Thursday, March 23, 2006

Something to believe in

In a week where I've spent many hours (when I have them available) working on the art for an album that was started two years ago, I find myself in a moment of honesty where I'm now saying aloud "what's the point?". I'm happy with the album; I'm proud of it, but let's not kid ourselves here. It's time to make changes and I'm more than accepting of it. Time to move on to something new and shake off the hindrances of a past that in many ways has been the biggest stumbling block to this new album. These songs are old; they belong to the '80's version of The Punch Line. It was an interesting enough exercise, to step back to a degree in the past, but enough is enough. The Punch Line, as we knew them, are truly dead. Now... move forward. I know the next album recorded will be exactly how it's been discussed and hearing the new demos are a total turn on; if anything, I need to get on the horse and shape up my new songs.

I also have other things to do; other things that I find interesting, like starting work with the guys in the studio and help them shape their future. I'd rather take part in someone else's future rather than be aiding someone else in trying to ride the wave of my past.

Now that's entertainment... finally.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My words are war

If I can make this cohesive, great. I'll decline to talk about music or the band, but rather, a topic I find somewhat interesting.

People blog for various reasons and I have no qualms with that. I think if you write and it enriches your life and subsequently someone else's, then please continue and never lose it. The written word is a beautiful thing; it's always been the one thing that remains sacred to me. It's pure--and when it comes out of me, it's about the most spiritual thing I can do. I blog because I find it refreshing and it gives me a chance to filter my thoughts and to translate what's in my mind to the written word--not compromising or lessening what I'm thinking--either bemused or vitriolic. I don't believe in lying when I write. It's like going to the gym--I work out with my mind and fingers here; I exercise my God-given gift/ability.

Yet somehow, sometimes what I write seems to upset people. I'm not certain why. I don't feel a sense of regret; I don't apologize and the simplest thing I can say is, like a television program that you find offensive, don't tune in. Don't read it and you won't be offended. I'm not here to pretend.

So I will try to state the facts: about that whole e-mail at my birthday--why do so many people care about someone they never met (me) or how I view my ex-girlfriend or her gesture? I don't fake feeling things that are not; I don't act like I care about or live in the past. And I certainly don't feel an affection for a person (persons) that I never really felt an affection for to begin with. The bottom line here is that I'm not a sentimentalist. If that's cold, then that's your perception; I don't need to pretend being glad to hear from someone that I hadn't given a thought to in as many years as we'd been incommunicado. I could sit here and expound my thoughts as to why she decided to e-mail me, but it comes down to one thing: I really don't know why; I don't need to know why and I don't care why. So if you were angered by what I said before, you really need to concentrate on your own existence and don't worry about how I conduct myself.

This all is so easily avoidable if you just read these blogs as entertainment and not containing veiled references to anyone in particular. I've read blogs by writers my age and younger and I've seen some really cruel attacks and I can't fathom why so many people give a shit. For younger people, while they may not have the finesse of age, I hope they maintain a sense of self and not kowtowing to pressure of pretty-ing up what they write. That equals censorship and farce--it ceases being truth; it stops being pure.

Don't be what you are not. Don't write what is not.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Catching my breath

I'll try to be coherent; it's been a whirlwind weekend (actually, a blur of a week). Gym, going to Chris' to get hold of the artwork and finally Brian coming up for the weekend. A good dinner for the three of us and conversation into the wee hours. Saturday was up to do some record shopping--and yes, I did make my first purchases of the year--at Vintage Vinyl, then a pig-out of the best kind at Southern Smokehouse; finally, a night in the city to see The Pogues. A great show; I've never been a fan, but they were entertaining. A really nice, big-time breakfast this morning; put Brian on the train, grocery shop and then home--I am exhausted.

Spoke with Bob at length this afternoon, which was cool. Planning on both a work night and a night out for us. Told him of my (albeit minor) progression in trying to complete the layout, which at least is somewhere. Starting to focus on working on the new songs come Thursday.

While my mind's still a bit of a fog from the last few days, I'll stop here. I can feel a headache and a bit of a wind-up coming on. I promise I will address the prior topics mentioned in the last post sometime this week.

" a mouse trap in a glory hole
Now it's my turn to catch you unaware..."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nothing achieving

Went to work at Chris' today on the album art so we could complete the layout and send it to the manufacturers; let's say things didn't go so well. Nothing was done, save for the cleaning up of the minor typos. Very frustrated. I'm pleased with the fact that my lingering doubts about the master are now cleared up with (what I feel is) the right mix for "Let It Go" (thus facilitating the need for a new master to be burned and which I've listened through to/approve of), but I really want this artwork to be completed. It's become a laborious situation that now needs to be taken in its' entirety to a different avenue, which I'll attempt to do this week. If I can make this happen, then the production goes on as scheduled.

The Punch Line apparently have a gig coming up on May 6th as headliners, which is nice. I'm still cautious as I want to make sure we're not going to be asked to pay to play this venue (what kind of bullshit is that, anyway? - I have no intention of paying a cent if that winds up the case, which Bob and myself told Chris), but as long as we discipline ourselves on at least 2 rehearsals a week leading up to this show, I think we'll be in great shape. It'll be a Saturday night, not 15 minutes from home and as a friend and I were just discussing it, his take on it was "it's not Maxwell's on a Saturday--look at it as a rehearsal with kids there". An astute observation, since you can file it under "worst kept secret" as to why The Punch Line would play this all-ages, no alcohol club. I'm already looking into Maxwell's and CBGB's; May's show would be a test run for whatever this band may do during the summer. There are two bands (of friends) who want to play with us in the coming months and if all in The Punch Line's camp manages to maintain a sense of steadiness, then I would certainly enjoy that venture. At least now I can justify playing live, since by the show's date, we'll actually have product to sell at the club. It would also be nice to not talk about but to actually manufacture (at the least) some stickers (still too early for t-shirts, but you never know).

Looking at the above, something tells me I'll probably get heated e-mails, misinterpreting everything I've said. I took a shellac-ing for my posting on my birthday when my ex-girlfriend e-mailed me ("you sound so cold and unfeeling" was in one e-mail. No--I just post here what I feel and how I see things at the moment; it's strictly stream-of-the-moment's-consciousness). No one's been slandered; no one's been insulted/berated; no one is accused of any crimes. I'm just a reporter in this bubble of time. And one of these days, I'll post my now-3-month-old-thoughts on the whole "birthday e-mail post controversy"... ooooh! So if you get riled reading this, chill out.

Thank you for the e-mails, questions, etc., about my other projects. While I'll stay mum on some of the proposed shows, collaborations, etc., I will say this much: for "Stylized", the sifting process is coming along nicely and I'd guess I'm about 50% done with picking the material. Here's a teaser for you, though--expect at least two (if not more) shows by June and July (and no, that does not include the May show of The Punch Line) to materialize and the dates appear on my website.

My dear friend Keith sent me a link to a video service to watch an old Jam performance; I found THIS instead. Go watch. Learn. Be inspired. That band is why I'm still here.

Sometimes you have to go back to go forward and sometimes, you just have to keep on pushing.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Strange times

Just noticed a typo on my website, which pisses me off to no end. I despise typos. Equals negligence, especially since I'm the only one who works on the site. Fucking irritating. I have to wait until I can get to a P.C. to use Explorer 5.5. Ugh.

A strange week, to be sure. No drive to go to the gym (hypocrite!); finally got the templates to re-work the album art so we can send it to the manufacturers next Friday and a completely good, controlled day marred by one moment of absolute bullshit at work before the day's end. Now I'm out of sorts and would prefer to have the rest of the world fuck off.

I think the only reason I'm posting at this moment is frustration. So many things around me that I want to change; need to change and am beginning to start the process. My weekend is now thrown by having to make a last minute trek into Manhattan tomorrow; still have to (maybe, but doubtful) get together with the band tomorrow in the late afternoon/early evening; I now have to put Jason off for another two weeks (at least) and us working on the car and having to rush the groceries, etc., on Sunday morning.

Like I said earlier--ugh.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend rewind (stuff and more)

A busy work week; a thankfully-chilled out weekend and an eventful day today. Hit the gym late in the week; Friday night took Liz out for a nice dinner at a new local Italian restaurant--delicious. Saturday was Starbucks, groceries, Target and lunch. Bob was supposed to come over to work but the dear boy has been ill--get well soon, brother. Yesterday, a visit to Staten Island (how odd) and unwind for the rest of the day. Check out "Red Eye"--a surprisingly interesting flick.

Today, aside from being busy at work, got the all-important word that the album can now proceed to manufacture and I am willing to say that at the beginning of next week, we can send the master off and load the artwork to the printers' FTP site.

Can I just say that I could not give a single shit about the fucking Oscars?

On another level, after some good brainstorming between myself and friend T., I think it's time to proceed with Options R. It would be a good and healthy outlet for things that I wouldn't do with either The Punch Line or as part of my solo album, which I'm happy to say, is actually coming together, vision-wise.

And I'm very pleased with the changes Chris made to The Punch Line's website, which not only now looks the way I wanted it to, but it's taken quite a spike in the number of visitors, so thank you.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Almost all the post-flu feeling is gone; a slight bit of a cough, but otherwise, feeling healthier. Add to that mix, I've hit the gym twice this week. Loving Image Planet. 'Nuff said. Good, heavy- duty fat burn on the elliptical and treadmill--I'm wiped out right now.

The new Punch Line site went live today. I like it, but I think it could be more dynamic. I like the streamlined look and the color scheme; it needs tightening up and fresh verbiage, which I'll come up with this weekend. Bob's due to come over tomorrow night and start working on new material, so we're starting to make it happen. Another thing that we'd discussed and are now motoring on with. Even though there have been a few slow moments, everything's starting to fall into place.

So now it's time to nosh some chocolate with fruit and nut. Otherwise, I'll nod off in the midst of this post.