Merry Christmas and a Happy Valentines Day!

21 02 2011

Ok, so my last blog was about Priscilla and I getting attacked by bears in South Dakota- AND LOVING IT! …that was about six months ago.  …or eight.  And, it seems as though I’ve gotten pretty bad at updating this blog.  I promise to try and do better… but, in the mean time, he’s what I’ve done the last- I don’t know, year or so.

Green Room Music Source Christmas party- I'm telling a story, and Priscilla doesn't buy it. ...That or she's realizing what crappy job I did trimming my sideburns...

In September we went down to Winona for the fifth annual Zombie Pub Crawl.  Unlike some more normal cities zombie crawls, in Winona you get a good feeling for what a real zombie attack would look like.  People stop traffic, climb on cars, projectile vomit all over, and even chase unsuspecting college kids who don’t know what’s going on.  One high schooler tried to start a fight when his daddy’s Chrysler 300 got a little bit of puke and blood on it… what a wuss.  The only zombie he attacked was a girl, and his opening line was, ‘you can’t hit me, I’m a minor.’  Then he promptly tried to strangle a girl zombie before the rest of the angry mob of drunken undead gently removed him and told him to go home.  This boy will be a huge douche bag one day…

Some Winona degenerates attacking a car

Check the whole in the knee... wicked!

Check the whole in the knee... wicked!

The toughest 17 year old in the world!

Also, Priscilla launched Pirk, a soap and beauty company. All natural, organic when possible, soap and face scrubs and bath bubbly salt junk, all that sort of crap.  People have been liking it so far!

Priscilla showing off all her soap flavors- which, as it turns out, are not for eating...

In October, Maudlin and our agency Green Room Music Source, went to New York City again for the CMJ music festival.  I was very disappointed by the fact that we didn’t steal any mannequin body parts this time.  We did eat a lot of food, and get a better understanding of how the Russian Mafia operates.

On the way to NYC we stopped in Indianapolis to see their war monument downtown... These bears commemorate the great bear insurgency of 1849

On the way to NYC we stopped in Indianapolis to see their war monument downtown... These bears commemorate the great bear insurgency of 1849

Me and Green Room partner, Aubry, checking out bands at the fest.

Brooklyn at Juniors

Brooklyn at Juniors

Puk in Manhattan

Priscilla doing something or other in the subway

Then, in November, Maudlin welcomed a new band member into our wacky fold.  You may remember Nick from last years St. Patrick’s Day adventure.

Nick proving that he fits in with the gang...

December was a time for holiday magic!  Maudlin hosted our second, kind of annual ‘The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever’ at the Hexagon in Minneapolis.  Discribing this event isn’t as much fun and just listening…

Radio's Barb Abney of The Current and Nick Larsen of Maudlin

Speshul K singing a touching rendition of his song, "The Bitch Who Stole Christmas"

"Daddy, Please don't get drunk at Christmas" You could feel John Denver smiling down on them as they sang

And who could forget Pat's duet with a puppet. Yes, Scritchy the Cat showed up for this one too.

Here I am with Barb trying hard to read my lines...

Priscilla ...out dorking everyone

This is a recycled piece of our totaled Ford Focus...

January was cold.  We don’t do anything in January here because it’s just too cold.  When the New year is over we turn in to primordial cave people.  …We also make ice sculptures though.

I am king of all the people dumb enough to be outside when it's this cold

This is King Tut

February has Valentines day in it… Weak.  I got Priscilla a pan for Valentines day.  Yup, a nice pan.  I thought this was  probably not the greatest gift I’d ever come up with for Priscilla.  However, after seeing her reaction to getting a very nice pan, I’ve decided that she only gets pans for gifts from now on.  That’s your relationship advice for the year- Pans, chicks dig them.  Or, at least, Priscilla does…

More exciting than the new pan was the new amp we bought for P

That’s about it… Oh, and George Clooney, STOP making movies. Please.  The glory days or over my friend.  Speaking of people who should stop doing what they do, I found this website recently.  What a beautiful charity! www.killlilwayne.org Hopefully someone will make a similar site for Weezer soon.  They must be stopped!

Until next time…

David

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“Yes please, and some bears with that!”

13 08 2010

To keep healthy in the wild, bears will do countless sets of sit-ups.

As some of you devoted blog reader(s) might remember, we have a good friend in Denver, and we like to visit her.  We also like playing rock and roll and viewing bear attacks.  So, when the oppertunity came for Maudlin (That’s my, quote un-quote -cool band) to play at UMS we said, “yes please, and some bears with that!”

There are two ways for people who haven’t discovered planes yet to get to Denver: the evil, endless farmyard known as “Nebraska” or South Dakota.  Now, some people might not like all things to see in South Dakota, but we can all agree that there is nothing to see in Nebraska.  (I hate you Nebraska!  I hate you more than bad whale analogies!) …Anyway, there’s this place called Bear Country USA in South Dakota, next to Deadwood.  There are bears there.  You can pay fifteen dollars and the let you drive around in a big back yard with sixty bears- it’s basically like swimming with sharks.  …except the sharks are furry.  So… we did that.

Highly paid bear models will starve themselves to stunt their growth and maintain a desirable figure.

In captivity, bear models will starve themselves to stunt their growth and maintain a desirable figure.

(There are lots off really bad family videos of Priscilla and I driving around here that rival the Blair Witch Project, but I decided not to include them.)

After Bear Country USA, we headed on to Wyoming!  …Not much had changed there since the last time we passed through.  We did meet a gas station attendant who had never been pulled over by the man before.  Never.  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been pulled over.  I must just look like trouble- trouble with a burnt out headlight.

So, just when I had made up my mind that the only way I would ever get out of the car was  to veer off the road into a tree- when ever I saw one- we reached the mile high city.  We showed up at Steph’s several hours late- which surprised no one, and promptly went to sleep.  In the morning we presented Steph with a traditional travelers gift: a wolf hat.

Um...

The next day we performed the first of our two showcases at UMS.  In our haste to get to the bear yard, we forgot Jason back in Minnesota, so our agent, Craig Grossman, was kind enough to sit in with us.  Big thanks to all of our new friends in Denver!  We had a blast playing!

Later someone in the crowd made me take off my sunglasses.

And then I forgot my bass… my Frank Black autographed Rickenbacker… I am an idiot.  But, the good people of Denver didn’t steal it, and arrangements have been made to meet at Bear Country USA again and get it back… Good fun, lots of forgotten things, and lots of bears… That’s about all I’ve got for this blog.  FAIL.  Le sigh…

In Brief: I hate to keep ragging on Ben Stiller… but did anyone see Greenberg?  It’s the dramatic tail of a suicidal washed up musician, who sexually assaults his brothers barely legal housekeeper.  It’s ok though, because after he assaults her, then verbally berates her, she realizes that she’s actually in love with him, and he’s not such a bad guy.   He finds out that being a douche bag always gets you chicks, even if you’re a complete loser.  I hope everyone who routinely takes all of their social cues from poorly dramatized realism is paying careful attention to this film.





Maudlin Takes Manhattan

5 12 2009


david.and.seth.underwear

Getting things off with a bang! (or a wtf) David with friend and guitarist Seth on the mean streets of New Jersey

This picture kind of sums things up.  New Yorkers are the nicest people in the world, they didn’t even kick us out!  We were invited to play the CMJ Music Marathon, and braved the long bore of the Ohio Turnpike to see what the Big Apple had in store for Maudlin.  Well, it had great food, kidnapings, vandalism, and grand theft mannequin, that’s what it had in store.

Musicians flock to free things like deer flock to ...deer parks.

This is where it all started.  Downtown Manhattan, in some club somewhere, they had created a ‘musicians lounge.’  This lounge had free booze, free food, free haircuts, free massages, and free interviews with Walter from Stabbing Westward.  …So we ended up hanging out there most of the time.

Priscilla has some lady cut her hair for free.

They spared no expence with the accomidations. Nothing was too fine for the honored musicians who had traveled to New York!

While all the New Yorkers we met on the street were fantastic, we soon found out that most of the 1200 bands from all over the world who came to New York were made up of boring people.   As we tried to live it up, they mostly stood in tightly nit groups talking to their own bandmates.  Then one really stupid chick I was talking to tried to argue with me about the size and danger of moose.  WTF?!?!?!

I was telling a story, I could tell she really wanted to hear, about my family camping trip to Superior National Forest, and I mentioned that a big moose walked out on to the road.  It was huge!  We were driving a little Focus, and I said the thing was nearly three times as tall as we were. Then she was all like saying this really stupid crap about how moose aren’t that big, and I was full of it, and that they were like big deer and couldn’t hurt anything.

Well, I had never punched a girl before, and I didn’t think now would be a good time to start, but I really wanted to.  Instead I found the first woodsy looking guy I could- some dude in a wolf mural sweatshirt.  It was ugly as sin, and clearly a joke, but something told me- this guy knows his animals.  Turns out he used to give wildlife tours in Alaska.  They would scare off black bears that had come on to the resort with golf carts, because, as we all know, black bears are the nancys of the large predator world.  He told me they received special training on what to do if you ran into a grizzly while hiking- but if you ran in to a moose up close… you’re just screwed.  I lost track of that chick… but someday she’ll get hers…

Anyway, then Jason drank way too much and took over an entire sofa by himself after a lunch stop in Little Itally where he managed to smash a framed picture of James Gandolfini in his inebriation.

He was like this for no less than three hours, with a hoard of people milling around looking for a place to sit.

Eventually, we found a band that was not boring to chat with, Robotanists.  They hailed from LA, and had a bizarre fetish for mannequin hands. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due- they were the first to steal a body part off the mannequin.  But Maudlin is not a band to be outdone.  Who would be stupid enough to put a bunch of designer clothes on a mannequin and then leave it in a room with musicians and unlimited free alcohol? Yeah, exactly.  We plundered the mannequin for clothes and limbs like it was 1725!

Me and Priscilla with Walter of Stabing Westward

Maudlin is papmpered by local servants

As an after thought to all the shenanigans, Maudlin also played a showcase at the Lit Lounge which was great…

Bars in New York stay open until four, and music only went until one.  The Lit neglected to let us know that the “green room” became the “smoking lounge” after two… So we had all over our gear spread out when hooligans began to flood in all over everything.  Poor Jason ended up getting stuck watching things and was whiteness to several prostitutes haggling with people about ‘jobs.’  Eventually we had to make an escape before Jason was thrown into a deal as a bargaining chip.

We got back to the lovely Wendy’s place where we were staying in the East Village, and I realized I had forgotten the Green Room banner.   Green Room Music Source is our booking agency, which I also now work for.  I was entrusted with the safety of the banner, and I wasn’t about to lose it, so I told Jason and Priscilla I would be right back and I darted out to hail a cab.  It was 3:30 am and I had half an hour to get back to Lit Lounge, but it was only ten blocks, so I wasn’t worried.

I got into a cab and said ‘Take me to 93 2nd Ave”  I think the guy said ‘ok’ in some language, but I’m really not sure.  Pretty soon he turned onto the freeway, and I quickly tried to explain that I was only trying to go to 93 2nd Ave, which was only a few blocks away.  The driver reassured me he know where he was going.  Then he told me he was trying to avoid bar traffic because it was dangerous… (as he did 90 on the freeway, slamming on the breaks several times, very nearly rear ending other cars…) When the drive continued I began to argue with him.  “I’m trying to get to 93 2nd, it’s ten blocks from where you picked me up, this is not the right way!” He finally exited onto 93 street and told me that 2nd ave was just a few blocks away.  This is important.  In New York they use intersections as opposed to street addresses.  93 2nd Ave is in the East Village, 93 AND 2nd ave is in East Harlem.  He pulled over and tried to kick me out… What a d-bag.

Finally, after a shouting match with this guy, we were back on the way to the East Village, and my four dollar cab ride turned into a thirty dollar cab ride.  I was able to get the sign though, so it wasn’t all bad.  It was no surprise to us when we hailed a cab the next morning to take us to Seth’s place in North Arlington, NJ  that this cab driver was also retarded.

Driver: Where are you going?

Maudlin: North Arlington, NJ

Driver: Ok, fifty five bucks plus tolls

Maudlin: Ok (we load in and start driving)

Driver: Where is North Arlington

Maudlin: *le sigh*

Later we realized he had pee bottles in the front seat …if only we had seen them sooner…  But, all and all, it was a fantastic blast of a time! The locals were all great, and far better looking than the locals anywhere else- and therefor better. We can’t wait to go back!

In brief:

I just saw 100 Feet, which is a movie about a successful actress who takes a terrible role in a crappy horror flick just to see if she can do a Jersey accent.  She finds out she can’t.

See you guys later!

David





Lewis and Clark Eat Your Hearts Out!

17 07 2009

Many and many a year ago a couple of outdoorsy guys named Lewis and Clark went from some place out east, west to Napa Valley and back looking for refined wines and tan babes. They had half of the dangers we have in the modern world, yet they lost half their party. Priscilla and I did almost the same thing last week and no one died. I can’t believe they got paid for that and we didn’t. Anyway, (que flash back music) it went a little something like this…

Me in the bad lands.  ...I don't know what I'm doing either.

Me in the bad lands. ...I don't know what I'm doing either.

We wanted to go out to Denver to visit our good friend Steph.   Since the government outright refused to commission us to do this, we decided to pay for it ourselves. After months of foreknowledge of the trip, we started planning on Tuesday night- the night we were leaving. We decided to drive to Sioux Falls, SD the first night. Our friend William Shatner helped us negotiate a deal on a room at the Sheraton last minute, which was nice of him. And now we just had to get there in one piece…

Evil bull that guards the road to the Bad Lands.

Evil bull that guards the road to the Bad Lands.

Looming over our heads was the bat-shit crazy  prophecy of some  lady Priscilla works with. She told her that she has a recurring dream where Priscilla and I die in a horrible car wreck and they also find that Priscilla is pregnant with our first child. She followed that zinger up with several other stories about how she’d dreamed things that had come true, concluding happily that she’s always right about these things…  (I kind of feel like, if you don’t have anything nice to prophesy about, then don’t prophesy about anything at all.)

We arrived at the Sheriton at about 1am and we went to sleep.  The morning had harsh news waiting for us.  There was no continental breakfast.  I know we only paid $50 for the room… but normally it was $129.  I expect breakfast with anything I pay that much for.  But, we didn’t throw in the towel- not on reaching Denver, and not on eating breakfast.

This room cost $90... wtf

Later we stayed in this crappier room that cost $90... wtf

Before we continued on, we need to get a new camera, so we set out looking for a department store.  The rural west is like some national park where endangered department stores like Pamida and Shopko hide from extinction.   We came upon a Kmart in a desolate parking lot.  We were able to get inside before it saw us and ran away.  There amidst the Jacklyn Smith collection we found the stores remaining electronics and bought a camera. CNow wer were ready to face the long blah of South Dakota.

Here’s a red flag questions for states.  Is everything valuable, desirable, or bearable significantly closer to an adjoining state than to the interior of the state itself?  If so, it’s likely that state blows.  Case in point: South Dakota.  (For further examples please see Nebraska, Illinois, or Kansas.  If you are unsure of where desirable parts of your state are, try googling your state.  If you reside in North Dakota, then google the state you’re planning on living in when you move.)

These are the Black Hills

These are the Black Hills

To get to the ironically named “Bad” Lands and “Black” Hills of South Dakota you need to drive through several hundred miles of utter crap.   Rolling fields of nothing.  The only thing to do is just take the car to top speed and surf the Internet to stay awake while you drive.  The best parts of the state lay on it’s meaty west side, close to the frightening Montana.

In the bad lands we took video on our cell phone of me running into a field of hundreds of prairie dogs trying to chase them, but all you can see is my blurry head moving back and forth with lots of ambient wind noise.  I’m not going to include it.  However, I feel it’s important to note that I did that.

After chasing prairie dogs, climbing out the clay edges of the hill things, and purchasing potato chips for an inebriated native who asked us for a ride to the next town, we’d seen every thing South Dakota had to offer. We were ready to get to Deadwood.  Also Walldrug sucks- It just sucks.

We finally got to Deadwood and I won $100 from a dealer who was a jerk.  Which was good because William Shatner was no help with the hotel rates in Deadwood.  We payed $90 for a queen room.  …this was the smallest hotel room I had ever seen; like someone crammed a queen bed into the bathroom.   What’s worse? No continental breakfast.  I was really starting to get irritated by that…

This is a log cabin we found later in the story at 13000 feet.  And ancient race of spider people lived here.

This is a log cabin we found later in the story at 13000 feet. And ancient race of spider people lived here.

The next day we woke up and got ready to go to Bear Country USA!  Bear Country is this zoo type place where all the animals roam free, and you drive through and look at them.  They can walk up to the cars- I even heard that a few toddlers got killed there!  We were pumped.

We exited Deadwood and were back on the open road.  An hour later we saw a welcome to Wyoming sign.  The realization that we’d made a huge mistake flooded over us the same way it floods over most people who find themselves reading that sign.  In our case, the mistake was that we were trying to get over by Mount Rushmore, south east of Deadwood, and instead we went south west and ended up in another state.  Fortunately, the road we accidentally took did happen to go to Denver, so we decided to keep going and leave Bear Country for another time.

Priscilla in Wyoming.  I was looking for my binoculars, and came to the realazation that they were in the car before it was broken into... Great, they took my grandfather's binoculars that were worth ten bucks. I cursed the theaves here on top of Big Sky Country.

Priscilla in Wyoming.

Wyoming is big and it has hills.  Hills kind of vary state to state.  Minnesota has river bluffs, which are steep and cliff like.  The black hills are pretty steep too, but they’re not following a river and there aren’t really cliffs.  They are pretty much all pines too, where as Minnesota sports a greater variety of trees. Wyoming has these really slow slopping  large hills with lots of scrub brush on them.  I know this whole paragraph is really boring… this was the best I could come up with for the five hours I was in Wyoming.

Wyoming people are scary.  This mother and son have identical massive man-butts. ...creepy.

Wyoming people are scary. This mother and son have identical massive man-butts. ...creepy.

Eventually we got to Colorado, and shortly after that we could see the Rocky Mountains.  The looked just like the Coors can.  Denver’s elevation is about a mile from sea level, so they call it the mile high city- not to be confused with the mile high club, which is something else.   We found our friend Steph, and went out for fish tacos- the second time in a week.  It made me nervous and awkward, but I did it.

This a the cake Steph made to celebrate our arival!

This a the cake Steph made to celebrate our arival!

The next day we set out on a mission to cross the continental divide and hike deep into the Rock Mountains. We drove for several ear popping hours west and up. One interesting thing we noticed is that all the trees were dead. Steph’s boyfriend Glen told us that some mutant beatle had been feeding on the trees, and due to global warming, it doesn’t get cold enough to kill them in the winter anymore. I suggested burning them out, but in retrospect I guess regrowing the whole forest after the fact should probably be a last resort. Anyway, I could the spirit of John Denver singing about planting trees all the way.

The cake cutting cerimony

The cake cutting cerimony

Steph and Glen like to go hiking, and they’ve both lived in Denver for years. So they took us to a mountain slope they knew and we stared up. I was pretty worried about cougar attacks because they are on the ‘remotely possible’ spectrum of things that could happen, and I’m on the ‘very much so’ spectrum of paranoid. It’s just like Kurt Cobain said, ‘Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean I’m not after you.’ …and in this case I think that applies to mountain lions.

Hidden Valley, home of ranch dressing, is on the way to the spine of the world.  So is the Coors place, where beer comes from.

Hidden Valley, home of ranch dressing, is on the way to the spine of the world. So is the Coors place, where beer comes from. ...and the whole town is also sideways, it wasn't the photo editing. ...*whew* he he suckers! Just saved myself the 30 seconds it would take to fix that!

I was watching my back pretty closely, and bravely refusing to let Priscilla carry up the rear.  (Is that the correct phraseology for that?  ‘Carry up the rear?’) Cougars, as we all know, like to attack from behind and from above if possible.  Naturally they also go straight for the jugular.  If you see a cougar in the woods, the only reason you’re seeing it is because it’s stalking you. They’re a no nonsense killer.  Not at all like the all too common brown bear, which is known to be pretty much a wuss.

As we hiked, something changed about my brain.  I started to care less and less about the enormous killer feline that was probably right behind me.  I started to feel a little woozy.  My legs weren’t tired at all, but I was out of breath and my heart was beating a mile a minute.  Priscilla must have been feeling the same way because she was complaining even more than usual.  Steph and Glen seemed just fine.  Then it struck me, we’d caught the Rocky Mountain High.

The Hobbit Priscilla on her way to the slopes of Mount Doom with the Ring of Power!

The Hobbit Priscilla on her way to the slopes of Mount Doom with the Ring of Power!

Aside from a pretty mediocre song, it’s also what happens to you when the elevation reduces the amount of oxygen in the air.  Also known as ‘elevation sickness’ and ‘tennis elbow.’  Even though I diagnosed this, Steph and Glen kept right on moving at a normal pace up the mountain, presuming we were pansies.  They’re like the creatures from Superman II who come to earth and find that they have super powers because of the yellow sun and their super dense bodies.  …only it was like the reverse, and we went to their planet and could no longer use our laser eyesight.  It totally sucked.

Eventually it started to get dark. We were at about 13,000 feet by then, only a few hundred from the summit.  The trees were thinning and snow was on the ground in spots.  We were on a clear mountain lake next to the ruins of a small encampment with log cabins that were probably a few hundred years old.  The road to the summit started to switch back after that, so it would have taken too long to get up to the top and back down again before dark, so we decided to go home.  And then, my phone rang.

This was almost as high as we got, around 13,000 feet

This was almost as high as we got, around 13,000 feet

Yes, at 13,000 feet, on the side of a mountain, my cell phone rang.

Phone: *ring ring*

David: “Hello”

Chris: “Dude, what’s up?  We’re watching this video of this old show from high school for Todd’s band, and you were running sound.  You totally suck at running sound…”

David: “I’m at 13,000 feet on the side of a mountain”

Chris: “Huh?”

David: “What?”

Chris: “What?!”

David: “On mountain, reception bad”

Chris: “You want to talk to Todd?”

David: “There are lions here.”

Todd: “What’s up man?”

David: “One ate my hand.”

Todd: “Huh?”

David: “I’m on a mountain at 13,000 feet, I can’t talk”

Todd: “Yeah, we’re watching this video from high school”

David: “I can’t hear anything, I’m on a mountain.”

Todd: “So what are you guys doing?”

David: “I’m on a mountain, I can’t talk Todd”

Todd: “Ok, well I should probably let you go.”

Thanks Verizon, for letting me share that incoherent moment with someone 1000 miles east, and 12,000 feet down.

"Hello?"

"Hello?"

Anyway, we went back down, and no one was eaten. The rest of the trip I had a splitting headache, which I later learned was also part of the Rocky Mountain High.  So, to combat feeling hung over, we went to a winery.  I knew nothing about wines.  I knew they were color coded, and that was it.  The biggest surprise for me was that these little taste test things with wine and cheese and crackers are free.  Free!  Yeah, you go to the place that makes the wine, and they just give it to you.  Then they serve you free snacks.   I also learned I prefer Cabs to Shiraz and Merlot; and I prefer the cheese and crackers to wine.

This is a picture of Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings movies, home to the dark lord Sauron

This is a picture of Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings movies, home to the dark lord Sauron

After that we went to an art show, then to the obligatory performance.  Jason wasn’t with us in town, but the good people of Denver still wanted a show.  So Priscilla and I played a short acoustic set at The Hi Dive.  When it was done, we promptly said our good buys to Denver and our friends, and hit the road.  By the time we were edging dangerously close to Nebraska we decided to stop for the night.  We went to this cheap joint that I’m positive several people were had been murdered in.  And, wouldn’t you guess it, no free breakfast.  I could have screamed.  Instead I peed in the courner of the room.

Priscilla and I are playing guitars on a stage.

Priscilla and I are playing guitars on a stage.

We awoke with the heavy weight of the length of Nebraska in front of us.  The first sign we see entering the freeway: DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS, FEDERAL PRISON NEARBY.  Well.  Ok then.  We didn’t encounter any escapees that we know of, but we did encounter boredom.  Can you imagine if you had to ride through that crap on a horse and it took you weeks? I’m sure that all the stories surrounding the loss of life on Lewis and Clarks trip were made up. They all killed themselves in the great plains.  Again, I saved my sanity by surfing the net while I drove.

Aren't we cute when our brains are depleted of oxygen?

Aren't we cute when our brains are depleted of oxygen?

When all hope seemed lost, we reached Iowa.  We took a wrong turn there and found a car turned into a spider.  …yeah.  We left pretty quickly.  At 9pm central standard time we finally got home to St. Paul, MN.  …and then had to go to work the next day. Puke.  That’s about that.  …also, no one really died on the Lewis and Clark expedition… one dude got sick and died, but sources say it was related to a methamphetamine addiction.

Seeing is believing.

Seeing is believing. ...I think this guy was in the Lord of the Rings too trying to eat Frodo.

David

Oh, and when we got back we found a small pirate costume on our bed… We called Laurel who was appartment sitting for us, and she said she brought it over to try and put on our cat.  …but it didn’t work out because Leeloo resisted.  Well, Priscilla and I had a talk with Leeloo about how she treats guests…

This is Leeloo.

This is Leeloo.





Three show weekends are always a hoot! …er.

10 07 2009

It started out where all great weekends start- Hooters.  I go to Hooters all the time because I love the taste of their wings!  …ok, that’s not true.  I don’t frequent Hooters, and the one time I ate there their food bit.   However, Jason and I were downtown Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry for a last minute show for the United Way and we were hungry.  Jason claimed that the chili was good there…  I didn’t buy that, we went in anyway.  We ended up getting wings … they sucked.

"Sam"- Professional D-Bag Handler shown in a typical pose, pretending to be enjoying herself.  Me- shown pretending to look at the camera.

"Sam"- Professional D-Bag Handler shown in a typical pose, pretending to be enjoying herself. Me- shown pretending to look at the camera.

Our server, Samantha, (Who was a little under dressed I might add) turned out to be a professional douchebag handler.  …She didn’t tell me that persay.  However, I told her I was going to call her “Sam” and requested that she get her picture taken with me for no reason, and she pleasantly agreed, so I knew something was odd.  Normally I would expect that she would act all creeped out and then spit in my food, but, when I saw her move on to the next table I could tell she had been professionally trained.  The men there were all much older, and much, much more out of shape than we were, making jokes and comments twelve time as lame as anything we said.  And she pretended she enjoyed that as well.  That’s the mark of a bonafid pro.  Kind of America’s Geishas really.  Geishas in hot pants.

So, anyway, then we went back to the 7th Street Entry for the United Way show.  It was odd because it was a 5pm show.  Rock The Cause had asked us to play, when the United Way asked them for help securing acts for their happy hour show.  Also answering the call were The Notties.  It was a pretty standard deal, we got up there and figuratively showed people a little bit of our butts poking out from our musical hot pants.  The crowed figuratively leered at us.  …or something like that.  But, Maudlin was just getting starting on this fine Friday afternoon.

After we finished our set we raced across the metro to the mall in Minnetonka to the Hot Topic for the last in our series of Hot Topic shows we were playing all over the Twin Cities.  If you’ve ever been in a clothing store, and if you’ve ever seen a band play, just put those two things together.  All told, by 8pm we had played two different shows.  This is earlier than  we’ve ever been done playing one show on a Friday night, let alone two.  We decided to celebrate.

We went to Scott’s place.  …and I forget what we did.  I think we went swimming there and listened to the douche from the spare room tell us his favorite vegetable was Cheetos. …I hear this weekend he left a saw on the ground by the pool and Scott stepped on it… Anyway, I’m sure we did some other fun things, and then moved on to the next day.  On Saturday we went to Debuque for our third and final show of the weekend.

Dubuque, a city in Iowa, a state ajasent to several other states no one has heard of.

Dubuque, a city in Iowa, a state adjacent to several other states no one has heard of.

Dubuque is Jason’s home land.  A vintage river town on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, she sports more idiots on water craft than imaginable, and we were three of them.  Jason’s mom was also turning 60, and we participated in a surprise party.  Our show was at The Silver Dollar Cantina.  The manager, Michelle is a kindly spunky lady who was desperately in need of smokes when we arrived.  I helped her out by running to the oke dokee- some kind of inbred gas station chain- I was instructed to by her menthols.  She smokes them, even though they’re awful, because then no one wants to bum smokes from her.  A wise woman.

Priscilla standing on Jason's parent's house boat

Priscilla standing on Jason's parent's house boat

Our pals in Little Man opened up the show while the staff laid gifts of fish tacos in front of us.  …it was a brave move to put fish in tacos, combining two foods that have the same sexual innuendo attached to them… When it was our turn to play Jason got a little nervous because his mom was there, but she loves him unconditionally, so he lucked out. He also performed a few rare Jason Nelson originals as an encore to our performance.

The following  day we went back out on the river.  Given my track record with watercraft, you can guess that I nearly died.  Fortunately you have to hit something harder than water to cause permanent damage.   Also, urine washes out of swim trunks quite easily, so no irrevocable damage was done to anything other than my pride.

Priscilla eating on Jason's parent's house boat.

Priscilla eating on Jason's parent's house boat.

Then we drove home.  That was two weeks ago I think… June  27th.  And the next week Priscilla and I were scheduled to take a trip to the wild west, which we did, but I need to start a new blog for that…

David

"I'll have the breakfast buffett and a quart of oil" ...only in Iowa.  ...This is a picture from the dining area of Marina Restarant.

"I'll have the breakfast buffet and a quart of oil" ...only in Iowa. ...This is a picture from the dining area of Marina Restaurant.





How do you spell Rumpelstiltskin?

23 06 2009

I hate how you can’t really advertise your true feelings anymore.  The internet turns even the most mild blogger into a gossip whore.  I can’t even talk about how I hate my day job and I want a new one because  it’s likely that someone I work with will read this, and let me boss know, and then all the work pot lucks will be awkward.  Not to mention, that dude I called a douche is probably going sneak up on me and say something designed to intimidate me.  The world is more dangerous than ever.

The Alarmists seen in natural habitat.

The Alarmists seen in natural habitat.

So I try to keep things positive.  These guys do that too. If they mention you, they like you.  If they don’t, they probably just wont mention you.  That’s a sound, friendly approach.  But what about everyone else?  Should we never be able to talk about things that we think suck?  Should we be afraid to let people in our vicinity know that we don’t like their work?  Should people even get upset if someone doesn’t like what they do in the first place?  Who knows, but I do hate my job.  I don’t hate The Alarmists though, so lets talk about them.

I don’t know Eric Lavold super well, but I do know him and his cohorts Drummer Boy Schwandt and Bassist Brian who are also in the bands White Light Riot and So It Goes respectively.  All great guys.  So, when I was told that the City Pages peed on them, I wondered what was up.  A friend alleged they had recently called them poop heads, and ass clowns who couldn’t play instruments.  …or something like that.  It’s sparked a huge debate about whether or not The Alarmists suck and/or whether or not the City Pages sucked. Also how in the hell do you spell the Star Tribunes music guys name?  I had to know the truth, so I decided to investigate.

Like all important people in the Twin Cities, I had an advance copy of The Alarmists new album, The Over-head Left to listen to. I also went to the release show, and then I read all these articles AND all the blog comments on the City Pages site.  Then I read Chris Rachmaninovschneider’s interview in the Star Tribune.  I’m pretty much an expert about now,  so, I will tell you all the truth.  But before I act like I know everything, let me first drag out this story by adding in personal experiences that are unrelated.

As I mentioned, the entire cast of Maudlin showed up to the show.  The first bit of evidence that I collected came when I saw the Rock The Cause table in the Varsity Theater.  As you may or may not know, Priscilla and I sit on the board of directors for Rock the Cause.  If you’re not familiar with how we help the community and music scene, please take a look.

Eric Lavold approached Rock the Cause with an offer.  Bands approach us with offers all the time.  Some of them are good ones, some are a little self serving.  Some would be really difficult and some more realistic to do.  Eric’s offer was both generous and easy.  At a time when our org could really use some extra cash, he offered to let us accept donations for digital downloads of the new album on our site and keep 100% of the proceeds.

Priscilla and I arive in Dinky Town, Jason documents.

Priscilla and I arrive in Dinky Town, Jason documents.

This might not seem like a huge deal to you, but the amount of work, money, and liability that goes into RTC putting on an event to raise money is huge.  This required nothing of us other than we upload the song.

The comment was made that The Alarmists drama may have over shadowed their music.  Why can’t someones generosity and good nature over shadow the drama surrounding their band?  I guess because People magazine would go broke, with the City Pages along with it.

Craig Grossman of Green Room Music Source, The Alarmist booking agent (also our agent) and Scott Herold, CEO of Rock The Cause hang out at the show.

Craig Grossman of Green Room Music Source, The Alarmist booking agent (also our agent) and Scott Herold, CEO of Rock The Cause hang out at the show.

The crowd at the show was great, and the bands selected where right on too.  Maudlin had a great time running around and mingling.  I let my agent buy me a drink, and Eric’s dad tried to buy Priscilla a drink because she adjusts his glasses at work, but Craig beat him to it and bought her a drink too.  Primarily we like Craig as our agent because of the drinks.  Anyway, Jason bought himself one too many drinks and then ran around taking pictures for posterity.

Jason getting his drink on.

Jason getting his drink on.

The Alarmist show was actually really good.  The new line up is great.  Someone on a blog made a comment that all the new musicians couldn’t stack up to the old ones, and made special citation of the drummer being included.  Their old drummer was very good, but complaining about Mark Schwandt’s drumming is pretty retarded. Aside from being a solid show, it was more raw than the album and had a more personal feel to it.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It actually made a few songs I was a little luke on from the album really grow on me.

Me forcing people to listen to me.

Me forcing people to listen to me.

The Album itself is certainly nothing at all to scoff at.  I can see how it differs from previous releases with less edge, but it adds a more haunting feel- actually reminds me a bit of Chris Isaac on some tunes.  (course I was just watching True Blood so…[At least, when I first wrote this pharagraph I thought that Chris Isaac wrote that song, but today Barb Abney *cough cough name drop* corrected me.  Some random hillbilly wrote that song. ]) The vocals are more stripped and personal.  They bring out a great contrast against synths soaked in reverb.  There are some dark sounding melodies and hooks, but the album still feels hopeful even if melancholy.  Something for a rainy day if you’re not the kind of person that gets super depressed and hates rainy days.  I definitely favor the first half of the album with tracks like, “Rhyme and Reason,” “Car Crashing,” “Flutter and Fly,” and “Hollywood’s Not My Home.”  Not feeling songs like “The Country” or” We Belong” as much, and I flat out do not like “The Elusive Mr Albright.” …not sure what the motivation is on that one.

Over all it sounds very much like a liberation or a rebirth than a swing and a miss.   These guys knew exactly what they were going for, and while it’s not going to thrill everyone, I think it will win a lot of people over.  As to whether or not The Alarmists will take over the world, who knows- and who cares.  They’ve already carved out a place for themselves, they’re making music that’s rewarding to themselves and still have an audience to listen.  That is what success is.

The Alamists at their CD release show at the Varsity Theater

The Alamists at their CD release show at the Varsity Theater

I believe in real criticism though, real honesty.  If there isn’t anything bad, then, of course, nothing is really good.  It’s just all double plus ungood. We don’t want that.  I’ve met Andrea from the City Pages before, and even if she hadn’t been talking with me about my band being good, I still would have thought she was really nice.  Not at all the kind of person who seems out for a vendetta.  The City Pages article is pretty scathing, but, if it’s honest, then it’s not meriting retaliation.

Chris Rumpelstiltskinschneider said that The Amarmists are big enough to take a hit.  They are.  His own article in the Strib praises the album and gives a great inside look at what’s going on with the band and what’s transpired.  It’s hard for me to not take a step back and see the two biggest papers in town arguing about a band and think, “Any press is good press.”  Ultimately the controversy made listening to the album more fun for me.  …Although, if it was my album getting shredded I would release angry bees into the office of the offending party.  Not killer bees, just kind of having a bad day bees.

My biggest complaint with local press has always been what they miss, not what they criticize.  There’s so much music here in Minneapolis, and way too much for everyone to go out and see what every band has going on.  A scathing review here and there is a service.  Just like letting people know about a new great band, and keeping up with what the bands we’ve all heard of have been up too.  The more reviews the better, good ones and bad.

Still The Alarmists, only the lights are a different color now.

Still The Alarmists, only the lights are a different color now.

So what are my conclusions? People may have differing opinions about whether The Alarmists new album is good, just like people have many different opinions on how to spell Chris Rasputinschnieder’s name- and that’s ok.  Because, in the end, there really isn’t a right or wrong answer.   And, if that conclusion offends you, blame this guy.

David





The Pool Party and the Diabetic Cat.

16 06 2009

Well the long awaited pool opener at the stately manor of Scott Herold came upon us a few short weeks ago. Naturally, not only was Maudlin attending, we were also planning on favoring our fans with a few songs while we were there. But first we had the first in our series of shows at Hot Topic.

Here I am getting to the Hot Topic, probably exactly on time too.

Here I am getting to the Hot Topic, probably exactly on time too.

New Maudlin fans.

New Maudlin fans.

This was one of those kind of deals where we needed to do some thing completely different from our normal stage show and, to prepare, we spent weeks creating a bold new acoustic set.  …course if you regularly read my blog you knew that was a lie.  We had no freakin clue what we were doing.

Anyway, after that pit stop, we were off to the pool party! Nothing at all could stop the greatest party of the summer! (So far. …I don’t want to limit myself.) But that total d-bag, Minnesota Weather, sure tried. (foreshadowing!)

mels

Pony and The Melismatics getting ready to play.

The first day of the party, the snots from the Melismatics took the stage and hoarded all the good weather. They did play The Jesus Mary Chain at my request though, and Pony also came to the defense of Priscilla ninja style when some creepy dude was hitting on her that night… so I suppose I won’t hold it against them. Naturally the show made me embarrassed to even tell people I own a guitar.

Then… I really don’t know what happened because I was mingling too much. I remember chatting with Ryan and then my agent, and then a few other people, and then the next thing I know there are a bunch of naked people in the pool, which means that all the normal people had already left. We stayed a little longer when Scott made biscuits and gravy… His biscuits and gravy are so good that they are going to appear in a cook book that Priscilla might make some time maybe. That’s good.

adam

Adam of So It Goes talking with Priscilla

ryan

Me talking with Ryan of The Melismatics. ...doesn't actually look like he wants to be there. Must be the camera lens.

party1

This is pool.

party2

These are people.

priscilla

This is Priscilla. She was there.

party3

john (2)

John. He beat anorexia and gave me lessons in what it means to be "rock and roll"

Revelation of the night? This guy is a douche.  Who would have guessed just by looking at him.  I would.  I did guess that.

Revelation of the night? This guy is a douche. Who would have guessed just by looking at him? I would. I did guess that.

So, anyway, then we went home and slept for a long period of time.  At some point on Saturday we woke up and basically just went right back to the pool.  Only now, the weather sucked.  It was like 65 American degrees and raining all day. The only thing cool about that was that the pool was actually 85 degrees, so it was steaming all day.  Seeing as the weather sucked it was more of a regular style party rather than a pool style party.  One disgruntled party goer actually smashed the tank on one of the toilets.  (Probably the dude above.  …I mean, just look at him. Seriously.)  True to form, Maudlin played and brought the noise regardless of the weather.  Following the example sung by Queen and set by many a mailperson, Maudlin plays regardless of weather conditions. …although we did move things inside to the Rock The Cause world headquarters in a secret underground bunker below the pool.

After we rocked out, we were really hot, so we all ran out into the rain and jumped into the pool.  After that refreshing experience Maudlin actually started requiring that there be a pool in the green room for all of our shows.

Anyway, that was that.

The next weekend we traveled with our pals So It Goes down to our stomping grounds of Winona to play Rock Roll music.  I think Mr. Mike Minehart who came down to document has a short video up of this already, but I’ll probably leave that till next time.  …When we got home from Winona we had sad, sad things waiting.  Our cat, Ebony, couldn’t walk.  We tried to help her up when we realised she was having difficulties, but she couldn’t even stand.  We took her to this vet.  I’d recommend them, normal hours go till 9pm seven days a week.  Turns out poor little Ebony is diabetic.  So we have her on a regiment of pills to help her get on her feet, and daily insulin that she’ll probably need the rest of her life. 😦  The good news is that, as of today (I’m writing this at home from work cat sitting), she seems to be doing a bit better.  She is now moving from room to room with some effort, but unassisted.  We’re hoping she makes a full recovery… I’ll keep you posted…

David








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