Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Republican Christianity, everybody!

This reminds me of all those really awesome scriptures where Jesus talks about how important being wealthy is, and how awesome rich people are, and about how you shouldn't care about the health and wellbeing of those less fortunate than yourself. Billboard God is so cool, guyz.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I aim to misbehave.


The record is done and I am proud of it. Please go buy it and tell your friends you like it. Unless you don't like it, in which case, we'd appreciate it if you'd keep your mouth shut.

So far, only positive reactions, which is nice. Sure, there have been a few reviews from religious folk who've been uncomfortable with the lyrical content, but we expected that, and they make for interesting reviews. It feels nice to have it out there, finally.

Now comes the time of promoting the thing. Our partnership with Grooveshark has already proven to be nothing less than amazing. Before we partnered up, we had 2000+ Facebook friends, now we have 15,000+. It feels crazy. It is crazy. Only time will tell if this exposure will turn into something financially significant. We're all optimistic, though.

Done a lot of interviews lately. I think I'm getting better at them but always have, at least a little, self doubt about whether or not I come across badly. So it goes.

Been thinking a little about what our next full length album should be about. I know we just finished one but this is the first time that I haven't already had another album's worth of material ready to work on. Tommy said he wanted me to get political and satirical, call a bunch of assholes "assholes," and what have you. I don't know if I have that in me. I just never feel like I know enough about politics to voice too strong of a public opinion nowadays. I have been following the GOP primaries a little bit, though. To me, there only seems to be one decent candidate, and that's Jon Huntsman. He doesn't seem to be gaining the traction that I'd like though. Not crazy enough, I guess. I don't know if I'd vote for him even if he does win, but who knows, I might. My main concern is that it's the difference between getting to choose between a piece of pizza and a hamburger, versus getting to choose between a piece of pizza and a huge ball of shit. When a lot of people seem to be angry at the pizza, you really need that burger to fall back on.

A friend of mine died, unexpectedly, from an aneurysm the other day. I didn't know him terribly well, but I really enjoyed his company the handful of times we'd gotten to hang out. It made me think more seriously about something I was already thinking about. One of the cool things about playing music is that it has enabled me to meet a lot of really interesting people, many of which I like a lot. My life is full of guys I wish I knew better but never get the chance because my life is also full of a lot of other things, and so are theirs. Lately, I've been trying to make the effort to make the time. It's difficult because I don't want to sacrifice my time with my family, so it largely consists of me sacrificing sleep. I'll sleep when I'm dead, and all that, but I am tired today. Last night, after a late QC rehearsal, I went and saw a buddy who was in town playing guitar for New Found Glory. Got in at 2, but still got 5 hours of sleep. I've always felt like 5 is plenty because I have an issue of Batman where he says he only needs 5, and hey, if Batman can do everything he does on 5 hours of sleep, I can surely function.

Ate a fried okra & potato taco at 1 in the morning. Sounded great, didn't deliver on flavor. Shame.

The band is driving to Pensacola, FL tomorrow night to play Deluna Fest. Excited to see several of the other acts, mainly The New Pornographers and The Shins.
Next week, we're flying to NYC to play CMJ Festival and shoot a music video for "You, Me, & The Boatman." Really excited to be in NYC again. I haven't really cared for the city the couple of other times we've been there, but for some reason, I think I'll really like it this time.

Already dreading being away from Leah and Harper though, but I'm sure it will go by quickly and I'll be home again before you know it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Listen: I have come unstuck in time.

I think about super powers a lot. Probably more than a 29 year old man should. I don't feel bad about it.

Today, I'm thinking about a show from my childhood called "Out Of This World," remember it?

The plot was like this: Teenage girl who has never known her father and grew up with her single mother learns that her father (voiced by Burt Reynolds) is actually an alien that starts communicating with her through a large crystal night-light. He was apparently on Earth just long enough to knock up her mom and take off back to Gallifrey or wherever the hell.

Anyway, the girl (named Evie) starts developing alien powers on her 13th (I think) birthday. The first, and best, of these is an ability to touch her pointer fingers together and freeze time. Of course, she is unstuck in time and free to move around while everyone, and ostensibly everything, else is frozen in the moment. If she touched you, then you also become unstuck, or she could just place her palms together and release the hold in its entirety.

This is the best power anyone could ever have. This is better than anything Superman, or anyone in the Justice League have. Sure, flying is great, but it's second fiddle to this.

My biggest problem with existing is that time is not infinite, and I am not ageless. Now, I don't know if Evie was ageless while time was frozen, and that's something that would really determine the frivolity with which you would employ this power. You wouldn't want to age faster than your friends because you were popping out of the time stream too casually. However, if you did remain ageless during these moments, then the possibilities are endless.

I would never sleep, or rather, you would never see me sleep. Any time I was tired, I would just touch my fingers together, slap some gloves on (to prevent accidental time release) and catch some z's. I would be the most well rested man to be awake all the time.
Any time there was busy work to do, POP, Time Freeze, y'all, and no one loses any of our precious daylight.

There's just not enough hours in the day, but if I could freeze time, there would be.

Another question is whether or not machines are functional while time is frozen. If they were, then this last Quiet Company record wouldn't have taken nearly as long. Also I think I'd watch a lot of movies and play a lot of video games while time was frozen. Basically, anything that I'd like to do but is not something I'll regret not doing more of on my deathbed, would be done inside a Time Freeze. I could spend all my actual time with my family and friends and making music, and still have time to watch as many movies, play as many games, read as many (comic)books, and sleep as much as I want.

Also, you could steal things if you were so inclined.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Do you know the mother effing Muffin-Man?

Duncan Hines used to make the best blueberry muffins I've ever had, literally. A while back they decided to scratch the old recipe for a new "100% whole grain" version. It was a terrible idea but they've stuck to it, leading me to believe that no one there tastes the food before it goes out. Whole grains are great and all, but come on...these taste like garbage.

I've written Duncan Hines before to let them know how I felt but I used a fake name. Today, for some reason, probably hunger, I was thinking about those muffins again and I decided to act, this time, as myself. Maybe this will get the job done.

So I went to their webpage and wrote in the contact box how terrible these muffins are and how no one likes them and how everyone loved the original kind and how if they are going to insist that these ghastly creations exist, they should at least make the other option available, as well.

They wrote back:
Dear Valued Consumer,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Consumer Relations regarding your recent purchase of Duncan Hines Blueberry Streusel Muffin Mix. You will receive a full value coupon in the mail in seven to ten business days. The coupon is for use on any Duncan Hines product of your choice.

At this time we do not have plans to reintroduce the prior version. Overall feedback on the new version has been very positive.

We take great pride in the quality of our products and ensuring consumer satisfaction is our greatest concern. We have taken the liberty of sharing your insight with our Quality Assurance management team so they can incorporate your experience into their ongoing improvement processes. We are always grateful when loyal consumers such as you take the time to communicate their experience so that we have the opportunity to investigate.


Candy Cole
Consumer Relations Representative

This is my response:
Well, Candy, I hate to tell you what you really should already know by tasting these terrible things, but in actuality, everyone hates these muffins.
My entire family loved the original recipe. No one has purchased them again after we realized what a terrible change you guys had made. Literally, everyone I've ever talked to about this is in agreement.
A quick trip to Amazon backs my claim;

23 reviews and not a single good review of your new recipe, in fact, everyone is vehemently calling for a restoration of the old one.
Now go look at the page for the new recipe:

10 reviews and only 1.5 stars. Everyone hates it and the only 2 positive reviews read like plants from your ad agency.
And it's not like these muffins are "OK, just not as good as the old ones," it's that they are actively disgusting. I threw out almost a whole batch after choking down almost 2 of them and wondering if you guys were now considering sawdust to be a "whole grain."

I think Duncan Hines makes consistently good products, and for a while, could boast the best muffins in the world. Who's idea was it to ruin them? Do they also hate puppies and America?


I expect to get a letter admitting their mistake and pledging to restore the original muffins to my local grocer's shelf any minute now. I'll post it when I do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The boy who lived

Leah told me yesterday that she got sad when she thought about how I never blog anymore, so here I am again.

My problem is two-fold: No time, no inspiration. But since it's been a while, I may as well post a catch up blog.

A lot of stuff has actually happened. Our record is ALMOST done. It's being mixed and I think there are something like 6 songs left to do. We took a long time to decide who was mixing it because that hugely determines how the record will sound. We originally met with the legendary Tim Palmer. We were really impressed with his past work and after meeting him at his house and talking about the record, we were sure that he understood it, both musically and lyrically. But alas, he was expensive, and we (I) couldn't justify spending the money.

Long story short, we searched though a myriad of mix engineers and it was stressful and far too time consuming. We landed on one of Matt's friends, Adrian, and began working.

We've partnered with and Rocket Science to promote this record and I'm really excited about all the things that this could potentially mean. Suffice to say that more people will hear this record than everything else I've ever done combined. Because of our partnership with Grooveshark, and the mixed feelings in the band about how the mixes were coming back, we decided that we could afford to have Tim Palmer mix the record and it would be worth the investment. And it was. Every mix we get from Tim is the best I've ever heard our band sound. I'm so excited for everyone to hear the record when it's done. We're very proud. We're still using 2 or 3 of Adrian's mixes, which are quite good, as well.

We released a video for the first single from the new record called "Fear & Fallacy, Sitting in a Tree."
We've got another one in the works for the next single, and it's animated, which is great because it means we didn't have to be awkward in front of a camera for it. I believe that it drops in August.

Anyway, lots of QC stuff happening, both exciting and scary.

Leah and I just got back from London on Sunday. We were there for a week and it was lovely. Just lovely.
-spent a lot of time with Leah's sister, Elana,
-took a double decker bus tour,
-ate lots of really great food (people told me that British food was gross and that the people were unfriendly, I found both of these statements to be incredibly untrue),
-saw some terrible theatre (Shrek:the musical, it was cheap and Leah read a good review, OK?!?),
-went to a cool Doctor Who exhibit,
-drank tasty ciders,
-napped in a beautiful park,
-saw my old friends Nathan and Ashley who are stationed close to London,
-took a quick trip on a train to Paris,
-saw the tower, the Louvre, and walked over what must've been half of fucking Paris,
-saw Ian and got to tour his laboratory,
-went punting,
-fed a duck,
-saw Harry Potter 6 hours before any of you suckers,
-saw wild foxes in the streets on the walk back from HP,
-walked around Oxford, saw more beautiful buildings (they've got them in spades over there.)
-did some shopping in Camden town
-ate Treacle Tart (and sponge w/ custard) because Harry Potter loves it, and it was delicious.
-did some other stuff, I'm sure.

All in all, a fantastic trip with a beautiful lady that I'm in love with. Lots of walking though, and my feet blisters are not healing as quick as I'd like. May be time for new shoes, after all.

Now let's talk about Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, pt 2.
It's great. Really great, and now that the entire series is finished I'm finally able to separate the books and the movies in a healthy way, view them as different things, and appreciate them both. I was surprised that the movie didn't capitalize on actually showing all the deaths of the main characters in the final battle, since it would have been the emotional equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. But I can honestly say that I loved it, and can't wait to see it again and again.

We timed our London trip with the release of this movie because I just LOVED the idea of seeing the final Harry Potter and actually being in London when I walked out of the theater. I thought it would prolong the magic, and it did. Also on the way back to Elana's flat, we saw 5 or 6 foxes prowling around the streets. I've loved foxes since I was a wee lad, watching David The Gnome. I've always wanted one, and of course, it's name would be "Swift." So that was pretty great, too.

We missed the hell out of Harper, though, and we're so glad to be back home with her. It seems that she got even smarter, cuter, and more talkative while we were gone.

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's bigger on the inside...

Leah commanded me to blog again so here I am...

In the past month, my job has become a real job and my days have actually become relatively full of work. It's weird, and a little bit stressful, but I still function.

I've also been trying to blog at Quiet Company's Patronism site. Patronism is a new site where people can sign up to support your band with a monthly contribution and for that contribution (which can be any amount) you get access to all our releases and rarities, exclusive videos and "behind the scenes" shit, and basically any other thing we can think of to throw up there. Paul says that if Quiet Company were a DVD, then is the feature film and the Patronism site is the special features disc. We're still figuring out how to make it as cool as possible so it's very much a work in progress, but we've got some really interesting stuff up there and it's only going to get better.

I also agreed to be a guest blogger for the Vivogig site. I've been trying to think of what to write about and today the radio played a Bush song and it made me think of writing about lyrics.

Apparently, the pollen in Austin has been off the charts this year and as a result I have developed allergies. Or so 2 doctors have told me. I didn't know if I was going to be able to get through our show last night for KGSR's Unplugged at Shady Grove, but I did. At least the second doctor gave me a huge shot of medicine in my ass and an antibiotic to knock everything out. I'm improving, and hopefully by the time we play in Bryan tonight, I'll be something like OK. I have been feeling miserable for the past several days though. I hate not feeling like myself, or rather a frustrated, short tempered, impatient version of myself. Leah hasn't been a fan either, but she's weathered it well enough.

Leah brought Harper to the show last night because it was a fairly early one and a fairly quiet one. I got to watch her a little from stage but Leah tells me that she didn't stop dancing and she would clap for me after everysong, exclaiming "That's Dada!" She. Is. Perfect.

This is another busy weekend, full of shows, weddings, parental visits, and yardwork. I'll miss the new Dr. Who on Saturday but my DVR won't, so you know... Bowties are cool.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A democrat, a libertarian, and a horse walk into a bar...

Are there songs that you never get sick of? I've been trying to compile a list of songs that I'm always happy to hear. Interestingly enough, most are from artists that I, otherwise, don't really care much about. I have some of the records, but all of them were bought at huge discounts. Here's what I have so far:

In the Meantime - Spacehog
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
Pepper - The Butthole Surfers
Out Of My Head - Fastball
No Rain - Blind Mellon
Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks
Follow You Down - The Gin Blossoms
Semi-charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
Hey Ya - Outkast

I don't know why, but even when those songs were still getting massive radio play, I never got sick of them. I'm still really happy when they come on. What are yours?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A pastor, a rabbi, and a horse walk into a bar...

Got back from Canada on Sunday. If we're ever super rich, then it would be nice to have a condo in downtown Toronto as a summer home. We would have to be super duper rich though. And only in the summer. It's cold as shit up there.

It was great seeing everyone but we've certainly had smoother trips. I can always do without the food poisoning. Who knows when I'll be able to eat calamari again?

Last night we finished up all the trumpet for the record. Almost all that's left is putting the "choir" on everything. Soon we'll be figuring out who's going to mix the thing, whether Matt will just do it or if we'll send it over to some fresh ears, and we're in the home stretch. The art is being worked on now, and I'm sure we'll have it mastered at the same place we always use.

We've always used Discmakers for manufacturing but they've fucked up 2 orders now so I'm shopping around. If anyone knows a decently priced place with comparable services, please let me know.

I'm generally of the opinion that if you don't have anything nice to say, it's wise to keep your trap shut. Now if I ask a friend what they think, I expect an honest answer, regardless of whether or not it's a positive one. I think most people are this way. Some people are not. So it goes.

On the internet, it feels like that rule doesn't really apply as much. I find myself often wanting to interject my dissenting opinion where it was not specifically requested. In real life, this feels rude, on the internet it just feels like the status quo. "They posted their opinion where I could see it, so surely they expect me to shit all over it, right?" I don't know. I've lost sight of the line that separates good e-manners and good e-conversation.

Of course, I'm talking about religious people on Facebook. It's a good thing there isn't a "scoff" button on Facebook, because I'd abuse the shit out of that thing...or maybe I wouldn't, I don't know. I'd certainly want to. Facebook, like much of the internet, has become one big lesson on "Shutting-the-Fuck-Up" for me.

Long-time readers will remember that I used to molest religion on a regular basis here. I don't do that as much now for the same reasons I don't repeatedly bang my head against this wall. It doesn't accomplish anything and it makes my head hurt. I suppose I'll just keep erring on the side of caution and hoping that no one ever tempts me with that scoff button, and we'll all stay friends.

Monday, March 28, 2011


One of my co-workers just gave me an extra hamburger and fries that they brought back from their lunch meeting and it was easily the most gluttonous thing I have ever eaten. First off, the fries were a) delicious and b) easily more than 2 whole potatoes (and he didn't even bring back the full order, apparently).
Secondly, the burger was a) sizable, and b) filled with cheddar and pork. I don't mean that there was cheddar and pork on the burger, mind you. I mean it was meat, stuffed with cheese and another kind of meat. So good, and yes, I am now consumed with self loathing.

The place also serves a completely fried hamburger, a burger with cheese enchiladas on it, a burger with a Krispy Kreme donut on it, and a burger where the buns are two grilled cheese sandwiches and there's a fried egg on it. Ridiculous....and kind of impressive. What mad scientist has started a burger joint in Austin?

I miss my family. Leah and Harper have been in Toronto since last Friday and Harper does not agree with Canada. She has not been herself and it's been incredibly stressful for Leah, which makes me feel extra shitty about not being there with her. I'll be there in a couple of days but I hope things have gotten better by then. I think she's doing a little better today, at least she seemed to be when I spoke with Leah earlier.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hours of energy now, no crash later! Sugar free! 4 calories!

Listen: the thing about me and donuts is that I love them. Not the jelly filled kind (those sick me out), just the normal glazed and chocolate covered ones. I could probably eat about 20 donuts in one sitting, no problem, and enjoy myself the whole time. That is, if I did not care about my health and/or looks and/or the respect of my peers. It's unfair how many calories are packed into such delicious treats when you think about it.

Have you ever had Shipley's Donuts? For my money, there is no greater master of pastry than the mythical Shipley. The way the sugar crumbles when you bite into it is unlike any other.

Here is a list of foods that I wish I could eat with caloric impunity:

1. Donuts
2. Buffalo wings and ranch dressing
3. Pizza and ranch dressing
4. Ranch dressing by itself
5. Tacos from Taqueria El Lugar covered in their amazing sauces
6. Jambalaya
7. gumbo
9. Coke floats
10. Blue Bell Pistachio ice cream
11. Sodas
12. Gyros with lots of tzatziki sauce
13. The 75704 Burger at Phil's Icehouse
14. French fries from Wingstop
15. French fries from Pluckers
16. Strawberry Cream Pie Shakes from Sonic
17. Vanilla Dr. Pepper
18. Snickers bars
19. Cadbury Cream Eggs
20. That bacon pasta that Leah makes sometimes.
21. Anything that can be conceivably dipped in ranch dressing

Here is a list of foods that I wish I liked more:

1. vegetables

Harper ate something that didn't agree with her yesterday and we got to deal with baby vomit for the first time. It sucks to watch your kid suffer and not be able to explain to them what's happening or fix them. That being said, it did make her extremely cuddly, so you know....silver lining. Near the end of the night she seemed to be pretty much back to normal and I got her to eat some oatmeal which she was able to keep down. After her bath, I dressed her in her Batman PJs and we laid on the couch together watching Justice League Unlimited. It was perfect.

Leah took her to the doctor today, just to be safe, and she's fine. No fever or anything, so we think she must've just eaten something bad and needed to flush it out.

I agreed to do a photo shoot with Leah tonight after work and Leah and Harper leave for Canada tomorrow morning so this morning may have been the last time I'll see my daughter for several days. She gave me a hug, a kiss, and a smile this morning though and even called me back into the room for another hug on my way out the door, which she never does, so maybe she knows we won't see each other much in the next few days.

I am really tired. For the last week or so, my brain has been doing this weird thing in the morning. When my alarm clock goes off, my brain has been perceiving the piercing beeps as maniacal laughter. Seriously, I've been waking up thinking "Who is laughing at me?!" Maybe I should get more sleep.

Speaking of being tired, those 5-Hour Energy shots really work. I love them. I will be taking one in approximately 4 hours. I prefer the extra strength, but the normal ones are OK too. Just so you know.

I hope everyone that can is planning on being at our DVD release this Sunday. I really think it will be a fun night. If you still need a ticket or would just like to order a copy of our live DVD, you can get it here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It gets cold in Canada, or so I am told.

Now that the festival is over, everyone in Austin gets to remember what their real life is like. For me, it means I get to remember that we're still recording a record. Leah and Harper will be leaving for Canada 5 days earlier than me, which will make me lonely and sad, but productive where the record is concerned. We really should be done with all the tracking in the next few weeks and we've starting conversations with and about several people to mix the thing. I just got back from a lunch meeting with the artist and I'm really excited about the concepts that he showed me. Things are really rolling now.

Thanks to everyone who voted for us a while back in the Austin Chronicle Music Awards. We didn't win any of them but we came close in a lot of them. Some friends of ours, The Bright Light Social Hour, swept the thing. They had a great year and worked their asses off, so as much as that childish part of me would love to say they don't deserve it, it can't. So congrats to them.

Last year, we placed in two categories: #6 Best live Indie Band and #9 Best New Band.
This year, while not winning anything, we're still all over the place.

Band of the Year
The Bright Light Social Hour
2. Roky Erickson with Okkervil River
3. Quiet Company
4. Bob Schneider & Lonelyland
5. Los Texas Wranglers
6. Speak
7. Los Lonely Boys
8. One-Eyed Doll
9. Grupo Fantasma
10. Reckless Kelly

Musician of the Year
Roky Erickson
2. Bob Schneider
3. Julian Fernandez (Los Texas Wranglers)
4. Sahara Smith
5. Will Sheff (Okkervil River)
6. Jack O'Brien (the Bright Light Social Hour)
7. Taylor Muse (Quiet Company)
8. Carolyn Wonderland
9. Kimberly Freeman (One-Eyed Doll)
10. Alejandro Escovedo

Album of the Year
The Bright Light Social Hour, The Bright Light Social Hour
2. True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti-), Roky Erickson with Okkervil River
3. Myth of the Heart (Playing in Traffic), Sahara Smith
4. Songs for Staying In, Quiet Company
5. El Existential (Nat Geo Music), Grupo Fantasma
6. Texas Treasures (Deep South), Los Texas Wranglers
7. Break, One-Eyed Doll
8. Hexadecagon (Peek-A-Boo), the Octopus Project
9. Up Close (EMI/Vortexan), Eric Johnson
10. Street Songs of Love (Fantasy/Concord), Alejandro Escovedo
11. Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizon), Black Angels
12. Let the Light In (Root House), Amy Cook
13. Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites (Shout! Factory), Jimmie Vaughan
14. The Bright Lights, Saints of Valory
15. The Laziest Girl in Town, Elizabeth McQueen
16. Codename: Rondo (Trashy Moped), Ghostland Observatory
17. ¡Està Bueno! (Bismeaux), Texas Tornados
18. Green Diamond, Eric Tessmer
19. Downtown Church (Credential), Patty Griffin
20. New Morning (Hollywood), Alpha Rev

Song of the Year
"Detroit," by the Bright Light Social Hour
2. "How Do You Do It" by Taylor Muse for Quiet Company
3. "The Real Thing," by Sahara Smith
4. "Carrie," by Speak
5. "Who's to Blame, Senorita?" by Shawn Sahm/Doug Sahm for Texas Tornados
6. "Could've Been a Country Star," by Julian Fernandez for Los Texas Wranglers
7. "Back and Forth," by the Bright Light Social Hour
8. "Austin," by Eric Johnson
9. "Telephone," by the Black Angels
10. "Beautiful Freak," by Kimberly Freeman for One-Eyed Doll
11. "Anchor," by Alejandro Escovedo/Chuck Prophet for Alejandro Escovedo
12. "Providence," by Saints of Valory
13. "Green Diamond," by Eric Tessmer
14. "Faint Green Light," by Mother Falcon
15. "Lucky," by Kat Edmondson
16. "New Morning," by Alpha Rev
17. "If I Had My Way," traditional, arranged by Patty Griffin
18. "We Pourin' Up," by Lady & the Amp
19. "Summer of Love," by Josh Zee/Teal Collins for the Mother Truckers
20. "You're To Blame," by Elizabeth McQueen

Best Indie
2. Okkervil River
3. The Bright Light Social Hour
4. Quiet Company
5. Mother Falcon
6. One-Eyed Doll
7. Los A-T Boyz
8. Saints of Valory
9. The Shears
10. Marmalakes

Best Rock
Los Lonely Boys
2. The Bright Light Social Hour
3. Quiet Company
4. Okkervil River
5. One-Eyed Doll
6. Spoon
7. Saints of Valory
8. Vitera
9. The Mother Truckers
10. The Black Angels

Best Bass Guitar
Jack O'Brien (the Bright Light Social Hour)
2. Jojo Garza (Los Lonely Boys)
3. Harmoni Kelley (Lonelyland)
4. Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson)
5. Matt Parmenter (Quiet Company)
6. Danny Gomez (the Frank Gomez Band)
7. Gavin Jasper (Saints of Valory)
8. Francie Meaux Jeaux (the Jitterbug Vipers)
9. Aaron Davis (Vitera)
10. Ronn Roberts (the Eggmen)

Best Drums/Percussion
Julian Fernandez (Los Texas Wranglers)
2. Jo Mirasole (the Bright Light Social Hour)
3. Jason Rufuss Sewell (One-Eyed Doll)
4. Ringo Garza (Los Lonely Boys)
5. Gerard Bouvier (Saints of Valory)
6. Conrad Choucroun (Lonelyland)
7. Don Harvey (A Is Red)
8. Jay Nazz (Reckless Kelly)
9. Jeff Weathers (Quiet Company)
10. Brannen Temple

Best Keyboards
A.J. Vincent (the Bright Light Social Hour)
2. Oliver Steck (Lonelyland)
3. Matt Hubbard
4. Floyd Domino
5. Stephen Buckle (Saints of Valory)
6. Ian McLagan
7. Thomas Turner (Ghostland Observatory)
8. Earl Poole Ball
9. Pinetop Perkins
10. Taylor Muse (Quiet Company)

Best Songwriter
Sahara Smith
2. Bob Schneider
3. The Bright Light Social Hour
4. Quiet Company
5. Julian Fernandez (Los Texas Wranglers)
6. Eric Johnson
7. Roky Erickson
8. Kimberly Freeman (One-Eyed Doll)
9. Matt the Electrician
10. Alejandro Escovedo

Best Record Producer
Danny Reisch for The Bright Light Social Hour, The Bright Light Social Hour
2. Emile Kelman for Myth of the Heart, Sahara Smith
3. Will Sheff for True Love Cast Out All Evil, Roky Erickson with Okkervil River
4. Matt Parmenter for Songs for Staying In, Quiet Company
5. Ryan Radar for Texas Treasures, Los Texas Wranglers
6. Dwight Baker for The Bright Lights, Saints of Valory
7. Jason Rufuss Sewell for Break, One-Eyed Doll
8. Chris "Frenchie" Smith for Speak
9. Gurf Morlix
10. Erik Wofford

So I'll take it! I wonder what could happen when we actually release an album.

I'm really looking forward to the next month. Virtually no shows, lots of recording, our DVD release, and a trip to Canada. It's going to be a good time.

I imagine that if you're in Austin, then you're probably a little burned out on going to live shows after last week, which is why we decided not to have one for our DVD release. Instead, this Sunday, March 27th, we'll be doing things a little different at our DVD release party at the ND. First off, your ticket price includes a copy of the DVD, a copy of the poster for the event, and a digital download of the audio for the DVD. The night will feature acoustic sets from Brandon Kinder of the Rocketboys, and Ram Vela from Whitman. We will show the DVD on the huge projector screen while members of Quiet Company serve you free popcorn and Sweet Leaf Tea. We'll also be running drinks from the bar so you won't have to get up, and there MAY be some free cotton candy, if we're feeling saucy. It's going to be different and I'm looking forward to it. Go to our site to buy advance tickets.

Also in amazing news, I taught Harper to smile on command.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This is what we will do.

Last night on my way home from rehearsal, I decided to take the non-highway route. Fairly close to home, I found myself stopped at a red light, waiting to turn left. There was one car behind me, and another car to my left waiting to turn the direction I was coming from, and absolutely no one to take advantage of the available green lights. So we waited, and waited for (what seemed like, but was probably not actually) a long time. I checked to see if the other cars were cops. They were not. We were all just citizens on a deserted road, held hostage by our respect for the rules of an indifferent light box.

I started thinking, "this is stupid, I should just run the damn light." But I didn't. I just sat there and waited.

So here's the moral it wrong to run a red light when there is virtually no reason not to? I say "No, who the hell cares?" What do you say?

Tomorrow is the first day of many crazy days in quick succession. Here is our schedule, in case anyone is in Austin, Dallas, or Houston:

Thursday, March 10th, we play the brand new Moody Theatre (ACL Live), for the 2011 Texas Social Media Awards, which we were nominated for but did not win.

Friday, March 11th, we play my favorite venue of all time, the House of Blues in Houston with Bob Schneider.

Saturday, March 12th, we journey to Dallas with Bob to play my second favorite venue of all time, The House of Blues in Dallas.

Sunday, March 13th, we come back to Austin for the first day of our SXSW experience and play the Most Awesomemest Journalism Party Ever party at the Marq.

Monday, March 14th, we actually have off. I will be doing nothing after work.

Tuesday, March 15th, we play the One Pulse Artist Group's showcase at Thunderbird Coffee in Austin

Wednesday, we do nothing.

Thursday, March 17th, I'm taking a day off from work and we will take to the streets as we do every SXSW to offer free hugs and Quiet Company paraphernalia. Then at 6 we will play a showcase at I (Heart) Video on the Strip, followed shortly after by our official SXSW showcase, again, at The Marq.

Friday, March 18th, I will work, and then go home and enjoy being there.

Saturday, March 19th, we play one more show somewhere, I can't remember where, around noon, and then will do a little more of our hugging/soliciting.

Sunday, March 20th, I will wake up and feel clean again.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A secular mantis

January and February blew by, and March has arrived in a hurry. I am not happy to greet it. And I would be, if it weren't for SXSW. The thing is that I know that when the festival does actually arrive, we'll get around just fine, despite the traffic, and though we'll have to park and load a million miles away from the actual venue, we will survive like we always do. And we will probably have a great time, like we always do, but it just creates so much anxiety beforehand.

However, I'm excited to play in Bryan tonight, because our last couple of shows there have been really encouraging, and I'm super excited about next weekend, when we return to the two best venues I've ever played: the Houses of Blues: Dallas & Houston, respectively.

The record is almost done and we've lined up an artist to do the design. Things are coming together on that front.

Leah has recently broken through another career goal for the year and it's still early. I imagine she'll break through a couple more before the year's over. Another reason I'm looking forward to being done with SXSW is that right after that, Leah, Harper, and I are heading to the Great White North for a few days to see our family in Toronto. We're not terribly anxious to put our increasingly squirmy daughter on a crowded airplane, but I think she'll really love seeing her Canadian family.

Woke up stressed this morning because I had a dream where I was on a boat with an older Harper and her friends and the waters were full of sharks and killer whales that kept bumping into the boat, almost capsizing us. I'm somewhat phobic of large bodies of natural water, and the reason is probably not unrelated to a religious observance of Shark Week in my younger years. The dream ended with me chaotically piloting the boat down the hilly streets and busy traffic of San Francisco, frantically weaving between cars until finally coming to a stop when the boat became airborne and crashed. Everyone was OK, but it was one of those that feels too real.

I don't know much about Rob Bell, and by "much" I mean "anything," but apparently he's very famous, as pastors go. I've been seeing him take a lot of grief over his soon-to-be-released book, in which, I guess, he's making claims that are getting him called nasty words, like "Universalist." I haven't read it, but apparently there's no Hell. Great news! Well, I don't think it particularly noble to believe things based solely on wishful thinking and circular reasoning, but if you're going to do it anyway, why not choose the belief structure where everyone wins?

I don't believe in Heaven or Hell, but I really hope that I'm wrong and that Rob Bell is right.

But he's probably not.

So it goes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eat it, Player 25.

After tonight, I plan/hope to be done with all lead vocal tracks on the record. Which should mean that only a handful of instrumental tracks stand between me and being done with all the recording that I am personally responsible for. So then my role gets to be purely one of supervision, which is a lot less stressful. Leah has been really amazing and flexible this week, giving me an ample amount of evenings to be in the studio. We're almost done, I'd say 75-80%. Maybe more, maybe less. Soon comes the mixing, which is a fairly tedious and stressful endeavor. Matt is a seasoned professional, though, and the more we work together, the more he knows how to make me happy. So I'm optimistic about mixing being pretty easy going this time around.

The last two shows we've done in Austin have been pretty discouraging. The first one was at the Mohawk with Fastball, which would've been amazing (great venue, great bands) if it hadn't been colder than a yeti's taint. The Mohawk is an outdoor venue, and one of the city's coolest, but not built with awful weather in mind. So the show had a small and shivering crowd, and we could barely feel our hands to play our instruments. It just wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be.

The last show was a sold out show at Antones with The Lemurs (who were fantastic). There were five bands on the bill, which in my opinion is always 2 too many, so of course the show was rushed to keep on schedule and we were not afforded the time for a sound check. Not even a line check, actually. We were basically thrown on stage and told to go, we didn't even know if all the mics were on. Before it seems like I'm being a diva, I should point out that that isn't typical of Antones which is an amazing venue, with (typically) amazing sound. It wasn't the sound guys' fault that everything was so rushed, but it still sucked for us. I think everyone still had fun, but everyone knew that it didn't sound like it should've.

Before the show, a guy told us that he was more excited about seeing us than he was about seeing U2. I feel really bad about disappointing that guy, because I know we must've. If you are this man, please contact us, we'd like to make it up to you.

I made bad decisions when making the setlist, too. Lessons learned.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because I know people love voting...

Austin has more than its fair share of musical accolades. One of the cooler ones is The Roaries. This year, we've been nominated for 4 of them, Best Band, Best Single ("How Do You Do It?"), Best Album (Songs For Staying In), and Best Male Artist (me).

We'd really appreciate it if you could take the 20 seconds it takes and vote for us. These types of things help raise our profile in the scene which helps us open doors.

I've been wanting to re-skin this blog, but haven't had much time/inspiration. If anyone else has ample amounts of either of those things, let me know.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I really want to write a blog about how thoughtful and amazing my wife is, but I've not yet been able to word it in a way that I feel does her justice (I've started over 3 times now).

Suffice to say that she is the best thing that ever happened to me and she understands me and loves me and I could not reasonably ask for anything more in a partner.

I turned 29 yesterday, at roughly 5:30 AM. Leah wanted me to make a list of 29 things I've accomplished. Cute idea, but I don't know that I've accomplished 29 things of importance. I guess I should think back about all the things I wanted to do when I was younger and mark off the ones I got done. Here goes...

1. Worked at a comic book store.
2. Worked at a toy store.
3. Worked at a pet store.
4. Played music in public (church).
5. Played music at a bar.
6. Learned to use 4 track recorder.
7. Found and bought issues #21 & #155 of G.I.Joe (Marvel).
8. Made a full length album.
9. Got signed by record label.
10. Managed to get off record label.
11. Went on tour several times.
12. Got passing grade in college course by (indirectly) threatening teacher.
13. Had sex with beautiful woman.
14. Made beautiful baby.
15. Married beautiful woman.
16. Grew beard.
17. Heard myself on the radio.
18. Saw a lot of the country.
19. Lived in a different state for a year.
20. Worked with kids.
21. Attended Star Wars convention.
22. Stayed up past midnight.
23. Bought a sword.
24. Ate sushi.
25. Owned pet rats.
26. Survived car wreck.
27. Lost 20+ lbs
28. Finished Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows in one night
29. Camped out for movie tickets (Star Wars)

There. That was a lot harder than you might think. I'm not sure if the word "accomplishment" caries the right connotation, but there's a list of 29 things I wanted to do or was scared to do, but I did and things turned out golden. Now I need to start thinking about Leah's birthday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When I was young, I couldn't stand them, but at 28, I can't get enough of those Reese's peanut butter candies.

After seeing The Fountain, I swore I would never see another Darren Aronofsky movie, and I've held strong. But now he's directing the new Wolverine movie. I love Wolverine, even though the last 2 x-movies were sub-par, so now the question just becomes "Do I love Wolverine more than I hate Darren Aronofsky?"

I'm sure I'll probably see it, if for no other reason than the fact that even a blind, deaf, mentally handicapped squirrel finds a nut from time to time. If it gets great reviews from people I trust, I may see it in the theatre even. Especially if the reviews say things like "very un-Aronofsky" or "a real departure for Aronofsky" or "Finally an Aronofsky film that's not soul-crushingly pretentious and boring." Something like that.


March is looking like the craziest month ever. It always is, if you're a musician in Austin. The South by Southwest music/film/interactive festival rolls in and takes over the entire town. Every place of business with electricity becomes a live music venue. For better or worse, it's a big part of what makes this city what it is. I can't see a festival like this flourishing in any other city the way it does here, not any city in the south least ways. I always go into the festival with equal parts excitement and dread. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also looking forward to being done with it.

The week before the festival, we've just booked two more shows with Bob Schneider at the Houses of Blues, Houston and Dallas, respectively. I'm really looking forward to those. We've always had a great time with Bob and the Houses of Blues are the best venues in the world.

At the end of March, Leah, Harper, and I are going to Canada to visit family. Leah and Harper are going 5 days earlier than me so they can see Leah's sister as long as possible. I'll be hanging out at the house alone. Probably bored, probably naked. OK, I'm kidding about being naked....or am I? Now you don't know where I'm coming from. In all seriousness, if there is still recording to be done, I'll probably spend all my time at the studio, and get in bed early every night.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How do we KNOW climate change is true?!

One day, Harper may come to me and ask, "Why does life seem so unfair?"

To which I will reply, "Because sweetheart, sometimes you spend your entire childhood saying 'Nerf should obviously make swords' and they never do...until, of course, you're almost 30 fucking years old and it's no longer appropriate for you to buy them and even if you did, none of your friends will go along with it, so you'll have no one to play with anyway."

That is why these things fill me with a unique mixture of frustration, jealousy, and awe.

Hey Nerf, way to miss the obvious for decades at a time. Bunch of circus animals.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My daughter has impeccable taste. Recognizes characters of Futurama

Matt and I had a great session in the studio last night. Spent the entire time working on a song that was virtually un-started, and got it pretty far along by the end of the night. I sat down to do what we call a scratch track (a reference recording that we have no intention of actually keeping) for the drums so Jeff could have something to go on, but then we decided that the part was simple enough and that I should just go ahead and do the real take. So now I'll have a drumming credit on 2 releases. Yay, ego. I get a little more giddy about playing drums on recordings because it's an instrument that I've never been terrible at but have never been confident enough to allow my inconsistently inconsistent drumming to stay on an actual release, though I've always wanted to be. So thanks to modern technology and Matt's recording savvy, even I can actually end up sounding like a decent drummer, and hey, I'll take it.

I'm looking forward to tonight. We have no plans, and that is exactly why I'm looking forward to it. Also, all the great Thursday night TV shows are back on, so maybe we do have some semblance of plans.

Went to the store yesterday to restock on Lean Cuisine meals, and then forgot to bring them to work. Guess I'll hit the Whole Foods salad bar again.

This is awesome:

The Swell Season covers Neutral Milk Hotel

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Anyone know a good trumpet player in the Austin area?

I'm very proud of my wife today. And everyday, for that matter. Today she met a professional goal that she set for herself, and I never doubted her for a second. I always knew she would be successful because she is talented and driven, and also, I thought her goal seemed a little low. She thought it was realistic, and I'm sure it was. I just probably have more faith in her than she does.

We've got a pretty full week ahead, with multiple rehearsals, shows, photoshoots, and even a recording session in there somewhere. I'm looking forward to Thursday night, as it will be the only evening Leah, Harper, and I all have together this week.

The record is starting to come along. I'd say we're about halfway done now, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. We're going to try to play a new song from the record at the shows this weekend. It's pretty simplistic, but we only left ourselves one rehearsal to prepare it. Better cross those proverbial fingers.

Yesterday, I engaged slightly in a Facebook discussion about Calvinism, and one of my best friends from school called me out for not capitalizing "god." I don't generally capitalize it because it's not a name, it's an occupation. I guess I probably should for the same reasons you capitalize "dad" or "mom" and I don't have any problem capitalizing Jehovah or Yahweh or Elohim or Osiris or Allah or Tash or Aslan, etc.

But if you think about it, it's weird that Xians call their god, "God," and not one of his actual names, isn't it? (Sub-question, if "God" has a personal name does that imply that it has peers [i.e. other deities], because why would it need a personal name if it had no need to differentiate itself among others?) I can't think of any other religion that just calls their god, "god." Anyway, food for thought.

I'm reading a book right now that traces a lot of Christianity's history through non-scriptural records and it's pretty fascinating. I think it's really interesting to see how old gods are created, renamed, combined, and then largely forgotten. Makes me wish I'd studied anthropology in college...and also finished college.

Hope to see people at the shows this weekend.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So you won't be going to see Country Strong, then?


Only 2 1/2 hours before that figurative whistle blows and I get to go see my girls. Tuesdays are always a little rough because, at best, I get to see my wife and child for about an hour after work before I head off to Quiet Company's regularly scheduled rehearsal/recording session. It's certainly better than not seeing them at all, and we really need to get the record finished so I'm sure we'll be in the studio more often and for longer hours in the coming weeks.

My dad came into town randomly for his work yesterday, so I got to meet him for lunch and then he took us to dinner after work. Harper was so excited to see him and behaved really well at the restaurant. She's often in the best moods for company. I'm sure she's very conscious of the impressions she makes.

When I got to the studio, the first thing we did was record the Vivogig podcast with Daniel, from Vivogig. He was British and it was fun. Thanks to anyone who submitted questions for it. It should be posted in a week or two, I don't really know.

After that, I re-tracked the guitar on a song called "You, Me, & The Boatman" which we're tentatively expecting to be the first single we push from the new record. I spent the rest of the night doing the main vocal for another song called "The Easy Confidence," which is easily the heaviest song on the record. I was screaming my balls off, y'all. It's not like Korn, or anything, lest anyone get the wrong idea, but it is very different.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the music that my friends make. I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where the local music scene can go toe to toe with the national scene (quality-wise) any day of the week, and more often than not, probably knock it on it's proverbial ass. All that to say, Austin has a lot of really good bands.

Lately, I've been finding music more rewarding if I actually know the person who made it, even if I barely know them. I guess my brain realizes that, "Any work of art is half of a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking at you," as papa Vonnegut said. Anyway, I wanted to blog about a few of the records I've been enjoying made by people I love, like, and/or have recently met.

Matt first told me about Stoney a few weeks ago. I don't know how Matt met him but he came to our show at Emo's and I met him there. Another nice British man living in the ATX. Matt had told me that Stoney's record was cool, so when I saw ran into him again at a mutual friend's show last weekend, I was pleased when Stoney gave me a copy of his EP, The Soar Before. I've been playing it incessantly ever since and my only complaint with it is that it goes by far too quickly. Four songs is not enough to satisfy me when something is this good.

The Rocketboys have been some of our best band friends for a long time. They are all genuinely lovely people and a phenomenal band. I've been especially impressed with their latest EP, Wellwisher. Brandon's lyrics are great, and there are a lot of really cool things about the production of this EP. Once again, my biggest complaint with this is the length. Fuckin' EPs, man! Four songs is just not enough.

Tommy began telling me about Buttercup almost immediately after joining the band over 5 years ago. They're from San Antonio, where Tommy went to college and he would regale me with stories about Buttercup shows he'd seen and the crazy shit they did on stage. Buttercup likes to periodically make their shows into strange events. For example, the first time we played with them, they took the stage in winter clothes and snuggies, playing slow, somber songs. As the night progressed, the tempo picked up and the layers came off, until they were dressed for summer and pumping out appropriate jams. It's weird. We've played with them a few times now and I finally got a copy of their latest record and now that I've had time to absorb it, I've realized how great their songwriting is. Joe has been sending me some demos of new stuff so I can also say that the best is yet to come for Buttercup.

Jason Poe is probably my favorite songwriter in Austin, which is saying a hell of a lot, honestly. On top of that, he's just one of my favorite people. I was also a big fan of his old band, Jets Under Fire, which had another one of my favorite people, Todd Meador, on bass. The songwriting hasn't changed drastically from Jets to this. Jason's more focused on piano than guitar now, but that's about the only change. If you enjoy thoughtful lyrics, emotive melodies, and distinctive voices, then Jason Poe is the man for you. I really can't say enough nice things about the guy.

The New Frontiers aren't a band anymore. Haven't been for quite some time. However, I'm including this album because it's simply that damned good. Their breakup is one of the sadder band break-ups in our band clique. They were great people, making equally great music, and they are missed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.


Also, PLEASE go to the Austin Chronicle website and vote for Quiet Company in all applicable categories for the Best-of-2010 list. Getting on this list is really helpful so we really appreciate you taking the time.

Also Also, we're the first band to be featured on the new podcast, Vivogig, and you get to help shape the interview. Just go to the Vivogig page and submit any question to be featured in the podcast. It can be about anything, so go ask away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I started singing and they told me to stop...

2010 was a great year for me, musically and otherwise. At the end of 2009, I did a top 10 list and I remember it was really easy because I had only bought 11 records that year and really liked them all. This year, that is not the case. I've bought way more than 11 records and almost all of them are great, so it will actually take some thought to place them in a Top 10.

Someone posted a quote on Facebook the other day, and I forget who said it, but it generally said that listing your belongings in order of your favorite to least favorite is a behavior only appropriate for 8-year-olds. I agree...

Here's my top 10 list for 2010: (The two most important criteria are A) how addictive a record was, i.e. how much it was in my player, and B) how much did I connect to it on a personal level.)

10. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
I don't really feel that emotionally connected to this record, which is why it's at the bottom of the list. It is undeniably great though, all the same, which is why it's on the list at all. I expect to see it on a lot of other top 10 lists.

9. The New Pornographers - Together
I fell in love with the New Pornographers with Twin Cinema, but was disappointed when their next record didn't live up to the promise that Twin Cinema implied. Any disappointment was forgotten in 2010, however, when they released this gem.

8. OK GO - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
I feel like some people look at OK Go and see just a pop rock band. Sure, everyone applauds their creativity where Youtube videos are concerned, but I don't think they get the respect they deserve for their song craft. Every record has them pushing themselves further into new territory, which is something few pop bands have the balls to do. To my knowledge, they have 3 full length albums, which means they have 3 very distinctive albums. With this record, they actually worked with one of my favorite producers, Dave Fridman, who apparently, in classic Dave Fridman style, showed the band how to make drums sound huge, fucked up, and awesome.

7. Eminem - Recovery
I don't know a lot about rap, I admit. But I know what I like, and I like Eminem, especially when he raps aggressively and with purpose. With this record, Marshall Mathers spends the lion's share of his time confessing his, very personal, shortcomings, thanking his fans for sticking around when even he thought he sucked, and proving that he is still the most articulate, and venom filled, artist in hip hop. It's not, by any means, a perfect record, the most noticeable flaws being with the beat programming, but I love hearing that angry son-of-a-bitch spit rhymes.

6. Autolux - Transit, Transit
It was starting to feel like we would never get another Autolux record. I absolutely adored their first record and was immediately ready for more, but it took a damned eternity for Autolux to comply with my desire. Worth the wait, though. Transit Transit is a simply beautiful record. A bit slower, in general, than the first record, but all the same noise, melody, and dynamics are still there, only more mature seeming.

5. Starflyer 59 - The Changing of the Guard
Starflyer 59's music almost feels like one of my oldest friends, we've been together for so long. I was a little nervous that their amazing streak was over, after their last record, Dial M, came out. Thankfully, it was just a minor and brief misstep into mediocrity. It's bound to happen when you're as prolific as Jason Martin, but The Changing Of The Guard is another bright star in an already vast and brilliant sky.

4. Stars - The Five Ghosts
I was blown away the first time I heard Stars. The song was "Your Ex-lover is Dead" off the album Set Yourself On Fire. That album was great, but that song certainly captured a level of brilliance they didn't touch again on that record, and even less so on the next record, In Our Bedroom After The War. It wasn't that the stuff was bad, just that they didn't have anything else as good as that song. I figured that Stars was just a band that I would be aware of and appreciative of but never enamored with. I was wrong. I eventually snagged this record on a whim because it was cheap, and I am so glad I did. There are so many powerfully emotive melodies on this record, it may very well leave you exhausted in the best possible way.

3. Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love
Now we're in the top 3. How exciting!! All the members of Belle & Sebastian must shit gold at this point, because it's becoming more difficult to imagine them producing anything that is less than amazing. I've read some reviews of this record that were a bit lacklustre, but I don't get that at all. All I hear is a damn near perfect collection of delicate pop songs. Plus, the Norah Jones duet, "Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John," may very well be the most beautiful song I've ever heard.

2. Menomena - Mines
The first time I heard Menomena it made me want to quit music. I'm not trying to be funny, I got seriously sad. I just started wondering why I even try. Well, I've gotten over it, and now when I hear them, I just feel inspired and want to rush over to the studio. This record is fucking amazing. Their catchy, they're quirky, they're brilliant, they're Menomena...

1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
I don't know what's left to say about this record that hasn't already been said a thousand times over. It's probably on every top 10 list in North America for 2010, and deservedly so. I think a new classic has been born.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Now I spend my days in ever increasingly complicated ways, convincing myself of the rightness of each word I say.

I'm getting old, you know.

I was sick last week, and continue to be. My girls caught it and got to spend the holiday under the weather. By the weekend I was operating at about 85% so I tried to let Leah sleep as much as she could to knock the illness out, while I took care of Harper. We had a great time because she seemed to have no intention of letting her illness dictate her mood. I hope she's always like that.

She has such personality. Her laugh is simply one of the best things in the universe.

One of the things that I found/find so endearing about her mother is that Leah would do things to make herself laugh and if other people thought it was funny, then great. Sometimes, I catch Harper doing that, and it breaks my heart in the best possible way.

Leah and I spend a large part of the weekend watching Friday Night Lights, the TV show. I put off watching it because, frankly, the premise doesn't attract me. But the show is undeniably good, and speaking as someone who grew up in "small town, TX," they really nailed it. A lot of the characters were hard for me to like because they remind me so much of specific people I grew up around. So far we're into season 3 and aside from a strange, writer's strike induced, season 2 ending, the show is consistently good.

Leah and I recently watched Easy A, that movie with Emma Stone. It provided a few chuckles but the more I reflect on it, the more I hate it. I don't know if there was a single believable character. Clearly, the writer has never been or met a teenager. I was especially annoyed by the Christian characters. Speaking as someone who was part of the overly self-righteous, pious club in high school; nobody acts remotely like that. Amanda Bynes seemed to be playing a caricature of Mandy Moore's character in Saved (which I think is a great film), rather than making an attempt at any relatability. One of the things that I think the writers of Friday Night Lights do extraordinarily well, is capture the role that religion plays in the lives of small town teenagers in Texas. It's such a consistent undercurrent in their culture. The kids are flamboyantly impassioned one day and conveniently detached from it the next, which is what high school religion is mostly like. Peaks and valleys.

Anyway, good writing is good, bad writing is bad.

I don't really have any big goals for this year. We're going to be releasing a new record, which I'm excited about. Shortly after, we hope to release another EP.
Other than that, I'm hoping to:
-watch my daughter grow
-continue adoring my wife
-keep off the 20 lbs I've lost
-live simply
-simply live

Easy peasy.