Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Keep it black.

Dave Hill

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Taking Over The West Coast

I am in scenic Los Angeles as I type this. At the moment I’m in my room at a hotel in West Hollywood which, for some reason, has filled me with an overwhelming urge to sit naked on all the furniture. Then again, I feel that way pretty much anywhere I’m left alone for an extended period of time. More often than not, however, hanging out in my boxers is about as bad as it ever gets with me. That’s just how I live my life.

Last night I went to see Trainwreck, my close personal friend Kyle Gass from Tenacious D’s other band (This is the namedropping portion of this entry), at the Viper Room. It was the last night of their month-long residency at the club and the place was packed.

Trainwreck were awesome and rocked balls for about 45 minutes before coming back out on stage for an encore. The first song of their encore was “The Rocker” by Thin Lizzy, before which Kyle gave me what is known in the industry as a “shout out from the stage” because- as mentioned earlier- we are close personal friends. Since I had earplugs in and was slightly liquored up, I couldn’t hear everything he was saying though. Apparently neither could the people I was sitting with because they swore that Kyle had asked me to come up on stage and play guitar with the band. I didn’t hear him say this but- being half in the bag and jetlagged and all- I took their word for it and climbed on stage to play “The Rocker” and a couple other covers with the band. It was good times. I felt a little silly after the show, however, when I found out that I was right about Kyle not calling me up on the stage. Fortunately, Kyle and the rest of the band seemed to appreciate my joie de vivre and just figured I was wasted and couldn’t fight off the impulse to rock. That’s just how it goes with us rockers sometimes.

On a technical/guitar geek note, for my accidental guest appearance with Trainwreck last night, I played Kyle’s custom Tenacious D SG, which was pretty badass and is apparently an SG from Gibson’s Gothic series that some friends of his customized for him. It says Tenacious D instead of Gibson and KG instead of SG on the headstock, but I was too busy rocking out to notice any of this at the time. Kyle filled me in on this detail later.

Shortly, I will put some pants on and hit the town for more West Coast mayhem. I think I’m supposed to get dinner or something. As you may have noticed from this entry, I am pretty brain dead from lack of sleep, etc. already, but I will be back with another spine-tingling report from the West Coast soon. In the meantime, deal with the suspense as best you can.

Dave Hill

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Black Metal In The Arts

I am going to scenic Los Angeles tomorrow for a couple days just so I can kick some ass on the West Coast for a change. While I am there, I am hoping to check out this art gallery's showing of Norwegian black metal pictures taken by Peter Beste, a photographer who as far as I know is totally not related to the guy whose entire life was ruined by getting kicked out of the Beatles. Their names are spelled different anyway. Anyway, the show looks pretty incredible whether you're into Norwegian black metal or not (but why wouldn't you be?). I'll let you know what happens. Maybe they will be selling posters and then I can take down all the Monet posters hanging in my dorm room. I am totally leaving up that one poster of the guy kissing the girl in France though and there is not a damn thing anybody can say about it.

Dave Hill

My Upstairs Neighbor Is Cranking Norah Jones And I Wish Him Dead

It's nothing personal, Norah. I would still totally bone you.

Dave Hill

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Dave Hill Explosion- Thurs. Nov. 3 at UCB Theatre. You should totally come.

I just wanted to let you know that on Thurs. Nov. 3 at 9:30pm, I will be bringing my brand new award-winning nightclub act to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (located at 307 West 26th Street right here in town). The show is called The Dave Hill Explosion and critics are already calling it the most incredible thing that has ever happened in North America. I am pretty excited about it (though admittedly I have been throwing up a lot lately too). Anyway, if you would like to see me talk, sing, read, dance, show a short film or two, and just sort of touch hearts in general for up to but no longer than 35 minutes straight, then you will you not believe what I have cooked up for you on Nov. 3. I am even going to have a super secret surprise guest (Rufus Wainwright) on the show who is so amazing the UCB folks should probably think about performing cavity searches on everyone at the door. As mentioned earlier, the excitement starts at 9:30pm when Julie Klausner and Sue Galloway come out and perform their excellent Free To Be Friends show. Then when they are finished, I will come out and start changing lives. That sh*t will go down at approximately 10pm. I really hope you can make it. That would be so great.

Dave Hill

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Heated Debate

Okay, here is something fun and interactive for the whole family! Assuming anyone actually reads this page, I have a couple questions I would like to offer up for heated and at times even raging debate. Please weigh in on the following in the comments section below if you have time (and, really, if you’re reading this page, you probably do have the time. I mean, let’s be honest. Am I right?). Okay, so here goes:

If you discovered a shriveled up (and most likely repeatedly tumble-dried) condom (that was definitely, definitely without question not yours) in a laundromat dryer as you were unloading your clothes from it, would you re-wash the entire load of laundry or would you be all like “Ah, screw it!”?

Okay, so that’s the first question. Now on to the second. The other day at the post office, I stood in line behind a guy with a Jagermeister tattoo. My question: If someone has a Jagermeister tattoo, does that automatically mean that that person is a douchebag?

Anyway, I haven’t slept in like three days wondering about both of these things, so if you could offer your opinion on these matters that would be so great.

Okay then, that’s all I got for now. Great, okay, thanks. Bye.

Dave Hill

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hell's Kitchen Getaway

I am apartment sitting for a few days at my sister’s apartment in scenic Hell’s Kitchen while she is away doing something in what I believe to be Canada. I guess calling it apartment sitting is kind of stretch as there aren’t any animals or plants here that need tending to or really anything else that might require sitting of any sort in my sister’s absence. Also, “apartment sitting” sort of implies that the person to whom the apartment belongs knows that there is someone staying there while they are away. Without really talking about it with my sister at any point, I just kind of showed up here a few days ago and got the key from the guy at the front desk, who- like most people- just can’t say no to my boyish good looks and way with a knowing glance. I’m pretty sure my sister won’t mind though. I do plan on airing the place out for a bit before she gets back. Then again, last time I tried that while “apartment sitting” for a friend, I ended up dropping an air conditioner out the window and sending it crashing to the ground four stories below. Oops. Life is funny sometimes. And I still owe that friend a new air conditioner. Here’s to fall (and sweater weather).

The next block over from my sister’s apartment is a bakery or bread factory of some sort. As a result, my sister’s apartment tends to smell like fresh-baked bread and/or burnt toast pretty much 24 hours a day. It is a smell that is at once charming and annoying, reminding me both of simpler times I’m too young to remember and also why I’m not allowed to make my own toast anymore. Sometimes I feel like lighting some incense to combat the festival of smells coming from the bread factory, but then that presents a whole other set of charming/annoying attachments, like the fact that I somehow recently ended up on some group mailing list through which friends of friends have been circulating photos from Burning Man, some sort of outdoor festival I have never attended and- if everything goes as planned- never will. None of the pictures even include any naked people. To use the language of the Internet types, WTF? It’s all pretty confusing when it gets right down to it.

In other news, this past Saturday the new rock band that I play guitar in, Heather played our third Saturday show in our month-long October residency at Arlene’s Grocery. It was really crowded and I think I finally got the hair right, so I’m pretty excited about that. Nothing much else to report other than the fact that we totally rocked ass and hearts were touched in general. If you find yourself in scenic New York City either this Saturday or the next, you should come check that shit out. I also encourage you to come see my unstoppable rock band Valley Lodge as we rock balls at Sin-e on November 2. It should be pretty incredible. Brace yourself. And be sure to tell all the kids. Life is short- rock often, mofo. What are you running from?

Dave Hill

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Now That's Good Coffee

I've just returned from grabbing a cup of coffee (large, milk, one sugar) from the coffee stand on the corner of my block. On my way to the coffee stand, I noticed an attractive young woman flashing her boobs at some people standing outside the hospital across the street from my apartment. She was wearing a bra (pink), but I still have to say that having a fresh cup of coffee to say and seeing an attractive young woman flash her boobs (braless or otherwise) first thing in the morning is a pretty magical way to start the day.

Things got ugly on the way back to my apartment when I discovered the attractive young boob-flashing woman still standing outside the hospital, only this time she was screaming at the top of her lungs while two hospital employees attempted to get her back inside. I'm not sure what the problem was. If they were treating her for a boob-flashing condition, then I am certain this is a world I no longer wish to live in. My sense, however, is that there was something else wrong with this woman and the boob-flashing just happens to be me one of the more pleasant side effects of her condition. Anyway, I hope things work out for her in the end. She's already touched my life in a wonderful way and she probably doesn't even know it.

In other news, it has been raining here in New York for the past six days and I can't stop talking or even thinking about it. I've had to change my pants every time I come back to my apartment only this time it's for a totally different reason than usual. That's right- I'm talking about the rain. See what I mean? I just can't stop talking about it. Even when I got my coffee from the guy at the coffee stand a few minutes ago, I couldn't help but give him a look that said "How 'bout this rain! Can you believe it? It has been raining like this for six days! It won't stop! I can't stop talking or thinking about it, just as my look suggests!" As he handed me my coffee, he shot me a look back that seemed to say "Tell me about it, a-hole, tell me about it. Now please step away from my coffee cart immediately, sir. It's time to go. You seem really nice and all, but, really, we don't want a repeat of what happened last time."

Dave Hill

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Back In Black

I haven’t mentioned black metal in a few days, so I figured it’s time I get my priorities straight once again. Here is something pretty incredible that I strongly encourage you to check out. It’s Cronos, lead singer for Venom (who coined the term black metal in the first place. Dammit.), talking to the crowd between songs at a Venom/Black Flag double bill in New Jersey in 1986. Shame on me for not knowing about this already since I’m pretty much the king of black metal and all that. Anyway, you can read the full story and listen to Cronos here.

Dave Hill

Friday, October 07, 2005

Beast vs. Beast

Exciting news from the animal kingdom came in the other day after a 13-foot Burmese python in Florida tried to eat an entire live, 6-foot alligator and exploded in the process (Seriously. See photo above). As is often the case when something totally crazy happens, both the media and just people in general have been quick to make use of popular catchphrases when addressing the incident. Some have said the python’s “eyes were bigger than his stomach.” Others have noted that he “bit off more than he could chew.” Still others have suggested that the python probably thought it “seemed like a good idea at the time.”

The real lesson to be learned here, however, is that never, ever, under any circumstances- no matter how tempting it is- should you try to eat an entire live, 6-foot alligator all at once, not even if you are a 13-foot Burmese python and really, really hungry. It is just totally not a good idea.

Dave Hill

I Saw Bob Mould

Time for a quick rock show review...

This past Wednesday night I saw Bob Mould play at Irving Plaza. I was really looking forward to it as Bob has always been one of my favorite musicians. Husker Du (the picture above is from when the band was still together, in case you didn’t know. Dammit) is one of my favorite bands and I also really dig Sugar and most of Bob’s solo stuff (Sorry, Bob- I really tried with “Modulate” but just couldn’t do it. I appreciate your balls for trying something different though.).

I showed up at Irving Plaza a little earlier than I had hoped. I didn’t feel like seeing an opening band so I tried to time it so I’d be walking in right as Bob hit the stage. Unfortunately, I got there just as the opener, Copeland, was attempting to warm up the crowd of mostly dudes in attendance. Copeland reminded me of an emo version of the Gin Blossoms, and I mean that in the harshest of ways. I will admit, however, that my disdain for the band was influenced in part by the fact that I just wanted to see Bob play. I don’t think I would be a fan of Copeland under any circumstances, but I doubt I would always feel like throwing rocks at them, as I did throughout pretty much all of their set on Wednesday. (NOTE: If any fans or actual members of the band Copeland are reading this right now, it’s nothing personal. I didn’t like your music, but you seemed like a bunch of nice guys. It just wasn’t my cup of tea as they say. And being a musician myself, I know it’s never nice to read that someone doesn’t like your music. For example, check out this write up of my band Valley Lodge. They pretty much say we suck except for our one song ”All Of My Loving”, which they admit is pretty awesome. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if we ever do meet face to face, I’d be happy to buy you a sandwich, a bag of chips even. You’re on your own with the beverage though.)

After Copeland left the stage, Irving Plaza began to fill up with even more dudes and next thing you know Bob took the stage. Joining him in his rock assault were Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty (who is, like, one of the best drummers ever in my opinion), keyboardist Richard Morel (who is Bob’s partner in Blowoff, and bassist Jason Narducy from Verbena, whom I couldn’t help but be really jealous of because I would love to play bass and sing backups for Bob Mould if I ever got the chance.

It was good to see Bob rocking again as it was just a few years ago that he swore he was putting the loud amps away for good. I’m glad he changed his mind though because- as mentioned previously in this diary- I firmly believe in the importance of rocking out as much as humanly possible at all times- especially when you’re Bob Mould. It was also great to hear Bob play Husker Du and Sugar songs within a full band context, something he has also never done outside of either of those bands to my knowledge.

I can’t remember all the songs Bob played, but from what I can remember the set included “The Act We Act,” “Changes”, “A Good Idea,” “Helpless,” “Hoover Dam,” and (though I could be wrong about this last one) “Your Favorite Thing” by Sugar; “Chartered Trips,” “Could You Be The One,” “I Apologize,” “Celebrated Summer,” “Makes No Sense At All,” “Whatever,” and maybe some others I’m forgetting by Husker Du; and “See A Little Light,” “Egooveride,” “High Fidelity,” “Underneath Days,” “I Am Vision, I Am Sound,” “Best Thing,” “Circles,” and probably some other ones from his solo albums too.

It’s always nice to hear someone break out the hits from a more than twenty year career. It help remind you how they got to stick around so long in the first place. I will end this review not unlike an elementary school student might end a book report: If you want to hear great music played by great musicians, you should definitely go see Bob and his band play if you get the chance. (You should by all his records too, even “Modulate,” if for nothing else than the cool packaging.)

On a side note- and as is often the case with rock shows- there was an organization (LifeBeat, I think) giving out free Trojan condoms at the show. It’s always good to spread the safe sex message, I (and they, I would assume) say (People see a rock show and they feel like boning. It’s just how these thing go). It was interesting to see the array of condoms they had for the taking- regular lubricated ones, condoms for his and her pleasure, and then condoms that were just for her pleasure (I guess the dude in that situation is probably happy enough to just be boning in the first place). I’m always amazed that there is a necessity to make a variety of different condoms. You’d think the whole penis/vagina or penis/anus combo would be enough to keeps things exciting. Kids today....

Dave Hill

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Downtown Saturday Night

This past Saturday night was pretty solid as far as rocking people goes. The mayhem started on the early side when my unstoppable rock band Valley Lodge and I jumped into a taxi and took it from our underground rock hideout in Chelsea to Juvie Hall in the Village, where we were set to play a couple hits on Sara Schaefer's popular chat/variety type show "Sara Schaefer Is Obsessed With You." The show was sold out, which was especially good for us since we prefer to rock as many people as possible at all times. Given the small space and all though, we had to rock in a "stripped down" fashion so we didn't blow people's asses out too much. John and Phil played out of little amps and I played acoustic guitar. Griff- who plays drums for Heather and was filling in for Rob, who was away doing some sort of secret agent type stuff- played a mini-drum set that doesn't pummel as much as a normal set usually does when played by someone with cold balls of steel. All four of us sat down in chairs too in an effort to add to the stripped-down type vibe we were kicking out. I even crossed my legs a couple times during the performance. You can get away with that sort of thing when you are a badass. I wouldn't recommend it if you are just some kind of totally normal person who doesn't make a habit of kicking ass at all times though.

Things got a little crazy right before our performance on Sara Schaefer's show when I accidentally broke an empty Teany bottle, the delicious tea made by the popular musician Moby in his spare time. The bottle made a big popping sound when it exploded on the ground and I think most of the people in the crowd thought it was some sort of crazy pyrotechnics we had planned out beforehand, but really it was just me breaking a bottle on the floor by accident. Pyrotechnics or not though, it sort of added to the sense of unbridled chaos we like to get going at our performances.

We ended up playing two hits- "If It Takes All Night" and "All Of My Loving" on Sara's show. I think my microphone might not have been or something while we played, but it seemed like people generally had their minds blown by our awesome yet sensitive rock power. Not a dry seat in the house.

After playing on Sara's show, Phi, Griff, and I headed back to our Chelsea rock hideout to grab the ammo for the Heather show later that night at Arlene's Grocery. It's always fun playing more than one rock show in a night, kind of like playing a double-header in baseball or something only with a lot more potential for hardcore boning. No, not really, but it's still fun rocking as much as possible whenever possible.

Our show at Arlene's was pretty rocking. The crowd was decent but not overwhelmingly large, which is to say that I wish like 40 more people showed up. On the namedropping front, my new close personal friend Kyle Gass from Tenacious D and Trainwreck came to the show and rocked out, so that was cool.

Since this was my first real show with Heather, I was slightly nervous because I wanted to make sure I rocked balls and shredded effectively and all that sort of thing. My shirt was a little too tight, but other than that things seemed to go pretty well. I only wish they didn't make me carry all of the equipment afterwards. They tell me it's character-building and for my own good and all that, but I think there might be some sort of hazing going on. No, just kidding- those guys know better than to mess with a badass.

Dave Hill

Monday, October 03, 2005

Man Down

This is a photo of my friend Justin. Last week, he was riding his bike home really late at night (and presumably drunk) and flipped over the handle bars. As they say in medical circles, he messed himself up pretty good. I realize it's not right to delight in the misfortune of others, but you have to admit- it can still be pretty fun sometimes. Nice work, Justin!

Dave Hill

Welcome To The Future, Bitch.

Just when I thought dairy-based products could not be pushed any further, I stumbled upon the above product at one of the delis in my scenic Brooklyn neighborhood. I’ve been wondering for a long time now when I might be living in a future age and now here it is slapping me around like a bitch and giving me milk that tastes just like the popular 3 Musketeers candy bar. Finally- the magic of milk and nougat in one delicious and convenient beverage. There is also milk that tastes like the popular Milky Way candy bar and even milk that tastes like a Moon Pie. I’m guessing that one will have more of a cult following. You should probably check the expiration date on the Moon Pie-flavored milk before bringing it to the counter. I’m just saying.

I didn’t end up buying any of the 3 Musketeers-flavored milk because I was too busy reevaluating the world and my place in it immediately after I discovered this exciting new dairy product there on the refrigerator aisle of the deli, but I’m totally thinking about getting one next time I go back there. And I probably shouldn’t be bringing this up right now because your head will probably just explode after reading this, but there is some other product made by the same people that allegedly tastes just like the popular Starbursts candy. I know, I know- holy sh*t. Anyway, good luck trying to drink a regular glass of milk after reading this. What are you f*&king Amish or something? Get yourself some 3 Musketeers-flavored milk today! By the way, if anyone from the company that makes the 3 Musketeers-flavored milk is reading this right now, you can totally use those last couple lines for your new ad campaign if you want. File Under: It's the least I could f*&king do. Am I right?

Dave Hill