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All right, good people. Since my stupid day job won't give me any significant time off, I'm taking a little vacation from the journal next week. If something awesome happens, of course I'll fill your asses in. But if not, I'll be on an imaginary beach sipping mai tais of the mind.
But stay tuned to the scampernet for more fun, as late Nate still needs to give you his New Year's Eve "Who to kiss" list over in The Scene
. And there also might be another surprise or two before the hollydays are over. Or maybe not.
Have a great Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, New Year's and Tet offensive, everyone. See you in 2007! Unless we all die!
One more little story I forgot from this weekend's studio session. As Tom
was working with our engineer Rafi to digitally fix my many many
bass mistakes, the rest of us were hanging out in the Q Division
lounge, playing our 412th straight game of grab-ass, looking for something to pass the time. When Nate jumped on the computer, he accidentally stumbled upon someone's logged-in MySpace page. We had access to someone else's MySpace page. Well - this
could kill some time.
Our first instinct was of course to change the person's sexual orientation. It's your basic go-to MySpace prank. People rarely check their own sexual orientation profile once they set it, so we figured it would likely remain on the person's profile for a good long time, causing them to get some confusing and possibly intriguing inquiries from the pervs on the internet.
Unfortunately for that plan, this was a band profile and (with the exception of Scamper) there aren't all that many bands out there who are openly homosexual. So that option was out.
After a few minutes of thought, Nate did what any person in his position would naturally do - replace the band's profile photo with this:
Underneath the photo, Nate wrote "Coach Lubbock was here. Gotchya!"
After we giggled like Santa's elves on crystal meth for a few minutes, we wondered how long it would take for this band to realize their MySpace photo had been changed to one of the staples of ABC's TGI Fridays. Of course in all our giddy girlish excitement, we forgot to write down the band's name, so we actually have no idea what happened with it. There's no climax like an anti-climax!
So if you are a band member who's MySpace page was suddenly overtaken by Bill Kirchenbauer: you're welcome.
Good news for those of you who like pointing and clicking things! Scamper will be losing our last online contest of the year! That's right: the Noise Poll nominations
are out! Huzzah! The fifth exclamation point of the paragraph is upon us right... now!
For the uninitiated, every year the Boston indie rock magazine The Noise
posts nominations of the best crap that happened on the Boston rock scene in the last year. This year, Scamper is nominated for Best Song ("Barcelona") and Best Centerfold (for this atrocity
). So get over there and vote because it's all really quite important.
Actually, we're not sweating the awards too much anymore. We lose so so so so so so so so often that it really doesn't even sting anymore. As we learned from last year's Noise Awards
, if you want an award bad enough, you just jump up on stage and take it. We're still waiting for Dinosaur Jr. to come claim their trophy. We're keeping it warm for you, fellas.
Since we never win any awards, maybe we should have our own year-end award ceremony. Perhaps the Scampies? I hereby open the floor for nominations.
Rather than write a bunch of snark about our weekend studio session with Tom Polce
at Q Division
, why not tell the story in the time-honored format of the photo journal? Huh? I'm not afraid to get all Life Magazine
on your douchey asses.
Here, my girlfriend takes a few needlessly artsy shots of Nate and I laying down some serious funky funk in the A room:
Then, someone gets a drum lesson... but who's teaching whom? Fa FA!
While Mike lays down the drum tracks in the studio, Scamper auditions his replacement:
Quick story: as Tom and I were laying down the bass tracks, Keith slowly crept into the studio, sipping from a pumpkin spice latte. Without looking up, Tom says "Ok, you want to pull on those eighth notes really hard and why does it suddenly smell like a knick knack shoppe in Newburyport in here?"
It was funny. Funny is fun.
Hey corn muffins - sorry I left you high and dry last Friday. I woke up at around 8:30 on the morning after the Q Division
Christmas party featuring kegs and kegs of frosty free beer and promptly called in sick to Scamper HQ. Scamper management immediately informed me that my lack of a journal entry will be docked from my Scamper paycheck next week, but I suppose it's all for the best. Keith insists on paying us in "Scamper Bucks" which are only good at the Scamper store which has really inconvenient hours over the holidays.
Still, some highlights from the holiday party:
- I was pretty psyched up for free food. As Mike, Nate and myself walked in, they greeted people, said hello to other bands, etc. You know - like grown-ups do at a party. I, on the other hand, practically sprinted to the buffet table, knocking over pregnant women and gamey-legged British orphans on my way to the sushi platter. As I barrelled through the crowd, I heard Nate over my shoulder say, "Wow - look at him. He's not talking to anybody
- Some of the greatest bands and musicians in Boston were performing and jamming in the other room. And I refer to it as the "other room" because it was the room without
the many kegs of frosty free beer. So I'm just going to go ahead and assume the music was great. The beer, on the other hand, was free which automatically makes it great.
- As the night wore on, I got into a deep discussion about atheism vs. agnosticism with our wonderproducer Tom Polce
. In the middle of our pyrotechnic explosion of intellectual deconstruction, he turns to me and says, "Did you just fart?" I hung my head in shame as he walked away.
Speaking of Q Division and Tommy Boy, we hit the studio this weekend... and I'll give you a full report on the capers and hijinx tomorrow. Boo-yah! You just got punk'd!
Good news for you fans of internet commerce: all of our songs are now available for purchase directly from our MySpace page. If you haven't spent 99 cents to support your local rock heroes, all you have to do is click on the little "myspace" button in the upper right hand corner of this page. Bingo bango bongo - just a dollar a pop. Come on... you have a dollar that you know you want to give to us. It's just burning a hole in your little pocket, isn't it?
Speaking of big money deals, you have probably read by now in most of your major media outlets that my superagent Big Phil and Scamper management finally came to an agreement on a blockbuster deal to keep yours truly in a Scamper uniform for a long time to come.
While it's always tacky to talk about money, here are the details of the most lucrative contract in Scamper history:
- 17 years/$428 million dollars (to be paid if I make it to my 112th birthday. Come on, science!)
- Keith is banned from ever saying the word "uvula" in a non-medical context. This was a sticking point with me.
- Each of the other members of the band has to refer to me as "Big Poppa Hoss" at least once per rehearsal, but it MUST sound completely natural and unforced or I get to punch Keith in the uvula.
- Big Phil is now majority owner of the XFL franchise the Las Vegas Outlaws (Shh... he doesn't know the league went under. I didn't have the heart to tell him).
- In the case of physical injury to my musical hands, there has been a large grant put aside to MIT to fit me with kick-ass bass-playing cyborg arms. I might use my super cyborg strength to fight crime. I can't wait. It's going to be fucking boss.
- Nate and Mike have to kiss whenever I say.
Overall, I'm happy with my deal and look forward to performing for the good people of Scamper Nation for a long time to come. Unless Big Phil thinks it's a good idea to renegotiate. Then, it's holdout city, plebes!
Overheard at last night's Scamper pre-production session with wonder producer/unconvincted sex offender Tom Polce:Tom:
So for this intro, you're going to have total fucking chaos and then suddenly slice it up like a fucking surgical strike of rock and roll. You guys can do that, right?Scamper:
Other than the icky surgery metaphors, the pre-pro session with Tom went just swimmingly. The new material is starting to shine like a beacon of hope in a time of despair in a valley of death on a horse with no name. It's good shit.
The next step happens this weekend when we hit the studio for Mike to bang the skins for a bit and yours truly to lay down some funky-ass bass. And of course we'll keep you up to date here on your only source for insider backstage Scamper news, the Scampernet.
In other, more hilarious news
, Evel Knievel is suing Kanye West. I must admit it - I love it when old people get all worked up about shit. It just makes me giggle. And when said old person happens to be in the form of the awesomeness that is Evel Knievel? Even better. And you throw in Kanye West, a constant source of hilarity - I think we have achieved the perfect storm of comedy. Laugh at others with me, people.
Pre-production update: it's T-minus 7 hours and counting to the inhuman brutality of the Tom Polce pre pro session. People, it's going to be a bloodbath. I'll give you an update tomorrow... if I survive.
Now, many of you are wondering how my participation in pre-production sessions is effected by the ongoing contract negotiations between Scamper management and my agent Big Phil. To catch you up, Scamper posted an exclusive negotiating fee of $312 and a coupon for a free Taco Bell chalupa. And that was just for the right to talk
to me. I'm sort of a hot ticket.
The negotiations began in earnest with Scamper making a moderately generous offer to retain my services as the Boston area's sexiest and most incorrigible bassist. As a counter offer, my agent Big Phil responded by clogging Nate's toilet with a BM the size of a Sherman tank. Say what you will about Big Phil's tactics, but the man earns his 34%.
The heat is in Scamper's court now. That's right - I'm so confident about getting a good deal that I'm mixing metaphors. Scamper, Inc. is feeling such pressure to sign me that they have flown their executive board out on their private Scamper jet ("The Chartreuse Moose") to try to woo me with platters of Maine lobster covered in caramel and a bevy of past-their-prime strippers just hanging on long enough to make the last payment on that tanning bed.
Well, it's not going to work. I can't be bought off that easily. Okay, I can. But Big Phil is made of stronger stuff. And chocolate chip cookie dough.
I'm in a weird mood.
Good morning, nutbags. My nose is still in recovery mode after some nasty little invisible pathogen at my parents' house prompted an allergic reaction to rival the itchy case of SARS I got last year. There was snot coming out of my toenails. My sneezes were comically blowing off the toupees of midlife crisis-suffering passers-by. It was a mucousy, ugly scene from which I am not quite fully recovered.
With the judicious use of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and spackling caulk, I did manage to cease the facial leakage for just long enough to have dinner with my lovely girlfriend Arielle last night, leading to the following encounter:Me:
Your pancakes look good. Can I try a bite?Arielle:
Sure.[I take a forkful of pancake and life it toward my mouth.]Arielle:
: They're not pancakes. They're croissant French toast.Me:
Okay.[I nod and continue the fork's path into my mouth.]Arielle
: Sorry. I guess that wasn't such an emergency.
How was everyone else's weekend? Any French toast-related disasters?
Pre-production update: last night, your local rock heroes hit the basement for the first of what's sure to be several infuriating sessions playing along with a metronome in preparation for recording. Luckily for 75% of Scamper, the old "ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR..." female robotic voice machine lost her long and brave battle with non-Hodgkins lymphona, so she won't be darkening our rehearsal space hearth with her smug electronic insistence. Hip hip!
Sadly for the members of the band that are named Mike, this means that there is a new schmancy metronome in town: a headphone version of the tempo that only he can hear. So while Keith, Nate and I have a grand old time, playing along to the drums business as usual, poor Mikey has a deafening "THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP" ringing in his ear drums. It sucks for him, but the frustrated faces he makes while trying to keep time are simply HIGHlarious. We're thinking of making him wear the headphones at shows to add that element of visual comedy that has been missing for our live performances.
Next week, we are shoved through the Tom Polce wringer for two last pre-pro sessions and then on to the studio. As always, you can only get your up-to-date Scamper news here, on the Scampernet. (Shockingly, CNN.com is not reporting the goings-on in Scamper's pre-production sessions.) Have a nice weekend, true believers.
My good gawd. Larry Bird is fifty years old today. Fifty! I haven't checked with a doctor, but I'm pretty sure that fifty is officially too old to come out of the Garden crowd during the fourth quarter, rip the suit off to reveal a green #33 jersey underneath and dominate these young whippersnappers, leading the Celtics back to their glory days of championships.
Up until today, it seemed possible if not inevitable. But fifty years old... I'm starting to believe that this scenario isn't going to happen.
Happy birthday, Larry Legend! My childhood is officially dead!
I've got some slightly sad news for you this morning, democracy lovers: it looks like we didn't receive enough online votes to advance in the WFNX Last Band Standing competition. We in the band are utterly crestfallen about the whole thing, as now we won't have the opportunity to win whatever was the valuable prize of this, our 367th straight contest loss.
There's more than enough blame to spread around on this particular public and embarrassing failure. Perhaps the band's obsession with the new pumpkin-flavored pixie sticks has distracted us from doing the necessary groundwork to create the public support needed to compete in this contest. For that, we take full responsibility for a moment and then quickly shift to the blame game.
For instance - what about WFNX's role in this whole thing? Aren't all good contests fixed? What - now you're above rigging a contest to help out your local rock heroes who have done so much for you? We allow you to play our song "Barcelona," thus increasing how much you get to charge in advertising air time, don't we? And what about the time Scamper used our spaceship's tractor beam to rescue you from getting dragged into that black hole during the Great Zablax Conflict of 3429? What's next - are you going to pretend that all alternative rock stations don't have intergalactic time machines now?
And then of course there are the real
culprits - you. Our so-called "fans." What - you couldn't put down your Thanksgiving turkey thighs and your Kwanzaa hedge clippers for a minute
to vote for us? No, you were too busy with your "jobs" and your "children" and your "sudoku puzzles" and your "knitting hangman's nooses out of a dead Cape Verdean's pubes" and your "making diaramas out of Us Weekly
clippings featuring a creepy scene of an unholy polygamous marriage between you and the cast of Desperate Housewives
." Really, you've become such a cliche.
Actually, that's why we brought you here today. This isn't actually a journal entry - it's an intervention. Look, we in Scamper really care about you and we've been concerned about some recent changes in your behavior, so we decided to get together and confront you. This isn't easy for any of us, so I'm going to just come out and say it: you're not spending enough time on Scamper.
According to recent studies done by the Scamper Foundation, a healthy well-adjusted person spends 75-80% of her day on Scamper and Scamper-related activities, including sitting and quietly thinking about Scamper, buying Scamper products, telling her friends about how awesome Scamper is and most importantly voting in at least one of the several dozen online contests in which Scamper competes every day. You're just not fulfilling your end of the bargain. We love you very much, but we hate your behavior. It's got to stop.
We have made arrangements for you to get on a plane right now and go to our luxurious Scamprehab resort in Phoenix. It's not a prison, but a spiritual reawakening center. For 28 days, you will spend 12-15 hours a day getting reacquainted with your inner Scamper fan while helping to produce low-cost t-shirts and coffee mugs for your fellow Scamper fans to purchase.
This is your big opportunity. It's the right thing to do. What do you say? Will you get on that plane?Stay tuned for scenes from next week's episode of the hot new reality show Scampervention.
Tis' the season for pre-production, fa la la la la, la la la la...
(sung to the tune of "The Stroke" by Billy Squier).
That's right, all my little Who's in Whoville. While you're spending the holiday season nestled all snug in your beds with visions of January credit card bills dancing in your heads, Scamper returns to the studio this month to lay down a couple of new sugary morsels of power pop to kick up the saccharine level in your oh-so-fragile diabetic blood streams.
Whenever a new recording session rears its stressful head, your local rock heroes have their endurance tested with a few dreaded pre-production sessions with wonder-producer/bronze medal-winning soul kisser Tom Polce.
Don't get me wrong - Tom is a great guy and a lot of fun to hang out with, but he can be quite the demanding taskmaster. And all the cute John Travolta impressions in the world don't take away the sting of him stopping rehearsal, turning to you and saying "Douchebag, are you even trying
to play this right?" Ouch. He's lucky he gives such good handies or there'd be trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Polce, Tom.
By far the most nerve-shredding aspect of pre-production is the evil metronome. I'm pretty sure this thing was forged by the drippings of Satan's scrotal sack. To get the tempo perfect, we spend hours playing along with an obnoxious robotic voice screaming "And ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR, and ONE and TWO..."
Needless to say, this robotic metronome voice haunts my nightmares. And to say the least, it doesn't exactly detract from the general tense atmosphere in the rehearsal space. So if you read about the grizzly murder of a local power pop drummer, tell my wife not to sell my Billy Ripken "Fuck face" card while I'm in prison. That shit's going to be worth some serious dough some day.
I'll be giving you updates on the pre-production sessions over the next few weeks. Huh? Won't that be fun?
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but I am so delightful, blah-blah-blah blah blah blooo, let it snoo, let it snoo, let is snoo...
It's the first snow of the season this morning and I was late for work. That's right, even the miniscule amount of slushy snow that wasn't even manly enough to collect on the ground was enough cause for me to be late. Tis the season, yadda yadda.
In other news, I have heard the rumors of a groundswell of grass roots support urging President Bush to nominate me for the position of Ambassador to the United Nations after John Bolton tendered his resignation
. While I appreciate the support, I want to nip this in the bud right now, before anyone spends millions of dollars on opposition research to smite my enemies. There are several reasons why I really can't take on this job.
First, I just don' t have the time. What with my day job, graduate school, my band and my highly illegal Serbian mail-order bride/assassin business (not brides and assassins, but brides who are
assassins), I simply don't have enough hours in the day to smile and play diplomatic grab-ass with a bunch of funny-talking dignitaries in gay-ass red sashes.
Oh, and also - I hate foreigners. Especially the funny-talking ones. This job might not be for me. But seriously - learn to speak proper American, Mushmouth Annan.
It's all a moot point anyway - I'll never get past the Senate confirmation process thanks to a lingering grudge from Delaware Senator Joe Biden. I'm telling you - you dip your balls in a guy's egg nog in front of his elderly mother at a Washington Christmas party once
and it's a big to-do. Jeez, Senator. Let it go - I was flying on mescaline. Cut me some slack.
Don't let Biden's appearances on Bill Maher and Jon Stewart fool you - the guy's just not that "cool." The "balls in the egg nog" bit killed
at the Gore fundraiser. You just cost yourself a primary vote, Senator.
So while I am flattered by all your support and cash donations, please don't waste any more of your energy lobbying me into this position. If nominated, I will only abuse my position to receive immunity from New York City's fascist "no punching homeless people in the face" laws and possibly change the national bird of Guatemala to Doug the Penguin.
In the third paragraph of this journal, I first accidentally typed "Ambassador to the United Nates." True story.
Happy Friday and happy December, good people. Sorry to all of my readers out in the Midwest area. I hear you chumps have been hit with some ugly-ass snow storms. Wouldn't know what that's like - it was near 70 here in Boston the last few days. I spent yesterday soaping up my car wearing nothing but jean shorts and a halter top. While you were shoveling out the spokes of your Huffys, I was pressing my supple tits up against the windshield, much to the delight of both my pubescent and Viagra-ridden elderly neighbors. I was like Jessica Simpson in that video... except sexy!
I guess what I'm saying is: sucks to be you, snowbound suckaaaaaaaaaaaas! We in the Northeast will never get our come-uppance! Never!
Let me make a list: horrible image of me at a carwash? Check. Weather hubris that will offend the weather gods so much that they'll likely drop 49 inches of the evil white stuff in my driveway tomorrow morning? Check. Excessive and uncharacteristic overuse of exclamation points? Check!!!!!!!!111
Yup, that's just about all I've got for today. Have a nice weekend, all.