Tag Archives: Ernie

Boston Market ups the pressure… (a.k.a. What now, Panera Bread?)


Insanity.

That’s right.  Boston Market not only reached out via my contact form thanks to Facebook, but also had the cojones to do this…

Boston Market RT!

Boston Market RT!

I still haven’t received a reply to my email to Mr. Wakabayashi, but what now Panera Bread? What now?  Clearly, this will pan out to be a bigger rivalry than Neil Young vs. Skynrd, or East Coast Rap vs. West Coast Rap.  Maybe even bigger than me vs. the people that think I’m McDonald’s (At Least Mr. Wakabayashi used my contact form correctly!)

If you have no idea what’s going on, or if you work for Panera Bread.  You can catch up here…

In other news, did you know that they both cater?  I wish someone would have told me.

Panera Bread (Scott Twp. Greentree Road) on UrbanspoonI actually stopped at the local Panera the other night because the wife was sick and wanted some of that cheese-broccoli soup.  I went in to get some to go, and got myself a half of a turkey sandwich and a cup of the chicken noodle.

The employee (a young girl, of course) at the counter was quite friendly, asked if I wanted lettuce tomato or onion on the sandwich, and even asked if I wanted mustard and/or mayo.  Clearly, someone went over new procedures.  Sadly, I asked for lettuce & tomato… and got neither, but I did get mustard and mayo.  I applaud the effort, and shame on me for not checking before I left the store.

I have to say, after my initial complaint, they have totally stepped it up service-wise.  I still call shenanigans on the new soup.  They ought to let sales do the talking… OFFER BOTH.  It’s certainly a popular item.  Let the consumers decide if they want a great-tasting soup… or the crappy flat-noodled healthy soup.  Clearly, as a leader in the Fast Casual industry, you can afford to test the proverbial waters?  I think more changes have been made, but it’s still not the old soup.  Shenanigans.

Also, I counted 3 signs within  a span of about 8 feet on the counter where you wait for your order advertising the catering… and the pop machine still does it too.  I think the receipt may have even said something about it.

I spend far too much time contemplating fast food & fast casual dining.  If only I could save time buy purchasing already prepared meals.  Does anyone out there do that?

Locksley is a class act.


Last night Ernie and the Berts had the opportunity to share the stage with D.I.Y. wizards, Locksley.  First off, these cats exude cool.  They look like they just walked out of the studio at Sun Records, or belonged on the Chess Records roster in the late 50′s.  In full confidence of all my manhood, I can say that if I were a woman, and into dudes, my panties would have been thrown onto the stage last night.  The best part is that they lack the pretentiousness sometimes associated with such a look.

Locksley is self-described as “doo-wop punk”, but it sure sounds like straight-up super poppy rock n’ roll to me.  Part 50′s ballads, part garage rock, part “Beatles just slashed the speakers” kind of vibe…. I even picked up a little Who and maybe even Pinhead Gunpowder.

These dudes explode on stage.  After their roadies got them all set up, drummer Sam Bair took nonchalantly to the stage, sat down, and started pounding like a madman.  As everyone in the room was spinning their head to see what was going on… the rest of the guys hopped up on stage, picked up their instruments, and joined in with a catchy number.  Bass player Jordan Laz called us all to action, Eastwood Airline bass slung to the side; No feet were to be still, no hands were to be left idle.

They actually implored us to go downstairs during the second song, and try to bring up Smiling Moose bar patrons from downstairs.  Not even the incredible fans that drove in from Ohio donning homemade letter jackets and poodle skirts emblazoned with Locksley logos went downstairs as we was requested.  No one wanted to miss whatever happened next!

Hooky melodies with a beat meant to keep your feet tapping is Locksley’s thing, and they do it well.  Their self-titled record comes across as a little softer, more polite, and gentle than the live show… but make no mistakes, these guys are mean on stage.

Guitarist Kai Kennedy was channeling Johnny Cash in all black with his well-worn cream colored Stratocaster wailing crazy poppy licks, and sweating bullets from the get-go.  Lead vocalist Jesse Laz let bass player & brother Jordan handle most of the inter-song banter, then would step in to croon and make jangly chord changes with his Epiphone Wilshire… A commanding presence that reminded me of Morris Day in Purple Rain.

Locksley

These guys have crazy stage presence.  Any inter-song banter was backed by soft rocking that ramped up just in time to jump into the next tune.  Moves that had to be choreographed but looked like they may have had an organic origin peppered the set.  Microphone sharing with killer vocal harmonies was all over the place.  Everyone who wasn’t tied to a drum kit was in the audience at one point, dancing, rocking, and singing away.  Kai and Jesse locked into this weird grappling maneuver where they played each others’ guitars while spinning around looking like someone trying to get out of a straightjacket.

After the set, handlebar-moustached drummer Sam wouldn’t let me purchase a CD.  Instead, he gave me a stack to pass along.  We gave some out to those who had attended the show, but I still have 2 unclaimed.  Let me know if you’re interested.  The 1st 2 to claim the disc in the comments below, it’s all yours.

Erin “Ernie” Payne & Dave “Bert” (or “the other Bert”) Warren went to a Fountains of Wayne show in Philly a while back, and Locksley was the opener.  Erin really dug what they were all about, and set out on a personal mission to bring them to the ‘Burgh.  I’m glad he did.  I had a great time last night, and I know the whole shebang was a big deal to Erin.  From what I can tell, all of the guys in Locksley and their friends/crew are all-around nice guys who have a genuine love for the music, the stage-show, and the adventure of being a rock n’ roll band.

Stay tuned to Ernie and the Berts’ Facebook page to see photos of the show!

Boston Market is ready to battle.


Boston Market cup

In this corner...

Look out Panera Bread, Boston Market has your number!  I was out of town this weekend, and didn’t check email much.  I didn’t have the time & energy to properly respond to this until we came home.  I find this to be incredibly awesome.  Dennis “The New Guy” Wakabayashi from Boston Market is ready to put his company’s catering services to the test.  The line between my lunacy in email writing and reality is ever increasingly blurred.  Perhaps my preposterous idea will turn into a real happening.

Insanity.

Sparked by some snarky postings of various blog post url’s on Facebook

From: Dennis Wakabayashi <engage@bostonmarket.com>
To: <Me>
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback
Name: Dennis Wakabayashi
Email: engage@bostonmarket.com
Website: http://www.bostonmarket.com

Message / Comment:

Hi, I’m the new guy here at Boston Market, just brought on, to engage with awesomeness like yours. I loved your article and definitely interested in the catering battle royal at your place…count me in! Not only that my friend your band has some T-shirt coming your way!

Send me a list of sizes, and a couple videos of your music, so we can be sure you’re rocking the family friendly vibe that we know and love….

If you want to reach out to me directly DO IT. dwakabayashi@bost.com (Senior Manager of Digital Marketing)

How’d you find my blog?:
You posted on our Facebook page!

Time: Friday November 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm
IP Address: 000.000.000.000
Contact Form URL: http://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

So, of course, I wrote back…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 14, 2011
Subject: Re: W(aL)D Feedback
To: engage@bostonmarket.com
Cc: dwakabayashi@bost.com

Shalom Dennis!

I see that more companies are hiring people in your position to figure out the best ways to use social media to their advantage.  What a great thing!  I have had some excellent interaction with Nate Riggs of Bob Evans.  I have even had great dealings in the past with Lori Smelt at Boston Market.

I have a goofy email sending online persona, now named Waldo Lunar… that keeps clashing with the real me.  It’s ever more impossible to separate the real from the absurd.  Ha ha.

I have asked for the T-shirt sized of the other dudes in my band, but I’m not sure if their ideals would support such blatant corporate sponsorship.  We are, after all, a punk rock band at heart.  Then again, what’s more punk rock than doing the exact opposite of what a good punk rock band should do?  Also, I’m just a Bert, so I must clear things with Ernie.

I’m not sure that the band, Ernie and the Berts, is family friendly.  Despite this perhaps somewhat misleading name… we’re prone to spew forth occasional potty humor, sexual innuendo, and movie-Tourette’s-like bouts of profanity.  Also, don’t ever eat Ernie’s soup.  This has not stopped the interest of other yet-to-be-named possible corporate sponsors.

For your review and entertainment, I do however submit the following videos:

I trust that you’ll laugh, cry, and share with friends.

I’m glad that they have someone with some wit and intelligence monitoring Facebook for Boston Market.  In 2011 (soon to be 2012), I feel that it’s extremely important for a company to use social media for important feedback regarding the perception of their brand & service.

I’m quite glad that you’re interested in the catering battle-royale!  Unfortunately, I haven’t had any takers from the Panera Bread camp.  In fact, I believe their policy is to ignore my emails from now on, or that I have been perhaps stifled by their in-house spam filtering system.  I haven’t received so much as a “thanks for your interest” or even a “please stop emailing us.”  They haven’t used Facebook to the advantage that you now have.  Although, they did reply (uninterestingly) to a tweet.  Do you perhaps have any professional colleagues at Panera that you could cajole into action?  Since Batman Movie night has come & gone, my wife & I have discussed the possibility of a Back to the Future or Indiana Jones movie night.

(I assume that your interest is in a catering battle, and not the literal scuffle for a single dollar?)

Perhaps, with the lack of interest from Panera Bread, we could involve Bob Evans?  Surely, your meal offerings are more in line with them, rather than some paltry soup and sandwiches?  How would you feel about your chances against them?  Maybe Panera needs to lie low in the media, in light of recent events that happened nearby.

You can send a goodwill token of appreciation for my new adventurous advertising ideas, if you end up using any of them.  A commission check would be nice also.  I excel in the ridiculous, but am unsure how to make a profit from such ridiculousness.  Following the model put forth by advertising within the walls of where one is currently doing business, I figured it would be OK to ask in this email.

How do you feel personally about unabashed advertising for catering service while you’re currently in the place, already spending your hard-earned dollar?  Let’s face it, at the brisket meal hovering around $10, I can go to a local diner for less and not be slapped with advertising while I sup.  I go to Boston Market for the tasty meals, (perceived) speed of service, and glittering hope of consistency.

Imagine picking up a bottle of Coca~Cola at a convenience store, and on the label, it tells you to go buy a 24 pack of cans, 2-liter, and/or six-pack of bottles.  At the moment, you’re interested in quenching your thirst… not stocking your ‘fridge or obtaining a caffeine high.  Not a perfectly parallel predicament, but food for thought nonetheless.

I would like to thank you for your interest and the response to my insanity.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.  Can you think of any other catering battle participants?  Perhaps we can put together a rock n’ roll show rather than just a small movie night…

I’ll let you process all of this, and get back to me on your own time with your thoughts.

Excelsior!
-ERiC AiXeLsyD (a.k.a. Waldo Lunar)

Bread Soda

In this corner...

Now, how to get Panera Bread to bite?  This isn’t rhetorical.  I’m actually looking for your advice.

If you’re confused here, you may want to check these out:

It would be beyond super-awesome…


Cover of "Don't Make Me Wait"

Don't Make Me Wait

It would be beyond super-awesome if you could come out to this show. Why? Ernie worked hard to bring Locksley to town.  They just got back from Japan, and they’re rocking selected cities around the U.S. You can’t deny their incredibly poppy sound & we can tell you that they put on one hell of a show.  Go to their site, check out the free EP, look ‘em up on YouTube, hear ‘em on TV, then come see ‘em live next week with us at the Smiling Moose.

Original post here: I’ll take Locksley for $10, Alex!

Reposting below:

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You’ve heard their songs. You know Locksley even if you don’t know it. They’re the next big thing, and you have the chance to see them now! Ernie and one of the Berts saw them open for Fountains of Wayne in Philadelphia, and they dug it so much that Ernie decided to set up a show to bring these guys to the ‘Burgh!

Locksley

From Wikipedia:

Television, Press and Placements

Locksley performed “Don’t Make Me Wait”, “Let Me Know” and “She Does” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! March 2, 2007. They performed “Let Me Know” on Late Night With Conan O’Brien on August 13, 2007. MTV made Locksley their “Featured Artist of the Week” for two weeks straight on September 8–22, 2008.

After the release of Don’t Make Me Wait, Locksley were featured in multiple magazine spreads, notably SPIN Magazine’s “Breaking Out”, Rolling Stone‘s “6 Breakout Bands to Watch”, Alternative Press‘s “100 Bands You Need To Know” and in ELLE Magazine with an 8 page fashion spread in their March 2007 issue.

Many of the songs off of Don’t Make Me Wait were licensed for TV, commercials and movies, notably: “She Does” as the theme to HLN‘s Morning Express with Robin Meade, placement in the Friday the 13th remake, “Don’t Make Me Wait” as the trailer music to the Paul Rudd and Eva Longoria movie Over Her Dead Body and “My Kind of Lover” in the J.J. Abrams-produced Cloverfield.

On August 24, 2008, “All Over Again,” “Don’t Make Me Wait,” and “She Does” were made available as downloadable content for the popular Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game series Rock Band. The songs have been downloaded over 60,000 times to date. Locksley credits licenses with keeping the band going.[3]

Locksley wrote the song “Slink (A Hymn)” for use as the theme song to FOX’s TV show The Good Guys.

The ECHL hockey team the Toledo Walleye plays the chorus of “The Whip” whenever the team scores a goal at home.

Owens Community College uses “The Whip” in a number of radio and TV commercials. “The Whip” is also used in an American Family Insurance commercial, and has been used by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Dallas Stars as their goal song since 2011-12.

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You can buy your tickets now to make sure you get them in your music-loving hands in time for the show. You can also buy at the door. Really though… It’s 2011. Try buying something online. It’s quick. Convenient. Easy.

❧ LOCKSLEY w/ Ernie and the Berts & The Mondaze - Tue. Nov. 15th 2011 @ The Smiling Moose (Pittsburgh, PA - South Side)

❧ LOCKSLEY w/ Ernie and the Berts & The Mondaze - Tue. Nov. 15th 2011 @ The Smiling Moose (Pittsburgh, PA - South Side)

Here are the show details, stay tuned for videos after the details:

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The Bands:

The Venue:

The Details:

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Ernie and the Berts – November Shows


We have some shows coming up.  You ought to attend.  We’re a good time.  I promise.

The Punk Rock Sock Hop Invades Pittsburgh! Sat.11/05/2011

The Punk Rock Sock Hop Invades Pittsburgh! Sat.11/05/2011

This is going to be one crazy show… bands, magic, a DJ spinning 50′s tunes, zombies, contests, prizes, and probably even drunk chicks.  You can get free admission and some other goodies from Pittsburgh Punk Rock with very minimal effort (if he extends the contest).  This benefits Free Ride Pittsburgh, and is a Pittsburgh City Paper Critic’s Pick for this weekend!  Click the flyer for details, links to all the other bands & entertainment!

Locksley, Ernie and the Berts, & The Mondze! 11/15/2011 @ The Smiling Moose!

Locksley, Ernie and the Berts, & The Mondze! 11/15/2011 @ The Smiling Moose!

Click the flyer for details, to see videos from all 3 bands, the link to buy tickets, and check the comments for the link to a free EP called Ghosts from Locksley with a fun Halloween theme!  Erin saw these guys in concert, and wanted to bring ‘em here to the ‘Burgh.  You’ve heard the song “The Whip”.  Lets show them some love!  Help spread the word.

Cancer Benefit Show


Cancer

Image by GDS Infographics via Flickr

Borrowed this from the Ernie and the Berts blog…

⚕☣☤☣⚕ Attention Kids Under 21 and People Who Hate Cancer:

We have a show coming up that you ought to make an extra effort to attend.  We don’t do many all ages gigs, so this may be your only chance for a while.

This formerly had a slightly more impolite name, but it has been toned down a little bit:  P!$$ ON CANCER: A Musical Collaboration to fight for a friend’s life!

A friend of Bert’s has set up the show, and it looks to be (the good kind of) chaos.  Disgust in Disguise are a bunch of cool cats and it looks like there’s a really diverse set of musical genres happening, as well as a silent auction and some food & drink specials.

We’re asking you to come out, support a good cause, listen to some music, eat, drink, & be merry.  Please don’t literally pee on anything or anyone.  (This means you, Brad.)

Here are the details in case you missed ‘em!

When your body is your enemy, how would you choose to fight?

Join us as we take a stand against a friend’s cancer.
Help us fight his silent war.
March with us, beside him, as we tell his cancer to F@#! off!
He’s ours. We’re not done with him, yet!

The Bands:

  • 12:00 AM | Voices and Vessels | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Metal / Post-Hardcore)
  • 11:00 PM | Disgust in Disguise | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Metal / Hardcore / Punkrock)
  • 10:00 PM | Ernie and the Berts | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Rock / Pop / Punk)
  • 09:00 PM | Lyndsey Smith | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (R&B/Soul / Funk / Pop)
  • 08:00 PM | Midnight Rose | FB / RN / My_/ @t | (???)
  • 07:00 PM | The Ele[mental] | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Rock / Alternative / Indie Rock)
  • 06:00 PM | The Long Knives | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Indie / Psychiatric / Distofuzzadelic)

The Place:

The Details:

If anyone has any more details, links that I missed, or a flyer, please let us know in the comments!

Crazy weekend.


It’s been a great weekend, thanks to Batman Movie Night on Saturday, & the Food Allergy Walk today.  I hope to eventually blog about both… but I’m kind of up for just some relaxation tonight.  I just wanted to say right now that I have an awesome wife, fantastic friends, & a great family.  Thanks for helping me have fun whirlwind of a weekend!

Thanks to everyone who donated for the walk today… I’ll be shipping the special edition Ernie and the Berts King Krab Orange T-shirts from Erin “Ernie” Payne this week for those who qualify!

Anyone have a car jack I can borrow?  I think the thermostat needs replaced on my Subaru… looks easy enough to do, if I can get to it.  The car stayed at work over the weekend.

Celebrity Endorsement?


Sally Wiggin ❹

Sally Wiggin ❹

None can argue with the awesomeness of local celebrity, WATE-TV‘s own Sally Wiggin.  If you do argue, I’ll fight you.  Sally is awesome, in fact… she’s so awesome, that her hair has it’s own Twitter account.  You can find Sally on Wikipedia, Twitter, & Facebook (a few times)(There’s even a page called “Sally Wiggin Out” on Facebook.)  She’s a phenomenon.

Since Andrew Stockey is on Facebook all the time (he’s on Twitter too) , I was feeling goofy & decided to try & goad him into making a donation to the Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk by invoking the name Sally Wiggin, as she’s the “Local Honorary Media Chair”…

Not gonna let Sally Wiggin get all attention for the Food Allergy Walk, are you? Care to make a donation...?

Not gonna let Sally Wiggin get all attention...

Somehow, Sally must have interpreted this as me asking her personally for a donation, as this appeared on my wall a few days later…

I did as you asked. Can't wait to meet you and Bethany at the walk.

I did as you asked. Can't wait to meet you and Bethany at the walk.

And she did!  You can see that Sarah Wiggin has generally made a contribution to my food allergy walk donation page: http://wwwofoodallergywalk.org/aixelsyd13

(This also humorously qualifies her for a limited run “king krab orange” T-shirt from Ernie of Ernie and the Berts – planning on giving her one at the walk, wonder if she’ll wear it?)

I’m not far from getting my name in the “top fundraisers” list on the Pittsburgh walk page.  Those people are still getting donations too… so keep ‘em coming!

This post is to celebrate the generosity of Sally Wiggin, and to try and get other local celebrities and organizations to step up & donate… for a chance to be awesome like Sally.  (I have also received some initial contact from Chick-fil-A, Qdoba, & Giant Eagle… though no donations as of yet.)

You can also donate to my wife, Bethany… she’s not quite as “aggressive” as I am in collecting donations.  You can listen to this while you dig out your credit card…

Videos, Contest , Kickstarter, T-Shirts, & more chaos… (via Ernie and the Berts)


There’s all kinds of stuff going on in the Ernie and the Berts world You ought to check it out…

Videos, Contest , Kickstarter, T-Shirts, & more chaos... A while ago we played at a crazy show in Sheffield Lanes, above the Fallout Shelter.  It was all ages, it was madness, it was beautiful.  This is some of what you missed: “Toybox”: A lot of screwing around, then “Ikea”: Video by Ernie’s mom, Terrie Cobb. This is just a sample of the awesomeness that you can get full-on by supporting our Kicks … Read More

via Ernie and the Berts