Friday, December 10, 2004 at 11:30:37 (EST)

There is power in a Union
I was saving posting anything yesterday for my trip to the DMV. My assumption was that it would be chock-full of amusing characters and exciting adventures from which I could draw several anecdotal examples. Alas, it was only boring and generally efficient. It is worth noting that nearly everybody else there seemed to be having some drama, but there was none to spare for me. It took maybe ten minutes and seven of those minutes were just waiting in line.

Despite the rock star antics at the beginning of the week, the rest of it has been rather low-key and domestic. I keep cleaning the house in preparation for this party, but it doesn't seem to be doing any good. The more I clean, the more I realize how filthy everything is. I guess the best move is to keep the lights low and burn some scented candles. I guess a lot of New York apartments are like this: old and poorly renovated, so much so that no amount of dressing-up can disguise how busted it is.

In other news you've all no doubt heard about yet another weird-ass thing to go on in Ohio: the shooting of members of Damageplan by a deranged fan. Reportedly, shooter Nathan Gale was upset because Pantera had broken up and Dimebag Darrel had started this other band, so he jumped onstage at Alrossa Villa in Columbus, shouted "You broke up Pantera!" before opening fire. I didn't even know anybody even really liked Pantera, let alone killing for them.

Of course, the real tragedy going on in Ohio right now is the possible closing of the Union Bar's music room. Rented separately from the ground-floor bar, the performance space has been the best (and sometimes the only) worthwhile stage in my little former college town. I saw countless shows there, and my old band played there for years (and pretty much nowhere else). But the landlords have declared the rent will triple in a couple months, after having been at the same price for several years. The bar does well, but it doesn't do well enough to shrug off an $1800 per month increase to its rent. It's obvious the owners want the bar out of the upper room, they probably want to turn in ito crappy apartments so students who don't know any better will pay top-dollar just so they can live near the town's main drag. Why does everything turn into apartments? I long for the day when a huge apartment building is gutted to be turned into, I dunno, a marshmallow factory. Anyway, everybody is getting all riled up about this Union debacle, trying to figure out if there is any legal recourse. Lou, currently active in the Army Reserves, has been training out of state recently, so it seems rather unfair to pull this now when he can't even come home and deal with it. This kind of stuff happens in New York all the time, but it seems surprising to hear about it in small-town Ohio.

Here's hoping they find a way out of this. I'm trying to figure out what I can do, but among other things, I think I'll be winging my way down to Athens in the next couple months for a Planet of Pants reunion! I'm sure if we put on a benefit show, the sheer amount of cash our presence will guarantee means the Union will have nothing to worry about!

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Wednesday, December 08, 2004 at 11:00:16 (EST)

He's a winner, despite his age
Yea, I'm an old man! Already I'm starting to forget things. My license expired yesterday so I have to get down to the DMV today to renew, a la Logan's Run. Mouthy bandmates have been commanding me to go to the "express" DMV in midtown, but I don't think there will be much of a line at the Downtown Brooklyn DMV on a Wednesday afternoon.


Taylor from Maytag

Speaking of mouthy bandmates, the show went very well last night. I managed to convince Zack he screwed up a song when it was totally my fault. And it could just be a fluke, but I did not break any strings last night. In fact I haven't broken a string for at least a week! Perhaps I'm finally grown up enough to play the guitar without bashing the hell out of it.


Maytag

Maytag, from South Carolina, was kicking off their tour last night. They had only their guitars and a snare drum, hoping to borrow equipment from one of the other bands. This should not be a problem, yet despite the presence of two full, sturdy drumsets in the Lit storage room, they could not secure permission to use any from the other bands. This was kind of a letdown for us, since not only did it mean we'd have to haul our drum set out of the van to let them use, it meant that there would be a lot of wasted time when a band finished and had to remove all their stuff from the stage. Lit is a great club, but there's not a lot of time for the bands to play, so if everybody shares the same basic setup, then everybody gets more time to actually play music. When will these kids learn?


Maytag

Then again, I can't play on any other amp than my own, but then my amp is but a fraction of the size of the monsters that many bands use. I can understand maybe using a half-stack, but anything more than that seems awfully excessive. A good rule of thumb should be: your amps are too large if there's not enough room for you to stand on the stage.

Okay enough cranky whining. All told the show was really good. We managed to snare a few people into showing up (thanks guys), plus our old pal Barbus made it all the way from Cleveland to see us. He took some pictures of the band:


Buzz the Headless Drummer


Look at those small, yet highly powerful amps!


Took forever to figure out what this was, but now it's my favorite band photo.



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Tuesday, December 07, 2004 at 14:28:46 (EST)

I get ill on a posse with my goddamn hands

Buzz McKinnon's Galvinizer pedal

Tonight's Lit show will feature the unveiling of a project that has occupied Buzz McKinnon for longer than I care to remember. Recently he got into the DIY guitar effects thing, building his own stomboxes for various musical purposes. He finally finished the box I commissioned him to build (well I whined about it until he did it), his own interpretation of MXR's Microamp. I shall be using this little box to great effect at tonight's performance. It seems to work exactly like the 'real thing', basically boosting the signal on my "A" channel to give it more guts. I'm not totally sure the average audience member will even notice the difference but it's been like getting a whole new amp for me. I will be especially interested to see how it fares at higher volumes, which we will no doubt be employing tonight.

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Monday, December 06, 2004 at 14:07:27 (EST)

But they'll complain and complain and complain and complain

Best part of the show was the ceiling

Okay people, you've got a lot of work to do this week. First of all, tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 32 whole years old, which I believe puts me into this position in which I can now make demands on everybody about pretty much anything. I'm gonna be like your grandmother who lolls around on the divan and says things like "Honey, why don't you fetch me my Newports, would ya, Sugar?"

To celebrate my induction into the realm of the aged, MOTICO will be rocking out at Lit tomorrow night. I see no good reason that everyone within the sound of my blog could not attend. No excuses! You show up or our little blog-dance is over! Yes, no longer will you be able to secretly pretend that I am writing directly to you; every time you visit hence you will know in your heart that I am purposefully not thinking of you when I compose these ever-so-important entries.

Getting old means getting more and more defensive.

Aside from the fact that you all will attend and have no choice in the matter, the show will of course be fun and will run no later than midnight, since the DJs that go on after midnight are the bar's real cash cow. Also, look at it this way: if you show up to the gig you're off the hook for getting me a present! What a deal!

Also as I get older I apparently feel the need to prolong the agony: Saturday night we're having a birthday party here at Chez Legs. This is a joint venture between myself and Noise Footprint. Her birthday is next week, so we decided to join forces so it wouldn't be so egregious.


Plus you get to party with these studs at both events!



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