Monday, October 02, 2006

Mike Cummins

Hey guys,
I'm sorry to inform everyone that my dad, Mike, passed away a little more than two weeks ago, due to complications from a long battle with cancer. It wasn't the cancer, but the lack of an immune system. Who knew? We were just hiking in Peaks of Otter weeks before he fell ill, talking about him discovering Belle and Sebastian.

Not sure what this will do to our album, but if you are reading this, if anything we know you are patient!

Contact me if you are interested in donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in his memory. matthewbc at hotmail dot com.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Album News

The album news is that there is no album news. Apparently Silver Sonya has gotten really popular now that Chad and TJ are going at it more full time, so Nick has had a tough time getting in.

That is good news for me, since this seems to be the year that loads of friends decided to get married. I mean, in non-full-time bandy mode you have the ability to make it to every wedding. Whereas if we were stuck in Omaha on tour, I'd have to call in and pour myself a double to get through the disappointment of not being able to thrill the dancefloor with my slick shoes.

But that is bad news if you are expecting the record to drop soon. Rest assured it is done, but you are more likely to hear the Lemonheads record before ours. No, hell has not frozen over, The Lemonheads (nee Evan Dando Solo) are releasing a record. I am psyched about this. Just as much, Terrence Henry (aka Bobby Trendy) and I are going to curate a Lemonheads museum. You heard it here first.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ted Leo Screed

Listening through "Shake the Sheets" by Ted Leo/Rx today. It is now I just realized the massive influence that record had on the aesthetics and writing of our EP "Opening Flower and Happy Bird"

I actually enjoy "The Tyranny of Distance" to "Shake the Sheets," but the connection is undeniable. Did anyone notice The Rentals are going to be at the 9:30 club in about a week? Our EP is like a Rentals/Ted Leo trainwreck.

Onward and upward, our record is going to warm and loverly. The rain in spain falls mostly in the plain.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summa summa summa time

Me and my girlfriend, we don’t wear any shoes.

The Hailing
Grandaddy” *sigh*

John Steinbeck
Jared Diamond

Civilized grown-up milkshake
Spicy Spicy
Cool down

Blobfest is this weekend! They are actually recreating the scene when everyone runs out of the theatre. Oh, by the way, the opening scene for The Blob was shot in my town.

Friday, March 24, 2006

From My Window (Sad) and (Lonely) (?)

Just saw Josh Rouse at World CafĂ© Live. I have to say, it’s not exactly the best music to listen to with your beloved, but hey, the man is brilliant. (his backstory includes the dissolution of his 7 year marriage and his expatriation to Spain). It was just him, a guitar, and a big shimmery backdrop that often imitated a body of water in sunlight. Props.

His “1972” is the reason for the next album. Not this coming album, but the next. I had decided I had had enough with gloom and alterna-angst in my songs upon hearing the jubilation that is that record. Now, please please please, if you play keys or guitar in the Philly area, email me! If not, all of our songs will have “Cut Your Hair”-esque ooh ooh’s! Not that it is a bad thing, but such indieboy soul-stylings only go so far.

Now we are get ready for tonight. The components are in place, yet ¾ of the performing musicians are still 2.5 to 4.5 hours away (depending on Baltimore traffic). Barristers is going to be a lot of fun. We have much to celebrate… the least of which is that we are all alive and breathing. Come out and dance to the rock. As opposed to Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock, haven’t we already done that enough? Leave the head pain for the morning and enjoy some cocktails and conversation. Not to mention basketball. With any luck, George Mason will be taking on Wichita State while we are playing. Reminds me of watching homie Brice Woodall play whilst the beloved Red Sox put the Yankees on ice back in 2004.

I miss you Brice, take over the world already!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Paul is Dead

Man, backwards our songs are the ultimate emo material. Minus, the nasal vocal sounds of Sigur Ros-lite, the chord changes are very heart wrenching. I wonder if they sound like this to the casual listener, while played forwards.

You see, Tipper Gore wanted me to quality check the mixes so far to see if they were satanic reference free. So far, only “Candy Apple Red” sounds remotely satanic, with special guest Bruce Falconer’s reversed vocals sound like “ohhhh… murda” which could either be murder, or Murtha, as in the outspoken Pennsylvania proponent for Iraqi troop withdrawl.

But really, he is saying “I don’t know…”

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Barrister's Show Coming Up!

So we've got this show coming up, and really, I am scared of Philadelphia pulling us apart like some lo-fi zombie movie. Here's the deal, we don't have tattoos or piercings. More than that, when contemplating response to a band looking for another rock band to open for them, I wondered about our rockingness. I mean, we rock, but in a different way than a lot of bands rock. We wear black only 20% of the time, and mostly then because all of our ringer-t's are in the laundry and we're about to go to bed.

So here we are, on the cusp of our third Philly show. We'll be going on after NCAA basketball on a Friday night… how can we lose? Actually, if Pitt loses that night, Jim will not be playing with us. We are prepared to replace all of his drumbeats with midi-files.

We're excited to be playing Barristers. It's a new-ish neighborhood bar in the middle of swank Rittenhouse. You can wear what you'd wear to the swank at Barristers. BUT, you might not be able to wear what you'd wear to Barristers at the swank. That being said, come as you are. Sweatpants are awesome. Sorta.

If you have tats and piercings, mo' better…
Jim also plays drums in the venerable "Potato Famine," raucuous irish rockers, winners of the 2005 Irish Rhapsody Festival at Knitting Factory NYC, openers for Black 47 on St. Patty's day. They will be playing Friday and Saturday night at Staccato in Adams Morgan, DC. You need to see this band. I ran sound for them 2 years ago, and brother James O'Brien told me he loved me over the mic. Yeah, it's like that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Time Machine

This post brought to you by Friendster, where two friends from way back contacted me:

I remember the first time I seriously went record shopping. And by this, I don’t mean scampering into my local Strawberries to buy ACDC, Van Halen and ogle 2 Live Crew as to think my mom wouldn’t go all Tipper Gore on it. I actually bought the third NWA tape though I don’t know how. I was turned on way more by the parental advisory sticker than by Easy E and MC Ren don’t matterin’ and just don’t bitin’.

It was around 1991, and my brother and I were in Harvard Square after a session at ZT Maximus (does that place still exist? Can our Mass. friends confirm this? It’s across from Alewife between the gigantor apartment buildings). There was some freak folk guy playing on the sidewalk, and we had just stopped into The Gap to say hello to a childhood neighbor who had it made. Well, we were 14 and she was 22 and almost out of college and free. That is having it made. Much more than trying to convince my friend Darrell Jermain to hit on Meg Gorman, whom I secretly thought should want me. Yeah, 14 going on Melrose.

Then we went on to HMV. It was as if a portal to my future had opened up. I remember looking for Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, Souxie and the Banshees, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a ton of other bands I had heard of through my sister. This was when I still held out on CDs, so it was strictly tapes for me. I looked hard as I could for McRad, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Mulling through a hardcore punk section was like experiencing a new gravity for me. One that I would never truly adapt to, even still. But no McRad.

I settled on two free cassingles: World Party: All Over The World and U2: Mysterious Ways… both of which became fodder for my initial forays into songwriting, taping over them with my own material.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Rock in the Chocolate City

Thank you everyone for coming out to our show the other night. We made some new friends, and hopefully in the process we didn't alienate the old ones! So many people! For those who stuck around for Zero Beat, thank you. We are not U2. We were not a U2 cover band. We just got the jones. Did you know that was the first time we played together in 18 months? Did you know "Until The End of the World" only existed as an idea on email until we played it together for the first time on stage? Wow.

James O'Brien is awesome. I potentially put him in an uncomfortable spot, what does he do? He says no worries, and that what I had said was nice. Note to self: when someone inadvertantly puts me in a strange spot, be as selfless as James. He could have really made me feel like more of a jackass than I already did.

Mixing went well with Nick. 2 down, 10 to go. Brice Woodall laughed when I told him a year ago we were nearing completion. His words: that's only 1/3 of the process! Mixing takes forever! Unfortunately we mixed one of the songs Brice was going to sing on, good thing is that he couldn't make it because he lives in Chicago now, and the tides have been kind to our brother-in-arms.

Check out Gorillaz b-side "Hong Kong," wow, what depth this collaboration has between Danger Mouse and Automator. Fictional bands can do anything! Might I suggest if you want to write songs or a band, don't think of it as you, but write for some character, how the band is "supposed to sound" not actually sounds. That's a trick I learned for the record MFA is mixing now. It is the cure for writers block.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

DJ Kulsik

This morning I got 10 free downloads to the iTunes music store. Anyone who knows me knows I like my music written on plastic, encased in paper. I like having that thing to read or look at while listening. Call me "old fashioned" I like "albums." Remember them?

But, so, with a free download card I've decided to get tracks that I have lusted after since being able to discern the rock from the crap.

And, I have DJ Kulsik to thank for my love of Cheap Trick. I hadn't heard the song until I was 12 and at my sister's high school talent show. Dude was bellowing the song enough to know he really meant it, though he clearly was more a "baseball player" than a "singer." It caused me to check out the song in the form of Cheap Trick Live at Budokan. This then opened up a whole new world to me: rock songs and screaming Japanese girls. Wait, I think I already blogged about this.

God love 'em

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Sincerity

So I made a mix on my iTunes for songs that reminded me how wonderful my ladyfriend is. I've been totally inspired by listening to the Sound of Young America podcast. New Sincerity is awesome. It is awesomeness. There's a difference. And there is such thing as inspiration overload, more on that later.

I put the mix on random and I am instantly transported to my friend Terrence's friend's balcony in Seattle back in August 2002. You can see the modern art museum sculpture arm and hammer thingy from the balcony, and also watch as the street basically falls into the Puget Sound. In some other life I am meant to live there, no matter how trite it is. Anne stepped out to take in a run, and I stepped out to breathe in some salty, cool, humidified air, in such stark contrast to the swill we'd been breathing in DC since late June.

She was running up the hill from the sound as I stepped out. She looked up to find me smiling awkwardly, wondering who this beautiful girl was who had travelled with me across the country to see a friend I hadn't seen in years, whom she hadn't met.

The song was "New Slang" by The Shins and unfortunately, it being about the strains of love relationships, is excluded from our wedding first dance song shortlist. This song, in me, has survived the popular overload of "this song will change your life" statement by Natalie Portman in Garden State. It already had changed mine. I got chills when I saw that movie, no not because Natalie was compulsive liar of an epileptic, but because some of the events seemed lifted straight from my life. No, Anne does not have Epilepsy.

New Sincerity: it will change your life.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Turin Brakes Blew Us Off…

The energy is bristling here in MFA world headquarters. As we speak, Philly is doing it's winter thing. And by that, I don't mean snow. I mean cold rain.

Regardless, plans are being laid for quite the rest of the winter. Our home away from home, Staccato, is closing it's doors after launching several bands into relative obscurity, like wind powered vessels passing in the night. And by that, I mean they gave us a place to play when all other clubs wanted us to sonically rhyme with "oogazi." Anyone who tries to tell you there is not a Fugazi shaped cloud over DC is full of it. That being said, that's a hell of a lot better than the other cloud… neoconservatism!

We're looking into shooting a documentary based around our February 3rd show. Old friends are working their way out of the woodwork to join us for what looks to be our most show yet. And that's including the night when Turin Brakes blew us off. James O'brien has treated so many bands so well over the past 4 years, come wish him well. They're not closing until March, but methinks me doth not book too much.

AND, on top of all of this, we can no longer trust our friend Bruce Falconer, as this night, he is celebrating his 30th birthday. Come

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wind for the Sleeping People

Last night the wind hit Philadelphia with a vengeance. Rather than wait up and check the site report (yeah, I'm a dork) I laid my exhausted bones to bed. Flash forward to about 3am and it sounded like the Wizard of Oz outside. We live on the 7th floor, so any wind resistance comes from window paines and dormant window-unit air conditioners. It sounded like the rattling bones of some spent maritime antagonist trying to crawl through the window sealant.

Then the rains came. Walking around this morning was like being in spin cycle… wind coming from every direction to make sure you knew it was there and to push you back to bed. And lord knows you need it, since the same wind kept you up all night like a badly timed cup of coffee.

Started work on a cover of 'Every Day Is Fall' by brothers in arms Alcian Blue. While their version is a blitz of droning rock guitars, mine's going to be a somewhat different affair. Perhaps when I bring the band in on it, we can completely overhaul it. News: a good hook is hard to kill. I covered Eastern Homes' "I Feel Love" and that turned into a DJ Shadow-lite workout. Maybe I should take that to the band too.

Hope you are enjoying the Boardtape!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Hey guys,
If you haven't already checked it out, Boardtape is online. It's hot. Seriously, I had to check our webhosting to see if it would handle the bandwidth. Yes it does, so I would like to heartily thank Dreamhost for being so badass.

If you are new to us, hey. We are a power pop/unpopular pop band from DC/Philly and we like you. As our drummer says, it's not who you are, but what you like that is important. Oh wait, or was that Rob Gordon? We live for the rock music, and tend to be opinionated on lots of matters pop culture related.

In other, more colloquial news: My Friend Autumn is going in to mix our record in a few weeks! Thanks to Nick Anderson, we are using Silver Sonya.

AND, we are playing Staccato Friday, February 3rd starting at 9pm. Come have some fun in the city.

much love,