Stuck in a room full of naked girls …again.

28 07 2009

WARNING: HARRY POTTER SPOILERS WITHIN

There are somethings that everyone experiences once or twice in their life; getting trapped in a room full of naked women is one of these things.  I clearly remember the first time it happened to me.  I was eighteen years old and employed as a pizza delivery boy.  I was on a routine run out to St Mary’s University in the mutant little town of Winona, MN.   It was the summer time, probably in July- on a day not unlike this day.

When I pulled on to campus there weren’t any people around, which made sense because school wasn’t in session.  I made my way to the dormitory on the pizza order; it looked deserted.  I rang the buzzer and then waited.  Nothing.  Just when I was going to take off, something magical happened.  The door was pulled open by…  a hot chick in a bath towel.  She was very excited to see me, and lead me into the dorm hallway- and there they were- dozens of other hot chicks wearing nothing but towels.  (I know that many of you already think I’m full of it, but, I’m totally not.  Why God let this happen before the invention of the camera phone, I don’t know; you’ll just have to take my word for it. )

I look a little awkward there... I had no idea how bad it would get.

I look a little awkward there... I had no idea how bad it would get.

Now, the normal reaction you see when some random guy walks in on a herd of feral women running around mostly nude  is pretty negative. Guys, am I right?  But, these where no ordinary feral women.  They were a giant troupe of all girl soccer players staying on campus all weekend for an all girls soccer tournament- meaning there weren’t ANY dudes there at all.  They were like starving derelicts attacking me like I was the dumpster behind a Perkins.  “Oh, Mr. Pizza Boy, came hang out with us!”

“Pizza Man, get your picture taken with us”

“Over here, us too Pizza Inferno”

“No, pay attention to us! Pizza Stallion!”

“We hunger for your loins Darth Pizza Boy- Take us now!”

I’m pretty sure I started crying at some point, weeping tears of joy.  They were all hot like Hermione, and I could tell they were interested in my magic wand.  But then, like always, some uglies ruined it all.

Creepy Miss Hermione trying to freak us all out with her 19 going on 11 body...  *shudders*   -Picture curtesy of the internet

Creepy Miss Hermione trying to freak us all out with her 19 going on 11 body... *shudders* -Picture courtesy of the Internet

“Blarg narg ahooga, Pizza Guy! Get over here now- We feed now!” …I kept crying.  Three breasts from down the hall forcefully dragged me away from the sirens like some horrid high school soccer version of Cerberus into their hellish dorm room. They took their pizza, tipped me poorly, and kicked me out.

Later that evening, another call came in from the same address for more pizza.   I stole the order from another driver, desperate to recreate the magic.  It was no use, even the Half Blood Prince couldn’t have conjured that moment back up, not even if he was wearing his prosthetics from Galaxy Quest! More ugoes had ordered this pizza, and they met me outside the building. I would have to wait ten more years before this would happen again… (foreshadowing)

This is the owl bra.

This is the owl bra.

So, for those of you who follow my sweet band maudlin, you know that we like playing bizarre shows. The more weird the better as far as I’m concerned. (As long as the weird part has nothing to do with the compensation…)

We were asked by Donette, a peach of a  young lady who claims to wear one of our buttons on her lapel, to play a show to help raise money for Susan G Komen Breast cancer research. Charity and flattery both go a long way for us, however, throwing in a boob themed “Racktacular” with burlesque show and an art bra contest really pushed us over the edge.

It was a great show, and things were going well.  We were hanging out, we were talking it up, and then we decided to go into the green room.  When you’re famous you’re probably hiding  there from fans, when your us you’re down there looking for free things.  Sure enough, there were beverages and snacks… and changing girls.

The next girl actually bit her finger instead of the glove and had to go to the ER

The next girl actually bit her finger instead of the glove and had to go to the ER

The burlesque troupe from Lili’s Burlesque were also using the space for their costume changes.  There was a little partition between the cookies and liquor and the area where the girls were getting read for their show.  There wasn’t a whole lot of space and I just kind of tried to not look past the cookies.  Jason snapped a picture of me with the ladies, and then went upstairs to get ready to take more pictures of the art bras.  Priscilla and I sat downstairs in the green room a little longer… which turned out to be a little too long.

Before we had thought about when we were going to leave, it was time for the girls to start.  They all filed up the stairs and waited in line to model the art bras.  The way the club was set up, we’d have had to walk right past them and the stage to get back into the audience, and it didn’t seem like that would be appropriate.  Priscilla said she was going to try it anyway.  She deceivingly said she would go up the stairs and see if there was a clear path and then come and get me if there was.

She went up the stairs and never returned.  …but the Lili’s girls did- and in a frantic hurry.  One by one they came running down the stairs, some starting to shed the little clothes they were wearing as they went.  They went towards the cookies and then came running back with new lingerie on.  I was feeling awkward long before this, but now I was feeling really awkward.  I positioned myself facing the stairs with my back to the cookie/naked parts area.  I was pretty sure that they were all probably thinking, ‘why is this douche still here,’ but I could really find a good opening to run up and escape.  Finally, I mustered the courage to ask a woman sprinting past undoing her bra.

Not sure what kind of bra this was... blue?

My mom is going to yell at me when she sees this one

“Um, can I sneak up the stairs to get out of here, or should I just wait here?”  I’m sure my voice was cracking like Harry Potter’s on a  first date. “No,” was the reply.  …Now, to be honest, I had no clue what that even meant.  I went back to my space on the couch and tried to focus on twittering on my phone. [mrmaudlin -follow me!]  Eventually, it was all over and I bolted back upstairs.  By then it was time for our set, so I went right into setting up.  Ironically, I didn’t even see most of the art bras until after the show when they were hanging up at the silent auction.  …I did see lots of girl butts running up stairs though.

Here are the bars without the hot chicks...

Here are the bars without the hot chicks...

Maudlin played a pretty hot set, and when it was all over we all decided we should end the night at Weber World.  …only Jason had decided it was time to let his dog out to pee.  So, he left the club with the only vehicle big enough to haul our gear fifteen minutes before the place closed and said he’d be right back when the dog was relieved.  So we waited.  And waited.  …and waited.  Eventually he came back and we all climbed around in the new fuselage room until like, four or five.

I have an art bra on too. ...but it's under my shirt.

I have an art bra on too. ...but it's under my shirt.

So now it’s time for a new part of my blog that I’m going to call, “In Review.”  …basically I’ll briefly review several things I’ve recently seen, heard or done.  Ready?

The Talented Mr Riply: Finally got around to seeing this one because Target has it on sale for $2.99.  …This whole movie is basically one giant documentary about how huge Matt Damon’s teeth are.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Wizard: Hermione still doesn’t get naked in this one, and Harry Potter hasn’t been killed, bludgeoned, or cruelly maimed yet either.  I’m hoping for the best with the next one.  Still, you can’t  really dislike a children’s movie where a goth gang throws and old man out a window to plummet to his death can you?  I can’t.





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!)

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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.

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Adam of So It Goes talking with Priscilla

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

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This is pool.

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These are people.

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This is Priscilla. She was there.

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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





I pooped at high altitude, and other adventures!!

7 06 2009

It started out like any Maudlin adventure; something went wrong.  Priscilla gave me a call on Thursday at work and she was having an asthma attack.  I’m sure that normally sucks, but it was a little extra sucky/odd because Priscilla didn’t have asthma.  I got worried and decided to leave work and go check on her.  Well, apparently, now ahe does have asthma…  So she wasn’t very excited about that, but she was ok.  To make things worse, we were out of cat food.  Both of our cats had already given us verbal warnings about the issue, and we decided that we couldn’t go out of town without getting more food.    Jason’s girlfriend of seven years had also just dumped him a few nights before.  (This didn’t really have anything to do with our departure time, but it’s a recent event that I thought should be added ) All and all, we got on the road for Chicago a little late.

We got off the road at about 1:00 AM in Dubuque, IA.  Jason’s folks have a house boat there and we climbed aboard and watched that horrible train wreck of a film about cheerleaders with Kirstin Dunst. This is kind of a traditional houseboat film. …if you’re not familiar with houseboats.   In addition, it is also unrelated to the story at large, which has to do with us going to Chicago to play a show.

Chicago is a big city.  Some people seem to think that this also means that it has strange and evil powers, like traffic the likes of which, no mortal has ever lived tell!!  …but, mostly, it’s a big city… so it has more cars.  Minneapolis sports fewer cars, but also fewer competent drivers, so we are able to create similar drive times with half the people.   No one striped our vehicle while we were inside a gas station and liquidated the parts in mere seconds while we tried to pay for gas… this is another urban legend.

But that doesn’t mean Chicago was free of crime- Not one bit.  They actually charge you to go up in the Sears tower to look around.  I kid you not.  They charge you to look out of their tall building’s windows… We didn’t figure this out until we were half way through the 45 minute wait to get to the elevator.  Once we were that far, we decided we’d better go all the way.

So we waited… and waited… and waited.   img033…and finally we got crammed into an elevator like sardines with about fifty other tourists and rocketed to the top.  …which wasn’t really the top… it was the 99th of 127 floors, which was as high as they would let us go.

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When we got out there were windows.  From the windows you could see the whole city, all fifteen dollars worth!  There was also a gift shop where you could buy a card board cut outs of Obama? …my guess is they based their selections for the gifts for the 99th floor after seeing the affects of high altitudes and depleted oxygen on the human brain; no healthy person would have bought anything there.  And then, just when I thought our lack luster journey couldn’t lack less luster, something awful happened-  I had to crap.

Now, we all know the value of the “home thrown advantage,” but, when you can’t be at home, you usually try to find a low traffic, a safe looking spot.  …this was not that spot.  Here, at the top of the western hemisphere, in a small bathroom where countless touring hoards had shat before me, I relieved myself.  Not much is known about the long term effects of high altitude deification, so I can only hope for the best.

Also, in Chicago, we played a show.  I’m pretty sure that I plugged this website more times in one interview, than anyone has ever plugged any website in any interview. So, I’m really hoping that when they put the video up there’s something good on my front page.  Anyway, we sounded like ass I’m pretty sure.  Naturally people still said that it was great, and we took the praise, but it was a little sub par.  My friend Craig came to see us, and he said that we sounded good… but he’s a pastor, so I’m pretty sure that’s all he’s allowed to say.  I blame Jason’s girlfriend for dumping him and putting a kink in our normally rigorous practice schedule.   Normally when we’re feeling like pouty rock stars we like to throw TV sets out hotel windows, but we were staying with friends, and they did very specifically say we were not allowed to do that.

So, after Chicago, we were off to Green Bay- or rather, De Pere, a suburb of Green Bay.  After driving for seven hours in Chicago traffic we’d finally reached the outskirts of the metro area, where the McDonalds City is over the tollway.  I think it’s five miles from downtown.  We ate at KFC in the overpass land, because a recent news article had dared us to temp fate.

When we got to Green Bay we were welcomed by a kindly man with a jackknife tattooed on his neck.  He showed us to the complimentary green room foods where we awaited our performance.  This place was a riot.  I’ve never seen so many people who wanted a good time.  It was a great show, and, of course, we killed it.  (Like in a good way.  Not like we actaully killed anyone or the event itself; like we played well.) They made Chicago look pretty unhip;  it was very ironic.  Scantily clad women attacked me while I was playing, which was a rock star first for me.  …didn’t look like it was a first for them.  Anyway, great show.  Don’t underestimate the cheaderheads people.  After we were done our pals the Melismatics played and I showed Pony how to kill a man with my Tae Kwon Do prowess when the show was over.

Naturally, after we left, we were pulled over by the police for suspected drunk driving.  Now, even though Jason was taking us down a one way in the not-so-right direction, one look at him should have reassured them that he was not a raging alcoholic.  Wisconsin cops are all total d-bags when you’re from Minnesota though.  It’s an unwritten code.  So Jason had to do a field sobriety test.  …which he failed.  Sure that they had their man, they followed up with a breathalyzer. Jason scored a 0.0, which, for this game is high score.  Baffled by his lack of coordination, the police let him go.  …but not before harassing Priscilla for taking picture and trying to tell her that it was illegal to do so.  …It’s not.

COP: “Those better not show up one of those internet youtube sites!”

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Anyway. after that we went to a Super 8 motel.  We did this because Little Man’s wife had told us that this Super 8 was voted best in the country and had an awesome breakfast and such.  Well, with a build up like that we should have known something was wrong.  Super 8 doesn’t even track which of it’s motels are best, the actually just track least number of fatalities from the poison waffle mix.  It was awful.  Also, the guy didn’t haggle with me.  Hotels all haggle.  When you roll in at 3:30 in the morning, you don’t pay full price for a hotel room, that would be dumb.  You always say something like, “hey, it’s already 3:30, what could you do on a room till morning?”  If I learned nothing else from William Shatner, I know you can bargain with hotels.  Usually we get about 40% off with a line like that.  …this dude was like, “no.”  Then he later upgraded us to a six dollar discount which he seemed to think was pretty generous.  He looked like sloth.

Anyway, so after we left in the morning and found food that was edible, we returned to the land o lakes and then went to sleep.  Casualties?  One.  Priscilla’s green hoodie that had little ears sewn into it from when she tried to be Battle Cat ne Halloween.  Where it went, no one knows.  …but I think Sloth did it.

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David





Nothing Says Valentines Day like Friday the 13th!!

15 02 2009

Chicks… Priscilla was telling me she heard some radio DJ curmudgeon saying that Valentines Day is just a holiday made up so men would have to buy women crap to get laid; that it was legalized prostitution.  To which I replied, ‘How is that different from the rest of the economy?’  …which I said as a joke.  She thought it was funny, and she totally did me later that night.  Anyway, I’m pretty into holidays in general, so I can get into the spirit of Valentines Day.  The point isn’t that its contrived and that it puts all this insane pressure on you to perform wanton acts of romance and over spending- the point is that its a designated day for doing something special for that guy or girl who makes you so nervous when she looks at you ‘that way’ that you want to wet yourself and puke at the same time.   I mean, I took St. Patrick’s Day off too. For everything a season; and this, my friends, is the season of love.

I took Friday off, because, Friday the 13th sounded like a good date for dental work and a hot date.  I started going to this new dentist who’s great, and not at all sadistic like the others I’ve been going to. Very good experience, if in need of dental services, check them out here. So, after my face was all disabled and drooly, I went home to sleep it off and prepare for my night on the town with the Mrs.

Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit lacks with the romantic adventures lately… as in the past few years… But, I’m starting to step things up a notch again.  Hard work.  The thing is, it’s not about prostitution as so many contemporary radio personalities have suggested; its about the effort.  Its about what lengths you’ll personally go through to make someone else feel appreciated.  Whether you’re dropping cash like you hope to live in a one bedroom apartment your whole life like me, or just taking the time and imagination to make things perfect without any budget to surpass at all.

Double Tree Hotel is famous for force feeding patrons baked goods, whether they want them or not as I found out.  I, myself, like cookies, but when the front desk dude handed a lady with a stroller and both arms full of crap six cookies for her and her kids, it looked like bad timing.  I had both hands free and waiting for cookies. Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate chip… mmmm.  They are really good. This is why I picked this particular hotel in downtown Minneapolis for a romantic evening: cookies.

Once the parking was straightened out we scoped out the room.  Pretty decent, had a little living room with a couch and a pantry/coffee area with some over priced wine you could use if you wanted.  Kind of like the dollies in a uhaul.   There was a whirlpool as requested.  Later we tried it out… but I think the water was too hot, cause we sat there for a minute and then both felt sick and had to leave… And a bed and some tvs… pretty standard hotel stuff- except for the cookies.  But before we could settle into doing married couple things, we needed to hit the town.

There are also sorts of restaurants downtown that I’ve never tried, we settled on McCormick and Schmitds… or something like that.  Fish place.  Following my romantic plan, rather than getting reservations, we just went out the day before Valentines, so that nothing would be filled up.  So, we were able to get in.

I don’t think I really like lobster.  I’ve had it at a few places where I’ve paid lots of money for it- so that should mean they’re making it right… and I don’t know… doesn’t do anything for me.  I had a small steak too. That was good.  The best thing?  The clam chowder… plain old, five dollar a bowl, claim chowder… I should have just had a lot of that. Would have been much cheaper and better.  But anyway, very romantic eating, we talked and ate fancy things.  But, fancy things to eat alone, do not a fancy night make.  We needed a party.  But, not just any party would do, we needed a Weber party.

Scott Weber is a very interesting eccentric.  He lives in one of the apartment complexes he owns, and he’s transformed half the building into this party palace with themed rooms and secret passage ways… it’s pretty nuts.  Check the video.  This is a bit old, so there’s a lot more stuff there now… Anyway, he was having a Valentines Day party, so we checked out of the real world and entered his for a while.  Lots of folks were there.  There was partying.  Laurel Ogren showed up.  Laurel is my favorite party favor other than myself.  Scotty Herold was there to affirm it was the place to be.  It was, in a word, magical.  So, after a time,  we made our exit and went back to the room to do the married couple things that you guys are far to young to hear about.

In the morning we went estate sale shopping after some more married couple things.  We stopped at this little cafe where the food sucked and was over prices near w7th and grand… but they had the most hilarious tee shirts.  “The Bible talks about St. Paul, but it never mentions Minneapolis.”  Ha!  I love it.  I wanted one, but didn’t feel like wasting anymore money there.  …but if someone else wants to get me one???

Anyway, so, then later we ended up our at Club Jager with some friends.  …And I’ll list them.  These were the friends we were out with- all of them.  Adam “Mr Figs” Newton, Jedi knight and friend to Caption Solo.  Brian Beck.  He likes soccer.  Pat “Secret Pirate Jerk” O’Brien (who’s name I misspelled two blogs ago… here’s my retraction…) and his lovely wife Jessica, same last name. We were all dancing and talking and partying like crazy, and then we were starting to get a little bored around 1am… so, I’m thinking to myself, ‘wonder if there’s something up at Weber’s  again’ So I texted him…

ME:Weber, what’s up, party number two tonight?

WEBER:**********, Richfield

ME: cool,who’s place?

WEBER: mine. come over.

So… this was kind of believable because I know he owns more than one place, but I was pretty sure he just lived in the one and rented all the others, but, because we’re all the adventurous sort, off we went. After I nearly killed everyone attempting to follow me the, we arrive at this quaint little home.  There are all these little bags that say ‘happy Valentines Day’ with candles inside lining the walk up to the house.  We knock on the door and some guy I’ve never seen before answers with this horrified ‘ohgodpleasenomoreguests’ look on his face.  And then Weber comes matching up from behind. “There with me, come on in guys” We go inside and there’s this nice little party set up, but clearly everyone had already left.

Someone was packing up wine glasses and getting things in the trash.  It was hilariously awkward. They graciously offered us everything they had, and we dove into the chocolate fondue like ravenous wolves descending upon a crippled moose.  Weber, naturally, conversed with us normally as though we had all the time in the world.  I can still see Pat standing in the middle of the kitchen.  Just standing uncomfortably… I was laughing the whole time.  Eventually we made our awkward goodbyes and hurried out, me with a small plate of food.  The meatballs were great.  Also, I double dipped in the fondue.  Don’t tell.

And that was that.  Our Valentines Day adventure.








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