Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I love having creative friends

My friend Rion Harmon came up with one of the funniest ways to promote a new record I have seen in a long time: pit himself against Heidi Montag. Check it out before she makes him take it down:

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Photo: Jenn Fest IV in May, 2009. Tallahassee, FL.

Almost summer. May as well be summer; May in Central Florida is hot enough to be summer damn near anywhere else, anyways. Some people are complaining- too hot, afternoon showers. They should move.
I love summer in Florida. Sure, my power bill goes up. Sure, it is hot, sweaty or rainy at times, but really there are few things I love more than a post-thunderstorm dusk.
The air smells wet, the clouds make the baddest sunsets, everything seems so settled and relaxed. Tree frogs are chirping like crazy. You don't get it quite like that any other time of year- nothing like it.
Everything you do outdoors is more fun. The beach is better. The springs are better. The woods are better. If you don't get that, get out of Florida.

Another thing that is better is road trips. There is just something about driving down the turnpike to South Florida, or I-4 to Tampa in the late afternoon/ early evening that is just more alive than it is during the winter. Last weekend I drove down to South Florida, alone. Listened to The Hold Steady, thought about music, my friends, life. It was awesome. When I got down there, I got to hangout with some amazing people I haven't seen in quite a while (hadn't been in Fort Lauderdale since August- a long time for me.)

Tonight, I'm driving over to Tampa to see some more friends. Can't wait. More of The Hold Steady. Finishing up my 3/4 sleeve tomorrow morning. It will be nice to see that finally completed.

I'm also finally playing music regularly again. 3 bands. Practices Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. First show in 9-10 months June 22. School starts again July 4. New project with a good friend that I think will be fun. Fuck yeah, summer.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm getting older!

It's almost May, which means a boat load of my friends and I are getting older. It's weird how many friends I have with May birthdays. Kind of awesome, too. This year I am turning 32 years old. That really doesn't mean anything to me anymore. Feels the same as 28, 29, 30, and 31. Maybe I will feel differently when I wake up on May 5 (birthday is May 4.) Sometime's I think it is weird to think that I don't feel like I am getting old or something. I feel like I've matured a lot, gained a lot of knowledge, but just don't feel any older at all. I just like enjoying my life and my friends. I'm pretty lucky to have some of the people around me that I do, some which have been around me for quite a while now. I also miss a lot of people I haven't seen in a bit. It looks like my schedule at work is finally normalizing to where I won't be working every Saturday, which is nice. I miss having two days off in a row. You really take it for granted until you work 12 out of 16 Saturdays or whatever crap it has been. Means I will actually be able to do some occasional visits to friends in other towns again, hopefully. Plus I'm going to LA June 3. That should be great.

Tyson and Maria's birthdays are also May 4, so we are celebrating together at Will's Pub. Should be pretty fun. We're going to have Slippery Slopes and Teenage Softies play, some people Dj'ng, cheap PBRs, and more. I haven't celebrated my birthday in a while so I don't feel like a total jerk doing so this year.

Also working on a show May 13 at Will's Pub for Shaking Hands. I love/hate helping people book a show. I love it because it's fun, like a creative problem solving puzzle assembling the pieces to make it work. I hate it because I always feel personally responsible for how many people do or do not show up, and I'd feel worse if it did poorly than I would feel good if it did well. Plus, I never take any money for it. Usually I just end up having fun because I get to help out someone who is a nice person. So. . . if you're free May 13, come out to Will's. We don't know all the bands that will be playing yet, but hopefully we will soon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Acceptance of Differing Opinions, The Ignorance of. . .

Recently read an interview I did for some dude that lives in England for the first time. He wanted to interview me because he saw a band I played in one time- not because I am particularly interesting (which I certainly would not profess to be- just try holding a conversation with me)- but because I guess he thought the band was. While reading the interview, I came across something in particular that struck me as interesting. Being an editor for a “punk mag” he seemed to have a particular interest in politics. When he saw us play, it was prior to the historic election of Barack Obama. The question he asked me was, “What are your (the band’s) political leanings then? You were telling people the importance of voting at Fest 7, do you think that ‘ordinary’ people’s perceptions of the political process has changed since Obama won?”
I proceeded to spout a bunch of bull-shit, but the one line that caught my attention was, “I think when you feel strongly about your candidate (as we did with Obama) and see or hear in the media inaccurate or grossly exaggerated attacks against your candidate, you feel catalyzed to stand up for him. I think a lot of Obama supporters felt that The McCain campaign was personally attacking them, and their personal value systems with these methods. Probably a mistake on the GOP’s part. Preaching tolerance and rationality will hopefully turn into a winning combination in the future for all involved.”
The personal (and perhaps broader?) significance of this statement did not strike me until I made a joke on Twitter, about creating a specific group on Facebook attacking Sarah Palin’s (and in turn her followers’) value systems, and I realized that in doing so, all I would be doing is catalyzing them in a similar fashion. I realized that if we keep offering the Palinites the legitimacy of scoffing at their beliefs, all we will do is make them all the more fervent in said beliefs. I’d also be a massive hypocrite.
I have certain friends on Facebook who are what I call, “Palinites.” I do not mean this in a derogatory way. I mean simply that their belief system is, or has become, aligned with that of Sarah Palin, and those who support and agree strongly with her. Some of them periodically will post things that clearly relate to their Christian Conservative leanings. These posts have flared up recently with the recent medical reform. Often times the posts are clearly biased, easily proven untrue with basic research, and most likely derived from some form of public radio (which in one particular case was openly admitted.) Each time, I have taken it upon myself to question them (in a non-confrontational, albeit somewhat condescending, manner) regarding the information or content they posted. I would say it is safe to say that the vast majority of people responding also disagreed with them. I would also say it is safe to say the Palinites felt their values were being attacked.
Are we- people like me making similar responses regardless of tone, affect, rationality, or humor- catalyzing a Palin movement, much as The McCain campaign inadvertently catalyzed record numbers of non-traditional voters to turn out and vote for Obama? Are we not fueling a fire that could actually help to usher non-conservative candidates out of office?
It seems to me that the selection of Sarah Palin has been the impetus for a growing political divide in our country. This was probably not the intended effect long term, probably just during the election. Think about it:
“We are the McCain campaign, and we risk losing to a liberal Black Man with a name that sounds Arab. Let’s pick a running mate who is his opposite, in order to get the people who don’t traditionally vote that are not like him to vote for us. A White Female who will appeal to gun-toting Christian Conservatives and soccer moms.”
I do not say this to discount any credibility Sarah Palin may have had as a potential Vice-Presidential candidate. I say it only to point out that it was a choice of division. A choice that seemingly is carrying over beyond the election, to me in alarming fashion. No, political division and the derision incumbent are not new. I acknowledge this. But has it been this bad in recent history?
I am also not going to say that I think the Democrats and Liberals are innocent.
“We are the Democrats. The current President is a Southern White Male from Texas, with Christian Conservative leanings. He is immensely unpopular. Let’s choose someone who is his opposite to capitalize on this unpopularity.”
Again, I do not say this to marginalize Obama’s legitimacy as a Presidential candidate in the prior election, or to say that he was chosen, “because he was a Black Man.”
Obama was elected. He had to win primaries; he had to beat several other White Men in his own party to get to where he is. The Democrats did not truly just “choose him” based upon the way he served as a juxtaposition to the person he sought to replace. They could not have; he had to be elected. The McCain campaign, however, had the option of choosing an opposite. They must have recognized the way Obama’s differences from Bush served as a strength. Ironically, it could be argued that Joe Biden was selected based upon his relative similarity to John McCain.
The question I pose then, is how do we- as the self-proclaimed rationalists and realists- avoid causing our own meltdown by fueling the Christian Conservative fire? Traditionally, these sort of divides in values come to a head in confrontation. The Stamp Act, The Boston Tea Party, The Revolutionary War. Dred Scott Decision, Harper’s Ferry, The Civil War. Insert Liberal Agenda, Insert Conservative Response, Insert Conflict.
Am I saying this will happen? Absolutely not. And, I certainly hope it does not. Frankly, I appreciate those situations in which two sides of differing opinions are able to keep each other in check. The issue is the extent of difference between two the extremes are at this point. Conservatives- particularly Christian Conservatives- feel attacked. Their value systems are being questioned. I can actually understand to some degree why this would be so offensive to them, as many of these values are directly related to their interpretation of their religion. I believe it is safe to say that Americans are well aware of the extreme to which religion can catalyze people to hedge toward political extremity in some cases. It is why Osama Bin Laden attacked us (no, I am not likening Christian Conservatives to terrorists, only demonstrating the influence of Religion.) It is also why separation of Church and State was built into Our Nation’s Constitution.
What do I suggest, then? If you cannot find or invite into your life the positives of your political rival- ignore them. If you find something they say so outlandish that you cannot fathom how they can believe it- ignore them. To ignore them does not say that they are right. In fact, to ignore them lessens the perception of legitimacy you give their claims. Don’t make claims of your own about them, about their statements, do not directly confront their beliefs, do not play that game. It is childish, and rather than see what you consider the wisdom of your ways, they will only become further ingrained in their own. Instead, encourage acceptance and the value of differing opinions. Turn the other cheek if you must. A wounded animal is a dangerous thing indeed. Seek common ground, however small. Accept them for who they are. You know, the important stuff you learn in The Bible.

Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others. – John F. Kennedy
Of all religions, Christianity is without a doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most, although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. – Voltaire
Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict [slavery] might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. – Abraham Lincoln
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. – Bertrand Russel
The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with. – Eleanor Holmes Norton
It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty. – Mohandas K. Gandhi
I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird. – Paul McCartney
I tell them I have worked 40 years to make the W.S. platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon. – Susan B. Anthony (on Women’s Suffrage)
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too. – Voltaire
Monsieur l'abbe, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write. – Voltaire
It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse-races. – Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I just realized that my old blog, Myspace Mutants, has more posts on it than this one. Not sure how proud I am of that. Good thing I didn't quit my job, and put all my chips in on a Myspace based website.
I woke up way early for work today, so I decided to get some outside of work work done. In other words, I have spammed about 1000 people this morning, and if I'm real good maybe I can spam another 2000 in the next 45 minutes. I sent out "fan" suggestions for Will's Pub, Parafora Presents:, and Vinyl Richie's Wiggly World of Records from the Orlando Shows profile. If you got the invites, I hope you appreciate one of them and choose to join the group or page I invited you to. They're all related to local music in some way or another, so I'm guessing you may. If not, ignore my shit.
I also created a group called Orlando Shows Group, mostly just because it has discussion threads on it. Maybe people will find it a useful place to connect regarding music in Orlando, maybe they will just be giant ass holes to each other (like what happens on virtually every music related message board for some reason.) Maybe nobody uses it, maybe somebody does. I also bought the url, orlandoshows.org, and I am going to hopefully get a site together to accomplish virtually the same thing the FB profiles do. I don't know if this is superfluous or not, but I'll try it out. It works with tallahasseeshows.org and I like/respect what they've got going on. If anyone wants to help me out, let me know.
In other news. . . I leave for vacation tomorrow. Going to the frigid north to visit old Tallahassee and Orlando friends. Should be fun!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Parafora Presents: 3 Year Anniversary Party

This past Tuesday we put on the 3 year anniversary party for Parafora Presents: at Backbooth. I've only been working with these dudes for about 2 months, but I am really having fun contributing (I think) to our local music scene. Parafora Presents: was started by Chris Anderson, and he put together an amazing lineup for Tuesday: Monotonix, Surfer Blood, The Tenant, Yip Yip and Basements of Florida. The show went off really well, so thanks a million to all of our friends who came out to support us, it was great to see everyone out supporting the bands.
Basements opened up by playing on the floor while people were still filing in (before the place got completely packed the fuck out). For those of you not familiar with Basements of Florida, they feature three bass players (Patrick O'Neal, Phil Longo, Henry M**$) and two drummers (Tyson Bodiford and Jeff Ilgenfritz) which of course sounds over the top in theory but in execution it works, due in large part to the fact they are all excellent at what they do. Playing on the floor works for them. . . and definitely added to the intimacy of the experience watching them that night. They're playing February 21 at Will's Pub for a Haiti Benefit show, check it out.
Basements was followed up by Yip Yip, which I guess you would call, "experimental." Lots of cool synths, an electric saxophone, drum machines and crazy costumes. The music is replete with a quirkiness that was matched by their stark white attire with white specs and black berets. I described their music as The Mephiskaphales on acid, mostly due to the electric (or should I say electrified?) saxophone and bouncing beats. It's an acquired taste. Kind of like LSD. Their next show is February 16 at BBQ Bar if you want to get nerd zapped.

In a drastic shift in atmosphere, The Tenant was up next. I think Brad Register's smooth vocal delivery was about as big a juxtaposition to Yip Yip's electronic acid trip as could possibly be found, but it worked. Honestly, I am into diverse shows. I enjoy seeing bands play together that you might not always consider obvious. They had a solid set, especially considering Brad lives out in Austin, Texas now and they clearly cannot practice on a regular basis. They didn't even miss a beat when drummer Chandler Strang's kick drum had to be swapped out (yeah, I made that joke.)

Surfer Blood came up next. Pitchfork loves this band, so I am sure there are some people out there who have a preconceived notion that they are a cliché hipster band with no substance. If you are of this opinion, you are only doing your self a disservice because these kids really do bring it and it is not contrived. Phil Longo, known more for his punk rock musical background than liking the "new in thing" said it best during their set:
"I get it. It's real, you know?"
In other words, not gimmicky.
I think it took them a couple songs to hit their stride, but once they did they delivered in admirable fashion. I think frontman John Paul Pitts' affable demeanor alone probably won over some of the skeptics that were inevitably in the crowd that night, but if it didn't I think their brand of reverb laden guitar hooks had to win over quite a few others. They're playing again at Backbooth February 16 with Turbo Fruits and Holiday Shores. If you missed them Tuesday, don't miss them this time because they won't be back for quite a while. The February 16 show will be their first show of a two month long North American tour.

Monotonix. Holy shit. This show was my first time seeing them. I've heard that they were "crazy" and "put on a good live show," but holy shit. These guys aren't just musicians, they are fucking performers. The fact that Backbooth was packed out with wall to wall people only served as a greater platform for them to blow my mind. During the first song, vocalist Ami Shalev did a stage dive, and crowd surfed from the stage all the way to the opposing wall of the venue and back. What the fuck? Who does that shit? Monotonix. Like Basements of Florida, they chose to set up amongst the crowd on the floor, which is intensified when you consider the crowd was already about 400 plus by this point. Guitarist Yonatan Gat ended up standing on the banister and playing there, as it was the only safe place not on stage that he could go. Shalev even managed to climb on to the balcony above the sound booth, and ultimately led a crowd of people out the front door, where he climbed a street sign (what the fuck?) and then dove into the crowd. I can only hope that I one day see another band perform like that (and not look like douchebags) because I doubt it will happen. I should also mention that the next night, Shalev injured his leg at a show in West Palm. They cancelled one show, but plan to continue touring. What the fuck?

I'm waiting for some more pictures, so if you have any please send them my way! kyle@paraforapresents.com.
Montonix photo credit: Norrel Blair. Surfer Blood photo credit: Christopher Keith Garcia (ckgphotography.com) Yip Yip photo credit: Christopher Keith Garcia. The Tenant photo credit: Bryne Yancey

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tonight will be awesome

So awesome I'm using a picture to demonstrate:

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Pretty stoked, I talked to Bryne Yancey of overheated.org and punknews.org and it looks like he is going to start working on the blog with me. It will be awesome to have another person contributing. You may even start finding it interesting.
Really excited about Casiotone for The Painfully Alone Sunday, and the Parafora Presents anniversary party Tuesday (Monotonix, Surfer Blood, The Tenant, Basements of Florida, Yip Yip,) if you plan to go I recommend buying a presale ticket, because a lot of them are being sold. Both shows are at Backbooth.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Support your friends!

I felt like this would be an appropriate post for this blog. Earlier on in the life of the blog, I interview my good friend Josh Mikel, aka Sharkguts. He is a great artist, and I just ordered two of his prints for my bare bedroom walls:

Pretty stoked on that. Also pretty stoked that his band moved to Austin, TX, because now I have a reason to visit. Which I definitely will be doing in the near future. Actually, I think I will be visiting a lot of places this year. Where should I go?
I also swear to God I am working on more interviews. I'd also like to have another contributor to the blog if anyone is interested. I want to keep it all positive, and related to independent art and music. If you're interested email me, kyle@paraforapresents.com. Also, I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Sony Acid Pro or Ableton Live they would let me "borrow".

Monday, January 11, 2010


Whoa. 2010 has been fucking BUSY. "The day job" has picked up/gotten busier again, and has been a lot of fun. I also work part-time for Parafora Presents: and I also started working on my Master's Degree again. Doing hw is weird, and doing show work is fun. How I still find time for outdoor fun is beyond me, but I seem to be doing OK.
The holidays were amazing, got to hangout with some amazing people who don't live here anymore, like Robin, Laura, Dina, etc. Took a toll on my wallet though. Also got to have some hang time with my Grandma. She is 90, but she is still smart as a whip. Another highlight was New Years, my friend Bryan came to town from Sarasota. Love that guy. We always manage to end up singing along to Face to Face (which I couldn't get to load on the jukebox the next time I went back. I think they took it off?!)
2009 didn't necessarily end the way I wanted it. 2010 is at least starting the way I wanted it to. Swim.
Anyways, I wanted to make a post because Parafora Presents: has some interesting shows coming up, and I made a mix of some of the upcoming bands. Here is a track list:
1- Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (1.24.10)
2. An Introduction to Sunshine (1.16.10)
3. Dead Confederate (1.19.10)
4. Surfer Blood (1.26.10- Parafora Presents: 3 year anniversary)
5. Cold Cave (2.09.10)
6. Nite Jewel (2.09.10)
7. The Tenant (1.26.10- Parafora Presents: 3 year anniversary)
8. Surfer Blood (1.26.10- Parafora Presents: 3 year anniversary)
9. Monotonix (1.26.10- Parafora Presents: 3 year anniversary)
10. Warpaint. (2.19.10)
11. Evan Dando (2.13.10)
12. A Place To Bury Strangers (4.04.10)
13. Akron/Family (2.19.10)

So go listen to it. Email if you want a DL link. Maybe you will find a band you like that you haven't listened to yet.

Supposed to interview Tony Weinbender, Chris Anderson, Wayne (the sound dude at The Social) if I ever find time to write up some questions. And hopefully Davey from Of Montreal if he has time and agrees to it. Oh, and my room is a pig stye. Anybody wanna clean that shit for me? (hey, something has to give, and I hate cleaning.)
Also, I found a cool review of a show I booked over in Tampa, with Look Mexico, Mike Dunn and The Kings of New England, Andy Matchett & The Minks, and The Equines. Check it.

Upcoming shows from Parafora Presents:
1.16.10: An Introduction to Sunshine, Andy Matchett & The Minks, Lonesome City Travellers, The Equines
1.19.10: Dead Confederate, Great Deceivers, Bananafish, The Beauvilles
1.24.10: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Emily Reo, Guests
1.26.10: Parafora Presents: 3 Year Anniversary Party. Monotonix, Surfer Blood, The Tenant, Basements of Florida, Yip Yip
1.28.10: Smashing Pumpkins cover set by Mumpsy.
1.29.10: Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, King Bee
2.09.10: Cold Cave, Nite Jewel, Technobox, Emily Reo
2.13.10: Evan Dando (of The Lemonheads), Sterling Schroeder & The Chosen Ones, Guest
2.19.10: Akron/Family, Warpaint, Queen of Spain
2.23.10: Rachel Goodrich, Bananafish, Guest
3.15.10: Leatherface, Yesterday's Ring, The Attack
4.04.10: A Place to Bury Strangers, Guests