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Showing posts from September, 2012


Changing things up a little bit with the ongoing "Playing music for our kids" series, I had my cousin Andrew listen to a dozen songs I associate with my high school years. What he thought was pretty cool. I still remember him being only a few weeks old, sleeping soundly through my mother's PhD commencement in '96. A few years ago, he inherited my old Casio keyboard. Not too long after, I bought him "Who Let the Dogs Out" on iTunes. Last year, he told me how much he liked Andrew Bird and Fleet Foxes. It's great to have another music enthusiast in the family.

My first . . .

This week's edition is with Brandon Butters, a local drummer who plays with two of the best new Dallas bands, the West Windows and Things of Earth. We discussed things over drinks and food at the Anvil Pub last week, so the conversational side really came out on this one.

Kickstarter My Heart

A suggestion that's been passed my way about publishing and promoting When We Were the Kids : How about a Kickstarter campaign for it? While I have no problem with fans helping fund an album, a tour, or a promotional campaign, I'm not sure a Kickstarter pledge drive is the right thing for this book. Based on what it took to get Post out there, the total cost of publishing, promoting, and having the book listed as "returnable" (an important factor if you ever want your book in a store) is somewhere between $1,200 and $1,500. That's not an unreasonable number, but it's not the kind of money I have lying around and burning a hole in my house. The problem I have with fans and friends funding a project like this: I can't really offer much in return other than a thanks and a signed book. There's no signed vinyl, guest list appearances for life, a camping trip, a lunch date, or having a song written about you. This is merely a 200+ page Word document tha

Do It Anyway

This past weekend was a long one -- longer than most weekends for me -- but I had fun. On Saturday, I reviewed the first Texas edition of Riot Fest for not only DC9, but also the Houston Press 's blog, Rocks Off. My DC9 review is a little different than my review for Rocks Off because I wanted to give the perspective from a local and an out-of-towner, respectively. Of course, it was hot, and I found Rise Against's set to be a long and painful way to end the evening, but I enjoyed the day. I certainly enjoyed the Gatorade when I got home. Last night, I had the privilege of seeing Ben Folds Five and taking photos during the first three songs. My review is a basic rundown of the show, but I'd like to share some more that obviously didn't fit in the review. When I walked up to the stage as the band came on, a rush of feelings came over me. I still remembered what it was like to drive around Kingwood in 1997 listening to my dubbed cassette copy of Whatever and Ever

The "Perfect" Candidate

September is coming to a close and I can't help thinking about how long it's been since I was laid off. October 26th, 2012 is only a few weeks away, but October 26th, 2011 still feels like a few months back. I can't stress enough how much of a relief it was to be laid off. That said, I've been ready to get back into a full-time job situation for months. I haven't been lazy, as I have stressed many times before. Every promising job lead, I've looked into. Frustratingly, when trying to go outside of my realm with jobs, I run into a brick wall created by recruiters. Loosely, I understand why companies have recruiters, but I can't wrap my head around something that I frequently experience. Great people who fit the personality and most of the job description don't get considered while mediocre people who don't fit the personality and have all of the skills in the description get considered. Which leads me to this question: is there such thing as a "

Hold That Thought

I recently drove Jenny around Fort Worth to show her the TCU campus and the places I lived between 1998 and 2002. I still have fond memories of my time living there, even though I'm much happier living in Dallas. I couldn't help remembering all the times I drove alone around Berry St, Bryant Irvin, Stadium Drive, and Hulen. Music kept me company, as it always has, but thinking about my time in college, I spent so much time alone in my '92 Toyota Camry.  I listened to a ton of different bands in that Camry, three different dorm rooms, and two different apartment complexes. I hung out with many good people in those days, many of whom I'm still friends with. Yet the band that takes me immediately back to my senior year of high school and all my years in college is Ben Folds Five. Today, the Five have a new record out called The Sound of the Life of the Mind . I wasn't expecting a new record and wasn't pining for the band to reform. I was perfectly happy listeni

The Old Man in the Room

While at shows, there have been times where I've felt like the old man in the room. It's not often, but it does happen every once in a while. This feeling is like being an odd duck, coming across as someone trying to hold onto youth while being around those who are in the prime of their youth. It's like a denial of adulthood. A few years back, I watched Tilly and the Wall play at Hailey's to a very large audience made up mostly of college students. Seeing all these post-teenagers in thrift store clothes, break-dancing to hip-hop, and going nuts for these twee darlings, I wondered what the hell I was seeing. Clearly I was not one for this band or audience, but I was there because my band was fortunate to open the show. I didn't feel like the old man when I saw Mission of Burma on Friday night. Seeing three guys with plenty of gray in the hair along with friends who are close to my age (including Andy Odom, who covered the show for the Observer ), I felt welcom

Gone with the Schwinn

Last year, I had to let go of a body board that I had enjoyed since middle school. This morning, I had to retire my mountain bike. I've had this Schwinn Frontier since 1991. It got me from my house to seventh and eighth grade every single day without any issue. When I was struck by a slow-moving small truck while going through a crosswalk, there was no significant damage to the bike or me (aside from a sprained ankle and the chance to tell a story that starts with, "Did I ever tell you about when I was hit by a truck?") When some kids up the street thought it would be funny to chase after me a few times (including the day I was hit by the truck), it got me out of harm's way. After middle school, the bike sat in my parents' garage until last year. My parents were kind enough to get new grips, seat, and tires. I enjoyed the hell out of riding that sucker, but I knew it couldn't last for too much longer. The brakes were failing, rust was here and there, and the f

Oxycontin ain't cheap, you know?

Two weeks ago, I got to experience something that's as common as a jury duty summons or a speeding ticket: credit card fraud. I had been alerted to a payment freeze by Netflix, so I called my card company to see what was up. Turns out, some yahoo charged a total of $1,400 to a CVS in Houston over the course of two transactions. Since the most money I've ever spent at a CVS was $50 for prescription medicine, this looked fishy. My card company's fraud department was concerned and immediately cancelled the payment, but they couldn't contact me because my contact information on file was eleven years old (back when I had a home phone number in Fort Worth and had a CompuServe e-mail account). The card company was totally pro about the whole thing and I received a new card last week. I wondered how one could spend that much money at a CVS, so I quipped, "Oxycontin ain't cheap." As crappy as it is to deal with credit card fraud, luckily, companies know how to hand

My first . . .

This week's edition is with members of Soviet and the Longshots, both local bands. Also, I wrote a few more words about that Iron Maiden show I saw a few weeks ago. I considered it one of the best shows I saw this summer.


We might have 100-degree days for the rest of this week, but I'm quite excited about fall weather conditions and what I'll be reading during the fall season. I have a personal goal of reading forty books this year, and I'm twelve books away from that goal. The Passage took a while for me to completely dig into and 11/22/63 took a couple of weeks to finish, but I read the majority of an entire book in one day. That book, To Live is To Die , a biography of Cliff Burton, was easy and frustrating to read due to its repetitive nature. (Nothing like constant reminders every few pages about how awesome Cliff was, how great his bass playing was, what kind of impact he had on Metallica, how sad it was for him to die young, and how Metallica has done without him.) Something I want to tackle, even though it will take up a lot of time, is Stephen King's opus, It . Given its 1,000-page length, it's daunting to look at on the book shelf. But there was a segment in 11/22/63 that

The baby wasn't cute anymore

Will Harris posted a clip on Facebook the other day that touches on something I've been thinking a lot about lately: The Cosby Show . I, like many people between the ages of 30 and 42, enjoyed the first handful of seasons, but were charmed away by a show called The Simpsons . I didn't run away when the Olivia character was introduced on The Cosby Show , but as I look back now and watch various episodes (something I've done quite a bit lately), the more I realize how insignificant she was to the show. Aside from being the cute kid, of course. I enjoy how the topics (if you will, the A-stories) remained serious, like Theo dealing with his dyslexia and Elvin and Sondra having marital issues. But there were so many episodes where Olivia came on as a sideshow, like when she'd sing "Twist and Shout" -- randomly -- at the end of one. Pure time filler, just so a certain portion of the audience could say, "Awwww." The cynic in me thinks this was network not