Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rock and Roll Soul...Goodbye Don Hill

When I first met Don, 11 years ago, I was unaware of the legacy he had already created.  One that he would, in later years relay to me without pretension, almost with awe in fact.  It was refreshing to hear him talk about his history in the New York rock scene. Just as it was refreshing to be welcomed onto his stage (with big thanks to Nite Bob) as a no nothing 20 year old.  He usually made a point to say I put on a great show.  Even when I didn't.  Or when he wasn't even watching.  I can't say I knew him well, but all through the years he has continually been kind when our paths have crossed.  He was fully vibrant and genuine when we spoke at The Compulsions gig at his club a few months back.  As usual.

Don Hill's helped define and shape my early 20's.  So in turn Don Hill himself did.  He will be missed.  Deeply.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We busted out of class had to get away from those fools...

I spent time today with friends from my hometown.

We felt old i think.  But it was comforting in a way.  We haven't really changed.  We could still see through each others bullshit, as Jeff, who I have known since elementary school, pointed out. There was no pretense.  We reminisced.  I laughed my ass off.

We all have lives of our own now.

But together, it was like that cliche.  About getting older and not growing up.

We didn't really.  Grow up I mean.  And I am not sure I want to ever be one of the people who does.

Monday, March 21, 2011


My favorite day.  A big fat time to exhale from the weekend.  Most often it's 60 Minutes and roast chicken.  A visit to the farmer's market and a nap.  Maybe the Times and the Pats...Today it was a women's clothing swap, Sandy, Maria and Jaime and some Twinkle Toes!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cocktails and Movie Night!

When my buddy Tommy started bartending at the Dressing Room down on Orchard Street I went to visit too infrequently.

But we always have a good time.

What could be a long, and perhaps entertaining story revolving around the much maligned film A.I. will be kept to a celebration of the simple joys of friendship and routine.

Martini's and Karate Kid.  Margarita's and Major League.

It isn't always such a big town, downtown....we watch movies here, like we are kids.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Haven't Been (Very) Wrong Yet...

I think ultimately it is important to change things up.  Not meaning that if you are a vegan, you need to become a butcher (of humanely raised meats no doubt).  Or if you are straight edge, you need to party with Gang Green (is there an ethical equivalent here...?)

But if you are set in your beliefs, then it is prudent to take the time to listen to differing opinions.  If only to strengthen your stance.

Especially if what you believe is the truth.

That's the Sound of the Saints...

I have sang in a few bands.  Worked at a few record stores.  Meaning my music preferences are more based on emotion than technical mastery.  That being said, while I may not be able to intelligently discuss the best solos of the century, I can converse with anyone on music.  And I have.

There has never been and will never be anything more bizarre; equal parts doubt, exileration, anticipation and fear, than performing live.  I have been awfully good and equally tragic.  I have never owned the stage.

I was asked the the other day about why I was not doing anything music wise.  I have been asked that somewhat often in recent years.  I take it as a compliment.  If I truly sucked, I like to think no one would question why I am not pursuing music actively now.

It is difficult to be a singer (with limited musical talent).  Excuse me, a vocalist.  I have hit notes, and devised melodies.  I plan on having my buddy Jason string my acoustic guitar (I really am a novice).  No doubt I will write the same song I have written over and over again since I was sixteen.

My last band The Bullitts actually used that bit, or the chord progression.  Andy Dahill, took it and made it a true song.  I excited that it was a small musical contribution.  And it was a tune called "Killer," which I wrote about Arthur Kane of the New York Dolls (R.I.P.).  Lyrics that were not incredibly impressive but that I am still proud of.

I turn 30 in a month.  I have time to get up and perform again of course. 

I have recently realized how deeply music undercuts my every day life.  How I say hello.  My stride walking the streets.  The way I contemplate my future, and even more exhaustively, my past.

"So Killer, you will never get, never ever gonna get your due fame,
 But Killer, we will never look, we will never look at the world the same."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inspiration is Not a Dirty Word

I recently had the pleasure of meeting for coffee with a reporter whom I continually admire.  A journalist who has done more to shine a light on the plight of people, especially women, in countries often overlooked, than any one I am aware of.

He was personable and inquisitive.  At one point I asked about what a person with limited expendable income, if any, should do to help right the vast wrongs that exist globally.

He somewhat predictably, but no less correctly, suggested finding one slice of a problem and making that your focus.  He also said he felt that people, especially younger people (with means) seemed too often to view their lives in three chapters.  Go to school, make money and then give back.  Finally he mentioned that people so often think of becoming committed to a volunteer opportunity as a sacrifice when in fact it so often becomes a passion.

What about monetary gifts?  I said that I gave to Obama's campaign and various progressive groups.  But I work in a non-profit and I know how little that twenty dollar gift goes.  Which brought me to mention another writer, George Tabb.

To call George Tabb a friend (which he is) is to short change him severely.   He is an inspiration, a confidant, a brother in arms.  A fucked up hero of the most epically delightful and dastardly proportions.

So when I said to the journalist that I gave a few dollars here and there to George.  He did not hesitate.  He raised a fist and smiled.  We both new that this money would go directly to a good cause.  He noted that this type of giving may be  a part of the future of social networks.  So why George?

I was maybe 21 when I woke up and got a call from my buddy Tommy congratulating me.  On what...?  I was fully confused.  George was a writer for the New York Press at the time and just got my first band The Kick named 'Best Punk Rock Band in NYC,' complete with a cartoon drawing of us fools.

That is the kind of guy George is.  I could go on (like when I sang Sonic Reducer at Bowery Ballroom for Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash with Furious George) and on.

George is sick.  He lived downtown in NYC on 9/11.  He has been an outspoken supporter of those affected by the tragedy.  And now he could use our help.

I say with the utmost humility and sincerity that I believe anything will be greatly appreciated.  By George (and by myself as well).

So this does not ring hollow I will be giving back to George this week.  Not a whole lot.  But what I can.  

Help George Tabb

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Against Me!

It is invigorating to see a group of people come together to sing songs, shuffle feet, bob heads...and most of all smile.  The crowd at the Mercury Lounge was not readily defined by any sub type or genre (although I did notice a lot of beards...)

It is equally as exciting to see a band clearly playing for the (cough...excuse the cliche) love of the music.  I was captivated.
"Protest songs in response to military aggression..." is not an easy lyric to use in a sing a long chorus...but they did so with ease.

The band clearly had fun.  I had a goose bumps...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Race to the Bottom...

"In a bold gambit to put an end to the weeks-long budget standoff in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) split his controversial budget-repair bill in two on Wednesday, allowing the Senate to pass the most hotly contested provisions while their 14 Democratic colleagues remained out of state."
(Huffington Post)

The most famous part of this corruption of justice is how transparent it is. In fact, I give Scott Walker credit for not hiding behind the smoke screen of state defecit any longer.  Clearly owning up to his broader agenda to break the back of the unions.

Shameful.  And yet shameless.

At Least My Cube Has a Window...(Typing That I Just Died a Little Inside...)

Depressingly upbeat work email about something that I could give 2 shits about:

"Great News! Simon stopped by and fixed the Xerox Copier, it is now working again" 
.................... good god

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Make a Left Turn Past Heaven and a U Turn Round Hell...

I don't believe in karma.  Perhaps I should.
I try to do what is right because it seems the rational thing to do.
I don't believe in God.  Perhaps I should.
I try to do what is right because it seems like the logical thing to do.

If God has a sense of humor.  And a sick one.  He will relegate non believers like me, to nothingness.  Just that awful black in the pit pf my stomach when I realize...there is no where else to go.  And the rest of you fuckers, sinners and saints alike, will be living out life in the great beyond.

Speaking of which, that would be some messed up karma...

I want it noted that I am laughing in advance.  While I am still around for you to hear me.

Nervous Breakdown...YES Please...

I have three stories I want to write...

But I am listening to the original incarnation of Black Flag with Keith Morris' snotty vocals that I love, and all I wanna do is jump out of my skin....This shit is Gorgeous.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Favorite Songs...

This is the first in a bunch of sporadic posts.  The title says it all.

Cock Sparrer nailed it many times, but never more than with this classic,,,

Hits a chord.  The right one.  Over and over and over again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Everybody's Talkin'

I don't care how much Charlie Sheen runs his mouth.  This is the crown jewel of hysterical delusion. 

"I'm sorry, man, but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time — and this includes naps — I'm an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground."

This is no car wreck.  I don't even want to divert my eyes for a second...