Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...Minutes From the Mall

Hello Hello,
3 pots of coffee, lots of Super Mario Brothers, a few Beatles magazines and 11 hours of recording and we present to you the 4th installment of The Takeover UK's annual Christmas song pageant, "Christmas in LA". We started the band 4 & 1/2 years ago, and every Christmas we've wrote and recorded our own Christmas song (except for last years which was a cover of that Phil Spector X-mas tune. Long story). The plan is to have our own album of Christmas originals in a few years. We might have to double up in the coming years, pumping out 2 a year or what have you. But that shouldn't be a problem. Lack of material has never been a problem. Either way, I can't think of any rock band of yesterday or today that's released an album of Christmas originals. Hopefully we can be the first. It's not that we particularly love Christmas music. Sure, I like a couple odd songs here or there, but on the whole I change the station when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes in, as I'm sure you do too. I guess we just like the idea of it. Besides, it's not like our songs are the normal holiday fare. Who said Christmas songs have to have a positive and uplifting message?
We're back home now, trying to settle into some kind of normal routine, which is easier for some than others. I'll let you know when I've found one. We're taking the rest of the year off, which sounds like a long time but remember, that's only a couple weeks. We'll be back out touring early next year and our album is now set to come out Tuesday, March 24th. So now we're scrambling to get the artwork done
We're also just putting the finishing touches on our first video, for "Ah La La". It's a fun video, if I don't say so myself. Then again, we probably don't share the same sense of humor as most people. But hopefully you'll all enjoy it.
In total randomness, the holidays remind me of this one T.V. commercial that used to be played all the time here in Pittsburgh when I was a youth. I'm sure most locals of a certain age will recall it. It was for some car dealership, but it stuck out because they had a great jingle that a bunch of kids sang with a bouncing ball jumping from each word. "Century Three, Chevrolet, Lebanon Church Road Pittsburgh". As soon as the jingle was over, one youngster said "Minutes from the Mall". I bring this up because in my more dubious days, I used to tell people, mostly girls, that I in fact, was the youngster who said "minutes from the mall", my first foray into showbiz. Of course, I was not the youngster who said the quasi-famous line and of course even if I was, it's certainly nothing to brag about. And that's why so many people believed me. Who would make up such a thing? Regardless, I'd just like to apologize now If I misled anyone. And to the kid, who is surely an adult now, probably with a subprime mortgage, I didn't mean to steal your thunder. You did a great job.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tour, tour, tour, Tree of Smoke, Troubador, Tombstone, Pauly Shore

We're finally back home. It was fun and all, but, I was tiring of the floral patterns that graced the Motel Six's not quite queen beds. I left after the home town gig sick and bound for Chicago, spending two nights on a hard wood floor at a friend of a friends in the Mexican district. No soup to be found but tortilla with pork-rinds and heavy cream.

The Midwest was harsh. But we slowly befriended our tour-mates and watched some sunsets through bug splattered windshields and eventually wound up in the westwest. Seattle was bunk but pretty. Portland was even prettier and not bunk at all.

We crossed one of those big Golden-like Gate-like bridges when San Francisco seemed to be burning with one of the most beautiful sunsets that I can imagine hung above it. So very sadly, Southern California really was burning when we drove south. We drove through the smoke and the hills were rolling for miles into it. The Troubador sounded better than any club had yet.

"When you guys going on?" asked Pauly Shore as we stood on stage tuning, obviously about to go on. "Right now, Pauly," I said.

He bobbed his head for a few songs then wandered to the bar and out of sight for good.

We saw old missed friends in LA and then drove further south where The Shys displayed their immense hospitality and friendship toward us, letting us share their beautiful homes and beers.

We headed back east, through the desert, Tombstone, and eventually ended up in our own beds.

The end. Give or take a few stories.


Monday, December 1, 2008

drink water before bed instead.

so i had a little drinking injury on tour. i wouldn't actually call it a mishap seeing as it was a collective effort. after being on the road over a month, and being in a bar with free booze every night, you're bound to put a hurtin' on your body. my mistake was taking ibuprofen and aspirin every day when i woke up. not good for you, or your stomach.

after consuming the aforementioned tokyo tea's in san francisco, i thought i was nursing a really killer hangover on our way to LA. i thought wrong. minutes before our set at the infamous Troubadour, i was vomiting blood in the bathroom. at this point i was weak, dizzy, and fever bound. i soldiered on though. my love of rock n' roll and playing live were the only thing that got me through it. did i mention i had to play later that night as well? yeah, i did.

anywho, a week went by, and i did my best to relax, and lay off the sauce. it didnt seem to help... nothing did. i was sick all week, i couldnt eat, i wanted to puke 24/7. i finally got the courage to check myself in the ER and find out what was wrong with me. they took me in fast... after i told them i had no health insurance, and had no way of paying them, they waited on me SLOOOOOW. so 6 hours later i find out i had an inflamed pancreas, and actually ripped a hole in the lining of my stomach from vomiting. all from drinking and taking painkillers. let this be a lesson, kids. im now at home with strict orders of no alcohol drinking, no OJ, apple juice, fruit, mexican, pizza, coffee, soda, caffeine, anything spicy (aka anything good) for an ENTIRE MONTH. sheesh. i am rehabbing in my apartment with my cat, and i will live to drink another day... i just wont be taking anything for my hangovers the next day.

until next time,


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"I Want to Buy You Something...What Can I Buy You?"

Hello All,
We finally got a couple days off and I'm here in Sunny LA. It's snowing back home so I feel rather good about that. It feels like somehow I'm winning something by missing the terrible weather. We're on the last leg of our tour. It's been a wild topsy turvy time but we've come out of it with some great new friends, our tourmates The Shys and Army Navy. Great guys. We're like a big gang rolling from city to city, causing problems everywhere we go. Oh and also playing some shows as well. We actually played 2 shows last night and for that my body will not forgive me.
The night before in San Francisco at first seemed like it would be a rather tame night, being a Sunday and all. We only had 2 drink tickets each (pretty standard) and none of us were in a partying mood. That all changed when a very, very energetic and loud dude came up to us after we played and screamed, literally in my face,: "ohmigodiloveyouguyswhowantsadrinkcomeonletmebuyyouguysadrinkwhatcanibuyyou?" Naturally, being the populists we are, we joined our new ostentatious friend in several rounds of Tokyo Teas, which are pretty much 6 hard liquors mixed up with some kind of sweetener. Danger, as Mystikal would shout. One of the casualties was Sickels, who was throwing up blood the next day before our set at the Troubadour in LA. Now I could say there's some lesson to be learned here, but that's a bunch of hogwash. we'll make the same mistakes again, same as you. In the meantime, we've got some more gigging to do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Video shoot

"More excitement, more energy," yells the camera guy, who only minutes earlier had jumped in our overcrowded van, his lighting man sitting in the same seat. I turn around and look at the four Mariachis wondering if they even understand him, let alone feel like complying. The older, more respectable looking one turns to me and smiles a big golden smile--literally, he has gold teeth. We all start pounding the ceiling of the van and singing along to our soon to be first single, "Ah La La". Gatorskinned jackets are gyrating everyones laughing but confused. Is this going to be in the video? I thought we were just driving to where they were shooting the video.

We finally pull into the park where the shoot is taking place. "They couldn't get the chickens," someone says.
"What, no chickens?," Josh says.

We climb into the back of this moving van. "OK, so you're having a great time, singing, dancing, jumping around. Then the door swings open and you all jump out and start running from the INS," the director yells. OK, sure. We some how manage to turn the fiesta music that the Mariachi band is playing into some strange but awesome version of "Ah La La." The door swings open and there's our manager and the camera guy from the van earlier dressed in the worst cop costumes I've ever seen. They're still wearing jeans. We scatter. This happens four or five more times. The Mariachi band needs to be back in NYC at 11:30, it's 11:50. They don't seem to mind. God, I need more sleep. I'm wondering if someone is gonna buy us lunch. I'm wondering if this video is gonna be as ridiculous as it seems.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Road Dawgs

hey, its been a long time since we made a post on here. sorry bout that, but we've been really busy. in less than 2 weeks, we're going on a full U.S. tour! im talking like 40 dates people. its gonna be brutal, yet super fun. we're doing a week with the von bondies, then the rest of the tour with the shys and army navy. check out both of those bands... awesome.

we're also shooting a video for "ah la la" next week. really excited for that. its gonna be funny... we'll let you know when its done. we also are getting the pre-releases for our debut full length "running with the wasters" soon. i know it seems like its a long time coming, but trust me, it will be worth the wait. the album drops late-january or early-february. we will be touring our asses off in 09... we're going international too, so make sure you're checking our myspace lots and lots

goodbye for now, and see you on the road!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where does it come from, Where does it go?

hello all,
One of my absolute favorite contemporary bands is
The Sleepy Jackson, from Australia. If you're unfamiliar, go get both their albums now. Their debut "Lovers" is amazing as well as their sophomore release, "Personality" If you like your pop music left of center, you will love this. One of my best friends, Blair from the awesome NYC group, YOUNG LORDS (, turned me onto them after their debut came out. I've been in love ever since and hungry for any morsel I could get from them. In my opinion the Sleepie's mainman, Luke Steele, is one of the best songwriters around today. There are few groups or singers whose work I love all of, but he is one of them. Blair just hipped me to a new side project of Luke's, Empire of the Sun. I've posted the video to their first single below. Their album drops in October. Again, another amazing song. The Sleepy Jackson is much more of a rock band than this side project. Much more in the Beach Boys/ELO vein. So if you don't dig the electro vibe of this song, don't let that stop you from checking out his main band. Words can't express how much I dig his songs. When I got their 2nd album, I burned a copy for everyone else in my band. They all love it too.
I wouldn't lead you down the wrong path, friends.
Not to be mysterious, but very soon we will have some news about touring and, wait for it... tour dates. I'll let you chew on that for a bit, my web browsing friends. In the meantime get your groove on with these lovely songs. Enjoy.

EMPIRE OF THE SUN "Walking on a Dream"

THE SLEEPY JACKSON "This Day" from Lovers

THE SLEEPY JACKSON "I Undertand What You Want" from Personality

YOUNG LORDS 'Down So Long"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

High time for a Post

Seeing as none of us have posted a word since the 18th of last month, I figured it was time for a morsel, something, anything to be put up here on this, our blog.
Before I get into what I'm going to get into I'd just like to state for the record that the word "blog" is positively cringe-inducing for me. If you're like me and were wondering who the guilty asshole was that coined the term, Wikipedia has this to say:
The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[7] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May of 1999.[8][9][10] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.[11]

So it really should be log, like "Captain's Log stardate whatever" but this Peter Merholz character just had to make it blog. I'll give him a pass though, how can anyone know that some word they create would enter the modern English language.
Speaking of, can anyone confirm for me the youngest blogger out there? I'm not talking some parent of an infant who started some cutesy blog pretending to be their drooling, crying baby. There's gotta be a 2 or 3 year old out there with a blog. Please, send some links if you can. Enough of this.
Concerning ye merry Band, we just played in New Orleans for the first time a couple weeks ago. Sickels, our drummer, had never flown before and did a great job of keeping it together on each of the 4 flights (layover in Houston aka George HW Bush airport!!!). Though I guess it's not hard to keep it together when an air marshal has knocked you out with the but of his gun. We had a lot of fun running around the city. Nick was intent on finding a real Voodoo kind of shrunken head but all we could find in the French Quarter were tacky, Beer T-places that sold mall brand shrunken heads. Oh well, maybe next time. For me, this was my 2nd time in Norleans. I have to say it was infinitely more enjoyable this time around, seeing as I had the living shit beat out of me by a group of young guys outside a bar (50 cent mixed drinks!! Come on, that's not fair!). I had to fly home with 2 black eyes and a chipped front tooth, sitting in between 2 obese women, one of whom had an infant and politely asked to use my tray to feed said baby. Regardless, I like New Orleans alot more now.
We're also prepping up to make some videos. We're toying with the idea of having a running story that begins where the last video started off. The labels having some problems picking a first single, which is a good thing. Most bands only have 1 or 2 single worthy jams on their albums. Our album is pretty much all singles save 3 or 4 songs. It's the internet age, the single has returned, which we're quite happy about in a strange sort of way.
Snyder has Nick's Pix. Being named Mark I don't have it so easy. Mark's Larks? Hmm. I dunno. Regardless, here's some stuff I've been into recently and I urge you to check out:
- The Americanization of Emily
Those who know me, know I'm really into film having gone to school to write movies. Paddy Chayefsky, in my opinion, is the top screenwriter of all time. Period. If you haven't seen "Network", do it. Now. Forget about Tarantino.
This picture is about a coward who becomes a war Hero during D-Day. I won't give the plot away, but it's very poignant and even though it was made in 1964, it might ring more true today. Satire at it's best. See this if you can. I don't know how hard it is to come by. I taped it off TCM, godbless that channel.
- 45 by Bill Drummond
If you've read this blog before then you probably know about my fascination with the KLF. Well this is a memoir written by Bill Drummond, half of the duo. Nick and I swear by "The Manual", their how-to-make-a-hit-record guide, and this is even more insightful. Drummond really understands pop music. He doesn't take it seriously but still can't help but be consumed by it. Quickly becoming a hero of mine. I ordered it on Amazon but I don't think it's that hard to find. Also check out his website:
- Generation Kill
I'm a huge fan of "The Wire" as hopefully you are too. I didn't know what to expect of this HBO mini-series made by Burns and Simon, creators of "The Wire". But it is great and really gives a tremendous insight into the invasion of Iraq. I know Nick's really into this too, so that's half of the Band endorsing this one.
Check out the articles it was originally based on and later turned into a book of the same name:

- M83 "Saturdays=Youth"
I first heard this French one man band on the internet radio while at work. The song "Graveyard Girl", really stuck out and reminded me of New Order for some reason.
I picked up the album on the strength of this one song and surprisingly was not disappointed. It's electronic pop with a very discernible MY Bloody Valentine influence. Definitley for a mood, but very strong.

A long post, I know. But I'm making up for not "blogging" (cringing!) in a while.
Well Sickels is calling, he's gotta go to court about this whole being knocked out by an air marshal thingy and he needs a ride.


Monday, August 18, 2008

what a way to be remembered...

i stumbled across this obituary while reading a messageboard... this is certainly a very odd, and unforgiving way to send off a family member.

"Dolores Aguilar
1929 - Aug. 7, 2008
Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM."

ridiculous, right? i thought so too.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quite Possibly The Biggest Douchebag in the World

Hello all,
A few months back I caught an episode of BBC America Reveals "Britain's Biggest Spenders". This guy was on there. He is quite possibly the biggest douche in the world, but also a very entertaining guy. If anyone deserves their own reality show, this man does. I would watch it, for the same reason I peek my head out of my car window when we pass by a traffic accident. Wasn't it the Circle Jerks who called it "Casualty Vampires"? Anyways, just a little intro into his world. I'm not sure how well known this shithead is in the UK but I'm sure noone in the States knows who he is. But if I ran the TV networks, his would be a household name. The video below doesn't go into it, but this guy also bought a seaside town in Bulgaria and named it after himself, which I think is pretty sweet. Let's be honest, if you had the kind of juice to buy a town in some eastern european backwater and rename it after yourself, you'd do it. I'd do it. Enjoy the glory of this humble man:


Sunday, August 10, 2008

AMeriCan Eagle MuSIc Union ThinGy

My internet's been nonfunctional and we've all been very busy with work and music and such, so I apologize for the lack of content on here recently.

Soooo. . .

My friends gave me some tickets for the second day of the American Eagle Music Union festival yesterday in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Of course, I graciously accepted and decided to attend it. Well, let's say I half attended it. Miller Light bottles were $7 and there are two local dives within a few blocks of where the festival was held. So, I'm sorry to say that me and my friends spent more time hurriedly sucking on $2 I.C. Lights, giving our selves just enough time to get back for Spoon or Gnarls Barkley. Only to be swayed by the temptations of "one more drink". And then another and another.

I only caught the tail end of Gnarls Barkley, but did catch them doing an amazing cover of Radiohead's "House of Cards". Then I was planning on watching Spoon but I forgot to bring sun glasses and the sun was brutally posted directly above stage left and I just couldn't deal with it, so back to Excuses we went. (Excuses, by the way, is the name of one of those dives. No seriously.) Anyway, long story short--I watched most of the Raconteur's' (if that's how you spell that) set. At least enough to see Jack White slay the shit out of some blues licks. But I could really care less for that band. They seem very generic to me. Plus, Brendon Benson looks like he hates his life when shares a stage with Jack.

Then Dylan was up next. The throngs were strangling in and although the sun had stopped punishing my dumb ass for not bringing some shades and sun screen, me and the gang just didn't feel like being there anymore. "Nic, you walked out on Dylan?" you ask. Well, kind of. See, I'd just seen Dylan a few months back. And I had my fill of his raspy melodyless mumbles. Don't get me wrong, I love Dylan. I own most of his albums and have multiple books and dvds that attempt to unravel the mystery that is Dylan. And I love them all. I even think his last album was brilliant. But he doesn't even attempt to sing those songs right. I know, I know, he doesn't give a fuck and there IS some sort of comically endearing quality to that, but at least give something remotely similar to the songs that made everyone fall in love with you. No matter what Rolling Stone says about his shows still rocking and his "on a whim band" tearing it up, at the end of the day it's just frustrating. So I watched him crackle and croack through two old classics and took off.

My only real highlights actually came from the free college stage. The Depreciation Guild was great. As were The Royal Bangs. They tore ass with some Thin Lizzy/Television style dual guitar onslaughts. Go listen to their song "Brother" on MySpace. It rips.

Props to 'merican Eagle for getting all those big names to come to our little rust bucket of a town, but call me old fashioned, I'll take three bands and a bar. I guess I'm not really much for festivals. Especially ones that are held in shadeless parking lots with $7 beer.


Monday, August 4, 2008

city slicker

this past week i went on vacation. i spent a few days at the jersey shore, where i got really, REALLY, fucking sun burnt, and a few days in franklin, pa. franklin is in northwest pennsylvania. its in the cut. i did things a normal city boy may have never done... such as shoot guns, go "4 wheeling," and swim in murky ass lakes in the middle of the woods. i hung out in log cabins, ate wild berries (be careful), and met many mixed bred, porch dogs. im not sure if country life is the life for me, but i had a good time, and made me realize, shouldnt we all get out of the city more often??


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nic Snyder's top 3 modern slow jamz

This is not a joke. These 3 songs are about a year or two old. But I haven't heard much since then that's anywhere near as good. Especially since everyone who sings R&B these days rips off T-Pain and drenches their vocals in auto-tune/vocoders.

1. "You Don't Know My Name" by Alicia Keys - "Woo Hoo, Woo Woo Hoo." This song is just hard as fuck. I forgot about it till I saw it on On-Demand a few days ago. Girl Talk needs to sample those back-up vocals. I'm not really all that familiar with Girl Talk, though. So maybe he already has. But if not, I suggest that he does. The video is recommendable as well.

2. "Until The End Of Time" by Justin Timberlake and Beyonce - I first heard this song on the radio (WAMO) and instantly liked it. I only caught the last minute of the song, but the end of the song is all Beyonce and she pretty much makes the song. It's got it all as far as modern R&B goes. The strings at the end of the bridge sound like they sampled them from "Loveless". It even has some social commentary at the beginning. This ones for the lovers though.

3. "Me and You" by Cassie - Maybe the video to this song is what originally drew me to it. But it stands up on its own. It's very simple but has the sweetest harmonies and strange 80's synth hooks. And another good bridge as well.

I'll put another NixPIx thing up in the next few days.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lawnchair Larry

now i know this story is 25 years old, but i just read about this guy, "lawnchair larry." to me this story is really ridiculous, and had me cracking up... the idea of a guy floating 16 thousand feet above the ground, on a lawn chair, with a sixer of miller lite, a gun, and some sandwiches is really funny. can you imagine what his friends thought as he zipped up into the sky, totally out of sight? absurd. anyways, enjoy...

(1982, California) Larry's boyhood dream was to fly. But fates conspired to keep him from his dream. He joined the Air Force, but his poor eyesight disqualified him from the job of pilot. After he was discharged from the military, he sat in his backyard watching jets fly overhead.

He hatched his weather balloon scheme while sitting outside in his "extremely comfortable" Sears lawnchair. He purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store, tied them to his tethered lawnchair dubbed the Inspiration I, and filled the 4' diameter balloons with helium. Then he strapped himself into his lawnchair with some sandwiches, Miller Lite, and a pellet gun. He figured he would pop a few of the many balloons when it was time to descend.

Larry's plan was to sever the anchor and lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard, where he would enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down. But things didn't work out quite as Larry planned.

When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawnchair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn't level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 16,000 feet.

At that height he felt he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World Airlines and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of the strange sight.

Eventually he gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended. The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. Larry climbed to safety, where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around."

The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused. Safety Inspector Neal Savoy said, "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, a charge will be filed."

what makes this story even more ridiculous, is that some years later, larry shot himself in the heart in a forrest in california. poor, larry.

until next time,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

PBR Street Gang

Christ, I just saw Apocalypse Now for the first time since I was in something like middle school. What a fucking amazing masterpiece of movie that is. I never realized were "Charlie don't Surf" came from. . . Ol' Bobbie Duvall. Phenomenal Dialogue.

Speaking of the Apocalypse, anyone who's read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" should be thrilled to know that John Hillcoat is doing the movie. He directed one of my top five favorite movies, "The Proposition" (Nick Cave's first screenplay). So if you haven't read the book, do yourself a favor and read that. You'll probably cry a good manly cry.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Here at Running with the Wasters, having run out of things to write about, we offer up another ghastly installment upon which we attempt to let you, the reader, get to know us, the boys in the band, a little bit better. An entertaining read I'm sure, for the few brave, bored souls that bother with said blog. Enjoy.

This installment: The notorious Wine enthusiast and occasional drummer, Joshua Sickels.

Name: josh "ice" sickels

Age (real or pretend): 26

What do you do in the band?
play drums, acting drill sergeant

How many pets have you had?

37, wow that's a lot. What kinds of pets did you have? 37 dogs?
(unintelligible...groaning...) Sure

Favorite Actor?
Daniel Day Lewis. and i only really like two movies he was in. he is just THAT good.

Which movies?
(...loud shreiking noise in background, sighing...) Um, I-uh, I don't remember, man.

Fair enough, Favorite Actress?
probably leslie mann. i think she is hilarious, and totally smokin' in that older woman type way.

Have you ever read Gun's N' Ammo?
no, but i like the title.

If you could have written one song througout the history of recorded music, what song would it have been?
this is a ridiculously hard question to answer, and im pissed at you for asking it. though maybe not the greatest song ever written, my personal favorite song is "im only sleeping" by the beatles. so yeah, that.

How many women have you slept with (real or imagined)?
a gentleman never tells, though im certainly no gentleman. my girlfriend will probably read this though. pass. (Editors Note: Noone in the band has answered this question straightforwardly or honestly. Perhaps for the stated reason)

If you could meet any historical figure, living or dead, who would it be and why?
this is another difficult question to answer. i'd like to say someone more universally important or some bullshit, but honestly it would have to be john lennon. im in the business of rock n' roll, and who better to hang out with than the guy that wrote the best songs of all time? call me generic, no care, ever.

What did you get overall on the SAT's?
didnt take them. fuck any test that single handedly can help determine the course of your life.

Top 5 recent albums?
mystery jets - 21, my morning jacket - evil urges, vampire weekend- s/t (though our buddies in young lords fucking DESPISE this band, i think they write great tunes), the new sigur ros is really good, i wanna say the new supergrass record, but really its about a 6.5 outta 10 at best. i dont know, i havent been blown away by anything recently.

Favorite Rapper?
mainstream- ludacris - dude is just fucking hilarious. great punchlines, GREAT voice. his voice is like a cartoon characters. underground- mc juice - best battle rapper ever, great freestyler. his wordplay and delivery are so on point. you got a much more serious response than expected, huh?

Chicken or the Egg: which came first?
chicken. has to be. SOMEONE created that chicken.

Best Concert you've ever attended?
probably the one and only time that i saw radiohead. it was unreal. borderline religious experience.

Would you rather stab yourself in the ass with a razor sharp Ginsu knife or watch your parents have sex for 20 seconds? (I'm talking a really deep stab wound, you won't be able to sit down for a month)
i would rather stab myself in the ass with a ginsu knife and leave it there for 20 seconds, than watch my parents have sex.

What's wrong with our country?

Favorite Author?
i have cable, sorry. (Editor's Note: We strongly suggest the answer to this question as a worthy answer to the previous question.)

And finally, if you could tour with 3 bands still together today, who would it be?
my morning jacket, lil jon, and andrew w.k. my morning jacket because their music is great, and the other two... c'mon, now. you know why. probably the two most raging bro's of all time. just screaming and in your face. party till you puke.

Monday, June 30, 2008


This is the bearded one, Adam. I rarely write here and I don't know what to say.
The other guys keep bugging me to post something, but I just don't know what to talk about. So this is my post. Oh, I guess I could say the new MY Morning Jacket rules, except for that "Highly Suspicious" song. That song haunts my dreams like a wizard haunts the deciduous forest. Later.
Adam aka Cheddar go Bang Bang

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I apologize, and realize I've been leaving you and your ipod with out a musical compass over the past few weeks. Things have been busy on the farm. But, without further wait. . .

1. "Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits (Part One)" by Dionne Warwick - When most folks my age think of Ms. Warwick, they think "psychic friends hotline". And what a damn shame that is. But I suppose it's her own fault. Either way, it's not completely her that is to be cherished when listening to this collection. The brunt of the praise should be bestowed upon good old Burt Bacharach and the wonderful Hal David, who not only wrote these chillingly beautiful songs but produced and arranged them as well. These tracks all share a similarly majestic production value that, for 1962, '63, and '64, should not be scoffed at. If you can listen to the sax solo in "Anyone who ever had a Heart" or the coda for that matter without the hair raising on your arms, then you probably lack that human function all together and should go to the doctor. I'm sure any collection of Dionne's early hits will do. I'm not even sure if they put this particular collection on CD, but do yourself a favor and make sure that you get "Walk on By," "I Smiled Yesterday," "Anyone who ever had a Heart," and the original version of "Always Something there to Remind Me" into your life. She's the soul singer you didn't know you were supposed to love.

2. "Coney Island Baby" by Lou Reed - This is by far my favorite Lou Reed album. Solo Lou that is. To be honest I don't really even like 75% of his other stuff. Solo stuff that is. I mean, this is a pretty common opinion though. It's not as if I'm saying I don't like Dylan's voice. I think most of Lou Reed's albums are shit. Sue me. Anyway, this album is about as close as he ever got to recapturing the magic that the Velvets had. The songs are simple and grooving. The production is tight and encompasses the best of what the seventies sounded like in an engineer's both. And the musicianship is flawless and perfectly tasteful--not the typical Lou bullshit.
Bob Kulick's licks are smokin' and all over the thing. He later went on to overdub the guitar that Paul Stanley pretended to play on a few KISS albums. His bluesy bite gives the whole album kind of a southern rock vibe that works perfectly with Lou's New-York-cool tunes. Just listen to "A Gift" and you'll catch what I'm saying. It's cool as the other side of the pillow, and mildly hilarious. The title track is probably one of the best songs Lou's written since "Oh Sweet Nothin". This album has somehow slipped through the cracks. But if you love the Velvet Underground but think that Lou Reed solo albums are predominantly hoarse shit, then give this a spin. (Sorry Lou, it's not like you don't know your a dick though.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Make sure you check out the intro below, you'll get a better understanding of where we are coming from...


Bovice: The name is Bovice

Orpheous: Well I'm Orpheous, a.k.a Gak Daddy. Orpheous is my birth given name.


Bovice: None of yer bizness

Orpheous: 47 years/8 months/3 days/16 minutes and not one second sober.

What do you do for a living?

Bovice: I'm on disability from the government. Broke my back. I'd rather not talk about it.

Orpheous: I work at a recycling plant. I collect the cans all day and they recycle them. Usually get a 5 spot for each Ruffie's bag I fill up.

So when did megameth start?

Bovice: Yer gonna have to ask Shithead. Ha ha! That's my nickname for Orpheous. I can't remember shit

Orpheous: Haha, crazy fucker, we were at a Rusted Root concert at the Point, probably around 1997, and we were totally inspired...not by them, but by this dude who was catching fireflies during their set. We went up to him, he was blown out of his mind, he told us his name was OshKosh B’gosh, but also went by Father Time. We went and got a few fresh squeezed lemonades, a corndog, smoked a massive amount of meth (this was our first time), stole his wallet and came back home and thought it would be hilarious to translate our evening into a song.

How come you guys have never played a show?

Bovice: None of us much like crowds. Myself, I get nervous as all shit when I'm in a room with more than 5 people in it. I get the shakes.

Orpheous: HA! You always get da shakes! And it ain’t got nuthin to do with crowded roomz! But in answer to your question, the thought crossed our mind, but after 6 some years of doing meth, like Bovice said, we developed a phobia of crowds. And really, there just isn’t enough Meth in the world to make that go away.

So what kind of music are you into?

Bovice: Pantera! That's what I'm squawkin about. Dimebag Darrell R.I.P. If I ever get my hands on that shithead that capped him! Boy, you don't wanna be there!

Orpheous: I can dig me some Pantera, but best band ever, hands down, Molly Hatchet. Lately ive been listening to some Deep Purple, George Clinton, and the Adam Sandler Comedy CD with that fucking goat. You remember that goat? “Yo goat, you got some kinda knot on your head” then the goat says, “What? Yeah, you better KNOT mention that again you fucking cocksucker”. Priceless.

Whatever happened that night all the police and fire department came to your apartment above ours?

Bovice: I don't remember much but I'd guess it had something to do with our lab. Shit, it catches fire seems like every other day now. Good things none of us got any damn kids running around!

Orpheous: Yeah I mean, it was just some big misunderstanding. We were recording Meth Train, and you know our old landlord reddy? That crazy fuck, he called he police because of the noise. The fire department was there because BoHam measured the batch of meth wrong, and POOF! Luckily we were all outside getting arrested when that went down! As the cop car pooled away, BoHam is running after the cop car screaming “IM SORRY! IM SORRY I BLEW UP OUR HOUSE!” I think he had a beaker in one hand and a pack of Chesterfields in the other. It was hard to see. Crazy dude.

What were the circumstances with you guys getting evicted?

Bovice: Again, it all comes back to our meth lab. (this ain't gonna be read by no police is it?) uh I mean no comment

Orpheous: Also because Reddy tried joining the band, we sent his ass back across the courtyard. 2 weeks later we’re at the Magistrate.

Favorite movie?

Bovice: Chariots of Fire

Orpheous: Grizzley man! SHIT!

Favorite book?

Bovice: Anything by Steve King. I love that fucker!! Spooky shit.

Orpheous: Hatchet, that dude is the dude!

Have you ever seen the takeover uk live?

Bovice: Who? Nah man I ain't into that shit

Orpheous: Nah Vice, remember that one time we went to that shanty Brillo Box and tried getting in telling them we were on the guest list, but they weren’t havin it? So we offered them some meth (thinking were in Lawrenceville, who DOESN’T do hard drugs there?) but then they called the cops. We got to hear about 2 and a half songs from outside the bar before the cops rolled up with the ATF. What a fucked up night that was…

Why do you still wear Jenco Jeans? Aren't they a little out of style?

Bovice: Well I only had one pair of pants for a long time. I ain't wearing 'em anymore. I got me some Hanes Her way sweatpants. Stole 'em from my grandma. Ha Ha! God rest her soul

Orpheous: I wear em’ cuz they got them huge pockets man. Do your Levi’s got pockets than can hold methamphetamine cookbooks?

What got you into music in the first place?

Bovice: Who said I was into music? I'm into Megameth man! Shit, it's a way of life

Orpheous: Exactly, its more like gang type shit. But for me? I realized that If I was really really fucking high, that music just sent that high fucking 10 times farther…It’s all about trying to reach that “Ultimate High.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Bovice: Shit that's an easy one. Dead or in jail! Shit! Ha ha!

Orpheous: Yeah, Hopefully Dead. I don’t think my body can take much more of this. With AIDS and just about every other STD in the book, my recreational drug use should hopefully just put an end to my life…

What's the goal for Mega meth?

Bovice: Just one day at a time cuz. Ya know, I mean, shit, I'm just trying to cook up this new batch of shit before it explodes again. My body can't take no more burn marks. Charred flesh don't feel so hot! Get it, hot! Shit!

Orpheous: Oh hell no they don't, I got burns in places you wouldn't believe! But our goal...hmm...just getting our name out there on the Internet. We tried posting comments to Queens of the Stone Age, but they never replied. All we want is to tour with them. Not really, they blow, but I’m sure they got some good drugs we can steal off them.

Have you ever tried to quit using drugs and alcohol?

Bovice: Ha ha ha! Shit no!

Orpheous: Haha, The only time I really ever put any thought into that, is when I’ve been carted off to jail. But the thought was “How the hell am I gonna quit using drugs and alcohol?”

How many times have you been to jail?

Bovice: Now that's none of yer goddamn bizness Mark or Mac or whatever the fuck yer name is. Shithead

Orpheous: Me? 27 times for anything ranging to possession, simple assault and rape. But I’m currently on house arrest. One time we let our dog eat my bracelet we threw him on an ongoing train. The 5.0 came and said that I was supposedly in Youngstown Ohio. I ended up getting taken to the State Pen and had to serve 6 months for that. Worth it!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Bovice: Candyland, but only instead of candy, the trees were made of crack or glue or some other shit. Whatever man that's a dumb fuckin' question, shithead

Orpheous: Elba, that place they carted Napolean off to. Or Intercourse, PA. Crazy Amish broads running amuck.

Let's say you win the powerball for 100 million bucks, what would you do with the money?

Bovice: Man, what the fuck do you think I'd do with it. Feed the hungry...only not food, but crank or dust!

Orpheous: Right on! I’d like to start a slew of burlesque houses and bunny ranches. Plus get a straight connection with the Meth lords themselves.

What do you think of our president, George W.?

Bovice: I think he's an alright guy. He just gets a bum rap. I heard somewhere he used to blow tons of rails and slam like a fifth of jack a day. Sounds like an ok guy.

Orpheous: I heard that too!! I mean people gotta stop givin him so much shit. All he wants to do is protect our god damn country and serve God. I used to think god was bullshit, but I’m a born-again.

What's the solution to the war in Iraq?

Bovice and Orpheous: KILL EM’ ALL!

Boxers or briefs?

Bovice: I'm a commando man. Shit, that shit costs money.

Orpheous: I tend to rock the Man-kini

And lastly, what did you do with Ian's DVD collection we know you guys

Bovice: You never told us where you guys moved to. I'd like to come see your new place, me and orpheous. Shit man.

Orpheous: But we did take that shit to the Record Exchange!! Sorry Ian!


Where to begin?
I used to share an apartment in Pittsburgh with my buddie/TUK roadie Ian. We lived in a decent neighborhood, in a not-so-decent apartment building. Despite constant threats of eviction from our absent minded landlord who would forget that we paid him the rent, it was a nice time in my life.
Our first night in the apartment. Ian and I are sitting on the couch surveying our new domain when this god awful noise starts blaring from above us. Like the cup of water in Jurassic Park, only the glass of water actually shook itself off the table and smashed on the floor.
It sounded like a band playing, but it was hard to make out anything. We swore we heard the words "crackpipe" being screamed over and over again. This was our first introduction to "MegaMeth".
After 2 more nights of this noise, Ian and I went upstairs and knocked on the door. We couldn't take it anymore. We're easygoing guys, but noone could put up with this racket. I don't know how to describe the man that opened the door in any other way than "crazy looking". It was Megameths' guitarist, BoVice. One word. He shared the apartment with his bandmates, Orpheous, and BoHam, who we suspect was Bovice's brother. A pungent stench of chemicals and urine hit us as soon as the door opened. Almost choking from the smell, we kindly asked them if they could not play after 11. They were surprisingly nice about it and said sure. And that was our first encounter with the boys/men of MegaMeth.
Over the next year we became "buddies" of some sort with the guys, whose ages we could never guess. They were definitely scary, but also lots of fun and endlessly entertaining. We encouraged them to start playing shows, but they just didn't want to. They were happy just to beat on their instruments in their apartment and record songs and put them on the internet. Concerning their instruments, MegaMeth are very unique. They're, as Orpheous likes to say, a "power 3-piece" . Orpheous, the tallest of the 3 and certainly one of the hairiest men I've ever met, is the singer. Bovice plays solely wah-wah guitar. BoHam plays a crappy electronic drum kit, you know, the kind that's just pads. They all scream along on the chorus. Which brings me to their music.
For 3 guys that do more drugs than anyone I've ever met or seen in a movie, they actually write good songs. They do the whole verse/chorus/verse structure. Their choruses are even catchy. I'm no big fan of metal, but I can't help but like Megameth. So what's stopping them from being on the next Ozzfest? Their lyrics.
All their songs are about smoking meth, smoking crack, robbing people, and all kinds of dubious/nefarious and downright immoral/illegal behavior. That, couopled with their scary image, might scare most people off. It doesn't matter though. They're not interested in becoming rockstars. They just like playing together.
We've since moved out of the apartment and I hardly ever see the guys, but I did run into 2 of them recently and luckily I convinced them to do an interview with me. Boham wasn't there. Apparently he was arrested shortly after we moved out and is still in jail as of today. They wouldn't say what for, and really, it could be a myriad of things. I'm posting the interview as soon as he sends it back to me. Believe it or not, MegaMeth are surprisingly web savvy. So get ready world. I give you...MEGAMETH!
check out their music here:


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I just read a short little book called "The Manual: How to have a Number One the Easy Way". Published in 1988, it's a cheeky instruction book on how to write, record, manufacture, distribute and promote your very own pop single and how to get it to #1 in the official Gallup Charts in the UK. It's very specific to the UK, and not the UK of 2008. Alot of it is dated, but the idea is wonderful. You can read it here: The Manual It was written by 2 guys, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, better known as the KLF. They have also have gone by several other names: The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The JAMs, The Timelords. As the Timelords the duo released a novelty single, "Doctorin' the Tardis", a mash-up of the Doctor Who theme music and Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll (Part Two) and some Sweet song. You can hear a sample of it on their wikipedia page:
They were savaged in the press for making a dreadful single, which they acknowledged as true, a flat out attempt to have a number one aiming for the lowest common denominator. It worked and they made quite a bit of money. Oh, and they put it out themselves on their own label. My favorite part of the whole single idea, they put a Ford sedan on the cover of the single. The whole gag was that this Ford wrote the song. They had a friend pretend to be the Ford in phone interviews. When they were scheduled to play Top of the Pops, they were just going to have the Ford on the stage and nothing else while their song played! I personally think that's brilliant. When the BBC said no, they hired sexy backup dancers to strut around the Ford. Genius!
Another great gag they pulled was their exit of the music biz. They played the 1992 BRIT Awards show with the metal act, EXTREME NOISE TERROR. In what was described as a "violently antagonistic performance" in front of "a stunned music-business audience", the performance consisted of "a limping, kilted, cigar-chomping Drummond firing blanks from an automatic weapon over the heads of the crowd". At the conclusion, a voice announced over the PA system that "The KLF have now left the music business". To top the night off, the band dumped a dead sheep with the message "I died for ewe—bon appetit" tied around its waist at the entrance to one of the post-ceremony parties. When I found out about this recently I kept thinking, why oh why have I never heard about this or these guys. I'm sure those of you over in the UK and of a certain age remember this, but for us Yankees, these guys are totally obscure. Maybe they were just before my time, but I've never heard anyone I know mention them. I read an interview with Bill Drummond where he said he was planning on cutting off his hand on stage that night, and throwing it into the audience. His bandmate convinced him otherwise, and they killed the sheep instead. Yowza!
While certainly all of these stunts are incredible and incredibly entertaining, it was their final gag that really leaves one scrathcing his or her head.
1994. KLF has earned quite a nice sum of money from their #1 hit and other succesfully charting songs. Having all this money and having disbanded you'd think these guys would relax and enjoy the finer things in life, having really pulled off the great rock and roll swindle? (Malcom McLaren pales in comparison. Do you think Steve Cook was set after the Pistols broke up? Isn't he a DJ in LA now?) Well obviously, no. So what do they do? They withdraw a million pounds sterling (about 3 million US dollars), go to some obscure island off the Scottish coast and burn all of it. It takes a little over an hour. Their buddy films it. These fuckers burned a million pounds! Later, Drummond said he regretted it. Ya think? What was the point? Art? Either way, they've got my attention. So we salute you KLF. Crazy motherfuckers.
They just don't make 'em like they used to.

Here is a ridiculous video of them performing on some wacky show. I don't know about you, but I find this endlessly amusing and ridiculous. I pine for the simpler times in pop music.

This is them on the Top of the Pops with the world's most famous pedophile as a very special guest. I know it's 2 videos of the same song, but they're both so wonderful in the best possible way. Enjoy

And finally, KLF with Extreme Noise Terror at the 1992 Brit Awards, with their infamous shooting a machine gun at the audience.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I don't know why it came to mind, but I just remembered something that happened to me when I was a wee young boy, probably 10 or 11. My brothers and I used to get our hair cut at this real old time barber shop in Uptown Pittsburgh. It was like out of a 1950's movie, the barber sign and all. It was called "Harry's", that being the name of the barber who owned it. A family tradition of some sort, my grandfather got his hair cut there, so did my dad (what hair he still had). Naturally, my 2 brothers and I would go there once every couple months to get a trim. I don't remember ever seeing a woman at Harry's. It was like a VFW or Elks lodge: old time barber chairs, guys getting shaved with a straight razor, and always 3 or 4 old men in the back playing pinochle. After Harry finished, you had to grab a broom and sweep up your own hair and put it in the dustbin. I never really liked the haircuts I got there, but it didn't bother me until high school. Which brings me to my memory.
I was getting my hair cut before basketball practice, and I was running late. My mom was supposed to pick us up an hour after she dropped the 3 of us off. I sat in the barber chair as Harry trimmed my already short hair. My kid brother Greg, who could never sit still, was staring out the window, it being a bright, sunny day. His eyes grew wide and he called our attention to outside the shop. Harry put down the scissors and went to the big, dirt streaked window.
Outside, there was group of 3 guys, all worked up and yelling at a long-haired guy, that in hindsight kinda looked like Andrew W.K. Long, stringy hair and acid washed jeans, you'd think this guy had ate their children, the way the gang of 3 was screaming at him. We opened the door to hear what was going on. Even some of the old guys playing pinochle set down their cards and ambled to the door. What came next was unexpected. After yelling at each other for 5 minutes or so, Andrew W.K guy started walking away towards the barber shop. One of the gang of 3 wasn't having it. Handily, he picked up a brick and ran up behind the unsuspected long hair, smashed it over his head. Andrew W.K. instantly crumpled to the sidewalk.Blood streamed down his greasy hair. The barbershop went silent. The gang of 3 fled. Harry grabbed the rotary phone and called 911. We wanted to go outside and see if he was alive, but Harry told us to stay inside. He finished the last bit of my haircut, and my mom arrived right before the cops did. Harry told us to get out of there. I'd never make practice if we didn't leave before the cops arrived. They'd want a statement, he said.
On the ride to practice my brothers and I excitedly told my mom about what we had witnessed. A little horrified, I'm not sure she believed us. That night she let us stay up to watch the 11 o'clock news. There was nothing about the attack.
My older brother Kevin, always the cynic, swore the guy had to be dead. There was no way he could survive a brick to his head, he proclaimed. Greg and I were sure we'd seem him twitching though as we were getting in the car. There was nothing about it in the news. After a day or two we forgot about it and moved on to talking about baseball cards and action movies.
I stopped getting my hair cut at Harry's after I moved away to college. A freak of nature, Harry's was totally destroyed last summer by a tornado. His building was the only one touched by the tornado. A tornado in Pittsburgh. Yeah, me too.
I like to think the guy survived, the knock to the head giving him the idea to write such gems as "Party Hard" and "Party till ya Puke". Wikipedia doesn't mention Andrew W.K. ever living in Pittsburgh and I don't think their ages match up. Maybe he was his older bro.
I swear I haven't thought about it in 10 years at least, but for some reason I remembered it just now. I was going to write about a movie I saw last night, "Spanking the Monkey", but my memory got in the way. What's the point? Beats me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Heat Wave

It has been really hot lately. Disgustingly hot. The type of hot where as soon as you walk outside, you immediately wanna take a shower. There are rumors of temperatures rising near 100 degrees. Keep in mind, I live in Pittsburgh, and it's early June. Global warming anyone? When you're freezing in January, all that keeps you going is the thought of those sunny, summer days... well, now that they're here, they can go fuck themselves.

On a side note, Adam and I's beloved Pittsburgh Penguins(Mark thinks hockey is for Canadians) lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. It started as a blow out, with Detroit going up 2 games to 0, but the Pens fought their way back to make the series 3-2; one of the wins included a 5 hour long, triple over time game(which ruled. They were one shot, and one second away from tying the series, and forcing a game 7... but it just wasn't in the cards for us. Nevertheless, I am proud of them. I didnt even think they were gonna get that far anyways. Looking forward to next season.

Alright, people. It's time for me to go pool hoppin'.



Thursday, May 29, 2008

Takeover Touch Tunes

Next time you're out boozing around, feed the jukebox (as long as it's a digital Touch Tunes jukebox)a few sweaty bills and play our whole new e.p. for the rest of the regulars. I bet your next beer will be free and you won't go home alone.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whiskey in the Jar

I wanna talk about Thin Lizzy. If for some godforsaken reason you're not familiar with this quintessential Irish band, let me tell you, do yourself a favor and go to Itunes and download their wonderful album, "Jailbreak". It's a great place to start.
For the rest of you who are only aware of their biggest US hit, "The Boys are Back in Town", there's so much more than just that wonderful song. Usually, a bands biggest hit is the most hated song of the hardcore fan, but "Boys are back in town", while not my favorite Lizzy song, certainly is a great one, for the harmonized guitars alone. And if you haven't noticed, The Takeover UK is very fond of harmonized guitars. A song on our forthcoming album, "Main St. Crush" had a working title of "Steely Dan" as the harmonized guitar lines reminded Nick of said bands "Reeling in the Years". Now I like Steely Dan. I don't love Steely Dan. And "Main St. Crush"'s guitars owe more to Thin Lizzy than anyone else. But really, Steely Dan and Thin Lizzy are both pretty cool, strange names. So it's just as well.
I digress. My favorite Thin Lizzy song is "Running Back", which is a ballad of some sorts, on Jailbreak. Phil Lynott's lyrics are simple but cutting. It's a very simple song, save for the guitar solo, and I really wanna cover it. We don't really cover songs, as we have so many of our own, and really I think most covers are a waste of time unless the artist takes a song and makes it distinctly it's own. So we'll see. I certainly don't wanna disrespect one of my favorite bands.
I go to the used CD store alot and I'm always plucking stuff out of the 2.50 & $5 bins. Recently I purchased: Sparklehorse "Good Morning Spider", The Posies "Frosting on the Beater" (which I had on tape before), and I got my little bro a CD by this band Ruth Ruth. A blast from the past, Greg and I had seen Ruth Ruth open up for Everclear at one of the first concerts we went to. My first concert was supposed to be Fugazi at Metropol, but alas, my mom wouldn't let me go. My brother and I devised a full proof scheme to allow us to go the Everclear show. We bought the tickets and told our mom we won them on a radio contest. I'm almost certain she didn't believe us, but I guess our will was so strong she gave in and let her 12 and 13 year old sons go to the show. Strangely, she had no problem letting Greg and I play shows on school nights with our punk band, Disturbed Youth. Actually, Everclear was not my first show. My first show was one I played with my first aforementioned band. It was on a Tuesday night at this long defunct place called Luciano's in Uptown Pittsburgh.
This must have been in 1995. Jeez, that makes me sound old, but we were really young.
And 13 years later, I'm still doing the same thing. Jeez.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Party Time

so last night was the ep release party of "it's all happening." it was a total blast. the crowd was amazing. everyone sang along, at times even louder than the band. a lot of old friends came out that normally dont. i couldn't have asked for more. thanks to triggers for playing, mike "skeebo" gralewski for running sound, and sean finn for dj'ing as well. also, a big thanks to our friend mike from california, who actually called the bar and bought us a bottle of jack daniels. i dont wanna thank him for the hangover im suffering through right now, but even still, that was a total sweetheart move on his behalf.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Takeover UK Talks To Istelf: Second Edition

Here's the second installment of the idiotic Takeover UK Talks to
Itself. And I (Nic Snyder) am going to get nitty gritty with Mr. Mark

N: Age (real or fake)? 26.

M: That's the real deal

N: What's your favorite watering hole in Pittsburgh? New York? LA?

M: Jeez,this makes me sound like a drunk. I can say with certainty I drink the
least out all the boys in the band. Pgh: the Cage NY: tough one, let's
just say NOT the reservoir; LA: I forget the name, but it's way down on
Sunset near Echo park, you can smoke there. Let's face it though, all
bars are pretty much the same.

N: How long can one go without showering before the ladies start to

M: I actually tested this in college; Let's just say quite a
while, a week maybe. Probably more, but I was sick of feeling dirty so I
took a shower, but I had the distinct feeling it could go on for quite a
while. I wouldn't recommend for everybody though.

N: What's the most uncomfortable nights sleep you've ever had?

M: Every night I had to share a bed with Sickels; or maybe the nights I didn't sleep at
all cause I was so uncomfortable where I was attempting to sleep i.e.
vans, cubbyholes, floors etc.

N: What's your favorite Clash song and why?

M: Hmmm. Tough one. White Man in Hammersmith Palais. One of the first Clash songs I heard, still one of the best. Joe Strummer laughing is great.

N: Have you heard the new Spiritualized record "Songs in A and E" yet
(because I'm listening to it right now and it's fucking awesome)?

M: No Nick I haven't. Is every song really in A and E? Let it come down is
great. I saw them live in Boston. Not so great. Maybe if I was on
shrooms I would've enjoyed it more.

N: I believe they all are in A or E, Mark.

N: What's your favorite guitar moment on the upcoming TTUK album? The ten
minute dueling wah-wah guitar solo on our cover of Edgar Winter's
"Frankenstein". Righteous.

M: What two TTUK songs from the past are most deserving of being on the
second album? Probably Carol Anne and Black Flowers, since we still
occasionally play those, but really, we're getting ahead of ourselves.
You and I still have many more hits to right before we decide what goes
on our next album, which is tentatively titled " Butt Fucking Turbo
Tits: The Takeover Uk Gets Sum"

N: Who in the Beatles do you most remind yourself of?

M: Ringo. I'm that good looking and I love gaudy jewelry.

N: If you could live anywhere in the world in Pittsburgh, where would it

M: Maybe you worded this one wrong; did you mean anywhere in the world
BESIDES Pittsburgh? In that case I'd say the South of France

N: No I meant anywhere in the worl as long as it was in Pittsburgh. But we'll skip that one.

N: We all know your favorite movie is Major League. How do you feel about
about Two and a Half Men [Charlie Sheen's newest work]?

M: Watched maybe one episode. I did however go to a taping of an episode out in glorious Burbank. Charlie Sheen is the Gary Cooper of Generation X. Brilliant
actor. I'm serious.

N: The strong silent type? His Dad, Marty, is better.

N: What's the last album/song that made you pick up a guitar and write a

M: The Mystery Jets new album "21" Wonderful songs.

N: Do you believe in Global Warming, and if so what can TTUK do to help?

M: Do I believe in global warming? Of course I believe in Global warming.
It's not the Tooth Fairy. It's real and it's all happening (ha ha) as we
speak. While I believe only governments can implement real, lasting
change, I think as artists we can inform ourselves more and speak out
against those who would choose to view Global warming as a myth or at
least not very important. Like our president. In effect, call people out
on their shit.
Oh and turn the light out when you leave the room.

N: And lastly, what time is practice tonight?

M: Good question, I was meaning to tell ya'll that I'm getting my hair cut at 5:45 and we'll probably have to push practice back a lil. I'll call you. Don't Call me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


1. "Moby Grape" by Moby Grape - While you've hopefully still got Alexander "Skip" Spence on your noodle, you might as well go buy (or more likely steal) this album. It's a total 60's San. Fran. pop album. The Grape were hyped to hell and back and had five singles released at once. This ham-fisted marketing scheme put the first in their not-so-far-off coffin. But this album is a fantastic rave up of guitar rock and beautiful harmonies. On "Hey Grandma," they three part the word Robitussin, "makes me feel so fine". It's a good album for sunny day burn-rides through the back country.

2. "High Land, Hard Rain" by Aztec Camera - Roddy Frame was a boy wonder with a deal on Scotland's Postcard records. He eventually got the big label bump and put out this 80's power-pop gem. It's got a bit of sheen to it, but the swagger in the songcraft more than makes up for it. "Oblivious" is too big a pop hit to be slept on all these years. "Walk out to Winter" is the type of song where each part can be mistaken for the chorus, until it bursts in to one of the biggest choruses you've ever heard. Sounds like kin.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hello Jennifer, Can I call you Jen?

I am Adam. I play bass. I also sing high harmonies. You may know me as "Bang Bang", or "Butt Tits" or "Cheddar". I have many nicknames. This is my first blog. Hooray! I love hockey (Go Pens!). I love Kells! I love Sportscenter. I am moved by smooth harmonies and sweet melodies. I like you. Goodbye friends.


Well, since none of the other guys will post anything, I will attempt to briefly inform you of a FREE, that's right, FREE download of our debut EP, It's All Happening on From now until next Tuesday, when the ep drops in stores and online everywhere, you can download all 5 tracks, along with several podcasts of us attempting to be funny and tell stories behind the songs for FREE. Go to: Did I mention it's totally free? But only for a limited time so tell your friends and lovers to go over and get it and tell their friends and lovers.
In the meantime, we've been busy rehearsing new material, doing some press, and just gearing up to promote our first release.
Maybe when the hockey seasons over, Sickels and Butt Tits will stop pretending to be Canadians and get on here and fill ya'll in with their wonderful, sordid lives.
I saw Death Cab for Cutie play live on Fuse the other night. Now first off, I'm certainly no fan of theirs, but more power to 'em for selling records and doing well for themselves. That said, the jams off their new album are really not good. Boring is the adjective that comes to mind. And in pop music, that's a cardinal sin. When your first single is a radio edit of a slow languid ballad with no hooks to speak, you might wanna rethink it. And no, it's not operating in the same sphere as the Radioheads of the world. This is not experimental and challenging music. It's bland and boring. But hey, that's just what struck me as I watched these beardo's playing on tv to an audience of bored teenyboppers who didn't know what to do with their hands, since they couldn't really rock out or dance. Just wait kids, we'll be here to save you soon enough. In fact, you can download some righteous jams right now at Last.Fm. Go forth and "Gitchya sum" (copyright 2007 M. Solomich)

Monday, May 5, 2008


I've attempted to watch "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" at least 4 times these past few months. I'm a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson's writing, and also Johnny Depp and Terry Gilliam, but for some reason I absolutely cannot finish watching this movie. I fall asleep in the first act everytime. Maybe it's that trying to visualize a drug experience on film is an impossible feat. The whole acid trip sequence of peoples faces stretching and turning into animals just kinda feels like a well worn cliche used to describe every acid trip in every film. I do get a kick out of Benicio all fat and grizzled, but it doesn't sustain my interest past a few minutes. Has anyone else had this problem with Fear and Loathing? Have you ever wanted to like something based on it's pedigree but just can't get into it?
A movie I recently saw that did hold my interest was Michael Haneke's remake of his own movie, "Funny Games". Without giving anything away, this movie will either make you really think about violence in society and entertainment, or, as I overheard several fellow moviegoers gripe on the way out of the theater, make you think "I can't believe I sat through that". I feel strange saying I loved it, or even I enjoyed it. Enjoying a story like Funny Games will make you question your own humanity. Either way, I think it's an eye opening film and will stay with you long after you've seen it. And that, considering most current movies, is quite a feat unto itself. Then again, maybe I just like pretentious movies. I did go to film school afterall. Still, my favorite movie is Major League. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I've been listening to the debut album by The View, "Hats off to the buskers" . I actually purchased it twice, having lost my first copy.
Strangely I'm not blown away by it. Theres probably 4 or 5 songs I don't even really like. But the songs I like, I really love, "Face for the Radio" and "Wasted Little DJs" especially. Check it out if you get a chance. They're pretty big in the UK but as always, virtually unknown here in the States.
Alright, that's more than enough from me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Personality Crisis

On June 15th, we are playing with the legendary, and influential, New York Dolls. I am totally psyched about this. This news couldn't have come at a better time, as my step dad's only son just died... New York Dolls are one of his all time favorite bands. He was so excited when I told him. I think that's the only thing he is happy about right now, understandably. Anyways, I can't wait to get drunk and singalong to trash!



In our first installment of The Takeover UK Talks to itself, vocalist/guitarist Mark Solomich sat down with bassist/vocalist Adam "Cheddar Bang Bang" Shash on a rainy spring night in their favorite gentlemens club, The Cricket, to ask him some deep, penetrating questions.



How many slampieces have you had?
only quality Lovers. (editors note: this does not answer the question)
Why do you like REM so much?
The band has existed longer than I've been alive.
Each one of their 14 albums has the ability to move me.
I feel as though I have grown up with them.
They sound cool.

How long have you had a beard?
5 years. since spring break '03.

Ever think of shaving it off?
Daily, i'm just very concerned that the skin below is very pale.

What different nicknames do you have?
ched chee. cheddar butt tits. bang bang. shitty titty. butt tooth.

What are your favorite and least favorite of those?
favorite - bang bang.
least - ched chee.

Favorite female singer?
Kate Pierson.

Favorite Bassist?Paul McCartney and Mike Mills.

Election '08; who's Cheddar backing?
Rock around Barack.

Favorite TTUK song to play live?
Kill Me Dead

Was your family's name always Shash or is it one of those Ellis Island things where they shortened it and Americanized it when your family came to the States?

Your dream day off from work and the band?
no alarm clock.
romp w/ Kels.
over easy, sausage, home fries.
Sun, grass, trees, soccer balls, frisbees.
dip in the ocean.
man utd vs. liverpool at anfield.
dinner and drinks in vegas, or london, or nyc.
many more drinks on my estate with all who are near and dear.
(Ed.'s note: He has an estate? Why is this the first time I'm hearing of this?)

Finally, Have you ever seen a grown man naked?
too many times to count.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Sickels did an interview with Go and Crash, a UK website. Check it out to see just how charming and charismatic he is in print. And just to answer your question. Yes, he is that charming in real life. Lock up your daughters.
Check it out here:



Tuesday, April 29, 2008


To help you forget about Mark's grim, and downright repulsive news story, I give you this...

Isn't this the song from Rocky 4 or some shit? I seriously laughed my ass off for a good 10 minutes after watching this. I gotta say, that dog drives better than some friends of mine. Enjoy.


Dear People,

I'm gonna bug you about music a lot, cause that's what I like to do to people. So here's some albums I'm going to force on you.

In no particular order, I'm gonna get all Amazon here.

1. "Pussy Cats" by Harry Nilsson (Produced By John Lennon)- No, I did NOT discover this through the Walkmen's pointless rehashing. Just listen to Nilsson's cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross." Hair raising. Best snare pause ever.

2. "Oar" by Alexander "Skip" Spence - He was in the fucking awesome Moby Grape. He went to jail, somehow managed to get a solo record deal, got out, used most of his advance money for the album to buy a chopper that he rode to Nashville. Then he recorded an album in two days--or something like that (it's disputed). Then pretty much vanished. All that aside, his music alone makes Tom Waits jealous.

3. "Chocolate and Ice" by My Morning Jacket - Probably my favorite contemporary band. This e.p. (e.p. mind you) is like 70 minutes long. Just as good as "At Dawn" in my opinion--probably better. Listen to "Cobra". I kept yelling for them to play it when they came to Pittsburgh. They didn't.

I'll let you digest these albums for now and continue this later. The bar awaits.



A big part of this page will be us just talking about what we're interested in: music, film, vegetarian food (Sickels only) and current events, etc.
That said:
This recent kidnapping story coming out of Austria is fucking crazy. If you don't, know about it, read about it:
This guy is super creepy. He kidnaps his own 18 year old daughter, imprisons her in an underground bunker beneath his house described as a "Soundproof dungeon behind 300kg steel door", and proceeds to rape her for the next 24 years, resulting in 7 children. One died in infancy. 3 others were left on the porch of the house he shared with his wife, leaving them to raise them. That's right, a wife. And she swears she had no idea all along. That leaves 2 other kids, who have never seen the light of day, including the oldest, a 19 year old girl. Look at his picture, this fuck is mega creepy, Candyman creepy. Not to mention that all of this happened in the German language. And they think those polygamist kids in Texas are gonna have a hard to adjusting to society?
Please, I need to know. I really need to know. I'm not asking how he kept these kids and woman down there for 24 years without arousing any suspicion at all from his wife or neighbors. It's the DEMON BUNKER OF HELL I'd like to know about? Do you hire contractors? What do you tell everyone? Then, after it's built, what do you pretend it's used for? Doesn't the wife ever wonder, "Gee Yosef, remember that bunker you built underneath zee house? Yah, zee one zat took 2 years and cost us 10,000 marks? yah, zat one. vell, vwat do you use it for? I'm just curious Yosef, don't get angry."
Mind blowing.

On the lighter side; I'm really into the new Mystery Jet's album "21". If you like our band at all, I think you'd be really into it. Check out their videos too, especially for "Two Doors Down". I'm a bit mad though, as they stole part of my idea of having cheesy 80's dancers dancing in the background. But touche, it's brilliant.
Also, I saw the new Harold & Kumar picture. Hilarious. Sure, there's some lowbrow moments, but all in all it's definitely worth checking out. "I'm serious about that Kool-Aid"... brilliant.


Sunday, April 27, 2008


Welcome to The Takeover UK's official blog. That's right, we're joining the thousands or millions of other people out there on the cyberweb voicing their opinions, talking smack, telling jokes, and overall just thinking out loud.
All 4 of us will be posting to this, you've been warned. Things are really starting to pick up for us. Our first proper release, "It's All Happening", a 5 song ep drops in the US on Tuesday, May 20th. If you can't possibly wait till then, by all means head on over to Amazon and pre-order your copy today. You can find it here:


I promise you this won't be your average band blog. We're not the kind of guys you meet every day. It might not always be pretty or even coherent really, but we promise it will be vastly entertaining. Look for almost daily updates.
That said, welcome, thanks for coming, and come back soon, ya hear?