A Plea for Noises.

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I just bought a new sampler, and I’m loading it up with weird sounds to use during shows. Does anybody have sound effects CDs that they’d be willing to burn for me? Email me please. Link’s in the left column.

Ikea: The Happiest Place On Earth.

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I took the Free Ikea Bus from the Port Authority to get a table and a chair. Everytime I go there I resolve to come back on the free bus some weekend for the sole purpose of eating the amazing Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce from the Ikea cafeteria, and watching the planes take off from Newark airport, which is directly across the street.

Scrap and Handsome Dan in the Halls of NBC.

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We taped Last Call with Carson Daly last night–I think it airs next Friday, the 15th.


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I get a perverse satisfaction from turning down the limo that NBC provides, but rather taking the F train to Rockefeller Center. I did the same thing when we did Letterman a couple weeks ago. I don’t know why. I get a little jittery doing TV, maybe taking my routine public transport makes me feel a little more on a normal plane. I’m no self-abnegating indie rocker, I’ll take luxury when it’s on offer. Usually.
The show tapes in a studio on the same floor as SNL; we were hanging out in those hallways that always appear on the show when, like, Hillary Swank or Alec Baldwin walks offstage mid-monologue to talk to Lorne Michaels. That was quite trippy. And they put us in a dressing room among the cast dressing rooms, down the hall from Rachel Dratch and Kenan Thompson. I wandered around looking for Maya Rudolph’s dressing room–huge crush on Maya Rudolph–until I looked at the little plaque on the door, and realized that they had actually put us in Maya Rudolph’s dressing room.
It was just a drab, institutional old dressing room with tattered carpet and a ratty grey couch. The only hints that she might’ve been there were VHS tapes marked “Next Top Model” and “Diana Ross”–both characters she does on the show, were these study guides?
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Our drummer, Pete McNeal, the Man of Feel, the Broth Cop, was unable to fly to NY from LA, so we did it stripped down, just Dan and Andrew and I. Sounded good, especially “Starbucks.” There was a cute Latina-looking girl wearing a grey top in the front row when we played; when I got back to the dressing room, Chuck and John B. from ATO went, “So who was the girl in the front row?!” You saw the front row? “No, but we were watching you on the monitors and you so obviously gave somebody the look.”
I have a “the look” look? Sigh. I spose I do. I went down into the SNL hallway to wander nonchalantly as the audience filed out, in the hopes of bumping into the cute Latina girl in the grey top, but all I found was a dude handing out free t-shirts promoting Vivica A. Fox’s new Lifetime movie.
We packed up the gear and went far far out to Midwood, Brooklyn, where we did a little post-taping get-together at DiFara’s, which is–and I loathe hyperbole, so this is saying something–the best pizza I’ve ever had, and ditto for Dan, Andrew, and Chuck, their girlfriends, and Andrew’s friend Jason and daughter Larry. The pizza is made by this shuffling, sweet old guy named Dominic, who’s been there a thousand years. He grows his own basil in the shop’s windowsill, and removes the hot pizza–cheese bubbling like lava!–from the oven with his bare hands.
We neglected to invite Carson, who was a very, very nice and genuine guy. I thought he’d decline, but then again, we exchanged email addresses, and I emailed him when I got home to thank him for having us, and he emailed back thirty seconds later. So perhaps he wasn’t busy that evening.
Nor did we invite Vivica A. Fox, whom I did not meet, but saw striding imperiously through the SNL corridor as I munched on an oatmeal raisin cookie from the buffet in the dressing room.
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I never turn on the TV in the morning–I just heard the news from London, so disturbing and scary. I lived in London for a while, love it there, love the people. Praying for them. (is it stupid for me to feel obligated to blog about this? Does it not go without saying? Is it just a dumb semi-celebrity illusion that I’m required to comment?) The entry below that I just posted couldn’t look stupider, that ghastly lame September 10th feeling. I know those tube stations well. Emailing my exgirlfriend to make sure she’s OK. Londoners reading, we in New York know how it feels and we’re praying for you.
11 AM: Edgware Road was my old tube stop so I’m doubly frightened now.

Angelina Jolie: My Secret Admirer?

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Uncanny.


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It’s been a long-running joke with friends that Ms. Jolie’s fascination with Cambodia–years ago she adopted a Cambodian child and promptly gave him a mohawk, which looks rather awesome on a toddler–signaled our compatibility. I love Cambodia, and hope to get there for my third visit later in 2005.
Now she’s adopted an Ethiopian child. What, is this woman obsessed with me? This is getting very “If you like Pi

Citizen Mike.

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This is an embarrassing admission.


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I have the credit history of an ex-drug user. Meaning: I have no credit history. I was too busy getting fucked up, so I never got around to it. Since I first got a record deal, I’ve always used my manager’s AmEx to buy plane tickets and stuff like that, but secretly I’ve been a blank page as far at the financial world’s concerned. A thirty-five year old man with no credit.
That is: until now. I got a secured credit card about a year ago, on the encouragement of Rich from Galactic. “This is America,” he said. “They want you to have credit.” I did my 12-month bid as a pretend-credit consumer, and then decided to take the plunge. I sent in one of those credit card application YOU’RE ALREADY APPROVED! packets my mailbox always mocks me with, and promptly forgot about it. But on Friday, I got an envelope with an actual credit card in it.
So I took Scrap and his wife and daughter Larry (yes, Larry) and their friend Sara Champagne out for lime rickeys and a peanut-butter-bomb at Teany, and paid with my brand new Chase-endorsed piece of plastic. And here, today, on the Fourth of July, I’m here to tell you: I’m in debt! For $54.54, to be exact. Now I’m an American for real.

El Ocho.

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I watched a brief snippet of the Live 8 shows backstage in Burlington, VT.


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Somebody ran through the dressing rooms yelling, Pink Floyd! Pink Floyd!; me and Scrap and everybody in Ray LaMontagne’s band crammed into the narrow office of the Higher Ground to watch them. During “Comfortably Numb,” they cut to Aamer Haleem and some other VH1 personality:
“That’s Pink Floyd onstage behind us!”
“Yeah, it’s the historic reunion of Pink Floyd!”
“They’re playing ‘Comfortably Numb’ right now!”
“Yep, that’s right, Pink Floyd, they’re playing at this exact very moment!”
“Yeah, Pink Floyd, they sound amazing!”
And we all yelled: Aaaauugghhhh!