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.