Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Concerning Beatle Bob

Those of you who were at our show at Off Broadway (or our Riverfront Times show last year, or one of the bigger Cicero's shows) know that we have been pretty vocal about our issues with Beatle Bob. It seems like the right time to address it as publically as we can, because it's Christmas and that's what the baby Jesus would want us to do.

So who is Beatle Bob? Anybody from St. Louis probably knows but outsiders do not. He's a goofy looking dude in his late 40's with a mop top who wears a suit and attends at least one (1) rock show every day in town. You can see him dancing in this otherwise unfortunate video from the RFT fest in 2006. People generally like him, because he comes and dances at these shows and usually he's at whatever the biggest show happening in St. Louis is. There's a saying that "if Beatle Bob is there, you're at the right show."

So what's the problem? Well, he always gets into shows free, always shows up late, and always pushes his way past everybody to get to the front right by the stage. This is extra annoying because we always try to make our shows as comfortable as possible for us and for the people that like our band. Sometimes we're fortunate enough to draw larger crowds at our shows and i've seen people get to the front a band or two early to ensure a good spot. This is especially unfair to them, not to mention people that are shorter and can't see over his 6'2" frame.

The other issue is that I have personally seen him steal things from show patrons and from bands. Once, i went to a show, saw him walk to the back of the venue where some kid had set his jacket, drape it over his arm, and walk out. I told people about it and they didn't believe me, until the victim was looking for his coat after the show. At our show at Off Broadway last week, there was a coat on the stage right in front of where i was setting up my pedals. Beetle Bob picked it up from the stage, despite walking in without a coat. He left a few songs into our set and walked out, big puffy jacket in hand.

He also has claimed to work at KDHX (he doesn't) and has talked bands into letting him have a promo copy of their CD for radio airplay. I've seen him do it to Koufax and Bullet Train to Vegas, and attempt it on us and Bring Back the Guns.

This got under my skin for years until I realized how uncomfortable he makes other people and got up the nerve to call him out as much as possible from the stage. I guess this rant is fairly immature and would fall under the category of attempted libel, or at least bad journalism. The only reason I don't care is this: i feel like it needs to be said.

In fact, I've said all of this to his face, not into a microphone from a stage, but face to face at a show (specifically, Robyn Hitchcock and Sean Nelson at Blueberry Hill). His response? Act like he has no idea what I was talking about, and then just walk away unfazed and cheerily talk to somebody else. It was incredible, to be honest. If he was in any way shocked at what I was saying, he would have tried to defend himself, but he didn't because I'm sure this has happened before and his reaction was flawless.

So Beatle Bob is an enigma, and I'm not trying to rally the troops to ostracize him from anything. I just want to explain, in full detail, what our issues are and why we said what we said at that show and will most likely continue saying whenever we see him at shows. Considering he didn't dance at all during our set at Off Broadway and left after 3 songs, this probably won't be a problem in the future.

Monday, December 24, 2007

All i want for Christmas is somebody to write a song for us so we don't have to

It's Christmas Eve. I'm doing some morning laundry because i have three (3) mystery items to buy for my family before arriving in St. Peters before 3 pm.

A few nights ago, we participated in the "Very Mery Christmas Spectacular" show at Off Broadway, put on by the folks that run the Bluebird. It was one of those phenomenal shows that puts everything in perspective, which is really what we needed since our last 2 shows in town have been pretty weak and we haven't been playing very well at them or sounding very good. BUT, all went well at Off Broadway, we debuted a new song ("Oh, The Devastation", formerly working title:5/4) and i played the Casio SK-5 sampling keyboard live for the first time.

The most surprising thing of the night was being pelted by confetti during our last song, "It's Gonna Rain".

I saw Shrek last night and laughed much more than I should have.

So, all of this holiday madness has detracted us from writing our 10th song from our record. We're about 2 minutes into it and pretty stoked on it, but the song is having an existential crisis and is not sure what its purpose in life is yet.

Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate), and God (or whatever deity you beleive in) bless us, every one.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finally, there is clarity and there is purpose after all

I'm very strict about proper grammar and spelling when I send text messages. Meanwhile, Alex Newport is a chronic text-message-abbreviator. Digging through my phone's inbox from the last week, there are gems like "R u guyz able 2 listn 2 a test mix" and I'm about 90% sure he sent me a kissy-face emoticon once. I gave him a hard time about this for a while, but ever since I departed LaGuardia Airport at 6 AM on Saturday, I've been giddy every time I receive a message from him. He may text like a 12 year girl, but I act like one when I find out there is a new mix ready to be heard.

Last night at 10:30, I received a message telling me that "ghost song" has been finished, and the changes we requested "new song 1" were finished. The crazy part about it is this: we're almost done with our record. Every song that we've written and recorded is now also mixed. We are 90% done with our record.

The other 10% will be the new song we will be writing soon. We have a general idea for the next one; we have shat out an egg of a song and now we must hatch it.

So what is next? We send the record to every single person we can think of that may be interested in assisting us in releasing it. I hope this doesn't affect the blogging, because we may have to be a bit more cryptic about things as to not rub anybody wrong. It does mean that we can do more fun things, like SO MANY DYNAMOS KARAOKE!!!!!

Stay tuned, bros.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The kitchen counter, the living room floor

My experience with the New York City subway system has been pretty minimal in the past, but I think i'm figuring it out. Here are the trains I took today to get from my sister's house in Harlem to the studio in Brooklyn:

A - pretty inoffensive. It runs fairly quickly and stretches across a large area of Manhattan. My train car was covered in ads for the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, which leads me to believe that the new modern CGI Chipmunks are a. creepy looking and b. "hip-hop"

E - Not bad, completely functional, but there was a guy playing the pan flute on the train platform. This is acceptable behavior.

G - Two complaints: 1) the last time I tried to ride it, it stopped running due to some form of accident and i had to take a cab the rest of the way to the studio. 2) the last time i actually rode it, my car smelled like a dirty sock full of dog food.

Yesterday/this morning, we mixed a song tentatively called "If You Didn't Want to Know". It was our attempt at writing a Gnarls Barkley song ("Go Go Gadget" with "Transformer" in the bridge), but others said it sounds like a Cinemechanica song, or at least it did until we added keyboards that sound like the first track on GO by Common. Sometimes it's hard to talk about songs without talking about other songs.

Right now we're mixing a song that I can't talk about. Sorry to be a cryptic weirdo, it is just out of my hands.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Things that rule/things that suck

Things that rule:
-sleeping on the futon at Metropolitan sound next to the space heater
-taking breaks from mixing and having Alex give me the dirt on At the Drive-In, Mars Volta, and other bands he's recorded
-the bar directly under the studio serves a hot dog with every beer

Things that suck:
-the hardcore band that practices directly below the control room
-the power supply on Griffin's laptop, which i am currently borrowing, stops charging the battery every few minutes and I have to play with the cord until i find the sweet spot so it doesn't shut off...again
-every restaurant around here only takes cash, which i am completely out of

Things are well. We did a lot of work on the 5/4 song (potentially titled "We've not seen the worst of this yet"), and we're going to attack it today with fresh ears and make a few changes requested by the home team. I'm very impressed by Alex Newport's attention to detail and work ethic. There's going to be a lot of love on this record.

The next song we will get to today is "New Song 1" (seriously, we need to start inventing some titles). This is a fast song. If anybody remembers the song "There's No I in Werewolves" by the Texas Chainsaw Mass Choir, this is like what it would sound like if we covered it.* For those of you who didn't happen to be going to art space shows in St. Louis between 2002 and 2004, this song is a little harder to describe. It's probably the only one on the record that could be described as "sassy". It's a fairly straightforward verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge number with weird instrument sounds and lyrics about drugs.

Our friend Justin Price sent us a text message while we were writing and said he wanted us to write a song that didn't have the gospel beat, but felt like an indie rock gospel song. Somehow i think this song is what he wanted.

*This statement is actually untrue. "No I in Werewolves" by TCMC is one of 2 songs we've ever covered live and our version didn't sound anything like this song. We played it once to tribute TCMC after they broke up, changed their name to White Rabbits and eventually moved to Brooklyn. While we were recording in Portland, we saw them on Letterman. The only other song we've covered live was "She" by Green Day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

See the orchestration in the devastation (we've not seen the worst of this yet)

I slept on the futon at Metropolitan Sound and it was one of the best nights of sleep i've had in New York. Flying over here was interesting, mainly because I have never flown by myself before. I was shocked by how foreign St. Louis looks from the air. If I hadn't seen the arch, I wouldn't know where I was.

My flight was broken down in two; St. Louis to Atlanta, Atlanta to NYC. On the flight to Atlanta I sat next to a man that was reading a hunting magazine with a gigantic black bear on the cover. I was THIS close to asking him if he'd shot a bear before, but it didn't seem appropriate.

In Atlanta, the flight to New York got delayed 2 hours. I kept myself occupied with an airport Wendy's and a Musician's Friend catalog (sidenote: J Mascis has his own model of guitar? Wtf, bro). On the flight, I sat next to one of those guys that doesn't appear to be mean, but always seems annoyed by something. I asked him what borough LaGuardia airport is and he responded with an eye-rolled "i don't knowwww, Queens or something?"

The cab driver farted on the way to the studio.

Metropolitan Sound is the name of Alex Newport's studio. It is a very comfortable atmosphere with great equipment, a great engineer, and an amazing view of Manhattan in the control room. Yesterday was dedicated to importing the files from Chris's sessions, and today we will be digging into one the cleverly working-titled song "5/4".

"5/4" sounds like if you played "My Summer Girl" by The Rentals at 45 rpm instead of 33. It was one of the songs we started at home and finished in San Francisco, and it might have the best bridge on the album. It's a song I keep forgetting about, and i'm glad it will exist.

Monday, December 3, 2007

oh in the morning, i stumble....

I'm getting packed right now. I'm getting packed because i'm going to New York today. I will be spending the week there. I found out I was spending the week in New York on Friday, when Alex Newport, who is totally on "the team" now, offered to discount us a bit on studio time so that i could afford to fly out and witness the mixing sessions.

I've never gone to New York by myself, and i've actually never been on a plane by myself either. Combine this with the fact that I'll be hanging out with Alex, an engineer that I really respect, while he finishes up the record-so-far, and the reasons are obvious why I'm ecstatic.

Before I leave though, I have to record Aaron doing one line in one song, because we just plain forgot to do it the whole time we were working with Chris. I guess that gives me an engineering credit on the album. Sweet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The mountains are big and they all look fake

I would apologize for the lack of posts on here lately, but I don't feel sorry. It's been over 3 months since we finished tracking our record, and for the 8 months before that the record had consumed our lives. If you were following this blog, it's pretty obvious how much we were freaking out while making it.

"Listen, future So Many Dynamos record, i've been thinking about it, and i just think we need some time apart. What? No, no no no. It's not that i don't like you, in fact i like you a lot. It's just that things have gotten really intense and i just need some time to figure out what these feelings mean. No, it's not you at all. It's me."

So now we've had the time to separate ourselves from the process and get excited again. Chris has mixed 3 songs in whatever hours he's invented between working on his solo record and the new Death Cab record. We're stoked about the way they sound. On Monday, Alex Newport will start mixing 6 songs over the course of the week, and then we should have the album mixed and ready to master. Right? Right?


We've hit a bit of a snag with one of the songs we wrote at Tiny Telephone during our first week of tracking. The song just isn't "working" very well, and if you've ever made a record you know what it means to have something not "work" and it's impossible to describe but you know it must change or be eliminated in order to not have knots in your stomach every time you hear it or think about it. We even let Chris make a weirdo remix of this bastard song (genius working title: new song 2) but it feels like the song has turned into a our bastard stepfather: it doesn't work and it keeps giving us shit.

So we have 9 songs we're thrilled about and one that we're just confused about. It looks like we are going to have to write another song, drive up to Chicago, record it, send it to Chris and have him mix it. This proposition would have seemed ludicrous 3 months ago, but now that we've had time to think about what we've done it sort of feels like a second chance. The bastard song may work its way onto the record in some weird incarnation, but hearing the song as we intended it to be just feels like we peed on the carpet and somebody is making us put our nose in it so that we'll learn. Too dramatic? Probably.

Sooooooo we're a step backwards but it's a good step. Soon we'll be done with the first phase of having a new record, and then we get to figure out who's putting it out! Hurray!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I can't believe it! I actually get to post something about our record on our recording blog!

So, there was a bit of drama a bit ago. Our record took longer to track than it should have. Also, Walla had a little bit of border-crossing trouble that involved his hard drive getting detained between Canada and USA. Luckily, our files were all safe as it wasn't the hard drive with our recordings, but it just added to the delay of getting ours finished. All of this got compounded when Chris started working on the new Death Cab record (so selfish, right?). So it became apparant that we'd need extra help to get our album finished.

With that said, i'm very glad to announce that Alex Newport will be mixing some of the record. We're big fans of work he's done, he's personally responsible for one of my favorite records (In/Casino/Out by At The Drive-In), and when we met him in New York it just all made sense. So yes, Chris Walla will be doing some mixes and Alex Newport will be doing some mixes and we will be giving each other a lot of high fives as the end of our album is in sight!

We'll let you know who's putting it out when we have any idea at all.

Monday, October 22, 2007


It's been a few days now, so unfortunately i have to summarize. Here are 7 small paragraphs that all start with "We":

-We had an excellent CMJ. That's all.

-We played in the basement of a dorm complex in Troy, NY and it was one of the sweatiest shows we've ever played. We stayed on the couches in the venue area and watched 2001: A Space Odyssey on a projector screen with the music playing over the PA.

-We, along with our friend Alan, visited the Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire on our way to Boston. 30,000 Jack-O-Lanterns. We were talking on the way in about how we'd never played New Hampshire, and at the festival we were able to weasel our way onto the "Jesus Is Lord Tour" stage and played 5 songs. We have now played 43 states.

-We love Great Scott in Boston, MA and we love The Octopus Project and we love Ho-Ag. So, be default, our show with Octopus Project and Ho-Ag at Great Scott in Boston a few days ago was awesome.

-We (collectively) hate turnpikes. We spent 10 hours turnpike-ing from Boston to Meadville, PA to play a very fun show at the coffee shop at Allegheny College.

-We (collectively), in response to our hatred of turnpikes, took a back-road route to Bowling Green, OH instead of going on the Ohio Pike. This was a great idea, as we had never seen a "HORSE AND BUGGY CROSSING" sign before, nor had we ever seen the Horse and Buggy cross a road, as warned by the sign.

-We are playing in Bowling Green, fittingly, with a band called Wee.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Yesterday was pretty awesome. Our showcase went really well, we saw some old friends (The Photo Atlas, Ian Anderson) and made some new ones (Alex Newport, Moros Eros). Life is good. I wish there was a way to exchange a high five through the monitor with anybody reading this, but technology has not quite met up with my demands.

Today is our "fun day". We don't really have any plans other than the French Kiss Records showcase and the Barsuk/Sub-pop/Suicide Squeeze/Touch and Go/every-other-indie-label party at midnight. Nothing to play, nowhere to be, nobody to try to impress. It shall be sweet.

We've never been to South by Southwest, and this is our first CMJ, and it's better than i thought it would be. It's like a weird indie rock utopia. Today is our last day, then we're off to continue our tour. We will be home in less than a week! Wow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007



2 PM - go to Soundfix records in Brooklyn to watch our pay Erik Bogle play in the Fatal Flying Guillotines/loan them equipment
5 PM - go to Cake Shop in Manhattan to load in for the Hello Sir showcase
7 PM - go back to Brooklyn, attend a party held by Alex Newport at his studio
11 PM - play at the Cake Shop

This is exciting.

We went to see a move (Frank and Cindy) last night at the Museum of Modern art. It was curated by This American Life and Ira Glass held a Q and A afterwards. Not much else to say, it was just pretty cool.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Foooood and Muuuuuusic

One of the best things a human can do for another human is to make them a meal. I'm sitting in a kitchen in New Jersey, watching the squirrels and the chipmunks scramble for fallen acorns while a family friend of Griffin's is cooking us eggs. Awesome.

We will spend today and the two following days in New York for the CMJ music conference. We don't have a whole lot of definite plans other than to actually play. I'd like to catch Lifetime and Modern Life is War tonight, but the Bouncing Souls are headlining and that just doesn't seem like something I want to be a part of.

Slaraffenland is the best difficult-to-pronounce band from another country that we have ever played with.

Monday, October 15, 2007

People will be people when they eat this sandwich.

Why is waking up at 9 AM so hard to do?

Pittsburgh and St. Louis seem like they could be friends. They're both fairly industrial and not very pretty on the surface. Both are places where if you didn't know anybody there, you would not have a good time; they're both places where you have to make your own fun. Also, St. Louis took all of the hypothetical metal that Pittsburgh used to make a shit-ton of bridges to make a big-ass silver arch*.

Today is Philadelphia and show/post-show dinner with Pattern is Movement, a band that we're friends with so we always forget that they're the WEIRDEST BAND IN THE UNIVERSE. And weird bands make space jesus cry.

We Versus the Shark stopped by the house we've been at and hung out/stayed. It feels like we're on tour with them, since we've seen them once already and are going to see them in New York. New York will be fun. New York will be good. New York is important. New York is the reason we're on this tour.

*There's that one Q and Not U song where they say "every town needs and Eiffel Tower tonight", and i know what they mean and agree.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's hard to post when a guy is impersonating a bear in the next room over (and doing a great job at it)

Today we are going to embark on this mission:

step 1: go to Guitar Center
step 2: buy new "Little Big Muff" pedal
step 3: take out of box, put Griffin's broken "Little Big Muff" pedal in its place
step 4: return pedal to different Guitar Center
step 5: high fives

Wish us luck.

Last night was an 8 band house show in Pittsburgh. The cops came, not because of the show, but because of the meth head that was walking around grabbing ass and boobs.

Speaking of boobs, the best thing we've heard on this tour is something along the lines of "dude, I love boobs so much that you could put a nipple on some dude's belly and i'd probably get turned on" Is this a you-had-to-be-there?

Things that are making this tour great for me: the new Weakerthans record, "Blankets" by Craig Thomson, and finding recording nerds to geek out with.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lazy blogging = catch up

Here is a quick summary of the last few days:

WEDNESDAY: very fun house show in Blacksburg, VA, barbecue restaurant in Greensboro with intense mural of space jesus*, bag of Laffy Taffy, most quiet dance party ever (sleeping roommate), first failed attempt to get guitar center to replace cracked-ass cymbal for free.

THURSDAY: new Radiohead record, un-fun bar show in Washington DC, realization that just because some of your favorite bands are from a place doesn't make that place cool, Motel 6.

FRIDAY: Chinese restaurant, mostly fun warehouse show in Leymoyne, PA, being chiller whales at a parent house, second failed attempt to get guitar center to replace cracked-ass cymbal for free.

Today we go to Pittsburgh to play a house show and visit some friends. It shall be a good time.

*space jesus is a mysteriously inappropriate mural of a view of earth and the moon from outer space, with a gigantic translucent face of jesus in between the two. There is one lone tear coming from space jesus's eye. This is, of course, how floods and hurricanes happen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


We made a visit to the offices of Team Clermont yesterday, and now we have a plague-level of CDs in the van. They're everywhere. We're infested with jewel cases. We are going to try to listen to all of them. We're going semi alphabetically, and yesterday we did Akron/Family, Christina Aguilera, Alterbridge, and a few random indie bands with names like Arks and Airiel. I was expecting a bit more out of Christina, but she dropped the ball. Most of the songs are about how great music is, which is redundant. It's kind of like a whole album of "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder, but without the sweet horn break.

Played the Two Art Chicks space in Greensboro, NC last night and stayed with our pal Jeremy. I believe a chinese buffet may be in order today. Last night, we shared the bill with The Bronzed Chorus, who blew our minds. If you click that link, make sure to know that it's a 2 piece band. We've been very lucky on bands we've played with so far.

Today is a house party in Blacksburg, VA. I think our DC show tomorrow will officially be the end of vacation and the start of tour.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

more Athens, mour Tour, mo' Money, mo' Problems

IS ANYBODY GOING TO CMJ?!? because WE ARE! I'm excited, as it'll be our first time there or at any other super schmoozy music festival (cough SXSW cough).

I slept well last night, despite the many distractions (trains, brutal sunlight, Griffin snoring). We've been in Athens for 4 days now, and I'm going to miss it. Luke from WVTS said it best: "It's like a big episode of Cheers except everybody wears aviators." Also, everybody in Athens is good looking and dresses well. It's absurd. Hanging out in a group sometimes feels like somebody should be videotaping you for a PBR commercial.

Today we will go to Greensboro, NC, a town we have played once and hung out in thrice. We will drive there, we will play, and then we will chill out with Jeremy, former second drummer for Cinemechanica. It will be a good time.

Depending on how soon all the other Dyna-bros get ready, we may stop by the Team Clermont office for some high fives and promo cds. Bob Kay has a cd/cassette combo, so we've been making it a point to listen to every cd that is given to us. Usually we end up with a big stack of unlistened-to cds, but this is not the case (now the highways are just extra littered with bad cds we've gotten [throwing cds out of the window when they suck is especially satisfying {we know that's littering and bad for the environment and all, but the physical act of removing bad music from your life is worth it}])

Monday, October 8, 2007

Atlanta, Flowers, Chicken

The road from Athens to Atlanta is a tricky one. It's all state highways with lots of stop lights, and we always seem to miss the same one and have to pull out the atlas.

The best lineup we've ever been lucky enough to play 3 times is the one with us, Cinemechanica, and We Versus the Shark. Last night we played with both at the Drunken Unicorn in "Hotlanta", another one of those venues we've heard of but never played. I was pleasantly surprised by how literal the club's decorations are; there are lots of murals of unicorns that appear intoxicated. I'm especially fond of one featuring a unicorn and wine-bottle-holding-Moses peering out over a rainbow that bisects a flaming red camaro. That may end up next to !!! on the you-just-have-to-see-it list.

Outside of the Drunken Unicorn, a homeless man kept trying to give people semi-wilted bouquets of flowers, but wasn't asking for anything in return. This actually sketched us out even more, because we didn't understand his motivations. Are we supposed to offer money in exchange? Does he just want to spread some love around? Should we touch the flowers?

Our pre-show meal was at a Southern cooking restaurant called Eatz. The choices were basically pasta or meat. While most of the Shark/Cinemechanica crew went in the pasta line, we ended up in the meat line. I ordered the Jerk Chicken (spicy) with corn on the cob and baked potato and they gave me HALF OF A CHICKEN! Very intimidating.

We are now back in Athens for our 2nd day off here, and then we will officially be on tour and not on vacation.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Record Status, Tour, Van, Alabama,

Our lack of updates on this blog are because our record is sort of at a stand-still point. We finished the tracking, and are waiting on the mixing. Our record took longer than we thought to record, which already ate into Chris Walla's available time to mix. On top of that, he had some issues at the Canadian border while working on his solo record AND he just started working on his real band's album. So we've been trying to figure out how to outsource some of the songs to someone else to have them do mixes. It's all a bit weird, but we're just kind of playing the waiting game right now. With that said, we have no no no idea when our record is going to be out.

With that said, we're going to turn this into a touring blog for the time being as to not be negligent. Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....

We loaded up Bob Kay and left at 1PM on Thursday. Bob Kay is a gorgeous dark blue Ford E350 15 passenger van that is lovingly named after Griffin's dad. It's the same type of van we had before, and the inside looks almost identical. This kind of gets to me from time to time, since the last time any of us were in a vehicle like this it flipped on the highway. I was driving the first shift, and every time a wind gust hit us or the road was bumpy from construction I got a little queasy. I feel more comfortable now that I've been in it for a few hours, I guess I got too used to being in cars for a few months.

We landed at the Flying Monkey Arts center (one of our favorite venues), and found out that: A. the ironically named local band, The Arrivals, was not going to arrive. B. there was no P.A. to speak of. There were also no people there except the volunteer at the door. Everything fell into place, but it was scary for a bit. It was a nice, informal show, and we played 11 songs. It may have been our longest set ever.

After that, we drove to Athens, GA and we've been there ever since. Friday, we played an AWESOME show in Athens with a band called Powers. It's 4 guitars (including Luke from We Versus the Shark and Bryant from Cinemechanica) and a drummer (Mike from Cinemechanica), and they set up their guitars on opposite corners of the room and play in the center. They're a quadrophonic instrumental band, and it was pretty mindblowing.

Yesterday, we went to Six Flags FRIGHT FEST in Atlanta! Luke from WVTS is a roller coaster connoisseur, and his knowledge of the park is truly FRIGHTFUL. We had such a good time, it was SCARY. The lines were EERILY short for a Saturday.

The best Fright Fest themed decoration around the park was a skeleton fisherman hanging out by one of the ponds with a fishing pole that had a skeleton fish at the end of it. The cobweb-covered skeleton on on of the ladders of the who-wants-to-try-to-climb-this-sketchy-rope-ladder-ninja-warrior-style game was a close second, and the skeleton in the red flyer wagon was a comfortable third. Also, I'm glad to see that Thriller-era Michael Jackson attire is still the standard for dancing zombies.

Last night, we saw !!! at the 40 Watt in Athens. Wow. I HATE HATE HATE when somebody's defense of a band is "you have to see them live" but holy shit, dude, you have to see !!! live. They've moved out of being the indie-rock dance jam band and now they're almost an indie rock r&b band, complete with some sassy female vocals. I always thought their dude singer, with classic lines like "uh, uh, uh, uh, uh" and "shake that butt", was a doofus and now i understand that he is completely 100% a doofus. But now i understand the charm of it. Dude just wants to dance, and he totally doesn't give a shit if it looks cool. He's working the crowd, and his guard is completely down. He also played the agogo bells in the sound booth for the monitors and was dancing all up on their own monitor guy. I dug it.

Tonight: Atlanta, Guitar Center, load-in, food, show, drive back to Athens, sleep late.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


The whole van buying process was long, stressful, painfully uninteresting, and technically isn't over yet but the fact of the matter is WE HAVE A VAN!
Pictures will follow soon/eventually.

Now on to the trillion other things to worry about before leaving for tour.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


A. we all love At the Drive-In, and they are a constant reference point when we make records (this second sentence is just to form some sort of legitimacy of putting this on our blog).

B. the internet is completely completely insane:

Saturday, September 8, 2007

We are collectively the worst bloggers in the universe

We need to invent a new word for "blogger", for serious.

There is no news on our record for the moment. This doesn't bother us so much as we appreciate the time off mentally, but it doesn't make for a highly interesting recording blog. I figured, since we can't actually put any new music up yet, why not talk about the things that most inspired us while we were writing/recording this album.


Battles - Mirrored. Having something like this come out when you're halfway through writing your record is scary. It's inspiring, but it also makes you want to start completely over and/or bash your skull in for not thinking of it first. We haven't gone this apeshit over a record in a long time. I felt like i had to play it for everybody I saw for a week afterwards. I think i even walked around Edwardsville with a CD-R of this in my pocket at one point in case i ran into somebody. We've been getting a little more nerdy/techy lately (my live guitar pedal count has doubled from 3 to 6), and Mirrored kind of showed us a new angle on how to approach songwriting. I believe there are 2 songs that are pretty directly influenced by this one.

Cinemechanica. We accidentally made a guitar record. There aren't solos or wah pedals or anything, but lots of dual lead line guitarmonies (editor's note: rhymes with "harmonies") and things of that nature. We have Cinemechanica to blame for this. They are our guitar heroes. In fact, if any of their songs were on Guitar Hero, i would actually enjoy playing Guitar Hero.

Eno, Brian. I think Chris Walla was trying to channel the spirit of Brian Eno during our sessions. The Oblique Strategies cards alone were enough reason to put him on this list (see link on the right).

Menomena. Read the description i wrote for the Battles record, replace the word "Battles" with the word "Menomena" and the word "Mirrored" with the words "Friend and Foe".

Talking Heads. This goes hand in hand with Eno. It's becoming cliche to list the Talking Heads as a major influence, but I feel strongly about it. In a few spots, i think we really nailed the Remain in Light-esque percussive multi-layered thing and I'm really proud of it.

Weezer. Pinkerton was probably second only to Remain in Light on the list of records that directly influenced this album. We would listen to "Tired of Sex" in the control room at Tiny Telephone and just wonder how they made drums sound like that. I hope that when this record is released, people will be able to hear it and go "man, those dudes really like Weezer." Because we do. A lot.

Yes. This one may go more for me than the rest of the band. Griffin grew up on Yes, and I had never taken them seriously until he let me borrow his LP of Close to the Edge. I made a cassette of it and i think Aaron probably wanted to punch me over how many times I put it on in the van. I can't vouch for everything this band has done, but when they're on they're pretty unstoppable. When I played the instrumental demo we made of the first track on the album, the one that I think sounds like Talking Heads' "Crosseyed and Painless" meets Deerhoof's "Perfect Me" meets our "Search Party", more than one person said it reminded them of Yes.

Which leads me to my next thought: are we a prog rock band? I don't think so, but i'm not sure if it'd be such a bad thing to be considered. I mean, math rock and prog rock are only a few degrees of separation apart. The Mars Volta went from one to the other in like 6 months. And we write "fantasy" songs about apocalypse and earthquakes and things like that anyway. I think we're safe for now, since our longest song is 5 minutes and we don't have any guitar solos (yet).

Sunday, August 19, 2007


The most annoying blog post is the one that goes "sorry i haven't updated in a while" so i'm just not going to say it. (hint: i just did)

So this is the RECORDING blog, and we're technically done recording but that's not the end of this. There's still all the other fun stuff like: waiting around for the mixing to happen, coming up with song and album titles, figuring out who's going to put this record out, going on tour between now and then, etc.

You know how much i love lists, so here's what we/I have been up to lately:

-We are going to be on the cover of the Riverfront Times this week. It hasn't really sunk in, and it's been pretty hush hush but for the few that read this i think it's okay to spill the beans. In addition, we're going to take over the always entertaining Riverfront Times A to Z blog for the week. We'll have a new post on there from a band member every day. This will be a true test of our blogging consistency.

-I have been interested in recording over the past few years, and have been collecting the necessary gear to record bands and such. Recording with Chris was so so inspiring that i've been diving head first into it lately. I just recorded a charming young band called Torchlight Red, and i'm recording some really sweet stuff in the near future: Berlin Whale, Thankful Tree, Cold Bear Scout, Target Market. It feels good.

-We played a Thor Axe show this weekend and it was a blast. Recording will start very soon for our debut EP-plus "making of" DVD and tablature book.

-We're going on tour to the east coast in October for CMJ. It's going to be really casual, really fun. We know we're going to be playing some shows with Cinemechanica, Pattern is Movement, and We Versus the Shark. We might also get to hook up with the Photo Atlas.

-We need to get a new van.

I think that's all for now. Keep fighting the good fight.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Our House: The Last Sessions

this is the makeshift studio.

tape machine.

sometimes we make chris stay up too late and this is just one example of a result.

this is only part of the choir. people were coming and going all night.


on a completely different note, this is rangoon. he's new to the fish tank.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Day 2 - fuckin' done/duckin' fun

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

I'm done, Aaron's done, Norm's done and Griffin's done. We're done. All the tracking is done. It's finished. We don't have any more tracking to do.

That's not entirely true. We are doing group vocals tonight; we didn't quite have time to do them while Chris was around. It'll be more fun this way, much less pressure and the schedules work out so our bros can sing with us as well. Plus, I get to record it and it's a little bit of a personal accomplishment to be engineering something for the record. Yay.

By the way, we finished tracking. I don't know if i nailed that point in yet.

The last 48 hours were so very intense. Aaron basically lived in the tracking room (aka. Griffin's bedroom) the whole time, recording 5 songs in a day and a half. We were doing about one song a day in Portland, so it was quite a task. In addition, Norm and I had return blood draws at Gateway Medical at 6 PM friday and 6 AM today. We were up until 2 AM tracking, so i'm currently on that loopy feeling of not enough sleep/too much caffeine. I'm pretty jittery, and it's unfortunate that you can't tell exactly how many times i've hit the backspace key in writing this.

Sir Walla is currently heading to Lambert International Airport in a vehicle with Griffin. He has served his time, and now we play the waiting game. We won't get things started on mixing until September, but it will be nice to get this whole thing out of our heads for a month.

Time to live like normal people for a while.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Day 1 of 2 at our house

Yesterday, Christopher Walla took an airplane from Portland to St. Louis, was picked up by Griffin Kay, and arrived at 700 Hale Avenue, Edwardsville, IL (our house) to finish up the So Many Dynamos record.

I wasn't there. I was at Gateway Medical Research, taking a pill for overactive bladders and getting my blood drawn 20 times. Norm is in the same study as me, so he was absent as well. No recording got done yesterday though, so i consider today day 1. And rightfully so.

Norm and I left Gateway Medical at 6:25 and 6:28 this morning. Around noon, Aaron started singing and he's been trapped in the makeshift vocal booth in Griffin's room ever since. Chris made a makeshift control room out of our living room, which is convenient in case you want to hear a record being made while watching shark week on mute (which we do). As of now (10:33 PM), Aaron is finishing the 3rd of 5 songs we have to finish this weekend. Tomorrow is group vocals, which is always fun.

Chris has to leave at about 4 PM tomorrow to catch his flight back, so we're pretty pressed for time. Things are going well and check this out:

We accept payment in the form of high fives and one (1) shotgunned beer per capita. Pictures of our house fiesta soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Correction on previous post

When i was writing the last post, listening to the new Animal Collective record, i could not comprehend how awful it was. It was so terrible that it made me suspicious, and after researching it, i realized that i had downloaded a fake version of the record that i guess somebody made as a joke. All the song titles/lengths are the same, but it's soo soo soo bad that it must be a very elaborate prank. Sorry about the negativity back there and sorry, Animal Collective.

One more day


The night before something really big happens (a tour, recording, etc.) is like the night before Christmas and it's almost impossible to sleep. Chris gets here Thursday, and i guess since i'll be at Gateway Medical Research from tonight until Friday morning, my body decided to make last night my too-excited/nervous-to-sleep night.

Finished up the lyrics to one of the songs yesterday, and there is only one song that's hurting at the moment. I went to Sacred Grounds, the local Edwardsville coffee shop, to try to write lyrics. It was like a scene from a movie: i got my coffee, found a table, and sat down. As soon as i opened my notebook and took my pen cap off, the place went from dead silent to just BLASTING reggae over their little public address system. After about 20 minutes, they changed it to the sattelite radio equivalent to Lillith Fair. It was slightly better, but it's hard to focus when Alanis is thanking India, terror, and disillusionment just a few decibels louder than necessary.

Otherwise, we were recently given a fish tank, and Aaron got a crab for it (i'm pushing for the name "Rangoon").

While writing this, I'm listening to the new Animal Collective record, "Strawberry Jam". I can't help but feel like they're trying really hard to piss me off.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sorry the blog has been a little neglected lately. I've been equally wrapped up in working to finish out the lyrics for the record and adjusting to being back, which usually involves some overcompensation of social activities. Neither of those make for good bloggin'.

Mr. Walla will arrive on Thursday. Norm and I are both in a Gateway Medical Research study that gets out Friday morning. Aaron has 5 songs to sing, and at this point 3 of them have been completed. Chris sent us all of the instrumental mixes thus far, and they sound great. Between the accident and the readjustment to being home and the stress of finishing it up, i've kind of forgotten that we're making a record that i'm completely excited about and proud of.

in other news:

-I have 2 recording-in-our-basement jobs coming up after the record, which is something i've been wanting to do for a while but just got the confidence/skills to feel comfortable with it. One is for my friend Steven Colbert (pronounced Col-bert and not Col-bear) and his solo folk project and one is for a young band named Torchlight Red. Both will be fun.

-Travis Morrison put his whole new album online to stream at his website. It's really pretty good, and it may throw off my theory that he's advanced. "You Make Me Feel Like a Freak" is my jam.

-I was hanging out with my lady last night and her roommates, and we invented "Shark Week, the Drinking Game". The rules are simple: when somebody says the word "shark" you take a drink. We had to stop for our own health after a few minutes, but after all, it IS Shark Week.

-My friend Phil, aka. lead guitar #1 in Thor Axe, and his roommates have a weekly gig at Annie's frozen custard in Edwardsville playing reggae for 2 hours. Hilarity.

That is all for now. We'll try to snap a bunch of pictures while Chris is in town this weekend so we have something to put up. We're so so so close.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

3 days later

So the van thing happened. That was weird. It looks like State Farm Insurance is pretty much taking care of us, so as far as we know we'll be cool. Luckily, we won't be doing anything that requires a van for a while. I didn't go to a doctor because, other than being a little sore still, i feel alright. I can't say the same for Aaron and Norm, who are both having some pack pains. They were in the front seats and got a little more roughed up than Griff and I did. I just got a scraped up right lovehandle.

It's Thursday now and Chris will be out here in a week to finish up the vocals and basically finish up the record. We got the first draft of a completed song in our email box, and it sounds phenomenal. The song will be the last one on the record, and it's the one that this, this, and this were all constructed for. It has a very unfortunate working title of "IMDB" (long story), which needs to change soon.

Speaking of which, the working titles of the songs we have left to record are:
-If you didn't want to know (titled that because it is the first line of chorus)
-Tell me everything you know (see above)
-5/4 (bet you can't guess why this is the working title)
-new song 1 (because it is the first new song we wrote while we were there)
-new song 2 (bet you can't guess why this is the working title)

Okay, so we have been dropping the ball on the working titles, but for Flashlights the working title to "In Our Sleep" was "groove jam" and it does NOT get any worse than that.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We're so lucky

The last thing Aaron and I saw before the right side of the van hit the pavement of oncoming traffic was an unmistakably bright red semi coming our way. I was absolutely certain in the next moment was going to be my/our last. It wasn't until Ryan (who was now half against the dashboard/ half against the front seats) asked if everyone was ok when I realized that we were once again upright, across the highway, and safe.

Aaron did so well handling the blowout. Last night before falling asleep all I could do was imagine what it would feel like to be behind the wheel making the split second decisions that ultimately determined everything. Just envisioning that thought alone was terrifying enough for me. I'm so proud of Aaron. I'm so fortunate. My 3 best friends are ok.


Monday, July 23, 2007

you know when you have one of those days where something happens to you and you consider it a new chapter in life? starting tomorrow, i can begin using the phrase, "oh, that was after i flipped our van over."

like the other three, i still can't believe we made it out as easily as we did.

thanks, everyone for your concern.

The next one will be our fourth van

I am alive.
Tomorrow I will be home.

Right now the other dudes are watching Arrested Development in the other room.
I am going to join them shortly.
I can't believe how lucky we are to be alive.

We just totaled our van

We left Chris Walla's house at 1 PM on Sunday and started the 29 hour drive from Portland, OR to Edwardsville, IL to come home from recording. At about 5:15 on 80 East near Beaver Crossing, NE our back right tire exploded. Aaron was driving, Norm was in the front seat, and Griffin and I were laying down on the bench seats. I woke up when the tire blew. We were going 80 in a 75, totally with the flow of traffic, and at that speed Aaron had a hard time controlling the vehicle after the blow-out.

We drove across the median towards oncoming traffic, and as soon as we hit the westbound part of the highway the van flipped over. We did a complete flip and luckily landed right back on our wheels and drove into the grass on the other side of the highway. 5 of the 9 windows broke, and the top is dented to shit. Our van is completely totaled, and will be living in a junkyard in York, NE until it eventually turns into a tightly compacted box.


-Nobody was hurt. NOBODY. A few cuts here and there and a little scraping but really nothing. For an 80 mile-per-hour big van flipping over, that's amazing. When we eventually stopped, everybody was pretty much where they were in the van before the blowout.

-The folks that were behind us when we blew out followed us to make sure we were okay and informed us that we were just a few feet from an oncoming truck when we flipped over the other lane.

-All of our equipment is fine. Our van is insured. It's just stuff, who gives a shit.

-We were near Lincoln, NE where we have friends. Our pal Kim and Al, the father of Darren Keen (aka. The Show is the Rainbow) came and picked us up and our equipment. My dad will be coming out here to take us home.

I can't believe that we survived this like we did. I was asleep until the tire blew, and i didn't have time to react. It's all pretty surreal and we're all pretty shaken and our bodies are starting to get sore and pissed off at us. We will be home tomorrow, and life will resume as normally as it can.

Griffin took some pretty great pictures of the van, and we'll put them up soon so you can see the carnage.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Last Day in Portland!

Today is the final day of recording in Portland. Today is dedicated to group vocals, final percussion overdubs, and getting rough mixes of all the songs for recording vocals at our house in a few weeks. Points of interest:

-We broke early last night to go see Tegan and Sara. Chris and Rachel brought us, and i didn't know what to expect having never really heard them before, but i was VERY surprised and impressed. Their new record, which Chris did at the house right before doing ours, sounds great and I think I'm going to end up listening to it a whole lot. Tegan and Sara are both very kind people, and their band and crew just made us feel good. High fives all around.

-Robbie Skrocki came down for the day and is hanging out with us while we finish up at Chris's house. Always great to see him.

-The band Vampire Weekend is playing tonight and subsequently staying at Chris's place. I hope we get to meet them, since they're a good band and seem like good dudes as well.

-We are not prepared for the 36 hour drive we will be starting tomorrow morning.

-We kind of forgot about the So Many Dynamos blind karaoke for a while, but i think when we get home we'll put up a song and the lyrics and see what happens. Who's in?

Friday, July 20, 2007


This is kind of a big deal. It's come to our attention that in order to finish the record in the next 2 days we would have to either: a) stress out even more than we already are or b) cut some corners.

We have a new plan. The record will NOT be finished in Portland at Chris's house. We will do everything we can to the 5 songs with vocals on them and try to record one more while we're here, and then finish the record 2 weeks from now at our house in Edwardsville, IL. Chris will fly out with a microphone, a pre-amp, and a compressor and do the vocals on the 8 track (technically 7 track) tape machine we've been borrowing from him to do demos.

This is a huge relief and simultaneously a huge bummer, as I definitely wanted to have everything done here and get to stop obsessing over it. So now I get to obsess less intensely over a longer period of time. The album will be better as a result. This is a good thing.

Here are the lyrics to a song called "Glaciers", that Aaron is doing some vocals for at this very moment in the room directly below me.

Glaciers will melt but we'll be alright
We still have novels and songs to write
We'll go on living just like we do
We'll keep evolving if we have to

Earthquakes will finish what's been started
We'll make a point to disregard it
We'll go on living like we always do

Landslides will keep us from ignoring
We'll still be here tomorrow morning
We'll go on living like we always do

oh, and i made the blog gray and orange. I hope you're okay with that.

Day 666

Did anybody see White Rabbits last night on Letterman? AWESOME! It was so surreal seeing those dudes in that setting. If you missed it, it's already on the youtube because the internet is insane.

Last night we recorded our 5th song with vocals (working title "Out of this Party"). We have today and tomorrow to finish vocals, and I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now that 60% of our songs have lyrics finished. Hope to hit at least 80% by the end of the night. This probably seems completely irresponsible, but it's just how we roll. When we were recording "Flashlights" we spent about a month and a half on vocals, just because most of it wasn't written. During the last few hours of the "When I Explode" sessions, i was running sheets of lyrics over to Aaron and he was recording them pretty much as he was reading them for the first time. We wouldn't have it any other way.

5 songs, 2 days. It can happen.

We have been staying in the bachelor-pad-esque basement of Norm's Uncle Don. It's been fun, and the whole family was great to us. Somehow there would be 2 budweisers in the mini-fridge every night, and if they both got drank there would be 2 more the next night. I blame the beer fairy.

I started liking a chihuahua, which i didn't think would ever happen. His name is Cooper and I took this excellent picture of him yawning.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 5

Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit we only have 3 more days to finish this record. Norm is downstairs doing some auxiliary percussion stuff and i've been obsessively pacing trying to finish up the lyrics for the songs we have left (vocals status: 4 recorded, 1 written but not recorded, 3 almost finished, 2 barely started). Trying to finish up at least 2 by the end of the day.

Our record is freaked out. It doesn't know if its lyrics will get finished in time, and it doesn't know who is going to put it out.

Our record is having a midlife crisis. It will buy a Miata soon and start listening to Linkin Park really loudly while it drives through the neighborhood. It will start exercising too much and will make its own Myspace page and add its own children as friends. It just bought 3 pairs of Oakleys. I'm worried.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time for some photos

Here are a few photos of some things Ryan mentioned in his last few posts:

Norm playing a trash can (taken by Aaron).

Dude's got a tambourine on his foot (Also taken by Aaron).

A lot of sweet effects pedals
(note the blue hockey punck distortion pedal in the upper right hand corner)


Chris is in the processof pluggin every piece of outboard equipment in.
Look how happy he is!

Chris taped a mic to the casio for the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sample.
Ryan is pleased.

Aside from the activities in the above photos today's work rests mostly on Aaron and his vocal chords. This has allowed me some free time. The highlights of my day have involved eating an awesome turkey bacon cheddar sandwich (heart attack) and drinking lots of coffee.
We are currently making plans to get some cheap wine and getting "mom drunk."
Should be fun.

Day 4, early

Today we recorded the intro to one of the new songs. Here are the ingredients:

-Drum set consisting of a trash can, a tambourine, a snare-less snare drum, and a lot of reverb
-Somewhere between 6-8 tracks of guitar feedback/synth noises
-The "celesta" and "clarinet" sounds on Chris's white Casio
-A surprisingly rhythmic sample we made on our Casio sampling keyboard of the sirens from cop cars chasing Griffin on Grand Theft Auto
-The "dog bark" sound from the same Casio keyboard, running through EVERY piece of outboard gear that Chris has in his basement

We're actually recording guitars and keyboards and drums normally too, these things are just a lot more fun to talk about. Today Aaron will record vocals for 3 songs (working titles: "If You Didn't Want To Know", "IMDB", and "Ghostsong"), putting us at the halfway point on completed songs! Hurray!

And sorry about the self deprecating cry for attention of "is anybody reading this blog?" in the last post. It's pretty embarrassing in hindsight.

We'll have more pictures up today, hopefully. And for the record, we did NOT record any Thor Axe songs while we were in San Francisco. That's our project for when we get home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day 333333333333333

There is an excellent Mexican restaurant called "Ole Frijole" that is a short walk from Alberta Court. I went there yesterday for an epic fish chimichanga. Seriously.

Today i walked the opposite direction and wound up eating at a different Mexican place, which i regret for the following reasons: 1. it wasn't as good as Ole Frijole, 2. the carne asada kind of tasted like sloppy joe meat, and 3. i have eaten Mexican food twice in two days, therefore disqualifying it as a food option for the next few days, therefore disqualifying Ole Frijole from being eaten by me in the near future. Bummer.

Big thanks to the spellcheck on Norm's computer for reminding me to capitalize the M in Mexican, and for pointing out that "spellcheck" is not really a word.


-I finished up all of my guitar parts today. Griffin is about to start on his, and then Aaron will sing a song tentatively called "If You Didn't Wanna Know". Hopefully this title will change.

-The record really does sound great. Chris is phenomenal and has great ears and even greater ideas. And he has more pedals and weird boxes to destroy sounds than i've seen in one place.

-I recorded an acoustic guitar track today, to be mixed in very very quietly amidst other loud things on the album. Acoustic guitars and pianos are 2 instruments we've sworn to never use on a record, but the time came and rules were made to be broken/followed until they're boring.

-There are only a few secrets to this record, and i have a feeling our blog would be a lot more interesting if we could share them. But alas, there's no fun in that. Does anybody read this anymore, or has this gone the way of Stlpunk and Friendster?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 2

Day numbering has restarted in Portland. We will be here for a maximum of 7 days, in which time we must have our record completed. This is what the professionals call "crunch time".

Aaron is recording all of his non-bass keyboard parts today so from here on he can concentrate exclusively on vocals. He only has one or two more to do today and after that, i finish all of my guitar parts so i can concentrate exclusively on finishing up lyrics for Aaron to sing. If i finish up at a reasonable hour, Aaron will start recording vocals for a song. I can't tell you the name of the song, not because it's untitled, just because we're selfish like that.

Walla has a pretty epic music library room, and today i brought in a portable cd player and invented a game. The rules are: take off glasses, grab a cd at random, put in cd and press play, start listening, put glasses back on and find out what it is. It's a fun game, and i was expecting to listen to a bunch of crazy new shit i've never heard but so far it's only been Superdrag, Interpol, and Bjork.

There is a venue in Buffalo, New York called "Mohawk Place". In the band hospitality area, there is a wall covered in pig-themed-band-name puns (ie. And you will know us by the trail of ham, Death Ham For Cutie). Long story short, the best one was "Pjork".

Griffin just showed up with frozen pizza and beer. I'm pretty sure folks have been named saints for less. Peace.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

(chris's) HOME SWEET (chris's) HOME

The daily schedule for the rest of the record is pretty much this:

-pick 2 songs
-finish up all the overdubs we want to do for those songs
-have Aaron sing those songs

Which means that every day we'll spend maybe an hour per person doing the overdubs needed to get the instrumental for the song done and the rest of the day is all Aaron, so this week is going to kind of suck for Aaron. But alas, such is recording vocals.

Chris lives in a pretty nice area of Portland in a very nice house. In the basement is the control room and anything that gets a microphone put in front of it goes in the adjacent spare room, which i have passed out in before. When you turn left at the kitchen to go downstairs, you're greeted with a Canadian gold record for "Plans".

Today we recorded vocals for "Glaciers". It's 3 minutes long, and is like if "Search Party" and "Home is where the box wine" is had a baby, and that baby was very friendly.

Good Bye Bay Area

Friday morning we woke up early and loaded everything out of Tiny Telephone, making way for Steve Fisk and Wooden Wand. From what we hear Nells Cline and the guitar player from Deerhoof are among some of the people lined up to do some "session work." Things should turn out pretty interesting.

We then went with Sam and his ( and now our) friend Kris, to the beach.
It was a pretty ideal thing to do on our first day off after 11 consecutive 12 hour days in the studio (give or take an hour or two). I am a big fan of days at the beach, and despite getting a little burned on my shoulders it was the best thing I could have possibly been doing that afternoon.

After the beach we said our goodbyes to Sam. Over the past week and a half we've been absurdly lucky in getting to stay with Sam and getting to know him and his friends. Prior to our departure for the west coast I was a little more than anxious about where we would be staying. Even if I tried I could not have imagined how great things ended up working out. Staying there was like a sweet dude summer camp and part of me is sad it's over. Definately gonna miss those dudes.

We then made out way to a family friends house up in The Presidio. It was terribly pleasant. We hung out, had a drink, then went out for what were probably the best hamburgers of our lives. Perhaps that's an over-exaggeration, perhaps not. After dinner we trekked up to Sacramento and stayed with our friends Aaron and Evan of Brilliant Red Lights. As always it was great to see them. They are also on the list of sweet dudes who've helped us out while in a bind.

Sunday afternoon we made the boring ass drive from Sacramento to Eugene (about 9 hours) and stayed with a friend along with his 2 adorable fat cats, and one lovable pug. We caught a few minutes of the show Prehistoric Park. Totally ridiculous.

While in Eugene I tried to find my bag of all my clothes so I could do some much needed laundry, only to find it missing. Hopefully it turns up at either Sam or Aaron's place and I can persuade them to mail it to me (and of course pay them back) while I am in Portland. Otherwise its the same pair of pants, underwear, and Mark McGwire shirt until I get home in about a week and a half. Talk about feeling like an idiot...

This morning we awoke around ten and arrived at Chris's House a few hours later.More about that to come in a shorter and/or more interesting post.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day 11 - goodbye Tiny Telephone

It's been fun and (mostly) productive, but today is our last day at Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco. We have tomorrow off, and then we drive on Saturday to Portland and being recording on Sunday at Alberta Court (fancy way of saying "Chris's House").

The last 2 days have been dedicated to finishing up things that are reliant on the equipment here. Yesterday, I did all of my guitar fixes and most of my overdubs and today was Griffin's turn. Right now Aaron is recording lead lines on the keyboards here that we don't own: Moog Prodigy, Moog Source, Crumar organ thing that sounds awesome.

I was worried for a day or so, but Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke, the only blog I read religiously, is back up and running.

Our biggest project yesterday was mostly finishing up what's going to be the last song on our record, which is the song that this and this were made for. We wanted to put something at the end of it, kind of inspired by the guitar-that-doesn't-sound-like-a-guitar solo on "Born Under Punches" by the Talking Heads. Guitar solos have been against the rules for us for a while, but we wanted that kind of effect. Here's the recipe for what we (mostly Chris) did:

1. record and album's worth of material
2. play segments of the album to a tape machine, slowing down and speeding up parts to taste
3. splice up segments of the tape to increments of the tempo of the song
4. place tape segments in a box
5. mix up box
6. pull tape segments out at random and tape them together
7. play tape back
8. insert tape collage into song
9. high five everybody in the room

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Day 10

So, yes. It's true. This is my first post. I would have done it sooner, but it seems as if the other dudes always beat me to the punch. Oh, well.

Today is my 23rd birthday. It's kind of funny. Since we've started touring full time, I haven't been home for my birthday in the past four years. It's kind-of-like-but-not-exactly-the-same-as being in grade school and having a summer birthday and never being able to bring cupcakes. Geminis, Cancers, Leos, Virgos, I know you feel my pain. Tonight should be fun, though. Our buds, Light This City, are back home from tour and are in San Francisco. Laura, the singer, will be celebrating her 21st birthday tonight at midnight. So, a joint celebration (no pun intended, at least not this time) is in order for the evening. I think i heard somebody mention something about an 80's night?

As the others have mentioned, the basic tracking has been finished and we've started diving into the wild and exciting world of overdubs. What this means is Norm doesn't have shit to do, Ryan finds ways to occupy his time, and Griffin and I play San Andreas when we're not recording our own parts. Tomorrow is our last day here at Tiny Telephone, but Friday is our last day in the Bay Area. It'll be unfortunate to leave our new friend, Sam, but I know for a fact we'll be seeing him the near future. He definitely saved us on this trip and for that we are forever in debt. We'll be heading to Portland on Saturday to continue recording and mixing and whatnot. The tentative date that we'll be home is July 24th. I can't imagine being any more pleased with the process thus far and although part of me will be sad when it is over, I am definitely looking forward to doing NOTHING during the months of August and September.

I guess I should go and start paying more attention to what Ryan is recording. Eh. On second thought, I think I'll just watch Griffin decapitate policemen with a sniper rifle.


I can not tell you how happy I am that all of the drum tracking is finished. All of the sounds Chris got are unbelievable. There wasn't a moment in drum tracking when I didn't feel that Chris was a step ahead in the thought process of finding the right sound for every piece equipment for every mix of every song. The drum sounds on every track are very distinguishable from each other. Here are some photos of just some of what has been going on in drum world and studio world.


The bass drum is about to give birth to a beautiful baby snare drum.


roto tom, big purple jam block, ribbon crasher, and one fucked up looking snare drum with a contact mic taped to the head.


Don't let anyone fool you. We have easily spent twice much time hanging out on a comfortable purple couch not doing shit while Chris plays music from his itunes than we have making a record.


Chris escapes from Wizard Prison and finds a pole




I'll tell you. Chris is putting a mic in this tube that is pointing straight at the cinder block that is sitting on top of the bass drum with a piece of wood taped to the front head that is currently giving labor to a snare drum. When the drums are being played, the tube creates a pitch that lands some slightly higher than a G#. The song is in G, and we want the tube to be an A so what we have to do is record the song slower at 116 bpm and speed the song back up to its original tempo of 120 bpm. Fucked up? Yes. Awesome? Totally.


Aaron killing people on Grand Theft Auto


oh cool... guitars...


Anyway. More drums


Bells on snare drum.


Chris inside the booth with a cup of wine super glued to his hand. This is also the beginning stages of what is known as "Fuck It Mode"


This is the best I could do to capture Chris's "Mr. Happy Pants Dance". Fuck it mode in full effect.


And here's a really sweet hovercraft.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


We just finished tracking the last song, and it sounds like summer.

Mics are getting torn down, amp stations are about to be set up, overdubs are about to happen, San Francisco is cool and sunny, and i'm wearing one of my favorite shirts, a navy blue and white striped t with buttons on the front and slits on the side. It is a women's shirt, and there is a rumor going around our band that it might be considered advanced.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Day 8, early evening

We're on a break so we can order Chinese food. There's a place called Yum Yum house and it's phenomenal, and they love delivering to the studio. Or they're at least impartial.

This slippery 10th song is almost almost almost finished. We've run the gamut from "mid-tempo rocker" to "weird dance song" and finally landed on "breezy summer jam". As of now, we have the first 4 minutes of the song figured out and now we just have to figure out the last 15-25 seconds and it's DONE.

It's going to be such a relief to finish all the basic tracking and go on to overdubs. Chris suggested we record a Thor Axe song in celebration. I don't think he knows what he's in for.

IT HAS BEEN OVER A WEEK AND WE STILL HAVEN'T MENTIONED SAM ONCE IN THIS BLOG, WHICH IS A TRAVESTY. Sam is the guy we've been staying with every day since we got here. He runs a home studio, and we've been sleeping on his couches or in the tracking room (no windows awesome soundproofing). It's hard to really describe, but leaving the studio, driving only 20 minutes to his place, and then just chilling out like we would if we were at home has been such a morale booster. He is in an elite group of people unabashedly referred to as "sweet dudes". Also, his friend Chris drew and framed an awesome picture of a turtle and gave it to me as a gift.

Time to eat some basil chicken and watch Aaron play Grand Theft Auto. He found the cheat code to use a jetpack. Yessss.

Day 7

It's been a week, and we have all the songs but one tracked. The problem is the untracked song is also the unwritten song..... After this next one is written and tracked, we start overdubs and messing around with keyboards and guitar sounds and noises and ambience, which will be very fun but for now there's an oddly haunting voice that keeps saying "We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow." I think tomorrow is going to involve a lot of head scratching and a lot of Brian Eno cards.

We finished up the last of the embryo songs, and it's going to be the last track on the record. Pretty exciting, and the most bizarre drum setup we've done. It involves bells attached to a guitar string on the snare drum, a 5 foot metal cylinder with a mic at the end of it, and some contraption that makes the bass drum look like it's about to give birth. This time we recorded the song at a different tempo and then sped it up a bit to make the note we get through the big cylinder in pitch with the rest of the song. I'm pretty sure these guys did that a few times. Pictures soon.

We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow. We have to write a song tomorrow.

I am 90% sure i'm going crazy.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Day 6 update

Right now Norm is recording the drum track for one of 2 songs on the record that we aren't tracking live with everybody in the room. That puts me in chill-out mode on the most comfortable couch in San Francisco.

Today's summary:

-Finished tracking on one song (working title "If You Didn't Want to Know"). We had Norm play this song about 10 beats per minute too fast and then slowed it down and recorded the guitars and keys over the slowed down track. I think these guys did that a few times.

-Chris tore out a picture of Knut, a baby polar bear, and taped it to a window in the control room. Total morale booster.

-We went to a pizza place around the corner called Papa Potrero's. Singlehandedly the worst place I've eaten at in 2007, and we're pretty sure it's a front for something really sketchy. The most remarkable thing about Papa Potrero's is that all the signs around the restaurant are inaccurate:

a) They have a gigantic sign facing the street that advertises a happy hour special that doesn't exist.
b) They accepted our credit card as a form of payment despite the "CASH ONLY. NO CARDS. DON'T ASK" sign.
c) Norm used the bathroom even though he didn't purchase anything, therefore devaluing the "BATHROOMS ARE FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY" sign.
d) They had a shitty salad bar. There wasn't a sign that said "OUR SALAD BAR IS NOT SHITTY" or anything, but it should still be noted.

By this logic, I'm going to assume that they don't serve Modelo, their medium pizza isn't actually as big as the pan on the wall, and they don't deliver.

-I had to sit down while playing a song to properly use the Whammy pedal, which made me feel totally totally lame. Sidenote: the Whammy pedal has become an essential piece of equipment for the songs on this record.

-Griffin already mentioned this, but we seriously tried to get a gong into the studio today. Chris called up Guitar Center and the one sided conversation i heard was "Hello, may I talk to you have a gong?, I don't have a specific size in mind, just a big-ass gong.....okay, great thanks!"

-For a while we've been talking about the theory of advancement, which is really fascinating and hilarious. It's hard to think of things that are advanced, but we're pretty sure Travis Morrison is advanced and MAYBE the second half of "Trapped in the Closet" is as well. Midgets=advancement
I'd like to start off my first post by stating that I hate the word "blog."

That said, yesterday was fun, despite our second failed attempt to write a mid-tempo rock song.
I wanted to write an account of what happened after we returned from the bar, however I can't recall everything with great clarity. This is due in great part to Aaron sitting on my chest and force feeding me 100 proof vodka that was leftover in the mini fridge.
Aside from tracking another song (two in one day!) yesterdays other highlight was Chris super gluing a cup of wine to his hand.
That's dedication.

Todays' agenda includes tracking two songs and possibly doing some Rat Cat Hogan songs for Chris's contribution to the Rat Cat Hogan/Long Winters/Chris Walla plays Rat Cat Hogan vinyl only release from People In A Position To Know. Totally sweet.

If everything goes as planned we will meet JV's mom today.
This should make up for not getting to buy a gong .
More pictures to come soon.

For the record

We did NOT meet John Vanderslice's mom today.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Q and A

Q: What do you do if you spend 4 hours at a studio aimlessly trying to figure out an idea for the 10th song for your new record and still have nothing and are insanely burnt out?

A: Walk 2 blocks, share a pitcher of beer with your bandmates, watch some of the Giants/Cardinals game, play a horrendous game of pool that takes 8 minutes for somebody to hit a ball in and figure out who is "solids" and who is "stripes", lose 25 cents on a shitty baseball themed pinball machine, get fake interviewed at the bar by a crazy dude who thinks he is a radio DJ (in full-on radio DJ voice), hear the loudest and most distracting mariachi music of all time, take a shot of Jameson, give the fake DJ a fake phone number, walk back to the studio, listen to 3 Fleetwood Mac songs, and start recording a song you've been playing live for 2 years.

Everything described in "A" will take place in the course of 45 minutes.

ALSO: if your name is "Matt Freundlich" and a guy named "Vaughn" gives you a phone call trying to sell you weed because a guy named "Ryan" gave him your phone number instead of his own as a prank, sorry dude.

Day 4 recap

So we didn't post more than daily after all. Today will be the day, i SWEAR.

I think we're on a rotation of 1 really amazing productive day and 1 really defeating leaving-the-studio-completely-burnt-out day. Today is day 5, so hopefully we'll be back to amazing productive day. We have one song to write from scratch and one song to finish and then we can go on to, uh....writing lyrics.

Yesterday we finished tracking "Ghostsong (working title)". Gibson SG, Micromoog, G&L Telecaster with an allen wrench under the strings on the 5th fret, drums going through an octave pedal, and cymbals with red tape on them. After that we tried to start working on a new song but didn't make any ground. We want a mid-tempo party jam, the kind where hands get thrown up in the air as a sign of apathy.

We might meet John Vanderslice's mom today.

Conversation that happened with the car next to us in the carpool lane toll line at the Bay Bridge:
Red headed kid in back of car: Hey! What's your favorite food.
Us: PIZZA!!!!!
Red headed kid in back of car: Are you guys in a band?
Us: Yes.
Red headed kid's dad: What is the name of the band?
Us: So Many Dynamos.
Red headed kid's dad: Are you playing in town?
Us: No, we're recording.
Red headed kid's dad: Oh, where at?
Us: Tiny Telephone
Red headed kid's dad: Is Scott doing it?
Us: No, Chris is.
Red headed kid's dad: Okay. Is that the studio that John Vanderslice runs?
Us: Yeah, it is!

and then our cars were too far apart to continue talking. This event was strange because a. the chances of pulling up next to a guy who's familiar with the recording studio you're working at is an INSANE coincidence and b. even 8 year olds can tell that we reak of "band".

Sidenote: 4 and a half years of doing this, and we still don't have a good answer for when some random dude at a gas station is like "y'all in a band? cool, what do you sound like?" That's why we're trying to sound more like Weezer. So we can say "we kind of sound like Weezer."

Sidenote: By the way, we're trying to sound more like Weezer.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Day 3: feelin' alright

After posting those photos yesterday, we wrote and recorded a new song. It kind of sounds like a darker version of "Hey Ya!", and i am totally okay with that.

In a previous post, we talked about different songwriting methods on this record, and it's been working. The guitar part on this new song was constructed by taking the numbers you'd have to hit to write our band name in a text message (for example, s=7 7 7 7), assigning each number to the steps of the C major scale, and just playing the melody in consecutive eighth notes. It's an added bonus that the melody is the same forwards and backwards.

This is the first time we've ever recorded with a producer. Everybody we've done stuff with have been straight-up engineers, and although everybody puts their own little stamp on things, they've stayed completely out of the writing and arranging process. I was a little nervous about writing songs with a producer, only because we've never done it before. The way it's been going down so far is we've just been writing together in the big tracking room the same way we would in our basement, with Chris sending us occassional messages over the headphones. It's great because when we hit something cool, he lets us know and if something sucks, he does too. Also, we tend to try to over-complicate things and Chris has been really helpful with a good "why not just double the melody" and "try that 8 times instead of 4" here and there.

Current song status:
number of completely finished songs (music and lyrics): 2 [4 points per song]
number of mostly finished songs (music and some lyrics): 4 [3 points per song]
number of embryo songs (music, very few lyrics): 2 [2 points per song]
number of eggs of songs (some music, no lyrics): 1 [1 point per song]
targeted number of songs on record: 10

Ideal song score: 40 points
Current song score: 25 points
amount of days left at Tiny Telephone - 8

Hoping to track one of the mostly finished songs (working title "Ghostsong") today and either turn the embryo into a song or start a new one from scratch.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Time for some photos

Finished basic tracking for song 2, "Glaciers". Micromoog, Gibson SG, Gretch Malcom Young, cymbals, drums with paper taped to them. Here's some photos:

Our busted-ass tire, which severed our coolant line and stranded us in Wyoming.

Chris burning sage by recommendation of Nick Harmer to keep our bad-luck spirits from the past away.



Microphone (in focus), Drums (out of focus).

Aaron, Norm, Ryan, Tiny Telephone.

Chris and the "draw-a-chord-and-an-instruction-out-of-the-cup" songwriting method. No songs were written this way, despite our attempt to find the "A# minor Fuck yeah" chord.

Day 2 recap - Back to life, back to reality

The first day of recording was pretty surreal in hindsight. We've been spending so much time on the freaking-out-about-getting-the-songs-written side that we kind of forgot that we GET to make a record.

Day 2 was a lot trickier. We entered the studio with 6 songs finished, 2 songs half-written, and 2 or 3 songs left to write. We finished writing one of the half songs, and spent the rest of the day trying to generate ideas for new songs. Techniques included pulling-chords-out-of-a-hat, listening to shit backwards, good old Oblique Strategies cards, and the dreaded process of "jamming". We have 5 minutes of something that could either go Talking Heads or Radiohead if done properly and spy movie if not. There's a song in there somewhere.

Highlights of the day:

-Chris running outside with a mic to record the fireworks the neighbors were shooting off
-Finding out that said neighbors make the machines/robots that Mythbusters use for their experiments
-Discovering the "Eventide Harmonizer" box, subsequently making our 100th reference to Brian Eno so far
-Getting the first legitimate call from a "label guy" that we've ever had

Well rested, about to take on day 3. Will attempt to post more than once daily from now on.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Day 1

After 2 break-downs, 2 tow truck rides, and 2,000 miles (900 of them without air conditioning) we arrived yesterday morning at Tiny Telephone. We were greeted with hugs from Mr. Walla and met John Vanderslice (sweet dude and TT owner) and Jay Pellicci (excellent engineer who helped us/Chris out on the first day).

First days are always weird. Lots of trying out different guitars and amps and pedals and keyboards and mics and cymbals and changing drum heads. We spent most of the day working on drum sounds, and then listened to "Tired of Sex" by Weezer in the control room and essentially started over. At the end of the day, we had everything sounding pretty great and started working on the first song.

What has been personally exciting for me thus far is that we've been loosely following Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards on our arrangements. These are cards with simple messages like "Ask your body" and "Don't be afraid of cliches" meant to help when you get stuck on something in the studio. It's a pretty fun way to think and we haven't been totally stuck on anything yet.

Today is REALLY the first day of actually working pretty hard and playing a ton. QUESTION: If we were to put up the instrumental demo of one of our new songs, and the lyrics but without any reference to the melody of the song and did "So Many Dynamos blind karaoke" where anyone who reads this blog can record their own vocals to it and send it in and we'll post the mp3 online, would anybody actually do it? We thought it'd be fun, just wondering.

Monday, July 2, 2007


This morning was scary.

We woke up early, went to Wal-Mart (god bless) to get a new tire, and started driving. About 6 miles down the road we started overheating, due to the quick-fix we did on our coolant hose breaking and releasing all of our fluid. Breaking down in Utah on a Sunday is pretty unfortunate. We got a tow truck to Coalville, UT where we were told that it was impossible to get the part we needed to fix the hose until a Ford dealership opens tomorrow, which means that instead of starting recording at 11 AM on Monday, we would be starting a 10 hour drive to San Francisco at 11 AM on Monday. The most important thing in our lives up to this point has been being there at 11 AM on Monday to start recording. It was the realization that it might not happen, and it was scary.

Luckily, the good 'ol boys that towed us were able to put a kink in the line to keep the fluids in, so we made the drive (sans air conditioning) and now i am miraculously writing from a computer in Santa Rosa, CA, an hour from SF.

2 crazy conversations with tow truck drivers:

Driver 1, male, approximately 60 years old, Evanston WY
Driver: You guys travel a lot, then?
Us: yeah, we do.
Driver: Me too. My wife and I do as much traveling as we can.
Us: Oh Yeah? Where was the most recent place you've been?
Driver: We went to Australia. It was great.
Us: Cool. We really want to go there.
Driver: Yeah, it's a neat place. My wife and I went scuba diving and our instructor got eaten by a shark.
Us: WHAT?!?! Are you serious?
Driver: Yep. He went out there to check the waters and a shark got him. All the other sharks came up from behind and finished him off. There was nothing of him left.
Us: Did you see him get eaten?
Driver: Nah, just saw the commotion. So, i didn't end up scuba diving there after all.

Driver 2, male, approximately 26 years old, Coalville, UT
Us: WOAH!!! What was that on the side of the road? That looked like a fucking huge dog!
Driver: It was an elk.
Us: Man....i feel bad for the guy who hit that thing. Did you have to tow him?
Driver: Yeah, had to take him all the way back to Cheyenne, WY.

I know story 2 is a little more of a "you-had-to-be-there", but referencing roadkill to the guy who towed the dude who caused it is a pretty insane coincidence.

ALSO i had a personal moment of triumph today when, while waiting for the tow truck driver, a train passed by us and i ran beside it and did a hobo jump onto it for about 10 seconds and jumped off. Hurt my ankle a bit and i got a lot of dirt in my sock, but it was totally totally worth it.

ALSO we are going to start making a record tomorrow, with the same guy who's done a ton of records that we think sound amazing. It's just now sinking in.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

song status - 06/30/07

number of completely finished songs (music and lyrics): 2 [4 points per song]
number of mostly finished songs (music and some lyrics): 2 [3 points per song]
number of embryo songs (music, very few lyrics): 2 [2 points per song]
number of eggs of songs (some music, no lyrics): 2 [1 point per song]
targeted number of songs on record: 10

Ideal song score: 40 points
Current song score: 20 points
amount of driving hours left to drink a bunch of coffee and try to make up some shit: 12

BONUS LIST: names of beers drank this evening in hotel room in Evanston, WY by us (not including a visit from Sir Jim Beam):

Blue Paddle
Skinny Dip
Sunset Wheat
Bitch Creek
Frambois Lambic

best name award: Skinny Dip/Bitch Creek (tie)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

DAY 2 Driving (a little)

Today I woke up to Aaron calling out, "hey dudes, it 11:30". Needless to say, staying up hanging out till 5:30 put a damper on our "lets try to leave at noon" idea. What else is new?

We drove for what didn't seem like too long before we stopped for gas and food. Lunch consisted mostly of us sharing ONE WHOLE CHICKEN PURCHASED FOR $2.00 at Walmart. Surprisingly succulent. After lunch we hit the road back on good old I-80 in an attempt to get the hell out of Wyoming, but anybody who has ever driven through Wyoming knows you can't just pass through without stopping at Little America Travel Center for 50 cent ice cream cones.

About 55 miles after leaving our favorite travel center we pulled over to check out some abnormal van shaking. All seemed normal so we got back in the van. 30 seconds later BOOM! followed by the sound of our van's fat ass dragging on the highway. Long story short, our rear tire exploded and messed up some fluid hoses. We then waited almost 2 hours for the tow truck to arrive. The most fortunate part of this story is that we used this time to talk over and come up with ideas for the record.

Anyway, after a harder than it should have be tire change we somehow got towed to another walmart, got a makeshift fix on our hoses, found a motel, visited our second "beer cave" of the day, and managed to grill burgers and stir fry in the room all within the last few hours. And now, its time to watch man vs. wild, drink some beer, and go to bed.