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,