Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Songs For Staying In lyrics

The official release date for the new EP is May 11th. However, you can get a digital copy of the EP now, when you pre-order the CD. Just go to our site and click the appropriate buttons. Also, you can see the first of six promo videos that we made, the first for "How Do You Do It?" You can also stream that track, if you like.

Since people are going to start having the record now, I figured I might as well go ahead and post the lyrics. They are, for the most part, pretty straight forward love songs. It's probably not my best work, which is why some of them were left off of Everyone You Love..., but there are some moments I'm pretty proud of in there as well. Enjoy.

How Do You Do It?
You belong to me, and that's that (no need for explaining).
And I belong to you, and I've got nothing to complain about.
I just want to see your smile in the morning. I just want to wake up next to you, love. Because you are the one, you know you're my only one.
And I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you. Oh, I'd probably die. I can't seem to take care of myself.
You're a part of me (the best part of me, darlin').
You're a part of me, so I try to be good.
How do you do it? You're always on top...of everything.
Oh, come to me. Oh, you never leave my head, so let's never leave the bed.
At least, not for a while.

Things You Already Know

The sun will be gold and the skies will be blue, when you're holding me, and I'm holding you. We'll pace ourselves until the sun steps over the hill.
Because nothing's as good when you're not around and I go quietly out of my mind. Oh, I come undone. When the sun steps over the hill...
I'm only saying things you already know. So close to perfect from your head to your toes, and I'm in love with you, body and soul. You know I am.
You can be sure, I'll make you believe, I am all of a man that you'll need. I've got what it takes, and my bones don't break.
I'm gonna love you for the rest of my days. I carved a place out in my heart where you'll stay, and I will always keep you happy and safe. You know I will. And when the sun steps over the hill...
When the sun goes down and the lights go off, well, you and I will frame up the scene. There we'll be slightly pornographic, but life is always better when your fairly obscene. So when the sun goes down and the lights go off, well, you and I will frame up the scene to be completely pornographic b/c life is always better when you're fairly obscene, and I'm gonna love you til I die.

Hold My Head Above The Water

Do you want to know me forever?
I do, I do.
Do you want to love me forever?
I do, I do.
Will you hold my head above the water when it's rising so fast?
I've never known any other that could make me feel so blessed

Jezebel or 'A Song For My Friend About That Whore He Dated'
Jezebel, I can hear you moaning in my head. As I toss and turn, you do the same thing in some new lovers bed, while I'm wishing I was dead. Did the heart that was so soft just turn to lead?
It might be wrong, but I'm leaving. I'm gonna find me a wife, and it ain't hard to believe in love in a city of lights. It won't take long, because I'm leaving, I'm leaving tonight.Time will tell if I'm gonna make it through this little Hell, my prison cell. The walls all seem to shrink and swell, in the apt. where I fell and screamed "Oh god, don't let me rot here by myself!"
And after all that I gave you, you still want to be something a little less respectable. After all that I gave you, you still want to be so far away, so far away from me. Come back to me.

If You Want
Lift my head out of my hands, and I'm begging you to say, "would you please take me home with you?" I shutter to think of all the horrible things I could be if I'd never have held you. And if you want, we can go out tonight and be alone. And if you want, we can stay in tonight, be at home, let the whole wide world just worry about it's own. It's you and me.
I'm sure I'll give you plenty of reasons to leave but you won't. No, you won't leave me hanging. We spring from and return to the earth but in between, you will always belong to me.
It's you and me, a nation of two. Let's do what we please, let's love what we do.

The Biblical Sense of The Word
When the morning comes, we will wake, and the sun will kiss you beautiful face.
And if you want to know the truth, I can say "You are my favorite part of every day."
Oh, love ain't so tough, you will see. Just open up your arms to me, and don't make no vow you can't keep, and I'll lay my pride down at your feet.
Because neither the heavens nor the earth can equal what you're worth. I know you.
I would fall apart if I didn't have your heart. I know you would too.
We make our lives worth living when we love each other. Yeah, we can move the mountains with our love.
You whisper you love me in my ear. When you tell me you love me, suddenly, I'm not scared. You've got me right where you want me and I will stay here, because when you tell me you love me, suddenly, I'm not scared.
We make our lives worth living when we love each other.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Smile, like you've got nothing to prove. No matter what you might do, there's always someone out there cooler than you.

Have you ever seen anything this adorable? C'mon 5 o'clock!

Last night, Tommy was feeling under the weather and couldn't make it out to practice. Rather than reschedule, Jeff, Matt, and I got together to start working up a new song. At the end of the night, we did a rough recording of what we'd come up with for Tommy to have to familiarize himself with. The song we were working on last night is called "Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part I (What Do You Think Happens When We Die?)" We're almost done fleshing out "Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part II (What Do You Think Happens When We Live?)" and it's coming along nicely. As you can probably tell, album 3 will see my return to ridiculously long song titles. On the EP, there's only one such title.

I'm trying to think simply with the writing of the third record. At least, as far as instrumentation is concerned. My default idea for any song is "make it build to the end and when we get there we'll put every fucking instrument we can find on it. It will be EPIC!" It's worked pretty well for me so far, but what's the point in making new art if you're not at least trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone?

I'm certainly out of my comfort zone with some of the lyrics. If I were to write a cheesy promo bio for the songs thus far it would probably be something like "Quiet Company comes to terms with disbelief while relishing love and fatherhood." or maybe just "Quiet Company calls 'bullshit' on organized religion, remains optimistic." This will probably be the closest thing to a breakup record I'll ever get to write, and sometimes it feels too personal for comfort. I wrote a lyric the other day that really kind of hurt a little. Songwriting for me is very introspective and revealing and the truth seems way more potent when you sing it. Anyway, if you've been waiting for Quiet Company to get more theatrical and minor chordy, then you just may be in luck.

Monday, March 29, 2010

If you are feeling sinister, go off and see a minister. He'll try in vain to take away the pain of being a hopeless unbeliever.

Hey bands, if a band from out of town is playing a show with you in your town, then they're counting on you for certain things. First off, have the common sense and decency to not be playing in said town in the surrounding weeks. People stop coming to your shows if you play all the damn time. Secondly, advertise for the show, especially if the band from out of town has taken the time and effort to supply you with posters. This is how show trades are supposed to work. You do your best to give us a great show in your town, and when you come to our town we do the same. We're starting to think we can't afford to play in the DFW area if we can find any bands or promoters who are actually willing to promote.

So our show in Denton this week was pretty middle of the road. Not a horrible experience by any means but not a terribly profitable one. Unfortunately, we're all at a point in our lives were we really just can't afford to be constantly losing money on DFW shows. All the bands were great though and my buddy, Jerry, came out to the show, so it was great to get to catch up a little bit with him.

On Saturday, we went and hung out with Paul and Gina and Leah took pictures of them and their new daughter, Anna. We were really impressed with how good their son Ryan, who's like 2 and change, is with Harper. After that, Leah went to take engagement pictures for a couple downtown and Harper and I partied. When Leah got home I took Darcy to the park. Our park has a huge field attached to it and Darcy and I had the whole thing to ourselves. I have a phobia about my dog running away, because I've never had a dog who didn't want to run away. But I've never had a dog who was like a part of the family, either. So I decided to test my luck and let go of the leash. I was so happy. Darcy just wanted to hang out with me and run with me and explore the creek (yes, I'm 12 years old) with me. As long as there are no other dogs around for her to freak out about, she's a damn good dog.

The next day I tried my luck again and it was going well until she spotted an old lady walking her dog on the other side of the field and I had to haul ass to catch her before a fight broke out. I really don't think she wants to hurt the other dogs, she's just curious and nervous. Maybe I should spend some more time trying to socialize her with other dogs. Anyone have any suggestions about the best way to do this?

Friday, March 26, 2010

A lot of boring Quiet Company stuff that has nothing to do with religion or politics

Time for EP news.

We're done recording, we're done mixing, we're done mastering. We are currently finishing the art and then it's off to manufacturing. I wanted to share the cover with you and get some outside opinions about something.

This is the original concept. I love it. I love everything about it, really. The dimensions will have to change to fit the digipak format but what I really want you to look at is the text. It's a little smaller but I feel like that puts the focus on the picture where I feel like it should be and seems very elegant.

Now here the picture has been cropped to the proper dimensions for the digipak and the text has been enlarged. To me, this doesn't seem as balanced, almost crowded or overly busy. I like albums where the artist and title aren't even featured on the front, because I'm cool and indie like that, but some of the other guys feel like having our name bigger is better for marketing purposes. What do you think? Which is cooler, is really all I'm concerned with.

It also just dawned on me that "Quiet Company Presents..." isn't grammatically correct. It should actually be "Quiet Company Present..." Is that awkward sounding to anyone?

None of this is terribly important, I guess, but it's the little things, you know...

Last night we all got together and filmed ourselves talking about the new EP (recording process, songwriting, instrumentation, whatever, etc). Our friend Justin, who did the video for "On Modern Men" is going to edit it down and we're going to start putting out a small intro video to coincide with a streamable track from the EP once a week until our release show on May 7th. So if you care about that stuff and want to see us being awkward, self congratulatory, a little pretentious, and very occasionally, (possibly) funny and/or strange, it will be available next week...I think.

If anyone is in or around Denton tonight, please come to Hailey's and see us play music at you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's better than texting while driving? Sexting while driving, of course!

Nothing much to say. It's one of those rare days where I actually spend a lot of time reading a book. I'm reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris still. I take forever to get through a book. I just don't feel like reading a lot of times. Apparently, checking my email and other internet bullshitz 1000 times a day is more important.

I guess I've been on a Sam Harris kick since I saw his TED talk about science informing morality the other day. I thought it was good. Did anyone else see it?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One surefire way to lose a little faith in humanity is to read or watch or smell Ann Coulter.

This image is in honor of my friends, Bleach, getting back together.

So health care reform has been passed. No matter how you feel about it, let's all hope for the best, shall we? My favorite thing about it, so far, is when Joe Biden leans over and says to the president "This is a big fucking deal." This is the kind of thing that makes me really like Joe Biden. I supported him in the primaries, and its partly because he's the kind of guy who says "This is a big fucking deal" when the thing in question is, obviously, a big fucking deal.

My least favorite thing about health care reform passing, so far, is that Rush Limbaugh promised that, if it passed, he would move to Costa Rica, and now it's passed and his fat ass hasn't gone anywhere. Oh well, I'm sure that if there is a hell, then there's probably a special realm of it reserved for the kind of hypocritical, right wing, assholes who have the gall to mock Michael J. Fox. He gave us Back To The Future and Teen Wolf. What has Rush done to make the world a better place? I assure you, he hasn't done anything even as good as Family Ties.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm still totally fine with playing shows for Church youth groups.

Quiet Company has fans. Not a lot of fans, in the grand scheme of things, but a handful of devotees, nonetheless. And that is amazing to me. I try and do a good job of stopping and taking stock of the progress that we've made, periodically. I think it's healthy to look back and remember when I had no fans, and the lessons I learned when I was only a fan of music, myself, and not an artist.

I've been listening to a band called Stavesacre today. Unless you were into Christian music in the late 90's, you probably don't know who they are. But since I did, I do. I don't listen to them very often. Partly just because I've outgrown bands that try to sound like Tool, but mainly because I can't listen to them without reliving the experience of meeting them.

It was the summer of 1997 and Tooth and Nail records had almost single handedly saved and revolutionized Christian music. That label has put out some pure unadulterated shit, don't get me wrong, but they're also responsible for some of my favorite records of all time (Luxury, Starflyer 59, Bleach, mewithoutYou, etc). My brother and I were obsessed with the whole scene and spent all our money and time going to shows and festivals, buying cds, videos, and t-shirts. If it had a Tooth and Nail logo on it, it was worth checking out.

My brother and I grew up in a huge, east Texas, Baptist church called Mobberly Baptist. It was big then, it's a damn mega church now. Anyway, church was always the biggest, lamest, pain in my ass until 7th grade. In 7th grade, you became part of the youth group. Youth group was fun. I feel like that was about all we did, have fun. We went to camps and mission trips and bible studies too, of course, but even those things were a lot of fun. Because of the youth group, I met Jacob Bailey, one of the most ruthlessly talented, and good natured evil geniuses you're likely to meet. Jacob played guitar and he's largely responsible for me knowing how to play guitar, as I learned most of what I know from him, rather than my actual guitar teachers. So we started a band, or rather I joined a band that he and his cousin had started. 20 Watt Shed was our name and we were probably about as good as our name would suggest. Anyway, we were young, we were loud, we were in a band, and we had a demo tape.

So because my youth group was so cool, we brought in bands. And we actually brought in some good ones. The first one was Bleach. Strange that I would meet them as a 15 year old fan boy, and they would later become some of my better friends in Nashville. But in 1997 we brought in a tour featuring The Supertones, Ghoti Hook, and Stavesacre. Everyone was out of control excited about the Supertones and Ghoti Hook. Everyone but me. As far as I was concerned, the only band that mattered was Stavesacre, and I even liked the Supertones a lot. Their second record had just come out and I was obsessed, feeling like it really ministered and connected to me in a deeply personal way.

Jacob and I, being naive young musicians, had deluded ourselves into the idea that if we gave Stavesacre our demo tape, they would like it (we liked them so why wouldn't they like us, right?), and they would give it to Brandon Ebel, the owner of Tooth and Nail, and he would make all of our teenage rock star dreams come true.

Needless to say, that isn't what happened. Mark Saloman, Stavesacre's singer, manned the merch table for the band after their show, and Jacob and I hung around like flies on a carcass. I don't remember exactly everything that Mark said to us, but very quickly things weren't going our way. Here's what I remember.
1. He was annoyed at the gift of a demo tape, and obviously so, though he did take it.
2. He made it abundantly clear that they would listen to it but that they probably wouldn't like it and it would "hit the highway" because "Hey man, sometimes brutal truth is the only truth."
3. Almost everything he said was jaded beyond belief and when he wasn't being condescending or belittling, he was being dismissive.
4. By the end of it, I really felt like he was mad at me for liking his band.
5. He wouldn't sign an autograph (though the rest of the band did) and his reason was that he didn't think it would be important enough to me.

Now for self awareness:
1. I'm sure we were annoying to a degree, being awkward youngsters meeting their idol.
2. I'm sure we asked the questions that he got asked all the time.
3. I'm abundantly sure that the demo tape was, in fact, awful.

The experience shook me. When Tom Fest came around months later, I was scared to meet another T&N favorite, Jason Martin, from Starflyer 59, but I'm glad I did because it helped me get over the Stavesacre debacle. Jason was the epitome of "nice guy." He was appreciative of my adoration and was so encouraging when I asked him about music and his gear. It was the opposite of arrogance, cynicism, or any kind of rock star cliche', and I'm sure it plays a big part in why I still buy every Starflyer 59 record that comes out but I haven't bought another Stavesacre record since 1997.

I made up my mind then, however, that if I was ever fortunate enough to have fans, I would do my best to appreciate them and treat them like equals because that's what they are. Because I can string some chords and a melody together doesn't give me the right to belittle anyone, even obnoxious 15 year old fanboys. I hope to god that there's not someone somewhere blogging about the time they met that asshole from Quiet Company, right now.

Interestingly enough, Brandon Ebel eventually did learn that I existed and came to scout one of my last band, the Connotations', shows in Nashville in 2002. Unfortunately, it was in one of his "T&N is a really Christian label" phases, and Cameron had talked us into putting the lyrics "Shit happens" in one of our songs. It was apparently some sort of deal breaker. My foul mouth actually cost The Connotations more than one Christian record deal in Nashville. Maybe if I'd kept it shut, I could be having dinner with the Gaithers now or touring with Stryper.

So it goes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SXSW or What I did when I wasn't blogging.

SXSW is over.

It was a long but fun and rewarding 4 days. We were really happy with all of our shows and I'll talk about that in a second. First, I wanted to note that this SXSW marks Tommy and I's 4 year anniversary of playing music together. Also, the Austin Chronicle Music Awards results are in and we made the top 10 in 2 categories. After 4 years of playing in Austin we finally placed 9th in "Best New Band." While I'm really, really excited to have placed at all, I'm sure that the fact that we just now made it onto people's radars enough to qualify us as a Best New Band says something about how our career is going. We also placed 6th in "Best Performing Band: Indie." You can see the rest of the results here. Thank you so much for voting, if you voted. If you didn't vote, what's your problem, ass?

So on Thursday, everyone but Jeff got off of work around noon and headed downtown to the METV building where we were interviewed and performed an acoustic version of "My New Year's Resolution Is To Cope With My Mortality." Jeff couldn't make it and Paul was stuck in traffic, so we taught their intern, Wes, the part and had him stand in for Paul, in case you were wondering who was holding the E in the video.

Afterward, we headed down to 6th St. to begin promoting our show with some free hugs and some free music.

We handed out about 400 3-song samplers and hugged hundreds and hundreds of people. This continued for a few hours and eventually, it was time to load in to the venue for our official SXSW showcase. After load in, we had some wings or burgers and began to mentally prepare for our show.

I was nervous about the show being a flop because the crowd at the venue had been fairly sparse all evening, but I was pleasantly surprised when it came time for us to play and the venue was packed wall to wall. We had a fun, energetic, and entertaining show, and if you didn't know anything about music, you might have even thought it sounded alright, too. Apparently, the sound was pretty awful. I couldn't hear myself singing on stage but I guess it was all you could hear in the crowd. The biggest problem was when Jeff busted a hole in his snare drum halfway through the set and there wasn't another snare to be found. It still sounded OK for a little while but by the end of the set it sounded like he was hitting a lose piece of paper with a stick. Which, essentially, he was. But the show was still good because we felt like we still connected to the audience, so, no real complaints. A lot of people online were praising the show so we were pleased enough.

My only real disappointment is that Bill Murray was at our venue after we played and I didn't get to even see him because I was off retrieving the van from its parking spot in a neighboring county.

The next day at work, I was tired. Really tired, and my computer was down for most of the day, so I was effectively worthless. After work, I headed straight downtown to the East Side Art House where we played the Red-Blue Records/Vital Signs showcase. It was a great crowd and probably the best sound we had all week. We all had a great time, and Leah even got to come see the show. One of my favorite things about this show was that we played early and I was in bed before midnight.

On Saturday, we had planned to go downtown and do the Free Hugs thing again, but after feeling how rough my voice got on Thursday and how difficult it was to control after a day of shouting over the din of the festival to hundreds of strangers, I opted to take the day and rest. The other guys were supposed to go without me but the weather got really cold and wet, and no one seemed to be able to build enough steam to go. So I had a lovely day of rest and relaxation with my beautiful family, took treats over to our friend's family and hung out with them a bit, put Harper to bed, and then went downtown for our 3rd show, the Music For The City showcase, where we were the headliner.

That show, which was the 5th most RSVPed event for that day with over 1500 RSVPs, was great for a lot of reasons. The lineup was great for starters and included our friends Jason Poe, and the Soldier Thread. Todd and Hollie were there as well, and I finally met Jason's wife, so I guess I have to stop telling people that he made her up now. Mitch from The Rocketboys also showed his glorious face there, but possibly my favorite memory of this show is how we chose to warm up beforehand. The show went great and I'm told that the sound was pretty decent so chalk up another win.

Sunday was a beautiful day, and when I wasn't hanging out with Leah, Harper, and Darcy, I was doing yard work and pulling weeds. At least until I noticed the giant gaping hole in my hand where a blister had formed, popped, and opened. After that I was done for the day. I left at about 7:30 to head down to the Hole In The Wall on the UT campus for our final SXSW show. The show was good and though the crowd was pretty small, I think we earned some new fans.

So now it's over, and I'm looking forward to a calm, relaxing night with my wife. Sometimes, I stop and think about how amazing she is, and it's so overwhelming that it really does get hard to breathe. I wish I were making that up because I realize how cheesy it is, but I'm not. So it goes.

I also wanted to make this a post about my brothers in Quiet Company. I count myself incredibly lucky to know and play with Tommy, Matt, Jeff, and Paul (Paul doesn't play in the band but he's part of the team, all the same).

Tommy has been with me the longest and I hope that I can still say that 40 years from now. Our partnership has been a hugely advantageous blessing to me, and I'm grateful for and humbled by his devotion to my songs.

Jeff is one of my favorite people, he's also one of my favorite drummers. I don't just mean out of the drummers I know, either. I mean he's one of my favorite drummers in the world. I love watching him play and I'm really honored that, while he could've played for any band he wanted after Ethan Durele broke up, he chose to come play with us.

Matt is another treasure that Craigslist has bestowed upon me. I'm not sure how many people know this, but Matt is easily the most talented musician in the band. After a year of playing together, I'm happy to say that where music and friendship are concerned, I really trust him. I know that I can rely on him to give 110% whether it's playing bass, recording, or just bringing the van and trailer downtown (a job he got stuck with far more often than was fair this week). I've never heard him complain. He is the consummate professional and I love having him in Quiet Company.

Paul is the driving force behind Quiet Company. When we first started talking about bringing Paul in to manage, I was really apprehensive because he's one of my best friends and I was nervous about mixing business and pleasure. As it turns out, it was possibly the smartest thing we've ever done. I know very few people that work as hard as Paul, and you know he does it because he has genuine faith in his friends and the music we make, because obviously we're not exactly raking in the dough.

So in summation:
1. SXSW was awesome and we live in the greatest city in America, possibly the world.
2. I love my wife so much it makes me, and others, sick.
3. I love my band

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Every head he's had the pleasure to have known.

Just finished packaging 200 three-song Quiet Company samplers. Each includes two songs from Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon and one song from the not yet released Songs For Staying In. If you want one, you'll have to come find us on 6th street tomorrow afternoon. We'll be the guys with ridiculous sandwich signs on, offering free hugs.

Tomorrow, the craziness of SXSW will overtake my life. It started today for Matt. He plays bass for an English band, Toy Horses, whenever they play in the states, and I believe they've got showcases today. I probably won't blog much more this week, if at all, because I'll be tired and I just don't imagine that I'll feel like it.

Good luck and godspeed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm peeing like CRAZY!

So the Texas Board of Education is revising (conservatizing) the standards for curriculum for History classes. They've decided to eliminate Thomas Jefferson. I'm sure he'll be mentioned, but it looks like it will be in passing. Go figure.

They also voted to exclude "examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others," from the standards. I think it's important to note that there are 5 Democrats and 10 Republicans on the board and everything conservative was passed with voting being straight down party lines.

Damn you, Board of Education, now I actually have to teach my daughter things at home.

Don't worry though, they're making a conscious effort to beef up the emphasis on the Right to Bare Arms. Because it's really...awesome...?

I'm drinking a ton of water this week in an attempt to be ultra hydrated in the hope that that will help my voice survive 1 practice, 4 shows, and a few hours of promoting and talking to people on the streets this week. The immediate result is that I'm peeing like crazy.

Whenever the old man at work creeps up behind me and starts talking, I die a little bit inside. I start wishing the phone to ring so I can get out of the conversation. He's not an asshole, he's just annoying. I wish he was an asshole so I could justifiably tell him to leave me the hell alone. Sometimes, I really hate being nice to people. Is there a nice way to say "I hate it when you talk to me?"

So it goes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yes, there is a minimally invasive surgery for that.

1. If we're not opening for someone big, we're not playing on any day other than Friday or Saturday from now on, unless we're on a tour.

2. I'm really glad to have April off because it means no more shitty shows in the DFW area.

3. The show last night was fun but disappointing on other levels.

4. I feel like death warmed over.

5. I'm really tired, and I plan on falling asleep at my desk or in my boss's office today.

6. Last night, in Denton, I ran into a couple of guys I know that are in that band, Midlake, and they were with Danny Mastersen from That 70's Show. He was nice. They didn't come to our show as they were on their way to another club where Danny was DJing.

7. I watched a TON of Avatar: The Last Airbender this weekend and finished the series. It is awesome.

8. If someone had made me choose between world peace and crawling back in bed with my wife this morning, all the suffering masses would be S.O.L.

9. Leah made me watch the new Lady Gaga / Beyonce video. I would say I'm disappointed in Beyonce, but I guess I don't really give a shit. I wish Lady Gaga would just go away, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Well you should see Polythene Pam, she's so good looking but she looks like a man.

My heterosexual life mate, Paul, and his wife, Gina, brought a beautiful new baby daughter into the world last night. Hooray! I can't wait to meet her.

I didn't blog yesterday because I left work early, didn't have much to say, and didn't want to.

We drove to Dallas to play a private party with The Rocketboys for a company that works in the advertising media field. We were well paid, well fed (tacos), and well appreciated by a handful of people. Most people there didn't seem like the kind of people who would be into loud rock music, and judging by their reactions, they weren't.

Tonight is Leah and I's last full night together til after SXSW. We'll be trying our best to relish in it.

Today my scale posted my lightest weight in a long time. I was surprised because I know how many free tacos I ate last night. I didn't stop until I hated myself. But I was happy to see that my dieting has been paying off.

When Leah and I were in the process of buying our house, I had to make copies of her Social Security card, as well as her green card, and send them to the bank. I brought both cards with me to work, made copies, and took them home at the end of the day, where I was sure I remembered giving them back to my wife.

In the weeks leading up to our last Canada trip, we realized that the green card was no where to be found. The last time we had it was when I made copies, so the blame fell on me. I was pretty sure that I remembered giving them back to her and repeatedly said so, but I know as well as Leah knows that my memory is shit. I held my ground but even I started to think that I had lost them or forgotten them somewhere. I could tell that Leah never really believed that I had given them back, and had, in fact, lost them.

Getting into Canada was no problem, but on the way back we were held in customs, almost fined $500 for not having the green card, and very nearly missed our flight. It was harrowing, incredibly stressful, and made me feel awful because I knew she blamed me even if she didn't say so.

So we've been figuring out how to renew and replace her green card. She came to the office today to make copies of her Social Security and birth certificate and whatnot, and when she pulled out her Social Security card, I'm sure you can guess what was hidden behind it. If you guessed anything other than her green card, you're powers of deduction are lacking. I'm so very rarely right about anything so I just want to drink in my victory. I am vindicated. It was so funny and ridiculous. While we were sweating bullets about not getting back into the country, we were holding the "missing" card all along. Oh, life, you got us again!

Harper has started learning to walk. I've seen her do about 7 or so steps before falling. Give her another week and she'll be solid, I bet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is it raining?! There wasn't a cloud in the sky 10 minutes ago. Yeah man...Nature's crazy.

My beard is getting pretty big, as my beards go. I've decided not to trim it until after SXSW. There's no real reason behind it, it's just the way it's going to be.

SXSW, and all big opportunities that the band gets, always comes with a certain inevitable anxiety. I'm sure it's a combination of the stress of getting around in a people flooded city that I dread, and the fear of colossal failure or being overlooked. Not to mention how much I'll be away from my family and how guilty I'll feel about my wife having to handle everything at home by herself while I chase dreams all over Sixth St. The other side of this coin is that once we get downtown and we're looking a little ridiculous, wearing huge sandwich signs advertising free hugs & music, and we're each hugging hundreds of strangers and introducing them to our music and inviting them to our shows, it's a lot of fucking fun!

My boss brought me the last two seasons of Avatar today, so I'm pumped about that. I assumed that they belonged to his 9 year old son, but I found out today that his son actually gave them to him for Christmas. People always surprise you, you know.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

If a double decker bus crashes into us

All I want to do is watch leave work, go the the mall with my loved ones, go for a walk with my dog, relax with my girls, watch How I Met Your Mother and Lost with Leah, eat salt and pepper chips, and watch Avatar: The Last Airbender. That's all I want to do.

We had rehearsal last night. Spent most of it working on a new song, "Preaching To The Choir Invisible, Pt. 2." Some songs don't lend themselves to being played to a rigid metronome and this is a first for us, but we're figuring it out. We've always played everything to a click, so this is us, stepping out of our comfort zone. We wanted to have it ready to unveil at SXSW, but we decided last night that that isn't going to happen. We'll probably pull it out at our CD release show in May, with who knows how many other new songs. We're also discussing covering "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths, which I think would be a lot of fun.

I've decided that I should get around to buying a road case for my amp at some point so I don't have to fix it every other year. So if anyone has a road case to fit a Fender 410 Deville at a reasonable price, let me know.

Harper turned 10 months old yesterday. It really feels like just yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital. Leah has written another sweet "birthday" letter on her blog. I agree with everything she says. Best 10 months of my life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

White boys gone wild up in dis bitch!

I'd like to thank my brother for introducing me to my latest obsession, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I've finished season 1, and am 6 episodes into season 2. I wrote this show off for a long time because it just seemed like more mindless, kiddy, anime, geared towards selling me a toy or a card game, but that is not the case. It's, actually, a great story with great characters. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the movie. The show is really funny though, and the movie looks like it's more focused on being intense. I hope they find a balance.

I've also discovered that the new Domino's Pizza is pretty amazing.

I've also, also discovered that I enjoy dipping my pizza in salsa.

We played in Dallas on Friday, and I've very grateful for everyone that came out, but I'm forced to ask, "What the hell happened to Dallas?" It just seems like that scene gets more and more dead every time. Either that, or we're just getting steadily less popular. I'm not sure I want to know the truth.

After the show, we, and by "we" I mean Tommy, made the decision to stop and eat at a Waffle House full of drunk gangsta's who got a lot of enjoyment out of mocking our cracker asses. It was a long night. On the bright side, the Waffle House didn't burn my waffle, which is a first for me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

He's in what we call a "little to no" coma.

I don't listen to the radio much. When I do, it's mostly talk radio. I listen to the Bobby Bones show in the mornings and NPR periodically. However, if I'm out of NPR range, which happens a lot on tour, or if they're playing some pretentious jazz bullshit, I've developed a habit of tuning in to the Top 40 country stations. This started happening on our last tour. When you're driving through the middle of nowhere, it can be hard to even find a strong enough radio signal to listen to, and country stations seem to have, far and away, the strongest signals of anyone.

I've found that the hokier the song the more I love it, because most of the lyrics are so damn literal. Metaphor, you have no place here! And I agree with Chuck Klosterman that "Walmart" country is immensely more important than the much cooler "Alt-country." Anyone who's read Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs will know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, it's a guilty pleasure, but I wanted to share some lyrics from two songs that caught my attention on that last tour and have stayed with me. They are absurdly basic and bad but it doesn't matter. I'll probably never get to use the word "Buckaroo" in a song, so what business do I have on a pedestal?
"Watching You" by Rodney Atkins

Drivin’ through town just my boy and me
With a Happy Meal in his booster seat
Knowin’ that he couldn’t have the toy ‘til his nuggets were gone.
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath.
His fries went a flyin’, and his orange drink covered his lap
Well, then my four year old said a four letter word
It started with “S” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”

He said, "I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you."

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said, “Lord, please help me help my stupid self.”
Just this side of bedtime later that night
Turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-Doo nightlight.
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees.
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
Spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend.
And I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?”

He said, "I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We like fixin’ things and holding momma’s hand
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do; so I’ve been watching you"

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug.
Said, “My little bear is growin’ up.”
And he said, “But when I’m big I’ll still know what to do.”

"‘Cause I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
By then I’ll be strong as superman
We’ll be just alike, hey, won’t we dad
When I can do everything you do.
‘cause I’ve been watchin’ you."
hey yeah
uh huh

"Online" by Brad Paisley

I work down at the pizza pit
And I drive an old Hyundai
I still live with my mom and dad
I'm 5'3 and overweight

I'm a Sci-Fi fanatic
Mild asthmatic
Never been to 2nd base
But there's a whole nother me
That you need to see
Go check out MySpace

'cause online I'm out in Hollywood
I'm 6'5 and I look damn good
I drive a Maserati
I'm a black belt in Karate
And I love a good glass of wine

It turns girls on that I'm mysterious
I tell 'em I don't want nothing serious
'cause even on a slow day I can have a three way
Chat with two women at one time

I'm so much cooler online
So much cooler online

I get home, I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac

In real life the only time I
Ever even been to L.A.
Was when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade.

Online I live in Malibu
I posed for Calvin Kline, I've been in GQ
I'm single and I'm rich
And I got a set of six pack abs that'll blow your mind

It turns girls on that I'm mysterious
I tell 'em I don't want nothing serious
'cause even on a slow day I can have a three way
Chat with two women at one time

I'm so much cooler online
Yeah I'm cooler online

When you got my kinda stats, it's hard to get a date
Let alone a real girlfriend
But I grow another foot
And I lose a bunch of weight everytime I log in

Online I'm out in Hollywood
I'm 6'5 and I look damn good
Even on a slow day, I can have a three way
Chat with two women at one time

That was fun. SXSW, the festival that we are an official artist on, is approaching quickly. That week will be crazy, it will be stressful, it will be tiring, and with any luck it will be fun and productive as hell. I should probably start thinking of ways that I can make it up to my beautiful, understanding, and forgiving wife, the following week. It will really suck to be away from my family so much that week, but this is the life I've chosen, and I do love it.

Tonight is another night that will suck because I won't get to see my girls, but will also probably be a lot of fun. We're playing in Dallas tonight at The Cavern with Lazy Native, and Jason Metcalf. Hope to see people there.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"I was God once." "Yes, I saw. You were doing well until everyone died."

I'm talking out of my ass, won't you join me?

One of the things my brain does, when it's not being required to do anything important, is concoct scenarios in which a personal god makes sense. I've said numerous times that I'm not really an atheist, because I don't actively believe that the existence of "god" is impossible. What I'm relatively sure about, is that organized religion is, more or less, complete nonsensical superstition wrapped around a few universal truths that you could learn just as easily by opening your eyes. Christianity's version of god simply doesn't gel with reality, as far as I can see. To my knowledge, neither does anyone else's. Well, maybe the Greeks. The reason I say that is because the Greek gods were flawed. All of the traits, good and bad, that humans, and pretty much everything in existence, have, the gods had also.

Christians need god to be perfect. Well, why is it that such a perfect thing, that you believe created everything, has shown himself incapable of creating anything perfectly? Maybe you're putting too much pressure on him. For all we really know, maybe direction of the supernatural is just a skill set that this guy happens to have, and just like anything else, it seems miraculous and amazing to people who can't do it. Playing guitar is impossible to do until you learn how to do it. What if the same reality applies to things like directing evolution or whatever reasonable theists think god does? If we say, for the sake of argument, that a personal god does exist, and we also accept the fact of Evolutionary Theory, then it looks to me that what we could infer is that god didn't have a goal, started simply, like a novice, and got better and capable of more complexity as time (lots and lots of time) went on.

So what if god is good, but he's not perfect? Maybe all those times that people feel like things worked out so perfectly that god must've been involved, he was, and he's happy he could help. But all those times that things couldn't have possibly worked out worse, he couldn't make it, there's a lot of people on the earth and hey, they all got problems, but he's really sorry. Hopefully, he can get you next time. Maybe we really are "made in his image" but what that really means is that, just like us, most of the time god is good, but he can be a real disappointing bastard sometimes, too.

In such an obviously imperfect world, why do we need to believe in a perfect deity? Why would we even think it possible? To me, if god exists, he has to feel like C-3P0, surrounded by adorable, and well meaning, but painfully misguided Ewoks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pandora doesn't go as easily back into the box.

As promised, here is a picture of Darcy, our newest family member.

Harper was really apprehensive about Darcy at first, but as you can see, she's all about her now.

So yesterday in Texas, we had the primary elections for governor. I didn't care about it so I didn't bother to vote. What I didn't realize is that there were 4 or 5 propositions on the ballot, as well. One in particular caught my eye as the results came across a ticker on my TV last night. The result was not surprising at all (95% For / 5% Against), but the fact that such a proposition existed was. Here it is:
Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God-The use of the word “God”, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property. YES OR NO

What the constitution says is that governement can "make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

I suppose someone could argue that the constitution refers to the Federal government, whereas this proposition pertains to state government. Maybe there's a difference. Anyway, it's just a non binding proposition, but I think our founding fathers were wise enough to know that government should stay neutral if it knows what's good for it. So what god should we honor in our public educational institutions? Where do we draw the line? With our Islamic population growing the way it is, it's not unrealistic to think that at some point in the not-too-distant future, they could have the majority and demand that Allah be represented in our schools and on our government buildings. Likewise, I doubt that Baptist parents would care much for their children's public school honoring every Catholic superstition. No, this is a door that our founding fathers knew ought to stay shut. They were kind of brilliant that way.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Is it dark?" "Of course it's dark. It's a suicide note."

I knew today would be a pretty decent day when I weighed myself before work and saw a number below 190 lbs. Then Jason Poe took me out to eat for my belated birthday, and it's always great to see him. While I was at lunch, I got a call from a number that I didn't recognize. A lot of people ignore those calls, but I generally pick them up. So glad I did. It was SXSW calling to tell us that someone dropped out and we were really high on the waiting list, so we now have an official SXSW show. It's a little bit ridiculous how validating that is for me, but I am who I am, I suppose. It's on Thursday night at 11 o'clock on the Wave rooftop. I don't know much else about it just now, but check our sites to stay in the loop.

Radiohead are one of my all time favorite bands, but I don't listen to them that regularly because...well, I don't listen to anyone that regularly, really, unless they've just put something out. But today, Radiohead have been incredibly satisfying. Til my dying day, I believe that I will champion OK Computer as the closest thing possible to a "perfect record."

As I'm sure you've noticed, I changed my blog layout. I was going for a Royal Tenenbaums theme, in case you were wondering. I hope you like it. I just wanted something new and the first thing I tried, Leah told me it looked like a 16 year old girl's blog. Somewhat ironically, my response was to turn it pink.

The rest of today promises to be pretty great. Another couple of our favorite people, Todd and Hollie, have graciously offered to take Leah, Harper, and I to our beloved Cheesecake Factory for an early dinner. Then I imagine we'll head home for some relaxing family/dog time.

People take me really seriously on the interwebs. I, generally, think that that's not the best idea you could have. In truth, it is an actively bad idea.

Monday, March 1, 2010

There is, at least, one place on Earth where laser tag and self loathing go hand in hand.

When I graduated high school, my mom threw a party for my friends and I at Lazer X, Longview, TX's only laser tag arena. I don't remember having any complaints. It was a very typical laser tag establishment; arcade games, black lights, soda pop, and of course, a huge laser tag arena. It was fantastic.

Leah and I went to Tyler this weekend to celebrate everyone born in or around February's birthdays. On Saturday, I came up with the idea of driving to Longview, a 30 minute drive, and playing laser tag at the ol' Lazer X. So after eating at Taqueria El Lugar (possibly the single greatest place to eat in the entire world), Seth, Kara, Leah, and I made the trek.

The Lazer X isn't what it used to be. Hell, Longview isn't what it used to be. Everytime I go back there, the town seems slightly more dead than the time before. We all bought two games of laser tag, which comes with 4 arcade tokens to use while you wait for the next game to start. There's only 5 arcade games left functioning at Lazer X and you've probably heard of none of them. When we finally got to play, there was about 12 people in the game. Lazer X only does free for all games, which I'm a fan of. I don't like this "shoot the base/get lots of points" type of bullshit. Where laser tag is concerned, I've got a blood lust that can only be quenched with open combat. The first game went by quick. Like, really quick, but the second started instantly, which I liked. But it, too, ended quickly. At one point in the game, I turned to flee from an aggressor and didn't realize that there was a metal grate directly to my right and now my face is sore.

In the first game, I got 2nd Place and in the second game, 5th. We were talking about how fast the games seemed and we asked the guy working the front desk, who we're pretty sure is also the owner, how long the games were. Five minutes. Are you serious, Lazer X?!?! Maybe that's why no one plays laser tag in Longview, guys. You've got to give us, at least, 15 minute games, like every where else in the world. It's hard to complain about anything when you're playing laser tag, but the Lazer X is probably the most depressing laser tag experience I've ever had. Still fun though.

We had a good weekend, but I kind of hate quick trips to east Texas, because I feel like I spend as much time in the car as anywhere else. But the people and the food are always great. Seth and I got to have a decently lengthy conversation about god, that I enjoyed. I might expand on the topics discussed later, but today I've spent too much time talking about laser tag, which is probably far more important anyway.

It's kind of strange when you think about how many of my favorite shows of all time have been cancelled by Fox. Firefly, Wonderfalls, Arrested Development, and Futurama are easily in my top 10 and all cancelled by Fox before their time. I'm rewatching Wonderfalls right now, and remembering how great it is.