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Showing posts from March, 2012

Hello It's Me

While sitting at my computer last night, editing some more of When We Were the Kids , Darryl Smyers called and asked, "What are you doing right now?" Since editing can be done at any time, on any day, and clothing is always optional, I took up his offer to see Todd Rundgren play at the House of Blues. The thing was, the show was due to start in thirty minutes. Hauling ass down to the venue, I was there in ten minutes. There was no opening act, the place wasn't packed, and apparently the show was over two hours in length. Since I don't know Todd's stuff as well as Darryl does, I was happy he reviewed the show instead of me. During the first two songs, I thought I was going to watch a two-hour train wreck. Todd was sick and his voice was shot. I already knew his voice wasn't the same from his classic records as a solo artist in the seventies. But I wasn't expecting it to be like Shane MacGowan's mixed with Robert Palmer's. Probably thanks to medicin

Runnin' with the Devil

I don't hate marathons, and I don't mind when they happen in my neighborhood. Plenty of advance warning goes out before all of them, so it's not like they are a surprise. But one marathon thinks having live bands in residential areas inspires runners. So, after two years of putting up with loud cover bands on a Sunday morning, I decided to write about how I experienced this year's Rock 'N' Roll Marathon.

Sooner or Later

This year, I will attend four weddings, and hopefully no funerals. These four weddings involve people I have known for at least eight years, and all of the grooms are people who seemed the least likeliest to get married. Not a fear of love or relationships in general, just a fear of the institution that is marriage. Save us from the ball and chain, indeed. None of these guys are rushing into marriage. Each one has been with their respective partners for at least two years. And thankfully for me as the friend, I like all of their future wives. So, no end of the friendship because of choosing a polarizing spouse. I'm sure at some point in the past they've said, "I'm never getting married." I will not confirm or deny that I've said the same, but it's not like people lie when they say that. When they see a lot of dysfunctional relationships over the years, of course that leaves a negative impression. The thinking usually is, Why should I be miserable with some

Feast or Famine

I recently had the chance to talk with Chuck Ragan about the Revival Tour and the next Hot Water Music record, Exister . It's a very long chat and I'm borderline fanboy-ish, but Chuck is an incredible person to talk with.


Grieving is something that comes and goes. I get that. Flashes of things falling apart, and the accompanying sadness, are not enjoyable, especially when you don't know where you're going next. Events from last year keep popping into my head, and I wonder when can I move onto the next part of my life. As I've called them before, there are slow days where any forward progress seems unattainable. Yet I still make plans to do things I know will be fun, like seeing old friends and meeting new people. Why? Because I know they're worth doing. Even it's just getting out of the house, it's worth it. This past weekend was packed with enjoyable times. And it started with a phone call from a friend who was stranded at DFW Airport and needed a ride to SXSW. Since I was going on Friday morning, the same morning he hoped to arrive, he stayed on my couch and we left early. The whole day was spent with the members of Braid and their road crew. I had not seen these guys in at lea

Arrows to the Action

Lately, a topic has come up quite a bit in conversations: how you think you're "done" with something you've made. You wrote that book X-amount years ago, you made that record X-amount of years ago, you made that movie X-amount of years ago, and the like. The creator might think there is a point when he or she is finished discussing, analyzing, and recalling. Alas, the treasure chest is never permanently closed, because new people are coming across it. In the topic of post-hardcore/emo, I'm always up for talking with people who were truly moved by it in the '90s. I have yet to be "done" with the topic, and it may follow me around for many years, but I don't mind. I had known about Washed Up Emo as blog for a few years, but I didn't find out about its podcast until last week, thanks to this mention. Now it's a podcast I subscribe to because it's worth a listen. When I saw bands like the Promise Ring and Burning Airlines, there were p

Wouldn't Believe It

I haven't done one in a while, but the topic was too good to pass up. Today's "Ask the A.V. Club" column is on worst pop-culture dates. As in, bad experiences on a date to a show, movie, etc. In my own life, I have one that sticks out prominently. Since I didn't want to bring it up in my original review , I figured it would be funny now to share about how I was ditched at a Get Up Kids show. For the most part, the Get Up Kids sing about break-ups, whether it's with someone you love or someone you work with. The music (and passion behind it) were why Four Minute Mile , the Red Letter Day EP, and Something to Write Home About were fixtures in my CD player throughout college. I still enjoy the material and I try to catch them when they come to town. A couple weeks before their first trip back after reuniting, a friend of mine hit me up on Facebook. She's someone I crushed on for a while, but she was sorting out the remains of a collapsed relationship. We&#

My first show

This week's edition is with Todd and Jeff from Crushed Stars. I disagree with Todd's impression of the Mark Kozelek show. If he was talking about the show at the Gypsy Tea Room, Koz called out a guy talking on his cell phone during the set. That was it in terms of addressing something. The guy was embarrassed and apologized on Koz's site a couple days later. I met Koz after the show and he was very friendly. I mentioned how my birthday was the following day and he said, "Happy birthday, man."


I love my dog Victory, and that's why I put her on a leash when we go outside. I want her to run around without a leash in a backyard someday. Until then, for as long as I live in this house, she's on a leash whenever we go for a walk or need a potty break. Frustratingly, a lot of people in my neighborhood let their dogs roam free. Thinking a stern vocal warning will deter their dogs from doing bad things, a leash is presumably not needed. To which I laugh. My upstairs neighbors have a very small dog and a big dog and they are rarely leashed. Luckily, both have been rigorously trained and are very obedient. Unfortunately, there are not many other owners like them around here. Victory is not aware of cars and the possible damage one can do to her. The few times she's run out, she paid no mind to the cars nearby. That worries me, so the leash is always on her, and I am very strict with her when she even considers running out the front door. Thankfully, we've never been at

Small worlds are colliding

I've been told that I know "everybody" in the Dallas music scene. The truth is, I don't. I know a lot of people who play music, but not everyone. I quipped on Twitter last week that my old editor Pete knows everyone in the scene, and he wrote back, "I wish. Actually, maybe I don't." There are plenty of reasons why a scene is a "small world" sort of situation. Take the number of people who live in an area, divide that number by 65 percent (to factor those who play music), then divide by 15 percent (to factor those who play non-mainstream music) and you have what people call a scene. A big factor in the dividing comes from musical taste. You can find one Converge fan in a crowd of ten Dave Matthews Band fans. This makes people stand out, and if that person is a good, reliable person, then you remember the person and look forward to running in him or her in the future. The degrees of separation whittle down when you know people who know a ton of o