Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let's Never Forget Summer.

Summer is the best time of the year, obviously. But let's make a promise to one another. To never forget summer. We go to Elementary School- Summer, Middle School- Summer, High School- Summer, College- Summer. That's about seventeen years of our lives that we get a warm fuzzy feeling in us when we hear "summer". We know what it means. No work, hanging out with friends, and just happiness.

Let's not forget summer.

Let's not fall into a pattern of not doing anything different in the summer. It's the summer! It's supposed to be filled with heat, swimming, driving and most of all- great music. You have to listen to awesome "summer" music in the summer.

So here, I've compiled a collection of 20 songs that remind me of summer. Some of these are blatant songs about summer; others are songs that just connect to summer with me for whatever reason. Here's the list, ya'll! (download link below)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Anthony Parks an artist I heard about through Friendly Neighborhood Records once I joined them. His release was a week before mine, so I decided to check it out.

It is excellent.

Anthony Parks' release "A Treatise On Substance" combines his masterful guitar skills and beautiful voice to create a magnificent album. 13 wonderfully crafted songs with touching lyrics and a sooth voice that makes you feel like Anthony is sitting on your bed, lulling you to sleep. While on the surface, you may write him off as just another folk act, he certainly isn't. Anthony Park has what a lot of folk acts have lost sight of- feeling.

Once again, a masterful album! You'll want to have "O What A Beautiful Day" on repeat all night. I look forward to more Anthony Parks and hope he treks down to North Carolina soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Caught in the act of not being awesome!

This is an awesome short, fast-paced album by Johnny Hobo & The Freight Trains. This is the now dead project of Pat The Bunny and some friends. It's also the most produced album you'll find of theirs, the rest being recordings of live shows and/or on tape. Although, there is a rare little collection of songs that use a drum machine. Try to find that.

Pat The Bunny sings songs of politically charged drug madness. Underneath that though, his lyrics are elegantly simple and touching. For me, it kind of knocked me off my feet for it's brutal honesty.

Who needs love? Not me! Who needs friends? Not me! Who needs drugs? ME! Who needs sex? I've got me!

In late 2007, this was posted on the band's myspace: "JOHNNY HOBO IS DEAD! I can't sing these songs any more because they are not true any more. I am not straight edge, just sick of misery. Here are new songs I wrote". And then a link to Wingnut Dishwasher's Union (not as good). Pat the Bunny entered a rehab center this past December. He doesn't know if he'll continue to play music after he's done; but it's safe to say you won't hear any Johnny Hobo songs at any shows.
Johnny Hobo has been called many things- the simplest being punk and the more original ones being riot folk and drunk punk. Call it what you like, but listen to this!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

i wish you never said that i was just a boy, cause now i know what it is to be destroyed.

Ghost Mall's EP "Goons" was given to me for free after I played a set. If I never make another dime through making music, that would be just fine by me.

The EP is hand-made on recycled paper and the songs are stamped on the box that unfolds. It contains five songs and they now are the most played songs in my iTunes.

I may be a little biased because it was my first show the night I saw them. I was coming down from the natural high of a room full of people approving me. Genuinely approving me. Not pity claps, but seriously liking what I was doing. That's when Pierce went to his table and pulled out a CD and handed it to me. Then the 3 Brained Robot did his always insane set. Then Ghost Mall set up. I had been talking to the guys all night and thought these four awesome guys must have some sort of talent. It'd be interesting at least.

The first song started and my best friend in the entire world looked at each other and nodded. So much was said in that nod. At a glance it was just "this band rocks" but it was obviously something deeper. Ghost Mall combines the best of both worlds: music that makes you want to jump around in a room full of people, and music that you connect to. Somehow these four awesome guys from New York created something that I'll never forget.

The next thing that I may be biased about is the fact that the music was literally brought to my door. Ghost Mall stayed at my house the next weekend. I had listened to that CD all week and was giddy. Really embarrassingly giddy. "Ghost Mall is staying at my house tee hee hee!". You don't just connect with the lyrics in these songs; you have the chance to connect with the people who wrote the lyrics. Directly from the source!

My best friend Bleeker (Austin Huet. But please call him Bleeker) feels the exact same way that I do about this band. I can sit here and tell you all of the lines that effect me and make me say "wow", but just listen to it yourself:

I think Ghost Mall may be my favorite band of all time.

I realize that is a huge thing to say based on five songs. It's like love. You question yourself about it for a while (do I really love them? That's such a big thing....). But at some point you say 'fuck it' and tell that person you love them.

Fuck it.

I love you, Ghost Mall.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hotels & Airports Have Mediocre-At-Best Coffee.

I fly into New York around 8 PM. Security loses my baggage, so I’m stuck there for about an hour too long. Stupid time difference gives me jet-leg, so I pay far too much for a small cup of hazelnut coffee and throw my luggage into the back of a cab in the pouring rain. He doesn’t bother to help or make small talk. In fact, he spent the entire twelve-minute trip yelling into the Bluetooth attached to his ear. But apparently that’s just how Italians talk. I gave up on trying to check my voicemail, too. My cheap cell phone company doesn’t want me to have service outside of my city and it’s three surrounding ones. I listen to music instead. The volume turned all the way up.

I must say, I can’t sleep in hotels, but the feeling I get when I first walk into one is incredible and almost worth the shitty nights sleep. I get the intense fresh smell that must be manufactured and sold strictly to hotels. No amount of cleaning can produce that smell, especially in a place like a hotel; a place where people just shuffle in and out, constantly leaving their scent, and their mark. The maid service comes in and erases any trail of this person. It’s a bit eerie, if you ask me. The fact that someone just disappears from the history of a room creeps me out. That’s the reason I can’t sleep in hotels. I know after my stay, someone will come in and do the same thing I did and not think twice. Then someone else will come in and do it again. For years and years this will happen. And at the end of day, or world, I suppose, this room has no idea what it’s supposed to be.

I turn on the TV, and even with the help of the card telling me all of the channels; I find nothing. In order to pass time until my body shuts down & collapses, I wander around the hotel. You know, take the elevator down to the main floor, check out the weird lounge thing they've got going on with the even worse coffee than the airport. Take the elevator back up to the sixth floor, examine it; go to the fourth and see if there's any differences. There never is. I give up on the scavenger hunt and decide to get one of those pay-per-view movies. I make sure to get one that's still in theaters.

Before the movie starts; I recognize her. I wasn't being all that creepy. I always get told it was creepy, but honestly; it wasn't. There I am, admiring the New York skyline when I see her. A girl in the hotel room across the street from me. Black hair and eyes, I couldn't tell you the color. It's one of those times where you're intimidated. You don't know why, but you are. My palms are sweaty. I don't remember what she was doing, or why she looked back. She probably just got the feeling that someone was watching her. She smiled, I'm sure of it. She never admits it, but I know she did. She waves and I quickly scramble to open my window. I finally find the trick to it, and pry it open the only four inches that it allows.

"Hey!" I yell.

She simply waves.

"What's your name?!" I'm sure the people on the street and in my neighboring rooms can hear me, but I don't care.

She opens the window and leans her head out.


She sparks a lighter and lights her cigarette. I've had enough. I slam my window shut and do the math. One, two, three, four, five up. One, two three, four across. Backside of the hotel. I grab the pen off of the desk and scribble "5-4" on my arm. The opening scene starts and I turn the TV off. The hotel won't give me a refund; that blows. I take the stairs, jumping down flights at a time. I take the emergency exit. The alarm doesn't sound; I knew they were always bluffing. The sidewalk is crowded, but I find my way through the crowd and wait for the safe-to-walk light. Each second seems like a minute, thoughts racing through my mind. It's safe to walk. I jet across the street, wondering what I'm actually going to say.

I make it into the lobby and notice the similarities between the hotels. The lounge is the same, but maybe their coffee is better. I take the elevator this time, catching my breath and making plans for our first words.

"I just wanted to see what color your eyes were."

No. Way too lame. This isn't a Ben Stiller rom-com.

"Can I bum a ciggarette?"

No. That's forcing it.

The elevator doors open and my heart is in my stomach. In a haze, I count the rooms. One, two, three, four. I stop, trying to catch my breath. I swear, I stand there for two minutes. It's never going to happen. My hand shaking, I knock on the door. I immediately regret coming here. Twenty seconds later, I hear that uplifting click. The door slowly creaks open. There she is. Her hair tied up, and yep- her eyes are brown. That dress looks nice on her. I finally speak.


"Hi." she responded.

I haven't been home since.

Not Like Those Other Girls.

"I'm not like those other girls" she says to him with a smile. "Those who depend entirely on their boyfriends." she continued. How should he respond? "That's cool, because I don't like you at all. You aren't special to me."? The moment passed, slowly but surely, and they continued to shop. Well, she continued to shop; he continued to look at her hair, her hands, or hang on to any and every syllable she spoke.

"People are going to think you're my boyfriend." she says, in that cute, manipulative way girls can speak.
"Oh, Sorry." he says in that awkward, uncomfortable way that boys can speak.
"Don't be sorry, I don't mind." she said, smiling and then turning into the dressing room to try on that stupid yellow shirt.

She looked silly in it, but he'd never say that. He complimented her any chance he got and this was one of those chances. She knew she looked silly, but due to his wonderful comment that neither will remember in a week, she dropped 22 dollars on that stupid yellow shirt. That's the closest thing to love they ever felt towards each other. Today, that shirt is laying in the floor of her closet, folded up in the corner behind her first easy bake oven, waiting to be called on. It'll never happen.

She was a terrible driver and on their way home they got lost and ran a few red lights. They eventually did make it home, and she went into the bathroom to "fix her make-up". What she really did was cry at how she felt about this silly little boy. All of her life morals were changed. She wanted to depend on this silly little boy, and make all of her problems their problems. Meanwhile, he waited awkwardly in the den of her house, making small talk with her sister.

He thought she was into him. Being the stupid, classic male that he is, he texted his friend all about it. Well, he didn't tell him about how he truly felt; that he really liked her and pretty much just wanted to hold her hand. No, instead he sent a simple text message: "Dude, She totally wants it."

Later in the car, she played something cute and quirky like Belle & Sebastian. She checks her phone and says aloud: "I have a new message from you.....'dude, she totally wants it.'....Was that meant for someone else?" Somehow, he talked his way out of it or at least to the point where she didn't care. What happened was, in his anxiousness and adrenaline, lost in the small talk- he sent the message to the last person in his inbox- thinking it was his bud. It obviously wasn't.

At the end of the day when she dropped him off at home, they both got a goodnight kiss from each other.

They never talked again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


We've all had love dreams. We dream, and in our dream, we find a person special to us. What happens after that is unplanned. I've had many love dreams, even one ending with her father beating the life out of me on the floor of their "den".

The next day we went gardening together. Our hands touched.

Then I woke up.

More often than not we have these 'love dreams' when we're lonely. Our mind doesn't want to be lonely and when we become vulnerable, or asleep, our mind gets rid of our loneliness by creating someone special to us. Then, of course all of the things in our lives mix together and influence the rest- which could mean getting beat up, breaking up, or nothing. Our mind is selfish. If only they knew we would wake up, more often than not, alone in our beds, staring at the ceiling with an even more empty feeling than when we went to sleep.

It's like that short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" in a way. Our main character is standing, preparing to be hanged- next thing we know, he's escaping, he's on an adventure, and eventually, he's home, hugging his wife and going to live happily ever after. Next thing we know; he's dropping and hanging from a noose. Sorry for the spoilers, by the way. Our character was going to be hanged; that's bad. Our character sets the thought in his mind that he's going to be free and happy, then hanged; that's terrible.

I had a love dream last night. It was probably a combination of being busy all day and then nothing to do and writing something that involves romance and relationships, at least I think so. This one did not stick as much as previous ones (like the beating), but there is one thing I remember specifically.

I met a girl, we began a relationship, the relationship ended, she dated my friend's brother. I was hanging out with said friend when the girl drops off my friend's brother. There was an air of awkwardness and gloom, and as he walked into the house she murmured "I never have a good boyfriend, I just slightly improve from the last." Of course, I wasn't over her and saw this as my golden opportunity. Her car pulls off and I'm right after it on foot. Her window's rolled down and I grab on, my feet trying to keep up.

"Maybe you realize that a previous boyfriend was all that you needed? That you've made a big mistake. Don't go"

No response.

My hands begin to slip, and at this point, my feet have stopped moving and just slap and bounce against the pavement.

"[Name], please. Give me one more chance."

My left hand rips from the window and I keep drifting backwards. I look in the left hand mirror for one last glimpse at her. I yell again. Nothing.

I slam against the pavement, rolling, scraping my arm a little bit. I stand up, watching her car disappear in the distance. I never saw her again. My friend and I got some coffee.

Then I woke up alone staring at the ceiling with an even more empty feeling than when I went to sleep.