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Halloweekend 2010

Holy crap - it's been a long time since I used LJ.
Dress rehearsal tonight!!

Friday Night's Alright (For Fighting)!

Just finished shooting a video last weekend for a track from the new CD. Hopefully I'll be able to post something soon. But in the meantime, we've got a big big show this friday at the Beat Kitchen. Sorry, no horn section, but lots of sweet sweet powered pop!



MMMMM...POWERPOP!

I've been meaning to make more posts, but for now ... we're playing a big Local Showcase this Friday night.
If you're in the windy city and love you some of that powered-pop -- or just Coors Light -- then stop on by!



Just call me Martha Stewart!

I have a box of old recipe booklets from the 60s & 70s that I inherited from my grandma, and I must say there are some truly awful entertaining ideas in there. I wonder how many happy homemakers back then were actually preparing frankfurter mini-pizzas or fruit macedoine flambe in their electric chafing dishes for the next big shindig. My favorite collection is "Swinging Summer Sandwiches" from the makers of Campbell's Pork & Beans, wherein they manage to combine several ungodly ingredients together. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the SPAM 'N' BEANWICH!



The swiss cheese really is a nice touch. Really takes the sandwich up a notch on the whole "wow-that-looks-like-vomit" scale. Be sure to try it at your next gathering. No, you really don't have to thank me...


We're playing an early show at chicago's urban cowboy paradise The Hideout with Nashville's singing Sweethearts THOSE DARLINS!


Make the Yule-Tide Gay!

For your holiday enjoyment, a few politically incorrect, archaic word choices.




And always remember: Ice Cream & Cake is "Gay 'N' Good"!


In a futile effort to clean my office, I stumbled upon a pile of brochures from past road trips, including one for the mega-classy "Pink Palace" fantasy-themed suites.

I guess I can understand that there's a need out there for some "romantic" atmosphere when you're banging your secretary over lunch. In fact, there's a "Sybaris Pool Suites" franchise here in the burbs—just in case you're ever in need for a little post-coitus swim in your room (although god knows what else is floating in that water). But if the Sybaris is the Hilton Towers of extramarital porking, the Pink Palace is more like a Motel 6. Decorated in what appear to be fantasies culled from carnival workers (Brass!! Rainbows!! Giant Playing cards!!) , you can almost smell the rooms from the photos.

OK, I can understand the heart-shaped waterbed and "space capsule," but who in god's name wants to make love on this?


 
"Mmmmmm this suite is for people who
enjoy lunch without leaving their bed - imagine a bed that
looks exactly like a giant Sandwich."

Happy Anniversary, Honey. Tonight, I splurged for something extra special. That's right, we're gonna fuck on a giant sandwich.
Honey?





I never knew South Dakota was such a big playa in the whole credit card debacle.

Turns out that 30 years ago, the state's economy was pretty much on life support.  I guess there's only so many gullible tourists you can convince to drive to the middle of nowhere to see some dudes heads carved into a rock.

But, as luck would have it, banks in New York were hurting too.

Back then, state laws set the limit on how much interest banks could charge for credit cards—setting the maximum usually somewhere between 12-18%.  That's right, it was ILLEGAL to charge you more.

Then Citibank had a great idea.

They convinced South Dakota to abolish their caps (or "usury" laws), effectively opening the door for banks to charge you as much as they wanted. Then Citibank moved its whole credit card division—translation: thousand of jobs—to Sioux Falls, solving the state's financial woes and making possible 30% interest charges at the same time. Voila! A whole new new screw-you industry was born.

After seeing South Dakota's success, states like Delaware and Maryland folllowed. And the sky was the—credit—limit. Today, iIt's a billion-dollar industry built on the backs of all us over-extended, credit-happy consumers.

Now, with Congress revisiting limits on credit card charges, folks in the black hills are looking nervous. Hey, they still have that nice carved rock somewhere out there, don't they?





Ho Ho Ho — Who Wouldn't Go?

I really need to post more often. I have a lot on my mind lately.

But in the meantime, if anyone's looking for a fun time in Chicago this thursday night, we're playing a christmas (I can't bring myself to use the word "holiday") show. We picked some cool tunes to play--"Jesus Christ" by Big Star; "Father Christmas" by the Kinks; "Every Day Will Be  Like a Holiday" by William Bell. Not your typical Jingle Bells/White Christmas stuff. We may even have a horn section, too.

Now all I need to do is get rid of the damn pumpkin that's been sitting on our porch since halloween.



So Long!!

Wow. I still can't believe it, but the new Webstirs CD has finally arrived and it sounds amazing.

It's definitely weird to listen to four years of your life play out in 34 minutes. When we started this project there was no band. We had gone on indefinite "hiatus" after our last record. Our bass player Ed moved back to Urbana, our drummer Russ pursued his talented art career, and Mark and I hadn't played together in years. But our producer Matt (who we've known since college days down in Cham-Bana)  encouraged us to get together and write again, so we ended up making some home demos. Lots and lots of home demos, actually. Most of them never made it to the album. In fact, we've got almost an entire album's worth of songs that we recorded but didn't make the final cut.

It's been a long, long road, and I'll be honest: I thought we were never going to finish it. Half of the basic tracks were recorded in Matt's old, cramped space up in Andersonville. But he found a more luxurious place (with a better-sounding live room), and the ensuing move/studio makeover put the project on hold for at least six months. If not more. To pay for the new studio, Matt had to work a lot of sessions for other bands, so were were kind of bumped to the bottom of the priority list for another year. (I remember Matt telling us we'd be done before my son was born. Now Luca is three. And he has a one-year-old brother!) But I can't fault Matt. He really went above and beyond for us--even tracking piano and vocals in a makeshift studio at his house until the new space was ready.

In fact, everyone has gone out of their way to help us, donating their services for little or no financial reward. Not to get all Oprah about it, but this whole process has really been a chance to reconnect with old friends and make a bunch of new ones. And somehow we've ended up with a whole new band that kicks serious ass. That's the best part.

We're celebrating the release with a big show this thursday at Beat Kitchen. We're gonna have a bunch of friends onstage that helped us over the years, including the trumpet talents of John Hagstrom (who plays in a little group called the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). And everyone who comes to the show gets a free copy of the new CD. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop on by.

I mean, who knows how long it will take for the next one...



Oh yeah, we've got the whole record streaming on facebook here
Let me know what you think.

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