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Slowly but surely, the shackles of my gag order are being lifted. I'm free to share some big news with y'all:
October 27. Middle East Downstairs. Scamper with OK Go and Juliette and the Licks.
For those of you who don't know, Juliette and the Licks are fronted by Juliette Lewis. I'm hoping she'll get all What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
on me and sweep into town and rescue me from my oppressed life taking care of my retarded brother (Keith). Or maybe she'll suck my thumb like Robert DeNiro's in Cape Fear
. More likely, she'll get all Natural Born Killers
on us. But it should be a fun and well-attended show, so start making arrangements to join us.
The news train doesn't end there - there's one more piece of fun fun... but I can't tell you until next Friday. Sorry - captain's orders. But don't worry - we'll have plenty of stuff to talk about between now and then. Our Middle East Up show with Damone this coming Monday, for instance. Are you going to be there, jerkface?
Everyone have a nice weekend and wish me luck in the 5K on Sunday. I'll take some mental notes (or maybe run with a notebook) and give you the full report on Monday.
Okay, I've been sitting on this story for a week now and I just can't take it anymore. So nuts to Keith and his assmar - I'm telling the goddamn story.
For those of you who don't watch a lot of reality TV, there's this show on MTV called Made
in which a high school kid gets made over and tries something they've never done before. Apparently, there's a Boston-area marching band geek that wants to be made into a rocker. So MTV contacted Scamper. Because we're, you know, a rock band.
Last week, we all went in for the interview, not knowing what to expect. The producer ended up interviewing us individually, meaning I couldn't pull my "punch Mike in the balls like they do on Jackass
" maneuver with which I had planned to win MTV's fickle heart.
But I sat down with the producer, who was a very cool and relaxed guy. We were chatting about Scamper, the show and my ideas - the interview seemed to be going well... until the door opened and Juliana Hatfield walked in. "Sorry I'm late," she said.
That's when I had my "Oh... I'm not going to get this, am I?" moment. As Ms. Hatfield waited outside the door for me to finish, I fumbled through the rest of my interview, stuttering and sweating. Not that I would normally be in awe of her or anything, but it just completely threw me off my game that I was competing with actual, you know, famous people. (I'm only technically "famous" in gay porn circles under the name "Girth Brooks.")
Resigned to the fact that I didn't get the show, I finished up my interview and waited as the rest of the band went in. We hadn't heard anything until last night, when I talked to my friend Mary in NYC. She says, "Hey Brendo - the show Made
is looking for a Boston band. They said they've been desperately searching and haven't found anyone good. You should definitely contact them."
I regretted to inform her - I was in fact one of the "not good" people that they found. So it looks like no MTV for your buddies in Scamper.
But at least I got that story off my chest. Ahhhhhhhh. But don't you worry - there's more nuttiness to come, kittens. Things are very busy backstage in the world of Scamper.
I've got some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that we have a surprise last-minute gig at the Middle East Upstairs on Monday 10/3 with Damone.
The bad news is that it's on a Monday.
The good news is that Monday is the new Sunday. And Sunday is the new Blursday.
The bad news is that because of this show, I'm going to miss the WWE 3-hour RAW Homecoming spectacular, featuring the returns of Hulk Hogan, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin... and Mick Foley on Piper's Pit. Mick Foley on Piper's Pit!
The good news is that Keith is a pal and he's going to TiVo it for me.
The bad news is that Keith is trying to bond with me by getting into wrestling. He keeps goading me with threats like "Kurt Angle is going to kick Shawn Michaels' ass on Monday, biatch!" I don't have the heart to tell him how sad he is. (Keith, not Kurt Angle).
The good news is that Keith's offspring Jason turned one today! Yay, Jason!
I've been pretty quiet about this all season, but it's getting down to the wire, so let's talk a little Sox.
Contrary to what is being said about me over on the message boards, I am not giving the 2005 Red Sox a "free pass" for this season. But I don't have near the level of anxiety that I did this time last year. In fact, I'm completely devoid of any baseball stress. And here's why:
I learned. I learned that no matter how far down this team is, they can come back. I learned that as long as there's one strike left, the game or the series or the season isn't over. There is always hope.
Growing up around this city, I didn't always have that feeling. After watching the Sox come so close and lose year after year after year, I believed that no matter how hard you tried, you were going to ultimately lose in the end. Not just in baseball, but in life. It's not like there was a complete absence of hope, but hope existed only in the most desperate "what else are we supposed to do but hope?" kind of way. Of course, I can't completely blame baseball for my "life is cruel" outlook, but I certainly latched on to the Red Sox as a very potent metaphor for what I felt inside.
But last October, everything changed. Life changed. The Red Sox taught me that sometimes in life, you win. It's worth it. Even the Boston Red Sox can be the champions of the world. Anything is possible.
Those of you who know me well have probably seen a lot of changes in my personality over the last year. I'm much calmer, happier, more hopeful. It would be ridiculous to say that it was exclusively the Sox that affected my personality. I've had a lot of joy and excitement this past year, not the least of which is being in this band with three guys I love. But the world champions kicked it all off. It's like this great weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe again. Finally, my lungs were filled with hope.
Now, I don't know what's going to happen in the next week of baseball games. Maybe the Sox will repeat or lose another heartbreaking ALCS to the Yankees or not make the playoffs at all. Of course, I want them to win and would be disappointed if they don't. But I'll tell you one thing: I'm not going back to being that miserable bastard I was at the beginning of October, 2004. That guy is dead. And good riddance to him.
It seems that a lot of Red Sox fans don't really know how to be anything other than miserable. As the season winds down and the race gets closer, I hear you reverting to your pre-championship ways. The only way to enjoy the Sox is that anxiety-fueled, emotionally-draining "do or die" kind of way. But can't you see that things are different now? It doesn't have to be that way anymore. There's always hope. We might win this year, we might not. But really - are you going to be all that heartbroken if they don't win it all again? The very next year?
What are you - Yankee fans?
As I am most Monday mornings, I'm feeling a little sluggish. A bit slug-like, as it were. But next weekend, I'm kicking my sluggerific ass into high gear and doing something I never thought I'd be able to do:
Your slug-esque hero is running in the Somerville 5K
Now, I know that running a little over 3 miles isn't that big of a deal for even a moderately in-shape person. But you've got to understand - I spent a good deal of my younger life perfecting my one-handed channel-surfing/pizza-eating skills. I couldn't even run the dryer without getting winded. My blood was three parts hemoglobin, one part McGriddle grease. I wasn't in good shape is what I'm getting at.
So I'm announcing my upcoming athletic feat for two reasons: a) so you can all lavish me with praise and ego-stroking and b) so you can ride my ass relentlessly if I don't finish. I will keep your caustic little black hearts in mind as I puff and struggle my way to the finish line. And don't worry - Mrs. Madden will be running alongside me with a defribulator, so there's a very real chance I might not die.
And also - I haven't forgotten about my relentless teasing of you. I have a few good stories/news items, but I still have the gag order on. Hopefully, I'll be able to share this week. So keep your panties on.
This was my dream last night:
I was out at a bar with Keith, Mike and that model Caprice from the Surreal Life
. While we were in the bar, Mike stole my sneakers as a joke. When we walked outside to leave, he wouldn't tell me where he hid my sneakers. He kept laughing, but I was PISSED.
Then, we took a cab ride home and we got to Keith's mansion. That's right - my dream Keith lives in a mansion. He paid the cab driver with a check, but then the cab driver tried to trick me into paying him too. Keith put a stop to that.
Afterward, I went to Caprice's house and taught her kids pro wrestling moves. She wasn't happy. As I was leaving, I asked her if she wanted to sleep with me. As she rejected me, my alarm went off.
Gee, I sure wish I had something interesting about which to tell you guys. Like something really unique and bizarre that was happening to Scamper, say, this afternoon. But no no no. Turns out NOTHING is going on. Nothing at all to see here.
So once again, I will distract you with some clever observational humor: what's the deal with people who run around the track counter-clockwise? Can't you see me running at you in the correct clockwise fashion? Are you just trying to be different, jagoff? Do you want
me to stick my arm out and give you a clothesline a la Stan "The Lariat" Hansen? Because I will. But only if you really
want me to.
This isn't just a big tease, I swear. I will have a good story for you soon, I promise. Until then, blame Keith. And God. Which to me, are one and the same.
Sorry to get you all prematurely whetted yesterday, but I was told in no uncertain terms by the Powers That Be Keith that I shouldn't have teased you with possible news when it's still up in the air as if there's actually going to be
any news. There's negotiation to be done and yadda yadda yadda - I'm the asshole. In short, there may be big news, there may be small news or there may be no news. But one thing is for sure: no g-news is good g-news with Gary Gnu.
In the place of news, how about some observational humor? What is the deal with grocery baggers? Every time I buy gallons of spring water, they always ask, "Do you want the water in a bag too?" Why wouldn't I, chumps? Huh? Why? Wouldn't? I?????
Mystery solved: I'm borderline retarded.
Turns out that the mystery woman from the coffee shop is actually... (wait for it)... (wait for it)... my upstairs neighbor. In all fairness to me, she just moved in and I've only officially met her once. But Jesus - I don't even have alcohol to blame for this one. I'm just an out-an-out moron.
Deftly changing the subject, I've got some fun Scamper news that I'll tell you about later in the week. Are you whetted yet?
Someone's got a case of the Mondays and his name is Brendo.
I hesitate to tell this story, for fear of hurting someone's feelings who may be reading this, but I've got to get a little help here. A little background: there are a couple of things about me. The first thing is that I drink a lot. Well, not that much, but enough to kill the brain cells that I'm probably not going to end up using anyway. The second thing is that even when I'm not on the sauce, I've got the memory of an Alzheimer's-ridden anti-elephant. Essentially, my brain is a sieve full of tomato soup.
So I was sitting in a coffee shop yesterday, reading for my class. A girl sitting across from me looks up and smiles. Being a well-mannered handsome-boy, I smile back. She stands up, walks over and starts talking to me. It's clear that she knows me. There's only one problem: I have no idea who she is.
As we chat, I'm of course polite and pretend that I know her. As she talks, I'm racking my brain, scrutinizing everything she says for clues as to from where I know her. Nothing. It's a completely generic conversation. I could have met this girl anywhere.
After she leaves, I spend the next hour unable to concentrate on my work. From where the hell do I know this girl? I've got nothing. This leads me to three distinct possibilities:
1) She's insane and does this to random people in coffee shops.
2) She thinks I'm Mike Mirabella.
3) I drink too much.
This isn't the first time this has happened to me. Does anyone have any good advice on how to deal with this situation? And if that particular young lady is reading this, please email me and tell me who the hell you are. Don't be mad that I'm retarded.
Big ups to all the peeps that headed out to the Abbey last night for the New England Popfest. It was a fun, sweaty sweaty evening. Some highlights:
- All night, Mikey and I were playing a game where we stared at each other's balls. That's it. That was the game. It was making everyone around us uncomfortable. Great fun.
- The organizers were kind enough to provide free pizza. I pulled off the amazing feat of having both the first slice of pizza at 6:30pm AND the last slice at 12:30am. Folks, I'm not going to mince words - I'm an American hero.
- Right before we went on stage, the members of Scamper had a pushup contest in the corner of the bar. It was a three-way tie between Keith, Nate and myself with twenty bar pushups. Second place went to Mike with zero pushups. Apparently, drummers don't want to tire their arms out before a show. Also apparently, drummers are giant pussies.
- The show itself was terrific. I am continually amazed by you guys and the energy and enthusiasm you bring to every one of our performances. You make it a lot of fun for us. Seriously, it is always an honor and a privelege to play for you guys. So thank you.
- Normally, I sweat a lot during your average show, but the Abbey was like a sauna last night. After the show, all the well-wishers came up to hug me and were suitably repulsed when they touched my damp shirt. What can I say, folks? I'm a big dumb animal.
So thanks again to all who came out and I swear we'll have another show, one of these weeks.
The "Win Free Admission to the New England Popfest Tonight and Have Brendo Buy You a Drink" Contest is officially over. The winners are...
Peter Yezukevich and Amy Nelson
Hooray! Whooppeee! Fa fa! Congratulations, guys.
Technically, everyone else came in a distant second because Vinny Shit on the Face apparently donated the Red Cross into a higher tax bracket. But a scheduling conflict makes him unable to attend the show (plus he's too modest to tell me the actual amount), so Peter and Amy get in under the window. So kudos Vinny on your massive generosity fueled by your even more massive Irish Catholic guilt.
Special thanks also go out to my boy Madden who pledged $25K fake dollars. I always admire a man who pledges money he has absolutely no intention of donating. It's the American way.
So thanks to everyone who donated and please don't stop because my lame contest is over. The people of New Orleans still need our help. Apparently, the air down there is now toxic - and not in the sexy Britney kind of way.
Don't miss the show tonight at the Abbey. It's a MUCH earlier than usual start - the first of 6 bands goes on at 6:45 or some shit like that. Scamper is 5th of 6, so I'm guessing it'll be about a 10:45-11 start time. See you there.
One more day to win the special New England Popfest prize pack for biggest donation to the Red Cross. Once again, email me what your donation was and you'll get into the Abbey tomorrow night for free and the first round of drinks is on me. So let's reach into those wallets, bitches. Hit me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you donated. I'll announce the winners tomorrow, so you have until midnight tonight.
Speaking of the Popfest, Keith and I were discussing the set yesterday morning:Keith:
No tricks up our sleeve I guess for the Popfest. Straight Scamper set.Me:
But we're all growing moustaches though, right?Keith:
I thought we were shaving our backs.Me:
I have no back hair. I'm lucky in that regard, genetically.Keith:
I have a small patch. I'm sure Nate has a furry carpet back, but I can't say I've checked recently. He reminds me of a saint bernard in many ways.Me:
Mostly the small keg of rum around his neck.Keith:
And the relatively short muzzle.Me:
He likes it when you rub his belly. I've heard (cough).
Yet another small window into the twisted world of being in Scamper.
Movie review time: The 40-Year Old Virgin
is the funniest movie I've seen all year. Of course, I've seen like 2 and a half movies this year, but this one is really worth the $1200 per ticket they're charging these days. Two thumbs way up.Virgin
pulls off the difficult task of having fun with the subject matter (adult virginity) while still treating it with a tender touch. Steve Carrell pulls an amazing turn as a unique leading man - they make jokes at his expense without a hint of cruelty. It's quite a feat. His relationship with Catherine Keener is believable, warm, awkward and terrific
As in Anchorman
- the most recent Judd Apatow-penned script - a lot of Virgin
's strength comes from the supporting cast, almost all of whom are hilarious. Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen are particularly good. Rudd is turning into a real MVP - Wet Hot American Summer
. Good stuff. The whole movie is just a pleasure from beginning to end.
You should all get together this Thursday night and see The 40-Year Old Virgin
and then come to the Abbey Lounge and see The 4 Virgins
play some rock and roll. That's right - Keith is also a virgin even though he's married and has a baby. Figure it out.
Quick update on the "donate to the Red Cross and get into the Scamper show at the Abbey for free on Thursday and Brendan buys you a drink" competition (I should really come up with a punchier name) - you guys have been very generous so far. Right now, the lead donation is a shiny C note.
Don't be discouraged if that's too rich for your blood. Remember - the top 2 donations get the extra-special prize pack. Any little bit helps those poor wet bastards down there. So it's not too late for you to donate. Just click on the link to my left, right under the handsome-ass picture of me.
In other news, "Breaking Bonaduce" on VH1 - maybe the greatest show ever. The self-conscious "honesty." The over-the-top reactions. The psychologist with a soul patch. Treeee-mendous. Next week, Danny goes on a roid rage. I. Can't. WAIT.
Last night, Scamper played together for the first time since the moustache show. Some highlights:
- Finally, there was actual electricity in the basement. And by "electricity," I of course mean the raw sexual energy in the air between Nate and Keith. It's the juice that makes this little engine known as Scamper run.
- We were a little, as the French say, rusty. We got back into shape by the end of rehearsal, but our first few songs were so bad that we all briefly considered quitting music and becoming alpaca farmers like Pat Badger, former bass player of Extreme. Our deep abiding love for y'all and Mike's allergies tipped the scales toward staying in the music game.
- Keith was nursing a sore throat, so I took over lead vocal duties for a few songs. This became a problem when it was soon discovered that I only know about half the lyrics of our own songs. For the record, apparently "Over and Over" does not say "There was a time before I knew your face, your hands, your voice, your head."
- After rehearsal, the four of us headed to my local neighborhood crappy pub to watch the first half of the Pats game. On the way, as is the custom in my neighborhood, we encountered a band of unruly teenagers, leading to the following fun exchange:Teenager: (to Nate)
Hey, nice sideburns.[The rest of my band wisely ignores them and keeps walking, but I stupidly stop.]Me:
What did you say?Teenager:
I said you look like a [something indistinguishable]. (They all start laughing.)Me:
Why do you have to bother people while they're walking by?Teenager:
Fuck you. That's why.
He made a salient point. I turned around and walked into the bar and let my inner bullied 12-year old fume for a few hours. To quote my favorite Guitar Center employee
: "Life, of course, is terrible."
Okay, jokes about alligators taking over New Orleans aside, what's happening down south is really fucked up. The lack of planning and incompetence of our so-called government has left a whole lot of people in a shit storm that they can't get out of on their own. It's up to us to help.
Don't get me wrong - I usually never
give to charity. Ever. But this situation just feels different, doesn't it? It wasn't just a natural disaster - these people have basically just been left to fend for themselves with no food, no water and no security. The fact that this is happening in the United States, the richest country in the world with near unlimited resources, is beyond disgraceful.
I know that we're a small band and that this is a small website, but I look at the numbers of visitors to this page every day - there are enough of us that if we get together we can make a difference.
So I'm urging you to click the banner on the left of this journal and donate anything you can afford to the American Red Cross. I'm not going to guilt you into anything, but try to give all you can. Think about all the money we throw away on nothing. If you're a social butterfly such as myself, it's probably not uncommon for you to spend between $50 and $100 just on beer, food and rock shows for a weekend. Take the money you would spend on just ONE of those nights and give it to the Red Cross.
As a matter of fact, this is what I'm going to do: Scamper is playing the New England Popfest at the Abbey Lounge on Thursday September 15. The two people that donate the most to the Red Cross between now and then will get in free to that show and the first round of drinks are on me.
Just send me an email telling me how much you donated. The honor system is in full effect - if I find out you used this tragedy to scam me out of a free drink, I'll have Keith bite your balls off. So I guess this isn't so much the "honor system" as the "avoid Keith biting my balls off" system.
Thank you for your time. Please give. Tomorrow, we will return to our regularly scheduled dick jokes.
Happy belated birthday to my little brother Colum who turned 27 yesterday. He's officially not that young anymore. He's in fact quite an old fogey now. He's got a house, a dog and he's getting married in November. He's practically decrepit at this point. So happy birthday bro and I hope you enjoy the grey pubes.
Speaking of the big wedding, Colum and his betrothed Katie have actually tapped me to officiate the ceremony. I am, after all, a legally recognized reverend. Seems like a good idea, right?
Katie calls me yesterday and we have the following conversation:
Katie: So you're still all set to do the wedding?
Me: Totally. Ready to go.
Katie: (pause) This is all... legal and everything right?
Me: Yeah, it is. I mean, I think it is.
Katie: You think?
Me: I'm pretty sure, yeah.
Katie: Umm... here, talk to Colum.
After the brief happy birthday conversation with Colum, I broached the subject of the actual ceremony, i.e. what I should say, etc. Colum's response: "Say whatever you want."
It's going to be a fuuuuuuuuuun wedding. I'm going to see how many times I can work in the word "douche."
Some bad ideas from late last evening:
Bad idea #1: going to the 24-hour McDonald's at 1am.
Bad idea #2: Upon finding two urban youths standing at the drive-thru window without a car, trying to talk to them.
I mean, it wasn't as if I was trying to be buddy-buddy with them - I just wanted them to get out of the way so I could drive up to the window in my, you know, car. Here's how that lovely conversation played out:Me:
Are you guys done?Youths: [turn and silently stare at me]Me:
I just don't want to run you over with my car.Youth #1:
Oh, no one's running us over.Me:
Yeah, I said I don't
want to run you over.Youth #1:
Believe me, ain't no one running us over.Me:
So we're in agreement then.Youths: [have a conference in which I lipread "make him apologize"]
Just as my impatience for burgers was about turn into bloodlust, they turned and walked away, leaving me and my friends to eat the most delicious quarter pounders in history. Grade D beef always tastes better after a near-death experience.
Just as a doubly-unclified reminder in case you missed it: there is no show at the Dodge Street Grill in Salem tonight. Well, there will probably be a show, but Scamper won't be involved in the whole thing, thanks once again to that filthy whore Katrina. The hurricane, I mean. I would hate to find out later that there's a woman who books the Dodge Street Grill named Katrina and I just called her a filthy whore.
Vinny Shit on the Face and I were watching some footage of the hurricane fallout and I've got to admit - I looooove looting. There's nothing more entertaining than looting. People were walking out of stores with carts full of merchandise, smiling and waving at the cameras. Hysterical.
A CNBC reporter was interviewing one guy who was taking stuff from Walmart, claiming he was perfectly within his rights to do it because "We are oppressed."
Vinny turned to me and said, "Looters, Walmart and CNBC - who are we supposed to root for here?" We eventually settled on the looters because they're at least human beings. But the real winners are us, the viewers.