Wednesday, April 27, 2005

voting sucks

time to vote

Hey all,
I was accepted for NPR's "All songs considered". I was hoping that you all could vote for me (unless you think I suck, then please refrain). You can vote by clicking here

If I get the highest score I think I become president of NPR. Or I get a box of meats. Or maybe I'll be pope. Or maybe these voices in my head will stop.

Thanks everyone,

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

School for the What the Hell?

school for the what the hell?

Jen and I went to see Henning last night at the Bishop's Lounge. We knew we couldn't stay too long (which sucks because Lesa sounded great and Matt Hebert told me he was covering Sarah McLachlan's "Adia") but had a great time nonetheless. Pictured above is Henning. At least that's what a google search for "images" told me. He looked a little diferent last night. Not so, I don't know...tilted.
Henning writes wonderful songs. I can laugh like crazy one moment and then be musically and lyrically stunned the next. His stuff breeds jealousy. I'm going to cover that song about the wedding as soon as it's recorded...fucking beautiful. Go read his wonderfully funny and crazy busy blog.
My next record is underway and we already have 2 songs mixed. The beginning of May brings Ruth Keating (the Malarkies, Ida) and more recording. She's playing drums on a few songs of mine. What an honor. I would love to see you guys at Night Owl this Saturday at 7PM. I'm playing a short solo set and then a band called Ponies in the Surf are playing. If you haven't heard them you should. They have really complex jazz changes and weird little indie pop melodies. Very cool. Thanks to Chris of Aboveground Records in Martha's Vineyard for hooking us up with them.

Ponies in the Surf

Thursday, April 14, 2005

boys amongst the biggest man

the legend
Going to a Red Sox game for me these days is like mapping out the invasion of Iraq. I have no idea how the hell I got there or what the hell I'm even doing there. My good friend Brian Oakes (pictured, right) landed free tickets to April 13th's game against the Yanks. Schilling's debut. I started the wheels in motion. Get someone to cover the store (Jen had a prior commitment), move around some rehearsals, get the work I needed to get done on Wednesday done on Tuesday, finish taxes (Jen did 99.9% of them), make sure I have decent notes to train my friend Tim to run the store, pet the dog...
So we go. Schilling looks like God for the first 3 innings and then looks like me for the next 3. Jaret Wright does just the opposite. We lose. Great time though. Great seats (the last 2 innings we sat 10 rows up from the field in-between 1st and home). I bought a T-shirt and a 6 dollar soda and 4 hot dogs. Don't ask. I also bought a 2005 Sox yearbook. Why? Well, I always try and get one anyway and it just so happens that as we are heading into the stadium we see generic computer printed signs that say "Autograph Alley : signing today : Johnny Pesky"
There were only 60 or so people in line. This can't be right. We get in the line and start asking people around us "Is Johnny really here?". A resounding yes is our answer. This isn't really happening. No one is getting in the line. No one cares. People yell *Hey, who's signing?* and when they find out they just shrug it off and say "Oh, cool" or "Awww...he's so cute". One guy even admits he doesn't know who he is. I get the distinct feeling that if any of these folks that were wondering who was signing found out it was Manny or Ortiz or Foulke or Damon etc. etc. it would have been a madhouse. You know, one of those cabbage patch kids mall fights circa 1984...limbs of soccer moms flying everywhere. But nope, no one cared. Just Brian, about 60 other people and I. Out of 35,000.
Let me start by saying this. I am biased. I love baseball. I played a TON of baseball. I can even safely say that I was pretty good. I love everything about the game. The smell of the glove. The click of the cleats on rock driveways. The green grass. The electricity of the crowds. The sound of the ball when it hits the know, all the field of dreams stuff. However, I do NOT like what has happened to baseball over the past 10 or 15 years. The egos. The weightlifters. The steroids. The homeruns. The horrible lack of parity thanks to a revenue sharing plan that might as well have been written by Napoleon. The hired mercenary feel of free agency (don't bother buying a jersey that has a players name on it for your 10 year old son...whomever it is will be gone within 1-3 years).
John Michael Paveskovich (better known as Johnny Pesky) was born in September of 1919. He broke into the majors in 1942 with the Sox. He played one year for them and was then shipped off to WW2. For 3 years. Alongside him in the war was fellow teammate Ted Williams. They both did their fighter pilot training at Amherst College. Pesky returned and played for the Sox until 1952. He then played for the Tigers for 3 years and the Senators for 1 before retiring. His career batting average is .307. In '46 he took the wrath of New England when he was pigeonholed by the shithole Boston sportswriters (they were bad then and they are unreadable a matter of fact I think a few of them should be assassinated, but that's a whole 'nother story). He was accused of holding the ball in the '46 series while Enos Slaughter (who ran like me) scored from first. You know this. You have the Red Sox World Series DVD. Johnny went on to manage the Sox, briefly and still hits fungos in spring training. He sings the praises of everything Red Sox. He wishes that Tom and Jean were still alive to see championship. He cried in Nomar's arms at Ted Williams memorial. With the exception of maybe 4 or 5 years of his adult life this man has lived, breathed, slept and ate Red Sox. He encapsulates everything that is great about the game. He is truly, one of my heroes.
Brian and I were convinced that we were going to somehow lose out. Pesky’s going to leave before we get to the line. The line is moving like a slug and it’s creeping up on game time. 20 minutes left. 15 minutes left. 5 minutes left. We’re 6 people back.
Well, as you can see from the picture above, we made it. He was lucid and sweet. Kind and genuine. Hilarious and honest. I congratulated him on his ring. He looked at me as if I was the first person to congratulate him. “Thank you son, thank you very much.” He joked with a young Yankee fan in front of us by taking off his hat and threatening to throw it over the banister. Huge smiles. He gazed longly at my yearbook that I asked him to sign. “Wow, this is a great book. I need to get one of these.” I tell him that he should probably get one for free, I felt he earned that much. He got a great kick out of that. I asked him where his ring was, after noticing that it wasn’t on his finger. “Home.” He replied. “Home?!” I retorted, perplexed. “At my age, kiddo I’d end up losing it if I wore it tonight…and my wife would kill me.” As Brian and I went around the counter to get our picture taken Mr. Pesky stood up and looked back and forth between us and had bug eyes. “Holy cow, these are some big fellas!” Hardly, Mr. Pesky. Next to you, we are but boys amongst the tallest and strongest man.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

the bricklayer with the library card

same ol' same ol'

Here we go again. This time with a resounding lack of tension. There's nothing left to prove. Not only do they finally win it all but they start their amazing story by embarrassing their most hated rival off the field. Opening day of the 2005 World Champions has come and gone. What have we learned since the victory heard round the world? David Wells is still fat (maybe even fatter), Bellhorn is still constantly hungover, Kevin Millar is still everyones drunk uncle, Johnny Damon still can't spell "caveman" and Pedro is still pissing on the Boston media. The more things change...well, you know.
I started recording what will be my next record. We're doing almost all the tracking at the record store and at Jose Ayerve's house. He has such great ears and the same studio work ethic as I do. Use your time wisely and be thorough. It's such a pleasure to work with a best friend on something like this. We've got 5 songs that I'll be putting finishing touches on at Slaughterhouse this Tuesday. Anne Pinkerton, Matt Cullen and Paul Kochanski have already made their amazing contributions. I'm VERY happy with what we have so far. It looks like the second half of the record will be completed at the end of May. I think this record is going to be pretty dirgy. Strangely though, there seems to be a hidden happiness in it. Granted, it's VERY hidden. Also, good news for those of you with kids. There's no swearing on this one. I know I have a history of having the vocabulary of a bricklayer with a library card.
April 23rd - Night Owl Records - PONIES IN THE SURF and MARK SCHWABER - free in-store performance 7PM
April 26th - Bishop's Lounge - MARK SCHWABER, REBECCA CORREIA and MARTY HELLY - 9PM

Here's my new promo photo, for those of you interested: