Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I purchased a black knit hat at a Flying J truck stop, somewhere in N Washington. It is cold.

We slept on the east side of Spokane on the banks of Lake Liberty, which supposedly freezes over completely in the winter. I dreamt that I was a famous Potato Chef, and--in a national contest--I burned the potatoes. Now it is early morning and the sun is pretty amazing, rising over this lake. I could go for some potatoes.

I am out for a week with Crosstide. Tonight we play Billings, MT, I believe. I'm pretty sure the gig is a men's club. No problem. No problem. I'll be back in Portland for a show the day after Thanksgiving, which means I will have to cut short my giant day of OUTLET SHOPPING. Sorry LL Bean.

I will try to better keep everyone updated on my life. I've been slacking, but it's only because my jeans are in the wash.

Erick Alley: faithful Timber Army member and supporter. Matt Henderson: pioneer and cancer research donor.

Monday, September 11, 2006

i am delirious!

This past week has been one of the most hectic of my entire life! In case you don't know, I work for a company called CUI; we sell things. Well, I don't sell things. I buy things. Fun computery things. At company meetings I get introduced as "Our I.T. Director," but around the office and at happy hour I am referred to as "Dude," "Hey!" and sometimes (if e-mail is down for longer than 10 minutes) "Douchebag." Fortunately, no one wants me at company meetings. And I don't want to go to any post-cubicle happy hour. Honestly, I don't think I'm punctual enough for either... which is how I happily run CUI's I.T. department.

For the past year, I have been preparing to move CUI's entire network from northerly suburbia to southerly suburbia. (That's not a metaphor.) Balancing this job with music has been a chore, to put it mildly. The past two weeks have been especially hellish with prep. I've also been moving into a new house with Bret and Shelley, who decided to get married last weekend. Clearly they did not consult my schedule before making wedding plans. Because I've had no time to organize my head, let alone my new house, our first floor is so full of music gear that I have no room to start soundproofing, which is (aaaaaa!) another project hanging over my head like a bloated sperm whale. Bret's schedule seems no better, because he postponed his honeymoon so that our band Crosstide could play too shows during the most complicated weekend of my life. What a guy!

So, last Friday morning at 10am, I dismantled our old server room and phone system as the company packed up all their machines, desks, filing cabinets, coffee mugs, and promotional paperweights from uselessofficejunk.com. By 1pm I had all the stuff unpacked at the new facility. By 4pm I had assembled, configured, and turned up a (albeit, VERY basic) data network and a successful phone system. I don't know if any of you realize how amazing that is to turn up two networks like that, but as a seasoned I.T. dork, let me just express it in two very technological words.


Then we partied. Unfortunately, I had to be at work the next morning at 8am. I spent the day in front of a server rack. Then I left for a last minute Neverland practice, before two separate load-ins and soundchecks at two separate venues... The only thing to prepare for the upcoming night was to order several consecutive glasses of rubbing alcohol, or something similar. We (Crosstide) played at midnight, and enjoyed every minute of it. Highlights included spontaneous Replacements lyrics, a drum solo (wtf?!), and Rian punching me really hard on stage. Afterwards, we loaded up and went to the MusicFest NW afterparty, where we added some lovely peeps to our crew and played a Neverland set at 3am. Yes. 3 o'clock A.M. Oh, and just to clarify: Neverland is a Michael Jackson cover band. Yes. MJ. I got home at 6am.

I went to work at 10am. I left at midnight. I came to work today at 7am. I am still here. So if anyone wants to question my productivity level lately, I just have two technological words for them...

OK, I'll save it. Here are some pictures of how much of a geek I am. First, the old server room... Observe!

And now, the new beat... Respect!

All you I.T. peeps know what I'm talking about. This room is the shit. That is all. I am not going home for a while, but when I do, I'm making myself a tropical drink, pouring it down my shirt, making another one, pouring it on Bret and Shelley's cat (they're honeymooning, I can do anything I want), and then drinking the third. To life! To music! To 3Ghz dual processors!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

yes, mammal!

People pay good money to swim with dolphins, you know. They heal the sick (the dolphins, not the people) because they're magical. Surfers say they keep away sharks. They're good luck for sailors. I am not a sailor or a magician, but I did "swim" with dolphins. Bret and Neal and I chased a pod (school?) of dolphins around Santa Monica beach for several hours. (Even more remarkably, I remained UNsunburnt after the entire day.) At one point, we were as close as 5-10 feet away from a bunch of squeeking sea-mammal things. It's a little unnerving, letting your feet dangle into the ocean while these giant torpedo creatures swim underneath you.

Our public now eagerly awaits our epic novel of bromance, entitled "When We Swam With Dolphins: a true tail." This based-on-a-true-story work of fiction will include sexy anecdotes of tour, hard-hitting dialogues on the philosophy of punk versus metal, and--of course--the heartwarming story of our encounter with the magic sea creatures that changed our lives. After it becomes a NYTimes bestseller, we will certainly never be the same.

...unless I get to swim with Killer Whales, in which case, I am changing the title of the novel and possibly cutting Bret and Neal out of the royalties. Sorry guys.

Don't worry, Portland! We
represented the Timber Army by going to Hollywood Billiards and setting up camp in front of a large-screen TV to watch the Portland vs. Seattle soccer match on Fox Sports.

Also, today, I went for the first time to the spectacular Hollywood Bowl. We watched "The Sound of Music." Now, say what you will about theatre, broadway, and musicals in general, but this was something pretty extraordinary. First of all, one of my good friends from long ago, David Larsen, was appearing as Rolf. We met up rather surprisingly at a Crosstide show earlier in the week, and he gave Bret and I the chance to see him perform tonight. The show matched the venue in overal breathtaking-ness, and I am still blown away to have seen David performing in front of 18K people. It's just amazing.

Crosstide shows have been going well. We played with a cool band called "Transfer" at the Ken Club in San Diego last Friday night. We finished 3 out of 6 demo tracks we've been working on at the practice space. Oh! and Warren Beatty came to the Mint last Wednesday when we played. We've all decided that he is obviously a huge Crosstide fan.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


L.A. police have it busy. Yesterday I watched a 17 squad-car shakedown.

We finished up practice at Zoom Zoom Zammy's and realized our van had been graffitied. Ugh. It was a hot. Later that night I decided that I really needed six individually packaged beer drinks, so I began my walk up the Sunset hill from Micheltorena Street to Echo Park. The crown jewel, the Qudditch cup, the final destination was the little mini-mart next to Burrito King (a simultaneously hideous and delicious food stand open really really late on weekdays.

After two weeks of practice in this heat (and several shows), I don't know how I found the strength to climb that hill in my flip-flops. It's a good 3/4 mile. And about half way there, I realized that a helicopter had been circling me for several minutes. This wouldn't have been odd, except that it was 1:00 am and I hadn't seen a car pass in several minutes.

Maybe he's a traffic monitor? [The helicopter spotlight comes on.] Scratch that. I was just about to cross Coronado Ave when a Caddilac Escalade comes cruising across the intersection through the red light, at a mere 5 mph. More copcars than I've ever seen at once follow him. He stops in front of me, doesn't get out. Copcars stop too, and lighthouse that is making the racket in the sky is so bright that I don't know how us "good" guys are supposed to see anything. Guns guns guns. Also, some cop shouts at me to get the hell out of the way, which I gladly did. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I stopped thirty or so yards away and sat on a fire hydrant, watching for a good 20 minutes as the cops (I stopped counting at 21) held the dude on the concrete and searched his truck. I asked a cop nearby who managed to have kept his gun holstered what was the deal...

"Dude, kidnapping suspect, Bro."

I promise, those are his exact words. I continued my walk to Burrito King.

It's funny, because last Friday I watched the prequel to this mayhem. I played a show at Berbati's Pan (back in Portland) and, afterwards, loaded my gear into the truck on 3rd and East Burnside. I watched the cops keep a guy face down on the concrete for 5 - 10 minutes. I'm really not trying say anything specific about a police-policy that arrests people with a foot in their back. It's just unnerving.

OK, so here's the update: as I mentioned before, I'm here with Crosstide in L.A. We played the Mint last Wednesday. We play the Echo tomorrow. We set up a studio of sorts in the hottest practice known to man. We went to the beach today. I am about to melt. Our well-dressed hostess Logan hasn't been the least bit hostile the entire I've been here. It's all accomodation. Thank you thank you thank you. And thank you to Matt and Rian, who broke here futon, wrestling for rights to Logan's bed. She has a boyfriend, unbeknownst to each.

Here are some pics taken by Erick Alley. (*note* Our van got graffitied.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

independence day

last night Crosstide played the Spaceland. we had a great time and everyone sweated in their shirts and patted each other on the back a lot. some people clapped, which was nice. afterwards, we high-fived. i think we should be a soccer team. in terms of hipster uniformity, the only thing we really hold in common right now is that we all wear shorts and wish that it wasn't so hot. good god, Los Angeles. if angels are really this hot i think i might as well not worry about Hell.

van rides with matt, rian, bret, and erick work relatively well, thus far. we spent a good two hours playing "hey, guess what i'm thinking." one time, bret was thinking of Zoroastism. it took a while to guess that.

this morning, at 11am, we wound up at an irish pub, watching the Germany/Italy world cup match, and doing everything else that you do at an irish pub. well, maybe not EVERYTHING. 4pm rolls around and a giant nap sounds good. really good.

i need to catch a flight back to Portland tomorrow. i'm trying to decide whether i should pony up and schedule a cab to the airport or rely on the boys to get me there in time. by 6am. if you think this latter plan sounds entirely reasonable and doable, consider that you are talking about 5 dudes who got up early today to go down the street and drink beer and watch soccer. and by early i mean 11am.

i'll be home for my show on the 7th, and while i'm there i will talk weddings with family members and friends, because they seem to be everywhere: weddings. only till the 9th. then i'm back in middle-earth-- that place not your home, but not not your home. want to live everywhere evenly? want to feel the same about yourself in the city or the country, east or west? me too. that's why i like being away. it's practice.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


a. I have a janitor-sized ring of keys. I sit in the middle and spin. Recently, I've been playing with Crosstide. They are going through some ch-ch-ch-changes, and I guess I'm helping to turn and face the strange.* I'm humbled and flattered that they would ask me to sit in with them.

b. A-WOL Dance Collective has choreographed an entire 2-part program, based on music I've written. They'll be dancing (translated: moving in ways I couldn't hope to, hanging from suspended hoops, and climbing/falling from ribbons) while I play live at the Winningstad Theatre on May 5 and 6. Our gang of musicians will include Graeme Enkelis, Andy Uppendahl, and Bret Vogel. The theatre has 3 tiers, but is super intimate.

c. Does anyone know what the Crystal Ballroom has to do with precious gems? Is it named after my sister? Was it formed from the rubble of a quartz quarry. (Oooh, new favorite phrase! We queried our quarried courier in the quartz quarry!) Anyway, I'm opening for Bassboosa (a U.K. band with an equally mysterious name) on May 9th.

d. Knrk94.7fm and Kink102fm have both played some BF tunes, but will probably stop unless masses of sexy women accost the DJs. Or men, depending. Just kidding. Maybe.

e. I think I may have appendicitisssss.

That's all for now, I guess. Oh, except that we also have a Neverland show soon approaching. For those of you in the know, this will make you want to scream.


* "strange" may very well = "strain." I've never figured it out for sure...