busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, April 30, 2011

    wanna know what the space shuttles gonna put on the moon? 

    the drug boy tapes

    love.

    wanna know what tunes theyre gonna rock to on their way?

    tsar.

    wanna know where you can get the demos of some of their greatest hits?

    cd baby.

    wanna know how much you gotta pay

    $9.99

    wanna read a secret note from superfan Casey. k:

    Hi Crimestoppers!

    Well here it is at long last, Tsar’s famous (and amazing!) Drugboy Tapes, in which Jeff W. and Daniel had been trying to get a band together for like a year in Los Angeles in 1998, but they couldn’t get anything going, so they quit their temp jobs, bought a bunch of recording equipment from Guitar Center with Jeff’s stepdad’s credit card, and then spent a whole month in their tiny apartment (on the corner of Lyman Place and Clayton Avenue) doing nothing but writing and recording the songs that ended up later making up the main part of Tsar’s first record—and then they returned the equipment to Guitar Center for a full refund cause it hadn’t been 30 days yet.

    Supposedly, according to what I heard back then—btw, this is Casey, I used to kind of run Tsar’s webpage back when they were getting signed and putting out their first CD—they gathered up a whole bunch of crazy drugs to take while they were writing and recording, but Daniel tells me that the experience was such a blur that he can’t remember if that part is true or not! (“Though that would make sense, considering how the music ended up sounding!” he said! )

    They recorded on a ¼ in. reel-to-reel tape machine that they had gotten a hold of, but they didn’t really know how to use it, so they tried their best. According to Daniel, they used a combination of live drums and drum machines, and live guitar and keyboards, and banging on things, like a glass of water. Even after buying stuff at Guitar Center, they still didn’t have a lot of equipment, so they did all kinds of experimenting to try to get crazy sounds! For example, on “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die,” Jeff W. played the basic notes on a Casio keyboard while Daniel spun the knobs on a delay pedal, and that’s how they got those weird science fiction sounds! (Later, when they made their big expensive album, that’s how they did it again!) Also, on that same song, Jeff W. spent all afternoon hyperventilating so that he could hold that really long note that happens twice. Basically, they would try anything to see if it would work, like hooking up their VCR to the machine to get that opening guy on “Afradio.” And one time, the guys decided that everything sounded better coming out of this boom box they had (which they called the Afradio), so they mixed a song onto cassette and then played the cassette out of the boom box and put two microphones next to the boom box speakers, and recorded that!

    And they kept on and on, day after day, week after week! Sometimes, with the drums and crazy guitars and trying to sing really good and everything, it was probably way too loud for their tiny apartment. Even though they got along real good with their neighbors, they were really pushing their luck, Daniel said! Also, the landlord guy didn’t know how many people were living in their apartment (it was too many), so they had to hide from him, which was hard since he knew where they lived and they were obviously at home, banging on drums and singing really loud!! Daniel says the whole experience was really stressful and also kind of liberating, too. “Kind of like, not worrying about the usual rules-things like jobs and money-and only concentrating on making music, had a screw-it, it’s-rock-and-roll thing which was a really special feeling.”

    As far as the “lo-fi” sound that the recordings have, it turns out that Jeff W. was really excited about AM radio-sounding music for a while. He thought songs like “Monster Mash,” “Kung Fu Fighting,” and “Spice Up Your Life” sounded better on Radio Disney, which was an AM radio station at the time (and still might be for all I know; I don’t listen to Radio Disney), so he would “squash” all the sounds with a compressor whenever Daniel wasn’t paying enough attention. (They even did a new Drugboy-style remix of “Silver Shifter,” which they had recorded a couple months earlier.) The method makes all the Drugboy recordings sound kind of weird when you first start listening to it, but then your ears get used to it or something, and then you kind of like how it sounds.

    When they were finished with their recording, they thought it was pretty interesting! They used the tapes to get people such as other musicians, clubs, and people around town interested in their band, and it wasn’t too long afterward that they had a full band and were playing concerts and everything! They changed their name to Stupid Gurl, which wasn’t a very good name, so they changed it again to Tsar, which is also not a very good name, but it’s what they’re still called, so there you go. But even though they were up and running and had a bunch of shows in Los Angeles and stuff and even some up in Oregon, they still had to make more changes for their personnel. “Those guys were cool,” Daniel says, “but it wasn’t until Jeff (Solomon) and Steve joined that everything ‘clicked’.”

    All of these changes happened kind of all at once, and Tsar still had a bunch of concerts booked coming up in a couple of days. They had to act fast! First they got Jeff S. to join, and then Steve to join, too, but they only had one day to practice before their first show, which was on the radio at a station called KXLU at the campus of Loyola Marymount University. The last two songs of this album are from that first-ever concert by the guys who would make up Tsar, after only one practice! Incredible!

    Anyways, I hope you enjoy Tsar’s The Drugboy Tapes! I used to listen to it all the time in my room and in my friend’s car- it just goes to show you you never know what’s gonna happen!

    rock on,
    Casey
    Los Angeles, California
    March 14, 2011

  2. Friday, April 29, 2011

    can it really be almost 5pm and no posts on the busblawwwwg? 

    in hollywood

    do you think ive abandoned you old chum?

    are you afeered i love another?

    i do love another. i love 40 others. and i am writing as much as i can on one.

    but that doesnt mean i dont love you. in fact busblog i love you more than all of the others combined.

    that is possible you know.

    my heart is a flower as king missile says

    and each petal is a he loves you. aint no he loves me nots.

    im hearing the kids skateboard over at the old park. im hearing all the city workers leave city hall early.

    im hearing all the busses scoot by and the honkers beep hi.

    this weekend theres a ucsb reunion, a creative studies reunion, and a daily nexus reunion in santa barbara.

    danielle comes to town sunday for a photo shoot.

    truest returns from her two week long camping excursion.

    and tonight karisa wants to take me to a new thai place shes fallen for.

    vegas wore me out. im olde. i need rest during my weekends. so i asked for a few days off next week.

    i hate getting old. theres so much i hate. im bored of so much, im def bored of all the music ive been rockin to.

    i get home and take a shower. before i go to bed i take a shower. seems like the only thing im not bored of is

    blogging, showering, eating, and pooping. if i could poop four times a day id be happy.

    know why? cuz thats when i get my best reading done.

    kbye!

     

  3. Thursday, April 28, 2011

    left my computer charger at work 

    at the lakers game

    so i’ll make this quick.

    buddy chris called me and said wanna go to the laker game

    playoffs, great seats, etc.

    i was all of course.

    game was great, hanging with chris is always nice, good beer, even sushi there.

    but the best part to me was this dude on the blue line

    who dressed up two chucky dolls in lil lakers jerseys

    and wore a crazy wig.

    i thought, at least im not carrying dolls.

  4. oprah, obama, obama, oprah 

    at the la times

    im not sure how much ive told you about the renovations that have been going on at the Times this spring,

    but they have been fixing up our 3rd floor newsroom, so we have had to relocate to other parts of the building.

    because andrew malcolm, the top of the ticket blogger, is so beloved he was assigned a sweet little office

    with this spectacular view of the abandoned city hall parking lot, which is now frequented

    by feral cats, stoned skateboarders, sleeping homeless chaps,

    and construction workers who are turning the empty space into a nice downtown park.

    but because andy shows up at the building about 10 times a year,

    and because the new desk i was assigned isnt really ergonomic, andy is allowing me to crash in his pod.

    other than the view, i like it for a few reasons, namely it allows me to focus on blogging for the Ticket, our political blog.

    needless to say yesterday’s news of President Obamas birth certificate kept me pretty busy

    and it was nice to be able to focus on that in a closed office with a pretty view

    of dudes doing crack cocaine in the sunshine.

    i <3 my life.

  5. Wednesday, April 27, 2011
     

    <3 Cub fans 

    and now that the president has released his Other birth certificate

    we can go back to focusing up on the national pasttime:

    avoiding each other

    h/t Bobby D

     
  6. someone complained that there is rarely photographic evidence of me 

    in las vegasin any of my adventures around this beautiful land.

    and while nothing in this is true, and you should question any photo you see on the internet, most of the time you dont see me because im the one taking the pictures.

    also i love taking the pictures.

    also im sure my audience would rather see the cool people i get to party with instead of me.

    with that said, heres one of the few pictures from last weekend’s vegas shenanigans where i made an appearance on film

    on the left there is michelle, a bartender and undercover cop from massachussetts.

    under her is karisas sister in law za za.

    then you have your hero.

    on top of moi is karisas little sister.

    then theres karisa recovering from sunstroke or maybe just regular stroke.

    and next to her is her personal handler, mary.

    we are poolside of the hard rock, good call, bree.

    on the table are various drinks. but i want you to look at the plastic cups with the straws coming out of them.

    the far right one is my screwdriver. keyword is screw. why?

    check it, that drink cost $28 before tip. and i gotta say, onlya bout 1/8 of it was booze. so like 4-5 shots. tops. probably closer to four.

    im not complaining too much, i mean you should know when youre trying to pull off the rock star high roller moves like renting a cabana at the hottest pool in all of vegas over a holiday weekend youre gonna have to pay.

    and in the long run they give you so many free drinks when youre gambling that it all evens out.

    and trust me, none of us had a hard time chasing the buzz.

    im just saying buyer beware. before you order a poolside drink, you might wanna figure out your options if youre working on a budget, like many of us are.

    ok theres your life lesson for the day and your precious pic of yr favorite blogger getting his drink on

    now take on the day

  7. Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    i may just have to go to a lot of stuff in may 

    5/4 Chicago Cubs @ Los Angeles Dodgers, noon

    5/4 Chris Cornell @ John Anson Ford Theatre, 9pm

    5/5 Joan Rivers @ Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills

    5/6 Ke$ha @ Hollywood Palladium

    5/7 Fleet Foxes @ Hollywood Palladium

    5/8 Ghostland Observatory @ Club Nokia

    5/9 Chris Robinson Brotherhood @ Echoplex

    5/11 Elvis Costello and The Imposters @ Wiltern

    5/12 The Cars @ Hollywood Palladium

    5/13 The Kills @ Henry Fonda Music Box

    5/14 Of Montreal @ Avalon

    5/15 Dudamel conducts Mackey and Brahms @ Disney Hall

    5/17 Lauryn Hill @ Fox Theatre, Pomona

    5/18 SF Giants vs LA Dodgers @ Dodger Stadium

    5/19 Herb Alpert @ The Broad Stage

    5/20 Rammstein @ The Forum

    5/21 Yelle @ Henry Fonda Music Box

    5/22 Adam Carolla @ Grove of Anaheim

    5/25 Scott Weiland @ Viper Room

    5/27 My Chemical Romance @ Hollywood Palladium

    5/28 Dan Band @ Club Nokia

    5/31 Lykke Li @ Wiltern

  8. Monday, April 25, 2011

    they say its not the events that happen, but how you react to them 

    that matters in life

    that phrase goes over and over in my head as i think about my neighbor who just WILL NOT STOP blasting Lady Gaga

    he’s playing along on his guitar like hes gonna go on tour with them and i keep thinking am i being tested?

    on one hand im pretty much a Libertarian in life. i want people to do whatever they want to do.

    for most of my life i have been viewed as the rebel, the pot stirrer, the instigator

    the last thing id ever wanna do is tell someone to turn it the eff down.

    plus i have an issue with growing older. it sucks. and arent you officially an old man when you call the cops on someone

    over the bad music on their stereo?

    all i wanna do is take a little cat nap. vegas was intense. i drove us home. work was rough, now i wanna sleep.

    but this paparazzi keeps blasting.

    there was a time when i could call up a sweet little angel and say baby i need to come over

    and thered be invitations for a home cooked meal or something and id say no seriously i just need a nap

    and a man could get a nap. but the events have happened in such a way i cant get no damn nap.

    so i wonder, am i being tested to see how i will react? and how do you pass such a test?

    is the correct answer to take control of your life and make the world a brighter place?

    or is the correct answer to just say a little prayer to the Good Lord and trust Him?

    i guess i’ll never know since the music miraculously just stopped.

  9. my status says vegas was awesome 

    in calico

    and it was.

    as i wrote previously karisa twisted my arm and made me join her and her bff to vegas to party with her family and friends.

    the only plans i previously had was to see Prince with ali, but she didnt seem that into it so i gave my tickets to my bro Chris and his wife and before i knew it was on the road to sin city.

    we were all under the assumption that someone had booked a room at the Luxor but when we got there there was no reservation and we adjourned to the hotel bar for mimosas to regroup.

    in las vegasid like to say that this was the last mistake that was made on the trip, but when you have three people who are workaholics it takes a while to allow ourselves to put work aside and just focus on personal time.

    it was a little easier for me because i accidentally left my cell phone in my car in LA – something that i learned i should think about doing on more weekends.  it was more liberating than i expected.

    got a decent lead on a good deal at the Hard Rock, checked in, nibbled on some Pink Tacos, and the weekend had begun. karisas family are awesome people, their friends are just as solid. somehow they got upgraded at the Cosmo to two unreal corner suites so we celebrated with them for awhile and then made it back to the Hard Rock for gambling and dancing.

    as an MTV freak, i was very happy to be partying in the same hotel that the current Real World was shot and i even recognized one of the security guys who had kicked out one of the real worlders who had gotten a little out of hand.

    the next morning we woke up and immediately hit the pool. karisa et al booked a cabana which was a great idea because that pool was packed cuz the weather was perfect and errryone knows that the hard rock’s pool is the best in vegas. awesome people, great vibe, terrific music.  one thing i hadnt expected was first class service by not just our waitress but our security dude too.

    after half a day of baking in the sun we passed out in the room in preparation for dinner.  that dinner didnt happen for karisa cuz she slept right through it. i woke her up, laughed as she got dressed in a rush at 10pm and hauled ass to the Palms.

    i was in a far more mellow mood than dancing and eating,  and with the girls out of the room i drew a nice bath,  and broke open xTx’s book “normally special” which i had lost and then found.

    my hour bath turned into three. it was just so comfortable in there and the book was so damn good. it reminded me of what Bukowski used to do: just sit in the tub reading writing and drinking. i wasnt drinking though. just chilling out. sorta exactly what i wanted to do in LA but there i was in the eye of the tornado: downstairs Santana was rocking out, outside the typical sin city mayhem was going down, and upstairs in room 569 your buddy was enjoying every word from the multiple Anna Award winning blogger.

    karisa stumbled into the room. knocked on the bathroom door. was surprised i was in there. mumbled somethign about yoga pants. and was passed out with a huge smile on her face before i could quiz her about her night.

    in the morning we ate in mcdonalds’ drive through, went to a ghost town (pictured), saw a terrible accident, and eventually got home in time for dinner.

    i am extremely lucky to have a friend like karisa. duh. and this trip solidified all of that even more.

    which is why i will respectfully end the tale there and refrain from showing the best photos of all times.