coming to your town, we'll help you party down

Also, while I'm here at this computer, as promised, tour dates. Not everything is ABSOLUTELY shored up, but most of it is:

the sea, like lead spring tour 2006

Friday, May 5 - Kiva Center, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem PA, with Belegost, October Skyline, Get to the Chopper. 7:30, $8.

Saturday, May 6 - Rudy's New Haven, New Haven CT, with They and the Children. 10:00ish, $3, 21+.

Sunday, May 7 - Bang-a-Rang Collective House (I don't ask questions), Lewiston ME, with The List Exists, Orange Lazarus, Hallowed Butchery of the Son, one more. 6:00, donation.

Monday, May 8 - Boston. This is yet unconfirmed.

Tuesday, May 9 - University of Delaware, Newark DE, with Wether, more. $5.

Wednesday, May 10 - Somewhere in College Park MD, hopefully.

Thursday, May 11 - Northsix (DOWNSTAIRS! Don't go to the upstairs because you'll see the Chinese Stars), Brooklyn, with Know Your Enemy, Hoover Flags, more. $7, 8pm?

Friday, May 12 - Be Happy House, Philadelphia PA, with Wether, more. $5.

Saturday, May 13 - Kansas House, Arlington VA, with My War.

That's that. Please come see us if you're in or around one of those places. If I don't know you, introduce yourself. My goals for tour are: make new friends, don't lose money, get some reading done, see some new things, rock out without breaking my fingers. Not necessarily in that order.

hiding in my room/safe within my womb

It's an awful shame what happens when I get lazy and don't keep my room straightened up (read: 80 percent of my life) -- I start to dislike spending time there, because it's just uncomfortable to have to step on/over so much stuff to get around, and because there's a sense of shame at having such a disgusting hovel. I start to wonder when my sister will be by to feed me rotting food, and when my dad will start hurling apples at my back to see if they stick.

So, it's an unusual and pleasant feeling of victory that greets me when I actually buckle down and clean up, as I spent a great deal of tonight doing, and will hopefully finish up tomorrow. Of all the cool stuff that I get involved with, cleaning my room may be the thing that gives me the most satisfaction. Hanging the stuff that I've been meaning to hang for months, and the stuff that I hung last year that fell sometime between then and now. Putting the shelves mentioned here a few days ago to work finally so that I have less stuff just sitting around on the floor in the corner. Vaccuuming, for Christs' sake. If I wanted, I could probably actually show other people my most personal space again. I have some cool stuff, if I might say so myself. A Jim Lingo painting, some sweet Budai prints, small things that various people including Emma's dad and I myself have made through the years. It's not particularly fair to keep it all squirreled away where no one will ever find it.


sometimes you have to boycott the things you love.

I am still kinda snotty and sick but getting better. Everyone around me is falling to this cold now -- roommate, student worker, coworkers, etc. Suckers.

Anyway, the reason I come to you now is to pass along this sad piece of information, brought to my attention via the always-interesting her jazz:

Boycott Yuengling Beer Products
From Daniel Grace, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 830


The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters has announced that it supports Teamsters Local 830 in its efforts to protect its members’ jobs and officially endorses Local 830’s boycott of Yuengling products.


On March 9, 2006, D.G. Yuengling & Son withdrew union recognition, declaring it would no longer continue negotiating with Teamsters Local 830 Mgmt. Yet, the contract between Teamsters Local No. 830 and D.G. Yuengling & Son did not expire until March 31, 2006. By these actions D.G. Yuengling & Son is jeopardizing the working standards, conditions and livelihoods of many hard-working Local 830 workers whose efforts and dedication have helped this local company achieve the national acclaim and success they now enjoy.

Several attempts by Local 830 management to resume good faith negotiations in hopes of coming to a fair and amicable agreement have been spurned by the beverage manufacturer.

Local 830 has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, which are pending.


1) In support of those local 830 workers whose livelihoods are now in jeopardy because of this very serious situation, the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters is urging Philadelphia area union members, their families and supporters, as well as local tavern owners and liquor licensed establishments and all those who patronize these establishments, NOT TO PURCHASE the following Yuengling brands until further notice: Yuengling Premium Beer, Yuengling Light, Lord Chesterfield Ale, Dark
Brewed Porter, Traditional Lager, Light Lager, and Original Black & Tan.

2) Local 830 urges you to contact D.G. Yuengling & Son at the address and/or phone number below and express your support for the workers of Teamsters Local 830. Let them know you will not purchase or consume their products until they resume good faith negotiations with the Local, recognize the union, and demonstrate their willingness to maintain fair working conditions, wages and standards.

Yuengling Brewery
5th & Mahantongo Streets
Pottsville, PA 17901
(570) 622-4141

Additional information is available on the company web site at

3) FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to your fellow union members, family, friends, local taverns and liquor establishments, etc. and ask them to boycott Yuengling products and support Local 830 as well.

We thank you very much for your support!


home, sick

My body has decided to remind me that just because cold season is over doesn't mean I can't still get a cold. Today spent home sick meant watching the noon news (a rarity), getting some chores done, mixtaping for buds, finally building the shelves that my mom gave me for my birthday (I was a little busy for seven months, chill) and milkshakes and smoothies.

Tomorrow maybe will be when I post all of our tour dates -- a couple still need to be shored up for certain. What we have so far is up on the EHP page.


neu friends

Some new friends made: in addition to the Columbus kids who are and who came here with Tin Armour, the three folks behind the Gadabout Traveling Film Festival. Three awesome sweet people showing some pretty great shorts; they stopped at the Art Institute Saturday night, it was a weird crowd but the films and songs were sweet. Also, Eric has a more extensive knowledge of Pearl Jam lyrics than anyone else I know, even including Joel.

Today I finished my piece on the Consumer Health Coalition for Rustbelt Radio. It'll air tomorrow evening, 6-7, on WRCT. Listen to my stupid voice.

On a related note, I need to chill on doing stuff a little. I guess it's mostly the seasonal ebb and flow of shows that need someone to book them, but I've been mad busy lately, without time to really concentrate on reading and/or making stuff. My project right now is not taking on more than I can handle. Wish me luck.


tonight come see!

Allies, Slingshot Dakota, .isha&zetta., Tin Armour. 7pm, Roboto. You should be there, these are sweet good bands.

Also, Joel turns 29 this coming week, my sister turns 28 the same day, and my nephew turns ONE! tomorrow. Good times. And pretty soon I can for real announce all our tour dates and stuff. Most of it is shored up -- around the northeast, May 4-13. Philly, DC, NYC, Boston, et al., I'm coming your way.


would you like to take a survey?

No, not one of those stupid meme survey things where you tell everyone your middle name and how many times you've copulated. This is about blogging and zine culture and compatibility.

So I write this blog. You know that because you read it. What I don't do, and have been meaning to, is publish a personal zine. Most of what I would put in a zine, though, is the same stuff I write about here.

I'm interested nonetheless in making a zine with a lot of the same content because there's a different feel to reading this kind of stuff off of a page rather than off of a screen, and there's a different accessibility level and a different overall approach to both creating and reading a zine as opposed to a blog. When I read a zine, I sit down, intent on some good reading, whereas when I'm reading blogs, I'm usually multitasking at the computer and I refresh my RSS reader and have little context for what I'm reading.

So, my question to you, dear reader: Is it a good idea to compile a zine of mostly/all stuff I've written here? Would it be worthwhile? Would people who don't read this blog read it, do you think? Would people who DO read this blog want a copy?

These are my questions. Please give me opinions. I appreciate.


here's something more exciting!

Remember how I told you a few days ago about the show I'm doing next month for Old Time Relijun?


Pete is booking a show for Boris, also at AIR, the following Monday (Memorial Day). That show will be $10 in advance, $12 at the door. This will henceforth be known as Pittsburgh Rocknroll Weekend, and/or Memorial Day AIR Craziness Party. There will be a package deal for tickets if you want to go to both and save a couple dollars.

How about that?

liberty and/or death

I thank my lucky stars I don't work downtown and have to bicycle commute every day, both because the Liberty Avenue hill is stupendously humongous and because at rush hour, no one gives you an inch to spare riding up the two-lane portion of the road. You'd think that the part of the road where people have two whole lanes for their cars would be better, since you can be in one and then the car people can take the other, or even just go halfsies, for those ten seconds when they're passing you. In reality, the existence of two lanes, each one of which is narrower than the single lane up the hill a little further, causes people to try to cram by two at a time and doesn't allow much room for little old me or you on our bicycle. This is why the best choice is, annoyingly enough (if that's a word), taking more of the lane than we normally would and forcing the people in the right lane to go into the left, and making them honk at us. Much as they say (I wouldn't know, I'm from Pittsburgh) that bike lanes often end up causing problems for cyclists because they end up acting as the only safe zones for bikes, and make things like left turns more dangerous (if you're already in the lane, drivers are aware of you and more ready if you signal to get over to make a left) and generally reduce cyclists' visibility.

On a more pleasant note, I've seen several new "Share the Road" (or whatever) signs in and around Point Breeze just recently, and they make me feel nice at the very least.


what's new with me?

- Allies, Slingshot Dakota, Flotilla Way, .isha&zetta. on Friday (this Friday, April 21) at Roboto. You should come. Allies' last show with the current lineup. Slingshot is fun and good. FW's third show? And .i&z.'s second. Beginnings, endings, re-beginnings, some middles, all in one show. It's like Easter a week late. Be there.

- I'm registered for classes for the summer. One perk that doesn't quite offset my discontent with my poverty salary at this job is the education benefit -- I'll barely be paying anything to take: Mass Communication Process, a low-level comm class (my secret is that I've taken barely any actual classes in communication, but I'm planning on maybe doing grad work in communication), and Intelligent Life in the Universe, a geology class. The comm class is Ms. Ghilani's section, hopefully enough people will register and it won't be cancelled. The geology class is with Charlie Jones, possibly my favorite professor from the undergrad days. He puts pictures of chickens in the middle of his slide shows!

- I have now seen both Lucas Sloppy's Flying Organ (super good, kind of bordering on funny but not in the dumb sort of way) and October, the band (maybe not quite as good as October, the month, in general but a great deal better than my last October).

- I'm working on a piece for Rustbelt Radio on the Consumer Health Coalition and Cover the Uninsured Week (cf. my Rex Morgan, M.D. obsession). It should air next monday night, the 24th.

- Despite my lack of funds, going to see The Dirty Projectors at Garfield Artworks tonight because it should be really good.


end of the week exciting announcement

I'm gonna be off the internet for the Cadbury holiday weekend. Come see us play at Roboto tomorrow night. Satisfy your hungry mind with this exciting show announcement from me:

Old Time Relijun
Free jazz punk throat singing stuff on K Recs (http://www.krecs.com/oldtimerelijun/)

Midnite Snake
You know these dudes -- mind-melting riffage, minimal pounding drums

Natura Nasa
Beatiful soundscaping stuff, ex-Arco Flute, What Secrets? etc.

possibly one more.

Saturday, May 27 at AIR (518 Foreland St., North Side)




turkey tales

The radio show yesterday was fun, as any time cooped up in a room with Potter and Abie would tend to be. The other guest was David from 2politicaljunkies, a much more established and more "traditional" (I guess) blogger than I. I would've preferred a little more talk about the nature of internet communication as opposed to other media I guess, rather than talking about practical political applications of blogging specifically, which I just don't know that much about. Regardless, I tried to not sound too too stupid, and hopefully succeeded.

Also, yesterday, riding into work, I witnessed a turkey trying to cross the intersection of Craig and Fifth. He started out on the side where Duranti's and whatnot are and crossed with traffic for a bit (Fifth Avenue traffic had the green light), but then the light changed and he was basically in the middle of the intersection and looked mighty perplexed. I rode past him and sort of winced as everyone in their cars kind of tooted their horns lightly and kindheartedly, because no one hates a turkey, and wished that he would get back on the sidewalk and wait for the walk signal.

I did not stick around to see how this story would end.


sometimes i talk.

I guess tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, I'm going to be on Chris Potter and Abie's show on WRCT, between 6 and 7, talking about digital media, blogs and message boards and Indymedia and stuff. If you're near your computer, maybe stream that shit? I bet I'll sound stupid. That'll make it worthwhile.


something conspicuously close to a post about things i've consumed but not quite:


Here are things that are currently making me happy:

- The weather is beautiful here in the PGH. A little chill on, but the sun is out, and it's not too cold to ride your bike, so there are no complaints to be registered.

- I watched a couple good movies this weekend: The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb, a beautifully creepy stop-action Bolex Brothers joint that comes highly reccommended, and Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, which, despite a little overkill now and then, was really interesting, and which I enjoyed.

- Emperor X and Franklin Delano -- the show, and the folks, and the records. I didn't properly debrief in this forum after the show, but basically all there is to say is that the people who turned out and stayed for the whole show (thank goodness it was more people than either band's last time here) were blown away by both. Chad is probably my favorite performer to see play right now, period. Probably. He writes beautiful songs and they're a part of him and he's a part of them and his voice and his energy are beautiful. His new 7" is fantastic and you should get it if you don't have it already.

- Chilling with good buds all weekend. Sometimes I do the thing where I just presume that everyone else is busy and I shouldn't try to hang out with anyone, but I managed to not really do that this weekend (so far) and while I haven't gotten my room cleaned yet this weekend, I also haven't spent too much time sitting around feeling shitty.

- CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. For whatever reason, this show really appeals to me - the reporters, a lot of the things they cover, the animals they show for a couple minutes at the end of each show. It's pleaseing when I manage to catch it, as I have two weeks in a row.




I have a letter to the editor (second one down) in the Post-Gazette today (Saturday) about the godforsaken intersection of Baum and Millvale. I find it nearly impossible to keep letters to the editor to 250 words, so they ended up cutting my Bob O'Connor rant ("It, uh, just seems like you're going off on a tangent," explains Alice Rowley). But whatever. At least the thing ran. For a while there I was starting to think I had gotten on their bad side and that they wouldn't run anything from me ever again.


if you are reading this right now

Meaning at 5:00 pm on April 6, tune in to WPTS to hear Emperor X live on Keith's show. Thanks.


I've said it several times now, but it's worth hammering home. If you're in Pittsburgh, there's only one place to be:

Franklin Delano
Emperor X

ModernFormations, doors at 7, music PROMPTLY at 7:30. $7 (I have two touring bands to pay here, and one is from Italy. You can handle it.)


right on.

So, tiny lady wrote the other day about her growing admiration for Anti-Flag, in the grand scheme of things. In Pittsburgh, you have to have an opinion about Anti-Flag, and most people have the same one, but mine is maybe a little different, so here goes:

Yes, their music is pretty boring, stock, and completely filled with recycling and rehashing. Yes, "Die for the Government" was a Varukers song first. Yes, "Their system doesn't work for you" was predated by Aus-Rotten's "The system works for them." Etc. etc., we could go on ad nauseum. I don't find them to be appealing artistically in the least.

HOWEVER, those dudes are pretty damn stand-up. They've given money to lots of organizations doing really good things in Pittsburgh and outside of the area. They're not making off with all the profits and moving to upscale neighborhoods and forgetting about their ideals. And honestly, I'm pretty much certain that they have the absolute best of intentions. We all have different ways of attacking the same problems, and I often think that the tactics you use to approach the problems of the world are as important to you yourself as they are to the rest of the world. A lot of different approaches to "social justice" or whatever have a certain amount of effectiveness; finding the one that does the best job of affecting the world around you AND you yourself in a positive way is the real task, I think. So, respect to them, even though I can't sit through one of their songs anymore.

Which reminds me -- like Jessica said, this is the kind of political think that appeals to kids who are 14, 15 years old. It did when I was that age, and by the time I was 18 I was diving into activism pretty hard. While that's the exception to the rule with most fans of bands like Anti-Flag -- fans who, I can say from experience, having tabled at their shows, have a tendency to be comeplete dickhead high schoolers -- it's a really awesome exception to have, and I figure, if it worked to an extent for me, who am I to criticize?

(You can argue, based on other aspects of my life history, that I was ripe for becoming a lefty yawhoo activist type anyway, Anti-Flag or none, and that may or may not be the case, but I'll give credit where it's due, just like I do for Punk Planet and the like, and say that listening to stuff like Anti-Flag was definitely an important part of my development, ideologically. Take from that what you will.)


now then.

I have things that I've been pondering and/or started to write, but I'm just too busy and disorganized and overwhelmed right now to make that a priority. More later. In the meantime, read the people who are linked to in the sidebar.


today was the day.

Today was the day, or at least this weekend was the weekend. I think between Friday night and tonight I saw everyone I know in Pittsburgh at least once. Our show Friday night was wonderful -- Lovely Ladies were very good; I love seeing Dan and Joseph both doing good things, and even more so seeing them doing them together. Natura Nasa (minus Pete) were beautiful. I missed The Drift because Keith and I scattered to get to MoFo to see Lovers. Cubby did not disappoint, and while I was sad to have missed The Drift, I was glad to have seen nearly all of her set. She sang "Winter Takes a Lover" as an encore, which I noted once before in these pages as having made me cry whilst walking to work.

In other news, today, sitting outside 61C Cafe, I observed an old, old, decrepit man place a brand new-looking child's toy of some sort -- sort of a plastic chain with some funny characters hanging on it -- on top of a fire hydrant and shuffle away. Then, less than five minutes later, an old woman, straddling the border between Grandma and Bag Lady, stopped, looked it up and down, glanced around, picked it up and kept going. I presume it was something completely random, but part of me felt like maybe, just maybe, this was some Amelie type shit, and there was a romantic note of some sort on one of those character heads.

PS -- I think I'm gonna go see Slim Cessna's Auto Club at Quiet Storm tomorrow night. I've not seen them before, but I've heard good things. And I guess Slim lives here and works at the Mattress Factory now? Maybe?