Category: Bands I’ve Been In

I got the new Ben Folds EPs, finally, after shaving some money off the Cool T-Shirts section of my budget.* Sunny 16 is great music, but Speed Graphic… it’s like he walked into the studio and said “I, Ben Folds, will now write five songs deliberately and specifically to make Brendan Adkins of Louisville, Kentucky twitch and squirm with joy.” It’s a pretty perfect disc. I think it just may have replaced Acoustic Dance Party as my favorite twelve-inch ever. Well, assuming I’d bought either of them as a twelve-inch. Which I didn’t. But still.

Anyway, yeah, like that stuff a lot. I also got the Bens EP, after already having everything on it for like a year. I always thought Grandma’s Genius should cover “Bruised,” but I think “Let’s Pretend” would be better now.

* You mean you don’t?

Went out to deliberately bond over Ultimate Frisbee with the Project Improv Apprentices tonight, and after a few practice rounds, ended up on a team of two (there were only five of us there) with the other Old Guy, Greg. I’m twenty-two, Greg is twenty-seven, Nicole and Evan are eighteen, and Richard is nineteen.

And we beat them, ten points to one, despite the fact that they always knew exactly where the frisbee was going. Old Guys ROCK.

Also, as of tonight PIA (which was temporarily, and horribly, called Red Peanut) is officially named Street Legal. This is pretentious, but it’s like choosing a band name: when it fits, pretentiousness is no object.

Two hours of sleep last night, as I stupidly stayed up until three before I even realized that I still had to do my homework. I say “stupidly” because I wasn’t even staying up for any specific purpose–I just hung out with Michelle and Jessica and David, beatboxing and rhapsodizing about the Neptunes. That’s college, I guess, but then I thought I was supposed to get good at time management someday. Ha ha ha!

That wasn’t exactly the best night to skimp on sleep, either, as today was a big day: not only our biggest crowd at Chalk Circle, but my first ever show as the drummer for Grandma’s Genius! And it rocked! We’d practiced together on exactly one song, which we didn’t end up playing, and the PA was crap, which made for a frustrating beginning. As it turns out, though, once we got started we had a pretty flawless forty minutes. We’re good at this!

Then, just as we finished our last song (BNL, “Brian Wilson,” where I get to go crazy thundergod at the end), the first drops of rain started to fall… all over the band that had earlier refused to swap us time slots.

That’s right. God loves Grandma’s Genius more.

(Also, found while searching for Neptunes sites: Conch is their specialty!)

I’m living in a small apartment with some of my best friends, apprenticed in a trade I find fascinating, dating an amazing girl, working with a dream cast on a play that really excites me and playing in one of my favorite bands. It occurs to me that these are probably the best days of my life.

I put a lot of my daily recorded life into correspondence with Audrey now, which means that I don’t write as much of it in here–partly because the urge to journal is satisfied, and partly because I’d feel guilty just writing the same things twice. I’ll try to make up for that soon; I think it’ll help once I (finally) write a backend interface for this thing so I don’t have to upload and update the SQL manually.

As seen camwise, I got Drew’s (old new) CD today, and what I’ve heard so far is shockingly good. I’ve mentioned his music in here before, and I always liked the cheesy low-quality mp3s from his old site, but the CD is high-res, listenable indie pop music. It’s kind of like a combination of the Flaming Lips and Rhythm Method. (What you say? You haven’t heard of Rhythm Method? Of course you haven’t! That’s part of the PLAN!)

Working backwards in time, the play is over and I have my evenings to myself again, which is as always a strange feeling. I’ll get back to my lazy habits soon enough, I’m sure, but right now I feel obligated to work from 7-10:00 out of sheer habit.

The final two shows were much better than Thursday and at least as good as Wednesday, and I came away from the end of the play so satisfied with what we’d done that I decided not to try out for the spring play. It’s going to be amazing, I know–it’s Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and it’s Patrick at the helm, so it’d be excitingly mad even if he weren’t adding enormous puppets and masks. Part of me regrets that Iwon’t be able to work under Patrick as an actor–it’s a hell of an experience–but I won’t act on that stage again. I had my time in the spot and I’m out. I’m really just looking forward to watching the show.

That pretty much brings us up to date. Anybody want a Swiss Cake Roll?

So last night I accomplished one of my life goals: playing music, live, with both members of Grandma’s Genius! Jon and I have played together for years, of course, and Chris and I played several times during GSP 2001, but last night was the first time we’d all played together (literally–we went on sans practice).

We actually sounded really good, especially on the Guster covers (Demons and Airport Song). We all wished there was a way to record it, but none of us had the equipment handy (or in fact at all). I kind of messed up myfavorite Jon song, Tennessee, by trying to play keyboard on it; it may have been an omen when the sustain pedal on my piano broke a few hours before we went on.

Even so, there was nothing that sounded bad and quite a lot that sounded good. I think they might even hire me as their touring drummer! (Note that by “hire” I mean “permit.”)

every one of you is fired

So, um, this looks a little different. In case you didn’t notice.

Short Story rode (rode) again last night, for the first time since, um, last May. It was impromptu, and it wasn’t all of us–Darren was tutoring and Garret was in this “other city”–but we picked up instruments together for the first time in almost a year, and we sounded fine.The MC girl called for a second round of applause, and later that night there was a post clamoring for a Short Storyreturn on the Centre phorums. I think people liked it.

The thing is, though, that’s not what felt best about it. I’ve tried my hands at a lot of different ways of making music–choir, piano lessons, snare–and the fact is I’m not a natural. I accept that. But within what ability I have, it’s about the best high I can get. Saying “I play bongos” sounds a bit silly, which is why I try to class it up by saying “percussion,” but either way it’s raw and visceral and soulful and cool. I love acting because it entertains people. I love writing code when it’s for designs like this, or for games, because they entertain people too. But beating the hell out of my hands on rawhide is something I could just do forever, for no audience but four other guys on guitars.

That’s what felt good last night, down in the basement, guessing at how to play “Psycho Killer” and doing it live ten minutes later. The pretty girls in the dark didn’t matter. The applause didn’t matter. What mattered was that playing with my band still feels like dancing and knowing how.

I am my mother’s son. Cleaning isn’t something I do often–my work area is a complex system (or lack thereof) of piles, bins and bags. But I’m starting to realize that when I do it, it’s a way of centering myself, restoring emotional balance.

It was a good day. Shouldn’t have been, really, as I’ve spent it running, being tired and thinking about the impending doom of tomorrow’s Calc and Theatre History tests. I’m getting nowhere with my novel and Jon’s finally made the decision to take the semester off from Short Story. And of course there’s a dead end at… well, nevermind.

But I wrote my play. It’s hasty, overdone and generally awful with a near-complete lack of plot. I’m proud of it all the same.

I want to cast Will and Melinda in it, but grapevine says they won’t work together. Actors! Ishould boil the whole lot of them.

the drummer from Def Leppard’s only got one arm!
the drummer from Def Leppard’s only got one arm!