Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Crying Game

It's been awhile. For me at least. I'm sure you've all been coping well without any blog posts here recently. Times are changing. Flux. That's the most befitting term for what we're up to now. Everything is very much in a state of flux. But we soldier on. Just finishing up 3 bonus tracks for the Japanese release of "Running with the Wasters". They were recorded in the luscious confines of Derek's basement. You don't need a $5000 microphone to make a good record. Sometimes the cheapest equipment has the most charm. That said, the 3 songs are all very old Takeover songs. None have ever been released, unless you managed to snag some ancient demo ages ago. Hopefully you're feeling adventurous and generous and plan on buying the Japanese import when it comes out. Because you just have to have these 3 songs. All of them predate most of the songs on "Wasters". That's right, we're talking circa 2004-2005,the very beginning. If you must know the bonus titles:

STORMY WEATHER (we may possibly rename this one)

Writing those out, I just realized they all begin with 'S'.

To those of you in LA, we apologize for having to cancel our shows this month. As I said before, the current state of flux has rendered us unable to make it out for those shows, but I promise we'll make it up as soon as we can. In the meantime, tell your friends about us, burn them a CD. Whatever floats your boat. If you value our music, tell them to buy it online. Surprise yourself and us.

The dog days of summer and I've found myself reading even more voraciously than usual. I have a whole 4 level bookshelf with many many recent second hand purchases calling my name. These last few weeks I just finished several books I'd strongly recommend:

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
This ones kind of a no brainer. I've been meaning to read this since I was 14 and just now got around to it. I bought it 6 months ago, lost it, then found it last week. As I expected, it's eye opening and infuriating. I found myself physically disgusted many times while reading this. This is a book that should make you angry Studying the real US history really illuminates what's going on right now. Things change, but then again, not really. Do yourself a favor if you haven't already, and READ THIS BOOK.

What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank
I found this in the $1 section of my absolute favorite store in the world: Half-price books. Basically this book is about how ultra conservative republicans have captured the heartland of America and does a great job of explaining why blue collar folks time and again vote against their own economic benefit instead choosing to only vote based on a vague cultural war between the coasts and the rest of fly over America. It uses Kansas as a microcosm for the whole country. Have you ever been to Kansas. It is a 'unique' place. I'll say that. Now I know more about the history of the great state of Kansas than I ever thought one man from Pittsburgh (PA not Pittsburg KS) should know.

Wilder Times : The Life and Times of Billy Wilder
Lest you think my reading list is one sided. What can I say? I love almost all of Billy Wilder's movies (not too crazy about Kiss Me, Stupid or Irma la Douce) and this book really went into depth about the great director's very interesting life.
If you're a fan, definitely pick this up. If you've only seen Some Like It Hot then you should probably check out Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, The Apartment and Stalag 17. He wrote and directed so many great, classic movies it's unfair.

Agatha Christie: What can I say? I'm crazy for her. Especially the Poirot stuff. Does that make me dangerously close to an elderly watcher of "murder she wrote". I don't care either way. I love it.

Not a book but a mini series from HBO in 1988: TANNER '88
Robert Altman and Gary Trudeau do a mockumentary about a fake candidate running for President in the 1988 Dem. Primary. A blast from the times of Dukakis and Gary Hart and in those innocent days before any Bush was in control of our armed forces. Very funny and insightful but not for everyone.

Lastly, I'd tell you the music I've been listening to but it's mostly been demo's and recordings we're making. Nothings burning up my ears at the moment.

Check back early and often. I promise not to make you wait so long until the next time. And don't be shy. Believe it or not, we like to know someones reading these rants and raves. Even if it's only to say "Hey dude". I'll take what I can get. But I'm sure you can come up with something slightly better than "Hey Dude" unless you're talking about the wonderful Nickelodeon show.