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Last night I was at the gym, sweating and puffing away on an exercycle when I was involved in one of the more idiotic conversations of my life. And I'm in Scamper, people. I've been involved in more than my fair share of truly idiotic conversations.
As with most gyms, there are televisions in front of the cardio area so that you can read lips of various television programs while your eyes are filling with the sweat and blood caused by this hellish unnatural state known as "exercise." At my gym, there are three channels: ESPN, CNN and MTV.
If it's one of the three hours a day when SportsCenter
isn't showing, I have to watch one of the shows with ugly-ass sportswriters yelling at each other and hitting buzzers for some reason. Pass. CNN at least has the ticker running across the bottom, but they've been a little Anna Nicole-heavy for my taste. In all fairness, she did negotiate the Northern Ireland ceasefire before her death, so she's probably worthy of the #1 international news organization's full attention. Still, no thanks.
All this leaves us with MTV. Yesterday, there were two consecutive episodes of Next
. Score. This program is perfect for watching without sound because a) it features heavy amounts of 18-year old boobs, b) you don't really need to understand what they're saying to follow the "story," and c) did I mention the 18-year old boobs?
As I settled in for my mind-numbing boob-a-thon, a conversation between two meatheads on the exercycles next to me began:Meathead #1:
She's such a bitch. She nexted that guy right away.Meathead #2:
Yeah, you can tell she's a bitch, even without the sound.Meathead #1:
She's not even that hot. Meathead #2:
She's probably going to next all of them just because she's such a bitch.
I am only human. I was unable to resist entering myself in the fray of this conversation.Me:
It's set up that way.Meathead #1:
What do you mean?Me:
The producers probably tell her to next a few people before she picks one.Meathead #1:
Nah, she's a bitch. She'll next them all.Me:
Clearly, all the shows are set up the same way. They even have writers giving the kids lines to say. Meathead #2:
They have writers?Me:
You know how the guys in the bus all say something in unison at the end? You think they came up with that spontaneously? It's all fake.Meathead#1:
Yeah, I guess...Me:
All the Kallissa Miller productions have that same bad acting quality. Date My Mom
, the new one with the lie detection software that's name escapes me...Meathead #2:
Who's Kallissa Miller?Me:
She's the executive producer and braintrust of these shows! She's the one that's pulling all the strings like the mighty puppetmaster!Meathead #1:
Dude, there's blood in your eyes.Me:
Curse you, Kallissa Miller and your sweet nutrition-less television nectar! I can't resist your combination of pure hatred and 18-year old man-ass! AAAAARGH[I collapse on the floor.]Meathead #1:
Dude, that was weird.Meathead #2:
Yeah. You want to date rape the volleyball team tonight?Meathead #1:
It's like you're reading my mind, dude.[They high five and then kiss.]
Yup, that's pretty much exactly how it happened.
I'm going to be away for the rest of the week, so I'll catch you cats on Monday. Peace.
Thanks to the smelly, unwashed masses that came out to TT the Bear's on Friday night to revel with us at the big Scamper reunion show '07. If you crapped out on us and no-showed the event, here's just a few things that you missed:
- Glassy-eyed Keith almost passing out several times during the set due to an illness. He's a little trooper, though. Even though he really wasn't well enough to be on stage, he didn't want to let you guys down. To make sure he remembered, we put a little note on the stage next to his set list that said "Hey Keith, DON'T COLLAPSE!"
- Many insulting jokes directed toward that douchebag Jason Dunn of The Luxury
. My favorite:
I ran into Jason Dunn in the men's room earlier and said, "Wow, I can tell it's really cold outside."
He responded, "What do you mean?"
I said, "Well, your genitals are so shrunken."
He responded, "What do you mean?"
- Most importantly, you missed the singing debut of our own drummer/freshly initiated lead vocalist Mike Mirabella. He truly indeedly brought sexy back to the manlove-hungry audience. It was a sight to behold.
We enjoyed being a band again so much that I think we're going to do it again. How about... March 10 at Harper's Ferry in Allston? Let's make some phone calls and make this thing happen.
RIP Dennis Johnson. Yet another giant of my childhood falls to this ugly thing called mortality. Someone check Lion-O's bad cholesterol level stat. I'm sure Third Earth doesn't have the best cardiac units and the furball-heavy diet probably doesn't help.
Speaking of bad health, you're going to hack up a lung from yelling about our awesomeness at the big show tonight at TT the Bear's Place in Central Square, Cambridge. We've got all kinds of fun and surprises planned for you, so don't be late. 9pm start.
Reminder about the big show tomorrow night - Scamper is the first band on, promptly at 9pm. So for those of you not willing or able to stay up all night and listen to that smelly jerk Jason Dunn's band The Luxury
, there's ample opportunity to come to TT the Bear's, watch with helpless glee as Scamper blows your knickers off and then go about the rest of your evening.
For instance, you could see Scamper perform and then:
- catch the last half of "Just The Ten of Us" on ABC's TGIFriday lineup.
- get home and schtoop the babysitter before your unknowing spouse gets wind of your rampant homosexual lifestyle.
- catch the late show of The Astronaut Farmer
. I hear there are several scenes in the film in which they try (without success, of course) to break his spirit.
- do that filthy thing that you always do on Friday nights. You know what I'm talking about and you should be ashamed
- set your clocks ahead. (Shhh... don't tell them it's not daylight savings yet. I want to see how many people do it. Wait - I just ruined it with this parenthetical, didn't I?)
What I'm saying is that you have NO EXCUSE for missing the Scamper reunion show on Friday night at 9pm at TT the Bear's. Jerks.
Thanks so much to Daniela for having me on her show Audio Therapy on WMFO last night. She gave me enough aural rope with with to proverbially hang myself, so that was nice of her. If you missed all the nonsense, you can check it out hnyaw
. Just find Audio Therapy on the schedule (Tuesdays at 5pm) and click on "Last show." It's just like the podcast except I had someone decent to work with for once instead of the rest of my band a.k.a. the Dead Weight Triplets.
Folks, the TT the Bear's show is only two days away. An important fact: Scamper is on promptly at 9 o'clock. Don't be one of those dawdlers that arrives late and misses the best part of the show, namely us. See you there, doodly doos.
Quick reminder: tonight at 5pm I'll be appearing on WMFO 91.5FM in Medford to pimp the big Scamper show at TT the Bear's show this Friday. This
Friday? Wow - is it here already? And you haven't even bought us our "Welcome Back After A Few Months Off From Gigging" gift. Don't worry - you still have a few more days. As always, Scamper is NOT offended by large sums of cash.
But before that, some rock and roll radio with Daniella Capolino. Here's how you can hear my sweet, sweet ass:
HOW TO TUNE IN:
- LIVE on the Air: 91.5 FM (within 3 miles of Somerville/Medford)
- LIVE on iTunes: Look under "Radio" --> expand "Public" --> select "WMFO"
- LIVE with WinAmp/XMMS at: webcast.wmfo.org/listen.pls
- LIVE with Windows Media Player at: wmfo.org/wmp.asx
If you're a jerk and you miss the original airing, you can hear a recorded version. Download/listen to an ARCHIVED copy of the most recent show on: wmfo.org/schedule.shtml
- Find "Audio Therapy" on the schedule, and right click the "Last Show" link. Then select "Save Target As" to save to your computer. (Archive typically available 1+ hour after show has aired).
Hope to see you there! And by "see you," I mean "you hear me." "On the radio." "Bye."
Pimpage alert: I will be appearing with stand-up comic/DJ extraordinaire Daniella Capolino on her rock and roll show "Audio Therapy" this Tuesday 5-6pm on WMFO 91.5FM. For those of you not within spitting distance of Tufts University, you can listen online at WMFO.org
Speaking of stand-up comics, many of you may have been following the story of Joe Rogan confronting Carlos Mencia on stage at the Comedy Store for being a joke thief. If you haven't seen it, check out the video hnyaw
. There is also an excellent article about joke thievery in Radar magazine right over hnyaw
Now, I'm not a stand-up comic myself, but I have a lot of friends and loved ones who partake in this particular art form. It may be difficult for someone not familiar with the scene to understand what a horrible thing joke thievery can be to to these artists. As musicians, we are in a much better place to protect from theivery. Imagine that John Mayer comes out next week with a similarly melodic song called "Sophie" that suspiciously suggests that his lady love leave her glasses on. There are avenues that Scamper can take to rectify the situation. Copyright laws are in place to somewhat resemble justice.
The art of stand-up comedy has no such protection. Here's what happens: you're a young comic who works on a bit or a joke, sometimes for years at a time. Maybe you develop enough of a good set to open for someone like Carlos Mencia or Dane Cook or Robin Williams. A few months later, you're watching HBO and there's your joke. Millions of people just watched someone else do it. Not only do you not get compensated, but now you can't even do your own joke anymore at the clubs because people will accuse you of stealing from the very guy who stole from you
. And what's worse - there's not a damn thing you can do about it.
While people may not like Joe Rogan for his stand-up or his reality TV show or his ill-conceived run on The Man Show
with Doug Stanhope, I think it takes a lot of guts to stand up (no pun intended) to powerful scumbags like Mencia when it could be detrimental to your career. Because of the incident, Rogan has now been banned from the Comedy Store and lost his agent. For telling the truth.
It may not matter to a lot of people that pieces of shit like Mencia, Cook, Williams, Jay Mohr and Josh Blue
get rich by ripping off other comics' hard-earned material. But it matters to me.
Yesterday afternoon, I got an urgent request from my good buddy Hogg, begging me to borrow this space to address the people. Of course, I agreed. Here's what he sent me. I think you'll agree that this is something with which we all need to be concerned:
Brendan gave me the opportunity to write to you Scamper fans about something because:
a. he knows this is an important cause
b. he's lazy and wanted a day off on the journal.
A fact on the Boston rock scene is that all Scamper fans have two things in common: their love of all things Scamper and their love of United States Coins.
As most of you probably know by now (and if you don't then you're probably not a true Scamper fan SO GET OUTTA HERE!) the U.S. mint has decided to make another go at creating a $1 coin. When I read about this I was like...ok...well...I mean if you think that's a good idea...
But then I read on and found out that this time, the mint is (metaphorically) taking no prisoners. Because... DRUM ROLL... the coins will feature all the United States Presidents (except the ones who are still alive)!!!!!
I was like "HOLY CRAP... JESUS STILL DOES LOVE US!!!"
A little back story here... dollar coins have always been something I've never really felt good about. They're heavy, they fit poorly in the wallet, and strippers hate when you try to use them (or so I've heard). I was never completely on board for the Susan B Anthony Dollar (I mean women's suffrage... come on) and the Sacagewa Dollar just made me plain uncomfortable... but the U.S. Presidents on coins... now THAT'S a different story.
To see people like Abraham Lincoln, George Clinton and Chester A. Arthur immortalized on coins over the next few years will not only up the patriotism factor in this country but it could seriously be the lynchpin to defeating terrorism.
So at this point in the journal I have to ask: are you psyched? Well if not, please read on because this little fact will drive you bonkers. Are you ready?
Grover Cleveland... gets TWO coins. TWO. I'm not kidding. Because he's the only president with two quote un-quote "non-consecutive" terms, he'll appear on two different coins. That little tidbit just about knocked my socks on my ass.
Now you're psyched aren't you! So get out there and spread the word!
CATCH PRESIDENT DOLLAR COIN FEVER!
After a long layoff devoted to recording new material, Scamper was set to reconvene last night in my basement rehearsal space to prepare for the big show on Friday February 23 at TT the Bears in Cambridge as part of the 2-night CD release party of that insufferable jerk Jason Dunn's band The Luxury
. It was time to pull out the space heater and get ready to annoy my neighbors with some loud-ass rusty rock-and-roll.
Unfortunately, adult life intervenes as usual. Keith Daddy had to live up to his name and play daddy to his 2-year old with a bad case of food poisoning. I swear, I don't know why Gerber continues to make that "Ten Day-Old Shrimp-Flavored" baby food. It just doesn't make sense from a business perspective. But with Mr. "I Don't Know Any Music Ever" gone, it only meant one thing:
The triumphant return of The Gist.
For those of you new readers, the three remaining members of Scamper have a secret identity: the cover band that really doesn't know how the entire song goes. We just sort of start, figure it out as we go along, get to a bridge or other part we don't know and sputter to an ugly, incoherent stop. At that point, we turn to the (imaginary) audience and say, "Eh... you get the gist." If you think about it, the audience already knows
how the song goes. It would be insulting for us to "learn" it and "play it correctly." That shit is so hack.
Last night, the Gist actually showed some improvement. We managed to make it through at least three songs (two of them, oddly enough, by the band Soul Asylum) beginning to end with minimal fuck-ups. More importantly, we stumbled upon a cover song that possibly we just might pull out at the TT's show next Friday. Maybe.
You'll have to come to the show to find out. Long live the Gist.
Hoo hah. It's cold out there, my little eskimos. In honor of the cold snap and impending snow storm, I offer my favorite joke about polar bears:A daddy polar bear is tucking his kid polar bear into bed:Kid Polar Bear:
Dad, can I ask you a question?Dad Polar Bear:
Sure, son.Kid Polar Bear:
Are you sure I'm a polar bear?Dad Polar Bear:
What a silly question. Of course you're a polar bear, son. Good night.The next night, the same thing:Kid Polar Bear:
Dad, you're a polar bear? Mom's a polar bear? You're both polar bears?Dad Polar Bear:
Of course we are. Go to sleep, son.The third night, more questions:Kid Polar Bear:
Dad, are you positive? Your parents and mom's parents were both 100% pure bred polar bears?Dad Polar Bear:
Yes, I am positive. Why are you asking these questions?Kid Polar Bear:
Because I am fucking freezing
As many of you regular readers may know by now, I am guilty of a particular prejudice that fills my bowels with the fire of a million charcoals: I hate hippies. If you'll remember an earlier post to which I am too lazy to find and hyperlink, I celebrated with evil, ugly-on-the-inside glee when the the Someday Cafe (the smelly hive of my neighborhood hippies) shut down last year.
This weekend, I decided to put my money where my mouth was and support the Someday's replacement with my dollars. So I headed to Mr. Crepe in Davis Square. When my girlfriend and I settled in to enjoy lovely hot beverages and spend the afternoon studying, I couldn't have been happier. The bathrooms were clean, the music played at a less-than-earsplitting volume and the tea was delicious. Most importantly, there wasn't a white guy with dreadlocks behind the counter giving me the stink-eye because I chose to bathe that morning and wasn't wearing the "hipper than you'll EVER be" uniform. In short, I was in heaven. I was already mentally writing my rave in today's journal.
As we were studying, a Mr. Crepe employee came over to our table and said, "I'm sorry, but we have a half-hour limit on tables. People are waiting." Incredulously, I looked around - sure, there were about 5 people in line for drinks, but there were also four open tables. There was plenty of room. It was a stupid and arbitrary enforcement of some corporate rule.
In other words, it's the one thing that the hippies would NEVER do to me. Damn.
I swear, that particular corner in Somerville must have a magnet for my burning ire buried deep in the soil or something. I just can't win there. After promising to never spend another dollar at Mr. Crepe, we had homework to do and needed caffiene and a clean table to get through it all. We were at a loss.
Luckily, we decided to try the ICafe in Teale Square on Vinny's recommendation. It's actually in the basement next to Amelia's, so it's easy to miss. But the coffee and food are terrific, there's tons of room and the couple running the place are early favorites in the Nicest People in the History of the World 2007 award. I couldn't recommend the place highly enough. So go there.
I'm saying the guy stinks. That's all.
Have a good weekend, all.
(Commence booing for lazy Friday post).
We're pretty excited about the show coming up in a couple of weeks at TT the Bears
, despite the unfortunate fact that we're sharing the bill with Jason Dunn of the Luxury
. The boy sweats so much during a set that after he's done, the other bands have to wade through a half inch pool of rancid salty goo on the stage. Seriously, I've ruined three pairs of leather shoes playing shows with this guy. Jason Dunn's sweat was responsible for the electrocution death of the guitarist of Country Joe and the Fish. He sweats a lot is what I'm saying.
That's all I've got this morning. Yup. Jason Dunn smells.
A little more on yesterday's story about Fooled By April
playing a show for exactly one semi-retarded audience member:
There was a giant disco ball in the center of the ceiling, causing circling reflections of light to dance across the floor. As Pete looked on, the semi-retarded audience member watched the lights race with autistic fascination, his head snapping with every turn of the ball. All of a sudden, the guy burst into action, charging after one of the lights. After a few steps, he crashed head first into a support post.
Rubbing his head, he turned to Pete and noticed that he was being watched.Guy:
I was just chasing after...Pete:
Oh - I'm fully aware of what you were doing.
That's what's become of me, people. I'm sharing anecdotes about other
But don't fret, true believers. Maybe our show at TT the Bear's on Friday February 23rd will be just as anecdote-producing. As far as I know, there won't be any semi-retarded people there... well, besides Jason Dunn of The Luxury
. Aw snap!
Sorry about the unexpected absence yesterday, but a few assholes from Fooled By April
and I went on a surprise visit to Rochester to cheer up our one-armed compadre Joe "Undisputed Champion of the Ladder Match" Welsh (I'm not going to even bother linking to his quote unquote blog anymore). I didn't tell you all about it because that would have ruined the surprise, you see.
A great weekend was had by all, the highlight of which was the invention of a great new gambling game for the broke: Laudatory Squares. It works almost exactly like a regular Super Bowl pool in which names are put in 100 squares and the last digit of the score determines winner. However, instead of winning money, the winner gets genuine, heartfelt praise from everyone else in the room.
It started out as a joke, but it turned out to be really great. In the first and second quarters, Sarah's friend Danielle got compliments from me on her haircut and her excellent spinach cheese dip. In the third quarter, I got to finally tell Pete what a generous guy he is. And for the final, Joe's friend Evan not only heard how much fun he was to hang out with, but got a hearty handshake and the occasional kiss on the cheek.
Laudatory Squares is truly awesome. I was genuinely hoping that my number came up so that people would barrage me with compliments. I was much more concerned with the results of the Laudatory Squares game than my office pool in which I had the potential to win $200. It turns out that genuine heartfelt praise means more to me than money. Who knew?
Of course, it wouldn't be a fun game without a little bit of risk. Since we had an uneven number of people, there were two "wild card" squares on the board. The first was the "clusterfuck of compliments" square in which everybody had to praise everybody else. The second, most dangerous square was the "clusterfuck of constructive criticism." Everyone would offer constructive criticism to each other's personality. This would be BRUTAL. Luckily, it didn't land on that square and we're all still friends.
Hooray for Laudatory Squares! Play it at the Pro Bowl next week and see how it goes.
Which leads us to the quote of the weekend: The fellas from Fooled By April were reminiscing about a show where they played for exactly one seemingly mentally challenged audience member.Pete:
I don't think he was full-out mentally retarded. I mean, he didn't have Downs Syndrome.Joe:
Well, he didn't exactly have Ups Syndrome either.
Some days, I just get tired of defending the city in which I live. Today is one of those days. If you're not in the area, our entire city got shut down
last night... for this:
A few things about this whole debacle. First off, these little glowing billboards are in ten other cities. I didn't check the news, but none of them shut down. Score one for us. Also, did you know these things have been up by some accounts for at least three weeks? Nice job, anti-terrorist squad. When my loved ones are threatened by one of those "gets planted and goes off three weeks later" bombs, I'll be sure to give you guys a call.
But what's really getting my goat beyond our inept mayor blaming the Aqua Teen Hunger Force guys for his collosal mistake is the media coverage of this event. Headlines have been like "Bomb Scare Turns Out to Be Cartoon Hoax" and "Cartoon Devices Spur Anti-Terror Scare." That's simply not what happened. Here's your headline:
"Boston Officials Create Terror Scare, Shut Down City For No Real Reason"
This whole event is 100% the city's fault. The advertising agency did NOTHING wrong. They posted lite brights in the shape of an alien. There is absolutely nothing illegal about this. How were they supposed to know that the city is run by fear-mongering hair-triggered morons? The fact that these poor guys are getting arrested and sued so that our worthless mayor can scapegoat someone for his embarrassing gaffe is beyond disgraceful.
Finally, how are we supposed to take terrorism seriously? The airports with the taking off the shoes and the "no toothpaste" rules was laughable enough. But after this - terrorist "threats" have become downright goofy. Maybe that's how we finally win the war on terror. We're laughing too hard to be scared of anything.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my big revelation. And it's not that I'm a Mooninite.