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Showing posts from June, 2011

Book #2 update

It's been a few months since I've said anything about When We Were the Kids , so here's an update. Basically, writing, editing, and revising continues almost every day and this will continue until I feel the book is ready. Some days I can come up with a lot of material to build on what I've been working on for the past five years. Other days I merely tinker, adding and subtracting a few words or sentences here and there. I feel productive, no matter how much or how little I do. All this time, I have done this on my own volition. No book deal, no deadline, no daily questions from people asking when I'm putting out my next book, nothing. Like with POST , working without a deadline can be a good and bad thing. I don't think I could write a book in six weeks, but I didn't imagine taking four years to finish POST or the five-plus for this one. Life can get in the way of finishing anything, but I think life's obstacles can help the finished product. When I st

(Shine Your) Light Love Hope

When I heard Bob Mould was releasing an autobiography/memoir called See a Little Light , I wanted to read it the second it came out. Adding to urgency was that Michael Azerrad helped Mould with it. This would be an excellent book, yes? Reading the 400-page book in only five days, the answer is absolutely yes. (Considering how it took me three months to finish the fourth Dark Tower book -- thanks, High Speech? -- this means I couldn't put the book down.) Sure, if you've read Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life , you know Mould was interviewed for the Husker Du chapter. And if you read Andrew Earles' book on Husker Du, you know Mould declined to be interviewed, but there were plenty of quotes from old interviews Mould gave. But would Mould's book be one long story of redundant information? Thankfully, it's not. Not even close. As someone who's read a lot of interviews with Mould and seen him interviewed multiple times on TV over the years, there is way more

All things Warped

Dallas had the prestige of kicking off this year's Warped Tour. I covered it and covered a kickoff party the night before. Two Against Me! and Lucero sets in two days greatly overshadows any dehydration and hurt feet.

Keep 'em coming

As I made my list of Warped Tour lineups over the years and my interview with Tom Gabel, I thought a lot about why people my age would prefer to not go this year or in previous years. I even thought about why I didn't go after I moved to the DFW area in 1998. All trails go back to the heat factor. I know it's the summer and I have yet to experience an all-out mild summer as a Texan. Plus I can't shake the experience of my four years rehearsing in the high school marching band. Still, when Pete has asked me to cover Warped for the past three years, I have zero hesitation in saying yes. There are parts of me that will always love pop-punk, hardcore, emo, and so on. I still have an appetite for it while many other people my age write it off as an angry version of Radio Disney pop. I'm not pretending to be a teenager here. These days, I'm a 32-year-old who likes to listen to Suede, Dream Theater, Converge, Cheap Trick, and Z.Z. Hill. But I can still distinctly remember

My first show

This week's edition is with Brian Venable from Lucero, who will be playing the Warped Tour this Friday. I will cover the Dallas date and my review should run next Monday. Until then, also enjoy this little list I did on the various lineups over the years.

Aiming for the center of the Death Star

Over the weekend, Diana posted an update on her condition. The basics of her latest PET scan: doctors hoped the mass would be gone by now, but it is not. Luckily, the mass is half the size of what it originally was and it remains isolated. More chemo is down the line, but stem cell treatment might be too. These results could have been much, much worse. I don't want to get bogged down in thinking about the cancer spreading or the mass remaining its same size. Rather, I want to focus on what I have seen since my previous update last month. The ugly stuff first. Yes, there have been some spells of depression here and there. Many factors, including isolation and the starting-to-feel-good-then-more-chemo cycle, put her mind in a place where she seemed to be pushing away almost every good thing in her life. It hurts to see someone you love start to drown, so I am thankful she was able to come back up for air. And she's stayed afloat. While we aren't going on three-mile bikerides

Take the time

I don't think it's ever too late to improve on your basics as a musician. Even if you've been playing for decades and you understand how you cannot function without playing an instrument, the basics should always be put into consideration. If you have no base, you cannot build on top of it. When I was in my twenties, I didn't have regular access to a drum kit and I didn't have the desire to practice regularly on a practice pad. My pad was loud -- every hit was an annoyance to neighbors, roommates, and pets. Because of not playing (being convinced drumming was like riding a bike) my skills became very lax. I wondered why I couldn't flow between fills like I used to. I also wondered why I was always stuck playing the same beats and fills. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I decided to do more with my drumming, no matter who I was playing with or not playing with anybody. I thank drummers like Stephen Peck, Jeff Gretz, Chris Pennie, and Gil Sharone for inspir

Lowest Part is Free!

Last night I stayed up really late to watch the Archers of Loaf play. Can't say I regret it. And I have to give credit to Noel's Popless piece for inspiring me to finally check out the band a few years ago.

My first show

For this week's edition , I interviewed John Congleton once again. This marks my third interview with him and I look forward to seeing the Nighty Nite play live.


It's been a while since I did a B-sides feature for the Observer . Hence why my rough draft was a feature's length of 1,000 words. Thankfully Pete was able to make this into a manageable half-page feature. Read the whole thing here .

You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real

A few weeks ago, I wrote about receiving some surprising and not-so-welcoming news. As much as I hate to be cryptic, I have to remain cryptic on this topic. Alas, I can talk very openly about how I've dealt (and continue to deal) with this matter. No proverbial shoes have dropped yet, and if (or when) they drop, I'm trying to focus on whatever comes of it. Rather than thinking about what might come, I'd prefer to roll with the punches that David Lee Roth suggested all those years ago. Live with what has happened rather than what might happen. As easy as it may sound in a philosophy book or in a pop song, I've found the desire to not worry incredibly liberating. Maybe I have a hard to telling the difference between wondering and worrying. That might be the root of it. But I think a bigger part of this root stems from hearing about taking too many preventative measures. All of my life, I've heard plenty about being prepared, bracing yourself for the worst, and so on.