Saturday, November 24, 2007

i'd like to knock the previous bitter entry out of the top spot

we feel a lot better about that whole thing now that we're planning on selling the van. i got my igo card today, so we will probably do a test run soon and see how it goes. last night my supervisor gave me and another person i work with a ride home because we all live in relatively the same area. he drove a minicooper on lakeshore drive. it was quite an experience riding in a small car again- a little scary- he almost got hit by people not paying attention twice. i'm not used to that anymore because driving in a giant white van people really have to not be paying attention not to notice it. it kind of draws the eye. but we shall see. i'm excited about the car-sharing program because one of the cars that's right by our place is a honda civic and i really miss my old honda civic so much. i'm hoping that when stefanie is going to buy a car (or we both buy a car maybe) that it would be the same kind of civic as the one that i used to have- it was a stick shift. i hope that our stuff will fit in it. i think that most of the time we actually use less equipment than we used to. it isn't necessary to lug the giant bass amp around as much anymore since stefanie plays pretty much all percussion. now it's a question of getting that awkward ass table into a car. the rest of her drum set will be pretty small. i think that she wants to get a ride cymbal and soon she's going to get a floor tom- she's waiting on her christmas bonus.
so far nothing on the christmas time show front. i'm getting a bit antsy. it would really suck not to be able to do it this year. i'm sure no one else would really give a shit, but it's something i've been looking forward to all year. it's very fun and exciting to be able to play live with billy and it sounds really good.
i think we're going to start learning to play the old songs without loops. i've got big plans on the horizon. BIG plans. i've actually started work on the next two records- one is another ep that's actually secretly a full-length record and the other is a full-length with 12 songs that i want to press onto vinyl. i've gotten a good start on the vinyl full-length. i've got a few tracks that are actually almost done- i initially thought that i'd have to redo things on them with the new little tricks that i've learned, but i realised that the guitar sound i'd gotten was the one that i wanted for that entire record and it's a lot easier to get than the 'down to sleep' one- which requires a lot of mics. the vinyl full-length (which is at this point called 'all hope is blind') will be much more minimal and there will be more space and breathing room in the structure of the songs. there aren't as many loops- a few will be bass loops and then there's a really old song that is being re-recorded for it that has an old shalloboi-style loop- me banging on a pan backwards and shaking christmas bells. for the most part there will just be one guitar part (the ones that have multiple guitar parts have some kind of spare melodic part or a few textural overdubs), drums, voice(s) and i'm going to write string arrangements for all of the songs and record them with a trio- cello, viola and violin. i would like to record the string trio in one go since the cassette machine 8-track is a little overstuffed as it is. i also think that it would sound better and wouldn't have to bounce tracks around (which i have to do with a song with three string parts that's on the 'down to sleep' record). no distortion on this full-length at all. it's gonna be pretty sweet. i want to get a string trio together somehow to play the songs live at least once and do arrangements for a few choice old shalloboi songs. here's hoping it can work out. lately i've found if i persist and don't give up i can usually get things to work out the way i want them to on that front. it takes a little creative maneuvering. i learned how to write sheet music in alto clef already (which is for viola). i was watching a nick cave dvd and they were doing string arrangements and picked something up that might help me write in bass clef (which is for cello). i keep putting off talking to someone who works with stefanie about recording some violin tracks for 'down to sleep' and i will ask her to show me how to write out sheet music in treble clef. i did actually learn to read and write music wayyyyy back when i was first learning to play guitar. i used to be able to play guitar by reading it straight off of the page without tablature. tablature really ruined that. i tried to keep it up for as long as i could and i really wish that i hadn't lost that, but honestly there've only been two times i can think of where it's mattered or kept me from doing something- both involved the moe!kestra. anyway, that's where i'm at right now. i just recorded some guitar parts and a vocal for 'narcoleptic' which is on the vinyl full-length and was played live at last year's acoustic show (mike played the acoustic guitar part). i just finished recording the new version of 'on the bridge' yesterday, which i need to mix down now and post as part of the 'wish' single (which also needs artwork). i've finished a ton of extra tracks for the 'down to sleep' cycle. i did a few decent scratch drum tracks for those as well. i mainly just need to mix it all down and keep listening to all that stuff. i really need to finish this track that's been languishing on a shelf for at least two years, probably longer. i have a feeling if i finish it it might become something really special. stefanie sang it a while back- it just needs the full meal deal. we'll see how it goes. perhaps that could be my little project for the day.
i think i shall cut this off then right here. i doubt anyone made it all the way through.

Friday, November 16, 2007

i'm glad that the person who has slashed my tires FIVE times is going to get away with it

that's correct- someone who lives in a house on glenlake, west of broadway before one of those sides streets (possibly greenview- i'm not 100% certain), has been slashing the tires on my van. why? your guess is as good as mine. i have three theories- 1) it's some prick who should move to the suburbs- the type of person who gets upset when their neighbors don't mow their lawn everyday because it's not enough for them to be concerned about the aesthetic beauty of their own house and yard, they make it their business to make sure everyone else surrounding them does and to this type of person a giant, beat-up old windowless chevy van with hippie stickers on it is the type of eyesore that you don't ask the person to remove, you just poke small holes in the tires facing the sidewalk when you go out to get the morning paper. 2) it's some over-concerned parents who think that the owners of a beat-up windowless chevy van (even with hippie stickers) are doubtlessly child molesters and even though on children have disappeared from the comfort of the neighborhood they must take it upon themselves to stick it to the potential child molesters by poking holes in their tires. 3) it's just some asshole kids who think it's funny to pop people's tires. funnily enough number three upsets me the least. if it's numbe one i don't understand why they couldn't just leave a note telling me that they don't like me parking my van in front of their house- i would've thought they were a prick, but i would've at least respected their wishes. if it's number two people who live on the block have all seen stefanie and i leaving the van- we would be pretty easy to identify if any kids went missing. plus the van is a bit distinct-looking- i think the police would be able to find us in about 30 seconds. number three would be done by stupid kids- and i can understand stupid kids doing incredibly stupid things, but this flat tire plague doesn't seem to be hitting anyone else's car but ours and i don't think that kids (no matter how stupid or reckless they are) would be bothered to single out our vehicle alone. it seems to me that it would have a bit more of a random feel. there is nothing random about these occurences- they are obviously done by someone specifically intending to send us a message. i thought for a while that our tires were getting popped when i'd drive stefanie to work and we'd park on ravenswood, but since the last time (which was only a week or so ago) i've avoided parking on ravenswood and i haven't had a problem until today. what's more it seems that it must be done in the morning before we leave because even if you pop tires it takes them a while to lose their air.
i do also know for certain, beyond any doubt at all that they are being poked- every time i've been to the the tire place to replace the tires they've said 'the holes were in the sides' and it is always on the two tires on the passenger's side- i.e. the tires that are next to the curb and the sidewalk. i haven't curb-checked in months at least. i don't even think i've driven over any glass in a long time either.
whatever the case may be- we're finally saying 'uncle.' we simply can't afford to keep fixing tires that some prick insists on popping. the tab is at $500 (with the current flat that it has- i'm not sure but there might be another flat by tomorrow, which would bring it up more) right now. that's been over maybe two months. in addition to that we had to replace the brakes, which cost $650 (which a friend at work who works on cars informed me is a massive rip-off). i'm on $8 an hour. gas is almost $3.50 a gallon- the piece of shit gets 17 miles to the gallon on the highway. we have a tour in the works in march, but at this point if we have to save $1000 just to cover gas we might as well just rent a car and sleep in a motel every night for that much money. we've already looked into starting an account with igo (a shared-car service). there are four cars within walking distance of where we live. we hardly ever drive as it is. we're just going to sell the stupid van- it's caused us nothing but headaches. it costs $250 to drive home and back in that thing. that's more expensive than flying. i wouldn't have to pay for car insurance any more- we'd be insured through the shared-car service.
i'm so angry and frustrated about this. i can't believe that i have to get the fucking thing towed to the tire store AGAIN (this will seriously be the second time in two weeks) and put more money on my fucking credit card for more fucking tires. the most infuriating thing about all of this is that we will never know who fucking did this to us. even more infuriating than that it's someone who lives in one of those $600,000 houses over there on glenlake- it looks like the suburbs. what fucking asshole does something like this? it's not like we'd drive that thing around if we had a lot of money. the fucking nerve. if i ever find the motherfucker who did this i will pound that $500 out of him. if it's a her, then i'm sure stefanie would be willing to do the pounding.
even better this happens on the day before her birthday.
i even had an idea of making a little note and dropping it in everyone's mailbox in that general vicinity. i know which area it would happen in now. i could probably even narrow it down to three to five houses.
FUCK! i really hate owning a car...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

i saw half of the warlocks' set last nite

and i really didn't mind that i paid $14 for the 30 minutes of it that i saw. it was that fucking good. i only saw them play three songs- one was a jam that was naturally really awesome then they did an encore which consisted of 'cosmic letdown' and 'worn thin'- which i hadn't heard yet, but now have discovered that it is on the vinyl version of the new record. i wish i'd bought the vinyl now, but i'll look for it elsewhere. they took down their snocap store from their myspace page, otherwise i would imagine that i could buy it there. if all else fails i wouldn't mind buying the vinyl. i'm planning on buying a t-shirt with the money on my next paycheck. but, wow, it was soooo much better than last time we saw them (and that time was really good). i loved logan square auditorium- i'd always heard such bad things about it, but none of it was true. somewhere i had read that the sound is atrocious there and while i was there i thought that the sound was probably the best that i've heard in town for a show that size. it certainly sounded way better than when we saw them at the metro and it was much more intimate. i'm really glad i went ahead and made the effort to go even if i didn't see the rest of the show (which stefanie and kylie told me was amazing- stefanie even kept a list and i am still a bit bummed that i missed them playing 'hurricane heart attack' which is a fucking AWESOME song). it was nice to see them all fired up- fucking hell they were awesome! someone was filming right by the stage and i am praying that they post the whole show on youtube or at least some of the parts that i missed- i.e. 'warhorses' (which they played last time too and it was what really won me over) and the aforementioned song. 'worn thin' was actually better than the video i have embedded below. watch and enjoy and go buy the new record on vinyl for god's sake! and go see them play- it's so worth it and people are being all lame and ignoring them.