Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sons of Elvis
I was poking around on the popular Internet website YouTube today in search of any old videos of my first band Sons of Elvis. I came up somewhat empty as far as actual footage of us, but I did find a bunch of videos that have a still photograph and one of our songs playing. Here is one for our song "Reggie Makes The Scene," one of my favorite songs to play live with the band back when we used to rock people. The song was named after something written on an Archie comic book-themed glass I got at a thrift store. It was the '90s. We were just kids and there were no rules back then, dammit. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it so much.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Last night, I made my debut on the ice for the 2008-2009 hockey season by helping lead my old men’s league team, the King Williams, to its third defeat of the season. I missed the first couple games of the season due to what members of the blogosphere are calling “scheduling conflicts” and “a general malaise.” I was sure to be there last night though as we were taken down in a 4-2 battle of wits against that one team with the purple jerseys.
I am in arguably in the best shape I have ever been since coming out of semi-retirement last season to help my team almost win a game (but ultimately fail in the end) on several occasions. Even so, it was not enough to help my team score more goals than the 8 or 10 fat old guys who showed up last night to beat us in a game that was witnessed by roughly three or four people, most of whom appeared to work at the rink and/or be dating one of the players. I didn’t fall down for no apparent reason at any point in the game though, so I have high hopes for myself in the games to come. With further conditioning and practice, I think I might be able to give my 12 year-old self a run for his money in terms of being seriously good at hockey. Still, I think the 18 year-old me will likely always be able to skate circles around me in the alternate universe hockey league where I am able to play against versions of myself at various points in my life, a league that it is fair to say would be the most yelling and screaming-free league of all-time. Despite my overall joie de vivre and whatnot, I have somehow never had the sass or gumption to yell much at sporting events, even ones that I am physically participating in. Maybe I am missing a chromosome or something, the one that helps you get worked up about things in a vocal manner.
Of particular excitement last night was the fact that earlier in the day I bought a new helmet, perhaps the first new helmet I’ve had since the ‘80’s or so. This one fits too. It’s not easy to find a helmet, hat, or headgear of any sort that fits my oversized Irish skull, but somehow the young kid named Billy at Paragon sports made it happen yesterday. Where was he when I was fourteen and circling the ice with a near-blinding headache? Maybe things could have been different and I would have acheived my NHL dreams. I guess I’ll never really know for sure.
Now I am back up in my apartment, slightly sore and dealing with the stench emanating from a bag full of sweaty hockey equipment. It’s not easy being 1/4 Canadian. But I wouldn’t change a thing (except for maybe the big head syndrome. It would be nice to wear a cool hat every once in a while).
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Last week I saw Alessi Marke a/k/a Alessi's Ark play at the Cornelia Street Cafe (which- as hinted at in the name- is on Cornelia Street in the West Village here in NYC). She's just 18 and is seriously awesome, like, for real. I think she's gonna be big with the young people and also old people like me too. She has an EP coming out next month and a full album on Astralwerks in the U.S. and Virgin everywhere else (I think) in March. Go buy that shit. Her video for her song "The Horse" is above.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Panda 2, Hug Seekers 0 + The Roches Make Highline Ballroom Their Bitch
I always enjoy hearing about incidents in which animals put humans in their place (with the exception of the time my family’s Golden Retriever bit an 11 year-old me in the face for kissing him goodnight on his snout when he was asleep. That I was not so crazy about. The incident did, however, help me finally make sense of that old saying “Let sleeping dogs lie.” As my face and neck dripped with my own blood that cold December evening, I totally, totally got it.) This past weekend I read a story about a young panda in China named Yang Yang that bit a student who climbed into the his enclosure in hopes of hugging him. The fact that a panda would bite someone who entered his home in search of a hug came as a surprise to, well, pretty much just the student who got bitten I’m guessing.
"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn't expect he would attack," the 20-year-old student explained. But when the whole thing went down, Yang Yang in effect said “No, no” and took back the night on that motherfucker. I would have paid good money to see it. Maybe it’s on tape somewhere. God, I hope so.
What makes this story even more entertaining is the fact that this is the second time Yang Yang bit someone who tried to give him a hug. Apparently some drunken tourist tried to do the exact same thing a couple years ago.
Yang Yang- I just can’t stay mad at him.
In other news, this past Friday I went to see the Roches at Highline Ballroom. Shit, they were awesome. I actually got chills at various points in the show. It’s sad that they are going to stop performing live soon. I hope they change their minds about that. They have so many great songs and are maybe the most vocally innovative group in Western music (to be fair, they do some pretty crazy shit in the East). When I am a rich man someday I am going to hire them to show up at my house every morning, sneak into my bedroom, and wake me up by singing their version of “Hallelujah.” Then we can go get breakfast or something.
Here are the Roches singing “One Season,” one of my faves by them, in 1983. They do this crazy part where they sing all out of tune on purpose. Awesome. They played this one on Friday. It was so great they might as well have just walked off stage and punched me in the nuts. I was that blown away.
The excellent Lucy Wainwright Roche opened the show with a set that I wish had been five times longer. Lucy should be playing at Madison Square Garden. I think she should also have animatronic dragons on stage and maybe also a castle like Ronnie James Dio used to have in the '80's, but I would be happy if it were just her and her guitar too.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Metal Videos Galore (Nudity Included!)
Hi. Here is a video of me presenting some of my favorite Scandinavian metal videos on the popular website Metal Injection. If you have 37 minutes to spare, you have just hit easy street, specifically a metal-related easy street. Also, one of the videos has nakedness in it, so if you are watching it at your job you might get in big trouble as that sort of thing is often frowned upon for reasons I will never understand.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
New York Bar Show Video
Hi there. Recently I attended the New York Bar Show at the Jacob Javits Center. It was one of the most incredible days of my life. I hope you enjoy this video so much. Please watch it and then make all your friends watch it by sending them here. Or you could just have them watch it on this page here. That would be fine too.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Slade, "Far, Far Away"
It’s been all Slade, all the time over here at Dave Hill headquarters the past few days, and not just because their guitar player and I have the same name (i.e. his name is Dave Hill too). Slade were a giant band in the United Kingdom back in the ‘70’s, even outselling David Bowie at their peak, and were a big influence on Kiss, Cheap Trick, and the Ramones. Even better, they are from the “Black Country” of England, home of those pork scratchings I tried and failed to enjoy during my London invasion.
Slade had some awesome songs and pretty incredible outfits and singer Noddy Holder had one of the best rock voices of all-time if you ask me. His hair and sideburns are pretty great too. Here is Slade playing their hit song (in England anyway) “Far, Far Away” on a German television show. I like how the audience seems to be looking pretty much everywhere but at the band. It’s just...weird.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Monday Mixtape Jamming Jamz
It's Monday and I am procrastinating by making this mixtape.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Super Hot Mixx For Today
Imagine if you were at a bar with a pretty decent jukebox and every once in a while someone else was somehow able to slip in a song or two in between the ones you and that drunk girl you met outside the bathroom decided to put on with the singles you borrowed from your friend Todd. It might sound a little something like this. I hope you enjoy it so much.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Go See The Roches At Highline Ballroom Next Weekend Or I Will Stab You
The Roches, pretty much the most awesome folk trio ever (Peter, Paul, and Mary can suck it), are playing what are rumored to be some of their last ever New York City shows on November 21 and November 22 at the Highline Ballroom. You should totally go. There has never been another group like the Roches and there never will be. I got into them pretty late in the game- just in the last couple years- and I regret not checking them out, like, twenty years ago or so because I would have had a lot of great listening going on for myself. I’m not a big folk fan generally speaking, but- like all great artists- the Roches transcend any genre one might try to stick them into, so much in fact that even a heavy metal-obsessed youngish man like myself can flip for them. They sing great and they have been writing consistently great songs their entire career. In short, the Roches are so fucking awesome it’s not even fucking funny.
You can hear the Roches here and get more info on the shows, both of which will feature the arena-ready Lucy Wainwright Roche as the opener, here. And when you come to the show, be sure to say hi to me. I will be the guy right up front with no shirt on.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I Love Serial Killers
Chris March + Me + Elevator= Lots O' Fun
Recently, I rode in an elevator with the lovely Chris March, whom you no doubt remember from the hit program "Project Runway" for New York Magazine. You can watch what happened above. I hope you enjoy it so much. I know I did.
And here is my mixtape for today:
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I created this completely arbitrary and not very flowing mixtape using a web application I found via Bob Mould's blog. I hope you enjoy some or all of it. I'm not sure how to fix the song labels. They are based on however the original files were labeled somewhere out there on the Internet. "Rather Go" is by Lucy Wainwright Roche. The rest should be fairly accurately labeled (if misspelled).
London Invasion Part 3
I’ve just returned from my ten-day invasion of London and am now getting back to the day-to-day of figuring out what that smell in my apartment is. London was pretty great and I hope to go back soon. I felt pretty at home there because the weather is just like my native Cleveland and also I don’t tan well. All the shows I did were really fun, even my night at the Fitzroy Tavern doing the “Pear Shaped Comedy Club” show. Advertised as “London’s 2nd worst comedy club,” it quickly had me wondering about who was standing in the way of the #1 spot. I had a great time though, despite a rough set. It was sort of like having an itch you don’t mind scratching. And hosts Brian and Krysstal were great. It was a delightfully bizarre evening that I look forward to attending next time I’m in town.
My show on Sunday with Bishop and Douch at Hen and Chickens was a blast and also the messiest show I’ve even been a part of. We had to mop the place down twice when it was all over. Hopefully Bishop and Douch will come back to New York City soon. They are great. We even have nicknames for each other. I call them “skinny little cunts” and they call me “fat cunt.” Somehow we make it work. Thanks, guys.
As mentioned earlier, the Fix Magazine shows I did were super fun. Thanks to Harry for letting climb on the bill both nights. Check out his excellent comedy mag here. Another really fun show I did was Falling Down with Laughter near the London Bridge Tube stop. After the show I watched Obama win the election on a big screen TV in some bar with horrible laser lights shooting everywhere and even worse karaoke going on in the background. It was a bizarre way to witness history being made. I shan’t forget it.
Another fun show I did was in the upstairs room of a bar across from Borough Market just south of the Thames River. I made some new friends there and drank too much of that cask ale once again. Like every other night I was in London, I just seemed like such a good idea at the time. Speaking of which, many of the bars in London seemed to be named after someone or another's head (e.g. Nags Head, Old King's Head, Queen's Head, etc.).
I didn’t get a chance to make any phone calls in those red phone booths while I was in London, but I did step into one to talk on a cell phone once only to discover that that particular phone booth was more commonly used as a urinal. Stanky.
As you can probably tell, the trip overall has left me pretty brain dead, but in a really nice way. I’ve been gone from NYC for most of the last month save for a few days here and there. It’ll be nice to be back home and complaining about everything all the time again for a while. I’ll keep you posted about this and other topics soon. Brace yourself.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
London Invasion Part 2
The mayhem is picking up here in London. I am slowly getting over my jetlag and replacing it with a fairly nonstop hangover. There’s something about this place that is really conducive to drinking (like the fact that there is an inviting bar on every corner for example). As my new British friend Harry Deansway told me, drinking during the day is a national pasttime here. So far I have confined most of my drinking to after the sun goes down, but I am still taking a beating. I say all of this not to condone the party lifestyle, but just to let you know that I party, like, all the time in this country, dude. Hand-pumped cask ales are available in most of the bars I’ve stopped into here, and since that sort of thing is harder to find in the U.S. I have felt slightly obligated to do lots and lots of research on the topic.
Speaking of matters of great importance, it was exciting to watch the election results come in late last night over here. I am pretty excited about this whole Obama business, as is pretty much every person I have spoken to in London. Even the kebab guy gave me a free Fanta orange soda last night after he discovered I was an American Obama supporter. It was delicious- the taste of progress and also quite orangey.
In other exciting news, the shower in my hotel room is pretty cool. It has a removable shower head and I’ve discovered this great trick where I spray my leg hair in different patterns and it makes my legs look all extra hairy and awesome, like I’m a satyr or something. I’m pretty fired up about the whole thing. It’s a wonder I get anything else done during the day over here. See the photo above to take in the magic.
Okay, I have to do something distinctly British or maybe just go get lunch or something. I will give a full and incredible update soon. Brace yourself.
Monday, November 03, 2008
London Invasion Part 1
It’s Monday and I’ve been in London now since Halloween (which I didn’t think they celebrated here but it turns out they do. Maybe we’re not so different after all). As rumored on the Internet and in much of English literature, it is cold and rainy here. Also, I am having trouble mastering how to flush the toilets over here. It takes a few tries usually. I can’t figure out if it’s me or the toilet that’s the problem (signs point to me). I will keep you posted.
I performed at my first set on Saturday at the 100 Club as part of the Fix Magazine’s monthly show. Things went pretty well, which is to say I didn’t get pelted with anything during my set, so I’m considering it one for the win column. The other acts on the bill were great- John Shuttleworth, Tim Key, Pappy’s Fun Club, host Harry Deansway, and an impromptu set by a Scottish comedian named Stephen (I can’t remember his last name). Everyone was really funny. I had trouble understanding their accents from time to time, but I imagine people had the same problem with me what with my crazy American talking and all. Now that I think about it, a lot of people in America don’t understand my accent either.
The 100 Club itself is really cool. It’s an old club where I’m told they have mostly jazz now but over the years it seems like just about everyone of note has played there- the Stones, Metallica, Oasis, B.B. King, and probably anyone else you could think of. And now me too. Yeah! That’s a picture of me standing next to a wall of photos in the club. I pretty much nailed it with the hair.
After the show, a bunch of us went out for drunken Chinese food in London’s Chinatown before heading over to a nearby hotel bar for a nightcap I probably didn’t need. Then it was back to my hotel to try to figure out how to work the TV and give the toilet another shot. I have pretty much mastered the TV I am proud to say. The toilet will be conquered soon.