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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My first . . .

This week's artist is Caterpillars, a band I've come in contact with in the last few weeks. Get me on the topic of post-hardcore/emo and I'll just blab away. Luckily these guys were game too. Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Alma Matters

As of last week, it's been fifteen years since I graduated high school. Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago, I went back to my alma mater to film a band concert for my father's company. Walking around the halls, there were parts I had not been around since I graduated. I saw the band hall I spent so much of my time in before school, during school, and on the weekends. And seeing the hallway between the hall and the auditorium (and the cafeteria next to it), lots of memories came back.

They were good memories, thankfully.

I remembered the spots in the cafeteria where I tried out for talent show. I remembered seeing flyers for bands who were playing at Numbers and Fitzgerald's. And I remembered all the times I was in the auditorium, whether it was playing trumpet in concert band, doing a drum solo/duet, or singing with a thrown-together band.

This is the kind of stuff that defined my high school experience, and that's what I'm trying to document in When We Were the Kids. I came back to Dallas with a couple of things to add to the manuscript (very small things, like the capacity of the school auditorium). Experiencing this, along with what I've experienced in the last eight months, I feel ready to share this story with anyone who wants to read it.

For the past nine years, I've been writing books. When I look ahead at what's possibly next, I'm not sure if I'll write another book for a while. I can't say I'm ruling the option out. If the drive and hunger is there in a story that I want to tell, then I'll make time to write it. I feel like I'm entering a new phase in my life, but I want to keep writing. If and when I have something to put together in book form, then this will be the first place you'll hear about it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Phantoms

Rounding out a busy week of writing, I did an interview with Lauren from Ume. It's pretty obvious that I'm a fan and I was nervous talking with her. I've talked with her and Eric before, but I get nervous because I don't want to sound like a creepy fanboy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open My Heart

Sitting at my desk this afternoon, I got word of something pretty terrible: Dallas-based KKDA-AM laid off most of their on-air staff, including Bobby Patterson. Since I did traffic reports for him during my last year as a traffic reporter and had a burning desire to say something about this, I wrote a piece about on this matter for the Observer.

My first . . .

My First . . . is with local act Dead Flowers. Tried out a few new questions with these guys and got some great answers. Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mouth for War

Last night, I hoped to hang out with my friend Seth and watch some enjoyably forgotten B-movie fare. When that didn't pan out, I received an e-mail from Audra asking if anyone wanted to chime in on Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power. Darryl also expressed interest, so I came up with an idea.

Spending an hour at Darryl's house last night, this is what we came up with. I was surprised to hear that not a lot of new metal bands cite Pantera as an influence. Also, I speak in defense of double-bass drumming with one word.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Start the Machine

Production shall begin on When We Were the Kids any day now. For the time being, I've done a mental inventory of the past five years getting to this point.

When I came up with the idea for the book, I was almost finished with Post. Since I wanted to concentrate on finishing my first book before getting to my second, I kept a black spiral notebook with story ideas. I jotted down things while keeping my head in finishing that difficult Dischord Records chapter.

The thing is, out of 200 pages in this notebook, only four pages were used. Not to sound pompous, but I filtered out a lot of ideas before they hit the page. When I started writing the book, I did more filtering and stopped writing things down in the notebook. If an idea stuck with me in my head for a few days, then it should be written in the book.

I'm not one of those writers who must write double the amount of material to get to a concise book. I can't write 50 pages in two days. I can't write 800 pages to get to 400 usable pages. That's just not in me. Since I spent a long time writing stuff that I cringed looking at afterwards (my high school and college years), there's definitely something to be said when I don't cringe. I'm glad I was let out of writer's block hell for a while.

A lot of good things came out of writing my first book. I hope the same happens with the second book. Once I have a release date and order info, this will be the place to hear about it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Greatest Hits-itis

I think I have a case of greatest hits-itis. What in the hell is that? Basically, it's when you listen to a greatest hits compilation so much that it spoils the enjoyment of listening to a band's proper albums.

Recently I put Journey's "Only the Young" on a compilation CD. Since I've spent years listening to Journey's first greatest hits compilation, I am used to hearing "Don't Stop Believin'" after "Only the Young." Despite the fact that I made this compilation, I still expect to hear "Don't Stop Believin'" once "Only the Young" fades. You know, small town girl living in a lonely world meeting up with a guy who's from a part of Detroit that doesn't exist? Alas, it's a Torche song from Songs for Singles.

A similar situation arose when I recently heard the Raspberries' first two records, self-titled and Fresh. Like Journey, I've spent years listening to a compilation Cherry Red made. When I hear "Go All the Way," I hope to hear "Let's Pretend." That's certainly is not the case with listening to the albums.

I wouldn't say this is a problem per se; it's more of growing pains with digging deeper into a band's catalog. Giving the Raspberries self-titled album a few spins, I have yet to completely jump on board with the other album tracks, but I'll be damned, "I Can Remember" is absolutely incredible.

To me, it's worth digging deeper into the LP cuts to find the gems. Sure there will be plenty of so-so tracks, but that's a small hurdle. Still though, sometimes a greatest hits compilation is the best way to go.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My first . . .

This week's edition is with Menkena, a local dream pop five-piece. You might have noticed that my interviews have become much more conversational lately. Well, that's a result of knowing the people I interview, and that's bound to happen.

Credit goes to all the years I spent reading The Big Takeover and The A.V. Club. Read almost any interview in them and you're hard-pressed to find one that isn't conversational. Naysayers may say to keep yourself out of the Q&A, but if helps break more ice in the conversation, then it's a good thing.

Next week's band is another five-piece and a very lively conversation. Only thing is, prior to the interview, I'd only talked to the singer a couple of times and the bassist once. Sure helped that they were all nice guys before the interview, during, and after. I hope that comes across in the final edit.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Here we go!

I was asked to cover the Jane's Addiction show last night. I liked the band's performance, but the venue was another story. Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

My first . . .

This week's edition is with Doug from Air Review. Some good, frank discussions about MTV and how the band formed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

(A) Senile Animal

Last night, I was fortunate to see the double-drumming behemoth that is the Melvins. Here's my full review with pics by me.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Duffed that one

Going on almost two years as a golfer, I still look forward to whenever I hit the links. During the past three Sundays, I've been on three different courses, made plenty of good shots, and lost many balls. The way I see it, there's always room for improvement while having fun.

I acquired a new driver and putter a few months ago and acquired a new (lighter) golf bag a few days ago. These were not purchased for the sake of being a better player; they're signs that I'm not simply testing things out on my father's old clubs.

Yup, I'm committed.

What keeps me coming back is the desire to make a good shot . . . and the serenity that comes from being on a course. The world in my head shuts up for a little bit as I keep my eye on the ball. I still hit duffers, but I'm not discouraged. This is supposed to be fun.

Even now, when I visit a country club or pass one in my car, I think about playing on it. I'm not sleeping with my putter or anything like that. Golfing is enjoyable that requires effort, and the effort is usually rewarded in small doses. Which is perfectly fine for me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

My first . . .

This week's edition is with John Lefler, a Dallas-based singer/songwriter who has spent a lot of time in Dashboard Confessional.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Lorraine, like the quiche?

My friend and former housemate Jason held another Baconfest at his house over the weekend. Requiring a dish with bacon in it, there were prizes and trophies awarded to the favorites. I've never won, but that doesn't deter me from making something new every year.

When I cook for myself, I make the stuff I love until I grow tired of it. Still sticking to a high fiber diet, it's tortellini, soup and bagel, and hot hummus wraps every single week. When thinking about baking something for a lot of people, I consider many options. I like the challenge of making something I've never made before.

I don't necessarily know what prompted me to make quiche, but I heard it was pretty simple to make. The chance of total disaster was small, so I went for it and found a very helpful recipe. Keeping true to the recipe, the only thing I added was a little goat cheese.

I received some very nice compliments from fellow guests. I tasted most of the other dishes, and I liked everything. Sure was more bacon than I normally eat in a given evening, but it was worth it.

Being around good friends and food, things can't go wrong. I'm thankful that I made something edible. And it's something I wouldn't object to making again.