Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar...All are offended by what they see.

Today is Blasphemy Day, in case you didn't know.

As a non-religious person, let me say that this is one of the most needless "holidays" a person could possibly celebrate. Sure, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being open about how ridiculous you may find some or all religions, and mocking them among friends, but how is that different from any other day. I'm just worried that people are going to be using this as an opportunity to be assholes and that is counter-productive. Most religious people already kind of think that openly non-religious people are jerks and the fact that we have a day dedicated to blaspheming the things they hold most sacred isn't going to change their minds. All that to say that I will not be taking part in Blasphemy Day.

I'm not in any way saying we shouldn't criticize, its just that dedicating a holiday to Blasphemy seems unwise and unkind. You catch more flies with honey, and all that.

Yesterday, I finished the book I was reading before lunch and then had nothing to read the rest of my lull of a day. So I was excited to get a new book from the library last night but lo and behold, I forgot it in my haste to get to work this morning. If I wasn't so tired, I'd kick myself.

Leah and I have been hooked on the show, Dexter. Its a strange thing to be cheering on a serial killer, but hey, good TV is good TV.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When my wife yells things like "Hit him in the mouth!" at a hockey game, I know we'll be together forever.

Last night was amazing. I've always known that I like hockey, ever since Disney's immortal classic, The Mighty Ducks, came out, but now we actually have a team where I live, that plays five minutes from my house. Leah and Robin surprised Jeremy and I with tickets to last nights game and so we all went to see the Texas Stars (our team) battle the Houston Aeros (we lost in overtime 2-3).

There's not a lot of points scored in hockey but I think that just makes each goal mean that much more. When someone finally puts one in the net, you know they've been working their collective asses off to do so. Hockey is also the best sport to watch because it combines skill, aggression, violence, and grace so seamlessly.

I also enjoy watching tennis.

We're going to go to more games, and Leah will probably always cheer for the visiting team because she feels bad for them. Maybe I'll join her if we're sitting far enough away from other people and I feel like we won't incite an angry mob.

I finished My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn just a few minutes ago. It was really good but there's something frustrating with Daniel Quinn's books and its not his short-coming really, but mine.

Almost everything I've read by Daniel Quinn makes perfect sense to me in that way that the concepts seem so obvious that you wonder why you never saw the world in this way before. After I read Ishmael I must confess that, initially, I thought he was suggesting that the only way to really save the world was to return to our Hunter/Gatherer origins. After some thought I realized that he wasn't really suggesting that since that is an impossibility and a ridiculous one at that. When I read The Story of B I began to see a little more clearly and now that I've finished My Ishmael, I think I've got everything he means to give. However, that doesn't make it any less frustrating, and here's why.

Daniel Quinn isn't a messiah and the laziest parts of me want him to be.

He's an amazing teacher/philosopher/writer and his books have forever changed me, but he hasn't told us how to live. And why should he? Why should I expect him to know? How could he? After all, one of the biggest truths in his work is that there is no one right way to live, so why am I so hungry for him to give me one? I finally understand that the burden is on those of us with changed minds to figure out how to live sustainably, not on a leader to show us the way.

I have no idea (yet) how to live my life outside of what Quinn calls "Mother Culture," but I know that I have to start with these truths:
-There is no one right way to live.
-It is possible to adapt our culture into one that is sustainable.
-There is nothing inherently wrong with people, just as there is nothing inherently wrong with butterflies or grizzly bears.
-Human beings like us lived with a culture that worked for them for hundreds of thousands of years and these peoples can serve as models for us to learn from.
-We must be inventive and fearless. Keep what works and prune what doesn't.

I'm probably not smart enough to do much good in this world, but I can do my part by raising my child to be aware of these things and maybe she'll be smart enough to do a lot of good.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This next song is about the time I met Ed Hardy...

I think one of the things I hate the most in life is when someone will call to speak to their adjuster and I'll transfer their call but the adjuster can't pick up for one reason or another, so the person doesn't leave a message and just hangs up and calls me right back. Sometimes they'll even leave a message and still call me right back. "Yeah, Taylor, I just called and you transferred me but they didn't pick up so I thought you could probably help me." If I could help your ass I would've done it the first time you called, genius.

I digress.

My beautiful and wonderful wife surprised me this weekend with hockey tickets for tonight, so that's what I'll be doing this evening. Leah's mom happened to be in Waco today so it worked out for her to swing in and watch Harper. We're going to eat junk food and scream for blood on the ice til our hearts are content.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I love ta sing'a, about tha moon'a and the June'a and the spring'a.

I got in around 2 AM and my alarm goes off at 6:25 AM. I am tired. Not dragging my feet tired, just occasionally yawning tired.

I went and saw the Rocketboys last night at Stubb's and they were great as always. I've been listening to their new record a lot today and I think its fantastic. I'm really glad to see them writing in more major keys. I steer clear of minor keys for the most part.

Today makes one whole week in which I have not allowed myself to snack at all. I've eaten 3 normal sized meals a day and no more. I'm also learning to restrain myself. Typically, I'll eat until I hate myself, and not just stop when I'm full, but this week I've done pretty well at quitting at a more appropriate point. I would like to lose 10-15 lbs by November. I should probably start exercising, but you know...I hate exercising.

Tonight there will be some sloppy joe making and some TV from last night catching up on. Its going to be grand.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our great war is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives.

I think my two favorite new shows this season are definitely "Glee" and "Modern Family." Leah and I watched the premier of Modern Family last night and were laughing about it long after it was over. And I'm talking about belly laughs. If every episode is as good as the first one, we could have another Arrested Development on our hands. The first episode of Glee didn't amaze me but I'm loving it more as the characters are developed.

Yay TV!
Yay cold weather!
Yay rain!
Yay my yard coming back to life!

Some of our best friends, The Rocketboys are releasing their new record, 20,000 Ghosts, tonight at Stubb's in Austin. Its going to be a late show but I'm going to drag my bones down there and support. I'm sure it will make getting up for work tomorrow really fun.

I wouldn't say I'm the only liberal at my work because a few of the guys are very liberally minded when it comes to social issues, but on fiscal issues I'm the only one that leans left. It makes for some interesting conversations. Today, I just don't feel like talking about it with them, though. I'm, honestly, not that informed anymore because I guess I don't really care that much. All I know is when I hear people on the left talk, I typically like what I hear and when I hear people on the right talk, I typically don't like what I hear. Everyone is so concerned with the economy but I'm wondering if it makes any difference to fix the economy if we're going to continue to participate in a culture that is killing the world and forcing people into unfulfilling lives. My life is fulfilling because I have an amazing family and I also get to make music, but if I was just a guy without those things and all I did was work this job to earn money to buy goods and services, I would probably feel like my life was pretty meaningless. I wonder how many people are like that in America, how many in the world? I think the answer is to stop participating in the culture. The big question is how to do that. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What a day of reading end-times prophecies will do to you.

The new issue of Greater Than Magazine hit the internets today and it features an interview with yours truly. Its free to read online and it also has an interview with Delirious, a band I've always enjoyed. Apparently, they're breaking up this year. They've been together forever and put out a ton of records so that's sad for them and their fans.

Today in Sydney, Australia the sky turned blood red. It then faded to gold as the sun rose, but still, in light of the close proximity to the rapture prediction...pretty freaky. It was a dust storm and Sydney has a ton of red clay topsoil, but they've never had one even remotely close to as big as this. I have to admit that this spooked me a little bit.

I'm not one of those guys that can never admit that I was wrong. I'm wrong all the time. Obviously, I don't think I'm wrong til I'm proven wrong but I can admit it when that has happened. That being said, I guess I could be wrong about religion and god. As I said before, I'd love to be wrong about religion and god, I just haven't seen anything that makes me think I am. But as I was creeped out by the dust storm today, I began to wonder to myself if I am just like the faithful...So scared of being right or wrong that it becomes damn near impossible for me to accept evidence that contradicts my point of view. I don't think that that's the case for me or at least I hope its not. In this situation it begs the question, "Is it possible for something to make little to no sense, to defy logic and common rationality, and still be true?"

What does "god" even mean? Is is an actual "person" with feelings and character and a name? Is it enlightenment? Is it the light in all living things? Is it simply a catalytic force? Is it just another word for "that which we cannot explain"? Does anyone know? Is it possible to know?

I'm still seeking god (whatever that means). I know that's a weird thing for an Atheist/Deist to say and maybe its just because its so bred into my character, but I feel like I'll always be seeking god. I was brought up believing that I could find "him" and learn to understand "him" in the church, and I think maybe I saw glimpses of it there but they were clouded by dogma. I was taught that the Bible was the best way to learn about god's beauty and love, and there is some beautiful stuff in there, but the Bible is so full of bullshit, contradiction, and flat out crazy talk that it doesn't stand up as a reliable document, to me. So when that had become unsatisfying I didn't and still don't know where to look. If "god" is life and an appreciation for life then I see it the most in my family, my friends, and in music. But maybe those are just beautiful things and there's nothing "spiritual" about my love for them. I've made up my mind to never believe anything supernatural without evidence and I stand by that.

All that to say, if there is a personal god and this life actually is some kind of cruel game of spiritual hide & seek then I guess I'm still playing, but don't think for a second that I don't think this is fucked up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burning Airlines should've made more records.

How often do you stop and think about how different your life could have been if you'd made different decisions? Sometimes when I'm feeling slightly inadequate I'll wonder what kind of career I'd be qualified for if I'd just suffered through two more years of school to get that degree. I didn't though, because I didn't know then, just like I don't know now, what I would've majored in and I didn't want to waste the money or time.

Sometimes I'll stop and wonder what life would've been like if Leah and I had never gotten together. I don't do this in a fantasizing type of way, you see. I do it because I like to take stock of how thankful I am for her. When I imagine that scenario, I can easily and realistically imagine how, without Leah, all the bad things in my life would've stayed bad or gotten worse and all the good things could've/would've eventually soured. It may sound cliche' but Leah can easily claim 95% of the responsibility for my happiness, productivity, and overall emotional growth over the past 6 1/2 years. All that to say, I love my wife and I'm thankful to her. It almost makes me wish I could believe in a personal god just so I could thank him/her/them/it for her.

Speaking of god, if you're reading this then I guess you're not a real Christian. Clearly, you haven't been raptured and according to this well reasoned website, you all should have been pulled up into Heaven two days ago on Rosh Hashanah. I guess we can logically entertain one of three explanations of why you were all left:
1. The first explanation is a real drag. You didn't believe enough or you believed the wrong thing. Man, that sucks.
2. The second explanation is way more fun and certainly the one that most will choose to believe. The people that made that website are either completely bonkers and/or got their crazy conspiracy math wrong. So when and if the real Rapture does take place you're still in the running for a place in the New Jerusalem. Congratulations, friend!
3. The third explanation is pretty neutral, really. There has never been and will, in all probability, never be a Rapture. If this is the case, then all you have to do is worry about the time you spend as a living organism and nothing else. If this is the case, then there's no reward for good behavior and no punishment for bad behavior (at least, in the afterlife). Yay! We're all off the hook!

I kid about the afterlife because its easy to do and because there's no real reason to believe that there is one. I'll continue to do so, I'm sure, but if I'm being honest, there's nothing that scares me more than death. More than anything, I hope I'm wrong about it, but I realize that that fear doesn't give me license to postulate false hope for myself. Its a mystery and one that can only be solved by going where you can never return from. The idea of just not existing is scarier than the idea of burning in Hell, to me. At least in Hell, Leah, Harper, and several of my friends will be there. So if you've ever wondered, religious friends & family, I do sincerely hope that you are right and I am wrong and that there is another side for me to see you on, when that inevitable day comes. But for now, lets just all hope that we live to be incredibly old, that medical miracles keep us lively and functioning long after our bodies should've turned to dust, and that we all love each other for as long as, and as much as, we possibly can.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the hopes that I will have a decent memory before I join the Choir Invisible.

This weekend was both great and horrible. Really, the only horrible thing was that Leah had 3 weddings to shoot so Harper and I barely saw her. That's a pretty horrible thing though. I prefer my weekends to be heavy on the Leah.

It was great because I have the most amazing daughter in the world and I got to spend almost all my time with her. On top of that, Quiet Company had a show on Saturday with What Made Milwaukee Famous and it was fantastic. We had a really good show even though I slipped on my chords and almost face planted on the stage. Even cooler still is that a couple of the guys from Nada Surf came out to see us and they were very complimentary. They came with our producer who is also their producer/keyboardist, so it wasn't totally random.

I'm sure that Leah is completely worn out, so tonight I plan on mowing the yard and then letting her relax as much as possible. I'm trying to be a better husband by learning to discipline myself and be more reliable. I've started taking vitamins that are supposed to help with memory and I'm on day 4 of cutting out all snacking. So, you steps. She deserves to have a husband that she can count on to remember the simplest things and hopefully, sometime before we die, I'll be that guy.

PZ Myers posted this purity pledge for the TEA bag party, and I don't know where he got it from but I thought it warranted reposting. There is no pure governmental or economic system in the world, I don't think. America is certainly a melting pot in that regard, so its always shocking when you talk to people who clearly don't realize or are happy to ignore the humongous influence that Socialism has had here. Now, I realize that not all of the programs listed in this pledge are completely Socialistic but they all at least share that influence. They certainly weren't influenced by Capitalism, least ways. I thought it was funny.

The Teabagger Socialist-Free Purity Pledge

I, ________________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:

I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.

I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.

I will fore swear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls.

I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

Social Security


State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)

Police, Fire, and Emergency Services

US Postal Service

Roads and Highways

Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)

The US Railway System

Public Subways and Metro Systems

Public Bus and Light rail Systems

Rest Areas on Highways


All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009federal senate appropriations--

Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)

Public and State Universities and Colleges

Public Primary and Secondary Schools

Sesame Street

Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children

Public Museums


Public Parks and Beaches

State and National Parks

Public Zoos

Unemployment Insurance

Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services

Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)

Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)

Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)

Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking

Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies

Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies

If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will fore go my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care

I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist

locations, including but not limited to:

Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History

The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments

The government-operated Statue of Liberty

The Grand Canyon

The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials

The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery

All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC

I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided health care.

I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.

I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.

I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.

Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.

Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.

SWORN ON A BIBLE AND SIGNED THIS DAY OF ____________ IN THE YEAR ______________.

___________________________ ___________________________

Signed Printed Name/Town and State

Friday, September 18, 2009

When no amount of lotion can save your skin from your medication...

The other day when I was talking about how I got really sad watching the VMAs, I said it was because it started making me feel like pop music is disposable, which may be true to some people, but what I think I meant to say is not that pop music is disposable but that in pop music the music seems secondary. On the list of things that are important to a pop stars career, "songwriting" is probably a few rungs down. That being said, I think there's a big difference between a songwriter who happens to be highly marketable, like Taylor Swift, and someone like Miley Cyrus. Miley has no identity as an artist. She has an image, and that image can be changed and rearranged into whatever shape the label or whoever needs it to be, depending on what the kids watching the Disney Channel are into that week. That's why she can put out a song like "The Climb" and then just a few months later put out a song like "Party in the USA." Not that either of those are necessarily bad songs but if Quiet Company put out "The Climb" and then a few months later put out "Party in the USA," well, first people would wonder what the hell had happened to me, and then they would see it as some kind of selling out or betrayal of our identity. But that's not a problem for a pop star because no one expects them to have any kind of identity to be true to, and frankly, we'd be shocked if they did, we'd see it as something special.

Britney Spears doesn't need to have any good songs (though "Toxic" kicks ass), as long as she's either dancing provocatively, kissing Madonna, or losing her shit in public.

Maybe I should stop wasting my time trying to craft interesting melodies and lyrics, and just start working on a pilot for Disney where me and my zany band mates are already famous and travel the world solving mysteries. I can over-act if I need to.

When I lived in Nashville, there was a lot of buzz for a local band called The Features. I went to see them once when they played a free show on the Belmont campus with Spoon, but I missed their show and I've always thought Spoon was a little boring so I left. On the way out I decided to pick up The Features' EP to see what all the hubbub was about and I'm so glad I did. I've been following them pretty closely ever since. They were briefly signed to Universal and toured with the Kings of Leon shortly after but then they just seemed to disappear. I heard that Universal had wanted their first single to be a cover and the band had no desire to do that so they were dropped. A while back they released a new record called "Some Kind Of Salvation" and I just got around to getting it last week. Its one of the best records I've heard all year. So, if you've got a taste for some incredibly original rock & roll, you should find a way to get your hands on a copy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ev'rybody's talking about Revolution, Evolution, Mastication, Flagelolation, Regulations, Integrations, Meditations, United Nations, Congratulations!

So I've surpassed 100 blog posts now. Hooray! I actually surpassed it with my last post but forgot to mention it. If I were a sitcom I could be syndicated now.

Yesterday, I ate lunch with Jason from Jets Under Fire and today I ate lunch with Todd from Jets Under Fire. They're some of my favorite people and easily some of the best musicians and songwriters I've had the pleasure to know. If you haven't already, go to their website and download all their free music. Lately, I'm especially fond of their song "Shades of Post Modern Gray," though philosophically I disagree with it. So it goes.

Leah called me earlier to tell me that tonight our plans are to order pizza and stay in and watch all the new episodes of all our favorite shows (The Office, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, etc.), so I'm really excited about my immediate future. The weather is starting to be more reasonable and there's two beautiful ladies waiting for me at home. You really can't ask for anything more than that.

I really wanted to have the new Quiet Company EP finished by the end of Sept. but I have no idea where to find the time to work on it so it looks like that might not happen. So it goes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I only wish that President Obama had said "Kanye West is a jackass. Quote me."

I love I'll still frequent Half Price Books but for music or movies, it doesn't get much better than Amazon. I've ordered a lot of things from Amazon lately but I think the one I'm most excited about is the new They Might Be Giants record. I've never really listened to them before but I happened upon their new video for "Science is Real" and I thought it was so perfect. Its kids music so its really for Harper but I'm planning on getting quite a bit of use out of it, myself. The other day I showed Harper the videos for "Science is Real" and "Electric Car" and I think she was pretty into it. Least ways, it held her attention for a while.

Where Lord of the Rings is concerned, I'm not a HUGE fan. I like the movies a lot, and I've read all the books once but on the whole, I prefer to put all my nerdy energy into knowing more about Harry Potter and Star Wars than most people know about their immediate family. Well, I've owned the first 2 movies for a while but never got around to buying Return of the King, so I ordered the theatrical version off of Amazon the other day. I really wanted the extended version but it was $7 and the theatrical version was only $0.01 so I couldn't really justify the price difference. I got it in the mail and was pretty pumped to watch it because I recently watched the other two. I started the movie and thought, "I don't remember the third movie starting just like the first one." Right case, wrong disc. Long story short, I contacted the seller on Amazon and she offered to send me the extended version in exchange and she even refunded my shipping costs. So I got the movie I really wanted for $0.01. What a beautiful world we live in!

You can see a very tiny portion of the footage from the video for "On Modern Men" by going to our Twitter and clicking the link. Looks pretty awesome so far.
We've got some really great shows coming up. This Friday, we're playing with What Made Milwaukee Famous at Antone's and that shit's going to be off the chain or off the hook or whatever the kids say these days. In October, through strange coincidence or strange fate we've got direct support for the Los Lonely Boys at an ACL after-party at Momo's. How weird is that? Awesome, because it will probably sell out, but...weird.

Monday, September 14, 2009

This way to the moral highground...

I don't know why this is the first thing on my mind, but one thing I have never understood is "school spirit." Maybe if I was an orphan and had been raised by an aunt and uncle who despised me and neglected me and then one day a half-giant showed up and told me that I was a wizard and would, in fact, be going to a wizard school and then when I went to wizard school I found life long friends who would help me survive harrowing adventures on the path to destroying the most dangerous dark wizard of all time (who incidentally had killed my parents), maybe then I'd understand having some pride in where I got my education.


We shot the video for "On Modern Men" yesterday at the Georgetown courthouse. I've seen some of the footage and it looks amazing. A ridiculously big "THANK YOU" to all the people that came out to be extras. I think everyone had a good time and made some new friends. I'm also really thankful for Chipotle, Sweet Leaf Tea and the lady from Subway for sponsoring the event. The bookstore on the square in Georgetown, Dog Eared Books, is one of the best smelling, coolest book stores ever.

I really don't think I'm a music snob. I know that I used to be, in the worst way, but I'm pretty sure that I grew out of it a while back. Music's value, like all art, is completely subjective. That being said, I watched most of the VMA's last night, and I think it made me hate music a little bit. Well, let me correct that... It made me hate the current culture of music that allows Lady Gaga, and every auto-tuned, middle of the road hip hop star to flourish. I'm also really glad that Madonna got a chance to make Michael Jackson's death all about her. I thought Taylor Swift and Green Day both had good performances, and Beyonce was as great as she always is, but the more I watched the more I started feeling like music is disposable and I don't like feeling that way, so I went and played guitar in our room until it was time to get Harper up for her "dream feed."

I liked "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" a lot, but I'm also wondering if Russell Brand was the only person available to host. I would've done it, if they'd asked me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Congress, you're supposed to raise your hand before you shout out like a jackass. Its called "manners," bro.

I often call myself a Deist, though to hear me talk you'd probably say I sound more like an Atheist. I guess they're both correct, in a way. I'm an Atheist in the way that everyone is an Atheist, meaning that there are plenty of gods that I don't believe in. I don't believe in Zeus or Thor, nor do I believe in Allah or Jehovah (though they're essentially the same thing).

Deism, like Atheism, isn't a religion. There is no dogma, no holy text, and no doctrine to which our beliefs must adhere. Its really just a category that you fall into. Being such, Deists more often than not have vastly different beliefs. When I say "I'm a Deist" all I mean is that I accept the possibility that there is something out in the universe that caused the big bang, and at this juncture it is unexplained and unexplainable (though it might not always be).

For some, Deism lends itself to an Intelligent Design explanation of the world, and this is where I think I start sounding more like an Atheist because "Design" implies that there was a goal, and I don't see anything that makes me think that that's the case. I do see a lot of things that lead me to believe that Natural Selection shaped life into its current complexity through millions and millions of trials and errors.

I'm somewhat of a creator, myself, in that I'm a songwriter. I think that any artist will probably agree with me here. When I sit down to write a song I have no idea what the song will sound like, because I haven't created it yet. I'm inspired but I don't have a goal that I'm trying to achieve. As I begin to work I do some things I like and keep them and some things I don't like and cut them. And the truth is that its never really finished, like any piece of art, there's not a finished point. There is only the point at which I stopped working on it. That doesn't mean that I will never change it, it just means I'm through for now. Plus, you have to factor in the other musicians that will play on the song and how their interpretations and style will play a big part in shaping it. When we reach the stopping point, I'm often surprised by what the song has become.

To me, if god has had a hand in the story of the earth, it seems more likely that their part is more like that of the songwriter and that he/she/it/they are just as surprised as we are by what happens. But you never hear anyone entertaining the idea of a god who's not omnipotent, omnipresent, and whatnot. Not as exciting, I guess. Anyway, I don't really have any reason to think either way is true. Its just a thought I had.

Tonight, Quiet Company has a show in San Marcos with The Soldier Thread and This Will Destroy You. I think it will be very good. Also, Sunday is the big video day so PLEASE come and be extras in it. It will be fun and Sweet Leaf Tea is sponsoring the shoot so there will be drinks and whatnot.

I decided last night that its comedy gold to get on Facebook and respond to people's statuses by simply calling them a "nerd." I don't know. The word just got really funny to me last night. So no offense, because I don't think I'm done yet.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Listen: I have come unstuck in time

Harper Lennon is 4 months old now. What can I say? I'm proud.

Last night, Leah and I watched Crash, which I think is one of the better dramas ever made, and the Obama speech to the schools. The speech was exactly what I thought it would be, a lot of encouragement and challenge with no political agenda. I'm beginning to see that a lot of Republicans actually believe that Democrats don't want what's best for America. It may be that they actually think that the Dems do know what's best but have actively chosen an opposite route to spite the Republicans. You may say that that's ridiculous and I would agree, but I work with a lot of Republicans and in their eyes I don't think its possible for Obama to do anything right. Which is fine, really (albeit unrealistic). They're good people, but at the end of the day, I guess we've just got very different ideas about what America needs/wants/is. And who knows, they could be right and I could be wrong. So it goes.

Tonight Leah is taking engagement photos for some friends of ours, named Kaci and Roy. Kaci and Roy are part of the local improv group Parallelogramophonograph. I think I spelled that correctly. If you live in the Austin area, you really should catch a show of theirs. They're very good and have gotten more than a handful of belly laughs out of me. Also I think its amazing that when they get married, instead of her taking his last name, they're coming up with a totally new last name for both of them.

I've also got to swing by the library and recheck my books. I don't think I've ever finished a book without needing to recheck it at least once. Turns out, I'm a slow reader and I always thought I was fast. So it goes.

Also this Sunday we're shooting the video for "On Modern Men" at the Georgetown square and we need as many extras as we can get.
Click the poster for details.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Anyone can play guitar.

Can someone please tell me one productive thing the Republican Party has done this year?

I'm not being a smart ass, that's a legitimate question. Where is their heath care reform plan? Where is their education reform plan? Out of all the things they've done to try and stop the President from accomplishing anything, have they once submitted an alternative? Is this all they have to contribute now...the backwoods hillbillies trying to shout down senators at town hall meetings, using words they don't understand to try and slander the President, and over-reacting like children who just want to take their ball and go home when the President wants to encourage and inform the kids about what's going on with their education in the next four years. I thought I'd seen the extent of their inanity with all that "birther" tripe, but all these hissy fits about the President talking to their kids... its just the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. At the beginning of the year, I would've never played the race card but now after seeing how Republicans are willing to behave and talk when the President has barely even done anything, I'm starting to question how different the health care discussion would be if our President was just another cracker from Tennessee.

I understand that if you didn't vote for him, you're probably not going to like the things he does, but its time to face reality. He won the election. I mean, he REALLY won the election. Besides, we all had to suffer through 8 years of your boy embodying everything we didn't want for America so I feel like I can speak from experience when I tell you, (as Jon Stewart so elegantly put it) "Its supposed to taste like a shit sandwich."

That's all I'll say about it. Grow up, Republicans. And do us all a favor, open a book and learn what the hell "socialism" means.

Quiet Company had two shows last week. College Station was cool but I think our Dallas show was one of our worst shows of all time. I know I totally phoned in my performance, and I kind of felt bad about it, but I just really didn't want to be there. That's rare, but it does happen.

Harper and I have been spending a lot of quality time together since Leah had two weddings this weekend. It would, of course, be better if Leah were here, but me and the bug have been having some good times. I call Harper "bug" in case you were wondering. I don't know why I started doing it but I like it, so I'm not going to stop.

Leah and I watched the documentary "Hell House" which, if you don't already know, is a documentary about a church that puts on a "Hell House" which is like a Christian haunted house where the goal is, admittedly, to scare people into a faith decision by enacting scenes of life gone wrong. Leah has actually been to a Hell House in Tyler and as it is bound to do, it scarred her opinions of Christianity. Its really sad because I found myself really liking a lot of the people from the church and thinking how they seemed really smart aside from the horrible ideas they had about bullying people into faith. Anyway, its shooting fish in a barrel to pick apart the theology behind a Hell House but the movie reminded me of one of the funnier things about church or rather, prayer.

Let me give you an example. Imagine if I were to have a conversation with my brother Seth the same way people talk to god. It would probably go like this:
Hey Seth, its really good to see you, Seth. And Seth, I'm so glad we're brothers, Seth, because some people don't have siblings at all, Seth. Seth, you're my bro, and we'll be bro's forever, Seth.

See what I mean? I wonder if god ever stops listening halfway through a prayer out of sheer annoyance.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Next Tuesday, President Obama plans to coerce your children into a windowless van with promises of candy and feel-good drink.

President Obama is giving an address next Tuesday which will be addressing students K-12. I'm sure it will feature themes like staying in school, taking responsibility for your education, and how educating our young people is key to America's future. You know, the same kind of thing that any American politician for any party would say about education.

So obviously, this is the worst thing that could happen to children.

Parents are really pissed that he wants to talk to their children. If you're one of those parents let me help you understand why you feel this way. Its probably because(A)you're a ridiculous person, (B)you might not be very smart, or (C)because you have a huge boner for Glenn Beck and will do anything to please him.

What do these parents think school is for? I've always been under the impression that school was supposed to be preparing young minds for life in the real world. You know, the world where Barack Obama is their President. Maybe they just see it as a daycare for their kids to hang out at while they're at work and they don't want their kids to fall under that vile, nasty, Democratic party peer pressure that's so prevalent in public schools now.

Its just so silly.

My favorite line from that article is "I perceive this as a socialist type of move," said Tammy Canatella, whose daughter is a freshman at Consolidated High School. "This should not be a forum to promote himself or his cabinet."

Oh, Tammy! You don't like Socialism? You don't want any Socialism in that publicly funded high school you send your daughter to? Do you even know what Socialism means or is it just the buzz word that Fox "News" tells you to repeat over and over in hopes of destroying that secretly Muslim usurper's regime?

If George W. Bush had wanted to address my children in school I cannot imagine ever threatening to take my kids out of class because of it. But then, maybe my arguments aren't so shaky that I would feel the need to shelter my children from anyone else's prespective. Maybe I just accept that children will eventually make up their own minds about this horse shit. I believe it was Malcolm Forbes who said "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open mind."

New QC pics are up.

My incredibly beautiful and talented wife took some pictures of us a couple of days ago and now you can see them at Leah's Flickr. These are my favorite band pics we've ever done.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Q & A

Megan said...
Have you seen the documentary We Are Wizards?

No, I haven't...yet. I have seen Brad Neely's "Dear Reader / Wizard People" which I love.

Green said...
I've always wondered if musicians listen to their own music, or if they find it creepy/can't listen to it without thinking about ways to have done it differently. So... do you listen to your own music?

I can't speak for all musicians but I listen to my music all the time. When I do, I can't help but hear a million things I wish that we'd done differently, but for the most part, I'm really proud of everything we've put out. More often than my pride would like me to admit, I'll put in our record and try and pretend that I've never heard of Quiet Company and imagine what my initial response would be as a stranger. Is that weird? I've met at least one other musician that does this.

Revenge of the Seth said...
Are you guys going to crash at our house this weekend?

I don't know yet if we'll be staying in Dallas or driving back. Leah has a wedding on Saturday and I'm hoping to drive back if we're not too tired so I can help with Harper in the morning. If we stay in Dallas we'll have to leave pretty early and Paul is getting a hotel room for some personal business so we may just crash there for a few hours. Give me a call when you get a chance and hopefully I'll have it figured out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Be as skeptical as you won't make these blueberry yogurt dipped granola bars any less delicious...and you know what?!? I think you know it!

The twisted genius of Brad Neely

Tonight, Quiet Company have a photo shoot with my lovely bride at The Cathedral Of Junk.
We're going to wear suits and hopefully not look awkward so stay tuned for that.

We've also got a couple of shows this week. Thursday we're playing in Bryan, TX and Friday we're in Dallas. Check the page for details.

Started two new books that I got at the library the other day and enjoying both of them. The first is My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, which is a sequel of sorts to Ishmael. I think the idea is just to further flesh out the concepts in Ishmael, just like he does in The Story of B which is another novel connected to Ishmael.

The second book is Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living - A Handbook for the Damned Human Race by Mark Twain. Its an endearing collection of short essays, letters, and anecdotes from the author about his wife, children, and daily life. I always knew Vonnegut loved Twain so now its really interesting to see the tangible influence that Twain's writing had on Vonnegut. Whenever I read this book, the voice in my head is that of Foghorn Leghorn, incidentally.

Does anyone have any questions?