Two things…

1. Dead Child fucking killed it tonight.

2. Bob Costas did a good job of asking the president real questions during the latter’s ten minute stop by NBC studios. Bush, predictably, did his best “half drunk, second-best sales associate” schtick in response. His slide in to irrelevance dulls the pain a bit, but each mispronunciation of a major head of state’s name (in this case, Pertin, or Putin, for those keeping score at home) still feels like having your balls massaged by a cotton gin.

Reverse sticker shock

Some observations from Denton:

1. Best sign so far: “$2 minimum on all credit cards.” At Hooligan’s, a bar on the square, downtown.
2. A buddy and I had two Miller Lights each (16 oz.), plus an order of fried zucchini and an order of fried pickles…not exactly health food, but the total for all that was $18, with tax.
3. At Rubber Gloves, the Denton equivalent of the Casbah: $1.50 Leigenbock drafts (16 oz), $1.75 Lone Star/Schlitz/PBR, $2.75 well drinks (Beam is well whiskey).

Denton, Dallas, and new beginnings

If anyone still subscribes to this site’s RSS feed, it’s a testament to either your fandom or laziness: with the complete lack of new content for, oh, ever, I really deserve no readers at this point.

That said, my relocation to Denton has me in the blogging mood. is quite good, but more focused on the Dallas scene, and Denton deserves dedicated bloggers. Hell, they probably already have them: I’m so green, I have no idea.

For the San Diegans that read this, I encourage you to stick it out for a couple weeks, and see if you don’t find that there’s still something for you here. For those in the metroplex that stumble across it, I encourage to you to take a look at some older posts and see what a garrulous prick I can be once I’m acclimated to the environment.

This news is a little old, but Be Your Own Pet broke up. I reviewed their record for Citybeat and, on second thought, I was far too generous. This band was not very good. They were not very lucky. And they are now not very…are.

Goodbye, TNA. Hello, Big Science.

Always feels a little weird posting your own stuff, but:

As many of you know, The North Atlantic’s waters have been still for some time. We got back from tour in December of 2006 exhausted and broke. We’d covered a lot of ground. We recorded a few more demo tracks, wrote a lot of music, and enjoyed reconnecting with our friends and family here in San Diego. We played our last show at Denverfest this year, and it was a sight to behold.

The North Atlantic is done. The fun, however, is just getting started.

Jason H. and Jason R. have a new thing going. Defying the laws of probability, they teamed up with another Jason: Clark, the producer of Wires in the Walls, and added a Jeremy (on drums) to the mix. The result is Big Science, and you can find out a whole lot more about them here. I’m excited by what they’re doing and can’t wait to get out and see their first show, which will be in Chicago. Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements. Add ’em on Myspace. Tag their name on your grandma’s Buick. Kick a eunuch where his nuts should be, but do it in their honor.

I’m playing in Pen and Ink, a band here in San Diego. We’re having a good time and playing the odd show, but we’re all working stiffs with other things occupying most of our time. I’m headed to Texas in the summertime, where I’ll be starting my first faculty job. I plan on taking up weekly residence at Rubber Gloves in Denton, so if you’re touring in the area, be sure to let me know.

The North Atlantic meant more to us than we’ll ever really be able to articulate. It was eight years of our lives, spread across two cities, fifteen tours, over 500 shows and a lifetime’s worth of great friends. It was some of the best moments of our lives, and indeed, some of the worst. What was always amazing was how those two things could sometimes be separated by seconds.

I’ll be updating this page periodically with information about our comings and goings, and any otherwise unreleased music we see fit to post. We’ve got a few things in the hopper, but I don’t want to say too much about those at this point.

It’s been great. See you all up the road a bit.

Cullen for TNA

To my loyal Iowan readers…

…it is your moral and civic duty to make sure that people like U.S. Representative Steve King do not get re-elected. Announcing his intent to run for re-election in Iowa’s Fifth District, King had these choice words on the subject of a potential Barack Obama presidency:

“I don’t want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name – whatever their religion their father might have been,” he said. “I’ll just say this: When you think about the option of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States — I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam?”

Going further…

“Additionally, his middle name (Hussein) does matter,” King said. “It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict.”

King demonstrates a number of qualities that are pretty emblematic of rural, knee-jerk conservatism: xenophobia, religious intolerance (if a man shouldn’t be judged on his father’s religion, why mention it three times in the space of four sentences?), and the undying belief that there is any useful analogy to be found in America’s great successes in WWI and WWII for the War on Terror.

To win the War on Terror, the United States has to demonstrate that it recognizes the difference between Muslims and fanatic, perverted Extremists. To paint the former with the same brush as the latter is precisely, and I mean precisely, what extremists like Bin Laden are trying to achieve.

What King doesn’t understand is that electing Obama will indeed speak volumes to the world–just not the idiotic, small-minded message King assumes. It will say that the United States, for all its faults, is the kind of place that respects difference and is capable of embracing its diversity. It will also say, to the millions of Muslims who can’t stand the fact that characters like bin Laden and Moqtada al-Sadr have become their unofficial spokesmen in the world, that the United States understands that all faiths and colors are consistent with the values of decency, respect for others, and that the real path to victory comes with marginalizing these actors, not fighting evangelical fire with fire or letting McCain get all Captain Ahab about winning the war that got away.

UPDATE: Tera Melos, Fever Sleeves is at Black Box!

Tony Fever Sleeves just let me know that the Tera Melos, Fever Sleeves and Witt! show has been moved to the venerable Black Box Studios. Let Google Maps, not Peter Frampton, show you the way.

Incidentally, what’s up with 80s songs using key changes interchangeably with, I don’t know, writing another part of the song?

“And then what?”

“How about a bridge.”

“Nah, let’s just do the chorus again transposed up a fifth.”


Livin’ on a Prayer does this. Countless others do, too. What the hell?

Tera Melos and Fever Sleeves in Golden Hill?

Is it possible there’s an all-ages venue two blocks from my house that isn’t Black Box Studios and that I’ve never heard of?

Tera Melos, Fever Sleeves, and Witt are playing at the Marquee Theater on Saturday. The Marquee Theater is supposedly at  835 25th Street, which, according to, is also the address of Chipper’s Chalet. Chipper’s Chalet is listed as “skilled nursing facility.” I know Golden Hill is a hotbed for aging hipsters, but isn’t that a little too far afield?

Regardless, you should check this show out–definitely Dirtbag approved.

Tera Melos is a really, really interesting band. This show is one of their few “small” dates before they hit the road (again) with the Fall of Troy. My sense is that Fall of Troy dig them some Tera Melos. It’s pretty easy to see why. Fall of Troy are to Tera Melos what the At the Drive In is to Mars Volta, which is to say the extreme evolution of the former’s most adventurous aspects. Last time I saw them they had toned down the sheer insanity of their live shows–they used to be a band you literally could not believe was actually playing their instruments while hanging from rafters–but dialed up the intensity and variability of their compositions. Here’s a little taste, courtesy of Sargent House:

Black Box Studios robbed…

Rosey just posted on this over at This story just make me furious. Living across the street from Black Box, I’ve gotten to know Mario and Mike pretty well. I’ve developed a lot of respect for them, both for their willingness to share their rehearsal and recording studio as a venue and for their work in putting together the Black Box compilation. Stealing from people like them, as a musician, is ultimately counter-productive. I hope the deal they got for pawning all of this stuff was worth poisoning the well of good will.

This is a repost from MySpace, posted on Saturday Night:

Tonight between the hours of 7:30pm and midnight someone entered Black Box and took everything out of our hourly rehearsal room. That included: a Soundcraft P.A. , a Peavey P.A. Speaker, a Cerwin Vega P.A. Speaker and 2 sm 57s with mic stands. They also made off with some of our most beloved artwork and our christmas tree. It’s a sad day when we have to re-assess the trust you have for people. If anyone has any info on any of this equipment please contact us ASAP! 619-788-3240
Black Box

Hellaciously embarrassing moments in sports/music history…

1. The ’86 Dodgers performing “The Baseball Boogie.” No amount of cocaine, Gheri-juice overdose, or just plain bad sense can really explain this:

2. Kobe Bryant performing “K.O.B.E.” at the 1996 NBA All-Star Weekend. Pro: having the sense to feature a pre-crazy Tyra Banks. Con: rapping in Italian.

Vampire Weekend

Fuck any band of white kids from Columbia University that calls their music “Upper West Side Soweto.” Yeah dudes–we’ve all heard Graceland. You sound like the Shins, shit drunk and trying to reverse engineer “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”