Chick-fil-A-Go-Go! 🎸🎤🎧🎵🎶


OK, so it’s been a while since I’ve been productively making music & actively writing songs.  Apparently the bug never goes away.  I have been thinking about doing punk rock-ish kids songs for a while.  (The Sablowskis beat me to it!)

Yeah, there is the AiXeLsyD reunion gig coming up… whenever that is, and it doesn’t seem like Ernie and the Berts was all that long ago.

I saw a contest online last week and it sparked me to get my ass quickly in gear. Music Go Round in Monroeville is holding a guitar giveaway, and I have been mentally drooling all over Eastwood Guitars online for quite some time. The Side Jack is pretty awesome!

It would be really cool if you could help me win this axe by clicking “like” on this post: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=698216686929723&permPage=1

It may help to follow or like the Music Go Round Monroeville, PA Facebook page too.  It has to be on that post on their page, no “likes” here or on my link(s) to it on my Facebook profile count.  Voting is only open this week, they pick a winner on the 27th!

As far as the song goes, I threw it together in under an hour with a downloaded app for the tablet, using crappy headphones, the built-in mic on the tablet, and my acoustic guitar down in the basement.  I think it shows.  But, I still think it’s a hooky tune with some potential.  I may have to recruit a few of the usual suspects or even some unusual ones to help me complete the process.

Molly is absolutely terrified of the Chick-fil-A cow.  My guess is that other kids are too. Seems like we can find a whole lot more to relate to with some feet-tapping tunes!

Chick-fil-A-Go-Go

Chick-fil-A-Go-Go

💸💰💵 Go team #NoLobsterOmelettesPlease! 💸💰💵 | #FoodAllergy Walk #Pittsburgh


📣 So, I have 1,103 “friends” on Facebook, and 985 “followers” on Twitter. If everyone gave just $1 to the FARE 🚶walk for Food Allergies in Pittsburgh this year on Sept. 14th, I’d have $2088 donated. If you all gave $5, that would be $10,440. (OK, if you follow me on both social media platforms, you’d technically have to donate double.)

Please consider taking a few minutes to follow the URL, and donating a buck or two so we can raise #FoodAllergy awareness, and work towards a cure for Molly’s egg allergy and my shellfish/crustacean/mollusk/deathfish allergy. Our goal as a family is a measly $300 and we have $100 so far. I would be so grateful and proud if we could surpass that goal. Thank you for listening (reading), thank you for considering, & thank you in advance for any donations.

[Also: This involves no video-ing, no wasted water, and no whining about how not-helpful a viral campaign is even though it clearly worked. Good job #ALS people!]

http://www.foodallergywalk.org/pittsburgh2014/carrollfamily

💸💰💵 Go team #NoLobsterOmelettesPlease! 💸💰💵

Thanks, Ernie.


The email/text/something came from Dave in a lull.  I don’t know what it was, but I know it wasn’t a phone call.  We don’t use phones to talk.  What is this, the 1880s?  Dave said he knew a cat that played bass who wanted to start something weird.  Dave wanted to learn drums, and they needed a guitar player.  I think the original concept was to cover songs from the Willie Wonka movie.  That never panned out, but Erin told us that he had always been in bands to play bass, but had never really sung.  He wanted to be the singer.  That was cool with me.  I was just happy to be making music & playing shows once again.

Erin took on the role of frontman pretty easily.  That gravely growl was perfect.  The bass playing was very fluid.  All I needed to do was slap out some power chords, and some backing vocals.  Everything was always a work in progress, ever-evolving.  I eventually played slightly more than power chords.  Erin was the writer, mastermind & driving force.  Dave & I just reigned him in a little where we could and only if we thought he may be losing focus.  Focus?  Ha.  We didn’t have much of that.  That was OK.

Practice nights sometimes were about playing songs, and sometimes just about bullshitting.  Sometimes we made some really cool sounds, and by next week we had all but forgotten them.  Who cares?  We were having fun.  Dave & I were old friends by this point, but Erin was right in there.  Somewhere along the way & pretty damn quickly we had that “dudes in a band” bond.  He was the Ernie, and we were the Berts.  It fit.

Erin was always excited at the prospect of a new show, new idea, recording, playing with a new band… new logo, new T-shirt, whatever.  Sometimes it seemed like all of our effort was fruitless… but looking back, it wasn’t.  It only furthered the “us against them” mentality.  I think we played an open stage after 1 or 2 practices?

Erin was always concerned about what was going on in my life, be it good or bad.  He listened.  He actually listened & cared.  That can be rare.  He did the same thing to random people in the bars before we’d play, or after we played.  He liked to talk & he liked to listen.

I don’t know if we were a punk band, a rock band, a fiasco, or a gang… but we were friends.  I wish we had more time, and more shows.  But that’s always how it goes, isn’t it?

Oh yeah.  Erin had brain cancer too. He didn’t let that get in the way.  Oh sure, he’d tell you about it just to make you squirm a little in your seat, but then he’d laugh it off and put you at ease.  Yeah, he’d put you at ease.  That’s the kind of cat that he was.

Thanks to @RowdyBBQ for the box in the mail today! #BBQ


If you know me, you know I dig BBQ.  You also probably know that Rowdy BBQ is one of my favorite BBQ joints, if not the favorite.  Different moods & days for different BBQ, right?  I could eat from Rowdy BBQ every day.  Health be damned!

This all started last week when I Instagrammed/Tweeted this:

And I got a reply:

Like I said, the pulled pork was absolutely delicious.  But, I’m not gonna turn down free brisket twice.  What am I, crazy?  So, I emailed them.

Today, the mailman left a nifty surprise on our porch:

Rowdy BBQ - Gift Certificate & BBQ Sauce

Rowdy BBQ – Gift Certificate & BBQ Sauce

Rowdy BBQ - Box in the mail!

Rowdy BBQ – Box in the mail!

Rowdy BBQ - Goodies!

Rowdy BBQ – Goodies!

Rowdy BBQ - Business Card

Rowdy BBQ – Business Card

Thanks to “Rowdy the Rooster” & Steve for taking the time to go way beyond simple customer satisfaction!

Speaking of Rowdy…  I hope he’s only temporarily headless?  I noticed that the famous (infamous?) sign only had hands when I was there.

If you’ve never had the BBQ here, I recommend everything.  Ha ha.  Generally I go with the sampler so I get ribs & chicken or a brisket if I have a somewhat slightly smaller appetite.  The Big Pig is also incredible, pulled pork & cheese sauce on a giant bun.  I also like the pierogies.  Mmm.  I’m going to have to use this gift certificate pretty damn soon.

I look forward to using this sauce at home.  Lately I’ve been using the Yuengling Black & Tan Honey Barbecue sauce, but this will be all kinds of delicious.  I can say though that it can’t be nearly the same as when they cook it.

Thanks again, Rowdy BBQ!

So, I have an idea for a TV show: #MissionariesImpossible ⛪


Yup.

What do you think?  Would you watch it?  TLC is pretty close to that any way.  I’m fascinated by all the shows with the Browns and the Duggars and the crazy Amish and Mennonite kids.

OK, “Missionaries Impossible” isn’t the best title.  Have a better idea?

I’m not poking quite as much fun as you may think.  I have gotten into some lengthy discussions with evangelizing Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I have done some mad research on Mormonism.  They would both probably call themselves Christians, while most Christians from Roman Catholics to Creation-museum-loving Evangelicals to super liberal UCC‘ers would probably give a hearty “No, no, no, they’re not with us…” when they’re brought up.

I admire the chutzpah of anyone willing to “sell” their faith door-to-door.  Even if they do (like royal ass-hats) choose to do it on Christmas day.  Yes, that happened to us once at my wife’s parents’ house.

I can totally get not celebrating religious holidays with pretty much no regard as to the events they’re supposed to commemorate.  I don’t see a problem with polygamy (yes, I know that’s a very small percentage of fundamentalist Mormons that even Mormons don’t like to talk about) as long as all parties are consenting adults.

I would guess that there are things that we can learn from each of them, and what better way to do it that to let them try to out-missionary each other?

 

Glowing Seahorse, or or Seahorse Inferno?


So, I had to tweet (and Facebook) Fisher Price in light of recent news events…

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=887293781286074&id=151123671569759

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=887293781286074&id=151123671569759

Think they’ll write back?

A reply to an anti-band rant from a venue…


They sadly had a lot of good points overshadowed by ignorance and arrogance:

I sort of blogged on Facebook itself.  First you have to read the original rant, I’d guess. Here’s what I said:

At first I found this amusing, but the more I read, the more the author seemed like an arrogant prick. Sadly, I agree with a bunch of the points on bad band behavior and have had similar rants as the person trying to organize a show or simply having to put up with the antics of another band.

#21. It shouldn’t hurt to ask.

#22. I think you meant “you’re.”

#23. You’re too cool to have a conversation with someone who may just be bored that they’re there with their kid’s band and they’ve heard all the songs 8004 times?

#35. If you use the R-word, you’re an A-hole. If you use the R-word twice, you’re a double A-hole, and you must shit in stereo.

#36. “Load-In Time.” If it’s a local band and they have a 6:30 load-in time, chances are they’re not going to get there on time. Unfortunately a lot of local musicians have day jobs that have a quitting time of 5:00 or later. Getting to the gig by then may be impossible.

To reply to an overall arc of the list… In general I understand clubs need to have people come to shows or they don’t make money or can’t pay the bands. I understand that a band needs to promote its ass off via word of mouth, flyers, classified and event pages in local rags, social media, and any other way it can… but clubs can do some of that too. I can’t get my head around being a draw. I’ve been in a handful of bands over the years that are generally and sometimes wildly well-received when put in front of a crowd… but have found it difficult to predict a draw or to become a steady one. Sometimes I have brought a crowd, sometimes I couldn’t draw if I had a bucket full of crayons and a stack of paper. How does one gain a steady and loyal following, oh great bringers of so much musical knowledge?

I have played many shows with no pay. I have been paid more than what came in the door at shows. I have bought T-shirts and CD’s from bands who were on tour knowing that was probably the only way they’d eat before they get to the next stop.

Things you missed:

  • Setup/Breakdown – Set your drums up before you get on stage. Take them off, then break them down. Don’t take longer to set up your amp and pedal board than it takes to play your terrible set.
  • Tune silently.
  • Watch the other bands, asshat. Also, don’t play first then take your crowd with you. Hang out, buy drinks, catch another act. Don’t hang out in the parking lot while the other bands are playing then swoop in like a rock star when it’s time for you to play.
  • Don’t complain about the monitor mix after every song, or blame equipment for your epic lack of awesome.

Also:

I should have blogged this, but didn’t think I’d rant that long. Ha ha.

Related reading:

Merry Christmas 2013!


So, I haven’t blogged much over the last year or so.  The new job has me out & around… not near a desk with time on my hands to save a draft & come back to it later.  I also have less time to monkey around on the internet as it’s mostly taken up by our sweet little girl once I am home.  Speaking of home, that’s new too.  We finally bought a house and are no longer renters!

Check out our little sweet pea in an album on Facebook if you’re interested.  This was the day after moving, and 2 days after Molly turned six months old.  Photos by Kristina Serafini.  This was the one we chose for the Christmas card this year:

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Hopefully I can adapt how I blog, maybe use the android app… to get my thoughts out there. Maybe it’ll be shorter less link-filled stuff. Maybe not. Maybe I can do drafts with the phone and edit/post/link/add media later.

The house is taking some time to get set up, but eventually I’ll have all my toys in a room that will make blogging and computer time easier.  I also have a nice workbench now so I should be able to monkey with my guitars more often.  I have some ideas to put into play.

This has been a crazy year.  New job, new baby, new house.  What’s next?

How have things been for everyone out there in WordPress land?

In the spirit of Christmas, check out this post, and join in:

I’ll eventually get back to blogging. Really.


I’ll eventually get back to blogging.  Really.

This has been going on:

But, I want to talk about this…

…and another sort-of fuel-related possible scam that I was involved in earlier this week.

Having fun embedding posts from FB & Twitter, too:

21 Super Cool Nerdy Guitars | FUNKY PICKENS


Check it out! My Batman logo axe made the cut…

21 Super Cool Nerdy Guitars | FUNKY PICKENS.