Thursday, August 13, 2009

The end of an era

So I am going to bid this blogspot adieu. Fear not though my loves, we're headed for bigger and better things. As it turns out, tumblr is way easier for me to update from my phone which will allow for much better communication. Also, for your convienence and mine, you can now just go to Fancy huh? Tell your friends. So the site is hosted at and will hopefully be more exciting. For now the old posts will stay here but new stuff will be there. Good? Good.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

grand rapids, mi

right now i'm sitting in the computer lab at a college i don't belong to nor ever went to. brian and i are working on putting together some handmade artwork today after a good nigh last night. yesterday was a serious of pit stops to fix sweet pea, my lovely 93 plymouth sundance, and after hours of wind swept hair we were quite excited to be able to close the windows and reapply the air conditioning without watching the temperature gauge go through the roof. that was a wonderful feeling.

when we stopped for gas we decided we were hungry, and since both of us are trying to eat well, we debated internally and aloud for what was probably way too long in the snack area of the food mart. we eventually decided on pretzels, and dipped them in our great value crunchy peanut butter. not too shabby, no high fructose corn syrup, and only a few stabalizing chemicals we barely knew about.

we then left for phillip's to stretch our legs and relax with a beer after a near 7 hour drive. phillip had invited a bunch of friends and had a nice big garage for us to play in, as well as a cooler full of beers. again, not too shabbby. we relaxed and hung out with phillip and his friends, told stories, listened to music, met his mom and generally enjoyed not being in the car. but then i got a few messages from my friend echo in grand rapids and decided we would head up that direction. brian and i are planning on going into canada so i can do some more writing for the book and so we can visit some old friends, so getting up this way seemed to make the most sense. we pulled into echo's area around 4 am. luckily death cab, circa, and communipaw kept me awake and moving in these early morning hours while brian dozed in the passenger seat. the moon was shining brightly and the roads were near empty so i blazed down them in hopes that others were under the same moon sleeping well in their beds. if i can't be somewhere i want to be here, in the moment. there are other places i'd sometimes rather be, and other people with whom i'd prefer to be spending my time, but that is not my place, it would seem. so, we much enjoy these moments. i'd thought we'd get to echo's around 230 or 3, but forgot there was another time zone change. whoops. sorry echo. but we got there, woke her up and soon fell asleep among new cat friends and their kittens.

this morning brian and i woke up and headed over to meet echo for lunch and then walked around grand rapids. i like this city, and Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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ter the last time i was here it holds a special place in my heart for being so welcoming and loving. after a walk around the park after lunch we said our goodbyes to echo and brian and i headed for a bookstore and now to this here lab. and that's that. there are no rules, and if there are, well, they just don't apply. i hope you find fun and laughter in your hearts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On the road again

I have a slowly healing wound at the base of my right hand pointer finger that I'm wearing like a badge of honor. I spent the days prior to and the morning of my brothers wedding chopping vegetables and cheese, cutting up roast pig, cooking salmon, preparing fresh cole slaw. Now, yes I am mainly vegetarian, but seeing as the pig was going to be prepared regardless of my protest and I'd offered my full services for the weekend, well there I was. After lots of last minute scrambling the day of the wedding I took a relaxing dip in the pool, showered, got dressed and prepared for the onslaught that is close to two hundred family members coming into what had been a mainly relaxing space. But it was great. It was wonderful seeing so many people I'd not seen in a while, the ceremony was beautiful and fun and during and after I built a nice buzz. Throughout the night I restocked drinks and food despite protests from my brother and his wife. I was kind of enjoying that people saw me as a bit of a leader and efficient worker. After taking pictures and eventually making a half drunk but decent speech I changed into jeans and a tshirt. You might think this a bit too casual but by the time the bride and her father danced, he was in shorts and sandels.

I'm jeans and a t I danced drunkenly with friends and started saying goodbyes. By around one am it was mainly friends who would be stayin over. The twenty or so of us danced until about three at which point we decided we needed to do work on the fourth and freshly tapped keg. Suffice it to say all shirtless guys and bride doing keg stands while the remaining gals laughed and took photos is pretty much a great ending to a great day. Around four I built a tent out of tables and table clothes and went to sleep in the backyard. A few hours later my parents woke me up breaking down all the tables and chairs. I disk have much choice but to get up and help so possibly still drunk and definitely tired I got up and got right to work. After an hour or two I knew I'd not be able to sleep after workig and drinking last nights now cold coffee. So a dip in the pool and some sandwiches a shower then goodbyes. It'd been am amazing week or so but I must get back to my life of nomadic movement, continue on my path of potential emotional destruction.

I had to drive five hours to pick up my buddy brian in Ithaca where he'd had a wedding himself. Unfortunately he had to sit in a cafe for so hours and talk to questionably fun people. When I got there I was wasted tired. I got some food and made nice with the locals but we decided to make our way to my friends in buffalo. Four hours later brian and I were finally relaxing in my friends living room watching a movie. Still tired. When my boys got home from their night out we all caught up and I got to sleep at about three. Up at nine to eat with chris so still wasted tired almost hallucinating. But breakfast was good and seeing chris even better. Am eventually I somehow ended up in chris' tattoo studio gettin work done. I really wanted brian to get the work he wanted as well but there wasn't much time ad I felt weird trying to haggle with my friend who offered to tattoo me. I still feel bad and lie I navigated the situation poorly. So while I ended up with an amazing piece I wish I couldve worked things a bit smartly.

It was then off to kent Ohio to meet up with greg and laura whom I'd seen recently but was still quite happy to see. Brian and I made a stirfry with tofu and then greg made us watch the strangers with liv Tyler, who my new tattoo oddly resembles, and I'm only partially ashamed to admit that the movie scared the shit out of me quite a few times. That sort of all suspense meets anxiety type of horror does not agree with my hippy heart. Still I enjoyed it in a potentially masochistic way, at least enough to see how people could get addicted to the rush.

This morning after a breakfast of cantelope brian and I headed towards Illinois and I anxiously kept my eye on the ever high engine temperature. But after an emergency gas station purchase cum repair and today after quite a bit of speculating and subsequent coolant filling I believe we fixed the problem. Look at us. A couple of mechanics are we. Ha. Ok, off to get to work. Sorry it's been busy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

the big day

today my older brother is getting married. i've spent the last few days shopping, cutting vegetables and cheese, making drinks, creating bbq sauces, meeting new family and friends, taking dunks in the pool and drinking beers. it's been a wild ride of good times and warm feelings. i feel blessed to have a new extended family that have given up their home to our ridiculous invasion, took us in and allowed us to live comfortably. i'm definitely impressed with everyone's openness and positivity and think it bodes well for a life filled with beauty for my brother and just about sister in law.

tomorrow i leave for my two week tour with my buddy brian (the waltz) but i've been terrible about getting information out to the masses. i realize this is stupid, but i've been so busy thinking about all of this stuff that i've just not had the time to sit down and sort everything out in my head. i suppose i'll have to do that at some point today, and if not tomorrow before i leave. oh well, we'll see what happens.

how are all of you? in all my traveling and hanging out, i've not checked up on you? i'd love to hear how the world is treating all of you, both those i know, and those i don't. i hope splendidly. i send my best and will be sure to let you know how the upcoming travels and exploits go.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

a thousand pounds of cheese

i'm up in massachuetts shopping, preparing, and generally readying for my brother and soon to be sister in laws wedding in a few days. i shopped all day with my parents, navigating the western mass towns, visiting destinations that all seemed to somehow be about 1.5 miles from each other, not enjoying traffic cirlces and trying to figure out how much cheese and vegetables 180 people might or might not eat in a 10 or so hour period. it's wonderful to see my family, especially my brother and his lady, a wonderful couple that give you faith in love.

in the coming days i'm headed towards canada with my buddy brian and i'm quite looking forward to it. we'll be meeting up with many old friends, i'll hopefully be getting a tattoo finished and eating at new york subway burrito, paying too much for booze, and laughing my ass off. the laughing is purely a function of good times, not the high priced booze, i promise. still, i have a car that i paid 500 dollars for that's taken me over 40 thousand miles, great kids to see and a variety of untold adventures i'll enjoy unfolding.

i'm also currently reading many good books about food and how it's shaped our culture, and between that and talks with an amazing mate, i've decided that i think i might want to stop eating fish. it's hard to do so when the next few days have been planned around the fact that i will in fact eat sea dwelling animals, as many attempts have been made and dollars spent to ensure that i have animal protein at my ready, but once that all commences, and i'm back in my own mini world, i think i will revert to a purely vegetarian diet. i think that will make me feel better about many things, and i'll keep you updated.

tomorrow will also bring the beautiful arrival of my younger brother, whom i miss dearly, and will also allow me to discuss our upcoming collaborations prior to his leaving for eight months. i'm so excited for him to study abroad, but know too that i will miss him and eagerly await his arrival. it's strange to think such ways seeing as he's not yet left. but, we predict these things. so, we'll drink wine, spend evenings with loved ones and feel blessed. we'll see the union of a couple that we wholly believe in and be happy. and this is how it should be. come the morning of my departure i will give hugs and well wishes and then back off into the world that is sleeping on floors, writing, making friends, reading, singing songs, drinking and wondering if there is a place for me to eventually lay my head on a more (semi)permanent basis. i question these ideas every day, but love that there is existence for me, that there is beauty and that there is love. i send all that i have to you, and hope you're doing the same. i also hope you receive it fully. laugh loudly, love deeply and live completely.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

we woke the birds

this morning, at 7 am, i was on the g train coming back from williamsburgh. seriously? seriously. just so you know, the last few days i've been staying up until 5 or 6 am while in the apartment, but this is mainly due to the fact that i hate going to sleep and have no real reason to get up at any specific time. but, riding the train when it's fully daylight out, in the same clothes from the night before, obviously having not slept and among people doing morning routines, well, there's a feeling of shame that comes with that. then again, perhaps it means i won, that i lived the day.

the day started out innocently enough, with me writing, playing beatles songs, listening to music, reading. and then i talked to buddy brian and we decided to go out and get in some trouble. so, i hopped on the g train and headed up to meet spencer at his tour bus in williamsburgh and then we'd meet up with brian. i ended up catching brian right before i got to the bus, so the two of us went and hung out with spence and the cobra dudes. we then left for what was supposed to be a fifteen minute walk to a rooftop party, but what really ended up being about a forty minute walk to bushwick where we showed up to a house that was disgustingly hot and sweaty and a roof that apparently was no longer the location of the party. after getting yelled at by the dudes who lived in the house multiple times, we decided to just pound a few beers on the street and then head back to williamsburgh. seeing as it was already 1 am and we'd barely even done much but walk, spencer decided to go to sleep and brian and i met up with amazing old friends of mine, val and betsy. i haven't seen them in possibly years but we still talk reguarly and miss the hell out of each other. we met up at union pool, as it was an obvious landmark, but didn't want to drink there due to crowded hipsterdom, so we made our way up to the alligator lounge, which while not way better in the hip sense, it totally rules because with every beer you buy you get a pizza. amazing. i've still been eating mainly raw stuff, though for dinner i had to roast all of the veggies that were starting to turn, as i didn't feel good about eating them raw. but, pizza rules, and when it's free and you're drunk, it rules even harder. so we ate pizza, drank beers, traded stories, caught up and generally loved. after we left brian headed home and i joined val and betsy back at her place to hang longer and harder. we picked up some more beers and had a blast. val said if i was going to make him come out late, as they were originally planning on going home to bed, that he was going to keep me out late. and late he did. well, early i suppose is more appropriate. still, while i hated myself crawling into bed at 8 am and subsequently back out at a time considered evening by most, i'm extremely happy that i got to spend such an awesome night with people i love and miss dearly. so, today was another relaxer. sure, i've been lazy, but i'll be back in nonstop movement grind soon enough. i guess you could argue these are all the weekends i never get. then again, who needs weekends when you're life is party?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

i caught a mouse

this morning the cat was laying with me in bed, and then got under my chest. yea, it was weird. i couldn't for the life of me figure out why she was so interested in my decidely unimpressive torso. then i felt something little move, looked down and saw a tiny tail. somehow, a baby mouse had found its way into bed with me. impressive. obviously a girl. ha, i'm an ass. but in standard cartoon fashion the cat played with the mouse a bit and then let it escape before i could catch it. so, i got out of bed, ate some fruit, played guitar, listened to the beatles and read "fast food nation." overall, quite a lazy, but enjoyable day. i'm allowed these short respites, no? i figure, seeing as i didn't even get back into brooklyn until 4 am, i could relax today. sure, that works.

last night was awesome. my buddy brian and i split a 40 minute set at a bar in trenton, nj where i have lots of friends. after spending the day in new brunswick, and sharing dinner with my brother i was relaxed and ready for a fun night. so, we played a great show, brian really killing it and me playing without a mic cause i love the intimacy. also, brian just got his cds mailed to him, his first solo record. so exciting. congrats brother. anyway, so while i had to fight a talking backround audience, the people up front were amazing and supportive and yet another night was spent with me feeling swollen with happiness and excitement. so many people had such great things to say and were so kind and giving.

the bands that played were awesome as well, which made both brian and i miss playing in rock bands. nick from ape up is an old buddy and a killer drummer, so watching him was great and the ruining totally ruled. i've played a bunch of shows with their singer nick recently so to see the full band was awesome. so many great friends, beers with loved ones and laughs abounded. after it all though i had to take it easy and then drive back to brooklyn to take care of the little ones.

oh, and then this afternoon, i caught the mouse. i put him in a cup and let him out the front door. i kind of feel bad, because i don't know if he'll find his family, but at least the cat won't kill him. good luck little buddy.

Friday, July 31, 2009

it's nice getting your ass kicked

last night i played the court tavern in new brunswick, nj. i was asked to play by a good buddy who said that there'd be a bunch of people there and that the other bands knew me and liked the idea of me playing. i liked this idea, so i was down. plus, what else do i have to do? sitting in apartment that doesn't belong to me in a city where i don't live hanging out with a cat and bunny i barely know is fun, sure, but i'm supposed to be playing shows, right? yea, i'd say. so, i hopped in ole sweet pea (my 93 plymouth sundance) and headed down 278 west (after having to turn around twice to actually figure out how to get on the highway) towards staten island and ultimately new jersey. did you know it cost 11 fucking dollars to get out of new york that way? fuck that. i understand why people never leave. anyway, i got to new brunswick, parked my car and went to the court. while there i realized my brother was playing a show just down the street, so i headed over to see him play, running into jillian and liz on the way. i was happy to see they came to hang out, as it's always nice to see familiar faces of lovely people. when i got to my brother's show there was a suggested donation, of which i could not really afford to pay, and they then didn't want to let me in. now, i'm all for supporting bands, especially touring bands, especially since that's pretty much how i make my money, but this was to support a local college arts group. now, that's cool and all, and if people have money to spare, i think that's amazing to support them, but if you're going to do a suggested donation and then try to turn people away when they can't or won't pay, well that's just bullshit to me. if that's your style, just make it hard entrance fee. then there's no grey areas. anyway, they eventually let me, but not after doing their best to make me feel bad, which they continued to do after the show when i went to leave. whatever, fuck them, this ain't my first rodeo. ha, sorry i'm so surly, i suppose it's this beard.

now, our buddy dave was not able to be at the show tonight, and neither was kel, so communipaw was a two piece, just brian and keith. but it was great regardless. in a way, perhaps better, as their obvious connection comes shining through as just the two of them. i love those kids to death, and hope to eventually play music with them again. i'm not going to lie, playing solo is so convienent and my assholeness doesn't need to be an issue cause it's just me, but seeing them together makes me really want to have a strong connection with others playing music. i'm not entirely sure i'm capable of it, but i'd really love to try. my brother is going to be away for 8 months starting in september, so i hope to work my ass off learning how to play guitar well and listening to music with wide open ears. i have songs i need to learn, licks, techniques, etc. when he gets back i hope we can make music and if so, we will make the world sing.

after giving my boys hugs, jillian, liz and i headed over to the court, catching up with tommy on the way. tommy is a great mate, and later in the night, out of the corner of my ear i thought i heard him describing our relationship to some other people. if he was in fact talking about me, it felt great. i heard, "...pj dated my sister six years ago and we all met, hung out and we soon became fast friends." i love it. great people, lots of love, lucky me. so awesome.

now, as far as the show is concerned, there was not much to speak of, but i try to have fun. and i've had so many great shows recently, so many wonderful nights where i'm not sure it works and then people come up and clap me on the back, buy merch, ask for contact info, tell me to come back. nights like those are great, and the ones where people stand close and clap along are even better. last night was more of a "bands watching other bands" kind of situation, which i've obviously had many times, but when i finished and buddy brian played a few songs people weren't even being polite anymore. they were talking loudly, laughing, clinking glasses, etc. my issue is that there is a bar upstairs where everyone is loud and downstairs is there to listen to music. but that's neither here nor there i suppose. i also remet a kid i've met about 10 times. seeing as i hate that i do this to people, i should be more understanding, but i met this kid again in a very specific situation a week ago. whatever, a little taste of my own poison. i decided though, that these were all good things. it's good to get your ass kicked a little bit from time to time. it's good to have reminders that there's still a fight needed. not to say that i've been basking in luxury by any means, but i've had some great shows as of late or at least great experiences, so i need to remind myself and others that i still have lots of work to do. but i'm willing to do it and relish it. i think it's great and look forward to pushing myself more and learning to become undeniable. we'll see how that works out.

a little before last call i headed over to another bar to meet up with my brother, keith and a bunch of other friends. i can't stress how much i love these kids. it's weird, having people you respect so intensely and love being around and also can get silly drunk and flop around the bar together being ridiculous. i rubbed my beard all over people and we laughed our asses off. i suppose it was a "you had to be there" kind of thing, but suffice it to say, even if just for a minute, we were glorious.

of course the only way to end a night like this is to retire to the pizzeria. this fucked with my near raw diet i've been enjoying the last few days, but i guess you just have to live, you know? buddy brian, what i trooper. probably didn't get home until 4 am, and had to work this morning. and i know him well enough to know he went and kicked ass and killed it at work on 4 hours sleep. that guy's a monster. love it.

i crashed out on a couch in my underwear without a blanket, as it is hot as all get out in new brunswick in the summer. fans barely do anything. but i woke up, had a nice breakfast of grapefruit, mango, blueberries and cherries along with my first coffee in days, all thanks to sugu. we sat and discussed my recent hatred for the government that's grown out of my current diet of food related books. it's odd that 1) i'm so obsessed with reading about food, and 2) that the most i've disliked and distrusted the government is based off of books written about food. i'm halfway through michael pollen's "the omnivore's dilemma," and eric schlosser's "fast food nation." in the recent past i read pollen's "in defense of food," and blew through "skinny bitch," because i was curious to see if it was worth something or basically tabloid fodder. i was actually pleasantly surprised with the content that sat behind the base vernacular. they also referenced a variety of texts i've read and enjoyed, most notably, "fit for life," by harvey and marilyn diamond. if you want your thoughts on food to be clarified and demystified, i suggest reading all of these books, but perhaps fit for life the most. they're all easy reads and quite enjoyable in their own rights. but yes, i currently am quite displeased with the state of our food production and how it's destroying both our planet and bodies. sorry for that tangent, but it's been taking up a great deal of my brain and heart as of late.

now i think i'm going to go work on some songs and hope i can get this metal splinter out of my finger by tonight. i hope you're all with loved ones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

it's in the mail

last night at around 4 am i looked at the clock and asked myself what i was doing. i was awake, watching the last few episodes of "lost" that i'd missed while on tour, and was feeling a little ridiculous. but then i realized, that i like being able to completely disregard traditional time tables and not worry about whether or not i'm "supposed to" be awake. i think by now you're probably aware of this with me.

i finally went to bed at 6 am, after waking the birds and the sun. i knew it might mess with my morning (well, afternoon) schedule, but other than writing i knew i only had to get to the post office. when i finally got out of bed around 2 pm i got up, caught up on a bunch of emails and web updates, showered and went to the post office. and there, my friends, after a few back and forths with the kind woman who helped me, i put my artwork and record in the mail. now, this may not sound momentous to you, but to me it's huge. i was hoping to have this record released in july, and to be honest, while that was perhaps a mildly unrealistic goal, if things had been slightly different i would have probably come close. the thing is, by working with my current label/friends and by choosing the people i did to help me complete it, i added quite a few months to the process. some of those months are necessary and i don't mind and a few were just stupid mistakes on my part or someone elses that delayed the process. still, now it's in the mail. which means i'm offically done with my side of the recording/creating process. and that feels amazing. it felt done a while ago, but this is the final feather in the cap. and now we wait. the hope is that a month or two from now i'll have copies in my hand and then a month or two after that you will. i know that seems like a long time, but there are always in betweens/delays when you do a record, as well as necessary set ups between companies who will be distributing it, the label, me, you, etc. it's a wild process, but an interesting one. i'm hoping to be a bit less slow in the future and already have a few plans in the works for some split 7"s with friends and some other ideas up my sleeve.

so, that was essentially my day so far. i woke up late, did a bunch of business stuff, moved my car, went to the post office, played with the cat, ate a bunch of fruit. i know it doesn't sound very exciting, but i'm on my way my friends. writing this book and touring are now the only two things i need to worry about for a little while. last night i wrote a few pages and this is definitely going to be a ton of work, but it's a pretty amazing feeling. i look forward to revisiting a lot of these memories and trying to capture the feelings i've scratched into notebooks or tucked away in my brain. wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

sitting on cats and houses

i am currently in brooklyn in a sweet apartment that does not belong to me. i have a few shows this weekend and just got back from a great weekend of shows with trunks and tales ( the shows ruled, i got to catch up with old friends and enjoyed my time with the t and t guys, as well as getting to meet and befriend blaine. i think when i eventually write my book, i will title this section "three days with blaine," and will suggest that you spend three days with every person you can. i realize this might sound ridiculous, but whenever you get a chance to spend a few days with someone that a friend of yours deems worthwhile, you get to see a great deal more than you would if you hung out with them randomly over a period of months. at this point i feel i'm pretty good at getting to know people fairly quickly, but if you can do that in a night, think about what three days will do. so, i suggest, if you have the opportunity, spend a few days with as many friends of friends as you can. it may seem odd, but i assure you you'll quickly realize that most people in this world have the ability to be somebody in your life. that's not to say you'll be best friends with everyone, but it wouldn't hurt to have a whole gang of acquantences, friends, tight friends, lovers, family, etc. i suggest you check it out.

after playing the shows this weekend the trunks guys dropped me off in montclair to pick up my car where i'd ditched it, and i caught up with buddy brian. what a great dude. i'm so glad i've had the ability to spend so much time with him over the course of the last year or so. i then said my goodbye to brian and ran to the grocery store to pick up a ton of fruits and vegetables and headed to brooklyn. i'm house sitting and i decided i was going to do some mild detoxing this week. to be honest it will probably only be a half detox, as i don't plan on stopping drinking, but while i'm here i plan on drinking less and also eating a mainly raw diet. i was considering doing the master cleanse, but not only is that crazy intense (though this is the week to do it, with no work and a toilet close by) but i am not sure i'm mentally prepared for something so strict and heavy. i figured though, with some self disapline i could eat a very clean diet, cut back on the drinking and flush myself out a bit. overall i want to hunker down and write as much of the book as i can this week. the way i look at it, while i'm not "traveling" this week, nor will i be as much after i get back from my next big tour, i'm pretty proud of myself for how much i've been moving around since i set out on this adventure, and am still yet to get a job or home. it's actually really exciting to know i'll have my own apartment in part of new york city for a few days. my older brother once told me that at some point, everyone needs to live in the city. while it's not manhatten, and it's only a week, i still feel like i'll get just a small taste. i'll walk to the corner store for a coffee or beer, hop on the subway to go visit my buddy at work on the lower east side, maybe ride a bike with my friend from brooklyn. and who knows, perhaps someday i'll be able to afford to live in the city, but seeing as i probably will not be able to, i'll at least appreciate what it's like for a week. i'm going to go to jersey to play some shows thursday and friday, and while i'd rather just stay here the whole week, playing shows is what it's all about. i really don't know how many shows i've played, but i should figure it out, huh? if i had to guess i'd estimate somewhere in the area of 60 during the past 3 months, but i'm not sure. while i'm writing the book i'm going to try to chronicle as many things as i can, shows, roommates, etc. my memory is not perfect, and i've been living more than recording, but i'm ok with that. why? well, because that was the whole point. now that i have some free time i'll catch up as much as i can and then attempt to keep as best track as possible, but i guess i don't think that's as important as actually experiencing it. i'll keep you updated on how the thoughts adapt over the next few days. i may also be biting off more than i can chew this week, but when i get back from the next tour, i'll have another few weeks off, so i'll find myself some place to call home for a short while and work even further. if the book is up to date, i'll catch up on reading, writing songs, maybe do some local traveling, who knows. but i know that sitting in an apartment that's not mine on a computer that's not mine has already let the next chapter of the adventure begin. so far i've listened to the association, backstreet boys, beach boys and a slew of other great and/or ridiculous groups.

all this being said, i'm going to get started writing and hope i can make some sense of my journal and blog entries and get some ideas down so that eventually i can share my entire year in one ridiculous saga. i hope you think it's as awesome as i do. i relish any thoughts you may have. be well and stay safe.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let's try this again

Ok so I spent a long time writing only to find out it didn't post so if this enter seems disjunct, I apologize. Anyway, here we go.

The last week has been super busy and filled with some great times. Early in the week I went to new Bruns to meet up with Jacob for drinks and to hang before he moved back to PA for a while. It's so funny how we haven't hung out in a year, but he came back from Budapest and we fell right back into being bros. I guess it helped that we stayed in touch the whole time. Still I love that we could hang without missing a beat. Do you have great friends that just get it? I sure hope so. When you're with a good buddy and you're just in it, life is glorious. Seeing Jacob was definitely the perfect way to start off the week, and being able to introduce him to buddy brian made my friendships all the better.

The middle of the week found me hanging out in Brooklyn and manhatten, eating delicious food, going to galleries and stores that normally would scoff at the likes if me, but when accompanied by a beautiful woman, well I come off as the requisite scummy artist, and while these people might not exactly have my ticket, I'll take the free ride. I like the idea of being able to float through social barriers and circles. The homeless kid among high rises. Oh, and of course I ate awesome pizza at lucali. Well done.

On Friday my brothers band communipaw, had their record release and asked me, buddy brian and our friend Charlie to open the show. I was supposed to be playing Philly that night but was so scatter brained and knew I needed to be at the cpaw show that I just made it happen. It was so nice to see so many old and new friends as well as parents. I think it's amazing when parents come to shows to support their kids and are genuinely excited by the music. I'm not used to this but very much appreciate it. More than one parent told me they love the one song I wrote on the communipaw ep which meant a lot. Since situations like this are rare I played the song along with some other new ones and felt good. Standing in the middle of an art gallery without a mic, just me and my guitar, stomping and singing, I was living. I think it went over really well and I felt great.

Before communipaw played they showed a short film about the making of the record. Of course it was awesome and both pride and mild jealously inducing as is almost everything my brother does. Besides a few technical issues the band sounded amazing, as always and then it was off to the bars. I got to catch up with some great friends if not seen in a while and got to know a few other people better which I fully appreciate. Off to bed.

Yesterday morning I woke up and my buddies in the PA folk/punk band, trunks and tales came to pick me up. After coffee and eggs we headed out to Waterbury, CT which should be two hours but is never less than five. When we got to Lil tommy j's home for lost boys we were two hours late and somehow one of the only bands there. So after many hours of sitting around and 32 ounces of sol, the show got under way. I was seriously surprised that the show didn't get shut down for being so loud so late. But it did not and around ten pm I grabbed my guitar and headed for the living room. I'm never really sure what kind of response I'll get but Connecticut treated me well. These kids were stomping and clapping along making me feel warm and loved. After my set I was told I definitely need to come back and got tons of hugs and sold a bunch of merch. However what really sealed my place at the home was when I showed them my lost boy lip tattoo. They made me take a photo for the wall and told me I was always welcome. Amazing. It's so incredible to travel around the country and sing songs I wrote in my moms house and have people respond well ad positively. One kid gave an amazing compliment, "I like your stuff man, but most of all that you're honest. That's quite evident." perhaps this is not verbatim but is the same sentiment and it made me feel great. This is not the first time I've heard this and I love that. If I'm known for being honest and writin good songs, well then I'd say I won.

And that mainly catches us up. I'm sorry if I missed anything. I remember a few things now that were in the previous post but that info will show it's face in the coming days. Thanks for baring with me the last few weeks, as it's been quite a wild ride. But now I'm back in the saddle and look forward to hanging hard. Let me know what you've been up to. I send my love.

God damn it

I just wrote a huge blog for almost an hour and it got erased. Sweet. Now I have to drum up the interest to rewrite it all. Fuck me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another day for nothingness

So I'm back in Burlington and the Ghosting tour is pretty much over. I say pretty much because we don't have a show tonight but one tomorrow. The reason this sucks for me is that I have to sit around all day today and tomorrow waiting to play a show tomorrow night before I can head home on wednesday. Normally this wouldn't matter and I'd relish the idea of staying in a beautiful city for a few extra days but there are people I love that I haven't seen in a while at home and I am anxious to see them again. Jacob/jake is back from Budapest and it feels so amazing that he's just a cell phone call or text away. When he was overseas I couldve called but it's either skype or phone cards and there's a six or so hour time difference. Now it's just pull out the old mobile and shoot the kid a call to hear the days happenings. And today we did this, back to our old give and take of stories of love, crushes, confused hearts and advice. He's an amazing buddy and I'm so happy to have him back so he's one reason I want to head back to the area. Oh and he and I have still not had a beer together. Can you believe that? I also want to head back to see about some things that I've hoping will still be there when I return, furthering my anxiety while sitting in this city. Oh and I'm thinking of taking a short respite from drinking which seems to make both meeting new people and the idea of hanging out a bit daunting.

Here's the catch: if I leave town now, like I would like to, I'm bailing on the Ghosting dudes. They offered to play the show without me but that's not really cool of me. We'll see how the next day or so will work out, but I can tell you that the ole brain will be working overtime regardless of me wanting it.

Right now I'm sitting in the local food co-op after eating lunch and a cute little boy just walked by who oddly looks like a forty year old junky. It's a strange look. Let's hope he's healthy and ages well. There's also a great deal of love here, both platonic and romantic. It's really warming though i'm not going to lie it also makes me feel incredibly lonely. I suppose that's not helping me want to stay in town when I know I'll feel loved in jersey.

I also suppose I should catch you up on recent events. I have a feeling I'll be better in the coming weeks but I should fill in the holes. Last week I stayed at my brothers house and felt comfortable and at home. Late night songs and wine. Morning bagels and eggs. Great friends and family. Then off to the jersey shore where jared Ghosting caught up with an old fried and I spent a good part of two glorious days feeling enormous. But eventually the bubble needs to pop and after a great day at the beach and a hippy dinner it was off to Trenton to meet up with old friends and play at the mill hill. We played a fun show and my brother and keith joined me for my set for a good, albeit drunken time. I'm also really proud to introduce people to my friends as I have the best ones around and that night was no exception. From Trenton we went to long island where I got to meet up with my old bandmate Shaun and his girl ella. It's always great to see them and I loved catching up with my boy. We were supposed to play in another band together but I got let go. He did as well recently which is bullshit but he'll be better off. I'm glad to have gotten the full scoop though. This night was also the beginning of me creating terrible senarios in my head based on zero to flimsey made up thoughts. I'm an idiot and need to learn how to go with the flow better. Just let go and let things be. Anyway from there it was to new Brunswick to blow some zeds then up in the morning to see jake back into town. It ruled to feel his presence back in my life. We played Ewing nj that night to nobody. At times like these I wonder what I'm doing with my life. I know I know it's stupid. Life comes in waves. From Ewing it was up to buddy brian's for big hearts, beers and grilled cheese. Love that dude. Then up to providence where on the way I started to make some peace with myself. Again, waves. We hung out at an indie arts festival and I sat quietly under a tree. Life felt good like everything would be ok. Then to vegan BBQ! I was hoping I'd see some providence friends but no dice. Oh well next time. I got to talk to my great friend from home, Amelia, and that felt amazing. She's one of the beat people I know. We played a good show and afterwards went back to chris from Jesuscentric's apartment. It was really nice to be comfortable and be able to get more writing done, furthering my feeling of peace. The next morning I got shaken up a bit but possibly not in a bad way. Always interesting. Then off to Allston mass knowing I'd get to eat veggie hot dogs at spikes so I was laughing. Buffalo dog! The show was fun and I got to play an acoustic set as well which always feels great. At the end of the night we said our goodbyes to Jesuscentric and empty orchestra, whom we'd played with during the weekend and it felt great to know I made good friends that I look forward to seeing again in cities I like but want to know better. And then we drove home. Well Burlington. And so here I am. I guess that's always the case, right? There we are. My supreme hope is that with this life I find things rather than lose them and create and spread love rather than stifle it or spread negativity. I'm going to keep working towards beauty and hope you'll join the journey. Much love.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back on the road

I feel as though I'm just now being forced to pay for all of my sins. Well let's not kid ourselves that's rather hyperbolic and probably far from the truth, but reardless it seems my chickens have come home to roost, so to speak.

The reason I've not written the past few days is two fold. It started because I was back in the jersey area for a bit and was catching up with old friends, trying to live a semi normal life if only for a minute. The second reason is because once you take a break from this crazy ride ad subsequently writing about it, starting up and writing again seems quite daunting. That's not to say that mini breaks are not sometimes necessary but I suppose I need to remain dilligent about writing should I hope you lovely readers will follow. I do know in a couple of weeks I will have some much needed time off with no shows and a place to lay my head, and it is during these days I plan on catching up on the book portion of this project. My goal is that by the end of the year (if I'm able to survive it) I will have a loose book version of my accounts that I hope to heavily oranise and edit and hopefully publish, even if that means doing so myself.

What's funny is that fairly early on I realized that I'd probably become quite the philanderer, or perhaps other unthinkable things. What I mean by this actually has a lot to do with a question a friend asked me a month or so ago. "so what happens after the year?" a completely valid but hard to answer question. I explained that I was not quite sure but relished the idea of finding some sort of clarity or perhaps answers to other often asked questions. And oddly, dear reader, at this very second while writing to you unnamed mass, Im feeling a moment of peace; furthermore, this is beautiful as I've been fighting through a storm of doubt, pain and sadness as of late. The thing is that one of the answers I gave my friend centered around the thought that perhaps sometime during the year I'd fall in love and have a reason to settle down, to have a place I'd like to call home. And sometimes you think you see a light at the end of this tunnel and othertimes you feel completly immersed in this darkness. And despite what the saying says about darkness and dawn, I find perhaps the darkest we see is after a flash of bright light. Catching a glimpse allows us to see some things and then when said light is extingushed we are temporarily blinded, left to fend fir ourselves in total blackness. But perhaps there is a dawn ahead. At this very second I have faith, despite the death metal band playing in the background.

So as this year progresses I hope to regale you with tales of woe and wonder, laughter and lament. I hope to write songs of hope and sing them at the top of my sometimes sad lungs. But I'll have faith. It's good there's rain. It washes away the sorry rainbow expressions. I'm not perfectly sure of this line from basketball diaries but the sentimnt is there.

Anyway the last week or so has been spent catchig up with loved ones, playing shows, and most of all, riding am emotional rollercoaster. Are you getting tired of this metaphor? If so i'm sorry but you truly have no idea. But it's real. It's life. My great friend Jacob just returned from spending a year in Budapest hungary and while we were speaking he said the one lesson he learned from this year is that nothing is that hard. Sure, things are tough but we get through them. Thaw actually a pretty great lesson to truly learn. We've been told this before but to fully digest it is priceless. It also got me thinking about how I'm three months into this year long pilgramige of sorts, he just finished one and my brother us scheduled to start 8 months in India starting in September. By the time he leaves I'll be five or so months in, which is close enough to half the year. The craziest part is that after the sixth month mark I feel the end is almost in sight. Not really but after conquering six months what's so more? This is not to say I can't wait for this to end because honestly at times this has been the most amazing ride of my life and I also know that when this year ends I'll still be me with all the same fears and hopes and dreams. While I will grow I'll still be pj. It's interestig. I suppose it's quite similar to the idea that wherever you go there you are. You can run away from yourself no matter how much we may want to at times. But that's Ok. If we learn how to live with and love ourselves we'll never be alone. Jacob was talkig about how in the end you only have yourself so find a way to make yourself happy. I can definitely appreciate this. However to add to it I hope to eventually find someone who gets it and wants me in their life as much as I want to be in theirs. Until then though I'll take to the roads and to the hills, making sure I stop to eat berries and make friends along the way. I invite you all to do the same. Thank you for being here with me and I send you my unconditional love.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Little compass

We're driving up interstate 85 and listening to little compass. They're the last band I toured with in my band outsmarting Simon. OS was my baby, my first real mature love. Sure, high school introduced me to first, fleeting, young love. We spent our summers locked in the basement nursing vampire like paleness emerging only for quick dips in the pool and to steal away to the pool house to get high. But even though we had a great time and felt warmed we were only just beginning to learn how to exercise our hearts and truly feel great things. As we moved onto college I found more fullfilling music that spoke to the core of me, and eventually amazing friends with whom I'd make music and count on as great mates and travel partners. We'd move around the country and into Canada as a crew of seemingly miss matched polite pirates. We came to your town, drank all your beer, kissed your women and did your dishes, the only signs we existed being recycled cans and folded sheets in the morning. We shares dreams of booking agents and the possibility that perhaps one day we could play the music we loved to rooms filled with friendly faces night after night. We hoped for interviews and reviews, third and fourth records, trips over seas, time at home relaxing, free of temp jobs and substitute teaching. But these dreams were for naut. And I think I'm ok with that. This is not to say that I don't wish it wouldve happened, but in a way it's better it didn't. By way of "failure" we succeeded in every other way. We stayed great friends, stayed positive, stayed mildly innocent and never thought ourselves over important. When I toured with later bands nobody ever knew OS but the few times they did it was usually a really big deal to them and therefore to me. At this point I've done huge tours and nothing tours, but those OS ones will forever stick out to me as important and real. I count greg, Maguire and Kelly as some if the best and most talented dudes I've ever met and I consider myself extremely lucky and proud to have shares the stage with them some 500 times or so. We never officially broke up, oddly similar to how my breakups with girls are usually fizzle outs because we still care about each other but maybe not as passionately as we once did. No bitter fights or blowups, just a simple recognition of an undesired resignation. So, to this day I hold outsmarting Simon close to my heart, and am proud to have its ink under my skin. I will give up everything I own and carry my timeline on my body. And listenig to little compass adds a bittersweet night cap to it all. Both bands stopped playing together after the tour, and neither ever mattered to the masses; the silent passing of nobodies. But we live on in our hearts and music, and because of the experiences I had with my friends I felt I couldn't stop moving. So here I am, a 27 year old child with close to nothing to his name, save a timeline of ink under my skin and memory songs in my heart. Fill these lungs with fresh, free air, and the world is mine. I suggest you do the same. I send my love.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

on the way back home

so, if you consider me having a home, then i'm headed back towards it. right now i'm in atlanta, where while i know a ton of people i seemingly never see them. anyway, in a few days i'll be back in new jersey, which has a few really great things attached with it.

i'll give you a big recap/update tomorrow perhaps, but how about some photos to catch you up? this starts the day after i ate the vermonster. i went to visit my cousin and loved every minute of the peace, warmth and kindness. enjoy:

i love chickens and a duck!

the fossils left at the rock quarry were pretty intense. they were everywhere.

this rock quarry was behind the house where i was to pot luck with old people. love it.

free ben and jerry's and being made to play songs by an old folk group is pretty sweet.

my cousin and his new beautiful baby boy.

100% of the time that i have a pot luck dinner with 60 year olds i have fun.

i'm not really very excited by "historical" stuff, and found some parts of this boring, but watching this boat get out on the lake was pretty cool.

chickens! their eggs were so bright and eggy. i'm falling in love with farm fresh everything.

this is the local library on my cousin's island. amazing.

how true it is. finally someone gets it.

this is weed, he's awesome. his buddy, we called "bike horn." not sure what his real name was.

this is one of the sweeter bikes i've ever seen. it was at the creephole in michigan city, indiana. i know, that's a strange name for a city. anyway, if you look closely, you'll see that the bike is "rage certified." fuck yea.
i like cute notes/cartoons.

grand rapids is a colorful city, and i like it.

if you see the guy with the black acoustic guitar, he's actually playing the lights. what i mean is that there were a variety of cables and a light box wired into this gutted guitar, and while he screamed he ran the light show. i can't tell if this is genius or idiotic. maybe both. i think they felt the same way.

peace sign made of bottle caps in grand rapids michigan. who says alcohol leads to violence?

in milwaukee i to relax on this bench and catch up on phone calls. tyler (bass player of ghosting) then told me there was a plaque nearby that led him to believe we were in gang territory, as it spoke of "fallen latin brothers," and made references to the neighborhood. not totally sure, but it was interesting, either way.

i didn't realize i have my own soda. awesome.

jared enjoying a "chelada." what's better than bud light mixed with clam infused tomato juice? a lot of things, actually. yikes.

i'm reading a book right now that talks about mcdonalds headquarters in oak brook, il, and on the 3rd of july, oddly, we were there.

fourth of july with sweet bros and chicks and an awesome show. can't shake a stick at that.

indiana cuts their pizza into squares. really? come on midwest, get it together.

christina had quite the sweet owl collection. we played her apartment built in an old schoolhouse. wild.

it took two songs for the landlady to come and tell the band they couldn't play a living room in an apartment building. who knew?

welcome to my mini smoothie.

spencer says he wants to kiss me with a beard. or, i'm a giant drinking a normal size smoothie. either caption works.

does your chosen beverage come in orange camo? no? then you're not prepared for war. i've declared one on my liver.

white castle fish sandwich. why did i so this?

sometimes jared likes to have conversations on the phone in weird places.

we met this dude named "smoke," who is a current hippie, ex punk who saw the cro-mags in philly in 82. amazing.

do you like fishdicks? do you like fishdicks in your mouth?

if you think you're band has gear, check out the blue letter.

this is the excitable jack russell, peaches, from louisvile. what a little pisser. literally.

my soon to be sister in law, beth, and lupe. big time. hanging out with them in asheville was awesome. my brother and beth have an amazing garden and a warm, welcoming house that always makes me happy to be at.

why not drive your tractor to the local gas station? oh, and presumably he's handicapped. or he'll get a ticket.

for whatever reason, the hospital in orlando served a wide variety of good cheap veggie friendly food, so we went and pigged out. the only problem was we had to deal with ridiculous artwork and hospital smell.

i believe this was titled, "chief of surgery." wow.

sure, screamy/chaotic music and sparklers go well with a chicken hood.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grow a garden in your backyard

I've really not had much internet access on this tour, I'm sorry I've been distant. Oddly though the tour has been going really well. I say oddly because this is ghostings first tour which is usually rough and in general tour can be hard but especially when you're traveling in a packed vehicle with people you don't know. But things are going swimmingly and we are all in good spirits. The shows for the most part have been going well and we've made enough money to stay afloat so far so that's awesome.

To catch you up three nights ago we played in our new friend christinas living room. This is not usually weird but she lives in an apartment and it happens to be in an old school. I'm serious. The landlord lives in the auditorium and there are chalk boards in all the apartments. I know it sounds like a story you'd read in middle school but it's the truth. So weird and cool. Anyway I played some tunes that sounded great because the acoustics in the room ruled. Then we did an acoustic Ghosting set which is funny because normally we're really loud and heavy. Oddly it worked really well. We've been talkig about doing a split this winter and now we're thinking they should do their side as an acoustic part. Anyway people seemed to really dig it so it was fun. After we played a band we met the first night played. They're called leaving songs and they're good dudes and a good band. But they're loud and they didn't want to play acoustic. So at ten pm on a weeknight these guys set up a drumset and amps in an apartment living room and started playing. Of course as soon as they did the neighbors came out of their apartments. Two songs in and the landlord was there. I'm impressed it took that long. So we called it a night and just relaxed the rest of the time.

The next day we went to get breakfast and walk around indianapolis. After askig many people we determined that there was nothing exciting to do in of around the city so we headed foe Cinncinati where we were to play a bar show. We got to cincy super early so we went to the record store and hung out. I decided that I could probably find joose there finally. All of the other places we'd been were just too nice but this was not the nicest area. Sure enough they had joose and four loko which is even more ridiculous so of course I had to get it. We drank it in the car and then Tyler locked the keys in the car. Re funny thing is just the day before I said we should make a copy of the key and nobody saw a point. Luckily the front window was cracked so I was able to pop the locks. Since it was so easy we then cracked the back windows and closed the front ones. Remember this it's important. Afterwards jared and I went to white castle because he'd never been (fucking vermonters) and he bought me a fish sandwich because it was funny and I can now eat something there, albiet something terrible for you. It tastes about as good as you'd expect. I think I also burned my mouth on it and it still kind of hurts.

We then headed back to the bar to see if it had opened yet but no dice so we sat out front and talked to an aging hippy named "smoke" who told us he'd seen the cromags in Philly in 82. It's so cool to meet ex punks who now follow around ratdog selling jewelery. A bit later pam showed up to open the bar. Pam couldn't be older than 35 but had four children the oldest of which is 20. We sat around and talked to her until more people showed up. Turns out we weren't even on the bill but were allowed to open up which meant we played to the other bands. For the most part that's all anyone did. After we played we went to load the truck and realized I locked the keys in the car. Jesus. So we spent the next hour trying to pop the trunk and locks with a stick taped to a broom through the back window. We couldn't get a good angle or leverage but were so close. I then found a kid to get me a hanger but was afraid it would bend in the door so with some help from the base player of the blue letter we fashioned a hook and I hooked the keychain and fished the keys out through the window. Sweetness. It was then off to louisville but not without stopping for a road soda at the gas station where the fucked up shitty white dude told me not to sneak up on him and yelled at me the entire time I was waiting peppering his tirade with racial epithets and slurs. Awesome. Just what I wanted. I got out I there as quickly as possible and then we were off to Kentucky.

In Louisville we were to stay with an old Burlington friend of ghostings. Paul is a super sweet punk with a kind quiet boyfriend and adorable but exciteable jack russells. Scrappy, the boy, still had his balls and I saw more red rocket than I cared for over the twenty or so hours we were there.

In the morning we got coffee and talked to an eighty or so year old woman about the area. She was unphased by tattooed pierced punks. I liked that. We then headed for Asheville where my brother and soon to be sister in law live. We were headed for Orlando Florida and needed a stop over. Atlanta made more sense but my atl connections were not coming through and I liked the idea of seeing my brother. It turned out that he was getting on a plane to Europe but I decided going to see beth would be awesome anyway so we drove to Asheville and got there around eleven. It was really nice being back at beths house and hanging with someone I'm really happy to welcome to the family. I realized while talking to beth that parts of her reminded me of another person that really makes me happy which makes me smile even more. So we stayed up drinking and sharing stories and then took the dog lupe for a walk and looked at wild flowers and veggies. We went to sleep around four and this morning got up and checked out the garden. Beth and chris have such a great place that is warm and welcoming as well inspiring. By the way mustard greens are awesome. We then went to the coffee shop where chris and beth have pottery displayed and then it was off to eat a quick vegan lunch before our ten hour drive to Florida. And here we are. I hope to put up photos and update the days soon. I'm in the 80s though which is pretty fucking wild. I hope you're living loudly as well. All the best.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Man I really need to get to a computer. I definitely wouldve thought I'd have more opportunities to sit and write but I guess not. Perhaps someday I'll be able to afford a laptop that works and then I could at least do things at shows and the such. Regardless I can use my little thumbs to type in randomness. I think I'm somewhere close to 70 days out if the real world. It's pretty wild and I definitely have a lot of catching up to do writing wise.

Right now I'm in the Ghosting car driving down interstate 65 towards Indianapolis to play a last minute show at a friends house. The tour has been going really well which is a very pleasant surprise. I started off with a bad attitude for a variety of reasons but was quickly reoriented which is awesome. Also I was a bit worried about money but everything seems to be going well and if it stays this way we'll be in great shape. We've even filled in a bunch of the off dates which totally rules. So now I just need to work on the next couple of tours and worry about my possible upcoming trip to Europe which I really really hope comes through. We shall see how that all works out but I'm definitely hoping. Also there are few reasons why I'd like to take a short break from traveling and it seems like I might be able to for the perfect amount of time, so again here's to hoping.

As for the last few days, they've been great. We stayed with owen in oakbrook, il and enjoyed various fourth of July activities, met tons of awesome people and heard so many good bands. It's incredible how much awesome music the Midwest is able to churn out. Well done. When I get to a computer I'll detail a bit more. I'm going to go read about how corn is taking over our dinner plates, as well as everything else we ingest.

I hope you're shining.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ghosting tour update

so right now i'm sitting outside of the national coffee shop in milwaukee wisconsin. it's closed, at 8 pm, which leads me to believe that after 5 it's beer drinking time in this city. or maybe it's always time. regardless, their wireless still works, so i'm happy.

the last few days have been fairly momentous. i'll be honest, i was mildly skeptical about this tour for a variety of reasons, but they have all washed away. i was being silly and am terribly happy i was wrong. it's the best feeling to have a negative outlook turned around. my ghosting bros, drummer jared, singer matt and bassist tyler are great dudes and we're having a blast. this is their first tour, so they're so posi and excited by everything, which is of course makes life more fun and touring easier. i'm a jaded old man who's toured all over the country countless times so occasionally i laugh to myself seeing how stoked they are on everything. it's cute and reminds me of when i was young. i can definitely appreciate that.

two nights ago we played at the creephole in michigan city, indiana. all the bands were good, all the people were nice and while it was a fairly heavy show (as i imagine most will be on this tour, seeing as ghosting is a screamy band) i was welcomed with open arms. for 20 minutes a day i get to play my songs and feel great, and when people respond positively, it's the best feeling in the world. so we hung out, sang songs, i did well with my first ghosting set (i'm playing guitar for them as well) and everyone enjoyed the evening. i'd say we won. after lots of hugs and goodbyes we shot the breeze with some of the housemates and hit the hay. speaking of which, everyone had a bed. so sweet. so rare. so good.

in the morning we headed out for grand rapids, michigan, and when we got there were given a warm welcome from kelly, the girl whose house we were to play. after meeting kelly i went next door to her house and got coffee at a nice little shop with jared. we relaxed and talked for an hour or so, which was nice. jared is young and enthusiastic, and a huge supporter of what i do. it's a great feeling to have people believe in me, regardless of how pessimistic i can be at times about my "music career." afterwards those dudes and kelly went to buy records and i worked on songs in kelly's room. it's really nice when i'm able to sit and write/practice on tour. it's fairly rare, but that's one of the beautiful things about just being me and an acoustic guitar, is that i can pretty much work anywhere. when they got back we went to eat dinner with kelly and caitlin (her roommate) at a pizza/veg restuarant just a few doors down. i got a veggie buffalo chicken sandwich that was pretty banging (save for it was a bit salty, even for my tastes) that came with a spaghetti salad (it was cold like a pasta salad, but not with mayo, more with broccoli and maybe some olive oil? oh, and about a billion cloves of garlic. yowza.) also, the waiter and i had a variety of exchanges that were terribly confusing. either he or i was being mildly retarded at that time. luckily it seemed to pass by.

we then headed back to kelly's place and she told me i'd be opening and then maybe closing the show, which didn't really sit super well with me. i guess since i'm just an acoustic guy, people feel like i'm almost not valid, as if they can always just make me open, even though when bands tour together they often let them play together and at the prime spot. furthermore, making me open a show when i'm 1500 miles away from home kind of sucks. but kelly knew what she was doing so i shouldn't have questioned it at all. by the time i was to play there were a ton of kids there and i played to a packed living room, sang my heart out and was welcomed with clap alongs, sing alongs, stomping and general awesomeness. after my set i got hugs from everyone and sold a bunch of merch. amazing. the show kept going with great bands and lots of compliments, sweet people, beers, etc. it ruled. ghosting played last and while it seemed like the place was clearing out, we actually ended up playing to a packed room and we did really well. people loved it and kept laying on the positive vibe. a little after we packed up i was asked to play a second acoustic set and did so happily. it's such an amazing feeling to have so many people care so much about what i'm doing, to sit quietly during the soft songs and be boisterous when the time is right. so many hugs, laughs, loves. it was an incredible feeling i'm not sure i could properly describe. suffice it to say, i was in awe with the beauty of life and with my general luck. after tons more hugs, a few more cds, lots of kind words people started filtering out. salad, the dude trying to feed me whiskey all night, demanded i follow him to the bar down the street and split a pitcher with him. who am i to turn down such a generous offer. so i went and there met some more nice people and decided that i wanted to head back up for a week in the fall, play various living rooms and make grilled cheese for people. it's a weird thought, but it made me realize that'd be a great idea for a tour. so, hopefully in the fall i can book a few weeks where i go to towns for a few days, make lots of friends, sing songs and grill cheese. i'll call it the "grill cheese with the peej tour" i know, i'm ridiculous. if you want it, i'll come to your town. my grilled cheese is incredible, just so you know.

this morning we relaxed with kelly and her roommates and then headed out to go towards milwaukee. we were originally going to take a ferry straight across the lake, but it turns out that's about 400 bucks, so we just drove around the edge of it and got stuck in construction traffic outside chicago. at least on the way we were able to stop at a sweet gas station convienence store that was the most whole food/vegetarian friendly road side stop i've ever seen. i was even able to get kambucha tea and a nectarine. wildness. well done indiana.

so now i'm going to head back to the venue and hang out, then apparently i'm opening the show again tonight. let's hope it has the same value as last night. hope you're great.

Monday, June 29, 2009

fireflies in Ohio

There are few better feelings than being proven wrong when you're thinking you're not going to have a good time then you do.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

babies everywhere!

The past few days in Burlington have been interesting. Two days ago I helped eat twenty scoops of ice cream and then sat in a Japanese tea house being peaceful. After sitting with tea I walked back to the house in the rain and grabbed my gear to go play a last minute show at 242 main in Burlington. Since I was added last minute I opened the show and since there weren't a ton of people there I played on the floor and I was glorious. I played to people I needed to convince and I did it and it ruled. I sold a few things which really helped cause I'm getting pretty broke. So the day turned out better than expected.

Then yesterday I said goodbye to my new friends in the band broken chords sing a little louder. After doing so I went to see my cousin dad and his family. Dave and his wife tara just had an incredibly beautiful baby boy two weeks ago. Gavin is so little and so cute it's amazing. Sometimes I forget how incredible and mind blowing human life really is and thinking about this tiny little dude and how someday he'll be a real guy. So wild. It felt great to catch up with dave and tara as they're amazing people and some of my favorite relatives ever. They took me and gavin to a gathering at a friends house where there was a full scale replica of an old cargo ship and we enjoyed free ben and jerrys though we missed jerry himself scooping it. I know what you're thinking, that I really needed more ice cream after the other day. I know i'm an ass. This also did not stop me from taking more for dessert. And you might ask why I was still there after dinner. Well as it seems during the summer this woman hosts weekly pot luck dinners with tons of wine and a house folk group. So we ran home and got some salads tara had made and then went back for an amazing dinner, wine and hanging out with 60 year olds. At one point a woman found out that I'm a musician ad made me play a couple of songs for everyone. It's weird trying to figure out the least sad sounding song I have so as not to bum everyone out. I'd say overall it went well.

After dinner we went back to dave and taras and dave and I stayed up shooting the breeze and drinking wine. It was great to get to spend so much time with loved ones in such a peaceful place. I really felt blessed and refreshed. In the morning we got up and dave made eggs but they were not normal ones they have almost 40 chickens and eat only fresh eggs it was my first time and it ruled shocking yellow yolks and full fresh flavor amazing we then went to have a photo taken of daves son Trevor on the boat and then got some coffee and relaxed. Walking around the gardens, hanging with chickens, being with good people, these are all ways to refresh your spirit. After helping dave with some chores out in the sun I headed back to Burlington to the sounds of tom petty and the clash. When I got into town the apartment was locked so I walked to the store and got some edamole which is edamame crushed and mixed with olive oil and garlic to sort of be like guacamole. After a nice bite and a walk I hopped back in the car and headed to my other cousin erica's place. It's nice that I got to see all of this family especially since I normally barely see anyone. Erica and dan have a two month old beautiful girl so it was lovely to see her and the both them. We had a really nice dinner and hung out for a bit then dan and I went out for drinks. It's always interesting to hang out with significant others or friends of people that you're related to or close to but without that linking person. You get a totally different perspective on their relationship and on them as individuals.

Today I dropped my car off at Tyler from ghostings house and we packed an absurd amount of things into a suburban and crammed in for a three week tour. I'm actually surprised that I'm pretty comfortable back here right now. Hopefully it will stay this way for what could potentially be a long three weeks. I'm hoping fir the best. So let's see how things go.

Friday, June 26, 2009


so i've been in burlington for about three days now, and have dealt with a rollercoaster of emotions. so many ups and downs, but overall moving upwards, which is definitely a great thing. also, i've met some really quality guys that i've spent the majority of my time with. andrew and brendan of the band broken chords..., and their buddy julian. three really young, positive, straight edge kids who are giving and warm. each is distinctly different but good and have definitely made my stay here all the nicer. they're on a short break from their tour as well (they're from PA and it turns out we have mutual friends), so we've all just been soaking in day off burlington together.

last night i walked down to the water and looked for the moon, but couldn't find it. i also spoke with a buddy who is going through a rough time. these things, mixed with new friends, positive thinking and high hopes have allowed me to look upwards and forward. i'm looking happily at the next few weeks, trying to see all the great things that will come with them, as well as the possibility of going back to new jersey to good things. very wild times, a life i could never have imagined. but that's part of life in general, especially when you push your chin out like a boxer, taking whatever it wants to send your way.

one of those things sent my way was the challenge by andrew and brendan that we take on the vermonster, a 20 scoop ice cream sunday at ben and jerry's that they only serve in vermont. it's about a weeks worth of calories and fat. apparently i needed to join them, at least according to them. so, what follows is a photo account of my pizza day with jackie, drive up to burlington and the last few days. i hope you enjoy.

south brooklyn pizza. we got some slices here to tide us over. (isn't that a weird phrase? "tide over") apparently you can take their pizza next door to the outdoor bar/beer gardens. if we weren't going to head to defaro, that would've ruled.

all handmade, and well worth the wait. make sure you check out defaro. go with someone fun, and byob, for the line at least.

just about ready. so excited.

and now some fresh cut basil.

for some reason i love watching kids be kids.

fresh basil!

it's rare to find a new york apartment with so much green. i definitely appreciate the anomoly.

yes, that's an olde timey car, requiring hand signals.

i will say this, the drive up to vermont was beautiful.

during ghosting practice i was able to brush up on my chops using the plethora of guitar magazines in tyler's basement.

of course while my foot was asleep i'd kick my guitar case.

the broken chords boys sleeping in matt's living room/kitchen.

pick your poison.

this dude built the beast.

pick your toppings.

andrew is ready and willing.

if you can't read it, it says: 20 scoops of ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet; 4 bananas; 4 ladles of fudge; 3 chocolate chip cookies; 1 chocolate fudge brownie; 10 scoops of walnuts; 2 scoops of your 4 favorite toppings; topped with lots of fresh made whipped cream. while this was not exactly what we ended up with, it was close enough. i also found a website online that claims this has 14,000 calories and 500 grams of fat, about a weeks worth of each. fuck me. that's 3,500 calories and 125 grams of fat per person, or nearly 2 days worth. i'm a terrible person.

most of the fun stuff was on top. it's a bummer, once you get past the layer of cookies, brownies, bananas, candies and whipped cream, it's pretty much just ice cream.

we're on our way. getting full. there's so much orange. damn it andrew!

brendan was so bummed by the orange sherbert. i understand why.

almost done.

and that's that.

the harbor in burlington. i was happy to find this spot, as many years ago i was brought there by a friend after a night of drinking. i swam out to one of the boats and climbed on in hopes of finding a neglected bottle of booze, and as i peeled the velcro door open i heard, "who's there?" of course, my response, was, "nobody," and i dove off the boat and swam under around the subsequent boats until i was far enough away to swim underwater all the way back to the beach. from there i hung out with my friends undisturbed until three naked girls came running into the water soon to be followed by security people coming to make us leave. suffice it to say, it was an interesting night.

everyone is so polite in burlington, even the signs.

while sitting down by the lake, this little weasel dude kept running by stocking up on fish the size of his head. i decided this was his own version of the vermonster.