Archive for April, 2007

Show #44: New London, Conn.

Because I attended college in Connecticut, I might, at times, try to convince others that I am an authority on "The Constitution State." When driving through Hartford, I might lecture about the life of Wallace Stevens. "Wallace Stevens was not only a legendary poet, but an employee of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company," I [...]

Show #43: Portland, Maine

I do not oppose God's mandate to "be fruitful and multiply." However, I avoid procreation because I am unable to make conversation with small children. When I meet a child, I say "Coochie-coo." Beyond that, I am at a loss for appropriate interlocutory openings.
My inability to engage infants was showcased after my show at Space [...]

Show #42: Montreal, Quebec

As those who pray the Rosary are aware, God has made a world overflowing with Glorious, Sorrowful, and Joyful Mysteries. Still, much of the Lord's handiwork remains inscrutable to the feeble minds of men. For example, one might wonder at the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, or unimaginable breadth the Sargasso Sea. Why these mountains? [...]

Show #41: Toronto, Ontario

Neil Young and Rick Moranis did not have trouble exporting their uniquely Canadian aesthetics to the United States of America. I, however, consistently have trouble exporting my uniquely American aesthetics to "the Great North." After all, no mere American band can stroll into Canada. The process is sixfold:
1. Book your musical act in Toronto, Montreal, [...]

Shows #39 and #40: Jamestown, N.Y. and Buffalo, N.Y.

Like many arsty, existential males, I am a fan of the film Buffalo '66. In Buffalo '66, Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci have existential adventures of the sort that only occur in American independent cinema. Gallo and Ricci, for example, have dinner with Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston, who play Gallo's eccentric, dysfunctional parents. Later, [...]

Show #38: Oberlin, Ohio

"Can we not conclude that we, as humans, can relate more to the experience of a dog than we can to the experience of an ant?"
"No, my good man. I regret that I cannot conclude that."
"Come, sir! Epistemologically, the conclusion is self-evident!"
"I'm sorry sir. I cannot conlude that this conclusion is self-evident. You may subscribe [...]

Show #37: Kalamazoo, Mich.

"I see you are a local Michigan native interested in punk music," I said to a young punk fellow at my show at Kraftbrau in Kalamazoo, Mich. This young punk was enthusiastic about my band's tunes. "Tell me," I said. "How does one occupy oneself in the Great North?"
"How do I occupy myself?" said the [...]

Show #36: DeKalb, Ill.

"Dude, we miss you out here. There is a cornstalk with your name on it."
So ran the mediocre joke that I emailed to my former booking agent on the occasion of my second show in DeKalb, Ill. DeKalb is home to Northern Illinois University, the venue Otto's, and not much else. I hear there is [...]

Show #34 and #35: Chicago, Ill.

As a youth, I marveled at my mother's battered vinyl collection. "Mother," I said, "Regard these culturally significant sounds that you have collected in vinyl format! Here—the music of Black Sabbath! And this one—Led Zeppelin IV! How can you leave these precious commodities to mold in our basement?"
"You will not always fetishize these commodities [...]

Show #33: St. Paul, Minn.

Down to the subpar Chinese restaurant and defunct Fashion Bug (see above), St. Paul showcases the same gritty, concrete aesthetics as Northeast Philadelphia. I am familiar with these aesthetics because much of my youth was spent on Cottman Avenue, a world apart from what most associate with the City of Brotherly Love—that is, Benjamin Franklin, [...]