Sunday, January 31, 2010

All of life's mysteries revealed...

Over the weekend, Leah has discovered and turned me on to It's like the blog I did where you just ask questions and I answered them and we all had a good time.

Mine is located here.

Leah's is located here.


Friday, January 29, 2010

When (and if) the big one hits, I'll just meet you there.

Last night was great. We haven't played Stubb's in a long time and it was a nice way to return to that stage. Austin 360 was really awesome for working with us for their concert series and giving us a few write ups, online and in print, and both of the other bands solidified their places on my, figurative, favorite-people-to-play-with-list. We've been wanting to make friends with new bands a lot lately because out of our once booming and vibrant clique of friend-bands, only The Rocketboys and us survive.

After we played at Emo's for Free Week, I blogged about how amazing it was when people sang along on our opening song, "A Nation of Two." Last night, I could hear the crowd singing through almost the entire set. I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew 3 sizes. It's really starting to feel like we matter in this town. It only took 4 years.

Leah couldn't be there because the show was so late and we didn't feel right about asking our friend to babysit that long when she has to work the next morning. I missed her and Harper a lot. Right now, I just want to go home at 2, in time to crawl into bed with Leah and Harper for Harper's afternoon nap. God, that sounds good.

Tonight, after Harper goes to bed, I'm going to work out with Leah and take a nice hot shower. I plan on being in my pajamas, relaxing with my wife, and watching The Hurt Locker by 9:15, preferably in my bed. This is what they call "the good life."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Raise high the roof beams, carpenters!

Tomorrow is the actual last day that you can do us a solid and vote for Quiet Company in the Austin Chronicle Best of '09 poll. Please vote and encourage others (violently) to vote for us for band of the year, best rock band, best indie band and our album "Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon," for best album of the year. Please.

One of the worst, possibly THE worst thing about being a musician is the "hurry up and wait" aspect of our lives. We don't play til midnight tonight, but they want us to sound check between 4 and 6. What are we supposed to do for the remaining 3 hours til the doors even technically open? Wander around aimlessly downtown, I guess. That's probably what I'll be doing.

JD Salinger died today at age 91. That's a pretty full life, I suppose. I hope he was comfortable and loved at the end. And at the beginning and middle, for that matter. I've read all 4 of his books, my favorite being "Raise High The Roof Beams, Carpenters," and my least favorite being, the immortal classic, "Catcher in the Rye."

I haven't had much religious content lately but today, I saw this graphic, and I'm a sucker for those faux inspirational posters.

I also thought this was hilarious.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to." - Mark Twain

I just realized that if I had to pick a favorite actor, something I've never really thought about, I would probably pick Bill Murray. I started to make this a top 5 and bottom 5 Bill Murray movie post, but thought better of it. I could only think of 2 movies of his, that I've seen, that deserve to be on the bottom of anything and they are "Lost In Translation" and "Broken Flowers." Both of those movies I came out of the theatre thinking, "what the hell was the point of that movie?" Less so with LIT than with BF but still...

Few people have mastered delivery like Bill Murray. In Ghostbusters, when the guy says "Must be some big cockroaches." and Murray says, "...they'll bite your head off, man" it doesn't seem that funny in print, but to hear him say it is stupid funny.

In a couple of weeks I have to spend the week in Waco for some insurance claims related education. This is good because I'm getting ready to get a promotion but that week is going to suck for Leah and I. I'll come back to town for practice on Monday night and my birthday on Wednesday, so I'll be around a little bit. Waco's less than an hour and a half a way so it's not the end of the world to drive back a night or two. But for most of that week I'll be stuck in a hotel in Waco. Oh well, hanging out in a hotel on the company dime's not the worst way to go about making more money.

2 days of working out done. I'm actually not as sore today as yesterday so that's good. Still need that jock strap though, my nuts hate working out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What has two thumbs and no time or will to blog today? This guy!

Day 2 of 30 done. Only 28 more to go.

The people that make baby pajamas with zippers are really smart. The people that make baby pajamas with snaps or buttons are really dumb.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also." the damn genius, Mark Twain.

I'm working on controlling my portions and not eating until I hate myself and yesterday, Leah and I committed to actually doing Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred for 30 consistent days. I'm posting it here in an attempt to hold myself accountable. I'm relatively sure that I will be hating life for about 25 minutes a day for the next 30 days.

Leah, Harper, and I drove to Tyler for the weekend to see some friends get married. It was a double wedding (2 brides, 2 grooms) so that was interesting. One of the brides and the other groom were siblings so they just decided to all get married at the same time. It was a beautiful night, though the ceremony was a little heavy on the "only god centered marriages can hope to last" thing, for my tastes. Robin and Jeremy were there, as well as several old friends from Tyler, and Leah and I danced the night away with all of them. Harper got to hang out with my parents all night so I'm sure she had a good time.

I love seeing all our family and friends in Tyler, not to mention the fact that some of the best restaurants in the world are there (Taqueria El Lugar, Bruno's Pizza etc.), but I hate the drive. I dread it. I've never liked it but now it takes even longer with Harper in tow.

Tonight, we've got an interview for and then rehearsal. Should be fun. Festival Crashers declared us their favorite Austin band after our Free Week show at Emo's, so color us honored.

I wonder if I should swing by Academy on the way home and pick up a jock strap. There's a lot of jumping jacks in that workout video and I get really sick of my balls slapping my leg. Doesn't everyone?

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Everyone's a little queer..."

Early this morning, I stumbled upon this article about the TV show "Glee," and suddenly, I knew what I'd be blogging/laughing about today. Please go read the article. You don't have to watch the show to appreciate the level of willful ignorance and sheer stupidity that went into writing it, but it helps.

I won't dissect the entire article because I don't have all day/week, but here is my absolute favorite part.

"Another major fault with the show is its fawning celebration of teenage homosexuality and consumer indulgence. Again the show makes the case that accepting the gay lifestyle and making yourself as outrageous as possible will help you achieve something despite whatever social limitations you may have. Disregarding any sense of fair play, the show does not offer any alternative to the gay lifestyle argument. There are no teens cured of their relentless and wild male sex desires, there are no moral figures on hand to give a comforting hand, there are no popular boys who say, 'I don’t want to hurt my family anymore and I love Jesus, so I am going to stop doing gay things with guys in the bathroom.'"

WHAAATTT??!!!? Partner that statement with the "About the author" section that comes after he reveals that he thinks way too much about the Golden Girls:
Stephenson Billings is an Investigative Journalist, Motivational Children's Party Entertainer and Antique Soda Bottle Collector all in one special, blessed package! Fanmail me !

Are you laughing yet? I hope Stephenson Billings' closet is comfortable, because I don't guess he's coming out of it anytime soon.

So basically, the argument that this piece is making is this:
"Of course, all men would love to fuck guys. What could be more inviting than that sweet, sweet, sex with another man? But we don't do it! We make the moral choice! The only reason we don't have gay sex is because it makes the baby Jesus cry. That is the ONLY reason. Obviously, it would be awesome...but only awful people succumb to those relentless and wild male sex desires."

Also, will someone please tell these idiots, that there is no alternative to the gay lifestyle. If you're gay, you're gay. I don't think there's much you can do about it. Stephenson, gay people can't stop being gay any more than you can stop wanting to collect antique soda bottles or, (I'll humor you) being "heterosexual." (See, I put it in quotes because, based on the information I have here and the piece you wrote, I don't think you are.)

It's not just homosexuality that the article takes issue with, it's any kind of sexuality in teenagers. Well, guy, have you ever met a teenager? They're very interested in sex, most of them are having it, and all of them are talking about it. Girls, boys, jocks, nerds, gays, straights, all of them. It's the one thing they all have in common. This article is full of the sort of sexual repression that the church is famous for.

The other day, my boss and I were talking and he mentioned that he never met a Baptist girl that wasn't sexually repressed. I was raised in a Baptist church, and I would say that that's probably true. Looking back, it's kind of crazy how much energy and effort was put into convincing us that sex was evil and easily the worst decision we could possibly make. It was very unhealthy. Don't get me wrong, I do think that it's generally not a good idea for teenagers to have sex. But my church and school taught "abstinence only" and I don't think that's wise.

I have no idea what I'm going to tell my daughter. Her mother and I saved ourselves for each other. Leah did because she had self esteem, I did because I was sexually repressed. I do think that sex is a sacred thing. Not because of some spiritual hoopla, but just because it's the most intimate thing two people can share and I don't think you should just give that shit away. Well, now I've gone off on a tangent.

Anyway, read that article, it's chocked full of ridiculous viewpoints and the idiotic ramblings of a sexually repressed, probably self loathing closet homosexual. It would be sad if it weren't so damn funny.

Well, it's still sad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Inappropriate Muppet jokes.

For my money, the best show currently on TV is Community. Modern Family is a very close second. If you're not watching these shows, you really should be. The best shows are shows that have strong ensembles, I think. Arrested Development, The Office, Firefly, Glee, Parks and Rec, Battlestar Galactica, etc. I really like Dexter too, but I don't feel like the whole ensemble is strong. Really, Dexter, Angel, Rita, and the Trinity Killer are the only good actors, and two of them are dead after last season. Speaking of Trinity, creepy ass John Lithgow has plagued my dreams twice in the last week. I guess because of the Golden Globes because we finished watching Dexter weeks ago.

Here's some advice:
1. Tomorrow is the last day to vote for Quiet Company in the Austin Chronicle Best of '09 poll and we'd really like you to do it. Please go here and vote for us for "band of the year" and "album of the year" and then just write our name anywhere else you feel is appropriate.
2. Watch Community tonight.
3. Don't listen to Owl City.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So the Democrats lost the race in Massachusetts and that will probably be what kills the health care reform bill. I am a little disappointed because the last I heard (which was several months ago) things were going OK in Mass. It's probably naive to suggest that this doesn't send some kind of message about what a lot of Americans think about the health care reform bill.

Health care reform was one of the big issues that influenced my vote for president. I don't think anyone is saying that we don't need health care reform in this country, but I think this bill became pretty different from the kind of thing we wanted, pretty quickly. So I'm not terribly fussed about it. This felt rushed and like we were putting the cart before the horse too often. Plus, if there's not a public option, what's the point anyway? Also, if it's not single payer, what's the point anyway? They tried to make everyone happy, so of course, as a result, no one is happy.

I still think we need socialized health care like every other industrialized country in the world has. I realize that their systems are not perfect and that in some ways we'd be trading our current problems for theirs, but if your waiting around for anything in life to be perfect to function, you should probably kill yourself.

I digress.

I don't know how anyone stays in politics. Just being aware of politics makes me lose hope. I wish I could just not vote anymore but I believe that if you don't vote, you can't complain, and I love complaining.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Float like a float bot, sting like an automated stinging machine!

Leah dreams about me all the time. Well, not me, really, but a kind of "Bizarro Taylor." Bizarro Taylor, apparently doesn't care much for Leah. He's constantly ignoring her to hang out with his friends, cheating on her, or doing some other asshole thing. I hate Bizarro Taylor. If he were a real person, I'd beat the living shit out of him. When our relationship was in its infancy, Leah would actually wake up kind of pissed at me for what Bizarro Taylor had done. Luckily, she doesn't do that anymore, but he still occasionally plagues her nights. Last night he was giving her hell. I guess all I can do is keep not giving her any reason to suspect that he and I are related in any way.

For some reason, I was thinking about the movie Garden State this morning. When that movie came out in 2004, Leah and I saw it more than once in the theatre. We loved Zach Braff because Scrubs was still really good, and we found the film's quirkiness endearing. When it came out on DVD we bought it straight away as well as the soundtrack.

A short while back, Leah and I decided to watch a movie in bed and selected Garden State because we hadn't seen it in a while and...we really didn't like it. Not very much at all. I mean, it's OK, and it definitely has its moments, but I just kept thinking "What kind of 14 year old emo girl must I have been to think this movie was so good?" Leah had the same reaction.

So, this morning I was thinking about that because it just kind of shows, in an albeit trivial way perhaps, that Leah and I have grown together. Of course, I don't need a Garden State analogy to know that my wife and I have grown together in the almost 7 years we've been together but it's nice to stop and appreciate it as often as possible. In a world where the divorce rates show us that most couples grow apart, I take comfort in the fact that true love does exist. It's not some abstract idea, nor is it something commonplace. It is real, tangible, and unfortunately seems to be a lot harder to find than our movies and pop songs lead us to believe. The point is that I love my wife and I'm still just as intrigued by her as I was the day I accidentally asked her on a date in 2002.

We had Quiet Company practice last night for the sole purpose of learning new songs. We spent all night on a song called "Preaching to the Choir Invisible, part II." We're all really excited about it because it's epic as shit. We're hoping to pull it out by our February 24th show with Evan Dando at Emo's as well as another one.

With everything we've ever done, I've always recorded demos of the songs with all the parts more or less fleshed out. So everyone just had to learn the part on the demo, essentially. Of course, they added their own flavor but, in general, the idea was there for them to work with already. With the next record we're trying something different. We already have a handful of songs demoed but we're not going to do any more. Instead, we're building the rest of the songs up together and we're going to try to play them all live for a little while before putting them on tape. The idea is that the songs will be able to breathe and grow a little more, creatively speaking. I'll still be writing all the lyrics, melodies, and chords, but I think the arrangements will benefit a lot from this.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Have you ever seen anyone be unhappy on a Wave Runner?

I just got through listening to the latest mixes for the new EP and I'm very, very happy with them. They're probably about 90% done mixing now so we'll be ready in plenty of time for our mastering date on Feb. 3rd. Now we've just got to solidify the art. We have a girl painting something for us that we suggested, so assuming that we like it, it should be easy peezy. I suppose we'll have to take some pictures as well.

I originally thought that, because of the theme of the EP, it would be hilarious to have a picture of all of us in bed together, shirtless, and smoking cigarettes. Alas, Tommy wasn't pumped about it, and Jeff straight up said he's not doing it. So it goes. Once again, my genius is stunted by peons.

All kidding aside, I feel very lucky to be playing with the guys in Quiet Company. They are, without a doubt, my favorite people I've ever played music with, and I've played music with a lot of people.

Speaking of music. Do you know what I hate? I hate waiting to see if we'll get accepted to South By South West, especially, when all our friends have already been accepted. One of the points of SXSW is to showcase for labels and industry people, in other words, people Quiet Company generally doesn't care about. So all we really want out of it is the status symbol that acceptance grants you and the chance to build more buzz. It's embarrassing to be one of the only bands in your clique that doesn't get accepted, and then I just hate myself for caring about something so petty. Lose, lose. I guess we could still get in, not all of the bands have been announced yet. For the last two years we've gotten on the waiting list, which is something I suppose, but it would still be nice to actually get in on the festival. We did get accepted for another festival in Denton where the Flaming Lips are headlining, though, so that's encouraging.

Harper is really loving music now, or at least she loves to dance. She's very fond of Quiet Company, which is adorable. She'll watch our videos and laugh and smile and look back and forth at the screen and me like she's discovered something. Recently, she's decided that when the stereo in her room is on, she wants it to play right into her face. It's almost like she worships it. Kid, if you're going to make a shrine out of that stereo, you're in for a life of frustration. Please don't be a musician. Do something that makes money.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I'm not really a fan of the late night shows on the big networks. In high school I went through a phase where I watched Letterman pretty regularly and shortly after, a friend showed me how awesome Conan is. I've always hated Leno. I don't think he's funny at all. Pretty obnoxious actually. Now in my 27th year of life on the question of "who is the best out of Leno, Letterman, or Conan?" the answer is "Jon Stewart."

Conan deserves the Tonight Show because it was promised to him. I am a firm believer in people doing what they say they will do and this seems to be a pretty clear cut case of that being the problem. To my knowledge, Conan has upheld his end of the agreement, and Jay seems to be under the impression that he can make up the rules as he goes along. I'm sure it's complicated with money and ratings, but I'm not interested in hearing that argument. Conan did his part, now NBC needs to honor their commitments. I heard about Jimmy Kimmel (who's also better than Leno), taking Leno to task on his own show last night and I can't wait to see the footage. I've heard some people saying it was staged but I don't really think so. We'll see, I guess.

When I was in youth group at my church growing up, we had a saying that I'm sure is popular in churches all over the world, "You may be the only Jesus some people ever meet."

People sometimes ask me why I bother spending my time in religious discussions with people that show no sign whatsoever of even being able to see any perspective but their own, and I think of that saying, except now it's "I may be the only skeptic some people ever meet." The only critical examination their beliefs ever get, the only voice of reason, etc. Of course, it's discouraging how little difference these conversations ever seem to make but I was encouraged the other day by my friend and Quiet Company manager, Paul. I was telling him about some of the conversations I'd had recently and I said something like " doesn't matter what the evidence suggests, they've made up their mind to believe what they want in spite of it." And then Paul said "Yeah, but I would've said the same thing about you a couple of years ago."

So I believe that people can come around because I did, though sometimes I forget that I, too, was once "blind but now I see" as the song says.
I'm currently involved with such a discussion via Facebook with a girl I went to school with and it has been pretty irksome and discouraging at points. I think the most irksome thing was in her email that I received this morning that essentially said "I don't know if you've ever REALLY searched for god, because the bible says that if you do, you'll find him. So if you haven't found him, surely you haven't really searched for him." Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works!

She obviously doesn't know me very well and never has so I tried to soothe my ire and countered with "I don't know if you've ever really looked critically for god because if you had, I believe you'd have found him somewhat less than present." Somewhat perfectly, as I type this, the shuffle on my Ipod randomly started playing "Godless" by The Dandy Warhols. Maybe that's an ironical sign from god that he does exists...? What does the bible say about god's appreciation for irony?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gavin Rosdale Poetry: Volume 2

Have you ever noticed how Tripping Daisy was way better than the Polyphonic Spree? Polyphonic is cool and all, but Tripping Daisy was just a substantially better.

Tonight, the wife and I are entertaining some guests. Our old room mate, Matt, and his girlfriend are coming over for dinner and quite possibly a quick game of Star Wars: Epic Duels, which, if you've never played it, is one of the best board games of all time. I discovered it when I worked at an after school day care in Nashville. I had a small group of 3rd graders who loved the shit out of me because I knew all about Star Wars. And I loved them for it. One of their fathers was Johnny Cash's lawyer, and he gave me a copy of "The Man Comes Around" when it came out.

I think Harper will be walking in a few weeks. She spends most of her time standing up holding on to things and recently I've seen her let go to see how long she can balance herself before she grabs back on. She can stay up for about 5 seconds before grabbing back on or plopping down on her ass.

Leah does the same thing.

We're playing in Waco tomorrow night, assuming that the show doesn't get rained out (it's an outdoor venue). If anyone is around, you should go to Common Grounds tomorrow night.

Earlier, Leah said that she felt like this day was going to drag. I was optimistic about that not being the case. As usual, she was right, and I was wrong.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

Feeling really bad for the people of Haiti. The only successful slave revolution took place in Haiti, and I'm sure they've done nothing to deserve this. You wouldn't know that to hear Pat Robertson speak. Apparently, they made a "deal with the devil" long ago that they're now paying for. Why is it that every time there is a natural disaster, emphasis on "natural", this truly, truly stupid pissant is around to blame the disaster on the victims? Well guess what, Pat. God has finally revealed itself to me! I'm now a theist! God came to me in a dream, no, a vision, and told me that the reason we have earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, genocides, wars, or unhappiness at all, is actually because we're behind on our blood quota. God demands that we sacrifice an aging, deluded, ignorant, crazy religious TV pundit every once in a while to keep it satisfied.

I'm sure it's not nearly as fun to be the object of god's irrational hatred. Lucky for that piece of shit, god didn't actually reveal itself to me or else he'd be on the business end of some completely crazy, yet constitutionally protected, hate speech. Christian, police your ranks!

But god wasn't actually in my dreams last night. John Lithgow was.

I've never liked Pat Robertson. As a matter of fact, I've actively despised him for the better part of a decade. I despised him as a Christian probably more than I despise him now and the reason is this: He uses Jesus as a weapon. He's just a tamer version of Fred Phelps in my opinion. Worthless, vile, deluded, and dangerous. I think the only reasonable response Christians can have to people like Pat is embarrassment, and a sense of urgency to make him shut his senile mouth and wipe that idiot smile off his face.

Also, if you hear anyone say anything along the lines of "God uses these things to get our attention.." you should probably do them a favor and explain how that makes them and their god look like assholes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"A speckled bird, humbly inspired, ran across the road when it could've flown and it made me smile."

Sarah Palin has signed on with Fox "news" as a contributor. Earlier today my co-worker filled an apple juice bottle with piss and I put a sticky note on it that says "FREE JUICE!! NOT PEE!!!" and we put it in the refrigerator. I'm sure there's a profound analogy to be made between the two, I'm just not sure what it is yet.

We're finishing up mixing on "Songs For Staying In" this week or next and we've set a date for mastering (Feb 3rd). So this hurdle is almost jumped and we're going to start learning new songs now. My goals for 2010 include the Quiet Company musical and the 3rd record. They both need to be started and at least one of them needs to be finished by the end of the year. I don't care which one.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Tila Tequila 2010 Small Business Marketing and Image Consultation Expo.

I didn't blog yesterday because I stayed home to take care of a baby and a sick wife, and I generally only blog at work. Leah woke up feeling like death and didn't want to get Harper sick so I called in and hung out all day. It was pretty great, aside from the Leah not feeling good thing. Harper and I played a lot, went grocery shopping and watched Superman Returns, which for my money, is a great movie and a sequel is becoming long overdue.

I'm never sure how popular the band Kent is. I know all my musician friends love them but I don't know how many normal people have their records. I've got about 5 of their records and only 2 are in English. I guess they didn't sell well enough over here because they only did English versions of those two records, to my knowledge. All of their other records are in Swedish. What really sucks about this, is that they'd probably be one of my favorite bands if I could just sing along to them. Well, they're already one of my favorite bands, but I'd certainly listen to them more if I could get some more English versions. Especially the album, Du & Jag Doden. That album kicks so much ass it's ridiculous, but I have no idea what he's saying, so I hardly ever listen to it. I wonder which would be easier, convincing Kent to record/release English versions, or learning Swedish?

The rest of Quiet Company are picking me up at work at 5 and we're going to San Antonio to play at the White Rabbit with Buttercup and Blowing Trees. We'll have our horn players with us, which always makes the shows cooler, to me. Speaking of Quiet Company, have you voted for us for Austin's band and album of the year yet? Because you really should. So should your mom and all your friends. Please.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm evolving as we speak...Well, not me, but killer whales in the waters around the UK.

I've never done drugs and I've never even tasted alcohol. I did enjoy smoking tobacco but that's not so much a drug as it is just a really cool thing to do. See below:

Cool as a polar bear's nuts.

When you're a musician who doesn't drink, I think it's fair to say that you're a bit of a freak. When I was younger everyone generally assumed that it was because of my faith that I didn't drink. That may have been the case when I was 12 and blindly accepted what my baptist church taught about alcohol, which is that it is essentially bottled evil. When I actually read the Bible, I learned that Jesus loved to slow his roll with some drank, so it couldn't possibly be morally wrong, right? Yet, I still never indulged and the reason is that it simply did not/does not appeal to me. I've had friends challenge me with "How do you know you won't like it if you haven't tried it?" Great question. To which I always reply, "Have you ever had sex with a man?" (I say this to men) and they always say "No" (I've only asked this of straight men). So then I say "How do you know you won't like it if you haven't tried it?"
So there's, obviously, nothing wrong with drinking alcohol. The reasons it's never appealed to me, personally, are these: It smells like shit, it makes you smell like shit, and it lowers your inhibitions, which has always scared me because I know what kind of shit is in my head and I don't want anything lessening my ability to keep it in check.

Being a musician that has never smoked pot is almost as weird. Hell, being a person who has never smoked pot is becoming quite the oddity. I've mainly never done this simply because it's illegal and I've always felt like it would just be irresponsible to risk it. I'm pro-responsibility. Recently, I have also come to the conclusion that I would probably be one of those people who get really paranoid. I took a couple of Green Tea Caffeine fat burner pills that Tommy had a few weeks ago, and just that made me trip balls in the van on the way to a show. I can only imagine what real drugs would do to me. Still, I would much rather a teenage Harper be caught smoking pot than drinking alcohol. It's by far the safer drug. Non addictive, doesn't give you cancer, and nobody ever gets high and beats their wife. The irony that the dangerous drug is perfectly legal, and we've got a "war" on the relatively safe one, is ridiculous.

Anyway, who cares about drugs? I'll most likely try and go through my life with as little chemical perspective altering as possible. It didn't appeal to me as a Christian and it still doesn't as an atheist.

Speaking of which, I was looking back through old blogs and I happened upon one where I posted this list and asked all the readers to rate themselves. My position has changed on it since I last answered so I wondered if anyone else's had.

1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.

2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.

3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.

4. Pure Agnostic: God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.

5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.

6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.

7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.

Then I asked these questions:

1. What number on the chart do you most closely relate to?
2. What, if anything, would you change about your life if someone, somehow, proved you wrong about your belief?
3. If you put yourself between a 3 and 7, why do you feel the need to live a moral life (assuming that you do)?

Originally, I put myself between the 2 and 3 but now, less than a year later, I find myself somewhere between the 5 and 6. What's changed? I read more books (both atheist and apologist), I had a lot of conversations (with Christians and non-Christians), and I wrote a lot of songs (which is my favorite way of looking at and analyzing oneself and one's beliefs).

Where do you find yourself today?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christian music is generally not as good as regular music. Also, bears shit in the woods.

I have a talent that is virtually worthless. That talent is the ability to scan radio stations and identify the Christian ones simply by music, without hearing lyrics, almost instantly. Why am I able to do this? Because it's bad music? Not really. I wasn't able to put it into words until a few years ago, when I lived in Nashville and ran with a crowd of (somewhat successful) Christian musicians. Once, I was talking with my friend Josiah and a guy from the band, The Elms. That guy was saying how Christian music suffers for its lack of sex. Not sexual content, mind you, but sexual energy. Maybe we take it for granted in the secular world but its a necessity for good rock and roll. And that's why I'm able to pinpoint the Christian radio stations. The lack of sexual energy may be comforting to repressed middle aged American men and women who don't really care about music anyway, but for those of us that do, it makes for some bland shit. I should point out that this is not a problem across the board for all Christian artists (as I'll point out further), and the irony is that I heard this from a member of the Elms, one of the more neutered bands you're likely to hear.

So why wouldn't the Christian music industry embrace sexual energy? It doesn't sell to the youth groups, quite simply. Let's take a look at one of the martyrs to learn this lesson; My idol, acquaintance, and former label mate, Lee Bozeman. (Just so you know, I'm about to get really nerdy about a really obscure band.)

When, and if, you ever meet someone who knows who Lee Bozeman is, they're likely to spin you a tale of tragedy. How Luxury, Lee's band (possibly the greatest band ever), is the greatest band ever and deserved so much more recognition than they ever got. Then there was the tragic car crash that seriously injured the band between their 1st and 2nd records leaving their careers in limbo. The band put out more records, but by Lee's own admission, they were never really a band again.

I once drove to Illinois to see Luxury play. They reunited to play the Cornerstone Festival occasionally and I just had a feeling that if I missed their show in 2002, I wouldn't get another chance. Turns out, I was right. As it also turns out, it was probably the best show I've ever seen. Honestly, there were instances where you could tell that the band hadn't played together in a long time, but those were trivial when you considered the energy that they had. I saw in Lee Bozeman the kind of frontman I wanted to be. Talk about sexual energy! I've since dedicated my energy on stage to mimicking him. The one good thing about Luxury never becoming a huge band is that no one knows I'm trying my hardest to rip someone off.

Shortly after, I was relieved to learn that Lee was still making music, under the moniker "All Things Bright & Beautiful" and released an album on Northern Records entitled, Love and Affection. It's great, though a little more somber than the Luxury stuff. I personally think that Lee is at his best when he's loud and intense, but he does quiet and delicate quite well, just the same.

A few days ago, Lee emailed me to tell me that he's made more music and it's available. Always great news! He changed the moniker from "All Things..." to "Orient Is His Name" which I'm not as big a fan of, but a rose by any other name...

Anyway, I'm posting it here because I'm tired of people acting like Lee's career is in its epilogue, especially Lee. This is one of the worlds finest songwriters, singers, lyricists, and entertainers and it's time the world fucking realized it. I'll not go to my grave not having done everything in my power to share the luxury of Lee Bozeman with everyone I can.

This isn't my favorite thing he's ever done, honestly. As I said, I like the loud and intense the best, but this is a beautiful EP, nonetheless. Please, for the sake of justice, go listen and download and absorb this. You can download it for free, or pay however much you like, just do it. Then go to Amazon and buy all the Luxury records. (my favorites in order are: 1. Luxury- self titled 2. Luxury - Amazing & Thank You 3. All Things Bright & Beautiful - Love & Affection 4. Luxury - Health & Sport 5. Luxury - The Latest & The Greatest.)

I really think you'll be glad you did. Now click on this picture.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I've never met a pessimist who didn't claim to be a realist.

OK, Dad, today I am "burning the candle at both ends."

Yesterday was a long day. I'm sure if we measured it we'd find that it started and ended at its normal, expected times, and lasted a standard 24 hours, but still...I just fell asleep on a desk on my lunch break. Leah's mom, Harper's Grandmonster, came in this weekend to watch Harper while Leah and I went to a movie, a wedding, and played a show. The movie was Saturday night, it was Up In The Air, and it was fantastic. The wedding and the show were last night. Our friend Mitch, who plays for The Rocketboys, got married and then Quiet Company played a 12:30 set on the Emo's outdoor stage for "Free Week," which is like SXSW with all local artists and all the shows are free.

The show was really great. Being that it was an outdoor show on January 3rd, I froze my proverbial ass off until it was time to play, but once we got on stage it was much more comfortable. Also, when Tommy and I were walking from where we parked to the venue, some people in a car yelled "Fuck you, faggots!" at us, so there's always that for entertainment.

Do you know what its like to hear an audience singing your song? I do. And I hope you do too, (or something equivalent) because it's really amazing and makes me smile really big. It's validating, damn it! I am so fortunate to be able to play music at all. To be able to express myself in an art form is a wonder in and of itself, but to have that art actually connect with other living things...That's a damn miracle. So from the bottom of my tired heart, thank you for singing.

Also, I haven't seen it yet, but we had another song featured on Keeping Up With The Kardashians last night, this time with vocals.

I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention how amazingly beautiful my wife looked at the wedding, just so you know. As it turns out, I'm very attracted to her.