Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's Bacharaching?

I'm a HUGE Burt Bacharach fan. He's a guilty pleasure that I feel absolutely no guilt about. I mean, just look at him:


Anyway, today I typed "Burt" into my iTunes search bar and "Slow Jamz" by Kanye West and Twista showed up! This is interesting, because Burt Bacharach is one of the best songwriters of all time and "Slow Jamz" is one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. I did some research, and that song is built from a sample of Luther Vandross (the pitch-shifted "are you gonna be, are you gonna be, are you gonna beeeeee, well well well well" is Mr. Vandross chipmunked-up by Mr. West in the studio). The Luther Vandross track that the sample came from is his version of Burt Bacharach's "A House Is Not A Home." YES!!!

ANYWAY, we just got added to a Russian Circles show in Chicago this upcoming Saturday, July 5. RS is doing 2 shows in a day, an all ages one and a 21+ one. We've been invited to play with them on the all ages bill, an early show that starts at 7 PM. We're very excited because we're overdue to play Chicago and also we get to hear Russian Circles play "Death Rides a Horse" really loudly for free. What more could you possibly want out of life?*

*(the answer to this rhetorical question is, of course, Russian Circles covering anything by Burt Bacharach. They could do a sweet stoner metal version of "What the World Needs Now Is Love". I'm sure of it)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I'm not sure who's seen this yet, but our friend Sam Pura sent me this link today and this is pretty unbelieveable. I would recommend skipping forward to about 1 minute in, since it starts kind of slow:

Big Ideas (don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No news is good news.

Actually, that's not true. No news is completely boring.

We've been getting ready for our Weezer Tribute band/Thor Axe show this Thursday, so we haven't been doing much with our real band. We just started rehearsing for our first video. We're playing a song in a different way and trying to do it as a one-take thing, so we have able to play it well.

If anybody is interested, the Weezer Tribute/Thor Axe show is taking place on Thursday at the Stagger Inn in Edwardsville. It's 21+ and starts at 9 PM. There's a very small cover charge. Thor Axe is probably the loudest thing that has ever been at the Stagger Inn, and we're probably going to piss off some hippies.

In the meantime, read this thing that I wrote today when I was insanely bored.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting there

Last night I mailed off the disc containing the files for our last (and longest) song to the mastering people. They'll get started on that later this week. When they are done the actual music that will eventually get burned onto cds and/or pressed onto vinyl will be complete, just shy of a year in the making.

This is really funny:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Clownvis Presley

I guess we were a bit far away at the RFT awards ceremony last night to notice that the announcer, Clownvis Presley, is the scariest thing that has ever lived:


Also, new Crawdaddy article is up.


We didn't win anything at the Riverfront Times awards last night. It was kind of a relief at the time, the awards ceremony was pretty uncomfortable and it would have been weird to have to go up there and make a speech. We witnessed a few clumsy acceptance speeches and a few that turned into pleas to the RFT of "how about an interview?" and "we want a cover story!" from the podium. The ceremony was hosted by "Clownvis", which is a clown/Elvis impersonator. Weird...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm waiting, with nothing to do. I'm wai-ay-ay-aiting, just a-waiting on you.

It appears that we're going through a period of time where a lot of little things are happening, but it feels like absolutely nothing is happening.

-We're playing a show later this month (June 26 to be exact) in Edwardsville, IL where we're performing a Weezer tribute set. It's been pretty fun to obsessively figure out how to play these songs, work on the vocal harmonies, and tweak our amps to make them sound as "Weezer-ish" as we can. We're only hitting the period between 1994-1998, so just Blue album, Pinkerton and a few key B-Sides. It will be a fun night, Thor Axe is opening the show.

-We're working out the ideas for our first Youtube video. The only thing I can say for sure is that it involves our dining room table.

-Tonight is the Riverfront Times Music Awards night at the Pageant in St. Louis. We're up for Best Indie Rock band and Best Live Act. I've never been able to attend the awards ceremony (Griffin and Aaron went last year I believe), so it should be fun. If we win, we'll be able to put it next to our "Best Indie Rock" award from 2006 on top of our toilet.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Things of potential interest

It's the third and final study period here at Gateway Medical Research. I'm listening to music and trying to pretend that looking at the same websites from 5-9 AM is still interesting. I decided last week to start my itunes at A and just let it go. It took me a day and a half to get to the B section. I'm currently on Cursive's Domestica, which still rules. Outside of my headphone world, the steady routine of blood draws and movies is commencing. On the overhead projector screen, Jim Carrey is incapable of lying.

We played the Riverfront Times Music Showcase on Sunday. Other than the extremely difficult heat and the equipment issues (it's hard to see those little red lights on your guitar pedals when the sun is shining on them), we had a good time. At least Say Panther and Target Market were excellent.

Here are some links:
Video interview of SMD from the festival with a short live clip
Pictures from our set at the festival
Little article Chris Walla wrote about us for a British music site
Death Cab performance on Minnesota Public Radio. About 8 minutes into this, they start talking about SMD and our lab-rat tendencies. It's cute!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gotta spend some time, love.

Yesterday, the 4 of us, along with Nicki (Griffin's lady), Annie (RFT music editor) and Clay (Target Market guitarist), went to Columbia, MO to see Death Cab For Cutie. An intense thunderstorm hit Columbia before we arrived and then started making its way east towards our van. You know when it's raining so hard that you can't see out of your windshield, your wipers can barely keep up, and the other vehicles around you just look like blurry taillights? It was one of those. In hindsight, we were actually fortunate to drive through it; the show was outside, and the most dedicated DCFC fans wound up being the most soaked.

Because of the rain, the show was delayed a few hours. Although we were one of the last few people to get through the gates (there was some drama/complication with the guestlist), we wound up getting a spot on the side of the stage right next to the crew folks. One of these crew members is Rachel Demy, who is currently tour-managing opening band Rogue Wave. Rachel lives with Chris Walla (they're, like, dating or something) and therefore lived with us for a week in July when we were making our record.

Whenever Death Cab took the stage, it was one of those "oh yeah, I really like this band" moments. I hadn't anticipated how excited we'd be when they pulled out something like "We Laugh Indoors" or "Photobooth." It brought out the 15 year old girl in all of us.

A drunk girl came up to our little corner of the crowd during the show and gave Aaron her camera and told him to take pictures of the band for her because she couldn't figure out how to use it. We were all standing next to a bit potted plant. Towards the end of the set, she was blatantly pissing on it.

We met up with Walla afterwards and got to hang out and talk some shop concerning our record. Norm drum-nerded out with Jason McGerr for a bit. They both had the same hat on. It was adorable. We had a drink with Rachel and Graham from Rogue Wave (sweet dude) at the Blue Note and then made the trek back to Edwardsville. Pulled into the driveway at 4:15 AM.

Now we're off to go play a hot, humid, sticky outside show at the Riverfront Times Music Showcase in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis. We're debuting our epic closer song and pulling out an old song we haven't played in ages. Wish us luck!