Thursday, May 27, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

You have to let go, Jack.

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

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

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

Friday, May 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Do you think Kozy Shack would sponsor a band?

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

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 17, 2010

Two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fun with your Ipod.

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

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whole foods is tasty, yet over priced.

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 10, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 7, 2010

You've come a long way, baby.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jesus made me do it!

The National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional as it represents a governmental endorsement of religion. Past that, it's also something that Yeshua found distasteful. Personally, I've always hated public prayer. Hated it when I was a Christian, probably more than I do now, because of this verse:

"And whenever you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. I tell you with certainty, they have their full reward! But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees from the hidden place will reward you." Matthew 6:5-6

So a judge, who actually read the constitution, decided that the National Day Of Prayer was unconstitutional, and now all of Texas' political leaders' panties are in a twist. "They can't take prayer away from us!!!BLAHBLAHBLAH!!!" I wonder if it will ever dawn on them that no one is trying to take anything away from them, but it's just not the government's place to endorse it. I also wonder if it will ever dawn on them that two hands engaged in labor are more useful that a million clasped in prayer. But whatever, pray your little heart out, Rick Perry. Whatever gets those votes, which is what this is all about anyway. If you ask any of them if they think there's any advantage in praying in public vs. privately, I'm sure they would all say that they believe god hears their private prayers just as well. So why do they insist on being "hypocrites?" Yeshua's words, not mine...well, both of ours I guess.

I'm not terribly concerned either way, just seems like a waste for our political leaders to be spending their time and energy on something like this, instead of the thousands of people unemployed, or underemployed, or starving, or uninsured, etc. in our country/state/county/city/neighborhood.

I was thinking about blogging about how much I hate the concept of tipping today, but maybe I'll do that tomorrow. I'm so full of RAGE!!!

Also, the final Quiet Company mini-doc is up at Quiet Company Music Dot Com.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The real injustice is that Muppet Babies is unlikely to come out on DVD.

Rehearsal last night was good and all the kinks have been worked out, assuming that everyone remembers how we worked the kinks out when we get on stage. I think the rehearsal space felt hotter than it ever has, and after a few hours, we all felt like we didn't have much more to give, and called it a night. There's not a lot of ventilation in the room we practice in, and when you fill it with 6 bodies and 3 tube amps, the heat accumulates. We used to practice in my garage, which was pretty awful in the summer. By the end of a lot of practices, we would all have stripped to our boxer shorts, and we'd still be miserable. So, count our blessings and all that.

When I got home, I watched the back half of an episode of "Intervention" with Leah. That show is so depressing. But intriguing. At one point I turned to Leah and said "We just have to keep our kids off drugs." I'm not scared of pot. Almost everyone tries it at some point, and as those things go, it's virtually harmless. By the time Harper is old enough to care, it might even be legal and then who really gives a shit? But every time you hear some story about someone being brutally murdered, though, it's always drug related. Nothing good can come from being into real drugs, as far as I can see.

Tomorrow, I guess that Matt and I are going down to the News 8 building to record an acoustic version of "It's better to spend money..." for their Summer Rooftop music series. I fully expect it to suck since we will have maybe 5 minutes before we record it to rehearse it. I hate that shit. I hate "acoustic versions." I don't want to hear anyone else's "acoustic version" either, because what it really is, is the "boring version." It's like thin crust pizza. Maybe some people like it but, to me, it's like "Hey, can I pay you the same price for less food please?" After this one, I'd like to say that I'm not doing any more. Unless we know it's going to sound OK, and be something we're happy with, it's a total waste of time, in my humble opinion.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Smurf you, and smurf your family.

The new record, Together, by The New Pornographers, is pretty great. I love that band.
I am concerned, however, about the new Apples in Stereo record. I've barely listened to it, but what I've heard hasn't excited me. So far, it seems like they took the handful of things that I didn't like about their last record and made an entire record out of those things. I really shouldn't say anything until I've had time to absorb the whole record. I really hope I end up loving it because I, generally, think that they're great.

I'm excited about practice tonight. Everyone will know their parts on the new songs tonight and we'll get to hear "Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part II" fully developed for the first time. Should be fun.

I've been writing thank you cards to go with all our online orders of the new EP today. They're pretty random and sound more like an exercise in stream of consciousness writing than traditional thank you notes but they're a good time, nonetheless. My favorite one goes like this: "Hey pal! Thanks for smurfing our record. I hope you smurf it. If you don't, I'm going to smurf my smurf up your smurf. So don't smurf with us. Smurf, Taylor & QC"