Monday MEGA-POST! So, I made calls this weekend but didn’t post the blog because I feel like most blogs don’t post on the weekends. Am I right about that? I’m thinking this is how I’ll be doing it from now on, though having serious OCD, I can’t decide if I’m breaking my own rules or not. If I am, someone call me out on it and I’ll do right by you! I will also be adding one of those “Ask a question” things as soon as I figure out how to do so. Here are the calls from Saturday, Sunday & Today (Monday).
1. John Agnello
The Last Time We Spoke: Two summers ago, Sonic Youth put out ‘The Eternal’, which, after being a fan for 15 years, was my new favorite release by them…oh and John produced it. Over the last few months we have become good friends, and much to my humbled delight, John has become an avid supporter of my band. We hung out a few nites ago to discuss some new demos I sent over to him that I am working on.
When I Called Today: John and I talked about what you’d expect when on the phone with a rock producer…an American Girl Doll Party obviously. (Dont worry, I’ve Googled it for you folks who dont have the mental image in your heads). John hosted one for his 6 year old daughter, Bella, and 3 of her friends, the afternoon following the nite out I described above in the ‘last time we spoke’ section. I purposefully left out the details of our very cliche’d rock n roll evening to protect his reputation on the American Girl Doll circuits, but, I will say, this man is a trooper, and quite obviously a great dad. This example may be enough for some of you, but to drive the point home, John and I spend just as much time talking about awesome records and guitars as we do about his kids. Its pretty awesome.
The Verdict: John inspires me musically, but also in the way that he is able to balance his musical life and family life.
2. Doug Artist
The Last Time We Spoke: I don’t know if we ever have. Don’t know where I know him from, I simply can guess that he is an artist of some sort from how I entered him in my phone.
When I Called Today: He couldn’t help me with how we met… neither of us had any clue. Nonetheless we talked for a few minutes about his artwork and Philadelphia, where he resides. Doug sent over a link for me to check out, and it turns out he does some really awesome design work.
The Verdict: I asked Doug to design a new t-shirt for Those Mockingbirds after seeing his website! So, when that happens, it can be credited to this random phone call.
3. Danny Lavagna
The Last Time We Spoke: It’s been at least 4 or 5 years since I’ve spoken to Danny. His old band shared a rehearsal room with my old band (Perfuma) and our bands did not part ways on the best of terms, to be honest. However, Danny was always a nice dude, so I was looking forward to calling him.
When I Called Today: Danny was understandably confused as to why I was calling him, and said he was racking his brain to remember whether or not his old band still owed me rent money from the days when we shared a room, and maybe I was calling to collect. (Not the case). Once I told him about the blog, we started catching up, and he let me know he’s engaged! Congrats to Danny! Then a funny thing happened when he asked about my band. Upon hearing our name, he realized that he used to play with our drummer, Kevin, years ago, and he had been keeping tabs on Kevin, not realizing it was me in the band with him all this time. We spent the next 10 minutes discussing how great Kevin is at just about everything and how he is the opposite of most drummers. What I mean is, most drummers slowly lose brain cells because all they do is hit stuff, think about it, thats why Animal is the drummer in the Muppets, because drummers are usually insane. Kevin has somehow avoided these stereotypes and is easily the most well adjusted person in Those Mockingbirds…but more on that another time.
The Verdict: Totally cool, but odd that Danny had been unknowingly keeping up with me for a bit. He’s a sweet dude and I wish him the best with his coming wedding.
4. Pete August
The Last Time We Spoke: I really have no idea. Azarja is someone I know thru a few mutual friends, and always say hi to when I run into her, but thats about it. I actually only have her phone number because one of our mutual friends asked me to save it in my phone one day when his phone was dying, and she was going to pick him up somewhere.
When I Called Today: I first wished her a happy birthday, because it had recently passed, and then we quickly got onto the topic of putting our careers in front of our personal lives, and the amount of havoc this causes. We traded a few stories, and without spoiling it or jinxing her, I’ll say she has some really cool stuff coming up soon!
The Verdict: Last week I was invited to Azarja’s birthday party, but did not go. After this phone call I regret it. She’s someone I think I have more in common with than I realize. Very cool woman!
6. Skylar Adler
The Last Time We Spoke: Skylar plays in the Nico Blues with his brother Reed, who was on my blog on day 1. I saw Skylar a few times this weekend because Those Mockingbirds and The Nico Blues teamed up for a few shows.
When I Called Today: Skylar is a man of few words, but the ones he chooses are effective ones. Skylar was on campus at Purchase College for some classes, but mentioned that he hasn’t been there much lately due to being in NJ working on the recently released Nico Blues album ‘Die Happy’. He told me he really likes the school however, to which I agreed, though I never went there, I spent many months there while dating a girl living on campus. Skylar summed Purchase up perfectly to wrap up our conversation, by saying “It’s like scholastic heaven for anyone who got picked on a lot in high school”. Well said sir.
The Verdict: Cool chat with Skylar. Im much closer with his brother, Reed, so while I do see Skylar a lot, we never really get into conversations. Maybe this is the start of a new favorite Adler? ahhh, I’m such a bastard.
7. Scott Barman
Number Disconnected - (Scott and I met on, and mostly stay in touch on Facebook, if you read this Scott, hit me up dude!)
8. Rob Bass
9. Michael Batelli
10. Tom Beaujour
The Last Time We Spoke: Tom is the biggest fan of pop music to ever run a metal magazine. He also produced two of the songs on the first Those Mockingbirds EP, and we have stayed buddies since. I last spoke to Tom about 3 weeks ago when I wrote an incredible song, sent it to him to cheek out, only to have him reply by telling me it was “Heart of Glass” by Blondie. I hate when that happens.
When I Called Today: Tom answered as he was getting packed and ready to leave for SXSW, as he is touring his way there and back with a friends band. We made loose plans to hang out when I get to Austin for the festival and then I gave him a few reading suggestions for his trip, all written by Philip K Dick of course.
The Verdict: Tom and I always have colorful conversations, but this was greyer than Gandalf’s beard (bonus points if you get the double meaning there). No sweat though, dude was packing, and he even apologized! What else could I expect? Looking forward to seeing him next week!
11. Aaron Beckstead
The Last Time We Spoke: I haven’t spoken to Aaron since October, when he was in NYC for CMJ. Aaron is from Georgia and was Perfuma’s tour manager/merch guy/navigator/token southern dude.
When I Called Today: I caught Aaron as he was leaving work and we talked for a few minutes about the book he wrote about his wild life, (you can check it out at: www.facebook.com/goddamnpieceofwork ). That was it.
The Verdict: Aaron and I have logged countless hours talking during overnite drives on tour. I think we may have actually talked about everything there is to talk about. That, or he’s still not over the time we bathed together in a river in Wisconsin.