Tuesday, April 29, 2008


ok, so our next show is now Thursday May 8th @ the stud here in san francisco. i think we're playing with a band called the Switch, and probably another band, not sure yet. also, we just got offered a slot playing at Kimos on June 10th, which should be pretty cool. if it confirms, we'll be playing with a band from montreal called Bad Flirt - checked them out on the myspace, they seem pretty cool. so anyway, we're gonna have to be rehearsing a shit load!

Monday, April 28, 2008

we've got stickers!!

took damn long enough to get the fuckers. didn't actually think that STICKERGUY would actually take 8 weeks to turn them around. oh well, they look simple, clean and nice! you get some at one of our upcoming shows, or from the merch page, which in fact gets very little (i.e. none) use.

speaking of shows, we are now scheduled to play our next show on MAY 10th at the STUD, one of my favorite gaybot bars here in SF. this kid walter who jerry knows has asked us to play because for some reason he has been convinced by our music and cd that we are in fact, pretty cool. little does he know...ha! we're excited, and the plan is to stick to songs that we can play.

coreycakes wants to do a joy division cover now, which is cool, and he wants to sing it, which is also cool, we're just not a cover band. for me, it's really hard to do other peoples songs cuz it makes me feel like we're karaoke, especially since we haven't put much of any kind of original spin on the covers that we have done. like i have a couple of covers that i would be up for doing, like something by scott walker, poperratic, or sonic youth, but none of that is a priority or anything...well the poperratic song is something i would maybe like to put on the next record if we get to it. anyway, yeah, i'm not really feeling the covers, i'm more into writing our own stuff together, but whatever.

speaking of sonic youth, we've been having an argument lately as to the greatest band of all time, with corey and jerry insisting that the title is held the beatles. i disagree. whoever said "sonic youth are my beatles," i concur. so boo! paul mccartney, ha!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

got my new laptop

today, and it's pretty freakin' cool! these macs sure have evolved a bit in the six years since i got my last one. so yea! now we can start recording the new record soon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

jazz club show go bye bye

ok, so we were gonna have a big staff party on this coming monday to celebrated the closing of the club and our future being unemployed. HOWEVER, being that the business has actually finally been sold, and all of the staff are going to be kept on and May is being booked with shows, Kim (the soon to be former owner) has commandeered our staff party and turned it into her very own going away party. how totally fucking awesome! ya see, it was my idea that at our staff party we could invite OUR friends and have a show with OUR non-jazz oriented bands. but now you see, Kim went and invited all of her friends and it has turned into what will most likely be a drunken jazz jam session. neato, really. basically all the staff bands dropped out or couldn't do it, so i was like, well fuck it, we're not gonna do it either and be the only one to impose our arty punk bullshit on Kim's going away party. on the bright side, i am no longer losing a quarter of my income. on the not so bright side, i'll still be working 50+ hours a week. so much for spending more time working on writing music and trying to get better at guitar. or working out. or learning spanish. but i'll be able to pay off my laptop that is coming day now, and that big fucking amp i bought that totally messed up my ears at our show last saturday, so uh...yay.

as of right now, our next show is May 31st at the Magnet community center in the middle of the big gay Castro. Coreycakes was raising a fit about playing gay oriented shows, and i tried to stress to him that while we ARE NOT A GAY BAND, we are not going to let the fact of the current lineup being 3/4 queer preclude us from persuing the one facet that might give us an in to an opportunity where people might pay attention to us. i mean, we are competing with 500-1000 bay area bands for attention, so fuck it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

fiasco! - report on the show from 4/19

omg, so like we went to point arena to play a show and it was a pain in the ass and i thought we kinda sucked. first off, the van rental place (who i deal with all the time thru my work) completely fucked me. i had requested a reservation for a big econoline 8 passenger van three weeks ago, but the reservation never got entered into their system. so i got stuck with a fucking minivan, which was a real bitch to deal with. it was damn near impossible to load everything in, and was super uncomfortable. plus on the way back, everything feel over not five minutes out of town, so we had to stop by the highway and spend 20 minutes pulling everything out and reloading it all back in.

anyway, we get to point arena and load into the oddfellows lodge, and it turns out that the other band that was supposed to be playing...wasn't. so it was just us. our five friends. tommi's mom and her husband. and four oddfellows dudes. turns out that the big festival was going on across the street at the movie theater with four bands. turns out that was were all the people were at. but anyway, we had a good attitude about it all, everyone was being super nice and totally mellow, so it was like, ok, we'll hit sometime after 9:30pm and hopefully draw some people from the bar across the street.

so we've all had a couple of beers and are feel good and we start our set after a brief and silly Q&A session. and it we start off pretty damn good. i mean we're way too loud, but whatever, we're a loud band (and i need to wear earplugs even when we play live, my left ear got slammed and the ringing is only now starting to let up, sux). so we play:

birthday suit
mongoloid (fuckin' devo cover)

and then we go into our new only a week and a half old song called busriding, and it completely fucking falls apart. jerry goes into the chorus too soon. i'm completely thrown off and i'm like fuck, let's stop this is a disaster, and people have started to migrate over and are actually dancing, and we totally just blew it, fuck! but corey is like, we're not stopping, fuck you, we're not stopping the damn song. so somehow we pull it together and go into the 2nd verse. somehow admist forgotten and improvised lyrics and shitty guitar playing we stumble to the end, and i'm totally embarassed. anyways. we bash throw the rest of our set (or least the songs we're good at, ha!):

fear of death
fem politique
anal fixation

and then they're like play more, please play more, so we're like uh, ok. so we go into age of irony, which we used to be able play. not so much anymore. apparently if i forgo the guitar and decide to just holler the words without any advance notice to other bandmembers, this can be very confusing, but you see, i was already having trouble on even remembering the damn words for this one, cuz i can never remember the damn words to this song, cuz there's a lot of 'em! so jerry goes into the chorus early, again, and i look at corey, and he's like, we're not fucking stopping, so we bash through, and in the end it sound totally fucking shitty. so we're gonna have to rearrange that tune, cuz we're all kinda bored with it right now and kinda suck at playing it.

so at this point corey storms offstage and heads off to smoke out with our friends, but oddfellows guy is like, please keep playing. so i'm like ok guys, let's play you don't love me anymore and oh tyler, cuz we don't need corey for those tunes. so we go into you don't love me anymore, and it's sounding good, and then, you may notice a pattern here, jerry goes into the 2nd part of it early. at least this time it doesn't catch me off guard and we're able to just keep going and finish the song pretty decently. then we do oh tyler, although in leu of tyler, we go oh corey! and i'm like singing, don't quit our band, haha. so after that i'm like hey tommi, you wanna do charisma, and tommi's like, fuck no. so exeunt stage!

so whatever, i'm like, that was shitty, but whatever, it's over i just wanna get drunk, but no! oddfellows guy is like, please play more, whatever you want, i'll hook you up, we'll pay you even! and i'm like, well maybe. anyway, after a short break, we go back on stage and play mongoloid again, and then do the t.rex cover. and then corey is like, let's play anal fixation with me on the drums (sans tommi, who was totally over it by this point). so after sucking through that, i try to escape the stage, and corey's brother tofer comes up to play guitar, and it turns into a retarded jam session. tony even comes up to play the drums for a bit. anyway, oddfellows guy is like, just play your whole set again, please! but i'm like we're all pretty drunk and stoned, i don't think so. at this point, i go up replace tony on the drums and whack at 'em for a bit, which is fun, but pointless. anyway, we all eventually end up back onstage and start our set again. we bash through birthday suit, and then a guy in the audience (cuz there are up to 20 people at various points) starts clammoring for us to play inspire, so we're like fuck it, ok. so we're playing inspire at it's pretty decent...until the end, cuz we're too damn loud...we'll mainly my guitar is too damn loud and my ears are so fucked that i can't hear my drummer to well, all i can tell is that everything seems to be slowing down, but i just can't quite make out the snare drum. hmmm, always a bad sign. anyway, we somehow end somewhat defeated, and once again tommi is like, i've had enough, and jerry follows suit. but corey is like, i wanna play drums still! so he gets back there and i'm like, ok gimme a beat, and i proceed to play hack, and pretty decently at that. corey is able to kinda intuitively figure out what to do (cuz we hadn't ever done anything of this sort before), and it ends up sounding pretty damn good. so after that, i'm like fuck it, i'm done, and so is corey, cuz he and tofer decide to go across the street to the real rock show and hunt for girls over there.

anyway, the oddfellows guys are like stoked on us enough to wanna have us back to a real event on the fourth of july with three other bands for the city's centennial celebration, so we're like, ok why not?! corey and tofer end up having an adventure out to a log cabin which involves some sexy times with some girl, and then get a ride back into town with some random dude that smokes them out, so yeah. like overall, i was pretty unhappy with how the show went down and the position that we were put in. first off it was foolish to try to play songs that we didn't have solid. lesson learned. but then to have pressure to keep playing even when we didn't have material that was together, that was frustrating, especially since we kinda suck once we're all wasted. like i wish we were good enough of musicians to be able to play super good when we're drunk, but we are so not. my goal with playing a show is to play our set, fucking not suck, and in general to be fucking tight and awesome and then be fucking done. we were not any of those things consistently last saturday. but i did sell a cd to a really cool girl named i think natalie. so that i guess made it worth it. i mean, it did seem like a few people there genuinely liked our tunes, and supposedly the cd has been getting some airplay on a local radio station, so that's all really pretty astonishing, so yeah, i guess we'll be back, haha.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

thursday nite update

ok, so like i'm at the damn jazz club. i took a vicoden earlier, it's pretty cool. vicoden and champagne is called a trophy wife and that's what i am, haha. anyway, so this damn jazz club is closing down, do to the fact that the owners got divorced and are desperately trying to sell the business before their lease is up at the end of this month. so in honor of the fucked situation that it is (for me, losing a quarter of my monthly income, haha, free time here i come!) us employees are gonna have a fucking party with a god damn open bar, fuck yeah. and we're gonna play, as are the bands of some of the other staff peoples! so mark yr calendars: Monday, April 28th - 256 columbus ave, san francisco. we're gonna be drunk, it's gonna be rad.

so like on sunday jerry and corey found a cool synth patch on the nord and we jokingly were like, ok that's our new techno song. so i spent tuesday night working on lyrics based on one of jerry's blog entrees. and then last night after corey flaked out on practice (cuz he's a bastard), me and jerry and tommi worked out a tune in like five minutes. it's totally perfect and nearly fully formed. like totally simply and melodious. the melody is fuckin' pretty as fuck, the lyrics need a little work, and it's gonna take some more work to make the bass fit and have corey not pout at playing something dancey or techno-y, but i reckon we got another hit single, oh yeah.

anyway, we got our Point Arena show coming up in like about a week or so, that's pretty exciting. we don't really know who we're playing with, or if anyone will actually be there. but whatever, it's gonna be a nice little out of town adventure, haha.

anyway, come see us play, and get drunk, it'll be cool. and go download poperratic's new record called the big hush at her website. it's got some really good stuff on it, and it's not as murky as some of the production was on her vagus cd. there definitely are a solid 5-6 awesome songs that sound just right on it with just guitar and voice, and the third track is really really amazing, i forget what it's called. really, with the right production and backing band, she could make a totally flawless perfect pop record. i actually haven't heard from jaye in quite a bit, not sure if my emails are bouncing to her junk folder or she decided that i'm lamerz, but whatever, haha.

gonna start recording nick's black metal record this weekend, and i got my new laptop coming any day now, thanks to mis padres! oh oh oh, and i went i made a big purchase with my new %0.0 apr green wamu credit card on sunday. i bought a B52 at100 tube amp half stack at the god damn guitar center, which was a pretty infuriating process that is actually still on-going. anyways, i'm not totally sure that i'm gonna keep the damn thing. it's loud as fuck, and the clean channel is brillantly bright and crstal sounding, like it's totally tits. but the distortion channels are pretty lacking. like, kids online are saying that you can totally play metal with the overdrive channels, but uh, i dunno think so. they are way not saturated enougth. maybe 70s or 80s metal, but not the metal sludgey messy hyper distortion i require. so i've gone and bought some new tubes, cuz kids online say to replace the tubes and everything will sound much better. so credit card again, i got new expensive ass tubes coming tomorrow. i'm not confident that i will still have the mega distortion i'll need, but i guess i can always get more death by audio pedals, or save up for something by metasonix, cuz their shit is sick. anyway, i'm gonna try to make the thing work for me, but i also think that the reverb thing in it is shot or poorly wired, cuz it barely makes any reverb at all even when turned up all the way. although, i wouldn't mind getting one of those electro harmonix holiest grails at some point too, haha. all this crap on my wish list, and i'm losing one of my jobs, great...anyways, things are good!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

cravedog revisited

so like after being a bit unhappy with the print job on the cds and not getting any response back from Cravedog CD Manufacturing, well about a month later i posted a review on Yelp.

then on march 27, i arrive home after working a 14 hour double to find this in my inbox:

Man, that is one lame-ass post you posted about us on Yelp. I called you
back twice trying to get in touch with you about your issues and I never
heard back from YOU. What a horrible way to air your grievances.

I think I offered you an absolute ton of time answering your questions
throughout the whole process and to slam me/us now is pretty disappointing.
In fact, I gave you more time than about 95% of our clients because this
seemed to be your first project and I honestly wanted this to be a good
experience for you. I believe I was very patient and as helpful as I could
have been. Try and get that kind of service from Discmakers or Oasis. Not
only would you have paid more for your overall package, you would have had
to pay for your graphic design advice from them. We gave this to you for

I'm sorry if you're crap at Photoshop. Our designer did catch some serious
mistakes and you should thank him for that instead of berating him/us in
public. From what I understand, if he didn't catch the mistakes you made
with your original design it would have looked a LOT worse that it does now.
This is a courtesy service we offer to our clients. We do the best we can,
but CANNOT be held accountable for the mistakes of our clients. Doesn't
that make good business sense? It's just not logical to think that we would
guarantee a bad design that our client is ultimately responsible for.
That’s the reason people hire professional designers - to prevent mistakes.

Basically you pay for what you get Eric. We usually charge for that kind of
service ($75/hour), but we try our best to look out for our clients
regardless of their ability to pay for that service or hire their own
professional designers, but at the end of the day it's up to you, the
client, to approve your final artwork. We gave you every opportunity to do
that. Please don't blame us for your mistake or oversight. If you had
hired us to do your graphic design and for some odd reason this mistake
still found its way on to your final print, we would have re-run the project
for you at no cost with no questions asked.

Regarding the proofs - we don't offer proofs, because they don't really show
what the final product will look like 100%. You need a good graphic
designer to create the artwork so that you know exactly what you're getting
in the end. What you see on a computer screen is not always what you're
going to get back. I believe our designer suggested that you utilize a
different design program to design your artwork so as to avoid mistakes like
this, which would have probably prevented the error you speak of. It looks
like you chose to ignore his advice there.

On top of the above, yes it did take me a week to call you the first time
you called - my wife and I just had our first child and you see I've been a
little tied up. I was also out sick for a few days around then as well.
We're all human and we've all got our own issues. You could have called our
designer if you were intent on getting to the bottom of your problem. That
seems to be where most of your complaints lie anyway, right? Was it more
important to try and discredit us in public or get to the bottom of your
issues so that you didn't make the same mistake again? I guess I already
know the answer to that.

This is all a bit disappointing Eric. You see, the CD manufacturing biz is
experiencing some tough times at the moment if you hadn't noticed. Posts
like these are bad for our business. Posts like that are bad for anyone's
business. We work really, really hard here and we try our very best to be
fair in all that we do. We treat all of our clients like they're our
friends because we know what it's like out there in the big bad world of
corporate America. If you wanted corporate American service, you probably
should have gone to Discmakers. They would have taken your money and had a
good laugh about it all. We're not laughing here - that's not who we are.
We feel horrible that you are not happy with your experience with us. Had
you and I had a chance to talk or if you had bothered to call us back again,
you would have found that regardless of whose fault this was, we probably
would have offered you some kind of discount on this project or a credit
towards a re-order or your next project. Unfortunately you have left us in
a less than giving mood. I guess that's what "petty and negative" energy
will get you in the end.

I read some of your other Yelp posts and they're all pretty negative - you
seem to try and drag a lot of other businesses down with you too, which I
guess I just don't agree with. They all seem like small businesses that are
just trying to carve out their own living I might add. What's that old
adage? "If you can't say anything nice...." I'm a big believer in that and
I'm a big believer in Karma. Maybe if you focused on the good positive
energy out there, good things would start to happen for you instead of the
bad energy that seems to be following you around. Keep the faith, man. Not
everyone is out to get you or do you a disservice.

I wish this all would have ended better for both of us. Good luck to you
with your CD. We do, in all honesty, wish you lots of luck with it.

All the best,

so i had gone and had a drink, and with a little bit of help from jessica, this is the response i composed:

Hi Michael,

So it takes a review on Yelp to actually get you to respond and contact me with my issues with how the print job on my CD came out! Like, wow. You never responded to my email until now. You called me ONCE. I called you back, left a message, NEVER heard from you again. Whatever, dude. Y'all need to be up front if what you do is out source the print job and the replication job and are essentially a middle man. Don't throw promises at me about how you would have potentially made it up to me with credits for a re-order or towards my next project. That rings so hollow. So terribly terribly hollow coming months after the fact and only because I posted a negative review on Yelp. I am very thankful that Matt caught some of my problems with the layout - that was awesome and great. I am so very thankful that the print job didn't come out more fucked up. But you all should have given me the option of a hard copy proof from whoever the hell you outsourced the print job. I mean, I was already spending a shit load of money, I would have dropped an extra $100-200 on hard copy proof, especially to avoid the conversation we are now having. But as I recall, that just wasn't possible - lamerz!

So, um, congratulations on the birth of your child. That's not relevant to our business. If you were unavailable to respond to my concerns, someone else from Cravedog could have made an effort to reach me. It seems pretty obvious to me what is happening here. You failed to ensure customer satisfaction, got a negative Yelp review, your boss is probably pretty pissed, and so you spout off this epic and immature email to me about how I'm negative and petty. I mean, c'mon dude! I paid you guys $2300, wasn't completely happy, aired it out pretty neutrally in a accepted public forum, and here you are shitting on me. Fuck you!

Y'all were recommend to me by the guy that mastered my CD. He did a great job. I hold no grievance towards him. Fortunately now, when someone is considering your company for their business, they can go on Yelp and hear about what happened to me and take that into accordance with their decision. You come at me for being a negative bitch in my reviews, y'all could have given me much more for the money I spent. I demand perfection and I insist on excellence. To say that you couldn't offer proofs cuz they wouldn't show what they would like is a bullshit argument through and through. I have friends in the printing industry, friends who have made CDs before, and now after this experience I have learned that what you have offered me is substandard. A hard copy proof is industry standard. I had Discmakers emailing me everyday begging me for their business, so much that I had to tell them to leave me alone, cuz I wanted to go with a smaller company. Yet while I thought I was dealing with a company from Portland Oregon, my CDs shipped from Terre Haute Indiana.

I understand, you're bummed, you got a negative Yelp review. I tried to be even-handed and fair. And this is what it took to even get you to respond to my concerns of over two months ago. Pathetic. But this is not the end of the world. So all I ask is that you lease return my Masters. And please give me the contact information for the Manufacturing facility that pressed my discs, should I require additional runs. You could have handled this better and your email response in a more mature way. Grow up. I admitted to my mistakes and accept them. You, and Cravedog failed me.


and thusly they responded:

Dear Eric,

We'll return your masters, but if you want a reorder you would need to go
through Cravedog. We don't outsource our work. I'll arrange for everything
to be returned to you now.


Boosh! you know i have to question whether they can claim exclusivity to the glass master, which i paid for, and that they out-sourced the job to. i haven't yet tried to contact the company that actually did the replicating in terre haute, cuz it ain't like these damn things are selling like hot-cakes or anything. anyways, i guess the lesson really is, be extra careful when doing yr artwork, and choose a company to do your job that has better customer service. cuz if they had really given a shit about making it up to me, they would have contacted me immediately and we could have worked this shit out amicably.