Monday, June 22, 2009

Fuckin' Survive!

Dogs of war! Que pasa? Oh me? Thanks for asking. I’m feeling a rare mixture of exhilaration and sadness, like when you punch a clown in the face. Currently I’m sad because my little dog, Pancho is very sick. I don’t know what’s going on with him, but he’s not even eating various dropped human-food off the floor. He’s just sitting in his crate and growling at anyone who comes near him. He’s going to the vet here before too long, but man, it’s depressing when animals and little weak things are in pain. One of the worst feelings in the world. And Pancho is both an animal and a little weak thing, so well, you can imagine.
My exhilaration is carrying over from my father’s day experience. Father’s day, for those of you who don’t know, was started in the early twentieth century as a weeklong celebration of man’s superiority over women and machines and has since evolved into that one precious day a year where dads don’t have to walk behind wives in Target carrying their purses like some nutless, mobile hat rack, at least according to my sources. This was my second father’s day and I don’t mind telling you it blew the first one out of the water.
I don’t actually remember the first fathers day, because my kid was what? Six minutes old? He was just crying and shitting motor oil and crying and shitting motor oil and on and on like that for all of eternity. Sleep was a fucking joke. Everything was a joke. My old lady was still all exhausted and in that “don’t touch me…That’s exactly what got us into this” mode and shit was generally in disarray. Yesterday though? Delicious breakfast, mimosas, coffee, fruit salad, and this is after sleeping until ten (TEN)!! I talked to my grandfather on the phone, the same grandfather who told us that he wasn’t going BULLSHIT! (see Thursday’s entry for details) all those years ago, and that was awesome, because he’s really one of my very favorite guys, and for whatever reason we haven’t spoken in a lot of years. (actually, it involves a morbidly obese former playboy centerfold and Alabama, subtle family politics and about one saltshakerful of dementia, but that’s kind of another story) My wife made me shortribs for dinner which were absolutely fucking delicious and I drank a busch light. You know what that means, right? Come on, Dogs of War! Where there’s busch Light, studio master, Matt Alison is not far away. That’s right assholes, yesterday I went to Atlas and peeled off a rough mix of our five song digital ep/7 inch and let me tell you what…it rocks. Ah, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to Friday morning after I left you all…
We got into the studio and Chris started with all the guitars. We alternated a Soldano and a marshall head for the competing guitar sounds and went through a marshal half stack. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that last sentence means. That’s nerd language, kids. Okay, so the rhythm guitars ended up taking longer than we thought and I started singing kinda late. That too, took longer than we thought. My voice has changed, and it took me a second to get used to using it. Okay, here’s what I mean. Our last record, which was called Oh! Calcutta! Was recorded at a time when we’d been on the road for just years and years nonstop, and as such, all these calluses had formed all over my vocal chords which is what leads to that ‘impenetrable wall of rasp’ sound that is my voice on that record. Now, I’ve been off the road for so long that my voice is sweet and tender like a six year old boy’s powdered sack, and as a result my voice sounds way more like it used to on our older recordings, like the Cocktails and Dreams stuff. Not a huge difference, but one that makes a big difference to me in terms of approaching vocals.
Look, the results were ultimately good, then Chris sang, and killed as per usual. By the time he was done it was about 130 and we hadn’t done backing vocals or lead guitars. We decided to break the “get the shit done in two days” rule and head back in the next day (Saturday) to finish up. Saturday rolls around and I got there before Chris, so I did all my lead guitar playing and a little tiny bit of vocal doubling. Chris then arrived and cranked out the craziest, sickest most downright hilariously awesome lead guitar work that any of our records have ever seen. Think Bad Religion “No Control” as a point of reference. Seriously. It’s so great. Then I did my backing vocals and then Chris did his. By the time Chris was doing backing vocals, we were all late for things we had to do. Chris had a show, Matt had somewhere to be, I had a dinner date and a babysitter, so we were just making up parts and laying them to tape. The second we finished the last vocal, we all ran out the door. We never listened back to any whole song, just individual takes to make sure they sounded in tune and decent. We left the studio with the record done, performance wise, but with NO IDEA what it sounded like.
That night I got drunk in the same room as David Cross. I didn’t talk to him, even though I know him a little bit from when we played a show together in Texas. That kind of shit isn’t really enough to start a conversation that leads anywhere worthwhile. Take note. If you see someone famous and your whole thing is “hey, remember when we hung out/remember me?” that’s not gonna go very far. The answer is gonna be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and either way, you’re just gonna be standing there, and David Cross is gonna be looking at you, and his friend is gonna be looking at you and they’re just gonna want to go back to talking about Thai hookers, and your presence is just bumming them out. So fuck it, man. Don’t do it. That’s the little talk I gave myself, and it worked out well, because, well, I had a great night anyway.
The next day (father’s day) I took a break from all the pampering to head down to the studio to get a rough mix of the record. Matt was kind enough to hook it up and man, I gotta say, I’m really pleased. It’s WAY better than I ever thought it would be. It definitely keeps in the tradition of not sounding exactly like anything we’ve done before but not being so different that it’s gonna bum people out (like that JFA psychedelic record…yipes!). I guess the best way to describe it is that there’s no mistaking that it’s the Lawrence Arms, but it definitely would never be mistaken for being on any of our other records. I’m happy with that. Also, I’m listening to it right now, and it makes for a good wake-up-style kick to the sack, which I’m pretty pleased about.
So there you go, kids. Studio update 2. Done. The whole thing is done. Once Matt Alison gets back from his fourth of july vacation smuggling Afghan heroin into Singapore in his anal cavity, we’ll mix this bitch and then-Let the leaking and inevitable shit talking begin!!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!
The great thing about this record is that when we first started, we had this idea for a seven inch, the title, the artwork, everything. That was gonna be our first seven inch, and well, we never made a seven inch (except the fat club 7” which is different, because it was part of a series, and it was subscription based, and you know, it wasn’t really its OWN thing) and so here we are, about to do our first seven inch, and we’re gonna use the title and cover art that we planned almost ten years ago. I think it still holds up to scrutiny. Good times.

On a slightly different note, I was perusing the Sock Drawer (the comments section for you newcomers) when I came across a post from “Joe Mushugana” wondering aloud how I could still drink Goldschlager. This is a big deal to me, kids.
Now, Joe Mushugana is from the amazingly under appreciated Chicago band, The Mushuganas. When I was a kid, they were my favorite band in Chicago, by far. We played shows together and we hung out a bit, but I was always sort of in awe of their shows and their records, and this dude, Joe, who was the guitar player.
He also did all the talking on stage. He was super smart and quick and funny and there was sort of no way to beat him. He commanded the room and he sliced up hecklers with the sharpest one-liners of all time. One time I made the mistake of yelling something at the Mushuganas at a show, all in good fun, and I remember that he fired back with something to the effect of “hey, look, it’s the guy from Chap Stick. He’s got something to say. Did you know that he named the band Chap Stick because he uses so much chapstick to keep his lips from cracking between all the cocks he constantly sucks down? It’s true.” Well, I didn’t really have much to say after that. I mean, that’s fucking funny, no matter how you slice it. He is also the guy who always said “This next song’s about killing yourself to live” before every song, which I also love.
Okay, the point is, this guy was and remains the whole reason that I sort of developed into who I am on stage. It’s all a big Joe Mushugana impersonation. Well, it used to be. Now it’s morphed into its own thing, I guess, but that’s the whole genesis. I haven’t seen Joe in probably ten years, but as strange as it sounds, I think about him and his whole thing that he did back then all the time. SO, long story short, uh, joe, if that’s really you, I don’t actually drink Goldschlager. It was kind of a joke. There’s no way to suck as many dicks as I do with all those gold flakes stuck in your throat.
Toodles!

21 comments:

Michael said...

I can't wait to hear the new EP when it leaks!

Have you guys had to deal with that before?

PIXI said...

I got a sock drawer tattoo this weekend and it's awesome. Go to thesockdrawer.proboards.com to see a pic.

monkeyman8889 said...

Cant wait to hear the 7 inch!

Will any of the new songs by on myspace to hear before buying the album?

bert said...

he can't pixi... gotta log in. i think one of our fine admin's should see about making a special admin account fer him... on second thought he might crack from the constant adulation that goes on over there...

wilddanimal said...

I would pay money (well, buy him a beer) to talk shop for a bit with Matt "Dick on a dog" Allison. That dude has been behind a bunch of my favorite records, and I get the impression he's a real character.

So yeah, don't be shy with the studio talk, Beex. Fascinating stuff.

Cobra Chai said...

once upon a time i saw the Mushuganas and Joe introduced every song with "this next one's about taco bell"

Scott said...

as I get more and more pumped for this 7-inch and the 10 year show in the fall I took everything I have...slapstick, the broadways, the falcon, sundowner and every single recording of The Lawrence Arms I own and made a super playlist to get me through the weekend.

Gautham Ganesan said...

Surely I'm not the only one who got a hard-on from that allusion to a Larry Arms/David Cross show.

Banana@1000MPH said...

Isn't Pancho growling at everyone proof that he isn't really that weak? I don't know him, but it seems like a good-ish sign.

Eric said...

BK,

Quick request for advice. Cool or uncool to bring a 4 and 7 year old to the pride parade?

Thanks,

Eric

Zac said...

saldano? METAL!

Owner Operator said...

pixi is not lying. and it's awesome.
email it to the beex (do you like how i added 'the' i think it makes it sound way more awesome) and he might break his rule/shit amount of internet skillz to post a pic on his blog.
he should/


anyway BK. i'm not one of those nerdy guys with record players and exclusive 7 inch colections. but i do like to actualy hold my copy of music i buy in my hand (ie i don't download shit). so any chance it'll come out on CD?

cheers n beers,

see ya in oz real soon? i'm sure you have to tour off the back of the nwe 7 inch at least yeh?

lisa said...

Brendan,

I think you sound like a dirt bike when you sing.

Robb said...

Won't lie; I'm a compact disc guy. If it's 7", I prefer it be a personal pan pizza, healthy erection or occasional rail. That said, I finally just acquired a (cheap) turntable, and I'll wait and make this my first official 7" purchase.

Blake said...

A girl once told me BK sounds like a gremlin, but I think he sounds like an angel.

Zac said...

all you CD-pussies should just man up and buy a turntable. nothing like sitting down to one of your favorite records and listening so attentively you have to switch sides halfway through.

Bridgett said...

The first Lawrence Arms song I ever heard was "Porno and Snuff Films" and the only part I really understood was the 'gravelly' part (I was maybe 15) so I assumed the singer was singing about himself. Then my boyfriend informed me (at 22) that they are really the best band ever, and that he is not singing about his voice, it just happens to be slightly gravelly. And awesome.

Mike Destruction said...

stoked to hear the new material!

Robb said...

On lengthy road trips, there's no greater joy than poppin' 24 Hour Revenge Therapy into the ol' Pioneer vinyl deck.

Nico said...

I have a record player and I have no shit with vinyl, but I listen to 99% of my music in the car. My car can't play records.

Andrew said...

yeah. what nico said. i might have already commented on this. i can't remember