Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Arcade Burns For You, America

The Arcade Fire are on tour in the oppressed police state south of chilly Canada. If Bush has got you down, at least you can enjoy some great music and drink that weak putrid beer, America! [Ed. Note: What are you on? Keep writing posts like this and you'll be selling pencils in front of Alexis-Nihon Mall in no time. JB, give me a call.]


01.27 * Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
01.28 * Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
01.30 * Washington, DC, @ 9:30 Club
01.31 * Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
02.01 * New York, NY @ Webster Hall
02.02 * New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
02.03 * Boston, MA @ Roxy

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

"2nd Ave." by JB

The moon is a half dream and I forgot
how to prove my own existence
I'm a pariah, parallel with the beams
that drip down from that white crescent
My friends are asleep
They're smiling
and graced with the Karmic bliss
of empty days
I wouldn't trade them
for a treasure chest or a leather chair


Gerald sips his water and wishes
that it was beer
His eyes are still bold
and his shoulders are high
He may have lost his voice
but only from singing
He is very sad
because he knows what life is
He has given us more
than he has taken


Chris is a punk through and through
He is a stargazing rock and roll hero
We are waiting for him to make good
The Colombian lady is his temptress
and he might pawn his game for gold
but he doesn't steal
and his future is unravelling
into a sea of mermaids
and sandy beaches
He may return to B.C.


Clem is an old friend
His heart was born lately
It is always ready to seize control
and veer him wildly askew
like Ski-doo tracks between the trees
He means well
and watches out for his friends
If his Id has vanquished his Ego
so be it
as long as Clem remembers
how far he can leap!


Mike is a bulldog
He'll guard his kin to the death
and he barks at trespassers
His eyes are big, bright remembering things
(blue beads that watch the fall)
For him, Blue Six-point-one is never far
and I think he'll keep on running
until he finds a place to rest
and a lady to love


Destiny is scratching at our door
I can hear its little claw paws
Let us feed it and find a way
to hold our souls up to the light
without seeing any wavy lines
or broken glass
We'll keep each other clean
and praise the shambles dawn

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"7 Thoughts" by JB

I live to linger in the late hours
clutching my talisman to my breast
(the bottle that is always full to me)
The anthracite evenin' is my armour.


Of late, the most curious thing has happened
(I dare not call it by name
because that is the surest way for it to disappear)
Roots take time to catch hold of the loamy soil.


She is pure and sad and beautiful
and many other things
I want to soothe her ailments
and hold her coat.


There was a man with a heavy pack
The straps dug down deep into his shoulders
He carried his life inside of it
When he put it down, he was free for a time.


We should dance wild in Loyola hallways
and kiss like our lips are made of oxygen
Come and inhabit my bed for a week
I can cook great fluffy crepes.


Some things creep up on us like vagrant waves
Completely random, like phantom gusts of East Wind
Personally, I don't resist the weather
I move right through the atoms like a renegade electron.


Be forewarned, my hands are thin typist-things
and I am a sporadic fuck-up, but I mean well...
The inside of your mind must be a carnival of dreams
I want to spend the day with you.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

"To Jeffrey" by JB

Every night, I go to my dreams guilty
Each day, I wake up forgiven

My soul is like a thousand onion peels
or a constantly-unravelling cassette tape

I want to send you
a Medium Message.

You say that you don't understand what I mean.
That disconnect is art in itself.

Your mind will paint the portrait it desires.
Our attempt to comprehend each other makes us all Picassos.

{Even the Milwaukee's Best-swilling, Nascar-watching
barbaric gang of Pleasure-Hunters

Even the quasi-Bohemian snuff-breathers who carry
around little hardcover notebooks and fear their own demise

Even the loveless Crescent Streeters in their 1000 Watt
Ritalin Paradise

Even the Old and Older folks whose pants are rising by the minute
and who can remember Johnny Carson jokes}

I realize that I am using broad strokes here
and you can always retort...

(insert one-size-fits-all "No Comprende" here)

but that is just A-OK.
We are [a: born / b: alive / c: dying / d: all of the above] alone

Suffice it to say that this lack of comprehension between us
makes words taste like red licorice.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Jello is Quite Evil, really.

The New Years Dissonants show at Gordie's Loft (AKA Chez Gordie's) taught me several things about performing live, and about being in a band in general. These should be tattooed on one's arm (in 6 pt. Arial font, I suppose) so that their import won't be overlooked at any time.

Violations of these precepts should be punishable by extreme measures (OK, maybe not death, but something severe!). I will summarize them in Point Form, just like those corporate pigs at Maxim might, for enhanced readability!

1) Jello-Wrestling Ban: Although watching two lovely ladies grope and grapple in a tub full of Jello sounds like harmless fun, it will inevitably result in a Jello throwing match and equipment covered in red gelatinous mush. Jello is also very difficult to get out of one's hair and/or corduroys. Realistically, the Jello Ban should really be extended to all sticky food wrestling. (Jello is also made of animal bones so why eat it in the first place?)

2) Start the Gig Early: By the time our drummer graced us with his presence, it was close to 2:15 AM and most of our guests had already migrated to other bars/parties/afterhours and we were playing for a largely empty room. Only two hours earlier, we had close to a hundred people and things were looking rosy. If you tell people that your gig is going to start at 1 AM or so, try and be reasonable or else you'll be watching the tumbleweeds roll by. Also, if your whole band can't make it by a certain time, cancel the gig and severely guilt-trip the band member in question.

3) Two Beer Rule Must Be Enforced: When we hit the stage, our band was mostly drunk, myself included. This may be just fine for Musical Geniuses like Connor Oberst or the Libertines but it doesn't cut it for Rookies like our band. My lead guitarist was so intoxicated that at one point, he was kneeling on the floor and couldn't get up for fear of tumbling down in a heap. While I was severely intoxicated, at least I could stand up and play my parts. Since we started so late, it was to be expected that we would be boozed up by showtime, but this can't happen in the future. Also, drugs, although fun, will only make things harder to handle emotionally and deplete money that could pay for band practice or food.

4) Write More Songs and Stop Learning Covers: This can't be stressed enough. A band without songs is like a Bonobo monkey without sexual organs. If you are going to learn covers, make sure they're songs that are new and vital enough to warrant repeat playing show after show. Also, stay away from Mainstream Bullshit unless your band is a big fan of Nickelback or Evanescence. In my heart of hearts, I truly hope that my band will remain untainted by the stench of Middle-Ground Rock.

5) Don't Be Afraid To Institute a Fascist Intra-Band Regime: Democracy, while great for running nation states, doesn't work in families or in bands. The songwriter(s) should enforce their will through threats and cajoling because that is the only way to have a cohesive sound. If nobody can agree, that means that it is time to start a new band. While I am optimistic that the Dissonants will survive until our next gig (Dutchfest, Feb. 1st 2004, Venue still being negotiated), I can't predict whether we'll stay together for good. Luckily, we're (mostly) still friends in the band so we may just be able to sort out this band strife and make something good out of it all.

6) Bands Are Like Lovers, Only Without the Sex: Yes, people have feelings and you can't be too blunt or direct with your opinions. Always temper your criticism with some sort of compliment or else your band-mates will be building a trap full of Ponzi Sticks to impale you in no time. Plus, they're musicians, so if they make music, sometimes it is just a question of finding yourself in their creation. Fuck egos or trying to please everyone. Just give them a fair shake and you'll be surprised how good the final product can turn out. This can be ignored if the song sounds too Mainstream or Evanescentish; in this case, Rule 4 applies.

Happy New Years! What sort of resolutions did you make for the next 12 months? [Ed. Note: No more drugs for a long time!]