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Happy Halloween, everybody. Boo! Scaaaaary! Please don't egg me!
This year, I dressed completely normal other than a ridiculous pair of oversized clown pants and went as "Guy Who Has A Really Hard Time Buying Pants." When someone asked me what I was, I'd do ten minutes on "I don't know what happened - the sales girl said these pants looked great. There must be something wrong with the store's mirrors. These are terrible pants." It's your classic high-concept/low execution costume. Works every time.
I've always been a big fan of the "simple costume with a really long explanation." One year, I dressed in doctor's scrubs and had the following conversations with party guests:Guest:
Oh, you're a doctor?Me:
Actually, I'm an anesthesiologist who is facing discplinary action and possible loss of his license for allegedly molesting elderly patients while they're under anesthetic. So you can imagine my dismay.Guest:
Uh... yeah. I'm going to get more punch... [slowly creeps away]
What was everybody else for Halloween? Anything good?
By the way, I know a lot of you are waiting on the Hanson news - we're hoping to find out some time today. So stay tuned.
thanks to all the good folks that we met at the sold out Middle East show last night. We may have won you over with our good-natured power-pop and our sexy robot dances, but believe me - it was you, little ones, who won over our cold, bleak hearts. So thank you, thank you and thank YOU. Some highlights:
- I know how y'all like the Hollywood gossip, so I did my best to antagonize a good story out of Juliette Lewis, but she turned out to be very chill. I tried to psyche her out after her soundcheck by saying, "Is that all you got, Juliette Lewis? That shit may fly in Hollywood, but this is Boston. You're following local rock heroes Scamper." She was nonplussed and even gave us a super-sweet shout-out from the stage during her set. Sorry - no diva action or crazy stories or gossip. Just a cool chick with a good sense of humor.
- Good line of the night: we were talking to the OK Go! tour manager about backstage riders (demands the band puts in the contract, like 250 green M&M's) and Keith says, "We have a very strict rider - we insist that we only get a 90 second sound check. And I'm happy to say that tonight the Middle East came through on that promise."
- Like with most good shows, the actual on stage part goes by in a blur. But it was a nice big crowd of mostly people who were seeing us for the first time and it seemed to go over pretty well. Opening band slots sometimes have like 5 people and the sound guy watching you, so it was great to look out to a full house. Very fun, energetic crowd - you guys make us better. So thank you.
- There are definite advantages and disadvantages to being the opening act for a big national touring act like OK Go! On the upside, you get the opportunity to perform for a lot of new people who may actually like you. On the other hand, the pecking order is very
clear - management made sure that we were rushed off stage and literally out of the building the second we got done with our set. So instead of basking in the usual post-show glory and booty spoils, I'm shivering out back in my sweat-covered shirt, lugging amps up the stairs and getting yelled at for misplacing Mike's cymbal bag. Rock and roll!
- We met a lot of new fans after the show, which was cool. Most of them were young(ish) girls there to see OK Go!, so they were almost all very shy and sweet. But universally, whenever I'd tell them to go online and vote for us to open for Hanson (the voting is over, by the way), I'd get this confused look and a "Why do you want to open for Hanson?" Not to nitpick here, but you're OK Go! fans
. Don't get me wrong - they're an amazing band, but they wear suits and have synchronized dance routines. I mean, is there some colossal difference between OK Go! and Hanson that I'm missing here? Hell, is there a huge difference between Scamper and Hanson, besides the fact that our drummer is cuter?
Overall, it was a great night with two great bands and a great crowd. Everything was frickin' great.
Speaking of great, happy birthday to Sean, the greatest big brother in the world.
As the great Glen Frey once said, "The heat is on..."
First, the heat is finally on at my apartment, enabling me to sleep without renting a wooly mammoth to lay on my feet. Surprisingly enough, the mammoth rental is actually cheaper than my oil bill.
The heat is also on over hnyaw
, as Scamper's favorite attention-grabber makes a last ditch attempt to rustle up some votes for the Hanson contest. Yeah, like you fellas didn't already have her page bookmarked. Anyway, tomorrow is the last day to vote, so tell all your friends.
But ultimately, the heat is most assuredly on at the Middle East Downstairs tonight tonight TONIGHT! Scamper with OK Go! and Juliette Lewis. Really, you can't miss this show. Unless you're a giant jerkoff. Then, I guess you can do anything you want. Jerkoff.
See you jerkoffs tonight. Doors are at 8. We go on promptly at 9.
Hoo boy - Scamper is bursting in our proverbial shorts about this big show at the Middle East Downstairs. This show is going to be buckets o' fun. We've even been practicing! Can you believe it? That's how much we care about you, the fine paying public. So we'll hopefully see you all tomorrow night.
While I'm in full-out whore mode, check out the new Scamper t-shirts
we had made. We felt that nothing captures the essence of Scamper better than Super Mario dressed up as the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. It makes perfect sense if you really sit down and think about it. Anywho, the new shirts will be available at the show tomorrow night, but if you order them today or tomorrow online, you'll get a free vintage Scamper shirt and a musical surprise. And Nate will probably kiss you on the mouth. Fa friggidy fa!
And Friday is the last day to vote for us to open for Hanson
blah blah blah - we've begged enough. You know what to do.
In other news, my house has no heat. First flooding, now this. We're expecting locusts on Tuesday.
I'm so sick of bachelor parties. Just when I fool myself into believing that I'm a healthy civilized human being, along comes a bachelor party to remind me what a gross impulsive beast I really am. Here are some highly edited highlights from my little bro Colum's bachelor weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:
- I thought people from the South were supposed to be nice. Not true at all. People were rude to me everywhere I went. The nicest service we got was at Dick's Last Resort, where the waitresses are supposed
to be mean to you. What's the deal, South? You've got
to be polite - that's your bread and butter. Pick it up a little.
- At Hooters (I know, I know - but there was nothing but disgusting chain restaurants in this town), the girls were trying to convince my brother to get up and sing on the microphone. He wasn't into it, but luckily his big brother Brendo wasn't born with the shy gene. A little song turned into about 20 minutes of drunken wing-fueled improv. When people were starting to be annoyed by me, I held the mic up to the speaker to create a little screeching feedback. It was obnoxious as ALL hell.
- While Colum didn't get the "stage hog" gene, he definitely got the "not a retard" gene, as evidence by the following exchange, late in the evening:
Me: Hey, I got us shots of whiskey.
Colum: No way - whiskey is a really bad idea.
Me: Yeah, you're probably right. (downs both shots of whiskey)
- I officially broke the South Carolina record for the most times saying "This is my little baby brother! He's getting maaaaaaaaaaaaarried!" It's true. They gave me a ribbon.
Now, I'm back to the relatively sane life of a rock star, ready to rock your asses six ways from sideways at the Middle East Downstairs with OK Go! and Juliette Lewis. What? You don't have your tickets yet? For shaaaaaaaaame.
Well, I'm not sure how I did on my clinical psych test, but I managed to get in some good jokes during the essay section, so that's the important thing. One of the case studies we had to write about featured a patient referred to as "Mr. T." My first line was, "As an effective clinician, I would of course pity the fool." Then, at the end of the exam, I wrote "Thanks. Great test." I'm hoping there are extra points given for being a wiseass.
I'm going to be gone until Tuesday, after which I will regale you with stories of my little brother's bachelor party in Myrtle Beach. I don't usually spend a lot of time in the South. I hope a hurricane doesn't come by and cause the bachelor party to embark on a week long looting/raping spree.
Have a good weekend, all. And don't forget to get your tickets
for the OK Go!/Juliette Lewis show at the Middle East. It's coming up soon soon soon!
Looking at today's date, I have a sneaky feeling I'm missing a birthday. Is it anyone's birthday I should know about? I'm terrible with this shit.
Sorry, got to make it a quick one - I've got a midterm in my clinical psych class at 1:30 today and I gots to study. If people want to throw me some warm-up questions about the psychodynamics vs. the cognitive behaviorialists, that'd be really helpful. Thanks.
Or you could just head over to our exhibitionist friend
who, along with her ample rib balloons, is continuing her selfless missionary work to drum up votes for Scamper. If we win this thing, it's all her. She could have gotten Ralph Nader elected with those funbags.
Of course, I mean "rib balloons" and "funbags" in the most respectful sense.
Okay, I think it's finally time to stop pimping the Hanson voting
. Let's face it, if you are a regular reader of the journal and you haven't voted for us, you're guilty of lazy douchebaggery in the highest degree and you're a lost cause. I pass wind in your general direction.
So no more pimping for me. It robs me of my usual quiet dignity. Besides, Scamper has so many other big events to shamelessly pimp, such as:
- Celebration of the 1000th time I've used some derivation of the word "douchebag" in this journal (scheduled for late next week). We're having cake.
- Keith forgetting every lyric he's ever written and officially being diagnosed with early onset alzheimer's with a side order of feline leukemia.
- The federal government finally bowing to public opinion and declaring Mike's balls a protected national landmark. Now, Mike is perfectly justified in charging $5 a head to take a photo with his balls. Before, it was just eccentric.
- The long awaited release of Nate's debut novel "Are You There God? It's Me, Diggity," a heart-rending tome chronicling a young guitarist and his first period.
- The big show at the Middle East Downstairs with OK Go! and Juliette Lewis on October 27. Tickets are available hnyaw
, and this puppy could get a mite popular. So go get 'em early and get 'em often.
Yup. It's nice to be back to my usual quiet dignity.
Well, thanks to my neighbor's super high-powered wet vac and a little elbow grease from yours truly, the basement seems to be dry. The damage: the girls that live upstairs have no hot water, Nate's tuner is home to some sort of burgeoning mossy ecosystem and the vacuum sucked off a layer of my epidermis. And three pubes.
But the important thing is that we're ready to rock and roll once again. Scamper has weathered the storm. The storm being a broken water heater and the swirling, beligerent suckhole that we call "my house." I guess when you pay $13.65 a month in rent, you get what you pay for.
But you know what's free? Voting for us to open for Hanson
. Don't worry about putting in your email - we're reasonably sure they won't spam you. The only cost is just a hair of your dignity.
Guh. Just as things were going swimmingly for Scamper, what with the big OK Go! show and the Hanson contest and the hoo-hah, disaster strikes: flooding in my basement.
As I sit down to watch the Pats game yesterday, there's a knock on my door. My upstairs neighbor tells me, "The water heater is busted. I think there's some water in the basement."
I run downstairs to find about an inch of water in the band's practice space. Shit. This is really REALLY bad. I tried to elevate all the electronic stuff up off the floor. I think there was a goldfish swimming around in Nate's pedal board. Things were not good.
Using the patented "let's try turning this knob" technique, I managed to shut off the broken water heater that was the source of the flood. Then, I ran over to my neighbor's house to borrow a wet vac and spent the next 2 hours sucking about 60 gallons of water out of the basement. So yeah - that was fun.
As it is, we were actually pretty lucky - besides one of Nate's pedals, there doesn't seem to be too much damage to anything. Things could have been a lot worse. We could have not only had a lot of damage to expensive equipment, but effectively have no place to rehearse for the big upcoming show(s). And no rehearsy makes Scampy really crappy.
If that sob story doesn't get you to go vote for us in the Hanson contest, then you are made of stone, my friends.
Thanks to everyone who logged on and voted for us in the Hanson contest this week. If you haven't done it yet, what. the. fuck? Get on that, homies.
Double thanks to all of those of you forwarding the website to your friends and making this shit viral. And triple dipple thanks to those of you who have found creative ways to stir up votes for Scamper, like our friend with her ladies
But boobies only appeal to half the population or so. So for the other half, we've got a little something something of this:
You can almost hear him saying "Please vote for my daddy or else he'll bore the rest of the band with an endless 'post-Hanson-failure' strategy meeting. His meetings are eternal
. I can't wait until I'm old enough to get my own place."
So boobies or babies - we've got something for everyone. Now go be a good American and vote.
So yesterday, I got a bit into the down and dirty aspects of this contest, what with the cheating and the backstabbing and the FLA-ven! But popularity contests don't always bring out the worst in people - sometimes, people are downright neighborly.
For instance, check out what our buddies/former messy practice space sharers Harris
emailed to all their fans: "So our good buddies in Scamper have been nominated to open for none
other than the reigning kings of brotherly bubble gum pop at the
Avalon Fucking Ballroom in Boston-
Please, I implore you- help make this happen for them.
A little background on Scamper- these are some of the best dudes in
the Boston scene- that alone should get them your vote. But beyond
that, they're fucking amazing. They have the slickest, poppiest,
catchiest damn songs in the world, and they're the type of band who
could really capitalize off of winning a competition like this. Don't
believe me? Check out their songs at www.myspace.com/scamper
Here is the link to vote- it takes only 2 seconds. I promise, you're
voting for some of the greatest dudes on earth."
Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever read in your life? I almost feel bad for rubbing my balls all over their amps and drums. Almost. So check out their CD release on Friday October 14 at the Middle East Up. Those of you who were lucky enough to see them at our Abbey Lounge residency last March know - these guys are the real deal.
Speaking of the real deal, I officially felt like I was in a rock band for the first time today. A generous young lady has offered a very fair "boobs for votes
" trade on Scamper's behalf. While Scamper cannot officially condone such depraved behavior, we certainly applaud her enthusiasms. Her wonderful, supple enthusiasms. Warning: this link isn't 100% work safe, unless you work at the Hustler mansion or something.
Wow - this Hanson contest is already getting ugly. Here's what some anonymous hoo-hah posted on a public message board yesterday:
"Syd will win...apparently one of their friends/members works at a
technology place or something where there are a million computers as
well as ways to "beat" the system...call it an American Idol scam, but
I say bye to Scamper...sorry...GO SYD!!"
It's getting dirty, huh? Now I know what Al Gore felt like. And by that, I mean I know what it's like to claim to have invented the internet and also have hot daughters.
Friends, it doesn't have to be this way. Scamper has at its disposal the diabolical technological genius of Mr. Keith Michel. If we want a million votes, we can have them in about 2 seconds. The man labels sandwiches. He's insane. But cheating? That's not how Scamper rolls.
So if any of the other two great bands are reading this, I implore you: let's not use the power of technology to fuck each other up the ass. Let's make this Hanson deal exactly what it should be: a high school-style popularity contest. And may the band with the most friends win.
Don't forget to vote
. For us.
Time for the long awaited last surprise, although Keith sort of gave it away with his snazzy-ass splash page that you saw on your way into the site this morning.
Hanson. Scamper. Together. It CAN happen, but this is what you now must do:
1. You all go to the Hanson website
2. You vote for Scamper to open for Hanson at Avalon on Friday November 4.
3. Thanks to the support from you, the teeming unkempt masses of Scamps, we win the contest in a heretofore unseen landslide.
4. We win the gig and open with "Mmm Bop"... and then also close with "Mmm Bop."
5. We never work in this town again.
Seriously, this would be a really great show for us (and yes, I unapologetically LOVE Hanson), so please head over hnyaw
and vote. Thanks, babies.
I'm going to be annoying you about this for the next month or so. Just warning you.
Grrrarrrgh. Sorry, friends - due to circumstances out of Scamper control, I cannot make our big announcement today. Really, I wish I could. This teasing you shit is starting to get kind of old, isn't it? We should know more some time today, though. So stay tuned and be ready to mobilize.
In the meantime, I'll share with you a little myspace
story with y'all. Occasionally, Nate works the myspace angle like the professional teenage girl that he is. Yesterday, he sent out an email to all the Click Five and OK Go! fans reading:
"Hiya, We either found you as a Click Five (who we've played with) fan or an OK Go (who we ARE playing with) fan and thought you might dig our stuff. :-) heart, Scamper."
And yes, he actually does write like that. You should read his diary. It's all hearts and moons and "Mrs. Nate Mirabella." But that's neither here nor there. He receives an email back reading:
"Probably click five! oh ya thanks!!! i love them! i dont really DIG ur stuff but its pretty good! even though ur all kinda old....and creepy"
To which Nate responds:
""Nah, we're not creepy. Well, some of us are. Fair enough. Anyways, thanks for listening. :-)"
And the girl retorts:
"no ya its fine! creepy old guys totally turn me on. jk of course. eww sry! ya no problem!!"
It's this sort of deep Platonic dialogue that fills me with the urge to burn the internet to the ground. Does anyone know where the building they keep the internet in?
The last bit of the current Scamper news that I've been impatiently holding in my belly is almost ready to be birthed out of my slippery informational vagina. And this is a good one. Oooh - you're going to like this one. Soon, my pets. I'm being told that we should
have big news to announce tomorrow. But you know that old expression: "If coulds and shoulds were candy and wood, then never wear culottes on Arbor Day." Those old sayings just don't go out of style, do they?
In the meantime, I'll give you a few interweb sites to check out:
Those of you with extremely sick senses of humor should stop by www.sinfulshirts.com
. It's really amazing what you can put on a t-shirt these days. There's some seriously raw sicko shit on here, so it's probably not for everyone. If you don't find "having sex with babies" humor funny, you may want to pass on this one.
For something a little more heartwarming, check out this
site which takes your prison visit photos and turns them into vacation photos. Oh, and they do an absolutely awful job.
The world wide net is a wonderful thing, ain't it?
Hey folks - sorry for the radio silence yesterday. I had to call in sick and sleep the day away. I just had
The show on Monday night at the Middle East turned out to be surprisingly great. Only surprising because we didn't get on until about midnight, so we expected to be playing to the sound guy, the bartender and the old saggy tattooed lady that tries to pick up band members half her age. (You always embarrass me when you do that, Grandma).
But happily, we ended up playing for an energetic, responsive and shockingly large audience. It was actually one of the better shows that Scamper has played for a while. So big thanks to all of you who came out and stayed up with us. You guys are amazing, as always. Words escape me when I try to say how much we appreciate you.
The other guys think I'm crazy, but to me, one of the more enjoyable parts of being in a band is waiting around before really late shows like this one. We load in around 6pm and wait around for 6 hours until we play. It sounds awful, but it's actually sort of great. Not only does it give you this really long, slow build toward the excitement of the show, but you get to do some really interesting things to pass the time.
For instance - on Monday, there were an uneven amount of free drink tickets, so The Non-Drinker (Keith) decided to create a contest to decide which of the Three Alcoholics (Mike, Nate and myself) got the extra ticket. Here was the game:
Keith is notoriously bad at knowing 80's songs (for fear of the Cold War, his family lived in a bomb shelter for the entire decade). So we had to come up with a song of which he did NOT know the verse, but DID know the chorus.
The game didn't turn out well for me. I took an early lead with Mr. Big's "To Be With You" until the guitarist from Damone chimed in with "That song was from 1992." Thanks a lot, douchebag. (Just kidding, Mike). Nate ended up taking the ticket with "Unskinny Bop" by Poison, although my protests that he was singing the pre-chorus instead of the verse fell on deaf ears.
It may seem like a dumb little story, but you add up a bunch of these moments and hours and hours spent together and really - it's what being in a band is all about. And it's fucking great.
My first 5K is in the books and I don't want to brag, but I crushed it. I finished so far ahead of everyone else that the American 5K Association immedately changed the name from the Somerville 5K to the "Everyone Look At Brendo's Ass As He Runs By You" 5K. Because that's all those chumps saw - my pear-firm posterior, flapping in the wind.
Oh wait... old crippled people passed me. I wish I were joking about that. This old guy who was running crooked, like he had cerebral palsy flew right the christ by me. Not exactly a morale builder.
But thanks to the excellent motivational skills of the fairer half of Team Madden, I actually managed to finish the race. So thanks, Lauren - I couldn't have done it without you. You're the best.
I'll have a detailed blow-by-blow and maybe even a photo essay of the race later in the week. Fa fa foo.
On to more Scamperesque news - did you know we're playing tonight at the Middle East Upstairs? With Damone, no less? I mean, what the frig? That's some serious rock for a Monday night. And there's no one-game playoff with Cleveland, so you can't use that as an excuse, you lazy no-Monday-coming-out bitches.