I sure am taking awhile to do this huh? It’ll pick back up, I promise. I have alot going on right now and I’m doing this blog every chance I get.
1. Sara Harding
The Last Time We Spoke: Sara is something of a little sister to me. We met many years ago, when her Dad would take her and her friends to see my old band, Perfuma. She would out about us via Armor For Sleep, who was her favorite band at the time. After Perfuma broke up, we stayed in touch, and Sara often contacted me for advice on things, but, especially considering that she lives in PA, we haven’t seen each other in quite awhile.
When I Called Today: Sara and I only spoke for a few minutes, but she told me that she had just gotten her tickets to see Those Mockingbirds open for Armor For Sleep at Irving Plaza in NYC. I was really excited to hear that she was coming to the show, not only have I not seen her in awhile, but as mentioned above, she met me because of AFS, so its fitting that she will be there. We took a few more minutes to talk about boys and such and then I had to go.
2. Kelsey Hanrahan
The Last Time We Spoke: Kelsey and I kept running into each other, over the last few months, at random places. One night about a month ago, we saw each other again at a bar, and determined that we were there for the same person’s birthday celebration. By the end of the evening she had shown me some of her photography work, and we exchanged numbers on the premise that we would talk soon about working together.
When I Called Today: It was my first time ever called Kelsey, and I had waited quite awhile to call, considering I had told her I would call within a few days of us exchanging contact info. So, when Kelsey answered and sounded a bit… off, I wasn’t surprised. I was in a good mood so I immediately cracked jokes, tried to lighten the mood and promised her that I wasn’t calling for any creepy reasons. But Kelsey cut me off and told me she was sorry, but that she had just found out that her grandfather died, and she was with her cousin at the moment, looking at family photo albums. Obviously, this was not the best time to call someone for the first time ever. I apologized, and Kelsey understood. I offered a few sympathies and let her go. We agreed to talk again soon, but we haven’t yet.
I dont forsee myself making posts every single day anymore, sorry to anyone who is bummed by that. I will make 2 or 3 a week, but a post every day is going to just burn me out again. In addition, I know many of the readers of this blog tend to read a few at a time, so this apology is aimed at the few of you who read it every day. Trust me on this though, this project was more work than I imagined, and this is the only way I am going to finish it.
1. Chris Grey Sky
The Last Time We Spoke: 5 years ago.. approx.
When I Called Today: I was honestly not sure if Chris would remember me at all. I know him because years ago, we talked about shooting a music video together, for a Perfuma song. We had a few meetings, but it just didn’t pan out. Oh, btw, Chris runs Grey Sky Films, which at the time, was mostly a music video company. Apparently though, Chris DID in fact remember me, and had heard of Those Mockingbirds, but didn’t know I was in the band. Let me tell you, THAT is an awesome feeling. Anyway, Chris told me that a few years ago, Grey Sky Films shifted its focus away from music and onto doing commercials and other video productions for companies. Chris said that music is definitely the companies first love, but it just wasn’t paying the bills, but now the company is doing great. I was happy to hear that they are doing better than ever.
2. Sara Guarducci
The Last Time We Spoke: Many months ago. Our main mutual friend moved to Texas, AND her boyfriends band stopped playing shows, so I don’t see her at all anymore.
When I Called Today: I started this call off by apologizing to Sara, because she and our mutual friend Katie, (mentioned above) came to see Those Mockingbirds last weekend and they thought I was being a bit rude. Maybe I was, but i assured her it was not intentional. Once that was out of the way, and we did a quick catch up, I told Sara that for some reason, every time I pass Journey’s in the mall, I wonder if she is working and I look in the store. As I look though, I remember each time that she hasn’t been working there for well over a year by now, if not two. I wonder if anyone else has the same kind of habit?
3. Ed Bersano
The Last Time We Spoke: It’s been awhile. I’m going to guess about 2 years or so. Ed used to be in a band called The Murder and the Harlot, who were buddies with my old band Perfuma. He also is a graphic artist who I worked with a bit in the beginning of Those Mockingbirds.
When I Called Today: Ed actually called me, returning a call I made to him a few months ago. His last name is in the early B’s in my phone, so I think he set some kind of record for how long it took to return a voicemail, at least for this blog anyway. That isn’t a challenge to anyone else looking to wait 2-3 months to call me back however, so don’t get any ideas. Outside of the usual catching up stuff, and finding out that Ed has shifted his focus from music to just graphic arts, we talked a lot about the Tiny Giant Artist Collective. Ed is friends with a band in it called Reese Van Riper, so he brought it up with me and we spent awhile talking about one of the Collective’s main ideas, and that is refusing to sell tickets for local shows. Now don’t get me wrong… there IS a place for bands selling pre-sale tickets, and that is when a national act is coming to town, and you want your band to support them. Makes sense, you get to play in front of their fans who may not have known you previously, and you get to make sure that the band has money to get to the next town, everyone is happy. But somewhere along the line, promoters throwing mostly local shows, decided that they didn’t want to take any risk, and started requiring bands to sell tickets, even when there were no national acts on the show. Some even went as far as not allowing a band to take the stage unless they met a certain number of tickets. Im not going to get TOO far into this here, but the Tiny Giant Artist Collective is firmly against this practice, and encourages bands to avoid promoters who use these practices, because there are many other ways to get shows these days.
Today’s calls were both callbacks, which rules because I’ve been so busy with this contest to be in We Made This Movie, that I haven’t had a chance to make calls today.
1. Crystal Corte
The Last Time We Spoke: YEARS! Seriously… Crystal and I were friends my freshman year of High School, and we lost touch shortly after. I couldn’t possibly tell you when we last spoke… however, it was always cool that we were friends at all. She was definitely a lot “cooler” than me, at the time, and we all know how important that is when you’re 15. Yet, she still spent a lot of time hanging out with me. I always appreciated it.
When I Called Today: Crystal called me back today after I initially attempted to reach her about 2 months ago. She has been extremely busy though, and her alibi holds up, so I wont hold it against her. Crystal has been working, going to school AND raising a daughter. Absolutely nuts if you ask me, i don’t know how she does it. I asked Crystal to fill me in on the last few years of her life, and here it is in a nutshell: She moved to North Carolina for a bit, and even though she loved it, she missed having 4 seasons per year and needed to move back to NJ. Crystal came back and started teaching pre-school, which was a dream job for her, but ultimately decided to leave the position to finish up the schooling she had started, where she currently is. At this point Crystal asked her kid if she wanted to talk to me on the phone, but she didn’t. Oh well. I then brought up the fact that Crystal used to like the Spice Girls, and admitted that all these years later, I still have them on my iPod because of her. I have no shame about it, and nor does she… in her words “hey, if you like something, who cares what other people think, just like it”. I feel like thats probably a Spice Girls lyric.
2. Rich Greco
The Last Time We Spoke: Easter, probably. Richie is my cousin, and even though he is “Rich” Greco above, I’ve been calling him Richie since he was born.
When I Called Today: Richie called me back from my attempt to reach him yesterday. He was heading home from work in Roselle Park where he is a teacher. A fact that I only recently learned about him, and was surprised to hear, simply because time is moving so quickly. Im not sure how we got onto the topic but our entire conversation revolved around the fact that both of our cellphone contracts are up in July and we both are curious about the next iPhone. I currently have a 3GS and simply want to upgrade to the newest model so my phone has at least a few years until its obsolete, and i don’t get stuck with what is essentially a brick, yet again, as i am now. Richie however has a Droid, and is strongly considering the iPhone, but he cant find the strength to pull the trigger yet. I told him my advice… “A lot of Droid users switch to iPhone, but its really rare for an iPhone user to switch to Droid… that is your answer”. He appreciated it and we went our separate ways.
Thanks to anyone who voted for my band yesterday in this contest. We are now #1 on it, have two more days left to hold the spot. Please vote again!
1. Leslie Greco
The Last Time We Spoke: Leslie is my aunt, and I think I last saw her/spoke to her on Easter.
When I Called Today: I started off by telling Leslie about a movie I am in, called Cat Scratch Fever, which will be shown at the Brooklyn Film Festival this year. She is a big fan of television history, and because movies are somewhat of a sibling to the TV world, I figured she would be more interested in talking about that than music. When that topic ran out of steam I asked her if she remembered when I was the ring bearer at her wedding, and I freaked out and cried… i was 4. She told me that my freak out made her nervous, but my grandfather (her dad) told her to relax and not worry about me. I then said “you can be honest, he probably really said ‘don’t worry about that little jerk’” this made her laugh. I was of course kidding. We only talked for a few minutes, and at the end of the call I told her that I was disappointed in her for having 8 full minutes to make fun of me with, and she didn’t whatsoever. Change of pace.
2. Richie Greco
3. Ken Grande-Pierre
4. Lisa Greene
The Last Time We Spoke: About 9 months ago (or so) on a PATH Train coming from Manhattan into Hoboken. It was super late at nite, Lisa and I hadn’t spoken in months, but we saw each other and had a good chat the whole way home. I have absolutely no recollection of what it was about though.
When I Called Today: I was hesitant to make this call because I always had a sneaking suspicion that Lisa wasn’t very fond of me. Not really sure why I felt that way, but I did. Regardless, I called and Lisa answered the phone with an extremely warm welcome. I was surprised and asked “do you know who this it?”, in as polite of a manner as possible, and she did. From noticing posts on Facebook, I had gathered that Lisa was pursuing a career in law enforcement, so I asked her how that was going, and she told me that she is applying for jobs now. The only reason I have Lisa’s number however, is because I played drums for her band at a rehearsal one nite about a year and a half ago, so naturally, i checked up on that. Apparently they are just reforming now, and looking for a drummer again. Looking back to an entry from 2 months ago, I suggested she contact Dan DiLiberto, who is a fantastic drummer friend of mine who is looking for a project.
The Verdict: Lisa asked me to call again soon, which was a far cry from what I expected, so this was nice.
Some days I find it alot easier to write this blog, and conduct the calls than others. Today was cake, I dunno why though… It just seemed easier for some reason.
1. Julie Galorenzo
The Last Time We Spoke: After about 10 years of not speaking, for no good reason, Julie and I finally got back in touch just three weeks ago. I swear it wasn’t on purpose knowing that she would be coming up on the phonically, we just randomly started chatting on Facebook again one day. Backstory: we were pretty much best friends growing up, and I used to spend a lot of time at her house from 6th to 8th grade. Im pretty sure she was my first kiss, in 1st grade too. hah.
When I Called Today: Julie was in North Carolina for work when I called, and she mentioned that everyone was being so nice to her that it was kind of annoying. I told her to just tell people she is gay and the whole state will stop talking to her. ZING! I asked her next if she was excited to move back to NJ, after living in Maryland for awhile, and she confirmed that she is. I then took a moment to be completely ridiculous and ask her if she knew where Little Falls NJ was, (she grew up there) and when she didn’t catch on to my ridiculousness, I told her I had to go, and she thanked me for calling and said her life was better for having this conversation, in a completely deadpanned voice.
2. Robi Gonzalez
The Last Time We Spoke: Over a year ago. Robi used to play drums in a band called Ultra Violent Lights, who we toured with when we first started out. They parted ways, and when Those Mockingbirds were re-forming about a year and a half ago, I asked Robi if he would be interested in playing with us. He was, but was also in the middle of auditioning for a spot in the Blue Man Group at the time, and it was making it so we wouldn’t be able to get together.
When I Called Today: Robi was happy to hear from me, and we started off the conversation by discussing how great it is to put in the effort to keep in touch with good people. Since we last spoke, The Blue Man Group gig fell thru, and Robi went up to Alaska to visit his parents and get away for a bit. Instead of moving back to New York he planned to go to Seattle for a bit, but as soon as he got there, an old friend hit him up and asked him to be the touring drummer for A Place To Bury Strangers, which after a few weeks turned into a permanent position. SO basically Robi has been traveling like a mad man while playing drums, which makes me happy because he is a fantastic drummer and all around solid dude. He is the kind of dude you want to see do well.
AAAAAND I’m back from being sick… Sort of. I was well enough to place a few calls today, but I am still very much under the weather. Time to go back to resting…
1. Mike Glita
The Last Time We Spoke: I don’t remember… Mike plays in a band called Love Automatic, whom my band has played with a number of times. Im going to assume that the last time we spoke was at a show, but I really cant remember.
When I Called Today: Mike was at work when I called, and due to me being extremely sick and out of it, I don’t think I realized that right away. I tried to start up general chit chat with him but his responses were muted and short. I finally put it together and told him to call me some other time.
The Verdict: Awkward.
2. Jody Gnant
3. Ev Gold
When I Called Today: Ev was in high spirits as always. I really don’t understand how someone can always be “on fire” like he is. It’s infectious however, and an admirable trait for sure. Ev and I mostly chatted about the fact that (as he put it) “there are people out there selling crack to little kids right now, and Adam Bird has to go to court for tossing a cigarette out of a car window, it just aint right”. From there we discussed the show coming up, and how much Ev appreciated me “sticking to my word” for it. Long story short, his band Cinema, Cinema was supposed to play the Meatlocker earlier this year, but I had asked them to change the date, and play with us there at a future date. A few months passed before I was able to nail something down, but as soon as I did, Ev was the first one I asked to play.
4. Danny Goldberg
The Last Time We Spoke: About 3 weeks ago, when he asked me to give him my opinion on an artist he is managing.
When I Called Today: Danny and I pick on each other quite a bit whenever we talk, and today was no exception. He answered the phone by asking me “why are you calling me?” and I said “cant a guy just call another guy without getting a hard time? jesus christ!” Once that was out of the way, we had a pretty boring to transcribe conversation about free downloads and their place in the current music industry.
5. Robi Gonzalez
6. Clay Graham
7. Annamarie Andrews
The Last TIme We Spoke: Sunday, I stopped by to visit… oh this is my grandmother btw. I do stop by to visit as often as I can but in this case, it was for mothers day.
When I Called Today: My grandmother asked me how court went, (i had just gotten out, and was there for throwing a cigarette from a car). She said all of the things she was supposed to say to let me know she disapproved of me smoking, and throwing said cigarettes from a car, so that was nice. I expect it though, not only is she my grandmother, but she’s also Italian, so its in her DNA to lay it on extra thick when she needs to. As any grandchild of an Italian knows, the best way to get them off your back is to literally just start talking about something else, so I asked her how her day was. Just as she started telling me about shopping today, she interrupted herself to tell me about RFK Jr’s wife being found dead, and mentioned that “its a real shame, of course they’re all gonna say this is part of that Kennedy curse now aren’t they?” We finished chatting here, after i said “I cant believe you don’t have anything else interesting to tell me!”
All three of today’s calls are people who returned my calls yesterday.
1. Nicole Geib
The Last Time We Spoke: Nicole is a relatively new person in my life. I met her thru some friends and usually only see her at parties at things like that, but we exchanged numbers a few months ago so I could invite her to shows, because she wanted to see Those Mockingbirds play. We last spoke in person about a month or two ago, and I don’t think we’ve ever spoken on the phone before.
When I Called Today: Nicole answered the phone asking if i meant to call her, and I told her yes, of course I did! haha. We talked mostly about this very unique habit she has, where she flies all over the US to see bands that she loves. Now, these aren’t just any bands, they are what I would’ve called “prog rock” bands, that is, until I did and Nicole scolded me for using “that word”. But basically, any band with Mike Portnoy in it, will have Nicole as a rabid fan. I busted her chops for a few minutes about some of her upcoming trips, and then invited her to a show in Montclair on June 9th.
2. Scott Garrison
The Last Time We Spoke: Via the phone, Scott and I haven’t spoken in at least a year. We’ve exchanged a few Facebook messages since, as he developed a logo that my band used for a line of stickers and pins.
When I Called Today: Scott and I didn’t have a very deep conversation. I asked in general what he’s been up to and where he’s been working, and all that. Scott complimented me on the new Those Mockingbirds music, and we talked about the band for a few minutes. But basically, Scott is super soft spoken, and while he’s really cool to hang out with, talking on the phone with him seems to always be “not the full Scott experience”. So to his credit, there is much more to him than this conversation lets on.
3. Nicole Gibbons
The Last Time We Spoke: A few weeks ago I called Nicole to RSVP to her wedding because I cant find the invitation. That counts right?
When I Called Today: Nicole had just gotten out of rehearsal for her new musical project, Owls & Lions, with Jay Della Valle, who was recently called for this blog. When she told me about the project, I remembered the name as “Owls & Frogs”, which, is clearly a sign that I’ve immersed myself too much in Harry Potter. Nicole gave me crap for telling her that this was her blog call, because she felt “on the spot” and couldn’t come up with anything good for me, and then wrapped it up with me by saying “I’m getting married soon dude, I’m done!”
The Verdict: To bookend this, I just thought I would tack on the fact that I received something in the mail today for Nicole’s wedding!
Today was one of my favorite days doing this blog. For anyone looking for more information on the topic discussed in the first call, go here.
1. Mike Garrison
2. Scott Garrison
3. Alex Rosamilia
4. Nicole Geib
6. Angela Giacchetti
The Last Time We Spoke: Angela is one of my best friends. We graduated from being “ex’s” a few years ago, and just became closer than ever, but platonic. I talk to her every 2 or 3 days at the least.
When I Called Today: Angela and I mostly spoke about Tom Gabel of Against Me! coming out at transgendered and how significant her announcement is. There have been a few cases of popular musicians proclaiming that they are transgendered, but no one has ever done it while a “current” artist, to my knowledge. Angela and I both expressed sadness at seeing people on our Facebook newsfeeds who otherwise display themselves as progressive thinkers, and believers in equal rights, calling this issue “weird” or saying “they don’t know how to feel about it”. First off all, this leads me to wonder why these people are supporting the other topics they claim to feel passionately about if not this one. Secondly, who the hell do you think you are to proclaim that YOU don’t support what TOM is doing with HER body? Its not your body!! Fucking people… Anyway, it was a long conversation as I’m sure you can guess.
The Verdict: I just want to give Angela credit where credit is due. She is very much the reason why this blog exists. She listened to my stupid idea and pushed me to actually document it as I am. Not only that, but she has contributed more to my eye-opening experiences on gender issues, race issues and sexuality issues than anyone else I have ever known. She has been an amazing teacher for me, and I have never told her this but I really think she could make a huge difference teaching others as she has me.
7. Nicole Gibbons
8. Jason Gleason
The Last Time We Spoke: Last summer, his fantastic band, Old Wives, played with my band, and we exchanged numbers for the first time, after running into each other for years.
When I Called Today: Jason filled me in on some of the things going on in his life recently, and mentioned a recent move, which reminded me that I ended up with a 12-string guitar that belonged to someone in his band, possibly him. I told Jason I would look for some Jason shaped ghosts in it to determine whether or not it was his. He then told me about a few potential plans for Old Wives over the next few months which are really exciting and I wish I could write about here. I guess that last sentence was pointless huh? But I did get you wondering i bet… Jason invited me to hang for a bit tonite, and because I never see him, I think im gonna go do that shortly.
Today marks the first calling of an ex-girlfriend. Sorry its not more dramatic!
1. Samantha Galligan
The Last Time We Spoke: The day commonly referred to as “Easter Sunday” 2012. Sam and her boyfriend, Eric, visited my family because they were in NJ from Maine. They moved to Maine a little over a year ago, after growing up here. Eric and I played in Perfuma together for 5 or 6 years, and I knew Sam for most of that time. After so many years, you transcend the “friends significant other” thing, and become friends on your own accord, as Sam and I have.
When I Called Today: Sam and I kicked our conversation off talking about the fact that she is on Day 2 of being unemployed, and she is already filled to the brim with wild ideas to spend her time with, mostly different blog concepts. I told Sam that she should get a job at a place like McDonald’s, or another company that most people would general consider themselves “above”. My argument was based in the fact that, with her strong education, she would rise to the top quickly, and while there would be that initial time where she wasn’t making much money, she would soon be climbing the ladder. Sam then told me that our mutual friend, Joe, actually did this in his teens, and became a McDonald’s manager within a year of hiring. I cant wait to talk to him about that… From here Sam and I got onto the topic of cats, and she told me how much of a bastard her cat, Avery, is. Apparently Avery is stealing earplugs, either for hoarding purposes or eating purposes. Sam thinks the cat’s insides are lined with foam now. At this point in the conversation is where I discovered Angry Birds Cheetos and became totally distracted, and derailed. Though, Sam is probably playing it right now. Warning, its in Turkish and therefore exists a language barrier.
2. Julie Galorenzo
3. Brittany Garrison
The Last Time We Spoke: A few days ago, Brittany called me to tell me that I should watch the movie Meloncholia. For the record, Brittany and I used to date, for about 2 years. During that time, our families became very friendly and remain so to this day.
When I Called Today: Brittany was at work and told me she would call me back “in a bit”, but after dating someone, you get to know what phrases like that mean for them, and in Brittany’s case, I wasn’t guaranteed a return call today. It would more likely be a few days from now. SO, I told her that I was calling for the blog so to make sure she actually calls me back soon. Brittany told me that she was unhappy with me for telling her that this was her call, because she wanted to be surprised. I was able to solve this problem for her by telling her that we would talk twice, later tonite, and she wont know which one I write about. Little did she know, I wrote about this one…
4. Denise Garrison
The Last Time We Spoke: This is Brittany’s mom, who I mentioned above. I keep in touch with Denise every few months. I last spoke to her about a month ago.
When I Called Today: Brittany answered Denise’s phone followed by a menacing laugh. I asked to speak to her mom and Brittany told me that she was driving and would call me later. I told Brittany that she was akin to a “rabid dog” running untamed and wild thru my blog plans today. She got a kick out of that. I finally convinced Brittany to hand the phone over to Denise, and after about 2 minutes of chit chat, Denise’s phone cut out and dropped the call. Of course. Denise did however call me back a few minutes later from a different phone, and we discussed a few topics, like her husbands flight schedule (he’s a pilot) and a new performing arts center up in Northeast PA (near where they live) which she said she would love to have me come perform at. We shall see!
I just got really into Freaks and Geeks. Just sayin’
1. Mike Galfas
The Last Time We Spoke: Approximately 4 months ago, we spoke for the first time in about a year. Just a quick catch up though. He moved to Chicago about a year ago, from CT. I know him via my bandmate, Tory.
When I Called Today: Mike and I talked about working in the music industry and things like that, and then chatted about one of the like… 3 mutual friends we share. This is all boring though right? Fear not, I have a remedy. Mike and I wrapped our convo up by him re-telling me a story his dad told me (and showed me, in fact) about a year and a half ago. Mike’s father was working on a record, producing, engineering or whatever, and he was told that Slash (yes, THE Slash) was going to come in to contribute a guitar solo to one of the tracks. Obviously he was thrilled to work with him. So Slash comes in and says hi and everything, and then gets to work… he plugs in and Mike’s dad hit record, and when the solo came, it sounded AWFUL. Missed notes, out of time, and just an overall mess. Mikes dad assumed Slash needed to warm up or something, so as he was about to tell him to do another take, Slash just walks into the control booth and says something along the lines of the fact that he thought it was a great take and that he was gonna leave. I had the pleasure of hearing the original take, next to the “cleaned up” one, and if that really was in fact Slash… whoa.
2. Krysta Frikkers
The Last Time We Spoke: At a bar last year, we ran into each other, and just chatted for a bit because we knew that our siblings used to be friends many years ago.
When I Called Today: Krysta and I don’t really know each other, so this was actually the first time I’ve ever called her. She is living in Arizona right now going to school for art history. We kinda just talked about the length of the drive out there, and how punishing it is. Nothing really crazy was discussed but she is one of those people who I find it hard to know where I stand with, so the fact that she answered, and was friendly and all that was a nice bit of reassurance for me.
I missed yesterday due to having an early show to play, so I decided to do an uncharacteristic Friday post even though the Internet is a ghost town on Fridays. Enjoy!
1. Joel Forsaken
2. Dylan NY
3. Rob Freeman
The Last Time We Spoke: On Rob’s wedding day last year. I wasn’t there, instead, Rob text me a picture message at around 11am, of a guitar I had sold him years earlier. It was really random but welcome. I called Rob back and we chatted for a little bit about guitars and music. About 20 min into the call he said “alright, I gotta run, gonna go get married now” and it was the only time he mentioned that his wedding was that day the whole time. Whether or not it was last minute jitters or just complete randomness, I will never forget that call.
When I Called Today: Rob and I had a long chat, catching up about my band, and his studio (you can see the Fender Jaguar I sold him in the background of the video). We talked about the town of Boonton, where he is located for business, and the wonderful craft beer location down the street from him. Of course, it wouldn’t be a call between Rob and I if we didn’t spend half of it discussing guitars and gear, but of course, Im not going to bore you all with those details. However today’s photo is of a guitar I bought last year, which I wanted Rob to see. I miss talking to Rob on a regular basis. I used to tour with his band Hidden In Plain View, many years ago, and they were responsible for my first trips around the country.
4. Krysta Frikkers
5. Brian Sella
The Last Time We Spoke: SXSW… Brian was down there with his band, The Front Bottoms, and we spent most of the week hanging out.
When I Called Today: I had one mission for this call, and that was to play a song for Brian, that I had recently written, that I feared may have inadvertently had one of his riffs in it. So once we got on the phone, I played it for him, and Brian confirmed that it was NOT a Front Bottoms riff! Success! After that, we talked for a few minutes about his upcoming tour in the UK, and I told him to bring me back the biggest piece of crap souvenir that he can find.
7. Chris Gachot
8. Mike Galfas
I just let loose today… I feel like I tore down a few of the last remaining reservations I’ve had on calls with people and just… went for it. Enjoy.
1. Kait Forjone
The Last Time We Spoke: We have never spoken on the phone before!
When I Called Today: Kait and I have only spoken via text, after “meeting” thru a mutual friend. So this is why when I called, Kait was obviously surprised that i was calling and answered with a “hello?” even though it was still within the realm of politeness. I explained to her why I was calling and suggested we use it as an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better. Kait is some form of chef, though she wouldn’t divulge where she works, and she is doing a photoshoot next week in NYC. Due to the fact that she was at work, we were interrupted a few times by her, ya know, actually doing her job, including a moment where she mentioned to a co-worker this gem, “the downside of having boobs”. I of course asked what she was talking about and she told me she got stuck between a wall and the refrigerator because of them. Classic.
2. Zach Folkman
The Last Time We Spoke: About 18 months ago. Zach is the son of my former bosses at the Independent Music Awards, and I unknowingly trained him to replace me shortly before I was laid off with much of the stuff.
When I Called Today: I was hesitant about this one. As I described above, I didn’t end things off with Zach on the greatest of terms, and even though enough time has passed that I don’t really hold a grudge about that specific incident anymore, I honestly never had much in common with him to begin with. But, I cant let that stop me… I forged ahead and called. Zach and I basically just chit-chatted for 5 minutes. I asked about what he’s been doing, and he told me something about a marketing company that he started. He asked me about the band, and so on. At this point I told Zach that I would “let him go” cos I knew he was working, and then tacked on “not every call is a gem”. Zach laughed and asked what I meant, and I explained that I was just kidding, because we didn’t get too into any topic. I’m pretty sure my subconscious brain just decided to blurt that out for a tiny slice of perceived revenge. Either way, Zach isn’t a bad dude or anything, I think he just became a chip on my shoulder for reasons he was probably unaware of as well. I wish nothing but the best for him!
3. Robert Fontana
The Last Time We Spoke: Robert and I used to work together, and he is a very smart and interesting fellow. Also a former musician. He took his daughter, Morgan, to see my band play at Maxwells probably about a year ago, and we haven’t spoken other than on Facebook since.
When I Called Today: Robert and I had a 25 minute conversation that hit on a slew of topics. I asked about his kids, he told me about a recent vacation to Florida, we talked slightly about the conversations we used to have at work, etc. The second half of our talk weaved in and out of talking about music, and then Robert mentioning new hobbies he has. Robert must’ve said, about three times, something along the lines of “i thought music was it for me too” or “i didn’t think anything could replace music but…” and I started feeling as if he was trying to give me some kind of advice or something. Because I like him a lot and respect him, I finally just said “look, are you trying to get at something? cos you keep talking about this as if im going to just move on from music sometime”,Robert halted, and suddenly said something so extremely honest and brave, “Nah, I think I’ve just always been a bit jealous that you’re doing it actually, and that I’m not, because I really miss it”. I could feel what he meant and I really appreciated him being straight up with me about it. We went on to discuss more music related topics for the next 10 minutes or so, but the weight from the first half of the conversation was lifted, and fully realized when we started discussing having “those people” in your life who will be totally honest with you, and how valuable they really are. I really enjoyed this talk a lot, and I hope to continue keeping in touch with Robert.
Today I spoke with my former co-bosses at the Independent Music Awards. It was delightfully drama-free, which is more than most can say about their ex-employers.
1. Jude Folkman
The Last Time We Spoke: Jude is my former employer, at the Independent Music Awards. We spoke a few months after I stopped working there (about a year and a half ago) but haven’t since.
When I Called Today: The topic of my conversation with Jude was mostly cancer, which has been an unfortunately frequent topic on this blog. Jude was diagnosed about a week prior to my father, and while I did get in touch with her husband to check on her, I haven’t spoken to her since. While we did cover lots of normal “catching up stuff” along with discussing her experience with being sick, compared with my fathers, Jude said something very powerful to me, she said “in some ways, this is the best thing thats ever happened to me, because its given me a new perspective on my life, and Im appreciating it much more now”. I thought this approach was fantastic and truly inspiring. I also found myself reflecting on how my father’s sickness has caused me to spend FAR more time with him than I had in the years previous, so in a way, maybe his is a blessing as well.
2. Martin Folkman
The Last Time We Spoke: As mentioned above, I last spoke to Martin when I heard his wife Jude was sick. Martin and I didn’t have the greatest of terms when I left the Independent Music Awards, but I dropped any resentment permanently when I heard that Jude wasn’t well.
When I Called Today: Martin informed me that The Independent Music Awards will be announcing their winners tomorrow, and since I worked there for a number of years, I knew that Martin only had a few minutes to chat because he has a ton on his plate today. Martin did have a chance to tell me that there are now 4 dogs in the office every day, which made me laugh because I have a perpetual fear of dogs, due to being bitten so many times in the past. I told him it was a good thing I was no longer there because I would be mortified every day, to which he replied with this nugget of wisdom “whether it be dogs or record label execs, you cant show fear, otherwise they are gonna bite you”. Fantastic.
Brock Lesnar frightened the hell out of me last nite.
1. Rob Fitzgerald
The Last Time We Spoke: I speak to Rob every day. He is the bass player in Those Mockingbirds, and honestly probably the best bass player I’ve ever played with. He has also become a big brother to me in the last year, by beating the wimp out of me, and at the same time, fueling the maddening levels of respect I have for him.
When I Called Today: We had a REALLY long talk, which started off about mostly boring band business stuff, and discussing some plans for the next few months and such, but we quickly turned to the always entertaining topic of late 80’s / early 90s WWF. Rob and I talk about wrestling almost every time we take a band trip anywhere, much to the dismay of our bandmates, and probably to you, the reader. Luckily for you, Rob then told me a fantastic story about his time working at a gas station when he was in high school. Apparently, on Christmas one year, he had to work, which of course sucks…especially at a gas station, outdoors in the winter, etc etc. So this group of hot babes rolls up to get gas, and they start chatting him up, telling him he’s cute and stuff, and they finally ask him for his number, which brightens up his gloomy holiday. Rob says sure, and writes it down for them. As soon as he hands it over, they start laughing at him and say “you won the bet!” and peel away. Worst. Xmas. Ever.
The Verdict: Women are diabolical.
2. First Wok
The Last Time We Spoke: I am proud to say I haven’t ordered from First Wok in many months!
When I Called Today: I ordered chicken lo mien and a white rice. It was fantastic. They finally gave me a respectable amount of duck sauce when I said “can I have a bunch of duck sauce?” cos you know how THAT usually goes.
First, I want to thank anyone who has downloaded my bands new song. We are really excited about how fast people have been snatching it up. If you havent, you can grab it HERE.
Technology and how its molded the way people interact is definitely the theme today and OF COURSE while doing this phonecall project, my iPhone decided to stop working fully, and only allow me to make calls on speaker phone. UGHHH.
1. Kristin Field
The Last Time We Spoke: Just a few days ago to finalize the lineup of a show she is booking for Those Mockingbirds in June… which is our return to the Meatlocker! Cant wait.
When I Called Today: Kristin answered the phone sounding… less than happy we will say. So i asked, “Are you at the IMAs? cos your sad voice gives me the impression you are” she laughed and said no. Just about everyone asks me why Im doing the blog, or what got me started doing it, and Kristin was no different. I explained that ultimately I’ve always been the kind of person who tries to stay in touch with people, and not let “time build up” between myself and my friends, and that this blog was really just the next step in that mindset. Kristin admitted to being the kind of person who lets the time build up far too often, and mentioned that she got a voicemail a few days ago from someone she went to college with who she misses, but hasn’t called back yet because she cant find the time. I told her to just call, even if just for a minute, to let the person know you want to talk to them, because it goes a much longer way than she would expect. I hope she takes my advice.
2. Allie DeCesare
The Last Time We Spoke: Saturday nite we ran into each other at a party, but we hadn’t spoken much in the last 3 years or so.
When I Called Today: Allie called me back on a break from work, after I left her a voicemail about two weeks ago. We talked for a little bit about something I said in yesterdays entry, about people “hiding behind the veil of technology”. Allie told me that she made her senior thesis about how texting and similar things are deteriorating the English language. We talked for quite awhile about this topic and then Allie mentioned that she currently doesn’t have a computer or a smartphone, and feels like she is “living in 1984”. While I of course understood what she meant, this led me to point out the obvious, and ironic double meaning… of the legendary book 1984. I told Allie that i exist very firmly in THAT 1984, and that it is awful. We then switched to reminiscing about some of the crazier times we’ve had in the past, and she jogged my memory about a few things I had enjoyed forgetting about. Allie and I wrapped up the call by agreeing to stay in much better touch.
The Verdict: Psyched… I missed Allie and I look forward to spending time together again soon.