all my friends are nice

but todays birthday boy jeff solomon might just be the nicest. and there is competition.

solomon, the former bass player of tsar, turns ninety three years old today. congratulations.

just like welch and amy and ben and whalen and dylan don and dan charlie and bonnie jen and czaben and scheer and dougiegyro and jeanine and aj and ali and joel and broome and denis and sandy and everyone, solomon wrote for the college paper with me. we even wrote a few stories together, including this one.

jeff was the county editor with max when i started and during the persian gulf war we were both associate editors.

although he has never been married… yet, i did attend his bachelor party many moons ago in santa barbara where many of us jammed into a porn shop video room and watched a few minutes of big mamma jamma which i highly recommend for any bachelor party.

even though he played in many bands in isla vista, he was never upset when i would say that the wonderfuls were my favorite band, even though he didnt play with the wonderfuls.

after spending time in prague in Whalen a band that didnt include tsar frontman jeff whalen, solomon moved to frisco and joined greg from the wonderfuls to form san franciscos best rock band of the nineties, thee mystakes.

i managed thee mystakes. the only reason that nobody knows that thee mystakes were the best band in frisco at the time was because i was the manager and i was unsuccessfully experimenting with reverse psychology and esp.

during this time i had my own installation business. i would go to peoples homes and hook up their audio/video systems, home theatres, satellite dishes, and computers.

i charged $50 an hour. i advertised through the salesmen at good guys and circuit city and sears. because i had trained every one of them as a rep for philips and webtv and microsoft they all knew me and trusted me. and i gave them a ten percent kickback. being in those stores i learned that the missing link was installation of the items. typically it took a week or two to get installation and rarely was it any good.

so when i found that i was working for microsoft, who i felt didnt need my help, no offense, i quit and sold peanuts at candlestick at night, and hooked up peoples shit in the day.

i had a good thing going until solomon asked if he could work for me.

at the time i had a great relationship with my girlfriend who i lived with, i was watching baseball almost every day, i was driving a brand new explorer, and i was the manager of my favorite band. and strangely all of that made me very lazy.

i was too content.

life wasnt hard enough.

so when solomon offered to split my income in half, at first i saw it as a bad thing, but soon i saw it as the opportunity to get motivated.

part of the laziness that i had before solomon (bs) was that i would turn down small jobs or jobs far away. one of the best things about my company is i would go to sacramento or reno or santa cruz, next day. i’d charge a little more, but i love those towns, why not go there, write off a sweet room, take my girl on a long weekend and meet some cool customers in reno? but bs i pushed those back a few more days than i should have.

when solomon showed up not only did i take those right away, but it was fun because solomon’s the best and it was great to have a second opinion on how to do things. and we got things done faster, especially the wiring, and we discovered something that i hadnt ever noticed before which solomon rectified immediately.

one time while crawling under a house in davis i found myself face to face with a dead rat and i screamed.

we finished the job and as was the norm, returned when the customer realized that they wanted to wire more rooms and give us more of their endless amounts of money and home cooked food and teenage daughters and incredible stories.

so we returned and jeff said that he would crawl under the house and i never had to crawl under that shit again.

we found out that that was the best way to do things because i would be talking to the customers and explaining what we were doing and teaching them how to use their new equipment and calling their salesmen and ordering more stuff for them to get which i would in turn install.

while jeff dealt with the rats.

my hero.

you’d think that would have been enough right there for me to not put up the gayest picture of him that i have.

and it is.

this isnt the gayest picture i have of jeff.

we installed for a nice little run there for awhile. always together. rarely would we do an install without the other person.

some jobs took forever cuz im a dumbass and some jobs took a matter of minutes and we felt guilty for charging our fifty dollar minimum but not only would people pay us, but many times theyd give us fat tips.

and yes they did introduce me to their daughters, who were all beautiful, and rich, and amazed by my handimanliness.

sometimes it would be late and jeff would drive the explorer back to the mission and he’d light up a smoke and we’d listen to the radio and talk and talk and talk.

one day whalen called.

solomon played with greg from the wonderfuls, and whalen was playing with coulter and dan from the wonderfuls.

whalen wanted to know if it would be ok if he asked solomon to join tsar and replace welch who was stealing too much of the limelight.

whalen knew that he was not only breaking up my business, but also my favorite band.

i remembered one of the conversations that solomon and i had had when i asked him what life he would lead if he could do anything.

he said he would travel around playing in a rock band with his friends.

not soon after solomon moved to la i also moved to la and then pretty much everyone moved to la which was great because we have gotten to see tsar from day one, or day two.

jeff solomon is not only responsible for being the secret weapon of every rock group hes in, but he is also the architect and engineer of the home computer that i type this very entry from.

he not only repairs and improves it, but he does it for free, and he does it for all of our friends, all the time. with a smile.

the only way the busblog and could be coming to your asses and the ships at sea from a 400mhz p2 running both win2k and win me is because its totally taken care of by solomon, the lion of judah, the valley’s own, and the only member of tsar who had his own shrine webpage.

one day solomons new band, the corvids, will put out five simultaneous solo albums.

dont be suprised if solomons outsells them all.

ok, be very suprised, but dont be suprised if you play his more than you expected.

22 fillmore + saidy + JaG

twenty minutes with tony

which is the daily feature where tony wakes up at noon one-thirty, clicks around the web for twenty minutes and then blogs for twenty minutes as he gets ready to meet the canadian rock star and her husband mr matt good or something.

at the tone the time will be two twenty four. bleep.

because the blogosphere is a totally bizzare happenstance for some reason matthew good has my home phone number. and for some reason every now and then he calls it.

last night he called me from his convertible with las vegas in his rearview and his fashion model wife at his side.

hey tony this is my cell phone number call me in the morning and we’ll have breakfast.

i was all matt am i more rockstar than you? its gonna take a troop of cheerleaders to get my ass out of bed before noon.

he laughed and said that i should call him when i woke and we’ll hang out at the standard’s glittering pool. the standard of course being the sunset strip’s coolest hotel and one of paris hiltons favorite hangouts. for some reason i expected the goods to be either more the chateu marmont or the riot hyatt crowd, but there are so many great and historic places to crash when youre here on the label’s dime that i guess i would bop from hotel to hotel too.

and because im a weirdo i keep thinking these two things as i charge my cameras batteries and prepare for my shower. i keep thinking, when are you ever going to do your laundry, what happens if they want to come over to your train wreck of an apartment, and i wonder when you’ll ever make it to the dmv to get a parking permit to park on your street?

its so funny, my whole summer vacation that was to include equal parts getting shit done and doing absolutely nothing is being fucked with by traveling rockstars, suddenly horny virgins, cubs homestands, job opportunities, and one book that i was so intent on coming out with that now im getting second thoughts about.

so i ask you, busblog readers, for your input.

i have a collection of short stories that i am super proud of. together the stories comprise a 100 page novella.

they are my stories of dying and meeting kurt kobain on the way to hell.

not only are they the best 100 pages that ive ever written, but i wrote them all during my 15-minute government mandated breaks at work at E! when i had just been transfered to the busiest department in the company at that time.

i was terrified of transferring from the tranquil ease of Closed Captioning and i really thought that being moved to Scheduling would not only allow me zero time to update the busblog, but i was sure that i wouldnt be able to keep up with the super fast paced super attention to detail job of what used to be scheduling.

so on my first day in the new department, a place of really hard working super cynical seen-it-all young people, i worked a few hours and took my first break. opened up blogger, and died and met kurt kobain.

my hero.

every day i wrote nothing other than stories about being dead and the preparation for Judgement Day and what happened to my soul after i was pronounced fuct.

at the time most of the people loved it although a few complained that they wanted the old busblog back. but when it was over it was over and the story segued perfectly back to the busblog and a few people said omg that was awesome.

now that i am no longer employed at e! and the time in “hell” spun into a suprise ending, and is still in the business of publishing books on demand, i thought, i know what i’ll do this summer, i will put all those stories in a book and sell them as something a little different than my previous blooks because this one will actual be one full story. a long story. but a short book. a novella if ever there was one.

and because i really loved these stories, which is rare because i hardly ever can go back on the things that i write and read more than a few sentences of them without being embarrassed, i wanted to re-edit them, re-write parts, and change a few things so that they would be as perfect as i could make them.

and i did that. for the last month ive been combing over every word, looking at things closely for the first time ever and paying attention to the minute details so that when this book comes out people will say damn, i cant believe that was all written as blog posts and i cant believe theyve been around for over two years.

yesterday i got the book back from cafepress and it looks good and everything is fine except it looks like it got stuck in the dryer too long. it looks tiny. it looks like a book you would get in junior high along with the weekly reader.

this is a problem because i wanted to sell a limited run of 500 signed copies for $20 each.

so my question to you dear readers, is would you buy a little book of 100 pages, good pages, and spend $20 plus shipping and be satisfied if you liked the stories?

if i sold all 500 copies the bonus for me would be that i wouldnt have to work all summer and i would be able to blog way more, do photo essays, and basically be free for the last time in my life… that is, as long as i didnt have to deal with traveling celebrities and cheerleaders, etc. so much.

laist + gmask + wunderdog +

the white stripes

get behind me satan
V2 Records

the new york times got this cd the same time i did.

somehow theyre declaring this a masterpiece because it has some addt’l instruments on it than just drums and jack white.

not so fast baby.

the white stripes have, what five records now? they better put something more on there than just drums on jack white.

wheres my calculator. im such an old man. i have this great calculator thats big and has big buttons and can take a good punch and has big numbers and is solar powered and i never knew id be calculating so much but i calculate like a bitch.

i also find myself using a flashlight quite a bit.

so ive heard this cd for weeks now, which ive decided is really what i should do before i take a serious stab at reviewing a record because i felt bad the second i posted that weezer review.

the chick asked if i ever felt bad about 2,000 people possibly getting “hurt” that i wrote something and fuck no, how on earth could i even post one word if i was worried about hurting anyone.

but i did feel bad busting on rivers because it is a small world, and he does know some of my friends, and he does use the internet, and he did allegedly did get freaked out about pinkerton, and hes just a fragile little dude who very well could have done a little technorati search on his cd and there i was one of his biggest fans who had made a friggin photo essay for maladroit is now talking shit about make believe.

thats gotta suck.

especially since ive listened to make believe every day for the last two weeks.

on the firt day of having Get Behind Me Satan i loved it. on the second day i thought it was just more of the same old white stripes gimmickrey. on the third day i thought it was totally cool again. on the fourth day it helped me write a dirty letter to anna kournikova.

jack white knows what he wants to do with the white stripes and that is this: not rock the boat. this record is not very different than any of the others, maribas be damned. thats the bad news. the good news is everyones got another white stripes cd to love especially on random with about twenty totally different cds.

the problem that i have with Get Behind Me Satan is that theres not enough Satan. anyone who’s seen the White Stripes live knows that Mr. White made a deal involving his soul at the crossroads, but as is usual Satan usually pays up in spades. (see: Zep, Sabbath, R. Johnson, Abba).

if i could find that blasted calculator i would say that the Deceiver is definately in the house on track one, the single, the power chord havin Blue Orchid which has nothing to do with the rest of the collection, sadly. (video)

Be’el’zebub was present on track three ringing My Doorbell asking me what are you going to do about it?

Forever For Her, track four, is so gorgeous that it hints to the sweet rays of lightness from the angel side of the former number two man in Heaven.

Yes, before he fell, Lucifer was an angel, a high ranking one at that.

This is a song he would have written back in those days.

Ugly As I Seem track five made me pull out led zep’s Going To California to see how close it got (not that close) and one of the few times that we get to actually hear the genius of Mr. White on this record as everything is even more stripped down than normal with just his wife/mom/sister on a bongo while he plays acoustic and sings a song that sounds like something robert plant would have paid millions to have been able to record on one of his solo records. half way through you say hi satan and he winks.

somebody is in there with them in the firey furnace during Instinct Blues and Take Take Take but i think its neil peart, not the Fallen One. those are far too intellectual tunes for the devil. give us fire fuckers. fire.

red rain sounds like a white stripes parody with so many effects that its almost like they know theres not a song in there just a good excuse for jack to run around the stage live. which is fine. but not worthy of hellfire. just regularfire.

Little Ghost track 12 is a visit from Lorretta Lynn who is also an angel and would have been perfect on her solo record that White produced and he was smart to steal it from her and put it here, which is naughty, but not satanic.

Get Behind Me Satan ends in the bluesy piano of I’m Lonely (But I’m Not That Lonely Yet) which hints if not comes straight out by saying that he has the hots for his sister, since after all he’s lonely, but alas not that lonely yet. It’s an odd song because you want to feel sorry for him because he obviously wants to get it on with her but, dude, it’s your sister!

which would have been way creepier of a song if Meg White wasnt outted earlier this year as having been Jack’s wife, and not his sister. regardless Satan is all up in this song. which might not be good for your soul, but is great for rock music.

i still havent found my calculator so lets say Satan is on half of this cd, angels are on two tracks, and the rest of it is plain old white stripes. therefore six thumbs up, but no masterpiece.

the boston globe says it’s just ok + boston herald liked it + reports that jack calls is a truth record + calls it brilliant, gives it 3.5 stars and says it has lots of guitar which it doesnt + detroit news calls it “possibly their best“, its good but its not even their second best + the new yorker wished that jack wrote a chorus for blue orchid and duetted with xtina + newsweek has an incredibly sober feature on them aka dull as hell + fake dyi has the best review though