantly fucking up, unfocused, suicidal. But somehow, always manages to score 10s and in the end everything works out because California is a gangster ass state. In case you’re wondering about San Diego, it’s the retarded bastard no one ever talks about.

I was supposed to have said my goodbye to Nicole that morning after I spent the daylight hours freezing to death on the floor. We had slept on the couch together, but when I awoke around 7 AM I had too many body parts rife with discomfort to stay there so i grabbed a pillow and a jacket and made for the ground. Turns out is was a frosty 58 degrees that morning in AJ Soprano. Eventually the exhaustion wore off and I had to beat it. I considered the couch, but Nicole looked too peaceful. She sensed my stirring, gave me a hug and I hit the road. When I woke up in my bed around 1:30 PM I had a text from her. She had left her jacket in my car. She’d be at the Rainbow later, hoping to see Lemmy, and would wait for me to gallantly arrive as well.

Traffic was atrocious. Rush hour. I tried to keep my swearing to a minimum because it was important to me that I show up charming and care free. Not really my style. I spent years hoping girls would find my brooding, cynical attitude mysterious and tortured. A good reason to suck my penis. I don’t think it ever worked. Drunk and boisterous, full of life, love, and revelry always worked way better. No, I was not about to let the Black Sheep’s traffic ruin my prospects of having a great time. I defend great times to the death. I give no quarter to all that may stifle my enjoyment. Say what you will about me, about my family, about my band. But don’t get in my fucking way when it’s time to party.

Nicole is a really special kind of person, special kind of girl. Not only is she knock out beautiful, she has a sweetness to her I rarely come in contact with. There’s almost an innocence to it. Unpretentious but stylish. Confident and sincerely so. No abrasive defensive position. Probably not living up to her highest standards but not cynical about it. Happy to be alive. I really can’t describe what it is I see in her; she’d probably hate everything I just wrote. But whatever this poised-for-life-no-matter-may-come aura she has about her is totally alluring. It’s comfortable and it keeps my cockiness far and away which is where it probably belongs. I just like to be me, too. And I feel like when I’m around Nicole we’re both able to just be like that. The funny thing is, I’m talking about the same girl who a few years earlier was surprised how many people I knew in S.F. “You were such a nobody in L.A.” I guess it’s that kind of boldness and unforgiving commentary that fosters a dichotomy with everything else I had just described that really makes her someone I want to be a lot closer with.

It was a god damn shame that I kept my frustrations with heir apparent’s traffic so well at bay because I had to leave well enough before Nicole. We had laughed, shared secrets, talked about the universe, and were accomplices in a jukebox seek-and-destroy mission. I tried hard not to be sentimental during our goodbye. It’s not that I’m a sentimental person. It’s just that I grew up thinking movies were real so I’ve always tried to live out crucial moments in an Oscar worthy way. “Here’s lookin’ at you, Kid.” That sort of bullshit. (It was so confusing in highschool that I wasn’t Zack Morris.I use not being Italian to explain why I’m not Tony Soprano.) Nicole would be on her plane in an hour. I texted her, asked her if she ended up seeing Lemmy. “No Lemmy : ( . Got to see you, that was good enough.”  To me, that was some real Benny and Joon shit.

The other night…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2012 by oldmandub

The other night at Spaceland I saw lots of gorgeous women I wanted to talk to. Several of them I wanted to do a lot more to than talk. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty confident but I need an in, as all men really do. However, that confidence factor has held steady pretty much at the 7 range. Maybe 8 if I’m really on a roll like at SXSW where I began feeling invincible. But this time I had my sights on the 9s and 10s. I want the best fucking fruit at the market. Damn it, I deserve it. But when it’s loud and my flow never really releases I basically just find excuses why I don’t have to put myself out there with the jaw droppers. I wish I just had the kind of sex appeal that brought girls to me. Like Eric Harris often seems to have.

So i’m standing by the bar cracking wise with some casual dude friends when I notice this very good looking girl lock eyes with me. I pretend not to notice. Seems like something The Cool Guy would do. “I don’t care that you might think I’m attractive. I can just jerk off in the mirror.” She whispers something to her friend. Maybe they’re talking about me? Keep cool. Maybe she’ll just go away and you won’t have to come up with anything clever. She approaches. “Hey remember meeting the other night?” Um, yeah. Sure. “Eric, right?”

Eric Harris and I are often mistaken for brothers. Sometimes twins. I don’t quite see it beyond our shared fashion sense and hair choice. And that we’re both white which may explain why it’s mostly blacks who ask if we’re twins. We’ve even been mistaken for the exact same person which seems to have been the case here. After our set in Oakland a month ago a decent 7 came up to me and asked if I was the singer. I said, no, reasoning that she must think I was equally attractive otherwise she wouldn’t have been confused. Oh, she replied, and then walked away. The lesson I learned is a lot like Ray’s hard lesson in Ghostbusters. If someone asks if you’re a god you say, YES! So, when this good looking girl who just approached me at Spaceland wanted to make sure I was Eric, I said, yes.

“No, I know you’re not Eric. I was just asking if that’s how I met you. Andrew, right?” Uh, yeah. I’m Andrew. So we exchanged phone numbers and we’re supposed to hang out soon. I think it’s strange that she didn’t care that I pretended to be Eric. She didn’t even question it, as though there are long hairs all over Southern California pretending to be Eric Harris in order to score tail. It’s almost expected of the rest of us. The other funny thing is that I really don’t remember meeting her at all. I wonder if it was some rouse like all the hot girls that ask to be my friend on facebook that are more likely Nigerian princes trying to scam something out of me. I’ll have to make our next encounter a future topic here.

Finding Room In The Van

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2012 by oldmandub

On the way home from SXSW this weekend the band discussed the idea of doing our next tour without a trailer which we typically tow behind us. We had just made it all the way to Austin and back for far less than we had anticipated despite the outrageous price of gasoline ubiquitous on Highway 10 and we could come to no better conclusion than it was because this time we had no trailer. The wind drag on a hulking piece of metal must add at least 5-8% transportation cost. In a business where we’re stoked to get $200 to make a 7 hour journey to the next town, you don’t need an MBA to understand  the sound business potential.

The thought first came up the day before. Ron Houser and I were talking (sober, I believe, so technically I was talking to Erik Kluiber) and discussing the idea that we could forgo the necessary sleeping space in order to transport our gear in the van itself. We could use the saved money to get hotels in towns where we don’t know anyone with floorspace for us to crash, and with 5 tours under our belt those towns are few and far between. That’s about as far the conversation went. It must have been time to drink, or house, as we say in the Nest.

Coincidentally, Eric Harris brought up the same ideathe next day under the same set of predications. Only this time we were stuck in a van and not thirsty in the warm Austin sun so the conversation begged to go forward. For some reason it took a decidedly darker route than one might expect. After a somewhat town hall “lay your opinions out” civil rapport between the three of us (four if you count Ian’s inane and often redundant interjections) it basically boiled down to debate of style vs comfort philosophy between Eric and Erik (who now shall be simply Ron for clarification purposes). Eric insisted that we absolutely must bring full stacks for guitars because A) it looks cool, B) it sounds better, and C) he’ll have no feeling for playing whatsoever without them. Knowing Eric as well as I do I know when there’s no winning with him. Not because his logic flows effortlessly and true like a lioness racing across the grass to kill for her young, but because he’s as stubborn as the alpha male of a pride. You will have to fight him to the death to get him to move. He’s the reason people get divorces.

Ron, on the other hand, believed that in order to maximize space in the van we would have to downsize to halfstacks. Not only would that provide the necessary room to tour without a trailer but it would save time setting up, put less wear and tear on our aging backs, and who really gives a fuck that we have full stacks? In his view it’s arrogant and in some ways I agree with him. However, he joined a band that he knew makes full stacks part of their raison d’être and his insistence on anything otherwise can be seen as out of line. For some reason though it seemed like he failed to grasp that having space for even halfstacks would require removing most of the benches that we use as beds.

The debate didn’t end well. It didn’t really end, to be more accurate. Eric was able to make his grand exit in the middle of the desert during a freezing cold storm to go film a music video with his other band, his opposite-of-side project. The last words spoken were that we would reconnoiter in a few days back at the studio and go through the arduos actions necessary to see if we could cram everything in the back of the van. The rest of the drive to LA was a discussion of futility, arrogance, hyperbolae, childishness, frustration, and of the myriad of pejorative circumstances one can face when confronting Eric Harris with an opinion related to being in a band. Ron was upset, I was exhausted, and Ian was shrugging off the minutes of the meeting that were business as usual.

Needless to say the shit didn’t fit. Eric’s first thought was, in a vindictive yet self-debilitating tone that only makes sense in his convoluted head, was to forgo the fullstacks, ala Ron’s preference, and not only that, but his entire bass rig as well so we could potentially fit in the bare minimum amount of gear to still forgo the costly trailer. Once I realized this entailed tetrissing even that meager amount of gear I asked, is it not obvious to everyone else that we’re just going to have to use a trailer? We’ve already sacrificed comfort, no sense also sacrificing the integrity of our stage set up for a few dollars. Everyone nodded their heads in agreement and that was that.

I still can’t help but wonder: why did everyone split with their convictions in order to passive-aggressively dig into the other side? It was Ron who originally wanted to tour without a trailer. Why did he start getting so upset when the discussion of giving up our sleeping benches became a factor in the discusion? Where the fuck did he think the equipment would go? And why did Eric, who so earnestly insisted on fullstacks or no stacks not only switch to, ok, halfstacks, but also to no bass rig? Who are these people? Am I really the reasonable, logical, adult one of the group? This is not a thought I relish. Not because I’m afraid that I’m growing up like, some sort of Nickelodeon primetime epiphany, or that I’m bonded to a group of guys stagnant in some kind of arrested development where such assinine and banal debates are to be the norm. I don’t care for the thought because thinking is boring. Stick with your gut no mater how ridiculous you sound.

Thoughts on Yard Theatre

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2012 by oldmandub

On my walk today I noticed two deer standing tranquil in my neighbors’ yard. Even as I approached they remained still staring towards the street. One was up upright, a buck, and the other, a doe, lay elegantly beside her mate. At about the distance where my dog Ghost would have begun to spook the two deer I realized why they could remain so stoic: They were figurines. Two ceramic mimes portraying a sense of the wild.

At first I thought, get real, people. This is the suburbs and though, yes, I was fooled for a moment into thinking these decorative fauna may have wandered a few miles down from the mountains north of the neighborhood, their reality was nothing but civilian suburban cheese.

My next thought was, well, so what? Deer were once a creature you would see in these parts and there’s something refreshing about this small piece of decor in a landscape of bumptious manicured lawns. Yeah, a little bit of deer is ok.

But then I saw that the one on the ground, the doe, had a chain around her neck. What the fuck? I assume this was a preventive measure for theft, but were these bourgeois assholes totally unaware of the irony of chaining down a would-be wild animal in their front yard to act as pure ornamentation in order to enhance their Mayfieldian garden of Eden? Another suburban siren screaming, look at what I have, where are YOUR jungle friends, bitches!?!

Either way the peaceful scene I assume they were trying to enhance with a fake deer was totally obliterated by their insistence of keeping it locked up there, more of a testament to how out of touch these people really are from their environment. Yet I was happy to have something to reel back at and ponder for the next minute or so of my walk.