Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looks like the fittest did a little surviving last night, huh?

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010.


That felt like a cruelly short year, didn't it? I guess they all do. If I could have one wish... Well, I was about to say that I would wish for longer lives and more hours in the day, but that could be considered two wishes, and let's be honest, if I had one wish, it would be for infinite money, or superpowers, or ageless immortality, etc.

Anyway, I wish we lived longer and that there were more hours in the day.

I've started reading Chuck Klosterman's latest, Eating The Dinosaur. I like Klosterman a lot because he over-analyzes pop culture in the way that I would like to have time to. I guess the over all message of all the Klosterman that I've read is that, no matter how petty or materialistic pop culture seems, these things matter. I tend to agree.

I'm reminded of the summer of 2002. Everyone gets at least one big, earth shattering, soul crushing, heartbreak in their youth; or at least, they should. You know, at least one time where something or someone happens that calls into question everything you believe about yourself and the human condition. Mine came by way of a breakup with my first longtime girlfriend in the summer of 2002.

I got sad. Real sad. Less so because I still wanted to be with that girl, really, and more so because I had based all of my hopes and dreams around being with that girl. If we're being dramatic, I got suicidal. If we're being more realistic, I got dramatic about being sad and, like many children of the 90's/Nirvana fans, channeled that drama into lionizing suicide. Anyway, that's not important. What is important is what got me through those times. Was it supportive friends and family? Sure, somewhat. Was is faith in a higher power? Nope...well, kind of, maybe, I guess. Do The Beatles and/or Star Wars count as higher powers? If they do, then yes.

During that time I had two great revelations:
1. That the arcade in the mall had The Star Wars Arcade Game, and...
2. That the Beatles are amaaaaazing but I did not own their entire catalog.

So I made the decision that I would not buy any new music other than The Beatles until I had every album. Also I began most of my days by pillaging the couch cushions and our apartment's dusty corners, looking for quarters or any spare change that was equal to or greater than 25 cents.
I played the Star Wars arcade game almost everyday that summer. What has two thumbs and could (at that point) beat the Star Wars arcade game with one credit? This guy!

I know that those things didn't solve my problems, but they provided me with enough distraction from said problems that I was able to function, and that has worth, right? I think so.

Ian and Elana got me Futurama: Season 5 for Xmas and I've been watching that almost all day. For my money, Futurama is possibly the best animated show of all time, least ways, nothing else springs to mind that is better. I'm so glad it was resurrected. When I am cancelled, I, too, hope to be ressurected.

This was a great year. I had a really great time. Thanks for having me, and I'll definitely recommend you to my friends, Universe.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The dude abides.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday. We did.

I was nervous going in because I weighed myself before we left and saw the lowest number since college, 174.5 lbs. I was very happy. Progress, you know? But I knew that my parents' house is no place for a diet, especially on a holiday. However, I was pretty proud of myself, and although I did allow myself a shred of gluttony at Xmas dinner, I diligently counted my calories otherwise. So today, I weighed in at 176.0 lbs. Not bad, not great. It won't be too terribly difficult to recover from anyway.

Harper had a great time, and Leah and I discovered that, at her grandparents' house, we don't matter as much. We're not offended, we get it. Kind of a pain in the ass when she doesn't eat good because she's too pumped up, but oh well. She got to play with her cousins, which she loves, especially her cousin, Rylan, who is only 6 months older than her but the same size.

I got to see some friends that I haven't seen in a long time, ate some pizza, did some bowling, saw some movies.

We actually saw two movies, because having grandparents around is free babysitting. On Friday, we saw True Grit and we really liked it. Not my favorite Coen Bros. but still really great. On Saturday, we saw Tron: Legacy 3D. IT'S A JEFF BRIDGES CHRISTMAS!!! Tron was OK. Pretty forgettable, but OK. It was in 3D but after the movie we all stood around saying, "Was it in 3D? I don't remember seeing anything that looked 3D."

I'm rounding out the weekend by watching The Big Lebowski at work today.

I had designs to blog about the Old Testament today, and how Christians justify all the crazy shit within, but all the profound ideas I had in the shower escape me in this chair. So it goes. Perhaps I should blog about my ever dwindling desire to engage in religious discussions. I really had a stomach for it a year ago. Now, not so much. I'm sure this blog is significantly less interesting because of that.

I think I've just decided that if any real progress for free thought and/or Humanism is to be made in our culture, it's going to be made through art and/or humor, so I've been exercising those demons by working on the new record. Which I plan to do more of tonight.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everything louder than everything else

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed this weekend. Good job, America. Way to fix your horrible, shameful ideas. Leah happened to be shooting a gay wedding on Saturday when everyone found out. That seems like a pretty great place to be when such a step towards true equality is taken.

Leah obviously worked on Saturday so Harper and I hung out all night together. It was really great, especially because last week found Harper in a strange, "mom is awesome, dad is less so" mood for a few days. By Saturday, she was over it, and she was a perfect angel for me. We ran around trying to find my father an xmas gift, trying to find a certain cable to remedy a band issue at Guitar Center, hanging out in Terra Toys and then getting some delicious tacos for dinner. It was a great day, though I did miss my wife something fierce. I continue to.

The next morning, we all went to IHOP for breakfast, which was lovely. Then Leah had more errands to run, so Harper and I played at the park and went to Target where we finally decided on my father's gift. So our holiday shopping is, more or less, complete. Yay.

After Harper went down for her nap, I trekked over to Matt's studio to record. Recording always takes longer than I think it will, and I always leave sessions feeling like I should've accomplished more. I've recorded 3 albums, I should know how it goes by this point, but alas... I apparently do not. It's not that we're particularly slow (well, I don't know, maybe we are) or lazy, it's just that this shit takes time. Setting up mics, taking down mics, setting up different mics, bringing in amps, moving out amps, bringing in different amps, tuning, re-tuning, adjust the tone, not quite, adjust the tone, not quite, adjust the tone, there it is, play the part again, I can do better, play it again and again and again... When I finally got home at 11, I was dragging. I did remember to take the Flip camera with me and got some footage of the process. I'm going to try and do that every time from now on. Maybe we can get someone to edit it all together for a "making of" thing.

Tonight, I'm back in the studio to knock out more acoustic guitar, and probably some vocals and piano. I always get so anxious about doing vocals and try to put them off as long as I can, but they always have to be done eventually.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'd rather be a forest than a street

So, several months ago, I weighed myself and I was not happy with what the scale said. "193 lbs." I've been telling people that I weigh 175 lbs since college, so the facts weren't going along with my story. I tried exercising, and I fucking hated it. I even tried Yoga for a couple of days, and while you can't argue with the overwhelming amount of success stories, it really hurt and made me feel stupid. So then I bought a fairly expensive diet pill, and actually saw some results, but upon introspection realized that it was probably only working because it was coupled with eating a lot less. So that's what I've been doing: eating less and taking a ton of green tea. And do you know what my scale said today? 175.5 lbs! Yay me!

I'd like to get closer to 170 before next week because I know the holiday food is going to set me back. So will the free BBQ that our regional manager just bought the office, and the free BBQ that is being served to the bands at our show tonight.

I've been wanting to blog a lot lately but couldn't think of anything to really talk about. That problem has not been resolved but Leah told me that she was tired of coming to the page and seeing the entry about my penis, I am.

Tonight we've got a big show here in Austin. It's the celebration of KGSR's 20 year anniversary, and we are honored to be on the bill. We're sharing the stage with Alpha Rev, Joe Ely, and The Old 97's, so it should be pretty well attended.

Xmas is coming up. Leah and I went back and forth about whether or not we would celebrate it. We eventually decided to, for Harper's sake. It will probably be just like Halloween, where my level of involvement correlates directly with her level of enjoyment. We still haven't gotten her a gift though, which I'm not terribly worried about. She has toys, she has clothes, she has, generally, everything she needs. If we were smart, her gift would be the beginning of a college fund, but who knows.

Doing a lot of recording in the next couple of weeks so I'm looking forward to making progress on that. Tommy and I have been slightly obsessed with guitar tones for this record, but so far, it's paying off. Whenever I look at our recording "to do list" I start feeling underwhelmed by the amount of things that are checked off, but the next couple of weeks should make a significant dent.

Happy Holidays, true believers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cool band name: Shy Bladder and the Moral Highground

I don't have a shy bladder. I can, more or less, pee on command.

A few hours ago, I found myself standing next to a stranger in the bathroom, pants unzipped, "Tiny-Taylor" in hand, ready to go, and then a booming, inappropriately loud, voice filled the room.

"Where is this rain we're supposed to get?!?!" December and May are supposed to be the wettest months but I don't see it!"

"God?" I thought, "This is a weird time to choose to speak,"

...but then I realized it was just the stranger next to me. I wanted to be friendly, I really did, but all of a sudden I realized that I couldn't pee, I was so unnerved by this unexpected conversation. It took every ounce of concentration to force the liquid from my loins, and so my only contribution to our discourse was, "....yep."

Sorry, guy. I'm usually much friendlier, but then I usually don't meet new people while holding my penis.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On why I would be a great superhero, or a really bad one, depending on your perspective.

I've been watching Smallville a lot lately. It's one of those shows that I always wanted to get into, and thought I would probably like, but never got around to. So now, I'm playing catch-up with the DVDs. I like the show a lot, but all the back and forth, will they/won't they between Clark and Lana gets a little maddening. It got me thinking about what I would do if I had super powers.

First off, I'd tell everyone. Well, not everyone, but several people. The whole idea of a secret identity keeping your family safe is kind of bullshit if you think about it. As long as you keep your inner circle small, you'll be alright. Just don't get caught by strangers doing super shit. But if there was a girl I really liked, I'd probably tell her the first time it became a problem. "Oh yeah, I know it was weird when I inexplicably ran out on our date the other night, but the reason is that I'm actually an alien and I have super powers as a result of your planet having a yellow sun and my home planet having a red one, and some people needed some super help. You understand right?" Or, "Oh yeah, I know I was a total dick to you the other day, but what had happened was that I'm actually an alien from another planet and as a result of the radiation from your yellow sun on my cells for all these years, different colored pieces of my home world, called 'Kryptonite,' affect me differently, and someone slipped me some of the 'red' and I just lost my shit." And maybe at some point, you could do the reasonable thing and say, "Hey friends of mine, who I've saved on countless occasions and all owe me a life debt or two, could you all please make a point to find and destroy as much Kryptonite as you can, as there seems to be a disproportionately large amount of it lying around? Thanks, it seriously harshes my mellow."

Here in the real world, to really be a good guy, you'd have to be willing to get your hands dirty. How easy would it be for Superman to fix a lot of the worlds big problems? First, I'd make a bunch of big, brightly colored, hand lettered signs that all said something along the lines of "Be nice or Superman will mess your shit up!!! :-)" and place them all around. And then I would proceed to kill all terrorists and warlords. Totalitarian? Kind of. Fascist? Maybe a little. Everyone thanking me later? You bet your sweet ass. The question you have to ask yourself is this: "Is it really noble of Batman to spare the Joker's life, knowing full well that the prison won't hold him forever, and it's only a matter of time before countless innocents will pay the price for Bats' nobility?" The answer is "no." The truly moral thing to do is to kill the Joker at the first opportunity.

One of the reasons I've wanted to get into Smallville is that one of my favorite heroes is now on the show.

Green Arrow is a badass, but when you think about it, only in a comic book could someone get away with being Green Arrow. Now, if some kid in New York got bit by a radioactive spider, developed spider powers, and started using those powers to fight crime, then we'd all think "Ok that person is crazy, albeit good intentioned." Because dressing up as a spider and swinging around on webs and beating up baddies with your bare hands is quirky and endearing.

Green Arrow's M.O. is to shoot people with a bow and arrow. Usually not even "trick" arrows. Just regular ol', "assault with a deadly weapon," arrows. Now, Batman may break several of the bones in your body and hospitalize you indefinitely, but he won't stab you! He won't shoot you in the arm! He won't run you through with anything!

...Green Arrow will, though. I don't know, just seems....well, it seems like Assault With A Deadly Weapon.

Looking forward to seeing him in Smallville, but I'm only on season 3. I can't see him and Clark getting along, somehow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's comforting to come in after a long weekend and NOT find an avalanche of accumulated work.

Happy belated Thanksgiving, true believers. I hope everyone's holiday was spent being well fed and surrounded by loved ones. Mine certainly was, though we didn't leave town to see family. Well, not blood related family anyway. We spent Thursday night with the Davis family and it was pretty great. Great food, great company, what more is there?

My parents went to Nashville to celebrate their 35 year anniversary/Thanksgiving and stayed at the Opry Hotel. Apparently, they had a great time and enjoyed everything that that spiritually bankrupt town has to offer. Don't get me wrong, Nashville is a great place to visit, so much so that a visit there years ago convinced me to move there.

My parents' marriage is a rare case; 35 years and never a whisper of divorce. I've never even actually heard them raise their voices at each other. I guess they really love each other or something. They got engaged something like 6 weeks after they met, and were married 6 months later. Quick! It was supposed to be 3 months but apparently my mom's family was hung up on the fact that my dad had been briefly married before and the Good Book said that that made my mom an adulteress, so they tried to convince my mom not to marry him at all. To her credit, she said "Eff that, I do what I want!!" They did, however, succeed in convincing her to wait a year. She told my dad and he said "Eff that, I'll wait 6 months." (I'm paraphrasing, of course. I don't know if either of my parents have ever said the F word. I tend to doubt it.) So, 6 months later they were married and roughly 4 years later they were pregnant with my brother, and 3 years after that, pregnant with me. Hooray, life! Boo to the fundamentalism that tried to snuff me out. Hooray to parents who have always shown me that all you really do need, is love! Hooray to parents who have always been slow to anger and quick to forgive!
Hooray to 35 more years!

This weekend we had our "Twitter show" where we projected a live Twitter feed on the wall beside the stage. It was really fun and interesting. Undoubtedly, it convinced everyone that they were a comedian, and as we predicted, it became really obscene really quickly. It was all in good fun, though, and I think everyone had a good time.

Slept badly last night. Zombie nightmares and cold sweats all night. The zombie nightmares I can explain because of The Walking Dead (How amazing is that show?!?) but the cold sweats are a mystery. Oh well, I guess my life is just way harder than everyone else's.

One of the best moments of the weekend was Leah getting Harper to say "Oh man!" but it coming out (like the native Texan that she is), "Oh Main!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In the city of the future, it is difficult to concentrate. Meet the boss, meet the wife. Everybody's happy, everyone is made for life.

If you're looking for a significantly tasty burger, Phil's Icehouse on Burnet Rd. can supply you with one, no problem. Most of the band just took Paul to eat there for his birthday and I was impressed. I'm not often blown away by burgers, and I'm not sure if the term "blown away" really applies here either, but it was pretty damn good, nonetheless.

Anyway, Leah and I just got back from vacationing in Orlando, FL, a place I would probably avoid (bad drivers, bad radio, and an absurd amount of televangelists on TV) if it weren't for that little slice of heaven, The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. I've had such a boner to see this place since I first heard they were building it and it did not disappoint. My only complaint is that the excessive amount of muggles crowding the streets in their wife-beaters, fanny-packs, and daisy dukes sometimes takes you out of the moment. Everything is so well done and authentic, though, that it's hard to be unhappy about anything while walking the streets of Hogsmeade or the halls of Hogwarts. Leah and I spent the better part of two days mesmerized by all things Potter, and thanks to Butterbeer, I regained 3 of the five pounds I lost the week before. Oh well, back on track now. Now we just have to figure out how to see The Deathly Hallows as soon as possible.

Leah and I had such an amazing time together and it was nice to get to do whatever we wanted as a couple without having to worry about nap times or snack times, etc... That being said, we missed the hell out of Harper and I could literally feel my heart lighten when we saw her at the airport. I know I've probably said this before and it probably doesn't make for the best blogging (but fuck you, this is my blog and I do what I want), but I love being her father so much, it's ridiculous. She's getting so smart and funny, so full of personality. I can't wait til she's a teenager and screams how much she hates me in a public place.

Quiet Company has begun working on the third record, in earnest. I have no idea when we will actually be done with it, but it's going well, albeit, slowly. Well, it's actually not going slowly, it's just taken us a long time to get started. Everyone is really excited about the new material, and I'm very interested to see how it all turns out. It's a different direction for us, focusing more on guitars and drums than pianos and synthesizers. Basically, we're just trying to pick up where Staind left off.........

Our episodes of My Generation are now available for streaming at and We're in episode 3 (though if you blink, you might miss us), and "How Do You Do It?" has a really nice placement at the end of episode 4. Episode 6 has "The Biblical Sense Of The Word" in it somewhere but I haven't gotten to watch it yet.

Really excited to catch up on our TV shows, especially The Walking Dead.

Friday, November 5, 2010

15 records that made my year (musically).

This may be one of my favorite pictures Leah has ever taken. It's Harper, Estlin, and Olivia on Halloween. I think it captures all of their personalities pretty accurately.

Anyway, here's a list, in no particular order of 15 records that came out this year that are all very much worth owning. Some are even "must haves."

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love
The Thermals - Personal Life
Starflyer 59 - The Changing Of The Guard
Eminem - Recovery
Tim Kasher - The Game Of Monogamy
Menomena - Mines
The Toadies - Feeler
Sufjan Stevens - The Age Of Adz / All Delighted People
Stars - The Five Ghosts
Quiet Company - Songs For Staying In
OK Go - Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky
The New Pornographers - Together
Jason Poe - Now Is The Winter
Autolux - Transit Transit

There's a few records that came out this year that I'm sure deserve to be on this list, but I just don't have them yet. For instance, the new Colour Revolt and Rocketboys records.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Life I Love

Today is the day!

If you didn't know, my wife is an amazing wedding photographer, and she and her partner are launching their website/business today. I'm so fucking proud of her. She is so talented and works so hard and deserves huge success, which I'm sure she is destined for.

Click on the banner and go hire her for all of your photography needs.

Leah's sister, Elana, and her boyfriend, Ian, have been visiting this week from London and we've been having a great time. We went to the hockey game on Tuesday, barbecued on Wednesday, ate at Trudy's downtown and went bowling/karaoke-ing on Thursday, went down to the South Congress bridge and saw the bats, ate at the Green Mesquite, and saw Red(2.5 out of 5 stars) at the Alamo Drafthouse on Friday, took Harper to a lame ass fall festival, and then hung out at the Quiet Company/Bob Schneider Halloween show at Antone's on Saturday (which was awesome and we were all zombies), and went trick or treating with the Davis family and then ate wings and watched The Walking Dead on Sunday. It was a great time and we're sad to see them go today.

I've never celebrated Halloween. I wasn't allowed to when I was a kid, for religious reasons, and then when I was old enough to do whatever I wanted, I just didn't give a shit anymore. Most people are shocked when I tell them that this weekend was the first time I've ever dressed up for the holiday; I still don't think it's that big of a deal. That being said, I did have a great time being a zombie at the show on Saturday. I do feel like I'll care more about it the more Harper enjoys it. I'm definitely looking forward to many years of trick or treating with her. She was a shark this year...

...But she has the makings of a Jedi.

I caught the end of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive on Comedy Central. I'm sure I'll watch the rest of it eventually but I just wanted to comment on Jon's closing statements. They made me feel hopeful for humanity in America. Also adding to my hope was the fact that Glenn Beck's rally had 80,000 attendees to Jon Stewart's 280,000. Eat it, pig face.

Patriotism is something I've never excelled at. School spirit is the same thing. I just can't get all riled up with support for a team that has been assigned to me based solely on where I just happened to live. However, I find myself supporting the Texas Stars, which is the minor league hockey team in Cedar Park. I've been to 2 games so far this season and am planning on being at their game against Toronto this Saturday. Maybe the difference is that I chose to live here. I wasn't born here, I didn't move here with my parents, nor was I displaced here by some natural disaster. More importantly, I love it here. I love the people, I love the place, I love the community. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else (in Texas).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sometimes TV shows get cancelled after 2 episodes.

I've recently decided that I'd like to visit worship services for religions that I've never belonged to. At first, I just wanted to visit a mosque. The reason is this: I've read the Bible, and I've read some of the Qu'ran, and as far as I'm concerned, they're both terrible and beautiful fairy tales. Most of the people I love in this world are Christians and try to be reasonable, loving, logical people. They can be that way because, despite what they say, they don't actually take the Bible that seriously. They're "moderates." But every time an Islamic terrorist blows something up, every lovably PC liberal in the country insists that most Muslims are equally "moderate." I'm in no position to argue either way, really. I don't really know any Muslims. Not well, anyway. So I thought it would be nice to check out an Islamic service for myself and see if the teachings therein feel safe and moderate. To be honest, their book reads slightly bloodier than the Bible, and that is saying something. But if anyone can recommend a popular, hip, moderate mosque service in the Austin area, hit me up.

Then I thought that I shouldn't stop there. I'd like to see how things are outside of Abraham's shadow. There happens to be a beautiful Hindu temple here in Austin, and frankly, I can't wait to go check it out. From their website, the Hindu religion looks like a fucking ton of fun, full of parties and crazy stories, chanting and meditation. I don't know when I'm going to go, but if anyone wants to go with, let me know. I must admit, after seeing the Hindu temple, I feel like I wasted 20+ years in a boring religion, while I could've been wasting it in a much prettier one. I wonder if they let people film in there.

Since I last wrote here several things have happened. The highlights are that Quiet Company had almost all of our guitars and several other things stolen out of our trailer and then 3 days later we had to leave for tour. All of my electric guitars are gone, which sucks asshole, but thankfully I can file it on my home owner's insurance. So hopefully, I'll have new guitars soon. Don't worry, though. Amazingly, our community and our friends and fans came through in a big way and we all had great guitars to play on tour. Then my amp stopped working on the first night and a million other things went wrong and we realized that the thieves stole more than we thought and yada yada yada money money money... It could've been better and more beneficial but hey, it was what it was, and we did have a good time and have, at least, a handful of good shows.

This weekend, Leah had a couple of shoots and other things to handle, so it was Harper and I most of the time. The weather was amazing though (and continues to be) so I don't regret that it feels like I spent all weekend in the park. I'm planning on doing some more of the same shortly after 5 o'clock today.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hmm...I forgot you could tempt me with things I want

These are a couple pics from the ACL: Satellite Sets recording we did last Friday by photographer, Jonathan Jackson. There are more pics on his site.

That show was really fun and really crazy and really surreal. I just sat there thinking, "...Yeah...Ray Charles played this piano...Etta James sang on this stage....Michael Stipe sang into this mic..." I can't wait to see the final footage. The plan is to release a dvd of the show so hopefully, everyone will get a chance to see it.

My one complaint with the ACL taping is that, apparently, I am not a fan of Steinway pianos. Tommy said their action is notoriously heavy and I can attest to that. My hands were actually tired and hurting after 2 songs on that thing. Looked cool, though.

Leah got back from London on Thursday, we had to be at the ACL studio all day Friday, Leah had weddings all day Saturday and Sunday, and then Quiet Company had two more shows on Monday and Tuesday. So last night was Leah's and my first night, since she got back, to actually relax together. We went to the mall, had dinner, let Harper run around, came home, put Harper to bed, and then watched the most recent True Blood and Greenberg in bed.

True Blood was great, as usual. I could've done without Greenberg. I feel like there are a ton of indie movie directors that just got together and said, "Hey don't you hate how movies always have stories. Let's make movies without them or at least have as little change as possible take place in the protagonist's life, so much so that the audience comes away wondering what they just spent the last two hours of their life doing." I chuckled a few times during the movie but this morning I woke up thinking that I really could've used that time for sleeping or, at least, watching something where the story and/or characters develop.

So it goes.

I didn't really know what to think of the new Arcade Fire when I heard the single on NPR. I didn't think I liked it, though, and I was not optimistic for the rest of the record. However, a few days ago, I finally got around to listening to the record all the way through a few times and now I am convinced that it is easily the best record of 2010.

A close second is the new Starflyer 59 record, The Changing of the Guard, which came out last week. I've long been obsessed with this band. I'll buy anything that they put out, in fact. It's even more impressive that the band is still putting out some of their best work when you consider that this is something like their 14th record.

Harper has started saying "thank you" which is adorable, and yesterday, I think she found her first boyfriend in a little Indian boy at the Disney Store.

I'm just really glad that Leah is back and that she brought me back a replica of Harry Potter's wand. It chose me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Damn!!! The new Eminem record and the Arby's value menu are both equally amazing!

My brother, Cameron, once said that the mark of a classy establishment was when they serve Pepsi, rather than Coca Cola. I disagree. To me, the biggest indicator of an establishment's level of class is whether or not toilet seat liners are available in the restroom. Also, I prefer Coca Cola.

It's been about 4 weeks since I wrote here, and it hasn't been uneventful. Quiet Company did 3 more shows with one of my favorite bands of all time, The Toadies. One of those shows was a sold out crowd (1725+ people) at the House of Blues in Houston. I could get incredibly spoiled by the House of Blues. I've never been treated so well or played in a venue so nice. They carried our stuff for us, they fed us, we even had a real green room. It was like they actually cared about the opening band. We also played another show with Bob Schneider at the House of Blues in Dallas, and had a similarly awesome experience. That show wasn't sold out, though. We had to make due with only playing to about 1400 people there.

We had another song (The Biblical Sense of the Word) played on The Real World and this time we saw a huge spike in our Itunes sales in the following days. We made the top 50 on that first day, even.

Speaking of TV, there's a new show coming on ABC this September called "My Generation," and at least one episode features some pretty awesome montage acting by Quiet Company. So we're going to be on TV as a real band, playing a fake version of...ourselves. It's weird. Anyway, stay tuned to all the QC pages for more information about all of that.

Leah has left me to journey across the pond to visit her sister in London and won't return until the middle of next week. Needless to say, I'm having a great time. PARTY!!! PARTY!!! PARTY!!!!

I'm kidding, of course. I miss the hell out of her. My mom is in town to take care of Harper while I'm at work so Harper is having a good time, though I'm sure she would miss her mother if she could grasp the concept of Object Permanence.

I hate sleeping alone. It's just one of those things that you get really accustomed to when you're a married person, I guess. I didn't go to London with Leah because I decided that I should use my vacation time for Quiet Company to go on a small tour in Sept. It hasn't come together as easily as I wanted, which has me kicking myself everyday when Leah tells me how awesome England is.

After Harper goes to bed, I've been working on cleaning up a cabinet that I bought at the government surplus store for my comic books. I've been going to bed shortly after that. My mom has been making awesome food for dinner (chicken & dumplings, fried steak cutlets, English peas, mashed potatoes, and coconut custard pie). So that has made missing my wife a little more bearable.

Tonight, I may go see Inception after Harper goes to bed.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"...You're strange, but don't change..."

So circumstances have arisen that will probably all but kill this blog. I typically only blog at work and today I arrived to find that blogger (as well as half of the internet) had been blocked. True, I could blog at home, but I've got shit to do and frankly, I think I've about run out of things to say. I'm not going to take the whole thing down and I'm sure I'll still post periodically, so this isn't "goodbye" so much as it is "see you around." I hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.

So it goes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What can I say, I just love nachos!

Happy 5th of July everyone!

Last night we opened for Bob Schneider at the Nutty Brown Cafe. There were easily over 1000 people there and I think we made a lot of new fans. The crowd was really diverse, though, and a lot of it wasn't exactly what you would consider our target market. So I'm sure there were at least a few people out there thinking, or saying, "Who are these assholes? They suck!"

But we sold a lot of stuff and filled up over 4 pages on our email list, so we'll take it.

I think we played pretty well, though it did sound pretty weird on stage and whenever that happens it becomes really difficult for me to think the show's sounding good, even though I know that what the audience hears and what we hear on stage are two completely different things. It still gets to me.

Our parents all came into town for the show which enabled us to take Harper to the show as well. I didn't get to see her dancing from stage but Leah said it was adorable. The last time she saw her daddy play she didn't know how to dance, so I think this show was probably her favorite of the two. I don't know. She's a baby.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dolores Umbridge is a bitch

Listening to mewithoutYou makes 18 year old Taylor want to post lyrics in his Facebook statuses. So good.

I know I've been a bad blogger. No consistency. I've actually had a lot of work to do at my job, if you can believe it. Also, I don't suppose I've had much to say.

I'm reading Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows for the 7th time. I don't know if it gets better every time I read it, but it certainly doesn't get any worse. I'm sure everyone has seen the trailer for it by now. I can't wait.

I will not be seeing it in 3D. That shit is lame, and I wish Hollywood would knock it off.

I hope I get to see The Last Airbender soon. The reviews aren't looking great, but I think it will probably be a good time nonetheless. Besides, I hate Ain't It Cool News' reviews anyway.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm quietly judging you...

I'm not sure what you call it when babies try to talk, jibber jabber maybe, but in the past few days Harper has decided that she loves doing it. It is adorable. I can't wait until she can actually talk. Though, I guess I'll have to start watching my language around her soon, which will be annoying. When she's old enough to reason with, I won't have to, but it wouldn't be good to have a two year old shouting "SHIT!" with abandon. Although, you and I both know how hilarious it would be.

Our show on Friday was a pleasant end on an otherwise frustrating day. The show was great; lots of people there, lots of fun being had, four great bands, etc. I didn't get to watch Courier because the hot dog place we ate at took too long, but Royal Forest was great, as I expected them to be, and Oh No, Oh My was fantastic. I meant to get both bands' records, but alas, I did not.

The next day we were offered (and we accepted) a show with Bob Schneider at the legendary Nutty Brown Cafe on the 4th of July. That will be a huge show and we're really pumped about it. Combine that with the 3 shows with the Toadies, and the Rooney show and we've got a big few months coming up.

We've started booking our Fall tour. Hopefully, it will bring us close to some of you that we don't get to see regularly. So if you live in, or near, any of these towns, keep your eyes open.

Sept 17 - Friday - Tyler, TX
Sept 18 - Saturday - Little Rock, AR
Sept 20 - Monday - Chicago, IL
Sept 21 - Tuesday - Cincinnati, OH
Sept 22 - Wednesday -Nashville, TN
Sept 23 - Thursday - Memphis, TN
Sept 24 - Friday - Shreveport, LA
Sept 25 - Saturday - Houston, TX

Leah and I stayed up too late watching Magnolia last night. I was kind of hoping that we would cancel band practice tonight and I would get in bed at 9 or something, but that's not happening.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This is what my brain is often busy doing.

Just got back to work from being on the radio. At 12 we were on KGSR with Andy Langer and we played a couple of songs (acoustic versions of "It's Better To Spend Money..." and "How Do You Do It?") and did a bit of chatting. It was a good time. Then we went and grabbed a bite at Subway with Mark, the music director, and came back to the same building but to a different radio station. At 1 we prerecorded a show with Trevin on 101x, which will play tonight from 6-10pm. So if you want to hear us be awkward, tune it to that shit.

It was a lot of fun and we really appreciate everyone at KGSR and 101X that helps us get played.

Both interviews spent some time focusing on this:

What that is, is a lunchbox with $1200 in ones, covered in blood and "blow."

Matt has never been paid for recording our EP and so we finally decided to start doing that. Paul and I thought it would be funny to pull the money out of the bank in all ones and put them in a brief case like in the movies, but then I decided to take it a step further. I just love picturing Matt depositing this money. Oh, the blood is real. It's my blood, actually. The "cocaine" is just flour but the effect is nice. I even smeared bloody finger prints on some of the bills so there's a real sense that it was gathered up in a panic. Attention to details, my friends. It's important.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where will Phil Collins spend eternity?

I'm not going to go through listing off everything Leah and I did this weekend, because Leah already did that. It should suffice to say that I had an amazing weekend with my wife.

My second Father's Day was pretty great too, save for the obnoxiously friendly waitress at IHOP that just would not leave us the hell alone. Here's some advice for those people who have absolutely no understanding of personal boundaries: Don't ever try to pick up a stranger's baby...You idiot.

The show on Saturday was OK. Not great, because I think everybody had some tiny fuck-ups throughout the show, but fun, nonetheless. I think I was dehydrated or something, because I had been drinking a ton of coke and very little water for the last few days, and my voice started feeling dry and weak and my hands started trembling when I was playing piano. So I'm trying to drink mainly water for the rest of the week so our show at the Ghost Room doesn't suffer for my gluttony.

The Target by my work didn't have the Mixed Berry flavor of green tea that I'd been drinking so I got Pure Green Tea instead. No, sir. No, this will not do. Good thing I got a big box of it...

I was walking my dog last night and listening to Switchfoot. I love that band and I know I've written about them before so I don't want to write a repeat blog but I had a thought as I listened last night. So many of their songs are about how lousy the world is and how lousy our culture is and how we're all imprisoned by it. I actually agree with a lot of what they say about our culture, where the two of us disagree is that they think the answer to the problem is faith, and, more specifically, faith in Jesus. So here's my thought: In America, easily 75% of the population professes faith in Jesus Christ (according to Gallup). Is that not enough to make a difference? If Christ's teachings are in opposition to our culture (and they are), then why does our culture thrive while faith diminishes when the majority of people claim to live their lives by those teachings? Switchfoot has a lot of records and they're still singing about the same stuff so, clearly, they haven't seen any improvement either. Personally, I think it's because, while most people still haven't figured out what works for them, more people are figuring out that Christianity simply doesn't. I hope I don't regret asking this, but what do you think?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy 4/7 year anniversary, me and Leah.

Leah and I have been married for four years, today. As of yesterday, we've been together for seven. (We planned our wedding the day after our anniversary so we didn't have to bother remembering two different dates. Neither of us actually remembered to notice the seven year mark yesterday, though. Oh well.)

Without a doubt, these have been the best seven years of my life, each better than the last. She is my best friend.

I remember when we started getting serious, it was a problem for my friends at the time. I think they felt like I wasn't giving them enough face time, or something. I imagine it is a sort of rejection to essentially have someone say, "I'm sorry, there's just never a time when I'd rather be with you than her. I'm always going to choose her." This is probably a big part of why we have almost all different friends now.

Seven years later and there is still no one else I'd rather be with at any given time. It's such a cliche, I know, but I really do feel like I love her more every day.

Also, my sperm and her egg made a beautiful spawn.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Matt suggested that my love for the Taqueria El Lugar is purely nostalgic, if it hadn't been his birthday the next day I would'a punched his throat in

Success is a funny thing. There are, of course, many ways to be successful, not all of them contingent on wealth or fame, but we all know that that's the kind we like the best/want the most/etc. The prospect of a real record deal looming has me thinking, somewhat philosophically, about success. What does it mean? Why do I want it? What does it say about me that I want it? Am I willing to make the necessary sacrifices to have it?

I like to think that success comes from maintaining artistic integrity and keeping your voice honest and true. If you can manage that, that's a win.

I also like to think that if you can make your voice heard and manage to connect to other people, any other people, then that's a win.

It's also true that there's definitely something admirable in managing to keep your artistic endeavor financially and emotionally self-sustaining (if not profitable) so that you can, at least, achieve a sense of longevity while countless others fail, or quit, long before you do.

But who am I kidding? At the end of the day, I'm just like everyone else, and there is, at least, some part of me that wants to be famous. It's true. Makes me feel like an asshole, but it's true. That being said, I'm the first to tell you that if you ever think you've met a truly humble musician, you haven't. It doesn't exist, it's an oxymoron. Which isn't to say that we're not nice people, most of us are. But humble, we ain't. We crave the stage, the attention, the constant validation. In the right light, we're disgusting creatures. But what would the world be without us, eh?

Anyway, these are mad times, right?

Leah went to Tyler this weekend to shoot a wedding, leaving Harper and I to fend for ourselves. So on Saturday, after she woke up from her first nap I took her to Toys R Us and just let her run around and explore. She had a great time, and I picked up some tacos from a local taqueria on the way home. The one good thing about Leah being away is that I can eat at places she doesn't care for.

When Harper woke up from her second nap, we went over to Matt and Jeff's apartment. Matt is currently recording somewhat of a farewell EP/album for Jeff's old band, Ethan Durelle, so we wanted to hang out with those guys a little bit. We all went and ate at a place called Pho' King, which is pretty pho' king funny....and delicious.

While Harper was sleeping this weekend I watched Justice League: The New Frontier, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Oh God!, and a little bit of an Avatar: The Last Airbender marathon.

I think DC is a superior comic company to Marvel, which I expect a lot of people to disagree with me on. But I think one big indicator of their higher quality is their cartoon series...serieses....series'...(What's the plural on that?) True, Marvel has had some good ones, but DC has had ALL good ones. I can't think of any recent (from my childhood on) DC cartoons that aren't pretty great. Especially all the Justice League and Batman cartoons.

On Sunday, my beautiful bride returned to us. That evening, Robin came and kept Harper because Leah and I were invited to our friend Liz's work skating party. So we went skating and it was a blast. I only fell twice and pretty quickly regained my grace, though Leah will undoubtably mock me for consistently cocking my arm everytime I turn. I don't know why I do it. Just one of those things, I guess.

Anyway, ended the weekend on a high note.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wrote this, and forgot to post it.

There is a high school garage band that practices at a house down my street. A few days ago, they were playing "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters when we walked by. The drummer and guitarist aren't necessarily awful, and maybe one day this band will be good, but right now, it doesn't look like it's in the cards. Their singer is awful and I'm sure he's plagued with all the low self-esteem induced inhibitions that I was at his age. All this to say that Leah thinks it would be funny to walk in to their practice one day dressed in my suit and tell them I work for Columbia Records and that they're great.

It would be funny. And evil. But mostly funny.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big-hearted and tall enough to cover you

One of my favorite records of all time is World of Noise by Everclear. It was apparently recorded as a demo and wasn't originally intended to be released at all, let alone as a full album. But alas, it was, for whatever reason, and it fell in my hands long before "Santa Monica" made them a house hold name. My friend Casey's sister worked in the newspaper business and let Casey have promo discs of things they didn't plan on reviewing. Of all the bands to be thrown in that refuse box, the only two I still listen to records by are Everclear and Pink Noise Test.

Anyway, most people know who they are now, but not a lot of people have this record. There were no singles off of it, really, and the content is pretty different than what we've all come to expect from an Everclear release today. Nowadays, an Everclear song is all, "I used to do a lot of drugs, it really sucked and almost ruined my life," while the songs on World Of Noise are more like "I do a lot of drugs, it sucks and is ruining my life." Maybe it's that difference that makes World Of Noise shine with a lo-fi tenacity that they've never reproduced. It's gritty, it's raw, it's noisy, and it's perfect. The two following records, Sparkle & Fade and So Much For The Afterglow, are great records that I've listened to incessantly, but to me, they've never done anything as pure as World Of Noise again.

There's no real reason for the celebration of this record today, other than that I was listening to it on the way to work and thought "This record deserves some celebrating today." I met Art Alexakis at a Rooney show in Nashville once, and thought he would enjoy hearing about how World Of Noise was one of the more important records in my life. He didn't care that much and was a bit of an ass, which could probably help us understand why he's now the only original member of the band left. No matter, you're defined by what you love, not what loves you back, and I love this record.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A day of free meals

Yesterday, a vendor took me and a few other guys in the office out to lunch. We went to a place called Bone Daddy's. It's, essentially, the same concept as Hooters but I think the girls are maybe a little younger and more scantily clad. Leah went there once with these guys when she had my job. I'm sure that when she went, she was probably the only female eating there. The food was actually pretty awesome, but looking around at the waitresses I couldn't help but think about that episode of South Park where they go to the restaurant that's like Hooters for kids called "Raisins." All the disingenuous flirting is pretty comical when you realize that that's exactly what it is. These old farts eating there really do seem to think they're being charming and these girls are clearly seeing nothing but dollar signs. Me, I couldn't help but think of better names for the place. "Butterfaces" or "Tramp Stamps" came to mind. However, that pulled pork sandwich and their "tailpipes" (which are a kind of southwest egg roll type of thing) were pretty badass.

And that was my first free meal of the day.

At 6:35 PM, I met Jeff, Matt, and Paul back at my work and we all drove downtown where we met Tommy for a meeting at/with New West Records. Apparently, they've been watching us for a long time and have decided that now is a good time to try and make us famous, or at least successful. We're excited about the possibilities, but my main priorities are being a good father, and a good husband, so we're being careful about what sort of thing we commit to and not taking anything lightly. It may work out, it may not, so we're not putting any proverbial carts before any proverbial horses. We chatted for a while at the office and then headed over to The Woodland, which I'd never eaten at, but there is a tree in the middle of the restaurant. Paul, Gary (The New West guy), and I had the evening's special, which was chicken fried steak with green beans and mashed potatoes, and it was delicious. I mean ridiculously good. It was also a surreal experience actually having a label treat you the way you've always heard labels treat bands they want to sign. I'm excited, and terrified, and nervous, and incredibly stressed about the possibilities, but the worst thing that can happen is that nothing changes, and I'm not unhappy now, so...we'll see.

And that was my second free meal of the day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After all, shouldn't it be the goal of the feminist to be punched in the face the same way a man would be?

Last night we had rehearsal and learned and relearned "Jezebel" and "Our Sun is Always Rising." They both came together nicely and should be ready to go at our show On June 25th at the Ghost Room. That will be a really fun show, I think.

Tonight, we're going downtown to meet with fancy people.

I thought I felt like blogging today, but it looks like I don't, after all. I have a lot of things that I want to say but few that I should. Cryptic and annoying, I know.

So it goes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The problem with most books, really, is that very few of them feature teenage wizards.

We have a show tonight at Threadgills, which is apparently kind of a big deal. These are the worst kind of days though, because on days like today, I don't get to see Harper at all. I usually get to see her at least a little bit in the morning. She, typically, wakes up right before I leave for work so I get to go get her out of bed. She's always so smiley in the morning and it is, simultaneously, the best and the worst way to start my day. So it goes.

Leah, will periodically, go have "girl's nights," to which I and my penis are uninvited. I'm totally cool with her doing her own thing, but last week I started thinking, "Hey, when do I get a 'guy's night?'" She said, "You have band practice every Monday." I tried to explain to her how, while we do have a good time at band practice, it is work, really. Work that is done in a small, incredibly hot, room. It's not the social event that some may think it is. So I decided that I would plan a "guy's night." So what was on the agenda at last night's "guy's night?" The band met at the practice space, went and ate some wings, and then came back to the practice space to work on music... Maybe I suck at planning social events, because on paper, my social event looks uncannily like practice.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Harry Potter and the Busted Tire.

We had two poorly planned shows this weekend. It's our fault, really. When Cody told us that he couldn't play the shows because he was graduating, it should've made us think that maybe other schools were also graduating, and that would probably affect attendance negatively. Oh well, live and learn. The Tyler show was still OK, just not nearly what it should/could be. The Denton show was par for the course, as Denton shows go, and by that I mean it sucked ass.

However, aside from the trailer tire blowing out, and Matt and Tommy having to stop and replace it and being late to the show Friday night, everything went swimmingly. We played really well, sold decently, and the people who were there seemed to connect, so we'll take it. We had a good time and my parents fed us tons of meat. It was great.

Leah, Harper, and I rode to Tyler together, but I left with the band to go to Denton so she could stay and hang out and do a couple of photo shoots. I got back to my bed at 6 AM on Sunday, slept about 2 1/2 hours and got up to try and finish some yard work before Leah and Harper returned. I was tired. I'm often tired. So it goes. I don't remember what else we did that day. I think that was the day we watched The Messenger, which was good but made me sad for every single soldier that has to see combat.

Then it was Memorial Day. I don't see myself as terribly patriotic, really. Both of my Grandfathers saw combat in WWII. My father's father stormed beaches, even. I forget which ones, specifically, but he was apparently is some of the bigger, more crazy, beginning-of-Saving-Private-Ryan type of battles. Kurt Vonnegut, who served in the same war and was a POW in Dresden when it was firebombed, wrote somewhere about how the men who saw the real face of war and survived were generally the most kind, gentle, and humble men and whenever you meet an arrogant military man, it was most likely someone who had never been in the shit. That made me think of my grandfather. He wouldn't even talk about the war. He never told me one war story, and I think my father could say the same thing. Dad says that the only thing he would ever say about it was that, if Dad were drafted, they would take him over my grandfather's dead body. I get the impression that he never thought of war as heroic or glamorous. It was necessary, and he did his part, but I think he saw it for the atrocity that it really is. He had been part of the atrocity, after all, and I imagine that he probably spent the rest of his life trying to separate himself from it.

But as I said before, I don't feel like a terribly patriotic person. In fact, most days, the idea that there are some invisible lines drawn on the dirt somewhere, and those lines make me an American and another person, Iranian, or Spanish, or Italian, or whatever, seems strange. Those lines, like most things that divide people, only exist in our heads (and, obviously, on our maps). I have a hard time being patriotic for that reason. That being said, I am so thankful that the universe spit me out when and where it did. There are a few countries that I would be just as happy to live in, sure, so I'm just glad to have landed in one of them.

Yesterday, Leah, Harper, and I finally got to meet Todd and Hollie's new son, Micah. He is adorable and healthy and they're taking to parenting very naturally, it seems. We're very happy for them and happy to know them.

And then...


We went to eat with our friends, Glory and Matt, and I ate Sushi, and I actually loved it. It was all cooked (I'm still very leery of eating raw meat), but who knew I'd actually love the thing I've been staunchly opposed to trying for 28 years. It's a new day for Taylor Muse, people. I'm drinking green tea, I'm eating Sushi, it's CRAZY!

On the way back from Denton, Jeff and I were talking about the weekend, and Jeff had had a really drunk friend try to witness to him about Jesus. So we were talking about that and Jeff was talking about the power of words as ideas, or something and he pondered, "What if there is some obscure tribe that know one has ever heard of and they GET forgiveness and love more than anyone ever has before, but they've never heard the name 'Jesus.'" It's a small twist on the "small boy in Africa" problem, as we always called it in Sunday school. So we started talking about what the point of Christianity was. The point is not to make people good. We know this because not all good people are Christian, and not all Christians are good people. Also, if the book is to be trusted, the book of James more or less spells out how they view the relationship between goodness and faith. Ideally, goodness should be indicative of faith, but faith can easily exist without goodness. So Christianity isn't about what you can become here on earth. So it must be about what you can become after you've left earth. So it's about getting into Heaven. I realize this is an oversimplification but it's not wrong. The book says that "No one comes to the Father except by (Jesus)" which means, essentially, that it doesn't matter what you do, or what you don't do, or why you do or don't do it. All that matters, really, is who you know. So the moral of Christianity, is essentially the moral of the story of Paris Hilton or any other talentless socialite who's famous for the sake of being famous. It's celestial nepotism, where heaven is the A-list Hollywood party, and it doesn't matter if you've never contributed anything of value to society, if you know the bouncer, or if your daddy's rich enough, you're getting in.

When you simplify it, the message of Jesus is similar to the message of show business (or any business, I guess) : Nepotism > Talent. Nepotism > Character. Nepotism > Hard Work. It gives me the impression that Heaven could very well be an incredibly smarmy place. The difference is that show business does seem to be more forgiving in that formula, as it does allow in a handful of real talents annually.

Things are funny when you simplify them. I think that when we simplify, we can see that there is a big difference between thinking rationally, and over-thinking.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

OK, hippies, maybe your tea does have some benefits.

I'm feeling significantly better today, which I am chalking up to all the green tea I drank yesterday and all the rest I've allowed myself to have. I'm drinking more today and will probably shoot for another early bedtime tonight. Other than that, nothing much to say, other than that my stupid, annoying-ass dog threw up on the floor last night because she doesn't do well with human food and, the day before, turned over our trash can while we were gone and ate god knows what out of it. She really needs to do something awesome soon because Leah and I are not fans of her.

The Ipod's on shuffle again. Here's what these 10 songs make me think of.

1. Come Together - The Beatles
This was the song that made me stop and think, "I didn't know The Beatles were cool." I was in 6th grade and some older kids at my church "performed" this in a lip sync contest. My impression of The Beatles until then was just that they were "old people music." No doubt, 6th grade Taylor probably thought this song would've been better with an Eddie Van Halen-esque guitar solo, but the seed was planted nonetheless.

2. Yolanda Hayes - Fountains Of Wayne
There was, and still is, a guy I know named Jason Brint. We went to high school together, though he was a couple years older than me. He was in the coolest local band, The Dynamics, and was always nice to me, though his friends often weren't. Anyway, he always knew the coolest bands that I'd never heard of, and on one fateful band trip he exposed me to Fountains Of Wayne's first record as well as the debut effort from Superdrag. Both remain 2 of my favorite bands to this day, though Superdrag's work has, unfortunately, fallen off as of late. Too much Jesus does a rock god bad, after all, it seems.

3. Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zepplin
Chuck Closterman has written about how Led Zepplin is great because they effect all young boys in the same way and every boy apparently has a phase were they think Zepplin is the greatest band in the world. Well, I can't say that that was true for me, but I was never really exposed to them as a boy and really only gave them an honest listen a few years ago. They're pretty great, but I think I'm hearing them as too old a man. I've missed the opportunity to have a "Zepplin is the best band in the world," phase. I did, however, have a "Bride is the best band in the world" phase, that was undoubtedly less cool than a "Zepplin phase," would've been.

4. Turn A Square - The Shins
Another Shins song. I really like the lyrics in this one, especially the analogy of "my head's like a kite." I think his lyrics are generally really good. Smart, you know?

5. Good Morning, Joan - The Cardigans
It sucks that a lot of people view The Cardigans as a one hit wonder band, when they are so terrific and still putting out fantastic records. One of my favorite female singers, for sure. Their melodies are always so catchy with such a tone of longing. So good.

6. Yr Epic Heart - Viva Voce
Epic is exactly what this song is. One of their instrumentals from Lovers, Lead the Way, and definitely my favorite, maybe my favorite song on the whole record. I don't really get why bands like Mates of State are so popular and Viva Voce isn't enormously famous. I'm not having a go at Mates of State, their last album is great, I'm just saying Viva Voce is way better and they're a cute married couple band too. They used to live in Nashville and I was really excited about getting to see them a lot when I moved up there, but lo and behold, they moved to Portland, like, a month before I got there. So it goes. Leah and I saw them a few years ago in Austin and we were the only two people there. They were amazing but I felt bad for them.

7. Concrete - The Features
Speaking of Nashvegas, The Features are the best band from that area, I think. Technically, they're from Murfreesboro, but who gives a shit, right? Damn, I love this record. The melodies are so good and his voice is so weird and interesting. This song is mostly synths and drum machine so it's very different from the norm, but still....perfect.

8. Celebrate - Bleach
I got to know these guys right after they released this record and were touring a lot in support of it. I've said it a lot, but I mean it when I say that they really are some of the best, most genuine people you could ever hope to meet. If they'd had a manager who wasn't a total incompetent asshole then who knows where they'd be today. As it is, they've been broken up until recently. I talked to Davy the other night, and they're about halfway through recording a new EP. I can't wait to hear it.

9. Burning Man - Third Eye Blind
I don't care what anyone says, this first 3EB record kicks SOOO much ass. True, I could really do without "How's It Gonna Be?" but overall, the songs are great. They always kind of seemed like a bunch of frat boys, but I don't know if that's true at all, it's just the impression that I got. I just envision them all wearing a lot of sandals, cargo shorts, and visors. I don't know.

10. Of A Broken Heart - Zwan
I said it the other day, but if I could ask god one question, it may very well be, "What the hell did you do to Billy Corgan?!?" Zwan was OK...not great, but OK. That being said, it is a testament to how horrible the new Pumpkins stuff is that I find myself missing Zwan. I just feel like Billy has lost himself in what seems to be a delusional self image. By that I mean that he's trying to recapture the version of himself that we all loved, but he seems to think that all the stuff we hated was the stuff we loved. The songs he's been giving away on the Pumpkins site are just pitiful and I'm almost embarrassed for him. God, I hope no one ever says this shit about me. Well, now I'm sure I have it coming.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"If you're loved by someone you're never rejected. Decide what to be and go be it."

Stared feeling under the weather a day or two ago. Harper has her first cold and lord knows we can't not kiss and cuddle that thing so Leah and I, inevitably, got it as well. I'm just hoping I feel better by Friday, because I really don't know how great my singing voice would sound like this, but I'd wager "pretty awful."

So last night, I thought I'd give my body some rest to help with a speedy recovery and was in bed, and drifting off to sleep, by 8:30. It was nice, and I'm sure that if I wasn't sick, my body would feel more appreciative of the rest. As it is, it didn't make for much of an improvement.

I'm even drinking hot green tea. Ugh, can you believe it?

Downloaded The Avett Brothers' I And Love And You, last night, and so far, I love it...just in case anyone was wondering how I felt about The Avett Brothers. I've been hearing their name for a long time but I finally caught a song of theirs on the radio and it moved me.

Time for lunch and possibly more dirty hot water, or "tea", as you elitists call it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You have to let go, Jack.

Well, Lost is finally over. It will be missed. By me, and others, I'm sure. Whenever a show as good as Lost goes away, it's like when a good friend gets offered a great job in a far away land. You're happy for them and proud of all they've accomplished but you know you're going to miss them something fierce.
For the first 10 minutes after the finale, I was really "What the hell happened?!?!" But now that I've had time to wrap my head around it and understand it, I think it was pretty great. Whether or not it was a great ending for the entire series or just a great ending for season 6, I don't know. I can understand how a lot of people would be annoyed by how much stuff didn't get answered or didn't turn out to matter at all, but I think that we all got what we really need to get out of a TV show...entertainment. Even if the Dharma Initiative wasn't as important as we thought it was in the 2nd season, it was still cool to think about and guess at the whole time. So I'm as grateful to the show as is appropriate. Thanks, Lost, for 6 seasons of consistently interesting, weird, and incredibly fun entertainment. I don't know if anything will fill its shoes, especially with Battlestar having ended a long time ago.

If I could design my own purgatory or my own heaven, I think I'd make it just like real life, but where we're all ageless, in perfect health, and we don't ever have to worry about pipes leaking in your front lawn, or how much damage our cars do to the environment. That would be nice.

Looking forward to practice tonight, just because I want to try out my new pedal board. It's the little things, you know.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Have you ever noticed how Mystery Men is one of the most under-rated movies of all time?

Kozy Shack rice pudding is the thing that has been missing from my life. Put a little cinnamon in it and warm it up in the microwave and it's just like my mom's rice pudding. Amazing. Harper loves it too. She is her father's daughter, after all. When I decided that she'd had enough, she was none too pleased. I don't think I've seen her react to a food quite like that before. It was like I took a junkie's crack away. She got over it pretty quick though and then enjoyed a bath, a bottle, and then bedtime.

Angela came over right after I put Harper down and gave Leah a massage (she's in massage school and has to do so many). Later, I was informed that Leah suggested that Angela give me one, because it's not Leah's forte, and why should I live a life deprived of quality back rubs just because I married someone with weak little baby hands? I concur.

We had practice last night and spent the entire time working on a new song, "You, Me, & The Boatman." I think we've finally got an arrangement that we like. Matt said that all the new songs' arrangements, so far, remind him of "How To Fake Like You're Nice & Caring," and that that's a good thing. I'm inclined to agree.

I'm still thinking about Kozy Shack rice pudding...

Do you think Kozy Shack would sponsor a band?

I think my coworker is obsessed with The Descent. He's been talking about it a lot and he just suggested that QC do a video in a cave...oh yeah, with creatures dancing around like in The Descent.

Looking forward to a nice evening out with Leah, Tommy, and Betsy. We're going to the Belmont, and had to make fancy reservations. I hope I don't have to dress up. If I can't wear a tank top and jams to a place, then I really don't think I need to be there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

By this time next week, we will all know what the deal with Lost is...

The Pizza Hut inside the Target food stand stopped serving the Buffalo chicken pizza. Well, there went the only pizza of value at the Pizza Hut food stand. They did begin offering pita chips with roasted red pepper hummus, but it's too little too late.

Harper already has so much personality, but today I was thinking about how much I'm looking forward to actually knowing what she thinks about things. I can't wait for her to be able to talk and ask questions. I wonder what things she'll be curious about and what things she won't care at all about.

So far, she has a strange love (if that's even the right word) for Doctor Who. She'll sit on my lap and watch Doctor Who for a long time. She doesn't sit still for any show like she does for Doctor Who. Leah thinks it's because of the accents, and maybe she's right, but I don't know. It's cute though. It's like our first father-daughter thing. I showed her the first few episodes of Fraggle Rock the other day and she seemed to think that was cool too. I didn't remember that show being so musical, but the songs are actually pretty good.

Speaking of musicals, did anyone else see/hear "I Dreamed a Dream" on Glee last Wednesday? I've always liked the songs from Les Miserables, but I'd kind of forgotten about it. It is so badass. Such a good melody and so many interesting changes in the chord structure. I really wish I'd written it and/or had the pipes to pull it off.

Also, I really wish Kent would do another English record.

Also, the song "Neon Tiger" by The Killers is pretty great.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.

When I was a young boy, I think I envisioned that driving was going to be like living a video game, and would more often than not, be fun to do. Too much Mach Rider, I guess. I hate driving. I especially hate the drive to Tyler. Partly because I've done it so much, and partly because it takes you through a dozen small towns with their 35mph speed limits. It gets a little maddening, all the slowing down and speeding back up. But alas, we want to see our families, thus we persevere.

Leah, Harper, Darcy, and I had a great weekend in East Texas, all driving aside. On Saturday, my parents had a get together brunch to celebrate Harper's, and my niece, Kya's, birthdays. My uncle was there and somehow, he, Seth, and I, got into a lively discussion about alternative medicine and one's ability to write off a lot of it as bullshit. It felt nice to be on the same side as my brother for the first time in a long time. Seth got frustrated with the conversation and excused himself, but I soldiered on and eventually convinced him of my point (which if you're interested; he was making the relativist/accomodationist assumption that we can't know everything so to say that anything is stupid or ridiculous is arrogant, and my point was that while we don't know everything about anything, we do know a lot about most things, and therefore are capable of using what evidence we do have to inform our logic, and making reasonable assumptions based on said evidence/logic. In other words, it's not arrogant to call a spade a spade).

Later, Leah and my sister in law, Kara, went and shot a wedding in Longview, and Seth and I went and saw Iron Man 2, which is great. The next day we all ate Chinese food for lunch and then went to the park to take pictures. Then we drove some more. I had a great weekend but I did miss the new Dr. Who episode. No worries, it's on the DVR, after all.

Last night, I dreamt that Jesus and I were roommates. He was a cool guy and he wasn't mad at me about anything. My friend Steven was there too, except that he was gay and he insisted that I call him "Steve" from now on.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fun with your Ipod.

Nothing much going on here, so I'm putting my Ipod on shuffle and I'll discuss the first 10 songs.
1. Marvelous Things - Eisley
I had already left this band before they wrote this and most of their first record. I think this song is great, especially the melody of the chorus. That being said, this kind of showcases one of the reasons I was never 100% invested in the band. When words like "mermaid entwined shrubbery" are included in lyrics, I quickly lose any ability to relate. They've gotten a lot better with their lyrics, but for a while there they were way too surreal for my taste.
2. Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie
I'm not a huge Bowie fan, but I love the hell out of some Queen. Whenever I hear this song, I always wonder what Bowie must've thought when Freddie started with all the crazy scatting. PEOPLE ON THE STREETS! DA BA DEE BA DEY!
3. Down With The Ship - Seven Day Jesus
I bought this record after I saw them live with Bleach. They really were great live and Brian McSweeney really does have an amazing voice. Years later, their guitarist, Chris Beatty, would fill in on bass for my old band, The Connotations, a few times. This song is pretty preachy. "The world sucks, only Jesus makes life worth living, etc." Still catchy, though, and that's all that really matters, right?
4. 2+2=5 - Radiohead
The best song off the worst Radiohead record, in my opinion. They could of cut Hail To The Thief down to a really great EP, but as a record, I think it's pretty weak. Everyone was so pumped about them picking up their guitars again, but I think we all expected that to mean another Bends or OK Computer. It didn't. But that's part of what's great about Radiohead, they're too smart to make the same record twice and if nothing else, they're true to themselves.
5. It's Good Coffee, Mrs. Stewart - Uncle Andrew
Uncle Andrew was my first real band. And by "real," I mean that we played shows at places other than our church. I was way too into the band Mineral. Whenever I hear this recording, it becomes clear that I could not have wanted to be Mineral any more. I don't know what I was trying to do with my voice though. Damn, this recording sucks. This song is actually not bad, though, all self indulgence and feigned teenage melancholy aside.
6. Window Of My World - Guided By Voices
Half-Smiles Of The Decomposed is an amazing record, from start to finish. The only other GBV record I had was Do The Collapse and I had mixed feelings about it, but I heard this playing in the record store and had to find out who it was. I was surprised it was GBV because I had all but forgotten them, needless to say, I snatched up this record and have remembered them ever since.
7. We Laugh Indoors - Death Cab For Cutie
God, I love this band, and this is the record that took me from casual fan to passionate devotee. The Hastings in Longview, TX only got one copy of it and I was fortunate enough to snag it on the day it came out. This was before The Day Of The Interwebs, when you occasionally had to work to find the music you wanted. Ben Gibbard makes bitter misery seem so cool, especially in the older stuff.
8. I Don't Know What It Is - Rufus Wainwright
I think that this was probably Rufus' last great record. His arrangements are always so amazingly textured and, if I may, flamboyant. My brother hates his voice, and I can understand that. It's the kind of voice that becomes painfully drony if it's not wrapped around a great melody or hook, which is why I hate his new record. Shit, that part around 3:10 where he says "It was my big moment" is so frakin' great!
9. Kissing The Lipless - The Shins
This was the first Shins that I heard and I hated it. Not really so much because the music sucked but because they had been recommended to me by a guy who was trying to, and succeeding in, stealing my girlfriend. It took me years to forgive the Shins for being liked by such an unsavory character. So after I forgave them, we had a sort of honeymoon period and I probably overplayed this record and Wincing The Night Away. They're great but I do want to say that their drummer sucks ass. He is so fuggin' boring it makes me want to punch kittens.
10. Power Doesn't Run On Nothing - The Thermals
When I moved to Nashville, Cameron had filled my head with stories about how he was always getting free records. My expectation was just short of rock and roll records growing on trees in the park. So, one day, I was at Grimey's Records and I asked them if they had any free records to give me. They looked a little puzzled but the guy behind the counter said "Here man, give this a listen." and handed me a promo copy of More Parts Per Million by the Thermals. It sounded like shit. Like it had been done on a 4-track by someone easily less skilled at 4 track recording than myself, but you had to hand it to them, they certainly sounded tenacious. I was sold. This record, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, is my favorite and it will kick your ass from start to finish.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whole foods is tasty, yet over priced.

I am excited for the next hour and a half to come and go. I want to play with my daughter and then enjoy a quiet evening with my wife. I think I will.

I really hate those signs. I've always wanted to make one that says "Stop putting words in my mouth - God." At least this one says something nice...well, not mean, at least.

Someone is writing a review of our new EP for the Austin Chronicle, we learned today. It's great that the Chronicle is acknowledging our existence, so now let's just hope it's a positive review.

It's actually the Statesman who is doing a review. The Chronicle remains apathetic and Paul can't read.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's the ones with the sorest throats...

Damn, my feet hurt. Perhaps, it's because I've been running through someone's mind all day. Or perhaps, it's because I had to Superman dive-tackle my dog, to keep her from attacking a passer-by's dog, onto a bed of rocks, and in doing so scraped up my shoeless feet. Yeah, that's probably what did it. It wasn't this sore yesterday but today, I'm walking with a bit of a limp.

But don't worry; I'm fine, and so is Darcy, and so is the other dog.

I'm not sure where to start when talking about how great this weekend was. I suppose chronological order is as good as any.

Friday night was amazing. The show was sponsored by Simple Shoes, and as a result, all of the bands playing got free shoes. I really like mine. I've been wanting some slip-ons but can never find any that fit well. Plus, they're biodegradable and will do swimmingly in a landfill. Win Win.
A lot of people are saying that it was one of our best, most fun, shows ever, and I think it's very possible that that is the truth. We played well, and had a great time on stage, but the real star of the show was the crowd. We've never had a crowd that excited to see us. Not to mention that the crowd was huge and the room was packed. Everyone was singing and dancing and screaming and it was perfect. In that moment, we were all where we belonged. Everyone seemed to love the new songs, too, so chalk up that as a win. Leah was beautiful and she and Betsy and Angela joined us as background singers through much of the set, which always makes it more fun. Afterward, she was telling me how proud she was of me and she started crying. It was so cute. I don't think I could love her more, but I'll give it a shot.

Anyway, all the bands were really great. Well, I didn't get to see any of the Murdocks, and only one song of The Black and White Years, but Stereo Is A Lie was cool, The Rocketboys were as good as they always are, and The Eastern Sea was incredibly impressive.

So the next day, I woke up back in reality, and mowed the yard, vacuumed the house and helped Leah and our parents prepare for Harper's first birthday party. Leah did an amazing job decorating and organizing the thing. I like to think I helped, but in all honesty, if she wasn't around, things like this just wouldn't happen. Our parents were also a big help and so was my buddy John, who lent us a Moon Bounce for the kids, and a big canopy to help shade the back yard. Harper was in heaven: There were lots of other kids to play with, a moon bounce, a bubble machine, banana bread, and a ton of people that love her around. It was really fantastic.

I felt bad that I didn't get to stick around and help clean up, but all the guys in the band and I had to get downtown and load in for our show that night, and what are parents for, anyway? The show, that night, was for Music For The City's first compilation release and it was at La Zona Rosa, which is one of the few venues in town we've always wanted to play and never been able to. A shorter set that night, but another great one, and another huge crowd. It wasn't really our crowd, and by that I just mean that they probably weren't acquainted with us until then, but I think we made a lot of new fans, so, another win. Music For The City is a great cause, and we're glad to work with them whenever we can. I'm all for charities doing work in the third world and what not, but I'm especially for charities that realize that there's plenty of work to be done right here in our own communities, in our own neighborhoods, in our own cities, etc. Music for the City is all about facilitating the connection between local artists and that work, so we're glad to be a part.

Leah had to take pictures on Sunday morning, and I was counting on her time out of the house to prepare my gift for her. What I wasn't counting on was leaving part of it in my computer bag under the back seat of the van which would be parked at Matt & Jeff's house. I had also stashed 2 dozen roses at John's house but that was right down the street. So Sunday started with me frantically driving around town to pick up my computer bag, 1/2 a dozen of Leah's favorite kolaches, and the roses. It was stressful, and not a pleasant way to start my day, but in the end, I got everything done.

I'm sure that Leah or I will post a picture of what I did sometime soon, but I don't feel like going through the trouble of describing anything.

Perhaps this weekend generated the right kind of buzz for Quiet Company, because I have just been informed that, on Tuesday, we are being added to regular rotation on KGSR along with the new Pearl Jam single. We've been regulars on the non profit stations here for a while, but this is the first for-profit station to add us to normal rotation. This could be a big deal.

Friday, May 7, 2010

You've come a long way, baby.

Tomorrow, my baby girl will be 1 year old. It's still surreal to me that she exists. This morning she wasn't feeling good or was overly tired, but for whatever reason, she was extra snugly. She isn't one to ever stop moving so if she actually stops long enough to give you a hug, it's a special thing. God, it broke my heart, in the best possible way. It did, however, make it extra sucky that I won't be home again to see her today.

Leah and I are so lucky. We could not have asked for a more beautiful child. I could not have asked for a more beautiful wife.

Tonight is the big EP release show at Encore in Austin. All the VIP tickets sold out, and I believe that the general admissions are doing really well too. This show is the brainchild of our manager, and one of my best friends, Paul. This is a picture of Paul's son, Ryan, and Harper (and my leg). I think it's fairly representative of Paul's and my relationship. He thinks up some cockamamie idea, smiles like it's the most brilliant thing anyone has ever thought of, and I go along with it, though always with the "what the hell?" look.

Should be a good weekend, though, a busy one, and, hopefully, not a stressful one. We have a show tonight, Harper's birthday party tomorrow afternoon, another show tomorrow night, and Mother's Day on Sunday, all while entertaining family.

Leah and I saw Kick-Ass last night and loved it. Really funny, really intense, and really well done all over.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

DID YOU KNOW: It's considered an insult to tip in Iceland?

It looks like Kyle T. Sims is the first to receive, and tweet, my thank you note and his new copy of Songs for Staying In. It's a good one.

If you can't read it, this is what it says:
I've always hated writing thank you notes but I haven't minded these. Probably because, usually, these things have to be so proper, like for wedding gifts from relatives you barely know. But with these, I can say whatever I want or do this: PENIS PENIS PENIS, and no one will scold me. Thanks for buying our EP. Taylor & QC


So, today, I've promised to rant about tipping. First off, let me say that I have no problem tipping waiters/waitresses in a restaurant where they are constantly serving you. I understand that in that situation, you are paying one price for the meal, and then compensating the waiter/waitress for their services with a tip.

A gray area is a place like Sonic. Recently, my boss and I were at a Sonic and he pulled out a few dollar bills. I said "You're not going to tip the Sonic girl, are you?" He said he was, so I asked "why?" This is a valid question because, to me, they are not wait staff. They carry your food, at most, 50ft and then you never see them again. They have essentially added one useless middleman to the drive-thru experience. Surely, I thought, they are not paid like wait staff, as my boss suggested. We decided to ask. Turns out, they ARE paid like waitstaff, and rely on tips, but it's not exactly like that. They all pool their tips and then the company fills in the gaps to guarantee them all at least minimum wage. I kind of felt like an asshole for having never tipped Sonic girls, but not really, because I'm more than happy to walk the 20 or so feet and carry my own food to my car. They're not doing me any huge favor, really. So I'll still not be tipping people at Sonic and still think its ridiculous that they're considered wait staff, but I understand if people want to tip there and will no longer chastise them for doing so.

Now pizza delivery is a bitch. If I'm charged a delivery fee then you're getting nothing from me, because I've already paid for the delivery. If it's a "free" delivery, then I may throw in a few bucks if my pizza arrived in a timely manner.

The thing that really blows my mind is haircuts. There is a place in Cedar Park called Two Hotties haircuts. It's completely geared towards men and, one day, this man needed a haircut and the other place I go was really busy, so I ventured in. There was signage all over the place about tipping. "Be a big tipper!" "Join the big tippers club! etc..." and there was even a sign by the door that said "If you didn't tip, please tell us why." It made me really uncomfortable, because I cannot think of one good reason to tip for a haircut. Can you, really? The haircut is the product, the product costs $15, I pay $15 for the product, end transaction. Why would I pay $18 for a product that cost $15? If you think your haircut is worth $18 then charge $18, don't try and guilt me into tipping you. They haven't provided you with anything extra, they've only provided you with the service that you have paid for. So why tip? It's not like a came in for a shampoo and they threw in the haircut. Ridiculous.

Can you think of any other situations in which tipping is expected, though, completely ridiculous?

Also, I wrote a little something about Leah for Mother's Day on Offbeat Mama, if anyone is interested.