New Direction

My German Tour Dates…

3.1.13 Saarbrucken, @ The Garage w/Madsen

3.2.13 Wiesbaden, @ Schlacthof w/Madsen

3.3.13 Hannover, @ The Capital w/Madsen

3.4.13 Cologne, @ Blue Shell w/Schreifels Band

3.5.13 Dortmund, @ FZW w/Madsen

3.6.13 Bremen, @ Aladin w/Madsen

3.7.13 Kassel, @ Arm w/Schreifels Band

3.8.13 Leipzig, @ Werk II w/Madsen

3.9.13 Rostock, @ Moya w/Madsen

3.10.13 Kiel, Max Music Hall w/Madsen

3.11.13 Hamburg, @Hafenklang w/Schreifels Band

3.12.13 Münster, @ Gleis 22 w/Schreifels Band

3.13.13 Stuttgart, @ Juha West w/solo hits!

Rand Against The Machine

If you’ve been following the weekends political news at all then you must have heard that Paul Ryan is joining Mitt Romney as his VP pick. While I don’t find that particularly interesting, I was intrigued to find out that Paul Ryan has been name checking Rage Against The Machine as his favorite band. It’s showed up in multiple sources. You’d think obviously that Paul Ryan would think that Rage was stupid or even dangerous but nope, he just thinks they’re rad and likes to work out to them. I have no doubt that there must be some amount of people that grew up in the 90’s that were inspired by Rage to become politically active, my guess most of them leaning left. That said, I bet the massive majority of Rage fans (in the millions) just like to rock and don’t connect the politics to action beyond liking to say “fuck you” now and again. Maybe there’s room for an Ayn Rand version of Rage for the 20 teens? If there was, how good would they have to be to piss off the real Rage again? They’d have to be better/worse than Korn, Downset and Limp Bizkit put together, maybe Skrillex with libertarian lyrics? Something to piss Rage off enough to rage out another fucking awesome album that on the one hand would point out to the masses all the bullshit they’re being sold and on the other would get Paul Ryan psyched to work out all over again. Liking Rage used to be my political litmus test, now I’m not so sure who you can trust.

Dreams of Y.D.L.

I had a dream last night that I went to the Y.D.L. reunion show that’s going on somewhere at a club much like Danceteria, deep in my subconscious. The show was great, all original members save for the singer English Nick (skinhead on right in photo) who even though he’s in most of the photographs you see of Y.D.L. was technically the second singer. I preferred the first singer’s (I think his name was Rob?) voice, that said, Nick was a good replacement.

I wasn’t the biggest Y.D.L. fan back in the day, they were too right wing and sometimes played dangerously close to the line of racism even though I never thought they were. They definitely had some good songs, “The Banner” was my favorite. They had a tight demo and image. At CB’s they ran like pack, this was before DMS or other gangs had arrived, and they were all teenagers. They might have been tough but they weren’t bullies far as I could tell.

I was having a good time at the show, when all of a sudden someone hands me a baby. I think it was the girl from the New York Magazine cover story on Hardcore. It might have been the only major coverage that NYHC got back then, the Village Voice had pretty much nothing to say about it. Might have been because the guy who wrote the story had to watch his back in the LES for years after, who needs the grief? 

The baby was a beautiful, happy little boy, reddish hair as I remember. I held him for a while and then put him down on a couch with another girl who asked to keep an eye on him as I stood up. Even though I was standing in the same place, every time I’d look away, the couch and the girl watching the baby would slide away another few feet. Y.D.L. reunion shows are no place for a baby. After another look at the band and another slide from the baby, couch, girl, I gave up on the show and sat with the baby until the show was over, which was like 30 seconds later. As the people cleared out, the baby’s mother came back to reclaim her son, she thanked me for watching him. 

The last thing I remember was walking backstage to see who was around and being surprised to find a 1980’s “Undercover Of The Night” era Mick Jagger hanging out, chatting with Nicky Dirt from Y.D.L. (skinhead pictured left). I didn’t interrupt, was enough for me to be in the presence of Mick and Nick’s greatness.

I’m not sure what this dream means but I found out my friend Mike became a father yesterday, he sent me a picture of him with his new born son, which might have had something to do with it. Also, I watched Permanent Vacation by Jim Jarmush last night. It’s his first feature and it’s set in NYC in the early eighties, which reminds me of Y.D.L.. I only ever saw them in the L.E.S. and in the (albeit late) eighties where Permanent Vacation was mostly set. 

My advice, don’t bring babies to hardcore shows.

One Less deer in the world…

What a great record cover this is, I’m not sure if it’s Sex Pistols or Ten Pole Tudor’s. The Sex Pistols did a bunch of weird bootlegs in their late stages and the first ten or so years after they broke up, so it seems difficult to me for someone to keep track unless they’re really into it. I just like this cover and title. There’s another record cover that I associate with this song but I didn’t post it here. That one has a photograph of an actual deer with arrows shot through it and it says “Who Killed Bambi” and Sex Pistols in the same font that they used for Rock and Roll Swindle. I’m sensitive about deer deaths ever since I hit one that rainy night out on Pennsylvania’s I 87,  not so into seeing photos of dead deer but I’m completely happy with this record cover, even if it’s Ten Pole Tudor’s and not the Sex Pistols’. Bambi looks like she’s a cool punk deer, it’s from when she was alive and doing the things she loved.

I’m NOT playing in Canada with Samaim…

There has been some confusion as to wether I’m playing with Samiam in Canada this week, sadly I’m not.

I hope to get up to Canada to play sometime soon, unfortunately it’s not gonna be this week.

Sorry for any confusion.

Yours,

W

Monkeys You Can Trust…

I was at the bank today filling out a deposit slip and the pen on the chain didn’t work so I said “goddamn it” when I noticed standing directly next to me was a Hasidic man, who raised his eyebrow.

Reminds me of the time I dropped my coffee on the train and said “cocksucker” only to see a gay man standing directly behind me, eyebrow raised. I thought he was gay anyway, might not have been, the Hasid was definitely Hasidic though.

Unrelated story, a friend of mine trains monkeys to help the elderly with daily functions that they can no longer perform on their own.

I think that’s a noble pursuit but personally, I don’t trust monkeys and the last thing I’d want in the room with me when I’m old and frail is a vengeful, power hungry monkey that only craves what we humans have but my friend (Scott from the band Daltonic) is a great guy and he trained one of his monkeys to love Walking Concert and took this sweet pic. so they’re not all bad.

Thanks Scott!


State College PA. Super 8 Hotel Reviewed (I’m Windexed)

As I walk to my room in this particular Super 8 the hallway is humid, almost wet, with the carpet bubbled from the moisture. I peak into the open rooms as I go, the bathroom lights are  left on, signifying the cleaning staff have already finished with these rooms or maybe they’re still working on the bed room.

The air is thick with cleaning products, proportioned to cover the mold smell that lays directly beneath, the hum of air conditioners and dehumidifiers everywhere you go. I turn the corner and one of the staff is spraying a cleaning product into the air, I walk directly into the cloud, I’m Windexed. The teenaged male employee profusely apologized but it was no big deal, I felt like I matched the hotel now. A bloodhound wouldn’t be able to find me here.

On the good side, I’m confident that the hotel is very clean, moist but clean. There’s been a lot of rain lately, maybe too much for this rapidly aging building to take. What’s comforting is that the staff seem happy and with all of the cleaning activity going on they seem committed to making the best of a bad situation. The hotel building looks like it was built in the early eighties, very prefabricated.

As I open the door to my room with the electronic key card I discover that the bed is a king size, always nice. The TV is old, makes a sound when you turn it on and when you turn it off, it’s trying to draw enough electronic breath to find the signal and stay illuminated so that I can watch CNN 911 coverage or ESPN on the opening on the NFL season. When I turn the set off, the TV sighs a deep 30 second sigh of relief and returns to it’s slumber. It looks like it’s been sitting in this room since 1998.

Dampness and poor construction aside, I like this Super 8 if only for the dedication of the staff. They seem happy, so do the other guests and form me, it’s contagious. When I checked out I asked the woman at the desk if I could have a pamphlet, not for Super 8 in general but  for this Super 8 in particular. I wasn’t sure that they did that kind of thing for individual franchise anymore and at first she wasn’t able to find anything. I was ok to leave without it but she didn’t give up as easily so after a minute or two of looking around, asking co-workers she returned with a sweet pamphlet. I’m happy she did.

On Tour With Samiam…

I’m leaving, hopefully in the next hour, for tour. I’m excited to be touring with Samiam. I played with Samiam once before that I remember when I was in Quicksand, it was at Maxwell’s in 91 or 2. Since then I’ve got to know the guys and their music, going to be a blast.

Check the dates and wish me luck on the drives, I’m goin mobile!

        

  •   Sep 10

    Reggies Chicago, IL     - 7:00 PM 

  • Sep 11

    Grog Shop Cleveland, OH     - 7:00 PM 

  • Sep 12

    Magic Stick Detroit, MI   - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 14

    Great Scotts Allston, MA - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 15

    Asbury Lanes Asbury Park, NJ - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 16

    Santos Party House New York, NY - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 17

    Otto Bar Baltimore, MD - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 18

    Strange Matter Richmond, VA, us - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 20

    Smiling Moose Pittsburgh, Pennsylvan - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 21

    Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, CAN - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 22

    Katacombes Montreal, qc, CANADA - 7:00 PM

  • Sep 23

    Mohawk Place Buffalo, NY - 7:00 PM

Motel 6 or Super 8?

As I prepare for my upcoming solo acoustic tour with Samiam, starting in Chicago Sept. 10, I realize I’m super late in preparing for it. I didn’t check the driving distances or consider where I’d be staying. I guess I thought I’d play it by ear or that someone else would figure it out for me but alas this is a solo acoustic tour and doing it yourself (girlfriend assistance accepted) is both the pain in the ass and the most rewarding part of the deal.

I was thinking I might stay with friends here and there but the drives are too long to stay up talking or to have breakfast in the morning. In order to make the shows on time I’ll need to be on the move pretty much constantly. I’ve done this in Europe but the drives are much easier and if you’re late you can drive faster, especially in Germany. To the people in the audience at the shows it may appear that I’m a laid back, casual guy but in truth I’m merely enjoying a brief reprieve from the manic scavenger hunt that is my solo tour and I love it.

I started my preparations yesterday by looking at hotels in Chicago, because it’s so soon the rates are really expensive and it behooves me to drive at least slightly toward my next destination. To save time I decided to pick a company and stick with it. I decided on Motel 6, it’s the first thing that popped into my mind. I think they’re cheap and there’s lots of them and with Super 8 always lurking they have something to prove, that 6 is better than 8 and that a Motel is better than Super.

Motel 6 is saying less is more.

image

I first heard about Super 8 from Seaweed when we were on tour together back in the Quicksand days. They were so into Super 8 that they made a Seaweed shirt out of the Super 8 logo. That was a long time ago though and I have a feeling they must have fell off since then because the secret never caught on.

In any case, by the end of this tour I will know a lot about Motel 6. I think it will probably be alright considering I won’t be in any of them for very long and I’m bringing my own pillow. I might try Super 8 next time.

Goodbye Berlin, Hello New York…

In Berlin it’s easy to loose faith in the possibility of the sun appearing. The summer can be more like fall but when the sun does kick in, it’s truly fantastic. Everyone knows well enough to get outside and appreciate the fuck out of it. Although I love the city and had a great summer there this year, it wasn’t about fun in the sun. For me, it’s the people, the pace, the bike lanes and the parks. I wouldn’t have complained or been surprised by rain on my last day in Berlin but as it turned out the German sun god hooked us up with a picture perfect day, vielen dank!

First thing I did when I got home in Brooklyn was to order sushi. When I called the sushi place knew it was me, where I lived and that my buzzer doesn’t work. It was after 10pm. This massive convenience and customer service is the starkest contrast between New York and Berlin. I’d add that Berlin just doesn’t have sushi down yet, or Mexican food for that matter. I got up the next morning and had a wonderful ice coffee at Oslo coffee in Williamsburg, my favorite spot. Not surprisingly, ice coffee is not a specialty in Berlin or Europe for that matter.

I do appreciate that the stores close on Sundays and even though Berlin doesn’t have the variety or quality that you find in New York food wise, the supermarkets are cheaper and the produce is generally of higher quality and if I can’t order sushi after 10pm I’m more likely to see what I can make at home, saving money or not eating at all. When things are so convenient I sometimes just do them if I need to or not. On labor day in New York most of the stores are open anyway, they have to be. So I get my ice coffee when I want it.

I went to Rockaway beach yesterday, saw my family and put my feet in the Atlantic ocean, it’s good to be back in NYC.