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notes toward an autobiography of an alt-indie pioneer of the pioneer valley

Sunday, August 14, 2005


In checking out this page's Google searches--and if you've never searched with Google, I highly recommend it--I often find, not surprisingly, peoplel searching the term "band practice" as well as "band practice space." I even get a few for Microdisney and the Fucking Sparklies. But recently I received one that no doubt qualifies as a question from the "Reader's Mailbag":

How often should a band practice?

Good question, anonymous Googler. Okay, not totally anonymous, I know your IP address. Suckah! But anyway...

When I was in the band The Percy Shelleys we often had timing conflicts that made it impossible to find time to practice before a gig. It was either "overtime at the video store" or "elaborate dinners with the girlfriend" or "people who were constantly out of town, I don't know why". At any rate, we established a system whereby each of the five of us (Stu was still in the band at the time) would practice individually for several hours before a gig and we would bring it all together on stage.

Did it work? Sure, sort of. Usually there were about six or seven songs that all of us had practiced--and usually we had practiced the same version of the song so that was cool and then there were another ten or so songs that at least three of us had done. You may remember that I often eschewed the guitar part on Jake's favorite song (the awful "Phillybuster" that he had written about his old girlfriend, who, I found out later, had never even been to Philly) and instead I just kind of hummed along. It worked so well you may not have even noticed. And sometimes the list would contain a song or two that none of us had practiced. I'm not sure how that happened, but again, we were so professional you might not have even noticed.

At any rate, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Googler, my point is is that if your band rocks--and I mean rawks--you too can find creative solutions to any problems you might have with band practice time.

Saturday, January 17, 2004


If you look if you look up from your book
You will surely catch my eye.
You could be my one and only girl
And I would be your clumsy guy.

And if you trip if you trip all over me
I will trip all over you.
Take a trip all over me
And I’ll be tripping all over you.

We could walk could walk down rainy streets
Look in windows watch the world go by.
You could be my disaffected girl
And I would be your jaded guy.

And if you trip if you trip all over me
I will trip all over you.
Take a trip all over me
And I’ll be tripping all over you.

You read Sartre I’ll read Kant
Compare our notes at the coffee shop.
You could be my existential girl
And I would be your reasonable guy.

So take a trip take a trip all over me
And I will trip all over you.
Tripping tripping over me.
Tripping tripping all over you.

(c) 2003

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Here's my latest song. Feel free to pilfer it. Now that C-FUS has been sidelined by in-fighting, I don't know when I'll have the chance to use it:


Please deposit five cents
Okay lovey. I like calling you lovey.
I feel like a soccer mom.

You should be a drill sergeant
Be optimistic, like he is.
Time to yell at the children
Need tea and a hug
Use your imagination.

Should I leave the door unlocked?
Tickets arrived. Can I open yours?
Too bad you didn't win big
Thanks for the well wishing.

To be home in bed, that is bliss. Or out with you.
I promise not to be long
Goodnight, sweep dreams to you

Come and snuggle?
Come and snuggle
Love you madly

Will you never marry me?
God I miss you so damn much
Don't be sorry.
You are the consummate underdog.

I need a smoke.
I am off to see the wizard.
Do you mind shaking up the champ?
Will pay.

Come and snuggle?
Come and snuggle
Love you madly

Watching video.
Please provide details.
Okay smart ass. Value neck was all you wanted.
Hope we can.

Okay I said it you can't say it back.

Friday, October 03, 2003


With all this talk of how the band should treat the audience, let me put in a few words about how the audience should treat the band...

1) Arrive punctually. If it says nine o'clock in the ad, be there and be in your seats by nine o'clock. Thank you.

2) Try not to get up in the middle of songs. It disturbs other audience members.

3) When you go to the bathroom--and I'm thinking especially at Harry's--go in groups please. And try to hold it until the set is over. If it's a Friday or a Saturday at Harry's, everytime you open the door to the bathrooms all you can hear is that disco music. I hate when my delicate guitar solos are drowned out.

4) If you wish to speak to me, feel free to approach me at the "band table." But keep it brief. Thank me for my competent, yet uninspiring set and then move on. And if you're buying merchandise please have exact change ready and state clearly what you want.

5) It would be nice if you could buy me beers while I'm playing. I prefer Heineken.

6) Do NOT talk during the set. Do you have something to say that is more important than what I have to say? Probably not. Oh, and I can hear those rude comments "Mr. sits in the front and talks all night."

7) When I play a song like "Tripping" please remember that there is one of those breaks at the end of the second verse where it seems like the song is over, but it really isn't. Please don't start applauding at that point.

8) Please, please stop taking money out of the merchandise honor system cigar box. I know who's doing it.

9) Do not leave until the final song is over. You have nowhere better to be than listening to me.

go here

Go here for the latest dumb blog entry of wonderstuff.

Monday, September 15, 2003


All of my blog readers have been asking me, "what's going on with that day of the jacks reunion show you promised us?" I'm sorry to report that, despite my best efforts, it ain't gonna happen. We were well on our way to getting things together when one of those inevitable band scwabbles broke out. It went something like this:

Bill: Joe, your playing "Heavy Trippy Daisy" in the wrong key.

Me: What do you mean "key"?

Tom: And I'm sick of these late night band practices.

Me: Well, the coffee shop doesn't close til ten and until we get out next CD going, that's got to be my number one gig.

Tom: If it weren't for you, we woulda had a great CD out a long time ago, "Kevin Rowland".

Me: Ouch, man. That hurt. I thought we were beyond that.

And that was the end. I walked out and took my amplifiers with me. If you can't play nice, you're not going to play at all. Lesson learned.

But, I'm happy to report I'm forming a new band and I'm leaving this painful past behind. Just when you thought that disco-jazz-electronica had faded into obscurity, we're bringing it back with my new band C-FUS. We've just started putting our shit together, but let me tell ya, our first hit Are you ready for some C-FUS? is going to have you dancing your indie asses off. More later!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Just thought I'd post some old fragments of songs I found on my computer, in case anyone wants to borrow them.

Sometimes it seems too hard to be
Anything at all

Our love is in dry dock
Time to scrape the barnacles off
Chisel off the ediface...

Damn me damn me damn me for wanting
The priestess of burnt toast and forgotten notes...

She dropped me like a bad habit
For a day or two and then she called me up
She said “You’re a bad habit”
I like to have around.

Monday, August 25, 2003


Well, I wasn't shocked to read in Phil's blog that Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne won't be at Transperformance. Having "seen" Thurston Moore at Harry's, I know what that's all about. But no matter. I'm more than happy to fill in for him. Just give me a call Pricedawg and I'll grab my axe and be there for ya. The only thing is--the only REM song I can play is "Pretty Persuasion" and I've only ever done it without other instruments playing. But, I'm sure we can work around that though. Anyway, I'll put the show on my schedule with a tiny question mark next to it. See ya there!

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