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Thursday, June 29, 2006

I Left My Heart in San Fran-Cheesy

What movie is the title of this blog from? Guess right and win a San Franciscan homeless person.

So, here we are.

Went to Aquarius Records, Giant Robot store, Herbivore (laid-back vegan joint in the Mission) and a fucking amazing 5-star vegan restaurant called Millennium. I had no idea that food could be prepared so well. If meat eaters were to try this place, they would no doubt abandon sirloin forever.

Tried to see Superman Returns on the Imax 3D screen, but the projetor broke three times. After nearly two hours of waiting for them to get their shit together, myself and the 700 or so other attendees all descended on the box office for refunds. Pretty lame that the debut of a ultra-hyped film in a major market could be handled so poorly.

Being a glutton for punishment (and having one free pass) we're gonna try again today.

There's a Ben & Jerry's on the corner of the fabled Haight-Ashbury. Yay commerce! That entire 'hood pretty much sucks anyway.

Hopefully we'll see Arthur again soon. We still have to hang with my pal Potsie (of Revolver Distribution and Comets On Fire fame) and dine with Brooke's grad school mentor Dodie Bellamy. Her latest book inspired Sonic Youth to write a tune with the same name. It's the second-to-last cut on Rather Ripped.

I'll try to post more later. We have to go to a vegan eatery run by a Vietnamese Buddhist sect!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Drivin' to San Fran.

In a few moments, we'll be on the road in our rented Pontiac Grand Prix. There will be a stop at Hearst Castle, and a leisurely swing through Big Sur.

We won't get to San Fran tonight; we'll spend the night in a hotel of our choosing and make the rest of the journey tomorrow morning.

Has anyone seen the "New San Francisco" sketch on Mr. Show?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

L.A. Stories.


Wow. L.A.  is exactly as I had expected, but so much weirder.

Every band I like -- besides, like, three from NYC and a ton from UK -- came from the City of Angels. But then there's the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who I despise. Still, where else could such a group exist?

The mere mention of any street name or town calls to mind a song. From "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" to RATM's "Down Rodeo," there's a tune for every byway, avenue and 'hood.

I can now understand why the Doors and Jane's Addiction (to name two L.A. bands I like) came out sounding the way they did. Both groups offered a peculiar mix of sleaze, glamour, decadance, anger, sex, joy and nihilism. And Los Angeles was their spiritual source.

Yesterday, at the behest of Brooke's folks, we took a shuttle tour of the city. I'm actually glad we did. The driver/MC was great, and offered charmingly scathing opinions of L.A.'s power elite. He was an older German man with a dry humor; it was a bit like having Werner Herzog show you around town.

Highlights? The Magician's Club Castle. They won't let you in, unless you're a member or have a guest pass. I so terribly wanted to go! Guess there's just some stuff you don't get to experience.

Venice Beach. The muscle cage. Jim-fucking-Morrison slept on one of those rooftops, man. Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection! I was hoping to see the crazy heay-metal-rollerskating-turban-wearing-dude from every movie and music video in the world. No go.

Farmers Market was neat, as was Melrose. It's funny to see where all the cheesy rock fashions get their start. I wish we could've gone to Necromance. Alas, there wasn't time.

And Hollywood itself was surprisingly cool. I liked the hills and the weird hanging houses. It looked like an Ed Wood movie, minus the flying pie plate saucers. We walked the boulevard looking for Bela Lugosi's star -- I had wanted my picture taken laying next to it, arms folded across my chest -- but gave up, due to the throngs of people and general over-commerciality of the area.

Downtown L.A. is surprisingly clean (and dead).

The highways are psychotic.

Brooke graduates today; more later.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thank you.

Many of you B-towners have shown a lot of love the last few days — at work, on the streets, via e-mail, phone and blog. Thanks so much. As my unrepentant whining may have indicated, I needed a little lift.

By the way, congrats to Brooke, who finishes grad school this weekend!

So I'm off to San Francisco. I'll be posting all week, so keep checking back if you're interested in my semi-adventures.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Soft Rock" physically exists!

We interrupt the previous bitch session to bring you some very exciting news:

My teensy little 3" is now made manifest.

So I believe that Pure Pop should have it in stock very soon.

Thanks to Eric and Cooley for putting this sad little sucker out.

And super thanks to Sean Altrui for being so supportive and helping to keep my own interest up!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

E-mail of the day award....

Goes to Ben from the always delightful band Farm, who writes:

Hey Casey,
I was reading your blog and. . . well, if you're going to, like, voluntarily "merge with the infinite" or something, can we have some of your mikes and recording stuff? 
thanks man,

In the instance of my untimely demise (most likely in a plane crash, as I fly to CA on Friday) Ben and co. are hereby the beneficiaries of my "recording stuff."

Jesus — do I sound that depressed? I'm just pissed off, for fuck's sake! If I was depressed I wouldn't bother blogging.

But thanks for the consideration.

B-town Blues (Slight Return)

Yeah, so I feel a little better this morning. I know that I have a wonderful girlfriend, pets and apartment. What else do I need?

Nuthin', punks.

And I'm going to California. It's only fitting I should have an achin' in my heart.

Broke and broken.

My dear friend Ethan was up this weekend. I miss him terribly. But it only underscored the fact that, while I know a lot of people here, there's next to no one to bitch to, laugh or pal around with.

I find myself wondering if I'm in a social dead zone. But with no skills other than playing/recording/writing about music (all of which drive me slightly mad) what else can I do?

I know this shouldn't be a personal blog, but screw it — it's how I feel. Yes, I'm a lone wolf by nature, but this is pretty bad.

Interestingly, some old friends from before I moved to VT found me on MySpace. After 15 years of no contact, I find I have more of a connection with them than I do most folks in my regular life.

Don't get me wrong — I'm not asking anyone to call me or nothin'. And please, don't ever just "pop by." I don't have guns like Nugent, but I do have the Evil Eye. And a Hand of Glory. And sundry potions and brews.

You know what's weird? Every classic rock song I heard in the car today was about outlaws. Some were dumb, like AC/DC's "TNT," or Bon Jovi's (barf) "Dead or Alive." Others were a little more nuanced, like, well... I don't remember. But I swear I heard 'em.

Steve at Burlington Guitar & Amp used to call me "The Outlaw Casey Rea" whenever I'd stop in —  which used to be a lot. It makes me smile to think about it. But it also makes me sad that I've not been in once this year.

What have I become?

Don't you dare quote any NIN/Johnny Cash on me, "my sweetest friends."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A moment of pure, self-advertisement.

Cut me some slack — I don't do it often. I guess this is what they'd call a "press release."


After numerous panic attacks, nail-biting and asinine whining by yours truly, The Contrarian's 3" CD "Soft Rock" is available to order from Icebox Records. A top-shelf label indeed.

The four-song disc is alternately dreamy, sad and terrifying. Kind of like its creator.

Buy it and weep.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Defending the Bean.

Today's Sound Bites column has a blurb about the legal troubles currently facing Burlington's Radio Bean. It features quotes from a  letter/petition being circulated by Neil Cleary. Here is Neil's plea in its entirety. If you agree with his statements, send your "signature" to [email protected].

UPDATE: I was informed by Assistant City Attorney Gene Bergman of a couple of inconsistencies in the Radio Bean blurb.

#1: Anderson didn't find out about the possibility of sanctions at the June 1 Licensing Comittee hearing. The information had been included in a notice of hearing that was served on May 8. It was of course, reiterated at said hearing.

#2. The $200 fine Anderson paid was not for a "violation of fire code." It was a noise ticket. The capacity issue is separate.

All this legal stuff makes me dizzy! Read on for Neil's missive.

Dear Friends,

The Radio Bean has come under fire from the city recently over a fire code violation, and is in danger of being penalized out of existence. Please read the letter below and RSVP to let me know if I can attach your name to it. Let me know too if you're comfortable with me listing credentials with your name (as in: "Bill Clinton -- Former President of the United States"), and let me know how you want them listed. Don't be shy. Hopefully we can help the City Council see how important the Radio Bean is to all of us.

Neil Cleary



After being found in violation of their fire code capacity one night (for which they have already paid a $200 fine and since adhered to much stricter capacity policies), the Burlington City Council is now considering imposing restrictions on the Radio Bean coffeehouse, such as suspending their liquor or entertainment licenses, which would effectively put them out of business. This would be not only a great loss to the community, but extremely unfair and short-sighted decision, considering the following:

* This is the first violation of its kind for the Radio Bean in its 6 years.

* The Bean has already been penalized once by the fine, and have since assiduously followed a very strict capacity policy. Penalizing the Bean further would be excessive, and nothing short of catastrophic for the business.

* The Radio Bean exemplifies a model of responsible alcohol consumption, emphasizing European-style coffeehouse atmosphere, arts, and community over copious consumption & public drunkenness -- unlike countless other bars in Burlington. If it were to go under, another less-responsible institution might very well take its place.

* Without exaggeration, literally hundreds of Burlingtonians will vouch for the character of owner Lee Anderson, an extremely responsible and compassionate small-business owner and pillar of Burlington arts. For years, Lee has single-handedly encouraged and nurtured a scene based around the Radio Bean, organizing neighborhood festivals, parades, theatrical performances, and even producing a CD of Radio Bean musicians. He's done this with a passion and maturity that we find inspiring.

* Additionally, Lee is an valued resident on the North Winooski/Pearl Street block, a block that has historically seen its share of struggles with failing businesses & troublesome tenants. Aside from renting space as a business for 6 years, Lee is a resident himself, and has helped building owner Clark Hinsdale place numerous responsible tenants in the apartments upstairs.

* Aside from a successful business, the Radio Bean is an indispensable community center for the city of Burlington. It is a gathering place not only for musicians, painters, poets, photographers, and artists of all description, but it is a regular meeting place for groups of community organizers, students, mothers with children, blogger/podcasters and more.

* Plans are already underway to expand the Radio Bean, taking over the adjacent space currently occupied by Lovely Nails. This will greatly expand the Bean's ability to present local arts, as well as ease their current stifling space constraints. Imposing further punitive restrictions at this particularly fragile moment in the business would make these improvements impossible.

In short:
The Radio Bean is one of Burlington's most important community/arts institutions, that deserves the city's support. Please don't impose restrictions that would put it out of business.
Your Name Here

Friday, June 09, 2006

Couldn't get in.

We went down to the Jazz Guys show. They were holding people at the door, due to capacity. It was raining. I didn't feel like pulling the "Mr. Important" card with the bouncers. We left.

Oh, well.

Occasionally I wonder what would happen if I just stopped. Probably nothing.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Religion, more Slayer, the YMCA.

I'm reading a fascinating article in this month's Esquire (how else am I gonna know what tie goes with which 200 year-old bourbon?) about "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh. I highly recommend it.

06-06-06 has past, but my love of Slayer continues. The band just released the single from their upcoming album. Of course I had to download it.

Lyrically, it's pure late-era Slayer: Fuck organized religion, especially Christianity.

Check the shit out.

They can still push buttons. Let's not forget that their last disc, God Hates Us All, was released on September 11, 2001. How's that for coincidence?

And. . . Here's the YMCA/Slayer tie-in. I recently decided to start going to the gym. I'm getting old, and my waistline is expanding due to my sedentary lifestyle. So far so good.

Having Reign in Blood in the iPod really helps my workout. When on the treadmill, I know I've hit my stride by the time Tom Araya howls, "Enter to the realm of Satan."

It's the little things, ya know?

Monday, June 05, 2006

My evil is strong.


I had a pretty great end of last week. Brooke's younger brother Bart was visiting us and man, is he a geek superstar!

I grew up an only child, but this guy instantly felt like my own flesh and blood. Too much fun.

We went to Algebars, Earth Prime Comics/Quarterstaff and rocked the H.P. Lovecraft role-playing game, Call of Cthulhu. Algebars, if you weren't already aware, is awesome.

The only downside is that I didn't see any shows, because Bart is too young (19, 20?) for the clubs. But I didn't mind, as I'm currently experiencing a wee bit of scene apathy.

Tomorrow is 6-6-06. Definitely gonna see the remake of The Omen. I don't care how bad it is. Watching it with our pals Chris & Molly will help ease the pain.

For your Slaytanic consideration:


This clip is from '96, so I think it's Paul Bostaph on drums, not Dave Lombardo. Too bad.

Oh, shit... I said no more metal for a while. But I had to make an exception, considering. 

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sins of the Father(s)

In honor of Styx' Dennis DeYoung and Alexa Ray Joel's (daughter of Billy & Christie Brinkley) Vermont appearances, I give you this:

A diatribe on rock 'n' roll parenting.

Sail away with the Styx children's book!

[Links courtesy the illustrious Meghan Dewald.]

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