Tag Archives: pop

Onlywatchthebandwithaguy(orgirl)thatIknowinit-itis


This ties in with an earlier blog post.  I’m just trying to figure out how to reach people.  When people who have never heard of us catch us play, we generally have people coming up to say they dig it. It’s a good feeling.  I’d like it to happen more often because I think the band is doing a fun thing, and I’d like more people to share in the fun.

Getting people to come out in the first place is one struggle.  Getting yourself in front of an audience that’s already there is another struggle.  Getting people to watch you once they’re there seems to be an entirely different struggle.

We'd like to thank Bobby for coming out tonight!

Has this ever happened to you? Yes, it has.

Lately I’ve seen a trend of bands telling people saying “hey we’re 1st, come early” or “hey we’re last, come late” then their fans show up for just them & don’t bother to check anyone else out.   I generally tell people to come for the whole show & check out the other bands.  We try to book shows with bands we dig, just for this reason.

Spider-\m/an

Spider-Man :: This has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I found it hilarious.

I hate to come of as a whiner, and I know I will to some readers.  I’m just trying to express my frustrations, and this blog is a forum for just that.  In fact, it’s my forum for just that.  I’m trying to work it out for myself & to possibly get some insight from other local (and some not so local) musicians.

In fact, I think I have ranted about this very topic online before, maybe just a similar one… but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

I also don’t want to dismiss the people that come see us at just about every show.  Your presence is incredibly important to us, and we value it.  We just want some more people there to watch with you, and we don’t want things to get stale where you’re seeing the same show over & over.  Even if you’ve only caught us once, or if you’ve bought a T-shirt, or told us you liked a video online… you are awesome and we truly appreciate your support & attendance.

I recently saw the worst case ever of this crazy only-watch-the-band-with-a-guy-I-know-in-it thing going on.  We played a show where people watched the band they came to see, then just absolutely bailed.  Not even the bands stuck around to check out the other acts, one of which was a touring act & the reason we were all playing the show.  It’s disrespectful.  I get that stuff comes up, & sometimes you need to go.  It happens.  Sometimes there’s burnout.  Sometimes there’s arrogance.  Sometimes there are good reasons.  Sometimes you’re just being ignorant.

I know personally that a bunch of people from my wife’s family came out to a show at a bar once where my wife & I absolutely love the wings.  We had told everyone how cool the place was, they all decided to come to the ‘Burgh to eat some legendary wings & watch my band play… killing 2 birds with one stone.  They sat through one band that everyone liked, then through a 2nd band that was just absolutely awful… one member was so drunk and/or high that he would strum the guitar and look down at it dazed for a minute or so while apparently hearing stuff that none of the rest of us could.  This was all endured just to see us play.  The place was packed all night, the bands & their fans watched each other, and everyone had a good time.

Not to judge a book by its cover, but I all kinds of judged books by their covers the other night and I hit the nail on the proverbial head.  A quick scan of the room revealed some crazy demographics.  More specifically a bunch of old people trying to look cool and standing on tippy-toes watching their kid play with no general comprehension of what was going on up on the stage or around them.  If I’m calling them old, you know they were old.  We knew these were parents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors… and they were going to split as soon as their kid’s bands was done.  Boy, did they ever.  If it was a cartoon, there would have been a cloud of dust & a cartoon noise.  Whoop!

It must be happening everywhere because the touring band had it written into their contract that they weren’t to be slated to play last on any of their shows.  You can’t blame them.  You tour to build support for your album, and if no one sees you play, no one’s going to buy your album or you merch or come see you the next time you roll through town.  We took the cleanup/closer spot because none of the other bands would.

Do you know what it's like to be on the bill and to play for fifteen minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don't talk to ME about Rock n' Roll!  I'm out there in the clubs and on the streets and I'm living it!  I AM ROCK N' ROLL!

Do you know what it's like to be on the bill and to play for fifteen minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don't talk to me about Rock n' Roll! I'm out there in the clubs and on the streets and I'm living it! I AM ROCK N' ROLL!

We didn’t help their cause because we apparently weren’t a draw either.  We watched the touring band, & they watched us.  The handful of people that came to see us were there for all of the sets that night… and the show started an hour or so later than it was supposed to.  It was awesome that the touring band actually stuck around to see us play.  I’m sure on the road they’ve seen crappy band upon crappy band night after night… but it was an unparalleled show of respect for us, and assured us that the sound guy & doorman had to stick around until we were done.  Ha ha.

My boyfriend's lame-ass band... live at the Radisson

Playing their new hit, ''Girl Girl Girl''!

Well, there were more people there to watch us… since it was a rare all-ages gig for us, we had an under-ager and her mom eager to see us… we were told we’d be rocking about 8:00pm.  We eventually went on much much later, way past the under-ager’s bed time.  So, two people who bought tickets & came out expressly to see us had to leave early and were unable to see us because of all the ridiculousness and shuffling.  Then the dozens of people who came out to see the other bands watched them then left.  Immediately.

The Sitter

Try as he might, Jeremy could just not meditate in front of a stereo. Live music is the only way to go.

It would be nice to say that whoever sold the most tickets had to go last… but then again, they did sell a lot of tickets, so that has a certain amount of pull as far as when you want to go on.

I didn’t hear any of the opening bands even mention the touring band… the headlining band that (again) we were supposed to be there in support of.

Before you say that my band sucks (you’re certainly entitled to your opinion), I’ll say that no one who left early would know, because they didn’t even give us a chance.  I’d rather clear the room myself than have it cleared for me.  How do you expose people to your live show, if the people in the place don’t even stick around for one song?

Guitar Lessons (Poster?)


This is awesome.  That’s all.  Not sure if this is the original source, seems to be everywhere.  You may have seen it already.  At any rate, I dig it, and I was compelled to share.  You can find some of these at a higher resolution, but I haven’t found all of the close-ups.  If you have more, please share!

GUITAR LESSONS - Master Class

GUITAR LESSONS - Master Class

New music from Snuff and Ann Beretta!


I’m expecting two killer albums from two incredible bands this year.  What do these bands have in common?  Well, almost nothing I guess.  (It’s 11 whole steps at BandToBand.com!) They’re both punk bands, but they really sound nothing alike.  They are, however, in my all-time top favorites.

My wife tells me all the time that every band that I talk about is my favorite.  But that’s how I am, I guess.  If I like a band, I really like a band.  I try to acquire all of their music.  I get into side projects & related bands.  I sometimes even look for live stuff & bootlegs.  Snuff & Ann Beretta are bands that have that hold over me.

I got into both of these bands right around the time I started playing in my first real band, AiXeLsyD.  I was really into buying punk compilations some time after 1995… and whenever ’98 or ’99 rolled around and AiXeLsyD was writing and playing shows, I was absorbing everything and these bands just lit me up.

Snuff

Snuff

I had purchased Fat Music Vol. II: Survival Of The Fattest for the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes cover of “Country Roads”, and was instantly drawn to Snuff’s “Walk” & “Nick Northern”.  I’ve blogged about them before.  I was hooked immediately.  They really blend pop, punk, metal, thrash, ska, soul, & anything else they feel like at the moment absolutely seamlessly.  It’s crazy.  One minute they’re blistering through riffs that could be on a Metallica album, and the next there’s horns or an organ or they’re covering the specials and there’s no “what happened?” feeling.  It’s just natural.

Snuff has been dropping updates via their Facebook Page, and it’s all great news so far…

Happy new year to all. UK tour in april and new songs on the way. oi oi

Excellent rehearsal, great start to the new year, new songs sound stonking, dead excited now. Looking to record at least 8 new songs by the end of the month.

Two more new riffs up at last nights rehearsals. One mod/thrash/pretty thingy and one dangerously retro 82 hardcore beast. oooooof!

I’m incredibly pumped for this, or anything that Duncan Redmonds puts out.

Ann Beretta

Ann Beretta

With Ann Beretta, I can pin it all down to one song.  I heard “Bottlecaps” on  Fueled by Ramen‘s Year of the Rat comp, and that was it.  These cats are incredible.  Hearing their songs is like being dropped right into the middle of a story, situation, or town that you know every inch of despite having never been there.  I’ve seen them more than once in the ‘Burgh, and have even road-tripped to Cleveland to see them.  I helped make buttons for them, and they crashed at my buddy (& fellow AiXelsyD bandmate) Andy’s place after a show one time at the Rex.  The music is not unlike Rancid… without so much ska & snarl, but with honest Willie Nelson-like storytelling.  These guys wear RVA on their sleeve, and certainly make their hometown proud.  Their cover of All‘s “Long Distance” is incredible.  (The original is of course flawless in its own right.) “Love’s Easy Tears” is one of the catchiest songs ever, and I love the chaotic ending.  “Russ’Song” always gets me going, too.  Inquisition, Sixer and Foundation are worth checking out too.

The major update on this front comes from the driving force behind Ann Beretta and Foundation, Rob Huddleston…. via Twitter:

Get it before it disappears!

And there’s some stuff on their Facebook page:

Drums for 8 songs tracked so far with @RobHuddlestonVA of Ann Beretta. 5 so or more over the next few days. Go like their new FB page www.facebook.com/AnnBeretta

Back in the studio today!

First round of mixing begins today!

3 months of bronchitis & finally back to the studio w Pedro Aida – Producer/Engineer/Songwriter to get back to some vocal tracks.

Fantastic.  This is going to be a great year for music.  Black Sabbath, another Slash solo album… maybe some Aerosmith, new DLR Van Halen.  Now we just need Nerf Herder, The Bloodhound Gang, The Teen Idols, The Eyeliners, Peelander-Z, Bars, & The Unseen to start making music again.

What do you think about Snuff & Ann Beretta?

What music are you looking forward to in 2012?

Alex Skolnick Schools Me on Grunge, Metal, & Punk. Ha ha.


Don’t know what started it all, but I saw this…

And decided to say this…

So, he actually replied:

Heh.  Alex seems like a cool cat.  I’ve read countless guitar magazine articles that he’s written, and saw him perform once with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Damn, he’s good.

Some other stuff has ensued…

At any rate, Twitter is fun, and it’s cool to get a nod & from some of your heroes & maybe start a conversation.

Ah, here’s what stared it…

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!

So, Pepto-Chili may not be a good idea…


pepto

Pepto!

Made some chili the other day.  I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same twice, but I dig that.  This time, I puréed some fresh & roasted peppers, and added hominy.  Next time, I’ll try less tomato stuff.  Maybe less spices.

This batch caused some absolutely ridiculous gastrointestinal distress.  I had to employ both Vernor’s & Pepto.  Serving leftovers over some creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes helped a little, but not much.

Chili à la AiXeLsyD over mashed potatoes... topped with shredded triple cheddar.

Chili à la AiXeLsyD over mashed potatoes... topped with shredded triple cheddar.

Anyone ever use anything in your chili to cut down on heartburn or any other side-effects?  I rinsed the beans (black & kidney here).  My grandma said baking soda may help, but I think that’s for gas from the other end.

Classic Vernor's logo with "Woody", ...

Vernor's Ginger Soda

I think the peppers or spices are what got me here… maybe the garlic.  I burped so much after drinking a little Vernor’s that I actually amazed myself.  Where did all that air come from?  Surely some spectacular chemical reactions where going on inside my stomach.  SCIENCE!

Can;t wait for that coal-black Pepto poop.

Think Vernor’s would be a good ingredient in the chili?  What about Pepto?  How about some Tums?

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!

Sat.08/27 @ GOOSKI’S! – The Dirty Charms / Ernie and the Berts / What Else? – 21+/$5/10:00pm (via Ernie and the Berts)


I love Gooski’s. It’s a relaxing hole in the wall with a killer jukebox and ridiculously awesome honey BBQ wings. It’s always cool to play a place you’re so comfortable in, so please come out to this one, hang out, & have a fun time with Ernie and the Berts as we rock out with the Dirty Charms & What Else?.

Sat.08/27 @ GOOSKI'S! - The Dirty Charms / Ernie and the Berts / What Else? - 21+/$5/10:00pm GOOSKI’S.  That’s all I need to say.  Come early, stay late.  Rock out with some cheap beers, tasty wings & pierogies.  We all need a night of debauchery in Polish Hill every once in a while.  That’s what your favorite local rock n’ roll bands are for!  What Else? channels some glam, Ernie and the Berts will make you feel scuzzy & fuzzy, and the Dirty Charms just may make you need to take a shower… Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

Your attendance is required.


Sun. 08/14 @ The Fallout Shelter:

Ernie and the Berts
Hopeless Otis
The Awful Waffles

$5 / 21+ / 9:00pm

Click the link for details & links to the venue & other bands.

Sun.08/14 @ The Fallout Shelter - Ernie and the Berts/Hopeless Otis/The Awful Waffles - $5/21+/9:00pm Beat the heat, not your meat!  Hang out in the cool relaxing not-humid soothing basement of Sheffield Lanes… a little place we like to call the Fallout Shelter.  Well, they called it that, so that’s why we call it that.  We didn’t name it.  Although, it is a pretty good name.  For some reason, they like us there, and keep letting us come back.  Randy just may be a little insane.  That’s OK, I think we are too.  At any rate, they have good drink … Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

Ernie and the Berts / Awful Waffles / Uke & Tuba – FRIDAY AT THE BBT!


If you didn’t catch us last night at the Fallout Shelter… and you probably didn’t… you have the chance to try again this weekend, and eat some pierogies!

July 22nd at the BBT with the Awful Waffles and Uke & Tuba! This promises to be absolutely ridiculous.  Peep the links.  Come out & get the best Polish food in the ‘Burgh in the corner of “Little Italy”. The Bands: Awful Waffles / Ernie and the Berts / Uke & Tuba – The Place: Th… Read More

via Ernie and the Berts