Monday, August 28, 2006

First rule of ENY: You don't talk about ENY. Wait, does this blog break the rule? Oops. Amazing that I could ruin a headline by breaking my own rules.

Alright, let me relax a moment and recount the last week in my brain. I will try hard to pull out all entertaining anecdotes found within.

And once again, I have come up empty.

I had a very good weekend though. Satruday saw myself and Amanda driving all over the Winter Park area. Found a cool coffee chop, relaxed by a fountain, saw the park where Doug wants us to take our new promo photos (someday!), and then we visited Targets, Wal-Mart, and a video game store for our amusement.
Sunday we packed up the van and headed up to our home-away-from home. The dry, barren, guaranteed-to-get-you-lost city of Ocala, FL to play a birthday show for our friend Jillian. We saw familiar faces and rocked the place. Whenever we play birthday shows (I think this makes about 4 total) we always like to do something interesting. For this particular birthday we decided it would be fun to have partygoers draw our songs from a hat to determine the order in which we would play them. After one song was over, another was pulled from the hat and played. Oddly enough, the people managed to pull the songs out of the hat in the order in which we normally play them. So much for "mixing it up."
Oh, and it was really hot.

Good times.

More on this story as it develops.

This weekend we return to Lakeland and then we invade the WPRK radio station and take over the airwaves. We'll mainly be playing our songs live on the air and possibly splicing in some Judas Priest tunes played backwards.

No one reads this.

Monday, August 21, 2006


This is Bob Moog.
He changed the way I think about and write music.
He changed the the way a lot of people think about and write music.
In fact, I'll go so far as to say that he just changed music.
He died a year ago today.

People ask me... "Wes, what's so great about this Moog stuff you always talk about?"

First off, I am NOT a keyboard player. I cannot sit down and play a piano. I can barely read music as it is.
What's so great about Moog Synthesizers and why do I make such a huge deal about them?

Let me ramble a bit:

I had always heard synthesizers on CD's that I listened to growing up. I would go so far as to say that my first introduction to them was probably from bands like Weezer and The Rentals. I thought Matt Sharp's use of Moogs on "The Return of the Rentals" was exciting and brilliant for that time. Amazing how these little monophonic keyboards could make a note or a sound that just rounded out the rest of the music.
Personally, I love them because after laughter, it's my favorite sound ever.
I find it amazing how different it is using an analog synth vs. a regular digital keyboard. Menu's and buttons have little personality. Analog synthesizers require you to use your ears and choose what sounds blend well rather than just going with a number on a little screen. You listen to and feel the way the frequencies blend together to create a rich, full sound. I love it when the highs scream and the lows rumble. There's something to be said about tweaking the knobs while you play. It's a fully interactive instrument, much like a guitar. I know it sounds crazy, but I've read some books and done a lot of research of the history of how the Moog synthesizer came to be. It's a fascinating story considering that the man who made them wasn't even considered a musician. It all started by him designing a box that made noise. Once musicians got ahold of it, they offered up suggestions on how to make it more user friendly for performance and Bob took those ideas and the synthesizer evolved into what it is today.
Having recently gotten my hands on the 55th Little Phatty ever made, it's so much fun to play even by itself. I can get lost just making noises for hours.

I don't use the term "genius" lightly, but aside from Brian Wilson (who used Moogs!), Bob Moog is the only other person I consider to be a genius.

The rambling is over.
Thanks for reading.

Ninja Basics 101

On Saturday night we drove through a tepid downpour on our way up to Gainesville. The rain was pouring so hard at times that we had to slow to 35mph on the turnpike. Craziness. Once we got to Gainesville, it just kept on raining. It was a dank, wet night at best.
Eddie C's Backstage Lounge is a really cool venue. Reminds me of the way that Will's Pub here in Orlando is set up. They had the bar area and then a whole separate closed off area where the stage and back bar were. We got there around 8pm only to find out that 2 of the bands had dropped off the bill, so we were one of three acts playing. When it came time to load in, we could not open the back van door to save our lives and had to pull everything out the side. Not a great start. After loading the rain began to pour again and we retreated inside to the safety of the pool tables, bar, and jukebox!
Yes, that's right. Another town, another jukebox. This time my Washington got me 3 plays, so for the next 10 minutes I owned the bar. Or at least the audio radiating throughout the bar. The barflys were treated to a nice playlist of Sublime, The Strokes, and I topped it off with a little Blondie. It was the best I could pull from a jukebox full of Creed and Creed-esque bands.
We arrived at 8pm but the show wasn't starting until 10:30 so we had lots of time to kill. We spent it visiting with the other bands and wondering when the crowd would start rolling in. Doug and I adventured into the storm for food while Bert and JoAnna hoofed it across the street to a Winn Dixie and got caught in the rain. It ended with JoAnna being soaked and walking around the bar barefoot.

Ed, owner of the venue had a really cool setup in the soundbooth equipped with a soundboard, lighting board, and a whole camera system which would record bands from 3 different angles recorded straight to DVD.
Along the Sidelines played first, which is our friend Josh and since the last time we'd seen him, he added a bass player named Dmo to the mix. The songs sounded much fuller and I've heard that he's currently working with a drummer to fill out the sound more. As they played Doug and I watched Ed work the camera system. It looked cool so we decided to get a DVD made of our performance.
We took the stage second, and even though we had quite a few technical issues (Mics falling, Bert's bass crapping out) we powered through our 11 song set and were pleased with the response we got from the small crowd. It's always nice to see a line of people waiting to buy your CD when you get done playing. By the last note of the last song I'm usually wondering what people are thinking, but sometimes we had loads of people waiting to talk with us, other times there's no one. Overall I think we made some new fans, and I can't wait to play at that venue again. All the bar tenders were awesome and everyone we talked to was really nice.

Thanks for being fun, Gainesville.
I might rip the DVD and post a few of the songs on our MySpace.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing with Amanda while Doug visited the House of Blues to catch the Head Automatica tour.

Next weekend we're playing a birthday party for some friends and possibly tacking on a last minute Saturday show. We keep busy.

The new CD from This Day & Age called "The Bell and the Hammer" is coming out soon. I was a big fan of their last disc "Always Leave the Ground" as it was very catchy, but very smart and musical at the same time. I've been listening to the new tracks they've been adding to their PureVolume page each week and so far I can say that I'm not all that impressed. I think the songs are good, but it a sleepy, relaxing kind of way. They seem to have lost the kick that made me like them to begin with. I'll probably still pick it up eventually and talk about it here to either rip it apart or explain how it's better than every CD you like.

For now I will sit here and listen to the Smashing Pumpkins while wondering why they never got the respect they deserve.

Quick! Name one band that sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins.
Trick question.
You can't.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Show me what you've got!

When one door closes, another opens, right?
More and more doors seem to be opening for us as of late. Enough doors that were my father here, he'd yell "What are you doing? Air conditioning the neighborhood?"
Actually that was a lie.
My father never really yells, and my parents house has no air conditioning.
He'd make some smartass comment though. Trust me on that.

In the last post, I spoke of recording some songs with a friend. This is something we're still hoping to do in the near future. We're going to be demoing some of the newer songs to see how they shape up with the full band playing. I'm hoping for the best. Some of these tunes we've been playing live and have become second nature.

At present, we only have one to two songs that you've probably never heard. Only three of our non-Sarcasm songs that we play live on a regular basis will likely be on the next CD. Speaking of which, I'm still writing, thinking, and dwelling on the final product. I'm challenging myself to write at least 8 more songs at the very least and go from there.
From this point on, everything will be kept tightly under wraps. (Hopefully) No demos will be posted on MySpace or PureVolume and we probably won't play anymore of the "next album songs" live. Just the 2 or 3 we've been rotating in and out of our set.

I'm still working on getting the new Moog up and running, but it will probably still be a while before that thing finds itself on stage with me. It's pretty. It glows a lot.

So thank you for reading what I like to call a "Time Filler Blog."
I hope you wasted as much time reading it as I did writing it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kitlers will inherit the Earth. Look out.

We had a busy weekend.
Friday was a whole lot of me sitting around waiting for my new synthesizer to come via UPS. It took forever. I was late to the show at the Science Center due to waiting. I had already waited almost 3 months for this thing and was not going to miss it. The show itself was very fun. We played with a couple Ska bands, which isn't a usual event for us, but the second band, Underdog Trio was great and the audience was up and dancing on the floor, in the aisleways and on stage. They did the same during our set. There were many dance breakdowns, conga lines, and some little kid spinning around on stage on his butt. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I know I had a good time. People were hitting up our merch table before we even played, buying CD's, shirts, and grabbing stickers. Hopefully no one asked for a refund after they actually saw us play.

Saturday we spent the day shooting our music video for "Through My Eyes" with Joel Black who drove up from Palm Bay to spend the day with our crazy selves. He had some great ideas and hopefully he was able to capture what he wanted to. We listened to the song a lot. We faked playing it a lot. Then we crowded into my bathroom, pushed each other around, sang, acted poorly, and got really really warm.

Such is the life. Hopefully you guys will be able to see the video somewhere down the line. I think it will be entertaining. He seemed happy with the results, as did we. We even took him our for an ENY sponsored dinner at Ti'Juana Flats. We love that place.

It's looking like a possibility that tomorrow night we may be recording some songs in our friends studio. We'll see how that goes.

This weekend we visit Gainesville for the first time. We're playing at Eddie C's with our buddy Josh McCabe and his band/solo act "Along the Sidelines."
That's gonna be a good time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A walking, fire-breathing Nun.


In other news, I somehow found myself at Wal-Mart last night around 10pm. It had been probably a year since I stepped foot into such an evil place, but Amanda and I were determined to find what we needed. However, before we found what we needed, it was obvious that food was needed so neither of us passed out. Our only option at that point was the in-store McDonald's restaraunt. She and I both avoid that eatery like the plague and tend to have bad experiences at fast food restaraunts. This time was no different.
Amanda quickly got her food and grabbed a table. As anyone would do, she had to grab a bunch of this little cups to fill with ketchup. Usually the pumps that dispense this stuff are fairly manageable and simple machines. Not this one. What she did not realize was that this dispenser was pressureized and when she unloaded the condiments into the cup, it knocked it out of her hand and sprayed her with ketchup. That's one strike against the place.
After waiting seven minutes to get the one item I ordered, I joined her at the table to hear of her traumatic experience. She insisted that I also dispense some ketchup even though I didn't need any. Sure enough, that sucker darn near knocked me on my butt. I jumped with surprise and like her, also got my hand covered in ketchup. That's 2 strikes.
I don't want to go there again anytime soon, but I would like to spray someone I don't like with pressurized ketchup. I think that would be amazingly fun.

You don't care.
If my story bored you, please refer to the top of this posting and just gaze at the picture.

Oh, and I set up a new webstore for us. It's a work in progress, but looks really professional!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Thanks for a great show on Saturday, Ocala.
Thanks to Josh from Along the Sidelines for playing.
Thanks to Rory for playing (even if it was in their underwear).

Listen to these CDs as recommended by people I know:

Breaking Benjamin - Phobia
Billy Talent - II
Unearth - Eyes of Fire

The Format - Dog Problems
Smoking Popes - At The Metro
Less Than Jake - In With the Out Crowd
Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel As School Children

Say Anything - a Real Boy
The Progress - Merit

And I still don't know what JoAnna recommends because I still don't work with her.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Auto Insurance sucks. Don't grow up.

So our show last night at Back Booth was a lot of fun.
We found out the day before that we were due to play last.
A Thursday night show with 5 bands starting at 9pm is not a time where you want to be last. However, I think we made the best of it. We're doing this new thing called "networking." Apparently it's where you talk to people or something.
We befriended the touring band from Austin, TX called Meryll. Really nice guys and good music. Look them up on MySpace and give a listen.
The coolest thing about this whole show was the fact that everyone did a great job of sticking to their time limits and breaking down/setting up as fast as possible. We had anticipated not playing until about 1am but I think we were jamming our first notes around midnight. Big thanks to anyone who was there and stuck around. I counted about 30 people in the crowd, and I recognized about half. It's cool when people who don't know you stick around to give you a chance, and it's even cooler when they're still there by the end of the set.
We played nine songs, and things went very smoothly.
I can only hope things go just as well, if not better, on Saturday in Ocala. We've been looking forward to this gig for a while and I hope we don't disappoint.
Oh, who am I kidding. We won't disappoint.

Big thanks to our friend Donnie for mentioning the gig to us, Chris at Back Booth for letting us on the show, and everyone who said hello or watched us play.
By far one of our best Orlando shows to date, with hopefully many more to follow. We'll have a fanbase there yet!

I couldn't have asked for a better 70th show.
We've been scheming plans for our 100th gig as well. It's just around the corner, you know. We've decided that regardless of where we play or who we play for, it's gonna be a party.
More on this as it develops.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm paranoid about being paranoid.

Tomorrow is our 70th show ever. SEVENTY.
That's kind of a big deal.

Has your band played 70 shows? No? Shut up.

5 things I enjoyed about July:

1. Moving out of my old apartment.
2. Finally seeing Inkwell live.
3. Discovering the Say Anything record " a Real Boy"
4. Our first show with Bert and JoAnna in their rightful places.
5. Getting new a perspective on so many things.

Hello August.

5 things I'm looking forward to in August:

1. Moog's Little Phatty synthesizer
2. Moog's Little Phatty synthesizer
3. Shooting our first music video
4. Moog's Little Phatty synthesizer
5. Demo recording. It's time.

(did I mention we're playing our 70th show tomorrow?)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

You have reached a number that's no longer in service...

Two weeks?

Dear friends and family, once this is in my hands, expect me to drop off the face of the earth for a few days.
Only a few.