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Hey folks - I know I wrote yesterday that I wouldn't be with you for another week, but Scamper got a bit of good news last night that I thought I'd share with you loyal Scamps before I hop in a jet to the scenic Akron/Canton Ohio airport (abbreviated CAK. Seriously.).
So our new best friends over at Mix 98.5
have been holding a little contest the past few weeks and you know Scamper - we're just clucky over contests. So we entered a song and BAM! We're in the semifinals.
You may have noticed a new show over in the (appropriately titled) SHOWS
section of the scampernet for next week. Thursday July 6 at the Newport Yachting Center
at 1pm. We will be competing against five other bands, the winner of which will...
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Open for Bon Jovi at Gillette Stadium. Bon fucking Jovi. Gillette fucking Stadium. Ridiculous. Simply absurd.
Sooooo, I know some of you are taking all next week off, so if you're in the area, stop on by Newport, Rhode Island (State motto: "Our strip club laws are AWESOME!") and support your local rock heroes as we attempt to morph into arena rock gods that we have always dreamed of becoming before your very eyes.
Unless I perish in a fiery plane crash in a few hours. Wish me luck and I'll talk to y'all on Wednesday.
Today is the 5th anniversary of Scamper.
Many of you who read this journal were there at the very beginning for those first Scamper shows - definitely the most important and newsworthy thing to happen back in the fall of 2001. While I wasn't present when four seemingly harmless banjo-pluckin' rubes named Keith, Nate, Mike and Marc first consummated their musical love for each other, I can imagine it was quite the powerful body chemical explosion. One hundred and eleven shows later, Scamper stands before you as the rock juggernaut that it is.
It was a little under two years ago that I joined this ragtag group of intergalactic arms runners when original Scamper bassist Marc Roderick unexpectedly perished in a tragic, yet ultimately just textile mill accident. (A moment of silence for all the textiles that died that day, please.) Since then, I've done my college best to adequately fill his stinky, athlete's foot-infested shoes.
Staying together as a band for five years - it's quite an accomplishment, really. A band is a lot like a romantic relationship - the good times, the bad times, the flaws, the quirks with which you must put up. Over the past five years, Scamper has survived Mike's knife-throwing rages, Nate's penchant for pigeon buggery and Keith's inability to pronounce the word "thievery" without giggling. Oh, and the granola fights. Let's not even get into that shit. (shiver)
Seriously, I'm beyond grateful to be a part of this band as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. Humongous thanks to all the great, supportive fans and friends who have been there by Scamper's side for the past half-decade. We appreciate every one of you that comes to the shows, buys the CDs and t-shirts, reads this journal and tells your friends about Scamper. You're the reason we keep the rock going.
As for me, this is the last you'll hear from me for about a week, as I am taking the next few days off to head to Ohio. Why Ohio? Well, I'm going to stand idly by while a perfectly nice, reasonable young lady agrees to pledge her life to this man:
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend. If I survive the open bar, I'll talk to your asses around the 5th or so.
Man, those Greenlanders (Greenlandonians?) are pretty nuts, huh? It's a wacky part of the world up in Scandanovinania or wherever the fuck Greenland is. Those crazy Nordic bastards in Kalaallit Nunaat made a tasty "suaasat" (this soup made from seal, whale, poultry or lamb with onion, rice and potatoes is the national dish of Greenland) out of the audience at the ITA Battle of the Bands at the Middle East Downstairs last night.
Okay, true confession - the members of Kalaallit Nunaat aren't actually
from Greenland (shocking, I know). It's all just a crazy gimmick/needy cry for attention. My buddy Rich is the charismatic and sultry frontman of a ragtag group of ITA employees playing their first gig together. When he asked me to jump in on bass for three cover songs in front of a packed house at the Middle East, how could I refuse? I've seen the man karaoke and he is a force with which to be reckoned. It wasn't even a question - I would follow Rich into rock and roll battle.
Wacky costumes were the rule of the day, as the band members sported Viking helmets, crazy sunglasses and other zany regalia. I did my best to keep pace with my clown pants/tank top/paisley tie combo topped off with white panty hose on my head. It just oozed pure sex, let me tell you. I'm hoping there is no photographic evidence of my fashion faux pasesees.
The band ripped through three cover songs: Heart's "Barracuda," Stone Temple Pilots' "Vasoline" and finally (my favorite) Guns 'N Roses' "You Could Be Mine." It was a raucous 12 minutes of fury with Rich's screeching vocals blowing the doors off the place. Guitarist Rob and I even managed to work in a little KISS-style choreography. Shame was left at the door. It was excellent.
Actually, the most satisfying part of the whole endeavor was coaching Rich through his first ever rock star experience. Despite being a karaoke all-star, Rich had never before fronted a band. While most of us cut our teeth at high school talent shows, Rich had the luck/challenge of doing it in front of a few hundred people at the Middle East Downstairs. He stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the goddamn park. After the show, I saw the look in his eyes that I've seen so many times in the mirror - he liked the taste of honey and wanted some more. Really, I couldn't have been prouder.
Rock and roll, people. There's nothing in the world like it. If you want to enjoy your life just a little bit more, go out and try it yourself. Tell them Uncle Brendo sent you.
Yip yip, Monday people. I have not insignificant rug burn on my knee from a Saturday night limbo contest. Now that's
the sign of a good weekend, friends.
The party continues tonight at the ITA Battle of the Bands
at the Middle East Downstairs. While Scamper is not competing in the contest (despite our overall geekiness and penchant for battlin'), your truly will be sitting in with one of the opening bands, Kalaallit Nunaat. You probably haven't heard of them, but apparently, Kalaallit Nunaat is one of Greenland's most famous and admired cover bands.
I am honored that they think enough of Scamper that they asked me (through a translator) to sit in for a few songs at their first Boston area gig. I don't really know what to expect from these fellas - I understand they're pretty wild. I may have to pick up my game as far as outrageous attire and wacky onstage antics, so that might be worth the (low) price of admission alone.
So if you're not doing anything with your Monday night, stop on by the Middle East. Since they're not eligible for the competition (because they're from Greenland), Kalaallit Nunaat goes on early - like around 7 or so.
Speaking of Greenland, did you know that the current population of the entire country is only 56,375? That's a country. We could fit the whole population of the country into Yankee Stadium and Randy Johnson would still
suck. It's amazing how that works.
Happy Friday, mon frere jacques. Almost everyone in the known universe is skipping out of work today and I'm feeling positively lazy, so for the Friday rip-off, I'm going to be a full-out hack and hit you with a few quotes from the American version of The Office
. If you haven't been watching this show, please start. I consider this a public service because this show is probably the funniest thing that's been on TV in years. I haven't laughed like this at a show since Newsradio
went off the air.Michael Scott:
Would I rather be feared or loved? Um... Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me. Pam Beesley:
I suggested we flip a coin, but Angela said she doesn't like to gamble. Of course by saying that, she was gambling that I wouldn't smack her. Dwight Schrute:
I have been Michael's number two guy for about five years, and we make a great team. We're like one of those classic famous teams. He's like Mozart and I'm like Mozart's friend. No, I'm like Butch Cassidy and Michael is like Mozart. You try and hurt Mozart, you're gonna get a bullet in your head, courtesy of Butch Cassidy.
Ha - killer. Absolutely killer. Do yourself a favor and catch up on the re-runs this summer. Unless you, you know, have a life. Have a good weekend, people.
Oh, I almost forgot - big ol' HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend Mary over hnyaw
. Life keeps getting better, don't it?
Friends, I'm feeling the upswing. The momentum is starting to change. I've been riding a proverbial 0-for-21 slump in the game of life the past few weeks. Don't know why, but I've just been stinking up the joint. But I just know it's turning around. There's nothing specifically all that great that's going on, but the tide is starting to turn. I can feel it.
Mostly, I'm starting to get healthy again. The vile death cough that has been shooting Millenium Falcon-sized loogies up my asophagial canal finally seems to be running for the hills. The Boogie clan immune system is not one hombre with which you should fuck. My great grandpa Finbar "Knuckles" Boogie used to eat 10 Bewley's teabags for breakfast, a handful of rotted-out shilelaghs for lunch and three members of British parliament for dinner every night. Healthy as a Kildare horse, he was. Wouldn't have missed a day of work in his life, if he had actually ever had a job.
As for me, I enjoyed the week's first night of non-Nyquil aided sleep last night. It was mercifully violent lurch-free. No more thrashing around in my sweat-soaked sheets, wishing for the sweet merciful scythe of death to carve my diseased lungs out of my blackened chest cavity. Instead, I actually dipped my toe in the pool of this incredible sensation I seemed to have had forgotten: "sleep." Have you heard about this stuff? It's pretty amazing. I woke up this morning with a clear head and a renewed lust for life.
I'm on a natural high. Well, if you consider methamphetamines cooked up in my biker neighbor's shed "natural." Let's keep the positive energy rolling, kids. Anything good happening to anyone out there in Scamperland?
The following is a transcript from a conversation between Brendan (B) and his Checking Account (CA) late last night: B:
Hey, it's my old buddy Checking Account. How's it hanging, my brother?CA:
Eh. I've been better.B:
Oh, come on. It can't be that
I don't think you want to know.B:
I'm an adult. I can handle it.CA:
Ok, but don't say I didn't warn you...[shows Brendan the balance]B:
What the... $6.12? CA:
I told you you didn't want to know.B:
How the fuck does that happen? I have a job, for fuck's sake!CA:
Rent, utilities, insurance, car, college loans... it all adds up, dude.B:
Damn it! I knew college was a mistake!CA:
You're telling me.B:
But still - six dollars? Six fucking dollars? How am I supposed to eat?CA:
I'm a bank account, not a nutritionist.B:
I just don't understand how this happened.CA:
Well, there was the bar last night and the bar the night before that and this weekend, there was all that drinking.B:
I can't be spending that
much money on booze, can I?CA:
Actually... we've been meaning to talk to you about that. B:
What do you mean, "we"?[Brendan's checking account is joined by his Credit Rating, Savings Account and Cheese of the Month Club account.]CA:
A few of us have been talking...B:
Wait - is this an intervention?CA:
The important thing to remember is that we all really care about you and we want you to get better.Credit Rating:
You've done nothing but make me look worthless to the outside world. It's embarrassing.Savings Account:
I'm feeling neglected. You haven't put anything inside me for years. What kind of a relationship is that?B:
Et tu, Cheese of the Month Club?[Cheese of the Month Club simply looks away in shame.]CA:
It's time for a change, Brendan. You're almost 30 years old. It's time to stop paying so much attention to booze, fast food and cheap women and start taking care of the ones that take care of you back... us.B:
You're right. I know you're right. I just... I just love booze, fast food and cheap women so much.Credit Rating:
They are pretty great.CA:
You're not helping, Credit Rating.B:
You guys are right. I'm going to change my ways. It's time for a new, fiscally responsible Brendan. I'm going to do it! I'm... wait - what's this in the mail?[Brendan opens an envelope and a new Credit Card pops out.]Credit Card:
You're pre-approved! 0% APR for the first year! I'll solve everything! Spend spend spend!B:
That sounds awesome! Fiscal responsibility? Ha! I'll see you squares later![Brendan jumps on the Credit Card and flies away to continue his irresponsible life of debauchery.]CA:
Bah. I can't believe I'm sick when it's this hot out. It's 100 degrees and I have the fucking sniffles. It adds the element of ridiculousness to the runny nose/hacking cough cocktail I have brewing in my general face area. My legendary immune system has finally been defeated. It's time to start juicing.
Speaking of segues, I found myself in a little bit of a debate with some very cool baseball fans over at the Base Girl
blog about steroids in baseball. It started out with a snarky comment by me about Gabe Kapler, which of course raised the hair on the backs of the necks of some of the die hard Sox fans.
While I find it interesting that we're finding out who is juicing and who isn't, the really entertaining part of this whole thing for me is witnessing the cascade of outrage and moral indignation of full grown adults. Like people won't cheat when millions of dollars are at stake. What - the CEOs of national corporations are cheating on their taxes? Noooooooooo! I love when the wounded inner 12-year old of the grown population rears its sad little head.
I've given it some thought and I have to look myself in the mirror and realize: if I were in the shoes of some of these players, I'd probably juice too. Think about it - there is a multi-million dollar contract based on your performance. You're competing against guys around you, who are openly using with NO consequences whatsoever. In fact, MLB is not only ignoring the steroid problem, but tacitly encouraging using by rewarding those who are hopped up.
Forget about the superstars. Say I'm a borderline, journeyman player. Maybe I'm a little older and it takes a little longer to recover from those nagging injuries. I want to stay in the game and compete with these guys. What's stopping me? It's "wrong"? "It's not fair"? Spare me.
The purity of the game only matters to fans and Ken Burns. Do you think Gary Sheffield cares about the sanctity of the record books? Of course not. If you were in his position, would you?
What are your thoughts, friends?
Happy Monday, robots. It looks like my world-famous immune system has turned out to be absolutely no match for whatever creepy crawlies were germinating in the smelliest microphone ever at the Knitting Factory last weekend
. If I was a hip-hop star with an eye patch, I'd be Sick Rick. Blech. I've been on the classic "DayQuil for the days/NyQuil for the nights" addiction cycle all weekend. My episode of the A&E show Intervention
will air in the fall.
Luckily, I did manage to hold it together for the big Friday night show at TT's with Harris
, Violet Nine
, unofficially dubbed "The Nicest Guys in the History of the World Festival '06." Predictably with this group, it was a veritable lovefest backstage. Laughing, back-slapping, hand-holding - it was all so nauseatingly sweet and friendly that I felt the need to shake things up a bit.
So once we hit the stage, I pulled the ol' Alabama two-face on them and insulted the crap out of all the other bands. I started the evening with:
"You know, this is sort of a tough night for us. We've worked really hard and tried to get to a certain level as a band and we've been luck enough to have some success... and then we end up having to share the stage with Harris. It's just disheartening. I apologize to you for their set. Really, we feel responsible."
During the next break between songs, I got rolling again:
"We haven't played with Violet Nine for about three years and I'm happy to report that they're just as big douchebags now as they were back then. How about a little maturity, guys? Backstage, they were playing grab-ass and doing the whole "What's the capital of Thailand? Bang-COCK!" thing. Really, enough with the shenanigans, Violet Nine. Enough with the shenanigans."
And finally, the coup de grace:
"You know, you try to be friendly with other bands, but sometimes they take it the wrong way and... I don't know if I can even say this... Taxpayer tried to rape us!"
After this egregious display, I expected mighty and merciless retribution from the fellas in the other bands. Of course, Violet Nine and Taxpayer said nothing but gracious things about us from the stage, making me look like a total jerk-ass. Like that time I punched that wheelchair-bound pacifist in the throat. Sure, I'm
the bad guy. Luckily, Harris were total tools as usual, so my conscience was clear.
Big ol' thanks to everyone for coming out - it really was one of our favorite shows in recent memory. Big thanks to the other three great bands - we'll play with you motherfuckers anytime. Except Harris. They lick balls.
In this space, I always try to take the high road. And yesterday, I promised to say nice things about Harris
this morning. I fully intended to follow through with that promise, but I just can't bring myself lie to you people: Scamper fucking HATES Harris. It's time we stopped the facade and came clean. Scamper and Harris are mortal enemies.
The animosity between the two bands started back in '97 during a seemingly routine dental cleaning. I don't want to get into the bloody details as the emotional wounds haven't fully healed, but let's just say Harris frontman Mike Nastri can be unconscionably vicious with a handheld tooth mirror.
The next chapter in the bitter Scamper/Harris rivalry occurred during the 2002 Latin Grammys in Tokyo when Scamper was accepting the award for "Best Spanish Language Gospel Tribute to the 1967 Philadelphia Phillies" and a mescaline-crazed and visibly aroused Harris guitarist Matt Scott charged the stage and poured low-grade battery acid all over presenter Gerardo's already acid-washed jeans.
Ever since those dark whiskey-fueled days, Scamper has feared for our lives around Harris. We have pretended to like them, even going so far as to share our rehearsal space. The things we witnessed in that space... well, let's just say they shook us to our very core. I'll never look at solar-powered calculators or duck sauce the same way again. Their amoral shenanigans have completely ruined the Dr. Seuss classic "Hop on Pop" for an entire generation of young Thai immigrants. Dateline NBC
needs to stop trapping these online sexual predators and take a few hidden cameras into the Harris rehearsal space. (Shudder).
So when you come to TT the Bear's
tonight, be wary of the seemingly unassuming, charismatic and talented blokes called "Harris." Looking in their eyes will draw you into their filthy den of iniquity and scrotal Indian sunburns.
Oh, and Jon Day stole my dad's bike. Laughed about it. What a dick.
See you all tonight. Show starts at 9.
Lesson to self that my idiot brain just can't seem to learn: don't eat spicy salsa con queso less than a few hours before bedtime. Dreams are, how you say, a little fucked-up. Last night was simply intense. Once my head hit the pillow, I was sucked into a whirlwind of REM-induced nuttiness complete with my baby daughter being born with a giant rat tail, kids from my high school chasing me with garden hoes and a poolside orgy of James-Caan-in-the-70's proportions. I woke up this morning exhausted
. After 8 hours of sleep. Score.
No worries - I'll pull my shit together by tomorrow night's show at TT
's. I'm actually excited about this show. Not the usual bullshit fake promotional "excitement" I spew on this journal before every show. ACTUAL excitement. (I'm just kidding. I never lie to you cherubs.)
I've got to say - if you're going to make it out for one Scamper show this year, this might very well be the one. Taxpayer
and Violet Nine
. That's a veritable murderer's row of Boston rock. It's like the NHL All-Star game except I have some idea of who any of the players are. (Time to call it an afternoon, hockey. You've taken the toothless mulleted charm about as far as its going to go. No one cares anymore, jerks.)
We first encountered Taxpayer in the first round of the WBCN Rumble this spring (refresh your mind hnyaw
). Vegas had them as heavy favorites to whoomp our silly tuckuses all the way back to our momma's wombs. Then, my bass broke and Tim from Taxpayer let me borrow his and the rest is history. Well, more like "history." Local history. History in the sense that it was "something that happened," not in the sense that people actually "give a shit that we won a round of a rock and roll contest."
Anywho, since that fateful night, I have a standing appointment to buy Tim a PBR every time I see him. I'm a little broke this week, so if some of you Scamps want to deliver him a few beers from Brendo, I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today, yadda yadda. Actually, that'd be terrific - people just walking up to Tim from Taxpayer with beers all night, saying "Brendan from Scamper says thanks for the bass." It'd get him good and hammered while simultaneously making me appear to be a man of great power. Let's make this happen, Scamps.
But seriously, we had a great Rumble experience in no small part thanks to Taxpayer. They turned out to be one of the nicest groups of guys we've ever played with and oh yeah, a HELL of a talented band. You've probably heard their single "When They Were Young" all over the radio, as it's the catchiest thing in the history of the universe. They're going to be huge stars and they deserve it. Come on by and catch them while you can tomorrow night.
Sorry for the ass-kiss bonanza this morning. But it's fixin' to continue - I'll move on to our boyfriends in Harris tomorrow. Stay tuned.
On to Sunday and the big trip to the big New York City for the big Knitting Factory
- Nate and Mike had traveled down on Saturday to visit friends, so Keith and I hit the road from Boston Sunday afternoon. We were warned repeatedly that we were foolish to try to get into the city at the same time as the Puerto Rican pride parade. "They'll turn your car over, those riled-up Puerto Ricans!" they'd say, "They can lift buses over their heads and crush your skull with their baby fingernail! They're more machine than man!"
Somehow, Keith and I managed to get into the city without any trouble whatsoever. It was actually quite amazing. And we only saw one guy carrying a Puerto Rican flag, leading to the following phone conversation between Keith and Nate:Keith:
I think we found the Puerto Rican pride parade. It's just one guy.Nate:
Actually, there are over a million people.Keith:
Let me look. (pause) Nope, just one guy.
- Even from four hours away, Scamper expanded its reputation as "New England's Most Punctual Band" to the tri-state area by arriving a half hour before the sound girl. While we were waiting, the ceiling started raining. For reals. There was one spot on the ceiling covered with garbage bags and duct tape which started leaking water onto the middle of the floor without warning. When Melanie the sound girl arrived, I told her what happened and she nodded, "Yup. That'll happen." Completely nonplussed.
- Once the show started, the fun really began. The band before us (Alexcalibur
) took a solid 50 minutes to set up. That sounds like a lot of time, but it was completely understandable because they had an incredibly complicated "one guitar, one bass, one keyboard" set-up. Really, who could blame them for taking almost an hour?
Luckily, the wait was rendered completely worth it when a shirtless man took the stage with a bicycle lock around his neck holding a bicycle wheel to the back of his head. He lurched around the room and crooned "I'm a speed freak, I'm a speed freak" to which I quipped to Nate, "Clearly, he's not a 'speed setting up' freak." Har har. We all had a good laugh.
As Alexcalibur wowed the crowd with their high energy show, my friend Mary
turned to me:Mary:
How are you going to follow this guy?Me:
I figured we'd just play good songs well.Mary:
Wow. New York bands don't usually try that one.
- Surprisingly enough with the small stage and small monitors, the sound on stage was great at the Knitting Factory. Music-wise, Scamper had one of our better shows in recent memory. It's always a great surprise when you go into a show thinking the harmonies are going to sound like you're singing through a bowl of muddy soup and you turn out to be wrong. Really energizing. The crowd was terrific and responsive as well, even though it took a few of the cynical New Yorkers a few songs to realize we weren't being ironic, but actually trying to entertain them.
There was one exception to my great on-stage Knitting Factory experience: my microphone smelled like it had crawled up a llama's ass and died, decomposed for six months and then was reincarnated when the garlic zombie people pooped on it. Every time I'd breathe in during a long note, I felt like my nose hairs were tiny ninjas throwing Chinese stars of stink at my brain. It was almost as bad as sharing a microphone with Harris
- We were worried that since we rarely get to NYC, there wouldn't be much of a turnout, but we were pleasantly surprised by a lot of our Big Apple friends. MVP definitely goes to our new #1 fan Katy, who not only made the trip all the way from Jersey but also made a special Scamper-lyric t-shirt for the occasion:
Bam! Check that shit out, people! The bar has just been raised around these parts. Scamper now expects more of you.
Overall, we had the exact opposite experience than Homer Simpson did in his trip to New York. Everything went almost creepily well. We hope to get down there again some time soon so that the gods of New York karma can do what they do best - crap all over us.
And we're certainly going to try to make it two solid shows in a row by hitting TT the Bear's this Friday with a veritable all-star line-up of bands: Harris
and Violet Nine
. Bada bing.
Good morning, my little cherubs. Sorry about the lack of a journal entry yesterday. Drivey home from New Yorky make Brendy sleepy all day.
It was an eventful weekend for your intrepid rock heroes. Saturday night was officially dubbed "reunion night." First, I reunited with members of the Captain Miles Band. You may remember them from the charity gig
I played last year with Peter Wolf and John Henry. Wyc, the owner of the Celtics, is on drums. Ouch, I just hurt my big toe from dropping all those names on it.
This time around, the band consisted of a sleek, pared-down combo featuring the incredibly talented Jordan Siegel of Fooled By April
fame on lead vocals. Jagoff Joe
even made the trip down from Rochester, so it was a grand ol' time:
Aren't we sexy bitches? We played a party at a barn in Concord. And by "barn in Concord" I of course mean "a luxury structure much nicer than anything I will ever live in ever ever ever." Those folks in Concord sure know how to live. And Joe, Jordan and I sure know how to scam as much free food as humanly possible from them. It's at times like this weekend when I'm really glad I had that second stomach surgically added to the back of my left knee.
It wasn't just the barn that was way nicer than to which I'm accustomed. (Wow - the grammar of that last sentence CAN'T be correct. It just can't.) A few of the members of French Lick (that's the name of the band) have a few bucks, so the equipment we played with was pretty freakin' nice. Jordan was singing with in-ear vocal monitors (read about it in this month's issue of "Things That Are Completely Unnecessary" Magazine - EDIT: this was actually Joe's joke. Sorry for not crediting. I'm a jerkus.). As you can see from the above photo, there is a giant banner behind us with the "French Lick" logo which Wyc had designed by his staff. Lighting rigs, killer sound - it was just awesome.
Quite a contrast to the next night's gig... which I'll get to tomorrow. AW! Cliffhanger, bitches!
Speaking of "gigs" and "music," we've got one of them thar shows on Friday night! TT the Bear's Place
in Central Square, Cambridge with our wife band Harris
, our secret lover band Taxpayer
and our jealous husband band Violet Nine
. Be thar!
EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention this part of the story this morning - there was an impromptu semi-Fooled By April reunion. Pete was there as an audience member, so he got up and played a few songs on bass with French Lick while I rocked the tambourine. Then, I had the brainstorm to play some Fooled By April songs with me playing the role of Gordon. It was killer - a dream come true for me. Anyway, sorry I forgot to mention that - I'm still sleepy and old.
I know everyone got freaked out about the whole "6/6/06" number of the beast thing on Tuesday, but to those of us who never matured past age 12 emotionally, today is a much more important day: 6/9. Heh heh. It's like two people are trying to do it, but there's a large piece of sheet metal between them. Hee hee. 6/9.
So for today's Friday Ripoff, I'm going to make the as-yet-unprecedented move of ripping off myself. Backstory: the best writer in New York City happens to be a friend of mine named Mary
. Mary's latest online adventure is Ruined Music
, a compendium of stories about songs that were ruined by heartbreak/failed relationships/etc. (there's a much more eloquent explanation of the concept hnyaw
So Mary asked me to contribute to the site and I've always made it a rule to do what Mary tells me to do, so I submitted the following piece (which appears as the second one down on the Ruined Music page): Dreams of you all through my head
"Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin
by Brendan Boogie
"Hey hey mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove..."
And then the riff. That guitar riff that will be burned in my cerebral cortex for all eternity. When we were fifteen, my best friend Joe and I came up with the brainstorm to start a rock band with him on guitar and me on bass. I was flat-out terrible - Joe could play circles around me within the first few months, but by the skin of my fingertips, I managed to keep up and we were soon rocking our sophomore year high school talent show (second place behind a group of jocks who re-enacted the Saturday Night Live "Da Bears" skit verbatim. Suburban white kids, man).
In our minds, we were true rock and roll heroes. Joe was turning into a natural on lead guitar; in later years with his band Fooled By April and even up to today, he's simply the most gifted guitar player I've ever seen. Even at that early stage, it was a joy to just listen to him play... until he discovered that riff. "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin was the first song Joe could play perfectly. This would have been fine, except he chose to play it ALL THE TIME. Between every song at rehearsal, while watching This is Spinal Tap in his basement for the fifty-third time - it was the all "Black Dog" channel. All "Black Dog," all the time.
By the twelve thousandth time he ran through the riff, I'd finally had enough. I unplugged his amp, turned to him and snapped, "For the love of all that is holy, will you please stop playing that fucking riff? Please?"
Of course, Joe responded the way any fifteen-year-old would: without a word, he plugged back in, cranked the volume to 11 and let 'er rip with the most passionate rendition of "Black Dog" since Jimmy Page was snorting blueberry pie filling off a 13-year old girl's pelvis. I hadn't heard anything yet. Now that he knew it annoyed me, Joe played "Black Dog" every spare moment of every day, in every imaginable key, speed, and harmonization. There wasn't silence in my life any more - just "Black Dog." I'll tell you, you haven't wanted to poke your eardrums out with a sharpened chopstick so badly until you've heard the minor-key high-pitched "Chinese" version of "Black Dog" grinding through your brain. It's been almost fifteen years, but when I hear that riff, the muscles in my body still clench involuntarily like I'm about to be in a ten car pile-up. Thanks, Joe - you're a real pal.
Please check out the rest of the Ruined Music site and feel free to send Mary submissions/feedback. Or if you want to tell her how brilliant she is in person, rumor has it that she just might be in attendance at the big show on Sunday at the Knitting Factory
in NYC. She's a huge Baker
fan. Thinks Scamper is "eh." Scamper goes on at 9.
Have a good weekend, my water-logged rockers.
I wrote a joke yesterday and I can't tell whether it's funny or not. Here it is:What do you call manual sex from a mentally retarded fast food employee?
A hand McJob.
Now, there are three possibilities here:
a) this is only funny to me.
2) this is only funny if you remember the old "McJobs" commercials from the mid-90's with the mentally handicapped kids having the absolute time of their lives working at McDonalds (one of which is available for download hnyaw
.) Man - those commercials were the best.
III) this just isn't funny.
Early on, the general consensus is that the joke isn't what you would call "funny." Yesterday, I hand-selected a test audience that I knew going in wouldn't be offended by the subject matter, so it was as close to pure scientific method as I could get. Didn't get a whole lot of guffaws. Granted, the joke is a little busy and "jokey" for me, I know. But what can I say - I'm trying to branch out.
I guess I'm still reeling from the fact that The Noise
didn't use my comment in the Rita and Lolita
section this month. Every month, she asks Boston rock notables a few questions. This month, it was "Father's Day is coming up. Tell us about your dad." to which I responded "My father's sperm is so powerful it is currently under investigation by Bud Selig."
Pretty good line, right? But did The Noise use it? Nooooo. That's okay - I can't stay mad at Rita/Lolita and her/their fantastic rack(s).
Speaking of fantastic racks, you know where there is a high concentration of human breast tissue? New York City. Scamper will be visiting the Knitting Factory
on Sunday June 11 with our new buddies Baker
. Show is relatively early - I think we go on at 9. Get out and show some love, Big Applers.
Anyone got any good jokes they wrote yesterday?
The 3rd Annual Day of Fun recap continues. Hip hip hooray! Check out yesterday's journal entry for part 1 of the photo essay and listen to all the creamy man-goodness over on the special edition Day of Fun Podcast
After we revived Hogg from his very handsome near-assassination at the hands of a tuxedo-wielding professional killer, we thought it was the right time to nerd it the F up. The three of us being recovering nerds, we try to incorporate some sort of shameless nerddom into the Day of Fun every year. This time, (at the advice of the Friendly Robit) we stopped by the MIT museum
at (of all places) MIT, where I was quickly introduced to my long lost twin brother:
The resemblance is downright frightening, isn't it?
But even the tranquil environment of the MIT Museum is not immune to the politics of the current war going on in the world. We discovered this disturbing message scrawled on the wall:
Now I have been clear in the past that in the great robot/zombie conflict, I am an open robot supporter. But in this era of great consternation, sometimes loyalties are questioned. So to prove my metal (heh heh) to the Friendly Robit and his mechanical friends, I did what any staunch political activist would do - I whipped out my robotic dick:
Our fists and knees red with the blood of a hundred dead nerds, your heroes left the MIT Museum (which we all recommend, by the way) and started a day of heavy drinking (which we also very highly recommend):
Then, we drank some more:
When we drank the bars out of booze and home, we just started pouring whatever was handy down our gullets:
Things got a little fuzzy after that. I vaguely remember eating some Chinese food and then we ended up at the Courtside
karaoke where I believe my crotch was grinded by this girl in pink (that part I remember quite clearly, actually):
And thus, the 3rd Annual Day of Fun sputtered to a drunken conclusion. Once again, the day was a smashing success. So much so that I think it's time to franchise this puppy out. Want to be a part of the Day of Fun? Here's all you have to do:
- Get at least one other friend to blow off work for the day with you.
- Do something nerdy/lame that you otherwise wouldn't do.
- Eat some delicious junk food and drink the day away.
- Take some pictures and send them with a description of your Day of Fun to me.
It's summer and working sucks. Let the Day of Fun revolution begin! Here's to ya:
Okay folks, it's finally here - time for the 3rd Annual Day of Fun recap! Hooray! Thanks to the wonders of technology, the recap will be a multimedia experience this year. Just click over on the Podcast
page to listen to the 1st Annual 3rd Annual Day of Fun Podcast. That's a pantload of annual!
The 3rd Annual Day of Fun began witha roll call of the usual no-good scumbags. Yours truly, who's always suspicious of your motives:
My Day of Fun right hand man/autistic Jenga genius Madden:
Our navigator/inspirational leader the Friendly Robit:
And introducing the newest addition to our Day of Fun team - former Australian teen supermodel Hogg:
Sorry, ladies - that sexy bitch pictured above is taken. In fact, his impending nuptuals are less than a month away. Because we have a very functional pimp/johns relationship, Madden and I are standing next to Hogg as groomsmen at his wedding in (Funky Cold) Medina, Ohio in July.
So the first stop on the Day of Fun was Ye Olde Men's Wearhouseee to be measured for tuxes. Unfortunately for Hogg, the Men's Wearhouse employee was actually a highly-trained assassin hired by his fiance to make sure that he didn't actually live to see the wedding:
Death by measuring tape. A fitting way to die for a man in such top-notch physical condition. Funeral services are on Saturday at the Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington.
I'm just kidding - Hogg's not really dead. But the Blogger system is being a HUGE pain in the ass about letting me put up photos (this cute little entry has taken me the better part of two days), so I'll have to say those words you love to hear:
To be continued...
(Oh, quit complaining - you've got a whole new podcast to plug in your greedy little ears.)
Good morning, punks. I can't tell you how psyched I am to be back at work! And it's busy as hell! Yeah!!!
My week-long vacation was lovely, thanks for asking. The only problems arose during a routine trip to the dentist (for me, "routine" means "every decade or so") during which a very nice lady told me that I had EIGHT cavities. Ouch. Then, another very nice lady broke down what it was going to cost me to get them filled, leading to the following conversation:Nice lady:
Okay, the total will be around $800.Me:
That's not too bad. Insurance will cover most of that, right?Nice lady:
No, that's WITH insurance.Me:
Excuse me?Nice lady:
The insurance covers 80%, so you'd pay this out of pocket.Me: [stares at her silently with rage in my eyes]Nice lady:
Well, thank GOD I have insurance, huh?Nice lady:
Uh... yeah. So do you want me to make an appointment?Me:
Why? What's the point? I can't afford that kind of money. Looks like I'm just going to have to live with a bunch of cavities in my mouth, huh?Nice lady:
Um... I guess...Me:
Bye! [storms out]
Causing a big dramatic diva scene by yelling at the poor dental assistant - I've got to say it was really one of my prouder moments. The thing I like best about myself? My maturity. Always a class act.
But you don't care about yucky dentist stories - you want to hear about the 3rd Annual Day of Fun, don't you? I've got you covered, Starsky. I'm just waiting for a few technical details to be worked out and I can give you a full multimedia presentation on the exciting Day of Fun festivities. Stay tuned this week.
Also, for those of you in the New York City area ("The City That Makes Its Own Gravy"), Scamper will be making a rare appearance in the tri-state area on Sunday at the Knitting Factory
with our new buddies Baker
. I know Sunday nights are tough, but Scamper doesn't get down to NYC very often, so we'd love all the big city peeps to come out and support your not-so-local rock heroes.