>MySpace Literature

>This wasn’t the post I was going to make, but it can’t wait. I don’t know if you are familiar with MySpace, but I’m sure you’ve heard of it. LAZERWOLFS and TATER PIG have pages there because, for bands, it is actually reasonably useful (I am currently booking a ‘wolfs tour for a week this summer using it almost exclusively, for example). There is this function called Bulletins. The way they work is when you create them, they are displayed for all of the people in your Friends list to see. Most of it is useless dreck. Sometimes there is good stuff; show announcements, tour updates, record releases, etc. This one, though, defies description. This is from a guy from Minnesota who sent us a friend request a while back. I looked at his profile, saw it was plastered with a combination of pro-military awfulness and just some of the worst .jpg’s of that ilk you can imagine, but figured he was harmless because a lot of the music he liked seem to be similar to what the ‘wolfs are about. That, and he is right on the route of our tour, so I approved the request . . . because that’s how I roll (how a phrase can be so awful and so great at the same time escapes me). Thank god I had, or I would have missed this gem. It speaks for itself; the title, and formatting, are all his:

this is not a bitch or a train or anything else please read

about a week ago i got this friend request no pic just a name of sun luv
i did not answer it then i got a message from that pearson it was real grafic and slandered every thing about every one. so i sat and thought about this and the crap that was said. so some things that was said is i should take all the tributes to the millitary off they said who cares i do i care becuse that who iam then they went on about the music i listen to and the groups i have on myspace.so i like insane clown posse and hard core rock, blazze,twisted and all the other groups i have as friends.that made no sense to me at all.i let it go then igot a message back two days ago and the pearson said you have that meny friends and i bet you dont know any of them and to that all i can say is who ever is my friend i may not talk to you or know you pearsonly but i send you comments and chat a little that is how you become friends? this pearson started in about the war and how we should never have gottin involved so on and so fourth but they forgot one thin we were attacked and every on wanted us to go their for justice ya its hell we fight so that pearson can say and do what they want we gave that right to them but dont ever tell me that iam wroung for my page and take my tributets down if you were never their dont tell me about that crap see that pearson is one that will protest at a soldiers funneral thats why we have to have honor gaurds be their to stop the protest. but what makes me more mad is that that pearson said all your friends are of diffent types ya so they are my friends ya i dont know all of them pearsonly or their belifes or any thing else but what they say on their page but i still will defend them no matter what because thats what i was tought to dothe sad thing is this right now is what i do i cant go back to war i whis i could because thats what i belive in my brothers and sisters over their are fighting for us and this pearson wnts to condem me and said for what i have done i will go to hell well i was already their and ya i am hurting not by words but my own hell. but to my friends on my space i may not know you all and i love to get adds and comments and send them back to you i just cant belive this pearson they asked do you think you are one of those juggolos or vampire or gothic what are you they said well iam me iam all of the above ya my time here on this earth might be short because of the bleed i might have in my brain and the problems with the metal plates i have in my head but at least if i go i know that for some time i made a differnce to my country and my friends here and yes i would like to think iam a juggolo and avampire gothic but above all i was and always be my self if you all want to send something back thats cool i just wanted that pearson who sent that crap to me to know where iam comming from and ya i will stand behind each and every one of my friends on my space

P.S. Don’t think the irony of the top line of this wonderful image is lost on me after reading that bulletin post either, heh.

>Thank God It’s Over

>Right out of the gate, thanks to everyone who came out last night. It was really great to see so many familiar faces. Too many to mention individually and I don’t want to offend anyone by leaving them off the list due to my own sleep-deprived brain, so just a big THANK YOU to all. It was noted, and will not be forgotten. More than anything that means the most to me. Much, much appreciated. It’s awesome to see such a turnout for local music, at such exorbitant prices too (more on that later).

Of course I am talking about the PBR thing that went down last night, and, as expected, we did not bring home the victory. The big winners were Reverend Slanky; I didn’t see their part of the show, as I bolted over to the Wilma to see Clutch immediately after we played (Clutch was awesome, by the way). A couple people before the event predicted Slanky would win. Jimmy even predicted it, as he saw their set. He didn’t like them, but could see that they were crowd pleasers. One thing that puzzles me is that I hear they played all cover songs. That is weird if it is the case. Anyway, I was a little disappointed in the outcome because, everything considered, I still thought we had a shot. I think I would be irked if we’d lost to what most people thought were the favorites, The Good Neighbor Policy. After all the hype around them, I was mightily disappointed. Maybe it was because they played first, I don’ t know, but it was fairly uninspired, by-the-numbers indie rock, which is something I’m not a fan of. I loved the cello, though. Maybe if there wasn’t so much hype around town about them I would have appreciated them more, I don’t know. Maybe it’s that they started late and played a set that easily exceeded 20 minutes. I did get a kick out of iNHUMANS, the hip hop band, though. I also loved Black Velvet Elvis’s Motley Crue cover, “Too Fast for Love.”

It was good to play for people that would normally never see a LAZERWOLFS show. It was great to see some old friends and make some new ones. It’s fun to rock out at The Other Side when a lot of people are there (which doesn’t happen very often). Plus, it’s just fun to play, period. I don’t think we played particularly well at all, but it was a good time. One highlight for me was when some stranger came up to me after the show and said, “I’ve never seen you guys before. All I want to know is what trick you have up your sleeves to let you come out and be 3x louder and sound 5x better than the other bands?” Stuff like that tickles me, because all we really care about when we play is to entertain people, be real powerful and sound good, and have fun. We did that. I’m happy. I don’t think any band was “better” necessarily than anyone else, just different. Some just do what they do real well, and if you have your people in the crowd and judges more sympathetic to your style of music, it’s payday.

I definitely think having the finals the same night as the Clutch show destroyed us. Like I said, I went to Clutch after our set, then came back. I saw at least 10 – 15 people at the Wilma that were at our preliminary round show, easily. Several came up saying, “I thought you guys were playing tonight?” The thing is, originally the dates didn’t clash, but the organizers of the PBR event added a 4th preliminary round to the event, which pushed the finals back to the same night as Clutch. And while all of us rock bands tried to get the organizers to consider changing it, they wouldn’t budge. In fact, I was told that the PBR people felt “it would have more of a negative effect on the Clutch show than our show.” Well, maybe a few indie folks skipped Clutch, but the rock fans didn’t. That doomed us right out of the gate. Look at the winners of the thing, Reverend Slanky. With 8 member (or whatever) votes to our three, we are already 5 votes in the hole before a note was even played. Add in that the bulk of our fan base was at a great show across town, and we really didn’t have much of a shot. I still think we came close, because there were a lot of LAZERWOLFS t-shirts in the audience.

Why did the organizers do this? I think they had so much interest from bands who wanted to play they saw an opportunity to make more money by adding another night to the preliminaries and add two bands to the finals (2 more bands means those bands bringing their friends to the show to pay the cover, drink, etc.). The downside was the finals being on the same night as an already-scheduled event directly conflicting with ours. Even worse was that by adding 2 more bands to the finals, we all got rammed into 20 minute sets, and that flat sucked. I mean, this sucked in a way that no gig has ever sucked for us before. 30 minutes is difficult; 20 is a nightmare. Plus the added rush to get gear on and off made it very difficult on ALL the bands. I was exhausted afterwards — bust ass to help the band ahead get their gear off, throw ours on, rock, throw our gear off, hump it back outside and into the truck, all in a big hurry. Like Jimmy said, after he finished loading he felt like he’d just played a soccer game.

As much fun as we had with these two shows, I admit to feeling guilty. The $6 cover for the preliminary rounds was okay. But they jacked it to $10 for the finals, which is ridiculous. I feel guilty for asking my friends to pay that, all to watch us play for 20 minutes. The messages we received from the organizers urged us to get our friends out, print and post flyers, handbills, etc. That all costs money, not to mention time (which is the most valuable thing). What do the bands get? If you win it all, you get a decent payout ($1000, $1000 in recording time, some PBR posters with your picture on it, and a $200 gift certificate to Haus Frau). But preliminary bands that didn’t advance got $0 (last year every band got at least $50). Bands who made the finals were supposed to get $100; we haven’t seen a dime yet. I’m sure we’ll get it, but tracking it down is going to be a hassle. I’m sure the sponsors (and there were a lot of them) all kicked in money or something. I know what it costs to use that venue; I have an idea of what the sound guy probably costs. The radio station was presenting it, so I’m sure the ad costs there weren’t particularly high (determined entirely by claiming what they would have gotten if they’d run a paid ad in that spot). Running ads in the paper is spendy, but when you run all the numbers it still seems like the bands got totally bent over. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh well, I don’t mean to gripe. It was fun, and I’m glad it’s over. I already got Jimmy to agree that we did as well as we can ever hope to with this thing, so we most definitely won’t be participating next year. Not out of sour grapes, but just because we did what we intended to do, and that’s as good as it’s gonna get. Next year we will do something else instead!

By the way, thanks to Sarah Frazer for the pictures!

Tomorrow, Clutch review, where Julia predicts catastrophe and I spend time in conversation with a Will Farrell character. . . .

>Busy Day Today

>Lots going on. First off, I have my first little thing ever in the Independent, a review of Clutch’s latest album, From Beale Street to Oblivion. Believe me, for a guy who runs off at the mouth like I do, 200 words ain’t easy. You can dig that here.

Secondly, the Indy also has a great overview of tonight’s PBR thing that I’ve been going on and on about for a month (I’m so glad that, for better or worse, it’s all over tonight). You should really check out their piece here. Christ, pick up the paper edition and read it while scarfing a slab of pizza at The Bridge. I may do that this afternoon when I pick up Sid (who actually got invited to play drums in local metal band, HELLIANA; more on that later!).

And finally, Joe Nickell over at the Missoulian has a bit about tonight’s Clutch show that simultaneously reports on it and takes a good swing at the promoters/publicists associated with the show. That’s one thing about these Wilma events lately, I haven’t seen a whole lot of publicity for them, and getting info isn’t exactly easy. Joe also makes a nice plug for tonight’s PBR thing as well; dig them both right here.

So much happening, and tomorrow is First Friday, where there are at least two art openings going on (one at the MAM and the other at New West), as well as a bellydance performance at Betty’s. So much culture, I best indulge in as much lowbrow tonight as I can!

>What a Day

>Two words for why Ace Frehley is cooler than you: Leather Pants.

I spent most of my morning waiting around for a call from Ace. Yes, really; and you know it’s a big deal because you know how I feel about Ace. It finally happened, if two hours late. I was prepared for that, and I’m actually glad for the delay. I was so keyed up at the scheduled time that I probably would have been lame. So now I have a mini-cassette recording of our conversation, some transcription to do, and probably two pieces to write (one for the Independent, and one more extensive one to say everything I want to say, maybe for here or New West or something). That will be coming soon!

It was really, really cool, though.

RIP to a Major Contributor to my Youth

Today wasn’t all excitement and giddiness. I saw that E. Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, died. Click HERE for the full story.

I loved D&D. There is a part of me that still does. I still buy the occasional sourcebook just for the pleasure of reading it. Most of my collected manuals and things have survived multiple moves and “stuff purges” that other things haven’t. Some of the fondest hours of my youth, from junior high on, were spent with friends throwing dice late into the morning. People make fun of geeks. I was one. Hell, I am one. And I am quite pleased that I have retained a lot of those geeky interests rather than trading them in for obsessing over lawn care and trophy vehicles. Keep your friggin’ Escalade, I’d rather continue to wield the Rod of Lordly Might. And I wield it . . . furiously.

So I am setting my current New West piece-in-progress aside to write further on this. However, none of my heartfelt words about geek pride takes away from the humor in this thing, which Patia sent me last week. I’m sure Gary Gygax would have laughed as well: