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Image  —  Posted: January 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last night at the Woodlands

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Thanks to all who came out last night…..and to everybody who listened in on 102.3 the Mountain. Many thanks to the great Alan K. Stout for setting up the gig and letting us cut loose on live radio. NEPA musicians have no better friend.

Setlist…
If I Only Knew
She Ain’t Mine (But She Should Be)
Sleeping In
Does it Matter
Didn’t Feel It Coming
I Don’t Want To Go Home Anymore
Now She’s Gone
I Just Want Her Off My Mind
I Think About That Train
Middle Of These Tracks
Rescue Me
Two Coal Cars

Wednesday Night….here we come

Posted: November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yea. Come get you some…..

New song….trying it out

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s what I do. Write songs and then play ’em and see if they work…

This is called “Middle of the Tracks”. Lyrics are here for those interested in such things. Or if you just can’t understand my warbling.

I wrote this specifically to perform onstage. Something we could stretch out on. At the time of night a band usually pulls out a cover….I wanted to have a cover of our own to fall back on. Anyway….it doesn’t matter why you write ’em I guess…as long as you write ’em and nobody throws stuff at you.

Monday, November 12th.

We hit the stage at 9pm for an hour set.  Live radio broadcast. There’s a stage and everything. And seats. Come. Or listen at WVIA.org

Come support us and public broadcasting and Big Bird. An hour long public service announcement. With guitars.

Facebook invite thingie is here

The Shillelaghs – unleashed

Posted: October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

The audio of a short video clip was brought to my attention on Sunday morning. It contains the following conversation taking place behind the lens…

Guy 1 – These guys are really good. They could…you know….make a lot of money and shit.

Guy 2 – You see those 2 girls right there?

Guy 1 – What? Where? Oh ok, yea. Whoa.

Guy 2 – They’re hookers

Guy 1 – Yea ok

Guy 2 – No…I mean real hookers. I used to live down here

Guy 1 – Oh. Well, that’s cool. A girl’s gotta eat I guess. She’s kinda hot. It sucks she charges.

And that my friends, along with towed cars….is rock and roll in Scranton on a Saturday night.

The Shillelaghs were out-ed…..and though I was a bit rusty from too many years in the basement….the boyos in the band were bringing the noise and I rode the wave until we quite literally ran out of songs to play and Wiggy started the “Mannish Boy” riff. We ended with what Wiggy calls “the Slash song”. A tune from our record called “I Don’t Want To Go Home Anymore“….hampered only slightly by my singing the words to a totally different song for the first 2 verses. That’s the kind of night it was. Winging it….with a hint of desperation…..and a slew of very intoxicated people dancing literally 3 feet from the bridge of my nose.

Little bits and pieces are coming back to me. Getting ready to start a Kinks song and being totally distracted by a jagermeister girl sauntering past wearing what I believe is still called a “skirt”…at least amongst those not as old as I am. All I saw was black fishnet from the ceiling to the floor. You try to channel Ray Davies under such conditions motherfucker.

Still, it sure beats working.

I do need some seasoning, however. When the advice of your bandmates boils down to “don’t start a song without telling us what it is first” and “sing into the microphone….that’s kinda why we put it there”, that means there’s some green in the tube that needs to be squeezed out. But still, nobody threw anything. And by the time we hit “If I Only Knew” and “I Think About That Train” and “Rescue Me” I daresay we were sounding positively filthy.

(I should point out that I had more than a few exchanges with folks that went something like this…

Them: The band is killer….unbelievable. How did you….er….you know….um..
Me: How did I get them to play with me?
Them: Well…no…that’s not what I meant….but now that you mention it….
Me: I paid them.
Them: Oh. Yea well that’s a good way.)

Unfortunately the only videos I’ve got my hands on are a snippet of Marvin Gaye…..and us doing “Light of Day” and having a band conference mid-song discussing how it should end. Still, it’s my favorite song to play….so maybe I just didn’t want it to end.

And no I wasn’t trying to look like ‘Lil Wayne with the pants falling off. I forgot my belt. All part of the learning curve.

Let’s do this again sometime shall we? I shall have the Kinks ironed out.

Tales from the clubhouse – vol XVI

Come hang out with us. There’s room.

Yesterday was the anniversary, not today. But I didn’t feel like thinking on it yesterday. Enough was being said. I just wanted to listen.

But today is the day after. Not sure if any of us remember the moment we woke up on the 12th. What were we thinking then? Surely that the world had somehow shifted….but nobody could have imagined by how much.

In 2001 I worked in a tiny rented office with 2 other guys. Eventually, both of them got whacked. So it was just me in there. Two small rooms and a fax machine that got ruined when the toilet on the next floor overflowed and spilled shit and piss all over it. All I had for company was a CD player and my dog. I miss Kiko. She died a few years ago. Her ashes are in my china closet and buried in the backyard, only because I could never find any way to wear them around my neck without looking like a girl. Anyway, she was the greatest dog ever. I have a dog now too. She’s the second greatest dog ever.

My sister called me and said something about plane and the World Trade Center. She wasn’t hysterical or anything. Just really confused…watching it unfold while it happened. It was before the 2nd plane hit, and I think everybody thought it was some sort of freak accident. I tried to get to CNN.com but the site was overloaded. Made sense. Lots of people were curious. So I hung up and waited for more news. I figured there’d be an explanation.

Then another call. A second plane. What the fuck? I think my Mom called me too. She was getting her hair done…and was watching the TV in the beauty parlor.

The office next door was a doctor or an insurance company or something like that. I never really paid that much attention. But I’d seen the lady who worked in there a few times and we’d say hello back and forth. She must have thought I was a bookie or something….alone in an office all day with a dog and a smelly fax machine. But I went over and she was listening to the news on the radio. Nobody ever went in there so she was alone at the front desk. Her husband had called her and told her something was happening. She mentioned something about more planes. Still in the air. The US capital. The White House. What the fuck?

Then I remembered. I had a CD player in my office. A boom box. Old fashioned now but the thing did have a radio. I’d forgotten. So I went back over and turned to NPR I think. That’s when I heard.

The voice said one tower had fallen. And then another. It didn’t register. Fallen? Like a drunk on the sidewalk? Maybe they meant to say the roof on one of the floors had collapsed or something. It was too much to get my head around. So I just heard what I wanted to hear. After a while I think I even turned the radio off and got some work done. My mind just sort of disengaged. I know people say they’ll never forget where they were when they heard the news, and that’s true. I can’t forget that either. But the hours after I heard it are hazy. I can’t remember feeling anything other than bewilderment. The Tali-hoo? Osama bin who? At the time these words didn’t exist in our lexicon.

When I got home I turned on the TV.

It took seeing it to make it real. They were “gone”. Literally. Rubble. You could see the smoke from space. Remember hearing that info for the first time?

The Pentagon. And western Pennsylvania. All the planes were accounted for now. The country was already in lock-down mode. Everybody was calling everybody else, even though there wasn’t anything you could say. You just wanted to feel connected to someone. I can’t imagine having to go through that day isolated and alone.

But I think back on it now and wonder why I had to, quite literally, see it to believe it. It’s not that I didn’t trust what the radio was telling me. It’s just that the images they were trying to convey were not available in my head. I think part of being an American comes with it a sense of invulnerability. We fight wars yes. But we fight them over there. Bombs go off sure. But they go off over there. People die. But they die over there. And there is anyplace but here.

It was such a quaint little notion….to use a Bush-ism. Remember when Goldwater said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and lost by about a billion votes because everybody, in their heart, knew he was nuts? Man, those were the days weren’t they?

Now we get stripped searched to board a plane and oversee a gulag in Cuba. Did a pack of wild-eyed virgins with box cutters really lead to all….this?

Battle ground states in the last few elections are laid out the same as they were 1861. In case you forgot, that’s when we killed each other to the tune of 600,000 plus. In order to form a more perfect union.

In short, September 11th 2001 has made us batshit crazy. We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore. So we’re gonna blame somebody, and dammit it if you ain’t with us you’re with the terrorists. And by the way lets burn out them lesbians across the street and firebomb Planned Parenthood.

Used to be all we worried about was the communists. I guess they don’t make commies anymore?

We need an enemy. Enemies make the world go ’round. Economies are built on them. Fortunes are made…and lost. It’s dreadfully important to the bottom line. Unfortunately for the vast majority, peace is not profitable.

We sure as shit have an enemy now. And that makes it so easy, especially when their fringe starts doing what fringes usually do (and really….you must choose a deity with thicker skin…no?). We’ve gotten ourselves immersed in 2 full blown wars and numerous skirmishes since that day in September….and the opposition party is tugging at the leash to have at Iran. The body count thus far is exponentially higher than the tally of the towers. But, that’s the price of doing business I guess.

I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it myself.

In a bit…

–tf