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30 December 2005

new year's revolution

you've come a long way since last year but you have a long way to go. you've done things you can be proud of. you've perfected talking the talk. but you still can't walk the walk. and you've made some big mistakes and you've paid for them dearly. you're pretty smart, but far from wise. will this be the year you finally start to get it?

you've got friends shipping off to iraq and all you do is whine about dumb shit. nobody wants to hear it and all this hand-wringing is getting you fucking nowhere. it's only reaffirming in everyone's minds that you're a big crybaby which is how you landed where you did in the first place.

your hindsight is better than 20/20. try to develop your foresight, and maybe this year you'll make more good decisions than bad. try to see your mistakes before you make them instead of months after.

don't second guess yourself. it's counterproductive. think with your gut when you should think with your gut and think with your head when you should think with your head and tell all your other body parts to mind their own business.

it doesn't matter how you justify it to yourself on a case-by-case basis. you lie because it's easy. stop doing that. man up and take your lumps if you deserve them.

your dad taught you how to shake someone's hand the right way. now learn to look people in the eye and please for god's sake try to remember their names.

when a pretty girl smiles at you in the subway, just open up your big dumb mouth and say hi.

only say you're sorry when you mean it. people can always tell when it's bullshit. don't talk so much. listen. tell people who matter that they matter. stop chasing your tail you'll never catch it. it's not over until it's over but even then sometimes it isn't over.

you're 24 years old. grow up.

29 December 2005

it's not a long walk to my place from here

today is thursday, which means it's alternate street parking day where i live and my car needs to be elsewhere by 8:30 am. it's not usually a big deal because i work, but this week it sucks because i totally planned on sleeping until noon and when my alarm woke me up at 8 and it was raining i basically wanted to throw a temper tantrum.

so i hoof it to my car in the same clothes i wore last night and plan on finding a spot quickly, and returning to my warm bed where i had been oh so happy only minutes before.

but i couldn't find a spot after one circle around the block so i got cranky and just drove 45 minutes out to long island where i've been recording and did some takes on "triple deke." nailed it, dude. on the second take. at least, i think so. i'll have to listen again in a few days. but i sound tired and kinda sick and my playing is a little sloppy. if you're a dork like me, you think that's cool because the lyrics kinda lend themselves to that sort of delivery. or something.

so. it's raining in new york city, and i think i'm going to put myself back to bed now. this day has already been productive.

also in case you missed the memo sam ash still sucks.

28 December 2005

break me in half and then step on both halves with spikey shoes

today i went to a sam ash music store to buy some new strings for my acoustic guitar so i could get to recording "triple deke" finally. let me say before i even go any further that i hate sam ash stores, and every time i land at one i immediately remember why i always swear to never go back. it just feels like something is amiss in those places.

so the guy in the guitar section has a really hard time finding the pack of strings i want even though i am looking and pointing right at it. then he wants nothing to do with ringing me up (strings must do nothing for commission) which i guess if it was the only thing wouldn't be so bad because i have done sales and the guitar showroom was full of people probably looking to spend money so whatever. the guy didn't want to help me.

so i walk with my package of strings to the drums section where three dudes are standing around calling each other gay. eventually they notice me and i get one to ring me up. when the register opens he stares blankly at it for about ten seconds (seriously) then tells me he can't make change for my twenty dollar bill so i have to hang on. he comes back like way-too-long later with a fistful of bills and hands me my change. asks if i want a receipt.

the only thing i wanted was to get the fuckshit out of that hellhole and i wasn't planning on returning the strings so i just said no and split. oh and i forgot also about how they try to get your phone number and address and social security number and mother's maiden name and blood type for a $5 purchase so they can sell your information to malevolent entities for profit. i told him no for that too.

it was a few hours later when i went to mcdonalds for a double cheeseburger (i know those will kill me give me a break) and realized that he had given me change for a ten and not a twenty.

god dammit.

so my guitar is nicely restrung now (although i can't find my wirecutters anywhere so be careful not to put your face anywhere near it lest you lose your vision permanently from the sharp string ends) and sounding sweet. i did a few takes but immediately lost my voice so i stopped but by the end of this week so help me god i will have a recording of "triple deke" that was done in one take and sounds pretty rad.

fucking sam ash. i hate that place. potty.

24 December 2005

i spend longer thinking of titles to these posts than i do writing the posts

there's a very specific kind of bar in which i feel at home and almost always the places i end up are not that kind of bar. and especially around the holidays, when i find myself back in connecticut like all the others who find themselves back here and we go to a bar, it's pretty much a sure thing that i'll be squirming.

an old college friend of a good high school friend is engaged now. sure, i'm game to drive all the way to mystic to meet someone-who-i-don't-know's fiance. at least it won't be my unofficial high school reunion. it'll actually be the school my school beat in the state championship football game so many years ago when all that seemed like it mattered. but whatever.

the place is called margaritas. it is a beefy dudefest, mostly. and the bartender is being shitty about my new york id. no bouncers.

oh ho ho, what's this? a pretty girl? talking to me? this might not be so bad after all. oh. yes, i have heard of jerry falwell. yes, he certainly is something else. holy crap i just remembered i have to go give myself a swirly in the men's room brb.

a bar fight. real bar fight. brawl, actually. glasses breaking on the floor, glasses breaking on heads. all the lights go on. everybody out. we're closing. good thing we had bouncers tonight so that we could control this situation. i have to pee. there is blood just absolutley fucking everywhere in the bathroom. awesome.

and then on the way home we stopped at the mcdonalds rest area in milford and i saw some more crazy shit but i just don't have the words.

if you keep a fish out of water long enough will it grow lungs or will it just shrivel up? probably it'll just learn to play guitar. i should've asked that girl how she felt about intelligent design.

hey, happy christmas if that's your deal. i hope you've been good this year. i might be getting coal.

21 December 2005

i made this with clicks.

they're more afraid of you than you are of themwhat do you think? it's a real rough draft of an idea i've been kicking around for the album art. that thing on the floor is supposed to be a paint brush.

go, lovely rose

not sure if i've ever mentioned this before, and not like you ever could guess from hearing me sing now, but when i was in college i sang classical a cappella music with a lovely bunch of folks (represent). some of those songs still pop in my head now and again, and just now in the shower one came to me that used to absolutely destroy me. i don't have a recording handy and i don't even remember who wrote the arrangement we sang, but i was able to find the poem it was set to. by a guy named edmund waller.

  Go, lovely Rose-
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die-that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

believe me when i say i don't plan on making a habit of posting poetry up here. i positively can't stand when people do that. but it's ok to break your own rules once in a while.

the thing is, i guess, that this is almost a completely different language. it could never be written today. or, if it were, you can bet i wouldn't take it seriously. but it was written long ago about a beautiful girl who by now is dust and that just kills me.

also. we're all fucked.

there's plenty more where that came from

i think i've found what will be the new carrot on the new stick that will get me through a record past the one i'm working on now.

i don't know about other people's experiences writing/recording music because i haven't spoken with enough people at length to be able to make generalizations, but for me there has always been a lingering fear that i'm running out of ideas and that i've got nothing left to write about.

but my mind is nothing if it isn't creative when filling in the blanks in the stories that i wish it wouldn't tell me over and over again. now i've just gotta write it all down and make some of it rhyme.

i'm going to resume my old practice of keeping a pad and pen next to my bed again. to scribble in the dark the things that steal me from sleep. and in the daytime to sing about them until they're gone.

19 December 2005

long distance

funny thing about phones these days. i don't have one in my apartment other than my cell phone (who can afford to pay for two when they hardly use one?). i don't pay long distance on my cell. there is no such thing as long distance anymore. or maybe now everything is long distance. i still have a providence phone number. you could stand right next to me in new york and call me and it would be a long distance call. i am 150 miles away. give or take.

i wrote a new song the other night. my first new one in a while i suppose. it won't be on the record because even though the record is hardly done it's set in stone and when it's finished it will represent exactly where i was at some point before right now because from now on i am where the new songs will be but that's not the record. make any sense? didn't think so.

turns out they'll never hear it in iran. which is a bummer because i was really thinking that'd be a good target market. but i guess i'll save my dollars and print less records now.

i am in rare form tonight. and i know exactly why but i'm not telling you no sir no way no how.

18 December 2005

much ado about something

so i started work on "doctor, these headaches" today. so far i can tell you this much: it will be recorded at roughly 110 beats per minute in the key of G major. it will have 2 guitar parts, and a drum part that kinda reminds me of "where the river goes" by stone temple pilots (but don't worry, i will never rock as hard as them). of course there'll be a bass in there too somewhere but i have no idea how it'll sound and i'm sure it won't be anything special since i'm clueless.

if i manage to do it right, it'll be the best song on the record, but i probably won't manage to do it right. i might be seeking a guest vocal, or i might not. it's probably really going to test my voice. as it stands right now it's also going to test my guitar skills. i'm uncomfortable with both of those tests. i'm unduly nervous about the whole thing, and working very, very slowly.

it only has 4 chords.

i am a big baby.

17 December 2005

were they all just lost in the flood?

i've spent all day so far today listening to old vinyl records. i have a totally sweet turntable that i never use and a really warm sounding old hi-fi amp that i probably paid about $10 for at a yardsale because some yahoo got himself an alpine. old speakers, etc.

the point is that everyone who says rock and roll sounds best on vinyl is 100% right. i have all these records on cd and vinyl. and they all sound better on vinyl. and if it totally doesn't break my bank, i am going to make some vinyl versions of "they're more afraid of you than you are of them" when i finally finish it. from what i hear vinyl is a specialty thing, but is affordable in small quantities. of course i haven't really done much homework on it yet.

but let's talk a bit about the record, since i don't feel like i do much of that anymore and as i've been recently reminded, that is why i started all this writing in the first place.

it's coming along. not without its share of frustration (i just shitcanned all but the drums for "a viking's funeral" so i can redo it in a different key that i can sing better), but it's coming. a song is done when i am still proud of it 2 weeks after the last time i tweaked it. and by that measure, 4/8 songs are done. of course one of those is the centipede song and it doesn't even belong on the album and it's been done for years and it'll probably just be a hidden track but who the f cares? the other three that are done are "if these walls could talk," "i spin forever," and "new york city." i haven't even started "doctor, these headaches" or "triple deke" yet. that leaves "the loudest man on the laugh track" which is the one i earlier intimated might end up sounding like a william shatner song. at this point that is still possibly the case.

in a drawer here at my desk i have about 10 rolls of undeveloped film dating as far back as my sophomore year in college (which is like 5 years ago) and some recent introspection has made me decide to get them developed. for all i know they've expired or something, but they've all been in lightproof cases and all that so i'm just going to hope for the best. the point is, there's going to be a lot on there that's going to hurt to see. but probably a lot also that'll be really nice. and since none of them are labeled, everytime i do one it'll be a surprise. i hope whether nice or not they'll move me forward with this record and with life in general. not that i'm living in the past or anything (not that far in the past anyway) but these film rolls represent to me a lot of shit i've avoided confronting for a long time. i guess i'll keep you posted.

lastly, i know i've linked you to the ex-girlfriend project about a million times by now, but he mentioned the other day how "mary, queen of arkansas" always reminded him of "kara" (who so far is unquestionably the most interesting of his ex's) and that just came on while i was typing all this. on vinyl the way it should be.

don't get used to it

if i could meet anyone, living or dead, i'd probably choose abraham lincoln or something, but then i'd be pissed i didn't just go with my gut and say springsteen.

i switched to a firm-bristled toothbrush the other day. it makes my gums bleed.

i saw syriana tonight. you should see that if you haven't yet. and pay attention, for god's sake.

you know how as soon as you stop thinking about it, your tongue is poking around your teeth looking for bits of food and stuff? that's good, it keeps your mouth clean. i was thinking on my 1.5 hour odyssey from the movie theater in manhattan back to queens about how i can keep my mind off all my emo all day long while i do other shit but as soon as i have to sit and wait on a train with nothing else to do everything comes rushing back and then i was thinking how that's kinda like the tongue thing. but now that i'm writing it out it's not the same as all. fuck.

it's kinda late. what am i still doing up? nothing productive, that's for sure.

you know how when you meet someone and they seem like a nice enough guy but then you get to know them better and the more you know the more you realize the guy's a total dick? i've been getting reacquainted with myself lately. parts of me are kinda dickish. but i like some other parts just fine.

i got a tiny bit of good news today.

i am f'ing tired.

15 December 2005

lucky numbers: 41 7 12 8 38 27

i ordered chinese food tonight from the brand new place down the block that just opened up. they have a lower delivery minimum than the other places around here so i figured i would forsake yin cheng and give joy garden a go.

so the guy shows up with my $8 meal and i ask for $10 back from a $20 bill. no change. what? no change. what? no change. ok hold on.

i paid for my chinese food with $10 in quarters. the guy didn't seem that pissed though. what kind of chinese delivery guy shows up without any change?

now i am sitting here in the dark by myself enjoying some really exquisite orange chicken (with way more broccoli than most places give...extra points) and drinking a vodka/tang that i made way too strong (story of my life).

for what it's worth, my fortune cookie had this to say: ":) your home is a pleasant place from which you draw happiness."

it's like they really really know me.

it was hard to type all this without errors.

13 December 2005

storybook romance

james is in switzerland now teaching math and physics at a hippie school in the alps. which is totally bodacious even though really he should be in nyc doing backflips from amp stacks. but i was talking to him the other day and he told me a story about something that was so emo that i just felt i needed to share and i wanted to do it now before i forgot it.

so i guess there's this kid there (i didn't ask but i'm assuming around 16) who likes this girl and he doesn't really have "moves" per se. bah, i feel like if i try to insert too many details i'm just going to ruin this. here's the meat and potatoes:

so he asks his friend to go up to this chick and say to her "hey, look over there. chris* is face down in the snow because he's so crazy for you." and sure enough there is this kid lying face down in the snow. face down. in. the. snow.

in a just world, he would've gotten the girl for that. at least, i think he should've.

there was more to this story too that i can't remember well enough to recount, about how james tried to explain to the kid what "emo" was (he's swedish, i guess they don't have that there). and some other good stuff too. maybe james'll fill in the blanks someday. i just wanted to tell you about face-down-in-the-snow before i forgot.

* i don't remember his name so hopefully the name has been changed but it might just really be his name. do they call swedish kids chris?

all i want for christmas is a good night's sleep

hey. nightmares again. as a little kid when i would have bad dreams and couldn't fall back asleep, i would sneak to the kitchen and get a glass of apple juice and the mere act of trying to be quiet enough not to wake my parents (if i did i was in trouble) usually tired me out. now i get up and browse teh intarnets. which does not tire me out at all. and i don't even have apple juice. but i do have tang.

they just executed tookie williams about an hour and a half ago. i've said it before but i'm compelled to say it again: i've done all the thought experiments and read a lot of the arguments and i stand firmly against capital punishment. and reading the news story about it just now i felt sick to my stomach.

maybe you feel the same and maybe you don't but either way a man died tonight at the hands of the state of california and no man is an island and all that. it just makes me really sad.

another thing. when i said nightmares. it's not nightmares, really. they're actually kinda nice dreams. but when i stir from them and realize they're just dreams, i get myself so worked up that i can't fall back asleep. for a few ficticious minutes the mistakes that i dwell on in the waking hours are undone, and when i wake up it's like i have to get mad at myself all over again for them.

i guess when you get older and you realize monsters aren't really what you should be afraid of in life but rather you should fear yourself and your decisions and your consequences then that is what constitutes a nightmare. i think i've talked about this before too. it's hard to keep track.

and then i guess the next step is learning to learn from your mistakes.

and then and then and then...

i could stay here and type bitter nothings to you all night long, but i'd regret it tomorrow (which, by the way, is shaping up to be a real hum-dinger). i'm going to try to go back to sleep again.

11 December 2005

if you're gonna spew...spew in this.

i just wrote a pretty long post about how i barfed into a cup on the subway this morning but then i read it over and it was totally gross so i axed it. sorry.

life is about learning lessons, right? today i learned not to get onto a crowded train for a long ride if your stomach feels like a timebomb and whatever you're planning to do could be easily rescheduled.

i am going to spend the rest of the day in bed. i planned on recording, but that was then and this is now and now i'm sick.

the whistles go wooooo.

10 December 2005

open up your mouth and sing.

recording vocals is really hard. with guitars some mistakes are ok, sometimes they even sound good. and it's easy enough to fix them with a little production magic if they don't. with drums (in my case anyway) they're just programmed so once you've figured out how you want them to sound it's pretty idiot proof. just a little compression and you're golden.

but god damn. vocals. i can stand in front of a microphone and sing (read: scream) for hours and hours and come up with nothing usable. and even once i finally sing something right, the battle has just begun. i've gotta make it so you can understand the words over the music, and make sure all the s's and p's and f's and t's aren't too loud so that they hurt, but are audible. and it's important (most of the time) that it sounds natural, not overproduced (even though almost always it is overproduced).

also it doesn't help that i use pretty shoddy equipment.

i wish i had other things to write about, and i'm sure i will again soon, but really this has been occupying all my thoughts lately. i'm making progress. really slowly. i hope in the end all this fuss will be worth it.

...oh, and in case there was any doubt in your mind that i should be considered in the running for potty guy of the year, i am now a proud owner of one of these bad boys.

07 December 2005

many's the lad fought on that day well the claymore could wield

the doctor and the nurse had developed a silent language. there was no use for words when everything could be communicated through glances. and in a combat zone, too often the words were better left unspoken. this doesn't look good. no. not good at all.

he had been in a few weeks ago, this one. it was just a flesh wound. a glancing shot. lucky. a few stitches. good as new. oops.

it was worse than that and no one had known. no. he had known. but he had soldiered on, as soldiers do. it's nothing i can't beat. i've seen worse. i'll be fine. i need nothing.

and now, left neglected and untreated, it might be too late. and only now does he understand the gravity of his situation. because doctors and nurses are not the only ones whose eyes can speak and read this language that has no sounds.

i am i am i said i'm not myself

i guess it doesn't happen often, but once in a while i can think myself into such a mess that i'm basically paralyzed. and it takes forever to calm down. i was trying to sleep just now. wanted to get to bed early tonight, it's already been a long week and i was really hoping for a good night's sleep.

but instead i lie there and nothing i can do or think can prevent these scenes from looping through my mind. things i never should've known about in the first place. mistakes i made and knew i was making. water so far under the bridge that by now it's surely reached the ocean. he said she said you said i said and none of us were right.

and none of it can be changed and i probably wouldn't want to even if it could but i'm sure i'd think long and hard.

it's probably the impending holidays. and it's definitely the other thing that i can't even bring myself to talk about yet but i'm sure i will soon.

more and more i feel like a fish out of water.

maybe it's time to head west. or just go home. is that where the heart hides these days? maybe it's time to pick up the phone or maybe it's time to lose the number.

maybe if i sit here writing for long enough something'll occur to me and all the pieces will fit. like the puzzle on my coffee table that i'm sick of looking at but it took too much effort to just dismantle. or maybe i'll just get so tired that i'll be able to fall asleep.

tidbit: the fastest mile i ever ran my shoe fell off during the first lap.

there's a word i can't think of (david?) for attributing human emotions to inanimate when you feel bad about throwing a rock into a lake because now it's gotta sit at the bottom of the lake when it had a nice place on dry land. whatever that word is, i do it a lot.

this is almost definitely the most rambling, pointless, and discombobulated thing i have ever written for public consumption but i'm not sorry.

i'm gonna go lie in bed some more.

maybe i need to move. this place is haunted.

05 December 2005

i feel my luck could change

you know, with all the obsessing i've been doing (and make no mistake, it's obsessing) about my silly record, i can't remember the last time i've just picked up my guitar and played some old radiohead songs in my bedroom for no reason other than the pure joy of it. which is how all of this really started years ago.

so tonight that's what i did. unplugged and by candlelight. it was pretty emo.

it's going to snow tonight. i'm a lot more jaded than i used to be, but i still think the air before a snowstorm is electric.

not sure if you knew, but brooklyn lager is just about the best beer known to man.

mortal kombat

i don't know how to say this so i'm just going to say it.

i was just in my kitchen doing dishes when a cockroach scampered across the counter from under the microwave. a pretty big one. so i did what i always do, attacking with whatever weapon was available. which in this case happened to be a fork.

by some karmically twisted miracle of physics, its guts shot me right in the fucking eye.

now i've had some really disgusting things happen to me in my day. anyone who was with me at woodstock '99 can attest to at least one chart-topper (don't even bother asking). but this really takes the cake. i'm not sure i'll ever recover.

04 December 2005

will the thrill and boogaloo shrimp

did you ever watch the fresh prince of bel air? i watched that shit all the time when i was a kid. the episode i remember most clearly (which is still pretty fuzzy) is the one where carlton and will got stranded somewhere with no transportation and needed something like $300 to get home and conveniently there was a dance competition with a $300 prize. do you remember yet? they did this totally retarded dance (and didn't win the competition) but uncle phill bailed them out.

anyway. the point is that the dance scene is one of the times i remember as a kid laughing until it hurt. i was in a bar last night on avenue b and the song they danced to came on and nobody i was with would even admit watching the show (liars) so i couldn't reminisce with anyone.

03 December 2005

i got a wolf's mouth and it suits me

it came and it went just like they all have and just like they all will until one day when maybe one won't leave but don't hold your breath. and a piece of you went with it and a piece of it stuck on you. and sometimes in the shower you remember what she said in the stop and shop parking lot like it was no big deal. or what she said at the international house of pancakes and what a big deal it was and how you dropped the ball on that one, man.

and sometimes it hurts a lot still and other times not as much and sometimes you're sorry and sometimes you're not and sometimes when it's dark everyone looks the same.

a phone call from an old friend who still lives in the old place. guess who i saw tonight. but why guess when you already know?

it's cold

raise your hand if you fell asleep and missed your subway stop tonight and then decided to walk home through a pretty shifty neighborhood up a really steep hill in the blistering-tits cold rather than wait for another train going back your way.

oh! me! oh oh oh! pick me pick me!


glass half empty glass half full glass shatters.

01 December 2005

bedtime stories

just a few things i thought of in the shower that i've been meaning to tell you. first. i found this on my old roommate's site (where i am always finding awesome crazy things) and it's too good not to share with you. this is easily the weirdest thing i have seen in at least a week. watch the whole thing. it's worth it.

also. i know i told you before to buy the moves' record and i know you didn't. that's ok, i never do shit when people tell me to either. especially when it involves money. but i would be remiss if i didn't tell you one more time to check them out. at least listen to this one song. it's pretty awesome. tell 'em mikey sent ya.

ok g'night.

30 November 2005

i can't get behind that

so i spent a few hours tonight recording some vocals. i don't want to alarm you and i don't want to get super specific at this time...but based on how tonight went there may or may not be a song on the record with vocals that are more shatner-spoken than sung. i am just going to have to sleep on it for a while.

28 November 2005

hot lava

hey. long time no talk. it's because i fell into some hot lava. i'm all better now though.

no really i didn't. that would kill you for sure. you'd be hurtin' for certain.

i've just been sitting here listening to what i think is the final mix for "if these walls could talk" over and over again on different sets of speakers and headphones to see if i hear anything that pisses me off. this is the process i go through for every song. that's why it takes so goddamn long. i recorded this in about 6 hours, and have been mixing it for about 6 months.

it's sounding pretty ok.

story time. one night me and my friend john drank a whole case of pabst blue ribbon and then climbed a pretty tall rock wall to get to the athletic fields at our beloved alma mater. then we stumbled around firing some pretty f'ing awesome roman candles into the air and laughing real belly-laughs after pretty much every shot went off. you ever have one of those nights where it just works right? that was one of them.

then we went to some kid's house that he knew and the kid had bottle rockets sitting on his nightstand (it must've been around the 4th of july) and we stole a bunch and i still have them in my sock drawer. don't be mad, he had like a ton.

26 November 2005

oh my god oh my god

so i found it. it was in my briefcase, which is something i got at a yard sale when i was a little kid and treasured above most other things because it locked with a combination (which i still remembered, miraculously) and it's where i kept shit that either i wanted to keep safe or i didn't want anyone else to see or usually both. the contents of that briefcase could be a whole other post...but we'll see about that later.

we called ourselves "the undercover beat" and we recorded 5 songs. i had totally forgotten that my younger brother also participated, so in addition to the two 10 year old voices i described earlier, there is an even younger sounding 7 year old. at the end of every song we screamed in non-unison "yo, we outta heeeere."

our tape was called the undercover beat - go through tough times. here's the tracklisting:
  • "playin' hookey" (not sure why we neglected the exclamation point on this one) was a bit of a point/counterpoint argument about the merits of a good education. really creative stuff. if you didn't want to get sent to the "fat, ugly" principal's office and end up working at mcdonalds with all the other "idiots" you'd better learn your maths.
  • "darn those drugs!" contains repeated assertions that drug dealers would hold guns to your head to make you try marijuana, but if you sped away fast enough on your bike, you'd be safe once you reached your front yard. this is even funnier if you've ever been to monroe, connecticut, circa 1990.
  • "traffic jam!" is a prime example of overreaching. not only had none of us ever driven a car, but i doubt any of us had even been in real traffic in any car, period. again, you'd know if you'd been around when this was made. also, we must've been trying to sound really pissed and exasperated about the exhaust fumes but in reality we just sounded really squeaky and this is the least listenable song in a collection of entirely unlistenable songs.
  • "we did it!" was an extremely make-you-squirm patriotic celebration of the usa's victory in operation desert storm. complete with someone audibly pausing the nintendo in the middle for an a cappella rendition of "america the beautiful" that goes on waaay too long. if i wasn't so bent on keeping this under wraps, i bet the cia could use it to interrogate bad guys instead of torturing them like dick cheney likes to do. actually maybe this would still be considered torture.
  • "smog - so what else is new?" probably would be the best song (it's got some really big words in it which i surely did not write) but it's interrupted a few times by another friend who taped over our sweet beats with some insinuations about our sexual orientations.
all in all, i'm not sure i'm glad that i found it and i'm probably not tough enough to post any audio for you to hear because it's way worse than even my worst nightmares. but i haven't made my final decision yet.

24 November 2005

this was on my wall for a very long time

i was pretty active at my church when i was in high school. never so much on the real religion side, but definitely on the just-showing-up-must-count-for-something side. some of my best friendships to this day were forged at our youth group.

we would meet in the same building that they held church school in. one day there was a line of contstruction paper on the wall, some of the kids had done one of those things where you put down every letter a-z and write something starting with each letter about something. this one was about god. duh. judging by the handwriting difference, it looked like each kid in the class got 3 letters for one sheet.

i really liked the last sheet (they x,y,z one) so i took it down, xeroxed it, and put it back up. i think i liked it because man, that must've sucked to get those last letters. those are tough ones. and also, they were scrawled in really sloppy handwriting, which reminded me of myself. anyway, that paper went with me for years on my wall everywhere i lived. it was finally lost in the shuffle when i moved from providence to queens, which i never paid much thought to, but tonight i was just thinking of it at 3:45am because that's just how i am. it said:
xample to all of us
you are truthful to us
zap us with your love.
maybe it's better taken totally out of context like it would have been if you just ambled into my room back then and saw it on my wall with masking tape. that's why i liked it, anyway. but i can't sleep so i figured i'd give you the background, too.

happy thanksgiving to you and all of yours.

22 November 2005

like a polaroid picture

when i was a kid i had a lot of nervous energy. i was always shaking my leg, or pacing, or tapping, or doing that thing where you roll a pen back and forth over your knuckles (when i got older and finally learned how to do it in chemistry class).

they* like to say nervous habits are the product of sexual frustration. for the record, whether or not the well has been dry, i've always peeled the labels off my beer. off topic.

it isn't the kind of thing people remember details about, so i don't know when i stopped, but let's say at some point between ages 17 and 19, i just cut it out. i've no inkling why. i just know i gradually came to realize in college that i didn't really do those things anymore and didn't really have the urge to.

i also don't know when it started again and i don't know why. but i shake like the dickens these days. and i'm constantly reminded of it because of a little coin bank on my desk here that jingles every time i shake my right leg. it drives me absolutely crazy.

* for the most part, i've found that the kind of people who'll cheerfully remind you of such hogwash tend to be more sexually frustrated on average than the people who won't. and strangely, they all like to say it as if it's deadly serious (and recently proven) scientific fact, as if you've never heard it before and you're supposed to be impressed and thank them for their insight into your psyche. seriously. hurt yourself.

21 November 2005

here are some things.

  1. sorry.
  2. there is a disconnect between how you see yourself and how others see you.
  3. who's right?
  4. nights in shining amor.
  5. i'm not ready to go...i just got here.
  6. a band-aid on your hairy arm.
  7. someone remembers the worst thing you've ever done and they'll never forget it.
  8. the absolute worst idea ever is to give lingerie as a gift.

  9. someone else knows something else and they think it's the worst thing but they're wrong and you're sure not going to correct them.
  10. pyrrhic victory.
  11. there's no way that stain is coming out.
  12. my brother turned 21 yesterday. i sent him an e-card with a pic from but only because for my birthday he trolled the internet for the grossest picture of a fat naked bald lady he could find.
  13. do not go there.
  14. you are so totally fucking predictable.
  15. you don't know. you don't know you don't know you don't know you don't know you don't know. you don't know.
  16. i hate this game but at least i'm winning.
  17. nonsense. all of this is.

20 November 2005

waste one.

(if you're pitching and you're ahead of the batter in the count, waste one. see if you can make him swing at something unhittable. it's going to be a long winter.)

i spend a lot of time thinking about things i've done and said. and the things i might have done differently. i am the woulda-coulda-shoulda-buddha. which is where most of these songs come from, and i suppose where much of this blog finds its inspiration.

funny thing about this blog is, it wasn't originally intended to be one. i built a simple site so people could check out my music. and i built a really simple news section so that i could give important updates like (shh...i know none of this is really important). but then it became a pain in the rear to update the html and format it correctly and ftp it to the server every time i wanted to let people know anything, so i figured i'd just let the friendly folks* at blogger do that work for me.

and that's when it happened. i got hooked on this. for probably similar reasons to why i started writing songs in the first place. connection. (i realize right now that this post has veered away from its original intent and i am not strong enough to steer it back on course. oh well.)

i am shy to a debilitating extent. i can't talk to girls in bars (or anywhere else where other people are around). fuck, i even have a hard time talking to bank tellers. and just forget about calling some customer service line to complain about something.

but if you can write a song (or, i guess, a blog) and people can relate to what you're trying to say, then all of the sudden you've got that connection, and you didn't need to talk to anyone to do it. hell, you never needed to leave your living room.

and so here we are. i have a blog. it's nothing, really. but it's less nothing than it used to be. it's instant. it's easy. it takes me months to produce a song. it takes about 20 seconds to post this bad boy once i've written it.

i didn't mean to write about this today. it just happened. i was going to tell you all about my weekend and speak vaguely about ghosts from my past. but i guess i can always do that some other time.

is this a distraction?

*they are good people, really. i know one.

18 November 2005


yo whatup. join the mailing list. because if you do i have a special treat for you.

it's easy (wo)man...just put your email in the box over there on the right (or go to the contacts section at the top). the mailing list is a yahoo group that only i can post to. and even i do it less than once a month because i put all the day-to-day nonsense up right here. but as important music related stuff starts happening, i'm going to be using it once in a while to let you know things.

anyway. the thing about the special treat. way way back when i first started doing this stuff i had a microphone and a 4 track recorder and no idea how to use either one but for practice i recorded "cool ethan's song" from the movie slackers (best movie ever). jason schwartzman wrote it for the movie. it's pretty muddy sounding but it was my first time and nobody's very good their first time, so give me a break. i'm still not very good.

if you want to download that song, you can do so by clicking on "files" in the yahoo group once you've joined. (if you're already on the mailing list you obviously also can download it the same way.)

there are lots of parentheses in this email. i overuse the (shit) out of those.

16 November 2005


holy shit how come nobody told me this site looks so shitty in internet explorer? you ie users must think i'm some kind of loony.

i think i fixed it now. but you should just use firefox. for pete's sake.

leave it by the roadside...

coming back home to my apartment tonight the hallway smelled musty and greasy and warm, kinda like a lawnmower shed in the summertime. only also like bad breath. and the first thought i had was "wow, it smells like a serial killer here. i better lock both locks tonight."

do you think that makes me weird?

nothing exciting has happened the past 2 days except that i made a huge fucking mess in my kitchen trying to melt down candle wax from spent candles to make a new candle. like dr. frankenstein, only with candles. this is not the first time i have attempted such a thing. i made a mess last time too.

this guy josh pyke came out with a record a few days back. only in australia, but it's fucking good. listen to a few of those songs. seriously. good.

14 November 2005

dragon kicks, funky phresh lyrics

when i was very young, my friend garrett and i recorded a rap record. i had gotten mc hammer's please hammer don't hurt 'em in my easter basket, and i was so pumped. so we wrote and recorded rap songs onto a tape. it would be a miracle if that tape still exists*, but if i can find it next time i'm at my parents' house, maybe i'll share it with you.

this was really high-tech production, too. what we did was set a simple tape recorder up in his basement, and played nintendo until we got to a level that we could sit still in and the music would loop. then we'd hit record, use the looped nintendo music as our "beat," and rap about god knows what. i particularly remember a scene in double dragon 3** that we used a few times.

seriously though. just try to to imagine exactly how bad this was. i guarantee it's worse than you think. 2 prepubescent nerdy white kids trying to be mc hammer. i'm dying to see if i can find it now that somehow this memory has surfaced after all these years.

i don't even remember what we called ourselves, how many songs we did, what they were about, or what evil spirit it was that convinced us that we would be cool for having done it. but i guess for both of us it was foreshadowing. garrett makes movies now. and here i am still trying to make records.

* i have dodgy memories of a ceremonial burning when we were older, but i don't know if we actually did it or just talked about it.

* also i am remembering now that the intro scene in double dragon 3 referred to the lee brothers as "bimmy and jimmy" instead of billy and jimmy. fucking rock. oh also i just found this review of the game that made me laugh...that game really was fucking impossible. even with game genie i couldn't beat that thing. and this is me, the guy who can beat contra without dying once.

13 November 2005

a lack of color

i woke up this morning feeling like the site needed a splash of color. so there it is. tell me if you think it's too ambitious.

i was going to try to record something today but there's indian music literally pounding through my ceiling so i'm just going to play video games instead.

i ain't no hollaback girl

i am too old for this shit. this is the 2nd night in a row i'm getting home at 4:30 am and i've perfected the art of the subway-pass-out-but-wake-up-before-your-stop.

honestly. what is wrong with me?

also, lest i forget my inadequacy: today's example of a song that is better than anything i can write is brought to you by say anything..."wow, i can be sexual too." should start playing automatically when you click that link.

max bemis might be completely f'd in the head, but he's still a genius.


12 November 2005

the moves - johnny america

i can never let emo shit like that last post stay at the top for too long. because i go back and read it the next day and think to myself: self, you are too goddamn emo.

so i figured i'd bump it down one notch and at the same time mention that i just ordered my "johnny america" cd from the moves via a secure paypal transaction for only $10 with free shipping and you should too.(!)

last night i spent $12 for a warm, flat gin and tonic at a nice bar full of lame potty guys after i had already payed $15 just for the priveledge of spending time in their presence. so $10 for a cd that i will cherish always and forever seems like a good investment. oh and it comes with a dvd too.

11 November 2005

using words to say what can't be said with words

a little girl draws her family in crayon, eager for mommy to find an empty spot on the refridgerator and stick it with a magnet.

a dog waits patiently by the door for 8 hours for his master to come home. sitting, holding, waiting, looking, waiting. and finally the car door. the footsteps. the key in the lock.

a man buys red roses on the way home from work. last night was bad and the night before was bad and the night before was bad and the night before was bad but tonight will be good.

red stick-figures crumpled and torn. a leash on the coat rack collecting dust. fresh flowers in the morning trash.

who what when where why how.




10 November 2005

this one got away from me. sorry.

follow up to yesterday. not the highway mayhem part, the part about the drums. i already heard a demo of his initial thoughts and my fears are quelled. it's great and something i never would've been able to do myself. and at the same time, it sounds more like it sounded in my head when i wrote it than i was able to do myself. crazy. i can't wait to hear his finished product. i can't wait for you to hear it either. he does drum and bass stuff. i know about 3 chords and can't sing very well. great things are afoot. right.

the thing is, with the notable exceptions of james and rob on a couple songs (wait until you hear "i spin forever"), watched pots has been a solo project. but not because i've necessarily wanted it to be.

i spoke to chris (the guy who hears everything first) today and he told me how badly he wants to be in a band with people he "trusts." this is not a small thing, although it seems to be. i always regret writing about music and musicianship as if i'm a real artist afterwards, but whatever. if you're planning on pouring your heart into something as a songwriter, or a guitarist, or a drummer, you'd damn well better trust the people you're doing it with. otherwise you might wake up one morning and be in a nickelback cover band.

i've played with guys i trust before and it's unreal. i'm totally amped to be working with this guy andrew (i'll link you to some other things he's done sometime) on this one song. maybe this will be the push i need to actually put a real, permanent band together and get out to some clubs. stay tuned...


here's something i'm not proud of: tonight watching 'the oc' (yeah so what?) i got so emo i slammed my beer down on the coffee table during a commercial and said the f-word out loud. to everybody (nobody) in my apartment. make of that what you will.

09 November 2005

truck vs. bridge

generally, i leave it to everyone else on the internet to share links to dumb news stories. but i actually witnessed the aftermath of this one, the temptation is just too strong so i'm making an exception. whatever.

it took me twice as long as usual to get to work this morning. the automated advisory signs over the highway advised me thusly:

my day today sucked. but probably not as bad as that driver's.

and. the guy who suggested explaining the whole clusterfuck with "truck vs. bridge" deserves a big fat raise.

onward and upward.

i did something very scary today. i asked a friend to redo a part of a song for me that i have been unable to satisfactorily finish myself. so on the album, there will be one song in which the drums sound far superior to those on the rest of the record.

oh and speaking of. check the music section. that's the tentative tracklisting. the order might change or it might not, but barring sea change, those will be the 8 songs that i slap my name on take my lashes for.

very near to 50% completion. very very far from done.

this long and rambling post brought to you by my staggering inability to express what's really on my mind in an honest or lucid way.

07 November 2005

liar liar pants on fire

i totally lied last night. "if these walls could talk" sounds so fucking different and sooooo much better but i'm going to keep it to myself for the time being. that is all.

06 November 2005

we are. penn state.

this weekend i went to penn state to visit my brother and attend a football game with 109,864 other people. if you've never been there, you don't know. i left this morning feeling like i relived my entire college experience in the course of one weekend.

long story short: i screamed myself horse,
drank myself retarded, and slept myself a sore-ass back. it was a great weekend. thanks, little bro.

so i got back to queens this evening after spending endless hours driving with the music as loud as i could stand it, and i've been re-mixing old shit by candlelight in my bathrobe. "if these walls could talk" is done now. it's not even different enough from what you can hear for me to repost it, but rest assured that when you buy the record next year (at an extremely reasonable price, of course) it'll sound a little different. hopefully better.

if you're keeping track, that makes the record 3/8 done. if you check the music section once in a while, i think i'll probably make an update there in a few days with a track listing for the record.

04 November 2005

i hear people like lists

  1. i get way madder looking at a picture of george bush than i do at a picture of sadaam hussein.
  2. just because you can pick up the pieces don't think you'll be able to put them all back together.
  3. sometimes i feel like a shell of my former self.
  4. other times i just feel like a different person.
  5. i don't care if nobody else is, i'm happy for the white sox.
  6. fuck the red sox.
  7. man, that grey hair really is sneaking up on me.
  8. i still think radiohead's best record is the bends.
  9. i can't write a song that isn't 4/4.
  10. everything i see reminds me of her.
  11. if watched pots ever goes platinum, you can say you knew before even the cool kids.
  12. never.
  13. ever.
  14. i am addicted to this.
  15. the old shit is always better than the new shit.
  16. i know macs are better but i still like my pc.
  17. don't be a dick about it.
  18. not all ghosts are dead.
  19. you gotta take the elevator to the mezzanine, chump.

02 November 2005

we are the image of the invisible

so i survived the hockey game without incident. and survived a thrice concert the next night (which, in retrospect, was much more dangerous). but i chipped my tooth by chewing wrong on a bagel.

i haven't said this in a while so i figured i would: join the mailing list. tell your friends. listen to all my songs ten million times. if you see a centipede in your living space, take a good closeup picture of it before you kill it or catch it or run away from it, because i want a good picture of one for the album artwork.

btw thrice is so effing badass. seriously.

31 October 2005

cadillac ranch

i realized today on the highway that i'll definitely drive a mid-life crisis car. because at the rate i'm going, i won't be able to afford a cool new car until i'm more than half dead. and you can bet your ass i'm not going to deny myself the thrill of owning a cool brand new car once in my life just because i'm too old.

so i decided to stop chortling at old guys in sunglasses and cool sports cars. because hey, they could be in the same boat i'm going to be in. and when i'm in that boat, i'm not going to want some young whippersnapper calling me a douchebag.

i'm sitting 2 rows behing the penalty box tonight for rangers/canadiens at madison square garden. so i'll talk to you tomorrow unless i take a 100 mph puck to the eye.

30 October 2005

abort retry ignore

in case you're keeping track, all the recording i tried to do on saturday sounded really shitty when i came back to it a few hours later. but that's no big deal and i'm not sweating it. it'll get done when it's good and ready to.

i sat down here tonight to pontificate about goodbyes (the permanent kind) and how it feels to have to say goodbye to a person or a place or a thing, and whether given a choice i'd rather know if and when i'm doing something or seeing someone or going someplace for the last time. and if i must know, how to go about preparing? is it possible to prepare?

i wrote a lot about it, too. symbolism, sentimentality. but then i just erased it.

i guess i must've struck a nerve. on myself. can't remember the last time that's happened.

29 October 2005

i've got the mighty ducks on vhs

i'm writing now to give my throat a break and to let the house warm back up. i'm at my parents' place in connecticut, trying to record 'triple deke' in the basement with one microphone in one take. it's proving more difficult than i'd hoped.

see the thing is, the basement is super quiet, except when the furnace comes on. so you have to turn the furnace off. but then if it's a day like today, it's kinda cold in the basement and having the furnace off doesn't help much. in fact, the whole house is pretty cold now becuase i've been down there hollering for an hour with the furnace turned off.

so my voice keeps cracking like a choirboy's towards the end of the song, so i'm drinking some tea (celestial seasonings peppermint) and letting the furnace warm up the house a bit while i take a break.

anyway. hopefully i'll finish this song this weekend and put myself one step closer to finishing this record. it'll be nice to have the opening track in the bank. may your weekend be as majestic as the snow-capped rockies on the morning after winter's first gentle kiss.

ps: i might go to a native american gambling establishment tonight.

26 October 2005

i won't be sleeping well tonight

they're fighting again. the couple who live above me. 3rd night in a row. horrible nasty screaming matches. i can hear every word.

he hates her family. doesn't want them coming over every day. they have their own house. stay out of his (we live in an apartment building, he does not have a "house"). and i just lie in bed listening.

it happens in short bursts. then a door slams. someone tries to cool down. can't. open the door and start it again. eventually he'll go to sleep on the couch and i can finally fall asleep in my bed, about 10 feet below her while she's probably crying herself to sleep. i can't hear that part.

24 October 2005

squeaky swings and tall grass

i am sitting here listening to npr stream on my computer right now. death cab for cutie is playing a show in washington, dc at the 930 club, and it's being broadcast all over the country.

i wonder if it's occurred to them how cool that is. if they huddled before the show tonight and said "guys, this is kinda big. i know our record is selling like crazy and everyone loves us and god bless the oc but we're playing live for the whole country right now like we're fucking springsteen. are we ready for this?"

thing is, they're not. they are a fucking great band. and sure a lot is lost from stage to mic to encoder to router to windows media player. but i've listened to my dad's old tapes from when they would broadcast an entire springsteen show on the radio. and this is not that.

they are playing "summer skin" right now. that's my favorite song on the new record. and it sounds good. just not as great as i wish it did.

i don't know what the point of this post is. i'm totally enjoying this show and i don't mean to rag on it. and god bless npr for doing shit like this.

yeah, i really don't know. but they say this whole thing will be archived after it airs. maybe you should check it out if you get some time.

i sure do talk about springsteen a lot.

23 October 2005

oh megan, i wish it was that easy.

god damn. i have been trying to write a first sentence for this for like 45 minutes. i think i'm going to settle on "god damn."

my friend chris asked me the other day why i write music. because he writes it too and once in a while we ask each other and our answers usually are close to the same after we get through all the bullshit. but i don't want to put words directly into his mouth so i'll really only talk about myself here even though i already namedropped him.

so the first thing you usually say is you do it for girls. i don't know why, but basically everyone says this. like "i want a girl to hear my music someday and fall for me madly." but the truth is you want a girl who doesn't hate your music and is madly mad for the rest of you which is more important because your songs don't age and you do. and she does, too. yeah man. that's the girl you want.

so then you say you want to change the world, or that you have something inside you somewhere that you think the world might like to hear and you're trying to make music your voice or something, but that's bullshit too. because you know you're not going to change the world. bono isn't really changing the world (though he'd tell you differently i'm sure) and let's face it, you're not bono. and there is nothing you can say that hasn't been said before. all you can do is try to say it your own way and hope it resonates with someone.

and you get about that far and then you realize you just nailed it. you do it because you want to be for someone what someone else was for you. you want someone to hear a song and feel the way you felt when you first heard sic transit gloria...glory fades or the other megan or fucking thunder road. can you do that? probably not. but you only live once...might as well give it a shot, right? anyway, you imagine some real satisfaction in that kind of connection.

or you can just be a dick and say you do it because you like to. which is true, but i mean, come on. let's scratch the surface a bit, shall we?

i wasn't really going to write all this out because it's kinda crazy and i doubt many people care but i was reading a really long post by another great friend of mine named dave that really got me going. and this started out as a response to him but kinda got off track so i figured i'd just toss it up here with all of my other nonsense.

20 October 2005

he called the shit poo

let's lighten the mood, shall we? this is a little more scatalogical than i usually like to get with the written word, but anyone who knows me personally knows i am capable of much worse. whatever. here goes.

i had this crazy dream the other night where i was a secret government interrogator and i needed information. and i had a special interrogation technique which i'm sure is majorly illegal in real life but at least i wasn't shooting anyone in the kneecaps like jack bauer. i would put a plate of dog poo in front of them on the table and douse it with rubbing alcohol*.

then i'd light the shit and say "you tell me what i need to know or i'll stomp this fire out with your face." and of course, if they didn't talk, i had to do what i had to do. eventually, they all talk.

what do you think that says about the kind of person i am?

* rubbing alcohol, in case you didn't know, is highly flammable. or inflammable. those words mean the same goddamn thing. why on earth?

17 October 2005

maybe we could cut someplace of our own with these drums and these guitars

i was just going through old emails in search of something, and found something else entirely different and all but forgotten. i am moved to blog*.

this is why you save love letters long after love's departure, why your closets are full of dusty shoeboxes of photographs and keepsakes. and, i guess, in this day and age, why way back in the deepest, darkest corners of your hard drive lurk the clusters of 0's and 1's that you've done your best to disremember.

there's a reason you don't just throw them away like magazines you've read and know you'll never return to. you keep these things because you know someday you might stumble across them again. and you crave that impact. like the best punch in the stomach you've ever had. but it only works if you've really forgotten.

i had written
when i was feeling especially morbid (although i remember thinking i was being poetic at the time) that life doesn't amount to much more than what people will remember about you. something about kind words at a funeral, and what an injustice it is that we don't get to attend our own. i don't remember what i wrote exactly (though from what i can remember i'm not impressed with my originality), because i didn't find what i's long gone and it doesn't matter anyway. i found the response, from a friend with whom i've since lost touch.

today's gut-punch is brought to you by the forgotten insights of an old friend who always saw right through you and still liked you anyway.

* to use the word 'blog' as a verb is reprehensible and i am deeply sorry.

15 October 2005

mama's got a squeeze box

i forgot to mention the most important part (least important). i bought a children's accordion at this place called pearl river in nyc which is basically a place where you can buy all kinds of random shit (made in china) for super cheap. it works more like a harmonica than a real accordion because pulling and sqeezing the same key make a different note, but i'm gonna learn to play it and write a song featuring it.

and that is a promise.

which i will break.

do you think your security can keep you in purity? you will not shake us off, above or below. scottish friction. scottish fiction.

so i had this whole emo plan today to write an open letter to everyone who ever done me wrong (or done me right) all at once like every sentence would be about someone different but i would write is as just one letter.

but instead i went to digitallife with my friend john to see some dorks and video games and then we drank quarts of beer from this japanese place in soho and now i feel like my head could roll off my neck and i'm sure as hell not about to air all of my business i've ever had with anybody in front of you nosey people right now.

at the convention i got a "geek squad" monitor brush which i can use to get dust off my screen instead of just using my hands like i used to. progress.

i'm gonna order a burrito for delivery from fresco tortilla. i don't know what you're gonna do.

13 October 2005

win one for the kippur

today is another day i am off work for a jewish holiday. i went to the dmv. see, even when you have a valid driver's license from another state, you've got some hoops to jump through to get a ny license. and since my old license expired, i needed to do it.

a visit to the dmv is basically the worst thing imaginable. there are lines, but nobody in any line knows what they're in line for. or at least, they won't tell you. and everybody who works there hates you. even little old ladies who try to chip through the tough exteriors of these people can't get through and leave with their tails (or shawls) between their legs.

i just realized it's totally unoriginal to write about a dmv trip. everyone has done it. i just wanted to use the word obfuscated, because i was reminded today what a great word that is. so now i went and used it. moving on.

i've listened to idlewild's record warnings/promises a few times in the past few days and i finally get it. that band is fucking brilliant. i met them one time and was a total douchebag and just held out something for them to sign rather than try to engage them in conversation (even though there are a million things i would've loved to ask them). it is one of the few times i've been starstruck in my life. regardless, roddy woomble is one of the most gracious-even-though-he-doesn't-have-to-be rock musicians i have ever met.

11 October 2005


there is a bbq joint in soho (i can't even remember what it's called) that i went to last night which, based purely on food deliciousness, is the best bbq joint i have ever been to.

if you take atmosphere into account then wes' rib house in providence still gives it a run for the money. their flowering onion (absent from the menu at this place in soho, tisk tisk) is a good preview of heaven, which it also serves (along with the rest of your meal there) to bring you a little bit closer to in a temporal sense.

so anyway. while we were there my friends and i were a bit...boisterous. and as we got up to leave the 3 or so tables that surrounded around us all got deathly silent and gave us the stink-eye.

god damn that was some cold shit.

08 October 2005

it's raining in baltimore, baby

well, i don't know if it is or not. but it sure as hell is raining in monroe, ct. i'm here because it's my old man's birthday, and we're going to celebrate when he gets home from work. in the meantime, i've spent most of the day battling a headache and reading old issues of rolling stone, which my parents inexplicably have a subscription to.

in the august issue there's a great feature on coldplay that reminded me how much i like that band even though i think x&y kinda sucks.

i am only posting right now because i've been reading magazines for a very long time and can't bear the thought of starting another one.

i played my dad's old guitar for a little while but i can't find a pick anywhere in this house and i really wanted one so i just quit.

i took the dog for a walk but it's pouring and she didn't want to go very far because she wasn't the one who had an umbrella. so basically we turned around right after she did a huge poop in the middle of the street.

in the city rainy days are different. you can't hear it hitting the roof.

07 October 2005

it's never going to heal if you keep picking at it

i've posted what looks to be the final version of "new york city" at all the music sites. check it out when you get a chance. i think it sounds pretty good.

i'm not sure how the whole record is going to go just yet, but i'm pretty sure the 2 new songs that are up will be the last 2 on the record, in the order they've appeared. so you can let me know if you think that's dumb.

and i guess you can't see the image of my horrid moustache on myspace unless you join, so if you don't want to do what all the cool kids are already doing, you can check it out without joining anything at pulverradio, all you gotta do is put your mouse over the thumbnail on the bottom right. that picture isn't going to stay there long because the more i look at it the more i get creeped out by myself.

06 October 2005

i put myself at the mercy of the court

ok i put the picture of my shady moustache up at myspace. for the benefit of everyone (read: david and only david) who expressed an interest. mostly i put it up because i'm a glutton for punishment and i welcome your comments. my mom said i looked like "a chicano high school kid trying to look tough." see if you can top that.

let the record show that the moustache lived for approximately 15 minutes before i lost my nerve.

also there are now 3 songs completely done for the record. i am on a roll.

also i am a dirtbag.

also i wish i kept the moustache.

04 October 2005

this is one difference between guys and girls

this weekend i shaved but i left the moustache. then i took a picture of it with my lame camera phone and sent it out to a trusted ally to see what he thought. he liked it, but i didn't have the balls, so i cut it anyway. but i saved the picture. it's dirtbag-rageous.

100% of the females i've shown it to think it looks disgusting.

100% of the dudes who've seen it think it rocks.

i myself am kinda obsessed with the idea of a really ratty moustache and promise to do it at some point. but probably not anytime soon.

maybe i'll put the picture up somewhere where you can see it. you know, if you want me to.

02 October 2005

lest we forget why we're here

the record is coming along surprisingly well. only two songs remain completely unrecorded, and all the rest are in various stages of completion on the mixing/editing end. i listened very loudly to what i've got so far in the car today and i have to say i'm really happy with it. for whatever that's worth.

i have a couple days off of work this week because of the jews. i plan to be entirely unproductive, and try to recharge my batteries a little bit.

01 October 2005

how's this for emo?

when i was in high school i tried out for the soccer team 4 years in a row and got cut 4 years in a row. i was just thinking about how much that sucked today because i had breakfast at tom's diner in brooklyn (go there, the harvest pancakes with sweet corn and cranberries are the greatest thing on earth that you can consume and still safely operate heavy machinery).

when you're waiting for a table there's a guy who comes around and gives you cookies and coffee and orange slices. and i was reminded of ayso soccer way back when i was a kid and it was always someone's mom's job to bring sliced up oranges for halftime. if there were a pie chart somewhere representing my sweetest childhood memories,
ayso soccer would be responsible for a good chunk of the pie.

tonight i am going to drink like i mean it.

some red handed sleight of hand

the setting: briarwood. a sleepy urban/suburban neighborhood in queens. nights are quiet here, except when they are occasionally pierced by the sound of a car alarm. always the same alarm, always only for a few seconds before it's deactivated.

it is a mystery as old as time itself. or at least, as old as my occupancy in this 3rd floor apartment in sleepy briarwood.

today i caught him. the guy who just opens his car door and lets the alarm screech instead of deactivating it before he gets in. he is a middle aged asian man driving an old beater of a minivan. and he lives in my building!

in typical mikey fashion, i said nothing. but i know what he looks like now, and i know where he lives. and i have a whole drawer full of stinkbombs here. and one of them has his name on it. metaphorically that is. i don't really know his name.

29 September 2005

step out the front door like a ghost into the fog where no one notices the contrast of white on white

there's something about playing music for someone who's hearing it for the first time. even if it's a song you've heard many times before, you hear it differently. the first time i remember noticing this was in the high school parking lot in my old jeep wrangler that would stall whenever you put the clutch in. i loved that car. anyway. i had just picked up the counting crows live record across a wire with the vh1 storytellers on one disc and the mtv 10 spot on the other. and i had been blown away by the version of 'round here' on the mtv disc. so i had listened to it about a million times, and i wanted to play it for my best friend dave, who hadn't heard it.

and i remember sitting there blasting music out of my parked car, hearing the song in a whole different way once i realized that in playing it for him this way, i was showing him a part of myself. it was like saying "this is something that moves me. this represents me. what do you think?"

and i started to hear some of the imperfections inherent to a live show that i hadn't heard before. and i started to think the lyrics were maybe too pretentious. i started to wonder if i really wanted to commit myself to this song, or this song to myself.

i have come to love this feeling. which is why i'm a dj now. it helps me to really listen to every song i play when i remember i am playing it for people who maybe have never heard it before. it helps me to remember why i love rock and roll. it makes me feel like everyone who listens to me on a regular basis could actually be my friend if we ever met. but i never play my own music. never ever.

because when it's yours, it's a whole new ballgame.

last night i played my new song for someone. and i couldn't even look at her while it was playing. and it's not like i didn't think she'd like it. i was pretty sure she would. and even if she didn't she'd find a way to say so really gently.

i am terrified of being present when people hear my music. this is why i don't perform even though in new york city i could find an open mic somewhere any night of the week. this is why i love these sites that i can put my music on for you to hear and i can see how many times you've listened to it and you can tell me what you think of it but i never have to look into your eyes and you never can see straight through me while it plays.

this fear is why i'm not cut out for rock and roll.

but it's also something to fight.

i'm happiest when i've got something to fight.

28 September 2005

new york city redux

i made something really pretty tonight. i can't wait for you to hear it. but i'm going to. because i want to sleep on it for a while and make sure it's really finished.

for my money, it makes my frustration last night with the recording process totally worth it. because tonight it just all came together and i found myself getting it right in one or two takes, and moving on. and with very few effects and very little mixing, i'm pretty thrilled with the results. but you'll have to judge for yourself at a later date.

i'll be taking down the "new york city demo" at the pulverradio site permanently very soon, so if you love that or something, you should go listen to it a whole lot right now.

26 September 2005

sometimes you eat the bear...

it was a shitty day at work. mondays almost always are. so go home and lock yourself in. put a pot of coffee on. mix yourself a drink. light some candles, turn off the lights. and plug in your guitar. there's a song in you tonight.

wait, no. lay down a drum track first. every time you've ever tried to start with something other than drums you've had to start over hours later and you've kicked yourself. do the drums first.

ok. now you can play guitar.

ouch. fuck. that's the third time you've unmuted the wrong track and had to rip the headphones out of the jack because of feedback. and you've still only got a simple drum beat laid down. and it doesn't sound like it should anyway and you're just going to have to do it over if you ever get the rest of the song mapped out.

why can't you get this software to do what it's supposed to? are you drunk? maybe. and you're sure as shit hungry. heat up a burrito. try again in a few minutes.

this isn't working. this isn't working. that sounds shitty. that one might've been ok if you didn't fuck up the ending. that one was good but you fucked up the beginning. why did you even bother to keep going when you knew you fucked up the beginning? this isn't working.

call it a night man. it's just not happening now. write down what you were thinking. practice it a bunch. but you're not recording tonight. it's late now and you've got work in the morning. you blew it. again. maybe you'll have the energy after work tomorrow. oh but wait there's that tv show you like on tomorrow night at 9. that's not gonna work.

maybe this weekend? maybe some time? maybe?

24 September 2005

everything is alright

today, on the 24th of september, i turn 24. a friend says that makes this my "golden birthday," which i suppose means it's supposed to be extra special. and so far, it has been pretty fantastic, with the real tomfoolery yet to begin in earnest.

birthdays for me have always been less a celebration of myself than a point to check my splits and make sure i'm staying on track. this year i'm not sure there is a track anymore, but if there is one i'd say i'm doing pretty ok. i'm mostly happy with my life, and after a whole year of living in new york city, it's finally starting to feel like home. and when i think about my circle of friends, i can't help but grin.

surround yourself with good people in a city full of good, cheap food-for-delivery options and even if you're broke as a joke, things will fall into place.

tonight i'll be drinking with some of the best people i know until i forget my name and i forget where i live. but they won't forget either one. i'll be fine.

i also should mention since it's a bit of a personal holiday for me but i didn't post yesterday, that yesterday was bruce springsteen's birthday. 56 years young. rock.

and thanks to my brother for finding the most disturbing picture of a really fat naked person he could and making an e-card out of it.

also, i've been meaning to tell you about something else. completely unrelated. but go read the Ex-Girlfriend Project. this guy is a pretty great writer. and the story he's telling, if you're like me, will keep you pretty enthralled. it's honestly to the point where one of the first things i do in the morning is check if this guy has put up anything new. start at the beginning and get caught up. you won't be sorry.

and thanks to everyone who's been listening to "a viking's funeral" and giving me feedback (publicly and privately). especially thanks to a few superduper people who have told all their friends to listen, too. you guys give my heart wings.

21 September 2005

don't be a hero, kid

thank you all for the comments you've had about the new song. i really appreciate the feedback (which has been mostly positive thusfar) and you should keep them coming. according to the surgeon general (and i'm fuzzy on the details here) commenting on lame blogs that emo kids write about their music may prevent aging. common side-effects include erect nipples in public.

so do please keep listening to that song and telling people that you know. i know nobody's heard of watched pots, but tell them to just give a listen.


tonight on the subway i almost saw a stabbing. i had headphones on so i'm not exactly sure how it started, but once it escalated to screaming i could hear it well enough and see it just fine (since i literally could've reached out to touch it).

the aggressor just pulled his shirt up to reveal a sheathed hunting knife on his belt and screamed "you see this? i'll fucking stab you. get out of this train." and he kinda chased the other guy (who looked scared shitless) into the next car. then he just sat right back down right next to me. and stayed there for about 4 more stops. nobody else in the car said anything. or moved.

the social psychology of the event is what really stuck with me. the fact that nobody moved, or even really looked worried. hell, i kept my fucking headphones on and was enjoying the music again within a minute of it being over. we're talking about a packed train here. and plenty of dudes that were bigger and badder looking than this punk kid with the knife (who wasn't any bigger than me, and if you know me, i'm not very big).

i mean, i'd like to think someone would've done something if the knife actually came off the belt. but shit. i know i sure as hell wouldn't have. it was just a sort of reality check reminder that i'm a big wimp and so is everybody else.

20 September 2005

don't pull the trigger, squeeze the trigger

i took the plunge and posted "a viking's funeral" today. i've been working my ass off on it for a while now, and i guess i just started to feel like i was making it worse instead of better, so it's up there now for a very tiny fraction of the world to hear and judge.

if you are super-fan-numero-uno you've already heard a demo of this song. it sounds way better now, so give another listen or two.

it's at all three of the usual music sites, all of which stream mp3's differently. for some reason it sounds like pottycrap on purevolume, so i'd recommend myspace or pulverradio instead.

here's the deal:
i really want to know what you think of this one. you can get in touch with me about a million different ways, just pick one and go. you can leave a comment here on this post, or you can email me (, or you can leave a comment right on the myspace or pulverradio page. even if you hate it. especially if you hate it. thanks dude.

19 September 2005

believe it or not

i will be posting a newly finished song tomorrow to purevolume and myspace. in preparation, i am taking everything that's up there if you'd like to continue to play some of the old stuff, you are welcome to do that at pulverradio (i'll be putting the new one up there too a little later). all clear?

so that means 2 new ones in the bag. in case you're keeping track.

and now for some run-of-the-mill dumb stuff:

preface 1: mikey loves mozzarella sticks. loves.
preface 2: the mcdonalds near where mikey works has mozz sticks on the $1 menu.

today i went to mcdonalds for lunch because i was feeling at once frugal and self destructive. so i got a chicken fajita, a double cheeseburger, and mozzarella sticks. totalling $3 and change. good deal, right? right.

when i got the stuff back to work (i was planning on eating at my desk) i dropped my bag getting out of the car. everything was fine, except 1 mozz stick that landed on the parking lot. let's do the math here. $1 for 4 sticks means that stick is worth $.25. which is 30 mins of parking in most commercial areas of queens. not that that matters even a little bit. i'm just saying. today i put 2 quarters into a meter around 8:10 and then a lady told me they don't start reading meters until 9. she waited until after i put them in to tell me though, which was kinda potty of her, like she was gloating over my lost fitty cents. anyway. i ate the mozzarella stick. end of story.

18 September 2005

what i did and didn't do today

i went to the hardware store today because one of the 2 bolts that holds my toilet seat onto the toilet broke a few weeks back and i am sick of it slipping and sliding underneath me whenever i need to sit down (you know...for pooping). i've been having these terrible visions of coming home drunk one night, slipping off the broken seat, and hurting myself bad enough that i couldn't get up. with my trousers about my ankles.

anyway, i went to the hardware store nearest me on queens boulevard, but they didn't have toilet seats. that's the only hardware store i know of that i can walk to. which means my toilet seat will remain hazardous for the time being. it's like a booby trap that i set for myself, and then continue to cleverly avoid. kinda like how the x-men go into that room and robots try to kill them. you know, just for practice.

everything i do can be boiled down to honing my ninjitsu skills.

one song is DEFINITELY done now. but it still needs a title.

15 September 2005

nightmare on 143rd st.

as a kid i would have this recurring nightmare. i was driving a car on a dark road, no other cars in sight and woods to either side. and behind me was a man with a bloody axe, chasing me, screaming at me. and no matter how fast i drove, however many corners i took at breakneck speeds, he could run just as fast. and i knew that eventually i would crash, or run out of gas, and he would get me.

the best way i can describe him is this: think of how you thought god looked when you were a kid. with the white hair and the flowy beard. then put him in a red and black flannel shirt and some bloody jeans, and hand him an axe. and illuminate him with only your tail lights. that's what i used to wake up from in a cold sweat.

i guess as we grow up, so do our nightmares. i have them four or five times a week these days, and i wake up so upset over them that i can't fall back asleep. which is why i'm posting this right now after 3am on a work night. but now there is no car. no axe. no crazy man. there is only a couch.

and i sit on the couch, and people come and talk to me. people from the past, people from the present, people i've never met. it doesn't really matter who they are. what matters is that they all know my deepest insecurities. and it's all they want to talk about.

in the waking hours, you can run and hide all you want. they all know where to find you while you sleep.

13 September 2005

if heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied...

i've had death cab for cutie's "i will follow you into the dark" on repeat for about thirty minutes now. and then i was just watching house m.d. on tv and it closed with jeff buckley's "hallelujah." christ.

you hear songs like those two, and you think about the songs you write. and how they're not beautiful. maybe they say something. maybe they'll make someone smile, or tap their foot, or reach over and turn the volume up.

but you hear songs like that, and you know you are not worthy. and it only makes you want to try harder. but you think when these songs were written, they just came. they sound so effortless. and therein lies your insecurity. you have been writing songs and writing songs and after a number of years you have only written a few you think are any good. you think the harder you really try the further you're getting from the place you need to be to write like that. is that a cop-out? or laziness? or just reality?

this might be what it feels like to play minor league baseball until you're forty years old and never really get a shot at the big time. but you do it for the love of the game. but the game doesn't love you back. and then all you have are a few homerun balls and a dusty mit and your whiskey-scented glory day stories.

expect a record in the springtime.

11 September 2005

sundays are for moving slow

i've often said that it's not a good weekend unless somebody gets violently ill on some cedar mulch wood chips. but don't even worry about that man, because it's taken care of. i rule.

also. remember when i told you i was done with a song? well i listened to it today and it needs to be re-equalized. but it's still pretty much done. this is a mark of my maturity in not rushing things out anymore when they aren't ready to be. we'll see how long it lasts.

i am going to spend some time today messing around with because i have time to.

congratulations to mike and katie who were married this weekend. it was lovely.

06 September 2005

one in the bag

i'm finished with one song. for the record i've been talking about. for now i'm just going to sit on it though. but i thought you should know i don't just fart around all day thinking about stupid shit to type on here. i am working on songs for real.

also today i bought the fountains of wayne record out of state plates which is a collection of b-sides and rarities and it's great. and it has little stories about each song. just like i said i was going to do! so yeah. now i'm definitely going to do it.

there are more italicized words in this post than in any other post i've ever done i bet.

05 September 2005

another day another dollop

nathan's of coney island. a beacon of light to all those whose desire for immediate umami (umamory? umamatory? umamological?) satisfaction far outweighs their aversion to the resulting gastrointestinal anomalies and (on a longer timeline) hardening of the arteries.

i'll have a large chili cheese fries and a classic dog with sauteed onions and sauerkraut. better make that to go. see you in the bathroom and in the hospital. this was so worth it.

some news that doesn't matter:

i've made a few hardly noticeable changes to the layout of this site. basically to make blog syndication work more smoothly. who cares, right? well, me. i care. which is why i did it. and i guess if you're one of the few people who syndicate this with a reader, you care too. so i did it for me and you, bucko.

also, keep your eye on the song lyrics, i'm thinking about adding a little anecdote under each one to clear up some confusion about where i was at when i wrote each one. in reality this will probably only create more confusion. i am really only doing it to have something to do.

04 September 2005

baptism by fire

last night i ceremoniously burned all the leftover checks from my old sovereign bank checking account. that's the bank i used to use in providence. i had just reordered checks before i moved to nyc, so i had hundreds.

don't ask me why i waited a whole year to dispose of those...i'm sure i've got older and even more useless things sitting in drawers in my apartment somewhere. and besides, why i waited isn't really the point.

it felt like a bittersweet farewell to the fair city of providence.

wow. overdramatic? yeah probably. it's not like i'm never going back there. it's also not like i really have any hard feelings. i guess what i'm getting at is that it felt like reclaiming a small part of myself that never really left providence. which was at once quite liberating and minorly wrenching.

but really i just burned a bunch of books of useless checks.

02 September 2005

the only thing we have to fear is fear itself

yo. remember when this happened? potty.

anyway, just today i got around to replacing that thing. only before what i had was one of those body scrubby scrunchie things. this time i bought a real loofa. and i just exfoliated the shit out of myself. the real thing is a whole new ballgame.

three posts in one day. put me in front of a firing squad.

and your long weekend

happy labor day weekend. i will do a lot of things. none of them, however, will even resemble labor. some may resemble alcoholism. some may seem foolish. many will probably seem slightly pyromaniacal. but fear not, oh ye faithful. i am none of these things. i'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut. (hey, that sounds like a good song lyric. i should try to remember that.)

the weekend starts right about now. tonight it's out to dinner, then to see the fabulous zox at the knitting factory. where to after that? wherever the winds of fate should choose to sweep me away too. but there's a good chance it'll be my apartment. where there was a cockroach in my bed last night. that i was not fast enough to kill.

party on wayne.

do it

01 September 2005

bon voyage, my friend

whoa. i just found out james, schnoodler extraordinaire and original member of watched pots, is heading to switzerland to teach math and physics for a year in the alps. god damn. they grow up so fast.

while this temporarily puts the kaibosh on a wp reunion stadium tour, it is not out of the question when he returns (and i've finished a record).

good luck buddy. godspeed.

29 August 2005

this is romantic

i am currently drinking a stiffly alcoholic drink all by myself, just for the pure self-destructiveness of it. happy monday night.

pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

i think i am going to title this record i'm talking about "they're more scared of you than you are of them." of course, the subtitle will be "the centipede ep." because that's always what it was going to be.

thoughts? artwork suggestions? i'm serious.

quiet but still loud

i'm writing from the office again, taking a break from putting the finishing touches on this song. since i've mostly figured all this recording stuff out for myself, i have days sometimes in which concepts just click. today i understand how to use compressors for awesome instead of for good. or at least i think i do. james, you might need some johnson and johnson's wet wipes.

26 August 2005


how cool would it be to commit a high profile robbery in a foreign country and then leave the country before anyone even noticed what you stole was missing? pretty fucking cool. you'd get some attention from the ladies for that one, boy. let me tell you.*

coffee always tastes better when you make it at home. even if you don't have a totally sweet flavia coffee machine at home like you do at work. or maybe because you don't have a totally sweet flavia coffee machine at home like you do at work. is a totally fucked up website.

i'm going to make a record. i'm thinking i can sell at least 5.

*i don't even have a passport. i watch too many movies.

24 August 2005

the wait

zox's new record came out in stores yesterday. i went to school with them and i've probably seen them play live about ten million times. and i've got the record and it's great. so you should really really support them because they need it and they deserve it. it's called "the wait" and i've even gone to the trouble of getting you a link to buy it from amazon.

seriously, it's good stuff.

maybe i should do more work now. since i'm at work.