Oct 31, 05 03:59 PM
My Best Halloween Story Involving L.S.D.
(Sidebar: as I lay in the dentist's chair today I heard my first xMas commercial of the year. The one for the Radio City Christmas show, where the singer sounds like he's just about to explode from Yuletide anxiety.)
So it was a Halloween tradition that a number of Simon's Rock students would hitch a ride to Hampshire College and take LSD for Halloween. My friend Peter Mack did, in 1987. He was the kind of guy who wouldn't be caught dead in a costume.
He was wandering around the campus by himself, out of his mind, not knowing where the hell he was. Suddenly, he finds that there's a guy in a wizard costume sticking a microphone into his face.
"So what are you supposed to be?"
Peter Mack had wandered onto the stage of the Halloween costume competition.
"I'm an art fag," he said.
The audience roared! He was awarded first prize. Unfortunately the guy who came in second was wearing an intricate octopus costume that he'd clearly spent hours stitching together, and Peter Mack was stripped of his title.
Posted by Mike at 3:59 PM
Conceptual Art Project.
If I had the skills, I'd go out and tag ROVE all over New York, in classic grafitti lettering.
Posted by Mike at 3:46 PM
Happy Birfday Chuck!
Yep, the man was born on Halloween. If you appreciate him as much as we in the band do, send him a birthday wish via his MySpace page. PBRs, or JPEGs of PBRs, would make a lovely gift.Posted by Mike at 8:42 AM
Oct 30, 05 08:07 AM
Today Is My Second-Favorite American Holiday: Daylight-Savings-Fall-Back Day.
My number one is Super Bowl Sunday. For the commercials. The above pic ganked from my homegirl Maryl.Posted by Mike at 8:07 AM
Oct 28, 05 09:14 AM
Last night in Philly I shared the bill with a phenomenal singer named Melody Gardot. Really courageous and fascinating, too--clicky linky for full story.Posted by Mike at 9:14 AM
Oct 26, 05 12:38 PM
I Am Done/I Am Not Done.
The view from the couch. Oh, my very own couch.
The last tour show was Saturday in New York. The next day we flew to Seattle for a radio show, then home yesterday. So am I done? I have another radio show in Philly tomorrow, but I'll be home by midnight. And then Scrap and I are going up to a certain cable network on Friday to play for staff peeps there. So when can I say I'm done? Today? Saturday?
So much I want to do today, my first full 24 hours at home since September. Go to a meeting. Go to the gym. Call friends.Posted by Mike at 12:38 PM
Let's Make Nice with Starbuxx Peeps.
I just got back from Seattle where I played a party co-sponsored by Starbucks.
KMTT in Seattle has put out a compilation in conjunction with Stbx, benefitting a wildlife fund. They flew us out and we played a set for contest winners. I debated excluding "Busting" from the set, being that Stbx personnel were on hand, but I decided not to wuss out, and played it, after a preamble: Look, this song is making fun of WTO protesters--"Go on and fix it with your tiny fist there"--not advocating riots, and if you cut me off from my latte I'll die I'll just die.
The next day I was in the Stbx across the street from my hotel. The compilation was sitting on the counter. I laughed. What's so funny, asked the girl. I'm track ten on there! I said.
She had me autograph it for her.
Pretty much the moment I landed in Seattle I went to Vivace on Broadway, some of my favorite coffee in the world. But almost any other city in America it's Sbtx I'm looking for.Posted by Mike at 12:30 PM
Still Debating a Move to Oregon.
What has happened to my taste in cars?
I have fallen in love with the 2000-2001 Toyota Echo. What the hell?! Something about its lines. And its smallness.
Has anybody ever gotten their car painted at Earl Scheib or Maaco or something? Does it look any good? I have this urge to buy a used Echo and have it painted psychedelic green or something. Maybe if Haughty goes gold I'll get rims, too. Yeah.
If I do move to Portland, I figured out that it'd be cheaper to throw all my furniture away and buy new stuff than rent a U-Haul to schlep it all out there!!Posted by Mike at 12:03 PM
Oct 25, 05 11:13 PM
The Rockity Roll Robot: Ever Closer to Iconic Status.
Listener Patrick Stone sent in this picture of his pumpkin.Posted by Mike at 11:13 PM
Oct 23, 05 12:42 PM
Webster Hall, New York!
A busload of photos ganked from listener Cap'n Snappy.
I prefer myself blurry.
Posted by Mike at 12:42 PM
Webster Hall, New York: Broke a String Mid-Song and had to Change It.
I would get a spare guitar, but it seems that people really dig the drama. Dunno why. More pix ganked from Cap'n Snappy.
Posted by Mike at 12:31 PM
Webster Hall, New York: A Rock Moment Between Scrap and I.
Also ganked from Cap'n Snappy.Posted by Mike at 12:27 PM
Webster Hall, New York: After Playing 'Keeping Watch Over Some Cow,' Scrap Dramatically Tossed the Thode Cap into the Audience.
Who got the Thode cap? Oh, ps--Scrap has changed the name of his solo joint from "Epiphany Fish Fry" to "S.I.D.E.B.A.R." Again ganked from Cap'n Snappy.Posted by Mike at 12:22 PM
Webster Hall, New York: A Girl with Awesome Hair Stood Up Front Playing the Triangle Along with Us.
Mo fotos by listener Cap'n Snappy.
Posted by Mike at 12:18 PM
Sitting Here in My Own Bed.
This pic of the NYC show ganked from listener Sara Sarakanti.Posted by Mike at 10:20 AM
Oct 21, 05 04:15 PM
All Peeps Don the Thode Cap.
Posted by Mike at 4:15 PM
I Have Reconsidered My Disdain for Hair Metal.
Foto ganked from listener Nicole. I post this because it's an awesome foto, and because McNeal says, "It's not crass, it's more...burlesque."Posted by Mike at 12:48 PM
Oct 20, 05 05:12 PM
This Ramada in Suburban Maryland Is Next Door to Hooters, and I Wish Hooters Had Wi-Fi, So I Could Type, 'I'm Blogging This from Hooters.'
We went there--where else were we gonna go?--and what they say about the wings is true. They are truly awesome wings. I'm not a wing person, but I was impressed. I also checked out the route map for Hooters Air. Turns out than on Hooters Air, all roads lead to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Their hub. Huh?
Afterwards we browsed a bong store called Beav's. This little stoner guy in a hoodie came out of the back room. Just looking at him made me very sad. "Have you seen the new Pyrex pipes?" He then whipped one out of the display case, and banged it against the wall--there were a bunch of bang-marks on the wall there, so I spose he's been showing it off to numerous customers--showed us the undented pipe, and then gave us this look like, "Yeah, I know I just blew your mind."Posted by Mike at 5:12 PM
I should note prior to this blogging that Pete McNeal doesn't even touch weed, we just thought it was funny--the whole bizarre weed-porn thing. Like you're ever gonna see a nugget of Mexican heroin on the cover of Opiates Monthly.
The venue, Mr. Small's, is so beautiful. The people who work there refer to themselves as "we," as in "We have a great dressing room upstairs," for instance, which says a lot; a sense of belonging radiates from the top. I happen to know that the top is Liz from Rusted Root, who told me about opening this place up when I first toured with her. It's a converted church; there's a big homey dressing room suite in the former rectory, and a recording studio. Not to mention the performance space, also quite sexy, and great-sounding.
There's a girl I used to date, when I was 19; she's an OB-GYN now, and living in Pittsburgh. Actually, she's the girl I wrote "True Dreams of Wichita" about. I introduced her to the band fellaz as, "We used to date in the Eighties!" But in fact it was 1990. We hung out and talked on the bus until it was time to drive.
I'm underslept and fidgety and cranky--bad ride last night.
Did a performance/interview at WRNR in Annapolis today, and tried to keep my sleep-deprived obsterperousness under control--they're excellent peeps, and they were the first station to play "Looking at the World..." so I have much love for them.
Posted by Mike at 4:51 PM
The Spurgh: Pixx 1.
These fotos of the Pittsburg show ganked from listener Ray.
Posted by Mike at 4:37 PM
The Spurgh: Epiphany Fish Fry.
This pic--also ganked from the aforementioned Ray--is of Scrap playing his adaptation of a Renaissance melody, called "Keeping Watch Over Some Cow." Be there between Orenda and us if you want to catch it.Posted by Mike at 4:28 PM
Oct 19, 05 07:15 PM
Blog, or Do Not; There Is No Try.
Pre-tour's end anxiety; Pennsylvania atmosphere.
I'm at the venue in Pittsburgh, and whoa, this place is fucking hip. A converted church. I'm up in the dressing room, the old clerics' apartment. Very funkily accoutered.
I forget how atmospheric this town is. Really lovely. The bridges, the rivers, the hills, the old brick houses, the decrepit structures. I always think of August Wilson, who set his plays in the Hill District here.
I am excited but melancholy because we'll be home in three days. When I'm home I dread the road; when I'm on the road, I dread returning. But the thought of my own bed is awfully fine.Posted by Mike at 7:15 PM
People Kvetch About Haughty Being Too Pop...
...and it bums me out, and then I realize I've been obsessively listening to that tune "Over My Head" by the Fray, and I just think everything about it is awesome. Grain of salt for you, Mr. Doughty?Posted by Mike at 5:06 PM
Scrap's New Band.
Am I crazy, or did I blog the above photo before?
Anyway. Scrap's new band will be called EPIPHANY FISH FRY, after a sign we saw driving to the venue here in Pittsburgh. He plays a little renaissance or medieval melody on guitar that he wrote lyrics for. It's about cows. You may catch him between Orenda Fink and our set in the next three shows.Posted by Mike at 5:02 PM
Girl with a Rockity Roll Robot on her Tote Bag.
Ganked from listener Patty Rizzi.
The little robot dude--drawn by Susie Ghahremani--is becoming a minor icon. McNeal and I are talking about getting him painted on the bass drum head. Doughty HQ and I are talking about getting polo shirts done with a tiny Rockity Dude stitched on the left breast, Izod-style.
The girl wears a TUNE IT OR DIE shirt. This scared me. She was standing in front, and I saw her and remembered this nightmare show in Amsterdam--my first solo tour in Europe--and I was wasted, and Dutch people kept yelling Tune your guitar! Tune your fucking guitar!Posted by Mike at 4:56 PM
Oct 18, 05 12:43 AM
The Marquee at the Indy Gig.
Courtesy of listener Melissa Phelps.Posted by Mike at 12:43 AM
Oct 17, 05 05:14 PM
A Man in Chicago with the Rockity Roll Robot Tattooed on his Left Arm.
Posted by Mike at 5:14 PM
These pix from the show in Seattle--some of the best pix of the whole tour--were ganked from listener Nate MC.
Don't ask me how he managed to get two pix of Dan with his mouth open.
Posted by Mike at 4:41 PM
A Foto My Manager Took of Me at Randall's.
Posted by Mike at 4:11 PM
I neglected to credit listener Jill Van Sickle, who took the above pic, for this foto.Posted by Mike at 3:46 PM
Oct 16, 05 02:05 PM
Did I Mention that Our Bus Driver Bill Is an Ex Philly Cop?
Stellar Chicago show. I felt kinda raggedy in Madison the night before, so it felt really good. WXRT recorded the show for later broadcast, that should sound awesome.
I've been doing this thing at the end of the last tune, "Your Misfortune," where I lay the National Reso-Lectric guitar down on the floor and strum it furiously with one hand, fucking with the Moog pedals with the other hand, making freaky whooshing warbling pulsing noises. Last night I dropped the guitar at the front of the stage, dumped out a bottle of water and handed it to a kid in the front row, telling him to whack the strings forcefully as I manned the pedals' knobs. That kid was PSYCHED.Posted by Mike at 2:05 PM
Oct 15, 05 02:36 PM
I Know It's Wrong, But I Had to Call My Friend Bex and Make Sure that Adama Didn't Die (Second Season DVDs Out on December 20th!!).
Hi from Chicago. Just rode in, just woke up, just rolled off the bus. Hoo man. Since beginning this tour I've assumed a pasha-like existence, waking up at noon. Very unusual and unnerving for me.
Getting pretty tired, I must say. Shows have been good, but the rest of the day is sleepwalking through interviews. I'm doing this thing at Borders later today, Scrap and I playing some tunes, then signing stuff; maybe I'll stroll over to the Apple Store and pick up a Nano or something--get a little rush from an extravagant purchase. Do I need a Nano? No. But you must understand. It's VERY SMALL.Posted by Mike at 2:36 PM
Oct 13, 05 02:32 PM
Yeah! Always a joy.
These fotos ganked from listeners Ike Whiting and Maggie Burnett. Their Flickr page.
Posted by Mike at 2:32 PM
Oct 11, 05 06:36 PM
The Kansas City Surprise.
(These fotos by listener Chris.)
I expected a low-key night. They're not playing us on the radio in KC, it was a fucking Monday night, and I've played KC once in my entire career, and that was a poorly-attended radio show where we were sandwiched between Everlast and fucking Vanilla Ice (Seriously). And that gig was seven years ago!
I called up my Kansas City-ese friend Kelly Sue and asked her to find ten people I could put on the guest list, because I wanted somebody there.
But there was no shortage of somebodies. Packed! Sweaty! Hot! Boisterous! Feisty, even! Plus, an audience rife with cuteness. Nothing wrong with that.
During the big rock and roll ending of the encore, I re-introduced my bandmates and Chuck (sound dude), telling everybody who is, who is not, and who quite possibly may be, a Cylon. (see entry below: Balactica!)Posted by Mike at 6:36 PM
Though I brought a shitload of art flicks on DVD, the bus is obsessed with the boxed set of Battlestar Galactica.
It's become our mantra: from our bunks, we all yell, Balactica! Balacticaaaa! BALACTICA! Seriously. One night we watched maybe five episodes in a row, and Scrap kept saying, "Just one more! Then we'll sleep! It isn't even 3:30 yet!"
When the evil scientist is on screen, speaking in his proper British accent, we say: He's from SPACE ENGLAND!Posted by Mike at 6:28 PM
Boulder: Second Show.
Posted by Mike at 6:22 PM
Where Credit is Due!
Posted by Mike at 5:04 PM
Pete, Second Night in Boulder: Fun with a Towel.
I broke a string during the show-within-the-show.
Pete re-entered with Scrap and Dan in tow for an improvised triple drum solo (I guess that makes it not a solo, huh?). He wore a towel around his head. Fetching.
Posted by Mike at 4:53 PM
A Taste of Chen.
(Looking rather beatific in the above pic, yeah?)
Posted by Mike at 4:44 PM
Second Night in Boulder: Erin McKeown and I Duet on 'I Hear the Bells.'
What a killing guitar player she is.
We ran over it a couple times in soundcheck. She took the "I'm seeking girls in sales and marketing" verse--rather salacious verse--I asked her, Are you OK with singing the booty verse? "That exactly the verse for me, the booty verse," she answered.
She rocked the hell out of me when we did it in the show. She interpolated the bassline to "Lazybones" in an instrumental break, which made me laugh. Still kind of weird, though: it's not a bassline that I wrote, and it reminds me of this one excruciating period of time in Soul Coughing's life: I came up with most of the basslines on Ruby Vroom, but was met with resistance (to put it kindly) when I tried to sing them to Sebastian in rehearsals for the second album.
Again this trouble with my past in that band: I want credit for what I wrote, which I feel like I was cheated of, but I also want to treat that past as if it never existed. I play a couple of my fave SC tunes that I wrote, but when someone in the autograph line compliments me on SC albums, some part of my brain translates it as an insult. Insane? Yes.Posted by Mike at 4:34 PM
Dirty Fruit Art.
Some dude named George in Boulder made this porny piece of art out of an orange right before my eyes.
Posted by Mike at 12:37 PM
Oct 9, 05 03:13 PM
Good Morning Kansas.
We awake on the bus in Colby, Kansas.
I stumble out of the bunk and look out the window; we're in a big flat yellow place, in the lot of a Holiday Inn Express (wiffy!! yessssss!!), with a Taco John's sign looming above us.
Scrap awakes. Grabs a Diet Pepsi. Sits. "I wonder if they have hos in Colby," I say.
"If they're civilized enough for Arby's," Scrap says, "they're probably civilized enough for hos."
Last night in Boulder there were two sisters in front of the stage. At the shirt table, signing after the show, I got flirty with one of them and said, "I'm madly in love with you!" The other sister burst into tears.
Posted by Mike at 3:13 PM
Oct 8, 05 05:02 PM
Pixx of Night One at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado.
These ganked from listener Anne Dirkse. She said in her email, "I missed the shot of the lady next to us reaching for your ass as you passed by. Sigh."
Posted by Mike at 5:02 PM
Proliferation of Post-It Art on the Tour Bus.
Posted by Mike at 4:54 PM
Pete Dines on Soup in San Francisco.
It's Thai soup; Tom Kha. I can't remember the name of the joint, but it's some of my fave Tom Kha in America, and it's next to the parking lot that's next to the Hotel Bijou.
Posted by Mike at 4:42 PM
Polaroid of Scrap and I Chillaxing Post-Show in Portland.
Ganked from listener Vickie Embree.Posted by Mike at 6:21 AM
Oct 4, 05 07:55 PM
Who Exactly Did I Gank these From?
I do know this is the second night in San Francisco; other than that...?
Posted by Mike at 7:55 PM
In-Store Appearance at Easy Street Records, Seattle.
These ganked from Sony/BMG homie Dennie Chong.
Posted by Mike at 7:47 PM
Oct 1, 05 04:11 PM
Pix from the El Rey Show, Los Angeles.
These ganked from listener Thomas Rippe--author of a piece about yours truly in the USC Daily Trojan.
I'm the luckiest guy ever to play Los Angeles. We have a fantastic L.A. crowd, boisterous and vocal and happy. The usual scene is a bunch of cold fish too cool for themselves. But you, Southern Cali Mike fans, are a different breed, and I thank you.
PS. I'm not wearing the same shirt every night. I have two varieties of show-shirts; three of one and two of the other. I am diligent in my laundering habits. Though: it is the same hat. I bought a different hat in San Diego for variety's sake, but it made me look like Mr. Potato Head. Also, I shop at J. Crew. Don't be a hater.
Posted by Mike at 4:11 PM